Is The Korg Volca Bass An Affordable 303?

Is the new Korg Volca Bass an affordable 303?

The short answer is no – because the Volca Bass is a completely different design.

But can it still do some sick acid analog basslines?

That’s the question that Tim Webb takes on in his latest video. Here’s what he has to say about it:

“I’ve seen a lot of confusion out there about what the Volca Bass is actually capable of, with many referring to it as a 303-clone,” say Webb. “I address that and provide some tips and demos in my latest video.”

She’s Got Look Kill

Looks can be deceiving.

korg-volca-bassKorg’s marketing for the Volca Bass doesn’t compare it to the 303. And the Volca has a very different synth architecture, with three oscillators, a different filter design and different sequencing capabilities.

While Korg’s site doesn’t compare the Volca Bass to a ‘303, we’ve seen retailers calling the Volca Bass “an ultra-affordable 303 bassline synth”.

The Volca Bass styling unmistakeably recalls the classic TB-303. But, while the Volca Bass is arguably a more powerful synth than the TB-303…. it can’t duplicate the classic 303’s sound.

Check out the video and let us know what you think of the Volca Bass – and its potential for acid power!

via discchord

28 thoughts on “Is The Korg Volca Bass An Affordable 303?

  1. what i want to know is when we’ll actually be able to get our hands on these little things. all local retailers around here keep pushing back their availability date. Guitar Center is saying November now!

    1. I’ll tell you this much, I preordered in late September, then when I saw Musician’s Friend’s website’s expected ship by date back up to the 20th (when I ordered it said the 4th) which was around the 10th I canceled my preorder because the Korg website said “item is available”. Now it’s been 5 days and it still says “assigning for delivery”. I’m not sure Musician’s Friend would’ve shipped it by now but my advice would be to try ebay because I’ve seen some go there for regular price.

    1. Why is the internet a little bit sad about the lack of an accent when the FILTER on this thing is that weird distorted 12-db Korg design?

      The biggest difference between the Volca Bass compared with a TB-303 (or clone) is the lack of a Roland style 24db diode filter. Or even a simple generic 24db lowpass.

      You can hear it in this TT-303 vs Volca demo – the 303 bubbles and chirps with a very specific sound. The Volca sounds analog but the coloration is entirely different. The envelopes are different. The Volca is not a 303 replacement.

      The Korg 700 and MS-20 filters are nice, but it’s those deep glassy full range 4-pole lowpass sounds, paired with a simple well implemented EG that defined the 303 sound. Not every classic 303 baseline even used accent. But they all had the Roland filter.

  2. The 303 may have a distinct sound, but we should judge the Volca Bass on its sound!

    This kicks a 303’s ass in so many ways.

    It’s got three times the oscillators of a 303.

    It’s got MIDI.

    It’s got an LFO.

    It’s a full-fledged synth, vs the 303 is just a bassline synth.

    The only thing a 303 has on this is the accent function.

  3. “To anyone that will complain about me using a tt 303 instead of a tb 303, you can go fu<k youselves."

    Just the way he said it.
    I couldnt stop laughing.

  4. If it’s affordable, then it’s probably not a 303. There are already plenty of 303 clones, and I find it nice that Korg did not make yet another one.

  5. Great demo and a really good intro in criticising the price and unreliability of 303’s.
    I have a bass bott and yes I am more than happy with it (I also have various xoxbox clones which are very good also in their own right) I make acid tracks for vinyl and have done for many years.
    It was good to see you get the best out of that volca, and it has saved me time as it’s the first demo I have seen where you have set about getting towards a 303 sound.
    I wish all manufacturers included accent on their machines as the detail it gives ,is stunning.
    Thanks for the demo plus great presentation.

  6. This is demo by Daren Ager of Bass and Beats.
    Bass here gets quite nice into acid area. Not exactly squelchy 303 sounds, but still cool. I personally like how my monotribe sounds (esp. square) and if they implement slide I would be happy. But I am still buying Bass. Theyll fit together nicely.

  7. I came here to just say that the korg volca bass is far superior to the 303 and certainly can not even be compared to the old outdated exaggerated price of a vintage 303.

    The main point people are missing is that the volca bass is meant to be hooked up to MIDI devices to unleash it’s full capability. I just had mine hooked up to my akai xr 20 via midi yesterday using the xr 20 as a sequencer and keyboard. (many people do not even know the xr 20 can be used in so many different ways including being used as a sampler via NI battery) This was the first time I experimented with the midi feature off this instrument. The sounds you can get from it far surpass the 303 in every shape and form. To knock it off, I had the output of the volca bass processed through my korg kp3. Sick is all I can say! I suggest everyone try this out for sure before reviewing the korg volca bass. All I can say is go get one and get the other 2 volcas as well if you are looking for true analog sound with midi capability’s at an affordable price. Korg Kick Ass for the poor musician. There devices are made like musical legos meant to be stacked together to create your own custom synth sounds etc.

  8. Guys,…got myself a Volca Bass,.. and ehm,,, wanna make the Confusion bassline,… someone did already on the Volca Bass?.. if so, tutorial?? Or which keys?,…. would be very appreciated ๐Ÿ™‚

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