J74 Volca Control – Software Editors & Control Surfaces For The Korg Volca Series


Developer Fabrizio.Poce has released J74 Volca Control – an $8 package that provides you with three editors and control surfaces for each of the members of the Korg Volca series: the Volca Keys, Volca Bass and Volca Beats.

The tools let you control, store and modulate all Volca native MIDI parameters, while adding a bunch of new features for synthesis and performance, such as: filter KeyTracking (both VKeys and VBass), Chorus-like effects (VKeys), additional tempo sync LFO (VKeys), Pitch Tuning and modulation modes (VBass), 3x note Polyphony emulation on VBass, MIDI velocity emulation on VBeats, LFO auto-tuning modulation (VBass and VKeys) and Solo/Mute controls on VBeats.

All devices also offer presets storage (load, save, recall), a X/Y Panel for modulation of two parameters simultaneously and a parameter randomizer.

Here’s a video intro to J74 Volca Control:

The devices come in the format of Standalone desktop applications for Mac and PC (integrating via MIDI communication to controllers and DAWs, with no additional license required) and in Ableton’s Live Max for Live format (integrating directly in Ableton Live, in this case a Max for Live license is required).

Supported versions:

  • Standalone tested on MAC OSX 10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and Windows 7 and 8
  • Ableton Live 9 / M4L versions require Live 9.0.6 or higher + Max 6.1.x
  • Ableton Live 8 / M4L versions require Live 8.3 or higher + Max 5.1.9

The J74 Volca Control package can be purchased for US $8 and comes in the form of Standalone (both Mac and Windows) and as Ableton Live / Max for Live plug-ins. The package includes all formats and control surfaces. See the Fabrizio Poce site for details.

Feature set:

Volca units standard functionality mapped via MIDI:

  • VKeys: VCO (OSC) Modes, Detune, Portamento, Pitch Envelope
  • VKeys: LFO Rate, modulation intensity for both Cutoff and Pitch
  • VKeys: VCF Cutoff and Envelope amount
  • VKeys: Envelope (EG) Attack, Decay/Relase, Sustain
  • VKeys: Delay Time
  • VKeys: Delay Feedback
  • VKeys: VCA Volume
  • VBass: VCO (OSC) Pitch tuning for OSC 1, 2 and 3
  • VBass: LFO Rate, modulation intensity for VCF Cutoff
  • VBass: VCF Envelope amount (on Cutoff)
  • VBass: Envelope (EG) Attack and Decay/Relase
  • VBass: VCA Volume
  • VBeats: Part Level (Kick, Snare, LoTom, HiTom, ClosedHats, OpenHats, Claps, Agogo, Crash)
  • VBeats: PCM Speed (Claps, Agogo, Crash)
  • VBeats: Tom’s Decay
  • VBeats: ClosedHats Decay
  • VBeats: OpenHats Decay
  • VBeats: Hats Grain
  • VBeats: Stutter Time
  • VBeats: Stutter Depth

Additional features given by the VKeys, VBass and VBeats software:

  • VKeys: Delay Modulation for Chorus-like effects
  • VKeys: KeyTracking on VCF Cutoff
  • VKeys: Additional LFO (LFO2) which is software-based and tempo synchronized
  • VBass: OSC Pitch Tuning modes (unison, octave, third, fourth, fifth, major-chord, minor-chord and three auto-detune options)
  • VBass: 3 note Polyphony emulation (paraphony), as OSC Pitch Tuning mode “poly”
  • VBass: KeyTracking on EG/Cutoff level
  • VBeats: MIDI velocity dynamics (emulates MIDI velocity support)
  • VBeats: MIDI controllable pads with velocity emulation
  • VBeats: Solo/Mute mixing controls
  • All devices: X/Y Panel for modulation of two parameters simultaneously
  • All devices: Parameter Randomizer
  • All devices: Presets storage (load, save, recall)

What the VKeys, VBass and VBeats do NOT control:

  • VKeys: VCF Peak (not hardware/MIDI implemented by Korg)
  • VBass: VCF Cutoff (not hardware/MIDI implemented by Korg)
  • VBass: VCF Peak (not hardware/MIDI implemented by Korg)
  • VBeats: Kick click/pitch/decay (not hardware/MIDI implemented by Korg)
  • VBeats: Snare snappy/pitch/decay (not hardware/MIDI implemented by Korg)
  • VBeats: Tom’s Hi/Lo pitches (not hardware/MIDI implemented by Korg)
  • All devices: Any FUNC[tion] setting on the units (not hardware/MIDI implemented by Korg)


27 thoughts on “J74 Volca Control – Software Editors & Control Surfaces For The Korg Volca Series

  1. brilliant! i wish we were seeing a lot more of this for plethora of analog devices flooding the market as of late. nice to make the best of the analog and digital worlds!

  2. I would love to see these for iPad – I could load my presets and patterns from the iPad straight to the volcas – if I modded them with midi in.

  3. It looks like an Ableton instrument.

    I wish that Ableton or Bitwig release a standard to make synth interfaces that intergrate into their daw.

    Synth manufacturer could use that standardized human interface kit to quickly make frontends to their synth and have it well integrated into the daw.

      1. True, the Volca are intuitive and fun because they are hardware based, tiny analog boxes. What I tried to do is essentially give them some useful extra’s for live performance (like presets recall), a bunch of new features the hardware units were crying for (like MIDI velocity on beats, chorus on keys, a better tempo sync LFO, etc.) and a layout which is easy to use.

  4. I bought this immediately based on the description. IMHO at $8 it’s a no-brainer. I haven’t even had a chance to try it yet – LOL!! Yes I finally got my Keys and Bass but still no Beats…

    Thanks Fabrizio!

  5. Cool program Fabrizio, just bought it. A lot of potential there and the “voice modes” on the Volca Bass are excellent. Is it a huge task to make a VST version?

    Oh, and something that would be awesome would be modifying the note on velocity for the Bass – as many people say you really have to hit the MIDI keys hard to register with the Volca Bass.

    1. The idea of adding a curve on the VBass velocity is interesting. robman84, could you please take contact with me via email (see on my website), so we can agree on the specs you have in mind…

  6. Ka-ching! I’m mildly surprised that Korg didn’t offer this themselves. Its invaluable to jump on an editor while Toy X is still hot. I applaud anyone who covers that in their gear. If you really want to master a synth, take time to sweat over a 2nd full sound set you modify by hand and build up the patch stash. I’ve found that to be a great way to discover a few more of the ins and outs. This is a near-perfect fit for some great synths. Good work and well-designed, Fabrizio.

  7. If you ever consider making a vst version, you should definitly take a look at juce. I’m doing exactly this kind of thing for another synth in a juce based vst/au.

  8. I didn’t read properly that windows versions 7 8 and higher are supported and went ahead and bought anyways. My own fault it does say on your information Fabrizio. But to my surprise and delight it is working fine with my windows vista home premium. I haven’t found any problems.

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