The Korg Volca Beats, Volca Bass & Volca Keys


It looks like at least one of the Musikmesse leaks may pan out to be real!

Here are some additional shots of a trio of small Volga boxes. The Korg Volca Bass looks like it may have had some inspiration from a famous bassline synth. If Roland won’t make a new 303 and give it three oscillators, it looks like Korg will. 

Below, the Korg Volca Beats appears to be a drum machine with built in Stutter effects:korg-volca-beats

Finally, the Korg Volca Keys:


Finally – a little Volca action shot for perspective on size:


We’ll have details when Korg makes their official announcement.

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70 thoughts on “The Korg Volca Beats, Volca Bass & Volca Keys

  1. These look really fucking cool. (Especially with the midi AND sync ports, which means monotribe won’t be so lonely anymore.)

    That is all.

    1. can´t stop watching the photos. love, love, love.
      few thoughts creeping in: i hope the build quality is more monotribe and less monotron.
      and that the midi is not “hardwired” to channel 1 for all of them. that would be a killer omission.

    2. good point! i guess there must be some outer line out/line in elsewhere… there is a strange red glow on the left of the synth module that could be a card reader or who knows what…

  2. Awesome news! Now we just need to see the other two become official…

    Also, did anyone else get the impression it used 1/8″ (3.5mm) jacks? This looks a lot bigger than I initially thought it would be.

  3. Awesome news!
    Also, did anyone else get the impression it used 1/8″ (3.5mm) jacks? This looks a lot bigger than I initially thought it would be.

  4. Ok, can I take back ALL of my earlier knee-jerk comments?! 😉

    After comparing the AC input jack to the others, they do look a lot more like 3.5mm jacks.
    and MIDI?! Good move KORG!
    Given that they probably function best as a combo package, let’s hear something about pricing…

    1. i really hope these things stay under the $1000 mark for the set. or not too much over it. the MS20 mini is $750 in australia!? thats massive mark up… really unhappy with the distributors here, no wonder i prefer buying on ebay…

  5. Heaphone out I feel makes sense considering the size assuming they are mono because then a patch cable would work fine, also it has the perhaps unintentional benefit of interacting with euro systems a bit easier. I can’t imagine that these would, at least at launch, be cheaper than the monotribe, but if the cost pretty much the same or even a bit more, are analog and meet some basic quality standards (all of these things i’m willing to bet on) these seem to be a real slam dunk, especially after releasing the ms 20 because they are no longer ignoring the pro quality level instruments either. GO KORG! GO ARTURIA! GO NOVATION! No longer do you actually have to be professional with corresponding salary to get your hands on fun NEW analog gear. I had a hard time caring about the monotron or the mono tribe un modded because they felt like just toys but with midi and sequencers I think they will be able to find a place in any synth enthusiasts studio certainly mine.

  6. I will definitely have to have all three, who needs a tb-303 now? Not me.

    I am concerned that these sequencers only have 8 memory slots though. Hope it turns out to be more! Like M8 x all 16 keys which would be an awesome 128 patterns for each machine!

  7. Headphone out only makes kind of sense in iPad days, I’m not surprised. There are good adapter cables, I got a bunch of them already. Actually for stereo I prefer them to dual mono cables, less clutter.

  8. These are awesome! Meanwhile Roland ‘wonders’ if they should reissue the 303. Bizarre.

    Imagine the three of these linked together, along with the MS20 mini. Pretty awesome.

    1. I really doubt it will be polyphonic; it looks like a sequencer-based machine. But I can HOPE you’re right – the market desperately needs real analog polysynth with a low price – the only comparable thing I can think of is a DSI Tetra.

      1. Well is says ‘poly’ right beneath ‘unison’. Therefore its poly, otherwise unison would be meaningless, as would the ‘detune’ knob. Dont see any waveform options though, so it’ll be basic, but could have a great sound. We’ll see. But the fact is, if its 140 euro like everyone is saying, its a total bargain. All three for 420, plus another 600 for the MS20 mini, thats a great little set up for about 1000 euro.

      2. No, sorry. The “poly” mode is duophonic (since that only requires tuning the two oscillators independently). There is only one filter. Remember, this thing is basically a monotron (2 sawtooth oscillators) with slightly better envelopes and modulation, a step sequencer and a keyboard matrix scanner.

  9. RIP Roland

    what a bunch of idiots , Korg has hit the nail on the head AGAIN!!!

    Monotron Triad
    mini MS 20
    Now these!

    If Roland wont make a SH101 , TR606 and TB303, looks like Korg will, and ill buy all 3 ffs!

    1. Nope. The Volca Keys is based on the monotron. In this case, it has two sawtooth oscillators and a slightly better envelope and modulation routings. There is a single Monotron-style filter and the delay circuit from the Monotron Delay. Because there’s a microcontroller added inside the box to handle the step sequencer, MIDI and keyboard scanning, it is possible to drive the pitch of each oscillator independently (giving the unison, fifth, octave and a duophonic “poly” mode).

  10. haha i got downvoted hard last time i said control voltage is the future, the laugh seems to be on the naysayers

  11. I don’t see these can possibly be priced at 140 euro. That’s less than the Monotribe
    sells for after the price drop. These would be the steal of the decade.

  12. I think we can safely crown Korg as the Kings of Techno now. These are exactly the sort of products I had hoped to see coming out, but I thought it would take another 2-3 years.

    Roland and Yamaha should just hang their heads in shame, Boss is the only Roland division that has shown any desire to innovate in recent years.

  13. Now add some way to do KORG’s WIST to talk to their iOS apps and…holyshit.
    A standalone wireless module with CV/MIDI ports maybe?

  14. Korg is the Nintendo of synthesizers. They are making music fun to play with. From their kaoss pads to their monotron series and these… I need to get a second job.

  15. well, thats my Electrix Repeater, MPC 500, JHS Drum Synth and all the other bits of kit I’m not useing at the moment going onto Gumtree in the morning, inittially I was just going to go for another Ipad but now, its all about these babys….I can’t wait to find out the meanind of “flux” on the Volca Keys 🙂

    exciting times 🙂

  16. Guess its the same as Flux mode on the monotribe – just turns quantization off…. a lot more useful than it sounds at first – you can almost hide extra notes on off beats and basically gives you a second variation of the stored pattern.

  17. 🙂 I have no more decent words to write here,this is amazing.
    As a hardware fan I feel no sorry for the software synths.

  18. What’s the point of making a drum machine instrument that only has MIDI In? Without MIDI Out it can’t be the center of timing and is far less useful.

    The branding on the devices is in 3 different locations. That’s kind of a dumb cosmetic mistake.

  19. Really like the Idea of the Baseline and Drum machines, I could really imagine them catching on, they sound amazing and are cheap! The lead synth though…really why did they bother? It sounds like crap and has the flexibility of a iron rod. Let’s face it, for the price difference anyone interested in buying a super low budget synth would go for the Waldorf Rocket.

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