25 thoughts on “Hands-on With The Korg Volca Line

  1. Bad demo. Lots of noise and uninspiring music.
    Music Radar has an obligation to do much better than this.
    They’re not doing Korg any favor.

    1. There are plenty of decent reviews of the Volcas on YouTube. Criticizing those that are taking the time to publicize a product helps no one. Take what you can from it and look around for others. I’m pretty much sold on the Volcas especially on a cost vs. performance basis. I’m looking forward to the Sonic State review. They are always thorough and informative.

      1. Music Radar is from “Future”, the company that sells the best music production magazines in the world. I’m a long time subscriber to two of their publications and I know they can do much better than this. They’re not some random user on the net. They’re pros.
        From all the reviews I’ve seen so far this is the worst. I don’t know how they decided to publish this.

        And they’re not taking their time to review a product, it’s their job.

  2. Agree! There’s a ridiculous amount of compression on the final demo, too. I genuinely hope the poor noise floor is Music Radar’s fault and not the result of having 3 units together tripling the noise… Anyone do any tests on the S/N on these yet?

  3. I’m curious about the Sync In/Out feature. Does that mean if I plug a sound line-in from a different drum machine or a DJ rig, etc, I would be able to sync the machines to the incoming beats, regardless of source? Or is there some other thing going here between the Korgs that I don’t understand and it only works between Korg machines?

    1. The pulse that is transmitted/received by the sync is a specific sound which is audible (it’s obvious when you hear it sent from the syncKontrol app).

      If your other drum machines can replicate the pulse, they would sync. However you would have a problem in that the output of the other machine would need to be sent to the sync instead of the mix, and the sync pulse sounds shit.

      So basically, you can’t sync it with just any drum sounds. I hope that’s what you meant…

      1. Thank you, that answers my question perfectly! I had some ideas for using these machines a certain way but now I know it’s not possible. I’d have to stick with MIDI In.

  4. This gear line is so clever, I hate to say that it also seems too basic. The tools are guiding their own use too much. That’s not to say that you couldn’t take these into strange new places and give them some real definition, but their most immediate applications are also where a lot of people will stop. In fact, these bring to mind an old 80s guy called Nash the Slash, who played power ukelele & violin through fuzz boxes & delays, rendering wild things over very early drum machines. He put a new face on everything he used. It can be done, if you are weird enough and dedicated enough.

    Being a long-time Korg user, I like the feel of everything they make, even when its not within my field of needs. Rather than carp on lacks the Volcas really don’t have at this level of purpose and pricing, I’ll just hope to hear them used as good parts of an ensemble rather than only standing alone as dance machines or Kraftwerk-in-a-box toys. A little careful effecting and non-standard use can easily show what great voices these really have. I lost my last real doubt when I heard that 3-oscillator VolcaKeys tone.

  5. The drum machine sounds really bad to me. Very cheesy and toylike. Korg is making bank selling mass produced cheap products. So sad…

  6. I hope you don’t make a habit of dismissing synths because you don’t like one sound.

    It’s an analog drum machine – make sounds that you DO like!

  7. I love these machines but I’ve had money down on them a long time, it has been an excruciating wait and I still have 4 weeks to go.

    I think it’s a great new market korg are aiming at. With the advent of Internet , iPads, home studios and youtube, I think there’s a real market of gear addicts in the making. Nice entry price point, lots of fun. Modelled on a classic – the tb-303 was pretty limited piece of plastic crap, but it and to some extent it’s sister tr-606 have weathered the test of time as desirable fun objects to make music with. It also taps into the casiotone revival, the analogue lust, the op-1 play toy, and of course the Electribe style of music making. It’s crossing a lot of markets and along with the monotribe, the mini kaossilator 2 and kaoss pad2, kids are getting access to some great gear and ideas from korg at an affordable price.

    I think it’s going to be a fun decade for music making! The more the merrier I say!

  8. I’m sold, especially after hearing demos by BakaOscillator on YouTube, but I’m sick of waiting so I’ve bought a CZ3000 and a TQ5 to play with until I can get my grubby hands on them.

  9. Making cheap products, making people pay months in advance=borderline criminal no matter how cool these are. And cheap materials is probably not good for the earth. I wonder what their labor practices are.

    1. Yes – shut down the forced-shopping camps where they make you buy things you don’t want or need and that aren’t even available!

    1. I have that large-hands problem. For years, I’ve laughed and said a lot of this stuff is designed to be used by 70-pound Japanese school girls. Apple’s current keyboard is a cruel joke and for me, unusably toy-like just for tech-cuteness’ sake.
      I hit a mental disconnect when I have to use a PITA stylus for data entry.

      The piano has its own history and demands. Its not something you’d use to play “Get Lucky.” If its not part of someone’s early experience, plasticky keyboards seem normal. I wish everyone could spend some time at a piano or other acoustic instrument and get a sense of the unique engagement involved. IMO, anyone who has that in their tool box is ahead of those who don’t, because it gives you a better sense of the feel and the fonk. You get better at using the electronics when you have a sense of WOOD, too. I resolved it by using a central controller I can dig into and the familiarity has helped quite a bit. Less setup work, more fun-time. I’d plug that into a Volca Keys readily, whereas I’d never just sit at a table and peck away at one for long. Can you say “Personal Operating Curve?”

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