Korg Volca Sample Lets You Tweak, Play & Sequence Samples


Korg today introduced the Volca Sample – a sample player/sequencer that lets you edit and sequence up to 100 sample sounds in realtime.

According to Korg, the new Volca “lets you recapture the excitement of the first generation of samplers, in which any sound — vocals, spoken words, ambient sound, or glitches — becomes material for your creations!”

The latest in the Volca series is a sample sequencer – it does not let you create new samples. Korg offers a free companion app for iOS that lets you load samples and create new samples.

Here’s a video intro to the Korg Volca Sample:



  • 16 step keys to enter notes intuitively while maintaining visual confirmation of the timing of the notes in a measure.
  • Real time recording
  • Up to ten of the sequence patterns you create can be stored in internal memory.
  • Motion sequencer records and plays back up to 11 parameters
  • Active Step and Step Jump functions let you insert and remove steps
  • Analog frequency isolator lets you apply powerful changes to the sound
  • Per part reverb
  • Song mode
  • Reverse function lets you play samples backwards
  • Playback can be synchronized with another volca or electribe unit, or with your DAW.
  • Compact size, battery power and built-in speaker for mobile operation

Pricing and availability for the Korg Volca Sample are to be announced. See the Korg site for details.

83 thoughts on “Korg Volca Sample Lets You Tweak, Play & Sequence Samples

  1. Hmmm. I would Imagine Korg would have to provide a software component that is not iOS. I use an iPhone, but…Will I always want to use an iPhone? Why not OSX? I can’t imagine it would be too complicated. Otherwise, this looks like fun.

    1. That’s why they are careful to call it a ‘sample sequencer’.

      The Volcas are all designed to be inexpensive, so Korg has to trade off some features to get the price right.

      I would have liked to have seen this with built-in sampling. As it is, though, it’s probably much easier to sample with an iOS app and a portable iPhone than it would be carrying a Volca box around.

      1. i think this so called app-sample-loader its gonna be a recorder for ios that you can use to sample and also have the abillity to load this samples to the volca.

          1. What ocatvio was trying to point out is, that perhaps the app won’t be just for loading in pre-existing samples, but also for recording new ones and then sending them to the machine, elevating the combo of volca & app to full sampler functionality

          2. I was imagining something like the Take app from Propellerheads, maybe a small multitrack software.

            (sorry for been so obvious but it is kind of difficult to explain this in english)

  2. I would probably get one if I didn’t have to use an apple device to work this thing. Also, I hate the syncing on the Volca series. It jumps all the time even when I use converters to 1/4 cables or really thick 1/8 cables.

    1. Make sure you’re using the included sync cables (stereo not mono) and a stereo audio output cable (1/8″ stereo at the Volca to stereo at the mixer). I originally was using a high quality mono audio output cables – why not? you can’t pan the parts so stereo is pointless – and I got sequencer glitches. I replaced them with cheap ass Hosa stereo audio output cables and haven’t had a glitch since. Weird, makes no sense, but works.

      1. I can’t. I don’t own an iOS device. I want to buy it so bad, but the whole iOS requirement is a complete deal breaker. It would be an expensive white brick, until someone makes a mod available, but that’s just something else to buy to make it work.

        They should’ve added a USB port, or an SD card reader instead. I’d rather format my samples with a mouse then use my fat fingers on a small touch device.

        Poorly though out by Korg.

        1. Honestly, if I didn’t have an iOS product, I would get an ipod touch just to integrate this into my setup. With swing from korgs monotribe app into the volca sampler (loaded w custom samples) synced to the volca beats, thats pretty ideal for me tbh. I love the fully mobile, battery powered setup, and with a mixer you can fade into tracks from the ipod. I think it SOUNDS great too, very gritty, possibly 12-bit?

          I’m excited by this. I love the volcas on-the-fly sequencing, its very intuitive, fast, and quick to manipulate live.

  3. so you said you have a sampler in hands and you do not say how to load samples. no mentions for a sd card support, multi OSes, nothing, only few words saying balab bla “load samples via an iphone”?

  4. As much as I have loved the newer Korg products… they really dropped the ball with these new products. In fact I feel a bit duped. The thing that made the Volcas and older Electribes great is that that Korg created their own independent pieces of hardware that can function together in a modular fashion. It seemed their developmental track was set with the Monotribes, MS20, and the cooperative effort of the Little Bits devices that as a company, Korg was aimed at providing the user with quality albeit inexpensive, customizable, alternatives to using computers.

    Why are we suddenly relying on Ableton, Apple, and other external recording/editing processes/equipment?! I feel like they have just assured the customer that these will be temporal pieces of gear until they excite us with other future products. Maybe Korg seems to feel it has to compete with Roland…

    1. “Why are we suddenly relying on Ableton, Apple, and other external recording/editing processes/equipment?! ”

      Because that’s what the most popular apps and platforms are?

      Not sure why you see those as a bad thing – the new gear is great without the integration, and if you do use Live, you get even more.

      1. The point of that observation was that of long term usage. As a user of these products, one is now left beholden to that software. After those platforms inevitably pass on, without hardcore hacking it leaves a customer with a useless or extremely limited product for use in the future.

        1. If the new Korg instruments sound good, people will use them until they break, whether or not iOS and Ableton Live are still around.

          Look at Roland’s old DIN gear – you have to jump through hoops to connect it to anything, but they’re still the standard that everybody loves!

      2. I had an akai s20 a few years ago that was compatible with every last single shred of audio software on any platform – because it had a line-in jack! Having the thing sync up to so & so softawre is great and all that but it really just feels like the most useless part of this machine is the machine itself- why does it exist? just sync ableton up to your ipad or better yet, come up with a viable ableton alternative for the ios. Why do I need to spend 200 bucks or so on some leds and a box that in all likelihood is less flexible than an ipad, which is required to even get samples into the thing?

      1. Because the topic concerned those 3 products mainly… I assumed there might be a difference in discussion because those interested in a particular piece of gear might have alternate takes on the machines and their usage than I do. Criticism is not inherently negative.

    1. I doubt that will work, there is probably no Analog to Digital converter onboard. I’m sure that they saved a massive 75 cents a unit by leaving that out. The new sampling Kaossilator has AD, it’s not like it’s makes design or manufacture that much more complicated.

      I was very psyched when I saw the announcement yesterday, I thought “Wow, Korg is doing an affordable sampler!” Then I saw iOS loading of samples…worthless to me. If I was using an iOS device, what would I need another device to function as a sampler? Korg has been doing great with its line of smaller devices, but they dropped the ball here.

      1. Maybe for you? But many people use harware in many different ways. I’m hoping that the app has audiopaste so I can paste all the weird and wonderful sounds made in different ios apps and then jam with them on a tactile physical hardware box. To me the ios intergration is very cool!!

  5. About a year ago, there were a few devices that were drum trigger-type devices with SD card slots and sample playback. Load samples via SD card. Boom. Those devices seemed useful and well-timed. Haven’t heard much about them since.

    I get that this has a unique feature set and fits with the Volca paradigm. And knobs are nice.

    However, if you put a top-10 list of desirable features in a cheapo sample box– #1. Load samples via SD. #2 sample on the fly. Korg had their top-10 reasons for nixxing the SD reader. I have my reasons for not buying this.

    1. Akai has the cheap sample playback device with an SD card slot covered pretty well, so Korg probably wants to do something different.

      The Volca Sample focuses on having lots of hands-on realtime controls, which is very different than the Akai box, and will probably appeal to a different type of user. It sounds like you’re just not one of them.

  6. Excellent! Obviously there are those who say apple part is a deal breaker – if you aren’t using ios music apps – you are missing out.
    Cannot wait to get my grubby paws on this new little box of joy!

  7. Nice little box. It reminds me of my old Boss DSD-2, a sampling/delay pedal I milked with gusto. I’m still unconvinced that I should have to buy a bloody iPad for these things, as I use OS X already, but to be fair, this isn’t aimed at serious DAW composers so much. Its a cheap-&-cheerful on-the-fly toy. It’ll be popular with a lot of lap-toppers and overall, it deserves to be. If you need more serious parameter n’ editing access, then Akai MPC-type territory is more your speed anyway. I have yet to find a need for an iPad myself, but plenty of people will be playing this with XKeys or NanoPads. Its a predictable move by Korg to expand the line, but also a good direction to have taken.

  8. I have no problem with the iOS aspect of this because it works for me but I can see where maybe a at least a USB port for an external card reader would have made sense. I wonder what hacks are onboard. Maybe there is an input of some kind? How about MIDI Sample Dump – remember that??

  9. I really want to be excited about this, but I don’t have an iPhone or iPad. Bummer.

    I know Android is not ideal for touchscreen music-making apps, but I’m not in the market for a touchscreen music-making app. I do like little hardware bits like this. All we’re asking for is a way of simply transferring audio files into the Volca Sampler for mangling. Surely that doesn’t require too much from the sending platform, right? Why can’t we upload samples from Windows or OSX?

      1. Yeah, except that the MPX8 is a simple playback device without much ability to meaningfully affect or sequence the sounds onboard. Even Nick from SonicState said in his review that it might be best applied as a micro USB drum pad or a simple backing sound playback device.

        This Volca has the ability to sequence sounds in the “active step” way I really appreciate from the others in the series, plus sound and loop manipulation that seems very intuitive. It’s just a bummer that because I don’t have an iOS device, I can’t use it.

        It doesn’t make sense to me, because there are a million sample mangling apps on iOS already. If you’re really into hardware, you might not need iOS and if you’re really into iOS, you might not need this.

  10. If this could sample, even through a crappy SK1 type situation, it would probably be around for a long time as a fun, creative box. As is, I’ll probably avoid it, because it could be landfill in 5 years 🙁

    1. so your are a serious musician cause you use Apple shit only?

      man,.. i used taperecorders before apple`s iShit excisted…
      get a life, fanboy


  11. If you all really think that there’s only going to be an iOS app, you’re high. Korg knows that it has a more varied user base than that, and it would cost almost nothing to also provide a PC app.

  12. agreed with all the naysayers. Limiting this to an app is a shame. Think of the possibilities if you could sample directly into it?! Shame.

  13. To me, the particular input platform is irrelevant. The fact that I can’t just plug in a damn 1/8 jack and just hit record is dumb.

  14. How exactly does an iPhone connect to this Volca? I don’t see any USB, so it must be wirelessly? I guess that’s why they went with iOS (the app might even include recording of samples via mic or line in). But I think that most people keep their samples on the hard drives of their personal computers, so it would be nice to also see an app for PC & Mac

    1. I think the iphone will send data through de headphone jack to the sync input in the volca.

      A lil bit like the OS update on the Monotribe.

  15. I’m glad to see the volca line is still going I think it’s a great format, small cool box, big on ideas low on price… Keep them coming korg.

  16. It looks smart would be a good wee companion to the other volcas for a compact set up, however would it have been that difficult to shove a sd card slot in it for sample loading, rather than a bunch of pre loaded samples or having to use ios or whatever…sheesh!

  17. I think it would be awesome if the thing could record samples too, but one possibility is that they don’t want it to compete too much with their new Electribe sampler they just announced. Perhaps.

    It doesn’t appear to have a USB port or anything, so it may possibly recieve new samples as data threw one of the 1/8″ jacks, which would mean you could use audacity or whatever. I have a few iPads and an iTouch, so I’m ok personally, but the more options the better, plenty of people hate Apple, as evidenced by some of the comments..

    Regardless, Korg continues to put out interesting new products, I’m excited about the new grooveboxes.

  18. I wonder if you can play the samples on a keyboard at different pitches? I can see there’s a pitch knob, but keyboard would have been cool.

  19. umm…so if you need an ios app to sample with this thing, then you need an iphone or ipad -so why do you need this thing? I mean, really, whats the point, besides spending extra money, that is? It reminds me a lot of the akai mpx16- just a really, really handicapped version of something that worked fine 10-15 years back. Its like they are intentionally being cheap about the audio stuff, wth? On what planet does it make sense to put out a hardware sampler that doesn’t sample? The electribe s is like, ancient . The mpc500 is pretty darn old, too. Am I the only one who thinks this is crazy? How can decades old technology (proven technology) actually be MORE useful than something that came out today? I have no problem with IOS integration, but this is simply handicapping the device and making the end user jump through a freaking hoop just to do a simple function I can pull off right now with OLDER technology-namely um…just playing a sound into the machine and then triggering the resultant recording as part of a midi sequence aka sampling with my sampler. Don’t worry guys, one of these days, if AKAI, Roland and Korg merge into one gigantic megacorp, combine all of the talented R&D staff they can muster, working grueling 14-16 hour days , only stopping to replenish the vital nutrients they need to stay alive, we can expect , one day , maybe 10-15 years from now……………a sampler with a line in jack and a record button! G’nite folks, thats my time!

    1. I was thinking the same thing, being able to create melodies from a hum and that sort if thing.

      Does anyone know any products that do that easily ?

  20. The IOS app will probably make capturing live sounds pretty easy, and I’m guessing getting those sounds onto the Volca will be straight-forward.

    But I think not having a line -in will limit the device.


  21. I just looked at the specs. Number of recording patters =10. 10? What good is that? Am I missing something………….why limit it so much?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *