Korg Volca Sample 2 Features More Memory, USB

Korg today introduced the Volca Sample 2, an updated version of their entry-level sample sequencer that adds more memory and features, plus new connectivity options.

The Volca Sample 2 adds a micro USB port for better connectivity, increased sample memory, a new sound library and additional functions for an improved workflow.

Here’s what’s new:

  • Pattern chain mode with 2 different STEP JUMP modes
  • Start delay function: Go “off the grid” with the new delay feature that lets you slightly delay the start of any part to achieve different kinds of grooves and swing.
  • Increased memory of 200 memory slots; double its predecessor. 50 are left empty on factory settings so you can load either your own original or pre-made libraries.
  • Pattern locations have also have been increased from 10 to 16.
  • New sound library

Here’s a livestream offering an in-depth look at the new volca sample:

See the Korg site for more information.

65 thoughts on “Korg Volca Sample 2 Features More Memory, USB

        1. I carry around a sampling device everywhere I go, all day and every day. It has decent mics, and it’s smaller than any Volca. I can edit and alter samples on its touch screen. I can even take samples from it and put them on a Volca. Easily.

          It also makes phone calls.

            1. Actually, I’m pretty excited about this update. I like the Volcas a lot for not having touch screens or mice. I find physical instruments more interesting and inspiring than apps. But I don’t really want to carry a Volca around to sample stuff. The smaller the sampling device, the more likely I am to have it on hand to catch an unusual sound. So, what I’m saying is that I don’t need a Volca to sample. I’d rather do that with the thing I always have on me and then transfer it to the Volca later. But that’s me.

        2. “Who really makes samples these days?”

          Everyone you get samples from, obviously! Where did you think they came from?

          And wow… if you think nobody samples these days… wow. I’m sorry you haven’t discovered the absolute joy and satisfaction that is the process of making something unique from found sounds.

        3. LOL!!!

          Bob: Best sampler ever!

          Alice: But can it sample? A sampler that samples would be useful.

          Bob: Don’t be absurd. No one samples any more, that is crazy talk, woman! As I said, this is the best sampler ever, bar none.

          Alice: And it can’t sample.

          Bob: Stop your trolling lady!

          This all said, it does come with a phone app that allows you to sample and transfer the samples. Also it now has one channel per sample multitimbral operation, though it’s not polyphonic per channel.

      1. Agree 100%.
        Korg, please don’t call it a sampler if it doesn’t actually sample. Sample player maybe, but sampler… No.

        Also agree with phone comment. The original Nanostudio on iOS still has more power/functionality than this.

  1. Honest question: Do any users pay attention to the sound library? There’s an endless supply of samples floating around the internet, if you don’t make your own. Usually the first thing I do with a sampler is clear out the factory stuff. Do many people actually use the Korg stock samples?

    1. You already thought it was a toy and assumed an upgrade would make it not a toy? You go food shopping for sneakers? The toy argument is played out. They were saying the same thing abut synthesizers in the 70’s and here we are. Catch up.

      1. yeah totally agree I mean you know what else were considered toys and not serious instruments?

        1. Huh? The 808 and 909 were not considered toys. They were marketed as high-end professional instruments. I get your point, but you’re just making stuff up.

          1. “They were marketed as high-end professional instruments” – LOL… you really don’t know the TR-808 story 🙂 Roland used transistors for the TR-808 that were rejected as “out of specification”!

    2. Toy…I know Aphex Twin uses the Volca Sample in his studio. Maybe he also considers it a toy. I do live lighting at a club in Sydney and sooo many well-known live acts come thru and so many utilize the Volca’s in their setup. If they are toys, they’re useful ones. I’d love to see pictures of your big-boy studio showing all your serious tools.

    3. I just want to declare i to the all world that since It doesn’t sound like Juno (or missing Kensington lock like on my focusrite) this product you publish 10 seconds ago is not for me.
      sorry 60 year successful brand and 40 years pro engineers, after careful consideration I will not buy it and now everybody know about it and this product will be a failure , get back to your drawing board!

  2. Great. I can’t wait to see if the alternate firmware by Pajen with all its cool new tricks will be adapted for this new one

    Now Korg please release version 2 of the Beats, Bass and Keys with pattern chaining and with integrated snare mod on the Beats!!

  3. Good – tho personally not into sampling.
    Still good to know they make “MK2s”

    Waiting for all the other mk2s with pattern chaining and hot sauce.

    Ps.: Mixer MK2 with audio over usb more channels (4 track), keep the sync start and powerdistribution – cut the speakers.

  4. It sounds like the PO-33 is still more useful than the volca sample.

    In general I appreciate Korg, and I get annoyed at TE, but Korg should recognize when another company outdoes them on a product while using less processing power and less power consumption.

    And yes, smartphones and tablets are still the best sampling devices out there.

  5. Korg make a great product with the volca sample but why is it so limited in the amount of patterns it can save in memory. Ram is now cheap and plentiful I just don’t understand why so limited in 2020

    1. But they went from 10 to 16 patterns! That’s a huge jump!! 😀

      Yeah, I had an HR-16 thirty years ago that allowed for (iirc) 99 patterns. I haven’t figured why manufacturers like to hamstring their modern boxes with barely adequate pattern memory or patch memory (Volca FM and Reface DX, I’m looking at y’all).

      1. Meh, endless selection. The point of a small number of patterns is to keep everything accessible from the front panel. This is better for creativity than endless menu diving.

        1. imagine there was a button label “bank” that you can choose with the 16 steps 16 banks, each one with 16 patterns.
          luckily I’m too lazy to read manuals so even if it’s just a shift bottom with no screen i call it “menu diving”

  6. I’d like to whine that there isn’t anything for me to complain about.



    1. We don’t complain without checking all the available info truthfully,
      Testing beta units and compering to our DIY projects,
      Nobody needs to know we know better.

  7. I don’t get the limitation on patterns. I get that there are practicalities to be considered for the length and amount of samples, but does it really take up a lot of room to have more patterns available?

    I’m not particularly techy, maybe someone else could elaborate.

    1. >does it really take up a lot of room to have more patterns available?

      It really doesn’t. The only snag I can imagine would be how to accommodate more patterns with the user interface (how to choose and use among more patterns with knobs and buttons as well as the LED). I’m convinced any tiny amount of added complexity wouldn’t blow our minds if they gave us 50 slots or more for patterns.

    2. Doing some basic math, the steps are bits and each control could be a byte (8 bits). So 16 steps = 2 bytes, 14 parameters= 112 bytes. Multiplied for 10 parts, that means each patterns takes up around 1.2 KB, so almost 20 KB for all 16 patterns. This doesn’t take into account motion Sequencing.

      In general, those kinds of MCU as the one used here the most memory they include is around 2048 KB for everything, including firmware.

      So yeah, they could include more patterns but it’s likely that due to cost they decided to use all extra memory for samples and keep pattern count low to save space.

  8. ok, if you read carefully you will notice the coorect name of the device: “Sample”, that doesn´t mean “Sampler”..please note the subline “Digital Sample Sequencer”..that´s what this device is.

    no one calls this a sampler..it´s easy 🙂

  9. I’d like to see KORG release a polyphonic sampler that’s more like a Casio SK series, but that’s wishful thinking I guess.

    To be honest I think the Teenage Engineering KO beats this for actual sampling, and price!

    1. Oh course Teenage Engineering beats Korg. This is just something to mess with and have a improv jam that won’t break the bank.

  10. I’m guessing the relative failure of Korg’s Microsampler (despite the fact it was a cool little device) might have informed their decision to make it a sample playback only device. Something like a Bitbox would be my preferred device for hardware sampling these days.

  11. There are good samplers now at very affordable prices, looking at other types of studio gear i buy the sampler is a cheap instrument already no need to go cheaper. Why would you buy this instead of a MPC One or Digitakt for instance? Maybe if you don’t know yet if this is a hobby for you, otherwise better invest time and money in a sampler that is more future proof for your needs.

    1. Not everyone looking for “tools to make the job done”.
      For some it’s just fun no matter the price or the capabilities.
      Non of the instrument you mention can play 32kb or have analog Isolator so it will be nice to have them along side.
      Anyway, You think that if i have MPC one i will not want a digitakt? Instruments are not audio interfaces, They have character.

      1. That is true, these features can be seen as a uniek effects on the sample that an other sampler does not have. If this is just what you are looking for its a definite buy but it must be really something to buy this over the others for me no matter what the price is.

  12. Sounds like some bully tackled a few people and dragged Volca money out of their pockets, so butt-hurt got served all around! Yeesh! If your aunt grows testicles, she becomes your uncle. Not likely, so I also know not to yell at a Volca for not being an MPC 30000X+. Ya’ll holler about the wrong things. I’m still playing an old Kaoss pad and loving it. Boris is right about what’s useful. There are toys and then there are Toys.

  13. Only the Drum and Kick sound ok for me. The rest more or less has the same terrible cheap character in sound. As for a sample player there are many better options which don’t cost that much more.

  14. Rumor has it that Korg is working very hard to improve this product and the Volca Sample 5 will probably be able to play notes.

  15. Having had two volcas, one of which the sample, break within a year and zero response from Korg support I’ll tell you where they can shove it.

  16. I hate to love to say it, but the fix for cheap gear breaking is to get more serious and buy better gear. I know the smaller or more toy-like things have their appeal, because I’ve bought my share, but you’re setting yourself up for pointless aggravation to ask much of them. That little Casio e-sax I bought mostly annoyed my pets.

    The price point matters. The flagship stuff holds up the best, but treated well, the mid-line gear builds will perform at a similar level. Things that never leave the house or studio have the longest lives, too.

    Volcas and Boutiques are starter/teaser instruments, even though they have real merits. You fix the Volca issue by plugging it into something like an Arturia KeyStep. Volcas are useful as modules, but unavoidably “weenie” if you ask them to do heavier lifting.

  17. completely underwhelming, but at least it doesn’t render the V1 as obsolete, since 8MB is still ridiculous. I’ll keep mine then.

  18. I like the Volca sampler and the Ok Go version. I never tried to sample with it, I’ve just used the samples that come with it and they sound really good. Korg has done a fantastic job with Volca series. I’m not sure if I will pick up the Sampler 2. I do hope Kong will make an fx Volca to give all the Volcas some extra flavor and possible be suited for DJs. Again, great job Korg.

  19. Volca Sample original with Pagen firmware and MIDI out mod still beats the Volca Sample 2 for me. The bar reset and step probability make it so much better. As far as I’m aware the architecture is different, and U/Pagen will need the new firmware and a lot of work to do the same firmware mods to the Volca Sample 2. I would love it if U/Pagen could put step probabilty and bar reset on the Volca Beats somehow also. I don’t rule out getting a Volca Sample 2 if Korg (or someone else) updates the firmware. The Volcas in general are brilliant!

  20. Korg should approach Pajen, and ask him a new firmware, and brand the new Volca, Volca 2 Pajen.
    16Mb or 160Mb memory would be nice.
    They would make a lot of money. But they are trying to copy what he did and can’t or don’t want to.
    Pajen should have a Volca Sample named after him as the Volca Go!!

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