Korg Volca Modular Synthesiser
Creating new sounds that don’t exist in the outside world is an unending dream which has continued since the birth of electronic musical instruments. This dream has evolved and expanded throughout the development of new and unique music production devices.
The popularity of modular synthesizers around the world has generated new excitement and interest in the so-called "West Coast style" of synthesis that deviates from traditional synthesis norms.
The compact body of this volca synth features eight modules and 50 patch points. While learning the basics of a modular synth, you can use popular features of the volca synthesizer line to control a unique and different flavor of analog sounds.
The Korg volca modular is a semi-modular synthesizer consisting of independent analog synth modules, digital effects, and a sequencer. Each of the modules has been carefully selected for its stand-alone completeness.
The modules are internally connected so that sound can be produced even before connecting the included pin cables, and the routing is shown by white lines on the panel. Module connections via a pin cable take priority over the internal connections, bypassing them.
This consists of a triangle VCO carrier and a modulator. The complex overtones generated by FM modulation are sent through a wave folder circuit to add additional overtones, producing a distinctive sound. This module is important in determining the basic character of the sound of volca modular.
This section consists of two function (envelope) generators. In addition to an ADH generator with attack, hold, and release, there's a Rise-Fall generator, also known as a slope generator, which not only applies time-varying change to the sound but also lets you patch the end trigger out back into the trigger in as a loop, making it usable as a VCO or LFO.
This is a random signal generator containing a sample & hold circuit that uses pink noise as its source. Two outputs are provided, allowing it to output either stepped or smooth random noise.
This module distributes one input to two outputs. It can also be used in the reverse direction, combining two control or audio signals into one.
This consists of two low-pass gate circuits. Typical of the West Coast style of synthesis, the module packages a filter with an amp, allowing the brightness and volume of the sound to vary together.
This is a mixing scaling module that combines two signals in various ways. It can mix not only audio signals but also control signals, as well as inverting or attenuating those signals.
This is a stereo module that applies a reverb-like effect to the audio signal.
This module is for connecting to the internal sequencer. You can set the tempo, and select different rhythm divisions to output via the gate counter.
volca modular’s modules are connected via the included pin cables, allowing a diverse range of combinations. The unit's compact chassis provides 50 patch points. Inputs and outputs are color-coded for recognition at a glance, and the signals are also marked by symbols to indicate audio, control, gate or trigger. Normally, each signal is connected according to its use, but on the volca modular, signal levels are universally compatible between modules, allowing hidden possibilities to arise from patching that defies common sense.
Twenty pin cables are included, and also included is a reference sheet explaining each patch point and providing basic examples of patching.
While the volca modular is a semi-modular synth, it is equipped with a full-fledged 16-step sequencer providing a wide range of functions, letting you enjoy automatic performance even when used stand-alone.
Using the 16 buttons familiar from the volca series, you can perform step input or use the buttons as a keyboard for realtime recording. The pattern chaining function plays back multiple sequence patterns in succession, allowing you to connect up to 16 sequences with up to 32, 64, or even 256 steps to create large-scale development.
The motion sequence function records knob movements, letting you add time-varying change to the sound. You can create loops, or use this function live for strikingly original performances. Up to 16 sequence patterns and sounds can be saved in the unit.
Also provided is an active step function which lets you play back while skipping the steps you specify. You can skip the latter half to produce a short loop, use an alternate time signature to create polyrhythms, and evolve sequence patterns in real time to create a dynamic performance.