The Volca Range is a collection of four small portable electronic musical instruments designed and produced by Korg. On the original release, in 2013, three analogue instruments were available: the Volca Beats (an analogue drum machine with some limited PCM sample playback), the Volca Bass (an analogue monosynth) and the Volca Keys (an analogue polyphonic synthesizer with some additional functionality.
These three little analogue synths (with a little bit of digital sampling on the Beats) were followed in 2014 by the Volca Sample: a digital sample sequencer with a lot of automation facilities and an analogue isolator at the end of the sound chain.
Unfortunately, the manuals for these machines are quite small, and newcomers to the world of analogue synthesis, electronic music, or even those who and not used to deal with the most technical side of synthesis usually find difficult to harvest the creative possibilities offered by these four machines. The tutorials and resources bellow are a distil of my own experiments with the Volcas, and also my research into several videos and reviews featuring each of these synths. Downloadable resources such as cheat-sheets and patch sheets are (will be) also given in each section.
Volca Sample Tutorial Series
This tutorial series premiered in September 2015 on my YouTube channel, with episodes 1-6, covering most of the basic features of the Volca Sample. Bellow is the list of available tutorials. Tutorial 0 is just an introduction to the front panel. All other tutorials include links to their respective videos on YouTube.
- Tutorial 0: Getting to Know the Volca Sample
- Tutorial 1: Creating a Simple Pattern
- Tutorial 2: Sample Tweaking
- Tutorial 3: Working With Automation
- Tutorial 4: Song Mode
- Tutorial 5: MIDI and External Automation
- Tutorial 6: Loading Samples
- Tutorial 7: Global Menu Settings
Volca TNT (Tips & Tricks)
Following the format of the Volca Sample Tutorial Series, this series of short YouTube videos show simple tips and tricks implemented on all four machines in Korg’s Volca Range. This is the list of currently available episodes.
- Episode 1: The Metronome on the Keys
- Episode 2: Ring Modulation on the Bass
- Episode 3: Synth-kick with the Volca Keys
- Episode 4: Synth Toms on the Keys
- Episode 5: A Kind of Snare with the Volca Keys
- Episode 6: HiHat on the Volca Keys
- Episode 7: Bells! (Volca Keys)
- Episode 8: LFO Sync (Volca Bass)
- Episode 9: Thicker Drums (Volca Keys)
- Episode 10: Hidden Waveform (Volca Keys) – Part 1
- Episode 11: Hidden Waveform (Volca Keys) – Part 2
- Episode 12: Odd signatures with Beats and Delay
- Episode 13: Swing on the Volca FM
SQ-1 Tutorial Series
After some requests, and my own struggle to have a decent sound when using the mic, I started these tutorial series in September 2016, and are planed to be 7 episodes long. As with the Volca Sample Series, each video on YouTube is accompanied by a more detailed text in this site, explaining the concepts discussed in the video.
- Episode 1: Introduction
- Episodes 2 and 3: Ranges and Scales
- Episode 4: Tempo, Duty and Slide
- Episode 5: Sequencer Modes 1: The Main Knob
- Episode 6: Sequencer Modes 2: The Mode Buttons
- Episode 7: About Sync (January, 8th)
- Episode 8: About MIDI (February, 5th)