How to have swing on the Volca FM

When I brought the Volca FM, I complained about it not having a swing function (either by a dedicated knob or a combination such as FUNC+TEMPO). If you happen to own a Volca Sample or a Volca Kick, however, there is a neat trick you can use, albeit at the expense of loosing the capability to sync these newer volcas to your old ones.

Well, recently I’ve been preparing a comeback to the Korg Volca Sample Tutorial Series, and learned that the Volca Sample can switch between two sync modes: the traditional volca sync (one pulse every two steps, or 2PPQ) and a newer one pulse per step of the sequencer (4PPQ). This latter mode is capable of carrying swing to other synced units.

Now, to have swing over sync, you do need both machines to be in 4PPQ mode, and this is done by accessing the Global Menu and setting option 8 to ON. Unfortunately, this option is only available on the newer volcas (FM, Sample and Kick), which means that by using it, you’ll loose the ability to sync the newer volcas properly to the older ones.

Hopefully, Korg will someday get around to do a firmware upgrade, so that we can have swing over sync on all volcas.

Characterizing Volca Sample’s Low Pass Filter

I’ve been preparing a couple of Volca Sample tutorials before going on vacation, and this question came up when presenting the low-pass filter. What kind of filter does the Volca Sample ships with? in order to test it, I used sample 27. This sample is a small snare with not too much bass and quite a lot of white noise. I recorded this sample being played with the filter at 127, 110, 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 and all closed. At first glance, the filter sounds like a 12dB/octave one. Figure 1 shows the wave shape of those samples (A), and their corresponding spectrogram (B).

Figure 1: Wave shape (A) and spectrogram (B) of sample 27 using different [HI CUT] settings. Form left to right: 127, 110, 100, 90, 80, 70, 60, 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, and 0.
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