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Korg Volca FM


Compact Digital FM Synthesiser

  • 3-Voice polyphony
  • Fully compatible with the original
  • Automated step sequencer with 16 steps
  • With Warp Active Step, Arpeggiator and Pattern Chain
  • Chorus effect
  • Sync input and output: 3.5 mm mono mini jack
  • MIDI input
  • Headphone output: 3.5 mm mini-jack stereo
  • Power supply: 6 AA batteries or via optional power supply unit KA-350 (not included)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 193 × 115 × 40 mm
  • Weight: 360 g
  • Suitable case: Article no. 489618 (not included)
Number Of Keys 16
Touch-Sensitive No
Aftertouch No
Split Zones No
Modulation Wheel No
Number of simultaneous Voices 3
Sound Engine FM Synthesis
MIDI interface 1x In
Storage Medium None
USB-port No
Effects Chorus
Arpeggiator No
Number of Analog Outputs 1
Digital Output No
Display No
available since June 2016
Item number 383318
Pedal Connections None
Dimensions 193 × 115 × 45 mm
Weight 0,4 kg
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Including VAT; Excluding £8 shipping
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86 Sales Rank
Can't get anything better for the price!
Reems 21.03.2019
I've had my eyes on the Volca FM for the past year and I gotta say, it didn't disappoint at all!

This little synth is small, but packed with features. It can load and recreate Yamaha DX7 patches, so for those that are not inclined to delve into creating sounds with it, there's already (literally!) thousands of patches available for free online. It's also probably the most intuitive FM synth ever. The knobs and buttons make changing parameters on the go a much smoother and less painful process compared to f.ex. FM synths from the 80's. Folks who want to create their own sounds will appreciate the Algorithm and Parameter List card provided in the box by Korg.
Of course, it can't all be good - the synth, like any product, has it's downsides. It IS tiny, so for someone with bigger hands tweaking the knobs and picking the right key on the touch strip might be a nightmare. Moreover, 3 voices of polyphony ain't that much if you want to play lush pads without voice stealing.
However, I still believe the Korg Volca FM is a superb product. It's cheap, fun, sounds great and makes you want to sit down with it and create music! Highly recommended.


6-op FM synthesis for very little money, but limited when used just as a sound module
Nike Kid 05.02.2020
1. 6 operator FM synthesis so you get bigger sounds for its small size
2. The velocity fader can act as a filter and is very handy for softening the sound or making it more aggresive. It also sounds quite smooth.
3. Battery power draw is quite low and efficient.
4. A lot of functions for sequencing and writing music, although I bought it as a sound module.
5. Nice logical & friendly layout.
6. Nice looking golden touch strip against a brown background.

1. Three voices one voice too less than the minimum required for decent FM polyphonic playing, and you will feel the limitation
2. Sometimes it seems to sound a bit thinner than second-generation 90s Yamaha FM synths
3. Lacking a variety of patches and I can't bother and don't really trust the accuracy of SysEx patch translation


Super cheap, good sounding, lots of fun with few minor annoyances
Anonymous 24.02.2017
I added Volca FM to my mostly analog setup because it was really cheap and it actually sounded pretty good an all the videos I watched prior to purchase.
Month after actually using it my feelings are mixed.

I really find it difficult blending Volca FM's sound with analog (subtractive) gear.
Unit does not come with power supply unit. It comes with batteries which are, I must say, really durable (after month of use Volca's battery indicator shows 80%)
Ignores velocity over midi.
HISS. There is constant (-140dB to -110dB) noise across the whole frequency spectrum. It not dependent of output volume or any other controls whatsoever. It's just always there.

PRICE. Nothing to add, it's really cheap.
Simple, portable, intuitive and fun to play with, but it also has its depth if you wanna dive into FM synthesis.
Interesting sequencer and really fun arpeggiator.
Although plastic, build quality is better than I expected
Algorithms, LFO

Bottom line, if you don't have problem with few little annoyances I mentioned, its super cheap, good sounding, really fun little box.


Power of FM in a box
Kid3000 15.09.2016
This is a brilliant little synth. I wanted a hardware FM synth for a while and this is just it. The parameters they put on a front panel give a great amount of control over the synth considering how complex FM synthesis is. It's really fun to play with and the sequencer and parameter recording are great. It's a nice change from all the subtractive synths. It gives you a lot of new sounds to play with, although some will obviously sound very 80s. It may be a good thing, as it seems everyone is rediscovering the sound and culture of 80s and reliving their nostalgia.
There are couple of cons but not a deal breakers unless you mainly want to play it from external keyboard. First one is that the synth does not respond to velocity from external MIDI controller, there is velocity slider on the box - better than no velocity at all. Second con is that the parameter changes will not affect the sounds that is being played, i.e. if you play a note and tweak parameters it will only affect the next note you play.
Overall it is a great little synth and although it is only 3 voices you get a sequencer, arp and even a basic chorus - amazing for the price if you think about it.


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