Korg Volca Sample

Portable Sampler

  • Can be synchronised with other Korg Volca and Electribe models
  • Motion sequencer to record/playback up to 11 parameters
  • Active step and step jump functions
  • Swing function
  • Analog insulator for sample modeling
  • Reverb effect
  • Reverse function
  • Trigger pads
  • LED display
  • MIDI in
  • Integrated loudspeaker
  • 3.5 mm mini jack headphone output
  • Power supply: 6x AA battery or optional power supply (KA-350, not included)
  • Dimensions (W x H x D): 193 x 115 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 372 g

Note: Sample entry only with a specific iOS app!

Further information

Polyphony 1
Internal Storage Yes
Storage Medium internal
File Format WAV
Time Stretching No
Effects Yes
USB-port No
Analogue Inputs 1
Analogue Outputs 1
Digital Outputs No
Display Yes
Sequencer Yes

Bundle Offer 1

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€189

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Amazing little box, the best in the Volca range.

TrEr, 31.05.2017
I've been slightly disappointed by the other Volcas. With the exception of the FM they have all felt like toys to me, but this one, WOW! To get a nice sounding sample sequencer with lots of knobs to tweak at this price is just INSANE!

Ok, there's obviously a few shortcomings at this cost so lets get the bad stuff out of the way first:

-The reverb isn't that great. In fact it's very poor and metallic sounding (but I guess some people might like it and it's a nice "extra" I guess).

-The high/low shelf eq (or "Analog Isolator" as Korg calls it) isn't exactly studio quality either (but a nice feature nonetheless).

-Unless you use third party software you can only import samples from an iPhone(!). But I've tested the Vosyr Free Volca Sample Manager from Frederikson Labs and it works great so this isn't a big issue at all. Just be aware that unless you use iOS you will not have official Korg software available.

-The built in speaker is obviously crap but that's to be expected and no big deal.

-The manual is absolute RUBBISH like any typical Korg (or other Japanese synth manufacturer) manual. Luckily the unit is pretty intuitive so it's reasonably easy to get started even with the horrible manual.

-It seems like a strange priority to only be able to save 10 patterns but 6 songs! I mean, no-one is going to make 6 songs out of 10 patterns...? Stupid!!!

-Like all Volcas the knobs are very small and the "keys" are... well, lets just say they are not exactly precision tools.


And that's about it for the bad stuff. Ok, the "'Motion Sequence" function (simple automation in Korg language) isn't really that great either to be honest. But then I found Motion Sequence to be very fiddly and erratic on ALL the Volcas so maybe it's just me?

Except for these issues the Volca Sample is an amazing little box. There are plenty of knobs to edit samples in lots of different ways like length, pitch, start/end points, envelope, etc. It's a great creative tool that allow samples to be transformed into completely different sounds. Even with only the factory samples available there's still potential to create lots of unique and cool stuff.

The sequencer works great too, same as on all the Volcas. And there's a song mode, hurray!! (this is sadly missing on the Volca Beats).

One last thing: Be aware that the Volca Sample uses ALL midi channels to be able to send signals for all controls separately for all samples. This might be a dealbreaker for many setups. Not a problem for me though.

Even with all it's shortcomings the Volca Sample is an amazing little box. It has lots of knobs to tweak, it really sparks creativity and it's lots of fun! I would consider the Volca Sample a bargain even at twice it's price.

Highly recommended!
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Good value, but missing in memory

05.01.2017
The Volca Sample is a sample player + sequencer, and it's actually pretty cool. The samples I use here are the standard set, but you can upload your own. You can modify the samples in various ways, and every parameter except the sample selection can be sequenced.

However, the Volca Sample has too few patterns (only 8) and to few song slots (4) to be usable live. What live set has only four songs? And it would have been nice if the Song sequencing would remember not just the pattern, but which channels where muted. That would make the Volca Sample a fully fledged drum machine that very well could be used professionally. For under $200.

Now it's usable in a studio if you don't like using your software sampler, or if you want something to play with that runs on batteries.
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