Korg Volca Beats B-Stock

B-Stock with Full Warranty

Slight signs of use

Analogue Rhythm Machine

  • 6 Analogue and 4 PCM-based drum parts
  • Loop and Step sequencer
  • Stutter, Active Step and Step Jump functions
  • Multi-touch trigger pad / step key
  • LED Indicator
  • Integrated speaker
  • Sync I/O 3.5 mm mini jack mono
  • MIDI In
  • Headphone output: 3.5 mm mini jack stereo
  • Power supply: 6x AA battery or optional power supply (KA-350 - not included)
  • Dimensions (WxHxD): 193 x 115 x 45 mm
  • Weight: 372 g

Further Information

Display No
Pads 16
Effects No
Sampling Function No
Storage Medium None
MIDI interface 1x In
Number of analog outputs 2
Headphone Output Yes
2 Customer Ratings:
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
5 / 5.0
  • handling
  • features
  • sound
  • quality
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Old school meets new school
Lightman, 15.01.2014
Volca Beats is a hybrid drum box with six analog (bass drum, snare, lo tom, hi tom, closed and open hihat) and four digital sounds (clap, claves, agogo, crash) that stylistically go towards TR-808. For the analogue sounds there are three controls each to change the attack behavior, decay and other parameters. To adjust the digital sounds, there is a PCM speed control, which sets the playback speed of the samples. The volume of the sounds is adjustable per part, there are also global volume and speed controls with a range of 56 to 240 BPM. The device is powered by either six AA batteries or a 9V power supply (not included).

Sequences can be recorded in step / pattern mode or live (tapping) in 16 steps, whereby the input is always quantized, unquantized recording as in the Volca Keys (flux mode) is not possible, also a swing function is not implemented. But there is a stutter function, which triggers the sounds in adjustable speed and depth, so you can create and record all sorts of Drillbeats and Off Beat-Ticker, either for all or individual sounds (Global Stutter on / off). Also speed changes of the playing of the digital sounds are recorded and reproduced by the sequencer, with these functions nicely scraping loops are achievable and one can thus also compensate for the missing swing function halfway. There is the Active Step mode, in which individual steps can be switched on or off live, and a step jump function, in which the sequencer jumps to the pressed Ste- me button and continues playing from there. When the key is held, the corresponding step is constantly re-triggered. All drum parts can be individually muted as needed.

Connectors have sync in / out jacks on the top of the unit to sync beats to other trigger port devices, as well as a MIDI IN jack and a mini jack jack. The MIDI implementation (the corresponding table is on the Korg homepage) is well executed, in addition to clock signals, the Beats MIDI CC commands for eight parameters such as Part volume, Stuttgart depth / duration and Part decay, which thus via MIDI controller keyboard or Software can be recorded in the external sequencer and sent to the beats. Contrary to the Keys, the recording of the controller changes except Stutter and PCM-Speed ??is not provided in the internal sequencer, just like Velocity, so here you have to stop with MIDI.

To save your own loops there are eight memory slots available, which can also be downloaded live. With a little skill, manually linked patterns are possible. Only the sequence information is saved, not the sound changes.

Sound-wise, the beats are very solid, especially the bass drum and hihats. The PCM sounds seem pretty lo-fi and a bit slow, sometimes it's hard to put them in the mix properly. Speaking of mix, the beats offers no panning for the parts. Otherwise, the part sounds really good, and then the old school meets the old school, the old-school 808-Vibe is broken by the recordable Stutter and PCM-speed functions, making the beats sound quite modern and Phetto grooving drum loops raushaut, who do not have to hide behind those far more expensive devices. The device is also very low noise.

The operation is okay, even if the controls are close to each other as on the Keys and on top of each other, here you have to proceed with sharp fingers. They are partially lit, they flash briefly during activity (does not apply to the digital sounds), so you can see in the dark, which parts are currently in use. The keyboard is easy to talk to, all setting options are easily accessible, even if in some cases they can only be activated by holding down the FUNC key and pressing the corresponding function key. Here again, the small size of the device makes a positive impression, you can do almost everything with just one hand.

The Volca Beats-Drumbox is great for live gigs like studio work. Sound and operation are consistent, the ability to link multiple Volcas and other analog devices via sync / trigger make the construction of a flexible live set possible, but also the MIDI page is not too short. However, the so-called "manual" (a multilingual leaflet) is a joke, many functions are hardly properly explained, which can be a bit tedious for beginners. Despite the small imperfections, I am very satisfied with the device, in its price segment, the beats is absolutely unrivaled.
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The single most important element in any style of dance music is the ‘groove’, a chemistry of rhythm for your song that can make or break its overall feel.
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