Korg Volca Sample Digital Sample Sequencer

Compact Sample Sequencer with 100 Onboard Sounds, Extensive Onboard Control, Step Sequencing, Automation, Reverb, Swing, Sync I/O, and MIDI In
Korg Volca Sample Digital Sample Sequencer image 1
Korg Volca Sample Digital Sample Sequencer image 1
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Korg Volca Sample Digital Sample Sequencer
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Killer Sample Sequencer for Modern Synth Rigs

The Korg Volca Sample captures the fun and freedom of an old-school sample sequencer in a format that's perfect for modern electronic musicians and modular synth rigs. If you're looking for a great way to take your groove production out of the computer where you can really get your hands on your sounds, then the Volca Sample is it. It comes loaded with 100 killer samples that you can tweak, sequence, and automate all on the fly, with cool functions such as reverse, swing, and reverb to keep things interesting. A custom iOS app lets you capture and upload your own samples, and Korg's sync I/O let you combine the Volca Sample with your other Volca and Electribe gear.

Korg Volca Sample Compact Sample Sequencer at a Glance:
  • Top-level controls make sample tweaking easy
  • Simple sequencing delivers sophisticated results
  • AudioPocket iOS app lets you capture samples
Top-level controls make sample tweaking easy

One thing the synth nuts here at Sweetwater really love about the whole Volca series is how simple these gadgets are, and the Volca Sample is no exception. Few samplers give you the kind of hands-on control over your sound as the Volca Sample, whose matrix of step-programmable parameters includes four sample knobs, four pitch knobs, and four amp knobs. Want to pitch down that clap? Twist a knob. Want to draw out the decay? Twist another knob. How about shifting the starting point? You get the idea. With all of these controls at your fingertips, dialing in the sound you want is incredibly fast and freakishly easy.

Simple sequencing delivers sophisticated results

One look at the Volca Sample, and you already know it's setup to handle step sequencing like a champ, but that's far from the extent of this clever little sample player's programable nature. While programming each parameter step-by-step may tickle some people's fancy (and you can totally do that with the Volca Sample too), its motion sequence real-time parameter recording makes automating 11 aspects of your samples in real time a breeze. The results are old-school synth sounds you can program on the fly to give your live performances the edge they need.

AudioPocket iOS app lets you capture samples

Korg bills the Volca Sample as a sample sequencer, but if you have an iOS device handy, then you can easily turn it into a full fledged sampler via the AudioPocket iOS app. With AudioPocket, you can load samples from your computer via iTunes or record new samples directly to your iOS device, where you can prep them and upload them to your Volca Sample (check out the video on this page). Of course, with 100 quality samples onboard, the Volca Sample come preloaded and ready to rock, right out of the box.

Korg Volca Sample Compact Sample Sequencer Features:
  • An intuitive and powerful compact sample sequencer module
  • Loaded with easy-to-access controls that make tweaking samples fun
  • Flexible step sequencer lets you create patterns and chain them into songs
  • Motion sequencer records and plays back automation for up to 11 parameters
  • Add classic shuffle with the Swing function to create more interesting grooves
  • Sculpt samples with the Analog Isolator and the onboard reverb effect
  • Record, manage, and download samples from dedicated AudioPocket iOS app
  • Sync I/O and MIDI in offer easy compatibility with other Korg gear and DAWs
  • Compact size and built-in speaker add extreme portability
  • Operates on 6 x AA batteries or KA-350 power adapter (not included)
Get old-school simplicity for your grooves with a Korg Volca Sample!

Additional Media

Korg Volca Sample

Tech Specs

Sound Engine Type(s) PCM
Polyphony 8 Notes
Number of Effects 2
Effects Types Digital Reverb, Analog Isolator
Sampling Yes
Sequencer 16-track
Analog Inputs 1 x 1/8" (Sync)
Analog Outputs 1 x 1/8" (Headphones), 1 x 1/8" (Sync)
MIDI I/O In
Power Supply 6 x AA (AC Adapter Optional)
Height 1.77"
Width 7.6"
Depth 4.53"
Weight 0.82 lbs.
Manufacturer Part Number VOLCASAMPLE

Customer Reviews

4.5/5
Based on 10 reviews
Write your review
5/5

Fun and Powerful

For this price and what it does, it's an awesome unit! You could literally use one sample and make an entire beat out of it and have unlimited variation. Hopefully Korg will have a step edit update for the firmware soon. Even without that, it is quire remarkable.
Music background: Bedroom Dreamer
5/5

Sample Mangler

By far my favorite out of the Volca series. Easy to use, and great for sample manipulation.
Music background: maker of
4.5/5

Big Fingers Beware!

Straight fun out of the box with just the stock samples. Bought this to use as a drum sample sequencer. I think it has way more possibility due to its sample tweaking capabilities and step programmable parameters. Cons: obviously it doesn't sample but hey you can still import samples via mac/pc/iOS/android. 4mb sample memory but you can pitch up samples to save space. And last but not least if you have big fingers you may have a hard time tweaking knobs (don't have a solution to that one yet). Anyways if you want a hardware sample sequencer to wet you beak in the electronic music world you cannot go wrong with a volca sample (cheap fun). You can always get vintage equipment but why not get something new that offers that vintage feel.
Music background: BeatMaker
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4.5/5

A Very Creative Little Box!

PROS: Easy To Use Master Bass & Treble EQ Controls Pan Control Step Jump Mode Song Mode Great Price Sequence/Song Save For Later Recall Reverb & Reverse Sample Functions Recordable Motion Sequencer Long Battery Life Portable CONS: No Individual Reverb Level For Each Sample Can Only Solo One Sample At A Time Built-In Speaker Isn’t Really The Best Some Samples Could Sound A Little Better Power Supply Not Included Korg has really been at the top of their game when it comes to new releases as of late, and these new Volca boxes are no exception. Here's some of the pros and cons i found in the Volca Sample: SAMPLES With the Volca Sample, you get 100 samples in total, of which there's 10 of each type to give you some variety (10 bass drums, 10 hi-hats, etc). While it can be done, i can't speak for how it handles recording original samples into the unit because i really haven't had any reason to do so since this unit seems to be more of a performance tool rather than a production station. I do have to mention that some of the samples could have been recorded a bit better because some cut off at the end suddenly, but i don't really see this being a problem since you can just replace the sample with your own if you want or add a little reverb on the end of it. SAMPLE CONTROLS While there’s a lot of controls, most of them become limiting depending on what sample you’re editing. Each sample can be soloed, but unlike a mixer where you can solo several inputs at a time, the Volca Sample only allows one at a time. That said, I really like the pan option because you can get really creative with how it spreads certain samples out and it can really thicken up the beat or make trippy stereo effects. The master bass and treble EQ is also pretty useful for pushing or cutting the overall bottom and top end. The motion sequencer can be recorded to the sequence, but unfortunately this can only be used when you’re in sequence mode since the song mode really only has the ability to play what’s already been saved. The last main thing I’d like to mention about the controls is the reverb. While you can assign the reverb to any sample you want, there’s only 1 dedicated master level control, which means whatever level you set the reverb at is the level it is for each sample you assigned it to. FUNCTIONALITY I learned most of the features and functions on my own within 2 days, which is great considering I didn’t really have any prior knowledge or experience with a unit like this before owning it. Straight out of the box, I got a fairly decent grasp of how the basic sequencer operated, and occasionally i would take a look at the manual for a quick pointer, but for the most part it was pretty easy to figure everything out at first glance since every button is labeled and very straightforward. You can use up to 10 different samples at a time in each 16-step sequence, of which you can also choose how many steps you want in the sequence (1-16). You can then save up to 10 sequences in one of 6 banks (Korg calls them "songs"), so that’s up to 60 different sequences saved in the unit at one time. Once you have a few sequences sketched out and saved, you can enter "song mode" by loading a bank and have each sequence play in any order you assign. Sequences in song mode can be muted with the touch of a few buttons and there's also a step jump option for both song mode and sequence mode. One thing about song mode is that you can only play the 10 sequences that are saved in that bank, which is plenty to work with, but still limiting since you can't play other sequences from another bank. OTHER FEATURES This unit is extremely portable and the battery life is incredible. While it doesn't come with a power supply, it does include 6 new AA batteries. The manual says the batteries can last up to 10 hours, but I’ve used it probably 3 hours in total so far and the battery level has barely gone down (it shows the battery level right when you power it up). The fact that a power supply doesn't come with it isn't really a huge issue either because the battery life is long and it’s mainly a portable unit anyway. It’s worth noting that the Volca Sample also includes a built-in speaker in case you don’t have headphones, but it’s probably only good as a last resort because it doesn’t seem to handle the bass frequencies very well. All in all, the Volca Sample is a terrific, feature-packed drum machine & sequencer with a lot of potential. It’s a great on-the-go piece of gear that would easily complement other portable units like a microKorg, and for a great price.
Music background: Hobbyist/Casual Songwriter
4.5/5

Great value!

Being my first sampler, I am blown away by the functionality you get for the price. Although I've read that this could be so much better, I can say that dollar for dollar, the feature set is very impressive, and I have ALMOST no complaints when looking at my expectation vs reality. I've taken my Volcas on vacation, or just toted them around in my car in the event there is a lull while I am out and about. Being battery powered and able to plug in the earbuds from my iPhone makes for very convenient, impromptu noodling. It passes time quite well during my kids' soccer practices, and enables me to write/compose ideas just about anywhere. You will have to dump some of the default samples to add your own, but the ability to do so is, in my opinion, paramount. Using Korg's app only gives you the ability to add samples that you record into the app through your phone's mic. There is other software out there that opens up more possibilities, though. I'd like to see the ability to pull audio files directly from the computer, but the low-fi results I get by recording my computer's speaker output through my phone works for my purposes. The only gripes I have are the MIDI implementation and sound editing functions: I don't know where the thought process with this was, but if you want to trigger your samples via MIDI, you must use up channels 1-10 (channel per sample) - leaving only 11-16 for any other gear within the same chain. This would make much more sense if you could send different note values to change the pitch/speed of each channel, but it doesn't even do that. This is not a big problem for me, but is something to consider for those who use a lot of MIDI in their setup. A firmware update would surely solve this, and the option to either pitch the samples per channel, or select only one channel, and trigger a sample per note would be much more useful. When it comes to editing or returning to edit a sample, adjusting any knobs (except the sample selection itself) causes the setting to jump to the current knob position. Continuous encoders would have been a much wiser choice in this case. A firmware update would likely solve this so that you can "pass through" or "pick up" your setting, and then alter it from there, leaving it unchanged until the knob position reaches the current setting for the parameter for that sample. All in all, this thing is pretty powerful and a whole lot of fun. It does exactly what I need it to. In conjunction with my BeatStep Pro, I am able to set up a sequence within the Volca Sample, as well as trigger samples from the BSP at will. I can see how some may not consider this a device capable of use in a performance, but if I were to ever perform live, the way that I have learned to use it within my setup causes me to say that, although it may not be practical, it's certainly possible.
Music background: Hobbyist
See also: Korg, Korg Synthesizers