Welcome to an infinitely expanding world of sound-design.
The Korg Volca Drum is a digital percussion synthesizer that harnesses the power of physical modeling to create sounds and patterns unlike most other drum machines, making it well suited for musicians and producers working in the studio or performing live on stage. The machine utilizes dual-layer drum parts, comprehensive motion sequencing, and sequencer tricks to generate a variety of standard percussive sounds and eccentric drum styles.
The Volca Drum provides six parts, each with two layers, from which the user selects any one of 5 oscillator waveforms including sine, sawtooth, and HPF noise. Additionally, the user can select from three types of pitch modulators and amplifier envelope generators, each optimized for drum sounds. Edit layers separately or together while adding bit reduction, wave-folder depth, overdrive, and distortion. A waveguide resonator adds sympathetic resonances to the sound and provides two selected types including tube, which adds the resonance of a cylindrical object such as a drum body or a long pipe; or strings, which adds the metallic resonance of a string.
- Physical Modeling Technology
- Digital Synthesis Engine
- 6-Note Polyphony
- 6-Part Structure
- 16 Kits (10 Factory Presets)
- 16 Programs (10 Factory Presets)
- 16-Step Sequencer with 16 Patterns
- Sync I/O MIDI In
- Includes 6 x AA Batteries and Sync Cable
Joining volca kick and beats as the third, and most unique, drum synth in the volca lineup.
The volca series is all about unique sound. Whether it’s analog, PCM, or FM, the volca series puts unique sounds into an accessible platform. And now, the series is joined by a new rhythm machine that brings yet another sonic character. It’s the volca drum digital percussion synthesizer.
Based on a simple trigger waveform, wave folder and overdrive are used to add overtones and distortion, and then a waveguide resonator effect brings the sound to life. The six-part DSP synth engine was designed with a completely different philosophy than conventional drum machines, and generates a wide range of unexpectedly different sounds. And of course, you can play those sounds from the volca-style sequencer.
Adding these distinctive sounds to your rhythms will revolutionarily transform your performances and productions.
Digital percussion synth with a 6-part x 2-layer structure
The term “digital” typically brings to mind sounds that are based on PCM-sampled bass drum, snare drum, or cymbal, but the volca drum creates its drum sounds by DSP-powered analog modeling. Oscillator waveforms such as sine wave, sawtooth wave, and noise are provided. By applying various changes to these waveforms, you can create a wide variety of percussion sounds that range from realistic to idiosyncratic, and are not limited only to drums.
The six parts each have two layers, and do not impose any rules or restrictions such as specifying which parts must be used for the bass drum or for the cymbal; all parts have the same specifications. You can freely assign your new sounds to these six parts without being limited by the conventions of a drum set. A kit consists of the six parts that you’ve assigned plus the waveguide resonator effect settings, and 16 such kits can be stored in memory (the factory settings contain 10 preload kits).
Distinctive sound from a newly developed DSP engine
Each part consists of two layers. For each layer, users choose one of five types of oscillator waveform including sine wave, sawtooth wave, and HPF noise, and also choose from three types of pitch modulator and amp EG, each optimized for drum sounds. Layer parameters can be edited either individually or simultaneously, and users can also use the two layers to produce the same sound for additional thickness.
You can customize the resulting trigger waveform by applying bit reduction to produce roughness, adjusting the wave folder depth to add complex overtones, and using overdrive to adjust the distortion. In this way, you can generate distinctive sounds from this sound engine that’s structured rather differently from a typical drum machine.
Once you’ve specified the sound, you can adjust the balance of the parts by modifying the timing at which steps are heard, the pan, the gain before mixing, and the effect sends.
Waveguide resonator adds rich resonances
The effect section features a waveguide resonator that’s based on physical modeling, and which adds sympathetic resonances to the sound. You can choose from two types of waveguide: “tube” which adds the resonance of a cylindrical object such as a drum body or a long pipe, or “strings” which adds the metallic resonance of a string. The three knobs located in the center of the panel let you specify the DECAY (amount of attenuation), BODY (sonic character), and TUNE (pitch). Setting TUNE to a lower value will produce a delay-like behavior. You can take advantage of these knobs not only for sound design but also in your live performances.
16-step sequencer with a wide range of parameter automation
The 16-step sequencer is excellent for improvisation. You can easily create patterns using the 16 buttons, each corresponding to one of the 16 steps. In addition to step recording, the sequencer also supports realtime recording in which you can construct a pattern while looping the playback. The pattern chain function lets you play multiple sequence patterns successively, so you can successively play back desired patterns of consecutive numbers. Up to 16 sequences can be connected to construct patterns with 256 steps.
In addition to simply playing a drum pattern, you can use the motion sequence function to memorize knob operations during realtime recording and reproduce them during playback; a total of 69 different parameters can be memorized. This is useful not only when you’re creating your patterns, but can also contribute to live performances that overflow with originality. Up to 16 sequence programs (16-step sequencer patterns, stored motion sequences, kit number) can be saved in internal memory.
Two randomize functions expand your inspiration
The volca drum provides two randomize functions that let you randomly change the sound (layer) of the selected single part, or to randomly vary the step, slice, accent, and active step settings of the selected single part. By using the randomize functions during a performance, you can add unexpected change and development to the sound and the pattern.
Free bundle of music software
The volca drum comes with a diverse variety of music software from Izotope including “Ozone Elements” which lets you not only create songs but also master them using AI, “Skoove” which will help you improve your keyboard playing skills, “Reason Lite” DAW software, as well as software synths from KORG and other brands.
In other words, the moment you get your hands on this synthesizer you’ll have a variety of tools to help you take your music to the next level.
- Digital synthesis engine
- 6-note polyphony
- 6 parts
- 2 oscillators
- 1 pitch modulator
- 1 amp EG
- 1 waveguide resonator
- Kits: 16
- Settings for 6 parts settings for waveguide resonator
- Factory kits 1-10
- Program: 16
- Sequence pattern
- Motion sequence
- Kit number
- Factory preset programs 1-10
- Number of parts: 6
- Number of steps: 16
- Number of recording patterns: 16
- Pattern-chaining function can chain up to 256 steps
- Motion Sequencer
- Record knob movements during real-time recording and reproduce them during playback
- Up to 69 parameters can be recorded and played back
- Additional Functions
- Active Step: replaces steps for each part
- Slice: Finely divides a step to allow drumrolls
- Accent: can be specified in 16 levels
- Choke: interplay for a specific group of parts (i.e. open/close hi-hat)
- Optional power adatper available
- Includes 6 x AA batteries
- 3.5mm sync I/O
- 5-pin DIN MIDI input
- Includes sync
- 6 parts