Korg recently delve a bit deeper into the analogue resurgence with their Volca Series of analogue synths. Looks like someone or some group of someones at Korg are paying close attention to what the people want. According to Korg’s website the Volca series “is a new lineup of EDM production tools comprised of three distinct models: the Volca Keys lead synthesizer, the volca Bass synthesizer, and the Volca Beats rhythm machine.”
The Volca series of analogue synths can be interconnected with multiples of each other, your favorite DAW or a monotribe. According to Korg you can use “the “SyncKontrol” iPhone app to wirelessly control tap tempo, swing settings, and synchronized playback with iOS music apps via WIST”. Each of the Volca synths can be controlled via an external midi controller keyboard via the midi in as well.
For those that know and have experience with analog synths (new and old in most cases) you will be familiar with the drift in tuning that comes with changes in temperature. Korg has addressed this issue in the Volca series of synths. According to Korg, “Volca solves this by providing a Self-tuning function that constantly tunes the oscillators.”
So why are there 3 of them? Because they each serve a different purpose and fill in a different gap in your production needs.
The Volca Keys is a polyphonic Analogue Loop Synth that allows 3 notes to be played simultaneously. The unit has a delay effect and even records the knob movements so you can replay your live tweaks in the sequence.
The Volca Bass is an Analogue Bass Machine featuring 3 analogue oscillators, a newly designed analog filter and a single VCF, VCA, LFO, and EG voice architecture. Surely it’s a throwback to the classic Roland TB-303. It certainly has a similar look as far as the face plate and the knobs are concerned. But no matter the inspiration, it looks like Korg has presented a clear challenge with this mobile friendly analog synth statement that says “Step up you analog bass game.” I dont know about you but I’m up for the challenge.
The Volca Beats is an Analogue Rhythm Machine that is a clear nod to the classic Roland drum machines like the 808 and 909. Volca Beats incorporates 6 analog drums sounds (kick, snare, hi and lo tom, open and closed hat) with a few PCM sounds and the classic yet easy-to-use step sequencer of the Electribe.
I love the idea that Korg is keeping their ears to the streets and dropping new classics that is easily affordable for pros, amateurs and anyone in between. Complete with 16 step sequencers, capability to take 6 aa batteries or power supply and a speaker, the Volca series is screeming road warrior friendly. I personally cant wait to get a hold of each one of them. There are some really cool and obvious creative uses for these three synths but I think there are some other, maybe less obvious, sound design possibilities here.
Lets check what my man Nick of Sonic State captured while at Musikmesse in Frankfort a few days ago at the Korg booth.
So, b-boys and b-girls, save your dimes. The Volca series will hit the streets later this summer at a price point of under $200 each.
For more information on the Korg Volca series of analog synths head over to http://korg.com/volcaseries.