Volca Drum and Modular

Volca Drum and Modular

Korg’s latest Volca devices represent a number of major steps forward for the miniature format. We recently took stock of the Volca Modular and the Volca Drum here at Nerd audio. You can find all of our Korg products here.


The Volca Modular is a semi-modular synthesizer with a sequencer attached, featuring pitch quantization to various scales. The device is patched with dupont-style cables, and the architecture leans toward west-coast styles thanks to onboard wavefolding, low-pass gates, and arbitrary function generators. The Modular also sports a “space out” effect akin to a spring reverb that can go from subtle all the way to cavernous and wet. This is a good unit for someone who wants an inexpensive introduction to less conventional Buchla-esque sounds and lots of hands on potential.


The Volca Drum is a highly flexible synth dedicated to quick and creative percussion production. It’s a digital unit, with a rather unique architecture: Each of its six parts has two layers, consisting of a source oscillator and a modulator, with amplitude shaping being handled by attack-decay envelopes. Finally, each part can be sent with variable depth to a wave guide resonator. This simple setup allows you to build up harmonically complex and evolving timbres with only a few quick knob turns. Motion recording lets you record these knob turns as well for even more variation over time. Pattern and layer randomization allows for instantaneous inspiration or chaotic, split second changes. Each part offers individual step length for poly-metric patterns. Patterns can also be chained, for longer sequences. The Volca Drum is powerful enough to punch way above its price and compete with larger, more expensive drum machines.


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