Korg Volca Modular
Korg Volca Modular Semi-Modular Analog Synth builds on the success of the Korg Volca range of synthesizers. The Volcamodular is a semi-modular analog synthesizer that makes modular synthesis more accessible and understandable than ever before. A micro-modular analog synthesizer with 8 individual modules designed to harnesses the power of West Coast synthesis to create a wide pallet of sounds and textures, making it well suited for musicians and producers working in the studio or performing live on stage. The machine utilizes a semi-modular approach, so no patch cables are required to make sound. However, the true spirit of this synthesizer lies in the 50 patch points, allowing the user to freely experiment with the signal flow of CV or audio signals.
The Volca Modular utilizes a single part for programming the eight modules in the engine including Source, Functions, Woggle, Split, Dual LPG, Utility, Space Out, and Sequence. The onboard step-sequencer allows the user to manually input up to 16 steps per pattern, but also can be used for real-time recording. The pattern chaining function can chain up to 16 sequences to construct patterns with up to 256 steps. Use the motion sequence function to record knob movements during real-time recording and reproduce them during playback. Additional features and functions include Randomize, which generates accidental ideas, while two added playback modes, Bounce and Stochastic, makes a round trip through the steps or gradually proceeds while randomly moving forward and backward. Also included are advanced musical scales, keys, and micro-tunings. Choose from 14 types of scales including equal temperament. Since you can also specify the tonic key from which these scales start, you can play these scales in any key.
The Volca Modular can be synchronized with other Volcas and Electribes via the Sync I/O. Additionally, the machine features a single TRS-mini CV input, allowing for two CV inputs to control the pitch and other functions from an outside source. The Korg Volca Modular is powered by an optional power supply or via the included six AA batteries and ships with a set of 20 pin cables for patching.
Creating new sounds that don’t exist in the outside world is an unending dream which has continued since the birth of electronic musical instruments. This dream has evolved and expanded throughout the development of new and unique music production devices.
The volca modular is a semi-modular synthesizer consisting of independent analog synth modules, digital effects, and a sequencer. Each of the modules has been carefully selected for its stand-alone completeness. The modules are internally connected so that sound can be produced even before connecting the included pin cables, and the routing is shown by white lines on the panel. Module connections via a pin cable take priority over the internal connections, bypassing them.
This consists of a triangle VCO carrier and a modulator. The complex overtones generated by FM modulation are sent through a wave folder circuit to add additional overtones, producing a distinctive sound. This module is important in determining the basic character of the sound of volca modular.
This section consists of two function (envelope) generators. In addition to an ADH generator with attack, hold, and release, there’s a Rise-Fall generator, also known as a slope generator, which not only applies time-varying change to the sound but also lets you patch the end trigger out back into the trigger in as a loop, making it usable as a VCO or LFO.
This is a random signal generator containing a sample & hold circuit that uses pink noise as its source. Two outputs are provided, allowing it to output either stepped or smooth random noise.
This module distributes one input to two outputs. It can also be used in the reverse direction, combining two control or audio signals into one.
This consists of two low-pass gate circuits. Typical of the West Coast style of synthesis, the module packages a filter with an amp, allowing the brightness and volume of the sound to vary together.
This is a mixing scaling module that combines two signals in various ways. It can mix not only audio signals but also control signals, as well as inverting or attenuating those signals.
This is a stereo module that applies a reverb-like effect to the audio signal.
This module is for connecting to the internal sequencer. You can set the tempo, and select different rhythm divisions to output via the gate counter.
Sixteen-step sequencer that can automate parameters
While the volca modular is a semi-modular synth, it is equipped with a full-fledged 16-step sequencer providing a wide range of functions, letting you enjoy automatic performance even when used stand-alone.
Using the 16 buttons familiar from the volca series, you can perform step input or use the buttons as a keyboard for realtime recording. The pattern chaining function plays back multiple sequence patterns in succession, allowing you to connect up to 16 sequences with up to 32, 64, or even 256 steps to create large-scale development.
The motion sequence function records knob movements, letting you add time-varying change to the sound. You can create loops, or use this function live for strikingly original performances. Up to 16 sequence patterns and sounds can be saved in the unit.
Also provided is an active step function which lets you play back while skipping the steps you specify. You can skip the latter half to produce a short loop, use an alternate time signature to create polyrhythms, and evolve sequence patterns in real time to create a dynamic performance.
Randomize function that can generate accidental ideas
The sequencer of the volca modular lets you specify randomization for notes, active steps, and micro tuning. Irregular phrases, rhythms, and scaling that would be unlikely to come to mind can be generated by applying randomness, letting the volca be a source of unknown ideas.
Two new modes added for sequence playback
Two new sequence modes have been added: bounce sequence mode which makes a round trip through the steps, and stochastic sequence mode which gradually proceeds while randomly moving forward and backward. Playing back a recorded sequence in a different form can add dramatic changes to your song or performance.
Musically advanced scales, keys, and micro tuning
Although the volca modular is a West Coast style synthesizer, it also provides flexible support for music as a contemporary instrument. You can choose from 14 types of scale including equal temperament. Since you can also specify the tonic key from which these scales start, you can play these scales in any key.
There’s also a micro tuning function that lets you individually specify the pitch of each note. You can pursue your own unique music by performing in an original tuning with the pitch of individual notes raised or lowered.
Connectors that allow synchronized performance and external control
With a sync jack that allows easy connection to a Korg groove machine, you can connect the volca modular to another volca series unit, a minilogue, monologue, or prologue, an electribe, or the SQ-1, and enjoy sessions with the sequencer synchronized to the playback.
The CV IN jack for external control is a TRS mini stereo jack that lets you input two signals. The left channel can input a ±5V signal and the right channel can input a signal of 1V/oct (0–+6V) signal which is internally converted to pitch CV within the volca modular. Of course, each of these two signals can also be patched to control a module.
Compact, size, battery operation, and built-in speaker mean that you can take this unit anywhere and enjoy playing at any time.