A few questions for Volca owners
Old 27th December 2013
  #1
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A few questions for Volca owners

I'm getting ready to pick up one or more of the Volcas but can't really find answers to a few questions:

How are you hooking them up to an audio interface? It's just a headphone out so it's stereo? Are you guys recording them in stereo or mono, and if mono does the headphone out lose one channel?

Is there any reason to keep a monotribe around? Mine's MIDIfied and I love the filter but have always been disappointed by the drums. The synth part has a few very distinct sweet spots and it doesn't see much action except for times when that sound fits.
Old 27th December 2013
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Using stereo for now, making a stereo to mono cable asap.
Keep Monotribe, as CV to Midi interface or extra oscillator for CV synths, as the one with EXT input, as the one with fastest LFO, and as the one with noise.
Old 27th December 2013
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Originally Posted by Starspawn View Post
Using stereo for now, making a stereo to mono cable asap.
Keep Monotribe, as CV to Midi interface or extra oscillator for CV synths, as the one with EXT input, as the one with fastest LFO, and as the one with noise.
Is the output actually stereo, or just duplicate mono signals? AFAIK none of them have pan controls so I think it would work to just plug the stereo out into a mono in.

I don't have any CV gear and don't plan on adding any, so that's not much of a consideration. The monotribe does do the few things I like it for very well though (squelchy stuff and LFO'd bass lines).
Old 27th December 2013
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I assume duplicate mono, I hear absolutely no paning/spread going on even with the delay.
Id keep the Monotribe just for the LFO to be honest, its way faster than most, easier to dial in and has sample and hold.
Have you done the oscillator mute mod?
As just a filter for external stuff its great as well.
Old 27th December 2013
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Originally Posted by Starspawn View Post
I assume duplicate mono, I hear absolutely no paning/spread going on even with the delay.
Id keep the Monotribe just for the LFO to be honest, its way faster than most, easier to dial in and has sample and hold.
Have you done the oscillator mute mod?
As just a filter for external stuff its great as well.
Nope, just the MIDI kit.

I'm debating whether I want to do a few of the mods or just ditch it for the Volcas.
Old 27th December 2013
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Well, you wont get enough for it to buy anything half as usefull so by that measure its a keeper imo.
Do the mute mod, its simple and opens up for a lot of uses.
Old 27th December 2013
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I might do that, as well as the drum mods and second oscillator mod I found recently.
Old 27th December 2013
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Do tell, link for the second osc please?
Old 27th December 2013
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Old 27th December 2013
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Hmm, too expensive and not that great sounding imo, rather just use the ext input with a good sound/monotron.
Too convince people hed better put up some vids of proper syncing and tracking to the monotribe oscillator, and hes also cagey about modulation, FM type sound or proper FM modulation?
Old 27th December 2013
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I wasn't planning on buying it from that site, but trying to follow along and do it myself.

It can't be proper FM because it's not truly a second oscillator, I think it's kind of a copy of the VCO.
Old 27th December 2013
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Yeah, I figure he just found the point for CV out for the oscillator and made a simple square oscillator, but since the monotribe has an uncommon CV standard Im thinking some of the "cool effects" might be bad tracking.
Typically he wont share his "secrets" though even if its simple.
If it doesnt modulate the main osc I dont see the point if you already have midi and can layer with anything and put it in ext, BUT if he just shows the osc CV out point Id try to hook up a monotron (by gate pad) and see how it tracks, so the mod becomes a single minijack monotron CV sync instead.

Edit, Korg sends you the monotribe schematic if you fill out a form, Ill just find it myself
http://korg.com/monotribeschematics
EditEdit, just drums, bah :(
Old 27th December 2013
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I'm mainly interested in the drum sound mods, it seems like you can get quite a few different sounds out of them. That's what led me to just get the Volca Beats instead of busting out the soldering iron.

Typical GS answer - both!
Old 27th December 2013
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I have all three of the Volcas and held onto my Monotribe. The Monotribe still offers more aggressive and experimental tones that can't be obtained on any of the Volcas, namely due to how the filter reacts to a super fast LFO. There's also the white noise option, which I use a lot of, that none of the Volcas have. Since getting the Volcas though, I do admit that I no longer use the drums on the Monotribe unless I'm just bored and jamming out.

As for how I have these connected, all three Volcas plus the Monotribe are hooked up to a Behringer Micromix MX400 with each unit using a single 1/4 male to 3.5mm male cable. The output of the Micromix is then connected to a single channel on my main mixer which then goes to my recording gear.

In addition to this, I have all these Synced up in a funny way, with a Sync chain going like this.

Beats > Keys > Bass > Monotribe > splitter jack > Juno-60 + SH-101

Plus all three Volcas have their own MIDI/USB cable going to a USB hub for individual sequencing from my DAW, haha. As you can imagine, there's tons of cables going everywhere. Twisty ties are my best friend.
Old 27th December 2013
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Originally Posted by R3Member View Post
I have all three of the Volcas and held onto my Monotribe. The Monotribe still offers more aggressive and experimental tones that can't be obtained on any of the Volcas, namely due to how the filter reacts to a super fast LFO. There's also the white noise option, which I use a lot of, that none of the Volcas have. Since getting the Volcas though, I do admit that I no longer use the drums on the Monotribe unless I'm just bored and jamming out.

As for how I have these connected, all three Volcas plus the Monotribe are hooked up to a Behringer Micromix MX400 with each unit using a single 1/4 male to 3.5mm male cable. The output of the Micromix is then connected to a single channel on my main mixer which then goes to my recording gear.

In addition to this, I have all these Synced up in a funny way, with a Sync chain going like this.

Beats > Keys > Bass > Monotribe > splitter jack > Juno-60 + SH-101

Plus all three Volcas have their own MIDI/USB cable going to a USB hub for individual sequencing from my DAW, haha. As you can imagine, there's tons of cables going everywhere. Twisty ties are my best friend.
That micromix looks pretty cool, does it boost the signal or just let you balance levels? Do you find yourself wishing you could process them individually?
Old 27th December 2013
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Originally Posted by SunnyCatStudio View Post
That micromix looks pretty cool, does it boost the signal or just let you balance levels? Do you find yourself wishing you could process them individually?
If I remember correctly, it just balances the levels. I actually left all the knobs at zero and just tucked it away from view. One thing worth pointing out is that it doesn't have a power switch, but I use a wall mounted power strip that's easy to get.

As for wishing if I could process them individually, I have about ten instruments plugged into single mixer, so I force myself to track everything separately flat and dry. Even when I'm jamming out song ideas, I do it all bare bones. All that stuff gets added once things are individually tracked and ready to be mixed. Personally speaking, I find it very difficult to multitask mixing, experimenting with effects and song writing all at the same time. I've worked with others whom can do it without any issues, but for me, multitasking screws up my ability to stay focused on something from start to finish.
Old 27th December 2013
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The headphone's dual-mono.

My word of advise with the Volcas is this:
If you're going to get one, wait and get all 3.

They really feel incomplete and toy-like until you have the trio rocking.

I can't speak to the monotribe, I don't have one.
Old 27th December 2013
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Originally Posted by R3Member View Post
I have all three of the Volcas and held onto my Monotribe. The Monotribe still offers more aggressive and experimental tones that can't be obtained on any of the Volcas, namely due to how the filter reacts to a super fast LFO. There's also the white noise option, which I use a lot of, that none of the Volcas have. Since getting the Volcas though, I do admit that I no longer use the drums on the Monotribe unless I'm just bored and jamming out..
This is one of the sweet spots for the monotribe - I really love the aggressive nutso sounds I can get with a super-fast LFO. I would miss those.


Quote:
Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
My word of advise with the Volcas is this:
If you're going to get one, wait and get all 3.

They really feel incomplete and toy-like until you have the trio rocking.

I can't speak to the monotribe, I don't have one.
That's what I'm thinking. I was going to get an OP1, and then reconsidered when I realized that I could get all 3 Volcas, an iConnect midi2+, and a new audio interface (my old Audiobox is on its last legs) for the same price.
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Old 27th December 2013
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Jiust picked up the Volca Keys. Wondering how I would be able to play the keys through my ableton push. I have an apogee duet (ios friendly version). This interface only has a USB port for midi. Would the m audio midi to usb cable work?
Old 27th December 2013
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Originally Posted by Mixman88 View Post
Jiust picked up the Volca Keys. Wondering how I would be able to play the keys through my ableton push. I have an apogee duet (ios friendly version). This interface only has a USB port for midi. Would the m audio midi to usb cable work?
All you need is one of the cheaper $5 cables from Amazon and an extra USB port on your computer to plug it into. Don't waste your money on the high end cables unless your planning on frequently swinging them around like a nunchuck. MIDI isn't audio and latency issues are a CPU problem, so it makes no difference in the end what cable you use.

I have five of these I use on different gear and haven't had a single problem with any of them:
Amazon.com : SANOXY USB MIDI Input Output Cable Converter PC Notebook : Computer Usb Cables : Computers & Accessories
Old 28th December 2013
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Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
The headphone's dual-mono.

My word of advise with the Volcas is this:
If you're going to get one, wait and get all 3.

They really feel incomplete and toy-like until you have the trio rocking
Sir, I must repectfully disagree.
The Volca Bass on its own feels neither incomplete nor toy-like. You have insulted its integrity, defamed its good name, and farted in its general direction.
I pray sir that you retract your misguided statement and learn the error of your ways.

And yes, the headphone is simply dual-mono. Nothing to see here people, move along.
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Old 28th December 2013
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Volca Bass is a great acid machine, no need for other Volcas per se in order to be "complete". Sure, it's not a full fledged synth, the envelopes leave a few aspects to be desired (namely tweakability compared to say a 303), but you can get A LOT of action out of a fairly inexpensive box, especially when you've got MIDI capabilities ready to go on the spot.

Here's a quicky I put together in Reason last night:



I'm still learning the ropes on this thing and haven't even touched some of the cooler stuff you can do with MIDI yet like accents, but it's intuitive enough that I didn't need the manual to eventually get the hang of it and feel like I was well on my way to using it as a proper addition in the studio. It's just a great synth at a great low price. Korg hit a home run.
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Old 28th December 2013
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Originally Posted by ctrlshft View Post
Volca Bass is a great acid machine, no need for other Volcas per se in order to be "complete". Sure, it's not a full fledged synth, the envelopes leave a few aspects to be desired (namely tweakability compared to say a 303), but you can get A LOT of action out of a fairly inexpensive box, especially when you've got MIDI capabilities ready to go on the spot.

Here's a quicky I put together in Reason last night:



I'm still learning the ropes on this thing and haven't even touched some of the cooler stuff you can do with MIDI yet like accents, but it's intuitive enough that I didn't need the manual to eventually get the hang of it and feel like I was well on my way to using it as a proper addition in the studio. It's just a great synth at a great low price. Korg hit a home run.
Enjoyed the video!

I guess I'm still debating if I'd be better off with the volca trio or putting that money towards a deeper keyboard synth.
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Old 28th December 2013
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Originally Posted by tjporter View Post
Sir, I must repectfully disagree.
The Volca Bass on its own feels neither incomplete nor toy-like. You have insulted its integrity, defamed its good name, and farted in its general direction.
I pray sir that you retract your misguided statement and learn the error of your ways.
Well, your father was a hamster and your mother smelled of elderberries

I had the beats and keys while waiting on the bass. I'll never know the error of my ways because I have all 3 and never ONLY had the bass.
Old 28th December 2013
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Originally Posted by SunnyCatStudio View Post
Enjoyed the video!

I guess I'm still debating if I'd be better off with the volca trio or putting that money towards a deeper keyboard synth.
IMO if you're remiss for a full fledged synth, the Moog SubPhatty will get you a lot of the tone of the Volca Bass but be a proper synth from a feature perspective. That's the route I'd go if it was vs. all 3 volcas combined. I think the Volca Bass is a great little acid machine as well a a decent but limited analog bass synth, and is best utilized in a setup where you've already got a go-to synth. I can tell you though that I would've killed for this thing when I first started electronic music. The options in the late 90s were a lot different and a lot less cool for the most part. It's such an amazing time for folks to be making electronic music. Renaissance.
Old 28th December 2013
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I just run them into my interface/mixer in the standard way.
Volca headphone output >> input on interface/mixer.

I assume that they were mono all-the-way, so, if I want stereo, I just duplicate the track in my DAW and pan as I want!
I have both the beats and the key, will be going back for the bass very soon. I think I could get more mileage out of the bass with how I work with them (usually sequenced by the MPC and being run into an input where I record the sequence as a sample or audio-track).

Question about the bass: Is it possible to make some SMOOTH bassline sounds... think sine wave, just not a sine? Sometimes I don't need the rubbery, half-acidic sound. Just a nice, gangstar sine.


Peace!
Old 28th December 2013
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Can you do me a favour and check if your keys still sounds with all knobs (except volume) at zero?
Think mine is faulty, so checking what others are like.
Old 29th December 2013
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Originally Posted by medearis View Post
Question about the bass: Is it possible to make some SMOOTH bassline sounds... think sine wave, just not a sine? Sometimes I don't need the rubbery, half-acidic sound. Just a nice, gangstar sine.
Peace!
stick a single osc on square, drop lpf cut to ~30%, cut eg to 0. sustain on, amp eg on. rez @ 30%.

Deep sine-akin bass city. Does big fat unison bass stuff pretty well too.
Old 29th December 2013
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Originally Posted by donsolo View Post
Well, your father was a hamster and your mother smelled of elderberries
(though I fear that some of our younger members may have no clue what we're on about...)
Old 29th December 2013
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Originally Posted by tjporter View Post
(though I fear that some of our younger members may have no clue what we're on about...)


@CNTRLSHFT - I appreciate it. Going to the music store later on, shall see what I leave with.

@Starspawn - Are you asking if I could check? If so, I CAN but my Volcas are up at my studio. It's almost 6:30AM and I recently got back home. If you still need me to when I check this thread later, I'll make sure to bring it back with me/run tests while I'm up there. Let me know, mi amigo.
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