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VOLCA BEATS Snare Fix!!!! Drum Machines & Samplers
Old 26th February 2014
  #61
Gear Maniac
vstace...the switch for the hi hat, the project PCB board (and possibly some wire if you dont have it lying around... i used an old ide ribbon cable that i cut up and stripped two strands from....it was from a pc i found on a nature strip ) as well.

theres a bunch of great pieces of electronics you can salvage from old dell pc's that are chucked out. Particially the big caps that are in their power supplies. they can cost $5 bucks each in the shop!
Old 28th February 2014
  #62
Gear Maniac
hi all, due to tons of requests i have worked out 2 more new mods, one for the kick and one for the toms on the Volca. they are both fairly magical. i will post a video over the weekend!
Old 1st March 2014
  #63
Lives for gear
 

tight
Old 1st March 2014
  #64
Lives for gear
 

pitch envs for the toms so they can dip up and down??
Old 1st March 2014
  #65
Lives for gear
 
Sclr's Avatar
Awesome. Glad i am waiting a while to get at these mods. By the time i feel ready the whole kit might be changed up. Thanks again. When i finally start i'll send some mana your way blackout.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #66
Gear Maniac
hi all, i have done a new video which demos some of the new mods i have found for the Korg Volka Beats!

1:/ PCM mods - removes the top end filter that is across all the PCM sounds which tends to make them sound dull and lifeless. with it bypassed, the clap sparkles and becomes crispier. Along with a mod to boost the PCM sound levels you have more of a HiFi sounding set of samples all-round.

2:/ Kick Mod - this mod really gives the kick a wider range of sonic possibilities, allowing it to sound more "knocky", tighter, fuller and punchier. it starts to head into 909 territory.

3:/ Toms Mod - this adds a pot which allows the toms to "morph" into what i call a "white tom". The pot has the original toms when all the way to the left, and the white toms to the right, and you can have any amount of mix in between. The results are quite spectacular, with a type of Volca Beats "ACCENT" effect now possible as the individual toms envelopes and volume levels are still used, allowing one tom to be turned down. You get the idea from the video but it gives the Volca Beats a new-found level of bounce and feel!



Cheers,
Darren.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #67
bry
Gear Addict
 

That's great Darren!
I have a question for you, do you think it makes any sense to bypass the headphones amp in order to have a clean line level output?
Old 3rd March 2014
  #68
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by bry View Post
That's great Darren!
I have a question for you, do you think it makes any sense to bypass the headphones amp in order to have a clean line level output?
i hear what youre saying, but the headphone jack has a compensation circuit so it automatically adjusts the load. So the headphone jack works fine for a line-out. it already sounds good to me i dunno why you would need it / bother?
Old 3rd March 2014
  #69
bry
Gear Addict
 

Just wanted to know your opinion, if it's not needed, then great!
Old 3rd March 2014
  #70
Gear Maniac
id be much more interested bry in trying to find a "line in" on the Volca Beats so i could plug in the Volca Bass, and be able to just sit with the two units and a pair a headphones on the end of my bed hehe. i think i could do it but it would take a mixer chip and a few extra components. not sure if i want to go there yet.

Cheers
Old 3rd March 2014
  #71
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackout- View Post
hi all, i have done a new video which demos some of the new mods i have found for the Korg Volka Beats!

1:/ PCM mods - removes the top end filter that is across all the PCM sounds which tends to make them sound dull and lifeless. with it bypassed, the clap sparkles and becomes crispier. Along with a mod to boost the PCM sound levels you have more of a HiFi sounding set of samples all-round.

2:/ Kick Mod - this mod really gives the kick a wider range of sonic possibilities, allowing it to sound more "knocky", tighter, fuller and punchier. it starts to head into 909 territory.

3:/ Toms Mod - this adds a pot which allows the toms to "morph" into what i call a "white tom". The pot has the original toms when all the way to the left, and the white toms to the right, and you can have any amount of mix in between. The results are quite spectacular, with a type of Volca Beats "ACCENT" effect now possible as the individual toms envelopes and volume levels are still used, allowing one tom to be turned down. You get the idea from the video but it gives the Volca Beats a new-found level of bounce and feel!



Cheers,
Darren.
So impressive. These mods probably used like 10 bucks in parts. If Korg was smart they would be tracking these and using them for the next round of Volcas. It would be cool if they put these mods on a larger circuit board, used some bigger knobs with metal posts, put it in a aluminum case, and called it the Volca Pro... They could charge double for it.
Old 3rd March 2014
  #72
Gear Maniac
coolout it has been speculated on several forums that Korg are working on "Pro" versions of the Volcas already. so i would not be surprised if what you suggest comes true, and give Roland Error (Aira) a run for its money! id buy it!
Old 3rd March 2014
  #73
bry
Gear Addict
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackout- View Post
id be much more interested bry in trying to find a "line in" on the Volca Beats so i could plug in the Volca Bass, and be able to just sit with the two units and a pair a headphones on the end of my bed hehe. i think i could do it but it would take a mixer chip and a few extra components. not sure if i want to go there yet.

Cheers
What about doing it the other way around with an option to filter the drums through the Volca bass?
Old 3rd March 2014
  #74
Gear Maniac
 
PorchBass's Avatar
Great I love the BD mod.
I actually broke my SN trying to do the SN mod, but in a good way.
Old 4th March 2014
  #75
Gear Maniac
what happened PorchBass? how did you change it? do you need any help? let me know
Old 4th March 2014
  #76
VST
Lives for gear
 
VST's Avatar
Do you think all these mods will fit into the case? I hate breakouts
Old 4th March 2014
  #77
Lives for gear
 
PhonoquO's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackout- View Post
hi all, i have done a new video which demos some of the new mods i have found for the Korg Volka Beats!

1:/ PCM mods - removes the top end filter that is across all the PCM sounds which tends to make them sound dull and lifeless. with it bypassed, the clap sparkles and becomes crispier. Along with a mod to boost the PCM sound levels you have more of a HiFi sounding set of samples all-round.

2:/ Kick Mod - this mod really gives the kick a wider range of sonic possibilities, allowing it to sound more "knocky", tighter, fuller and punchier. it starts to head into 909 territory.

3:/ Toms Mod - this adds a pot which allows the toms to "morph" into what i call a "white tom". The pot has the original toms when all the way to the left, and the white toms to the right, and you can have any amount of mix in between. The results are quite spectacular, with a type of Volca Beats "ACCENT" effect now possible as the individual toms envelopes and volume levels are still used, allowing one tom to be turned down. You get the idea from the video but it gives the Volca Beats a new-found level of bounce and feel!



Cheers,
Darren.
These mods are so freakin awesome! Great work! I'd be happy to pay you to mod mine. Where abouts are you from?
Old 4th March 2014
  #78
Gear Maniac
 
PorchBass's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackout- View Post
what happened PorchBass? how did you change it? do you need any help? let me know
Well I failed miserably with the tiny components trying to get the cap on for SN distortion fix. Failed with the cap itself so tried flying leads but can't find wire with a thin enough core!
Haha well after heating the board etc my SN noise just goes on at a long decay as if it's been taken out of the decay pot. The 'snappy' still does volume.

However! If I turn Stutter depth on the SN channel to just on (so the retrigger is tiny - you don't hear it) the Stutter time becomes SN decay. Plus of course I can motion sequence the decay. Stutter still works normally with the depth up.

It's GREAT. I am now scared to touch anything! Haha

seriously your BD mod sounds brilliant, and the white toms.

Do they involve much soldering? I must confess I'll have to get a tinier tip

Last edited by PorchBass; 4th March 2014 at 08:17 PM.. Reason: spelling
Old 4th March 2014
  #79
Gear Maniac
 
PorchBass's Avatar
Old 5th March 2014
  #80
Lives for gear
 
APHELEON's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchBass View Post
I have put a video up to illustrate my 'inept' hack!

Volca beats SN mod - YouTube
! I want a "broken snare" too... Sounds great man.


shutupandtakemymoney.jaypeg
Old 5th March 2014
  #81
Lives for gear
Ok, I have very little (almost no) electronics experience, but I do own a soldering iron. If I just want to fix the snare, and not even add a pot to fine tune it, can I just swap the capacitor? Now remember, I don't know much about this stuff, so please be gentle: If it is just a matter of swapping the capacitor, is there much risk of screwing up the PCB? Can I just cut the leads and solder them together?

Got my Volca today, and cannot tolerate that snare at all. If the mod isn't easy, I may have to send it back! I like the kick and the toms, though, and even am fine with the unmodded open hat. I do NOT like that the closed hat cuts off the open if played after.
Old 5th March 2014
  #82
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by SampleHold View Post
Ok, I have very little (almost no) electronics experience, but I do own a soldering iron. If I just want to fix the snare, and not even add a pot to fine tune it, can I just swap the capacitor? Now remember, I don't know much about this stuff, so please be gentle: If it is just a matter of swapping the capacitor, is there much risk of screwing up the PCB? Can I just cut the leads and solder them together?

Got my Volca today, and cannot tolerate that snare at all. If the mod isn't easy, I may have to send it back! I like the kick and the toms, though, and even am fine with the unmodded open hat. I do NOT like that the closed hat cuts off the open if played after.
hi Samplehold, yes you can avoid the pot, and you dont need to do the drilling, or the pcb design to hold the pot or even the pot. You just need to add the capacitor, and where the wires are across the resistor (that run to the pot) you can just solder a 1k resistor. And then you would have the better snare.

If thats loud enough for you, then you can even skip the resistor on the right that adds level if you feel that more soldering is pushing your luck. The snare does get a bit louder just from the cap and filter resistor mod already.
Old 5th March 2014
  #83
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchBass View Post
If I turn Stutter depth on the SN channel to just on (so the retrigger is tiny - you don't hear it) the Stutter time becomes SN decay. Plus of course I can motion sequence the decay. Stutter still works normally with the depth up.
hi Porchbass, sorry to hear this prob, it sounds like you have shorted the envelope. And it just plays to the end of the envelope component levels. The snare sounds almost like a simmons snare now, which is not the worst thing.

I do know the point on the PCB where you can actually make this mod, and put it on a switch if you really wanted so you can turn it off and on! but not possibly in your case.

if you take a closeup photo of the PCB i might be able to see the prob for you?

i did warn about the tiny soldering iron small tip!!! many times!

if you take a close look at the components and you can see solder across something, you can use some solder wick and just pat it across the solder and it will soak it up. and it might come good again. unless the tiny resistors actually "came up" off the board? at which case youre probably not going much further with fixing it.

The stutter works because the next snare cuts off the end of the previous one. And its a snare stutter that is triggering the next snare and chopping off the previous. which is something for you i guess. but ideally we want to fix it...

Cheers,
Darren.
Old 5th March 2014
  #84
Lives for gear
 
atma's Avatar
 

Blackout—you could easily make a small business out of doing these mods for people; so many people would be willing to pay a good amount for a quick soldering job they aren't comfortable with doing themselves (like me). in fact, i wouldn't buy a volca beats unless the snare could be fixed, but i have no soldering skills so it's out of the question for me to even make the purchase.

I do own the volca bass, which i LOVE to death. I was curious if you own the Volca bass as well and have done any investigation into possible mods for it as well? I'm sure there must be some interesting mods possible to it... it does have some certain idiosyncrasies that might be resolved with a bit of tweaking.
Old 5th March 2014
  #85
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
Blackout—you could easily make a small business out of doing these mods for people; so many people would be willing to pay a good amount for a quick soldering job they aren't comfortable with doing themselves (like me). in fact, i wouldn't buy a volca beats unless the snare could be fixed, but i have no soldering skills so it's out of the question for me to even make the purchase.

I do own the volca bass, which i LOVE to death. I was curious if you own the Volca bass as well and have done any investigation into possible mods for it as well? I'm sure there must be some interesting mods possible to it... it does have some certain idiosyncrasies that might be resolved with a bit of tweaking.
cheers atma. if i didnt have a business or a job then yeah i might think about it. but i have a full-time job, and a music career (im signed to 3 labels) and a baby girl and 2 dogs etc. etc. i just wouldnt have the time, ppl would get pissed at me for taking too long and it would just go sour.

right now on my desk, next to the Volca Beats in pieces, is the imposcar hardware controller in pieces. Im hacking the damn thing and putting in a keyboard, it was just rediculous to not have a keyboard on it. then i decided it should make some noise as well and im building into it a V machine module running the plugin. now ive decided to shrink it all by about 30% so im making whole new artwork for the top and getting it laser cut and screen printed ,etc. as you can imagine, i have a lot of things going at once!

re: Volca bass, i certainly have it! and i love it also. i also have a TT-303 and a XOXbox. they all rock. i might move on to the Volca Bass if i get bored of the Beats but really, other than some swing and accent (that are software things to add and i cant do that via hardware) the only thing it could do with is some overdrive. But its such a great unit, ive always been of the opinion that just modding for the sake of it is not really making it better. The reason why i just HAD to break open the Beats and was determined to fix it was because of that atrocious snare. It just really pissed me off. It really needed fixing. And i learnt about the circuit along the way to do the other mods. I know the circuit quite intimately now actually i can lay in bed in the dark and trace the signal path in my head (ouch).

Cheers man,
Darren.
Old 5th March 2014
  #86
Gear Maniac
 
PorchBass's Avatar
Thanks for the response Blackout. I DON'T want to fix it! I appreciate your work and wanted to experiment. I took BD+TOms+SN, PCM and HH outs and it has turned the machine into a monster. The SN now works for me, I just have to Motion sequence in the SN decay. If I 'donate' to support your work, will you share the BD mod with me? Or are you doing it like kickstarter?
Many thanks for the inspiration. Now if Korg would just update the sync to 16 pulses, we will really be in business!
Old 5th March 2014
  #87
Gear Maniac
 
PorchBass's Avatar
I presume lots of things like the LFO on Volca bass, per note envelopes are read from ROM? Swing and Accent are the biggest ommissions I agree. There is still loads of space for options in the boot menu.
I do hope Korg will update the firmware again. I wrote the Korg UK guy a long email and he responded favourably, saying that they do pass stuff back to the Volca team.
It almost makes me want to get into hacking ARM chips and looking at the OS - but like you say, life is too short.
Where can we hear your music?
Old 5th March 2014
  #88
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackout- View Post
hi Samplehold, yes you can avoid the pot, and you dont need to do the drilling, or the pcb design to hold the pot or even the pot. You just need to add the capacitor, and where the wires are across the resistor (that run to the pot) you can just solder a 1k resistor. And then you would have the better snare.

If thats loud enough for you, then you can even skip the resistor on the right that adds level if you feel that more soldering is pushing your luck. The snare does get a bit louder just from the cap and filter resistor mod already.
Thanks, Darren!
Old 6th March 2014
  #89
Gear Maniac
Quote:
Originally Posted by PorchBass View Post
If I 'donate' to support your work, will you share the BD mod with me? Or are you doing it like kickstarter?
hi Porch, i am thinking that i might sit back and see who donates this time. theres close to 6000 views on the snare mod video which i gave away the details to, and i only got about half a dozen donations. i am most grateful for those! but i thought i might see if i can improve on it this time so now im thinking that i will give the details on how to do the kick and tom mod to those who donate only first. i think thats only fair!

im still working on the video on how to do the new mods as well.

Cheers!
Old 6th March 2014
  #90
Lives for gear
 
atma's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blackout- View Post
cheers atma. if i didnt have a business or a job then yeah i might think about it. but i have a full-time job, and a music career (im signed to 3 labels) and a baby girl and 2 dogs etc. etc. i just wouldnt have the time, ppl would get pissed at me for taking too long and it would just go sour.

right now on my desk, next to the Volca Beats in pieces, is the imposcar hardware controller in pieces. Im hacking the damn thing and putting in a keyboard, it was just rediculous to not have a keyboard on it. then i decided it should make some noise as well and im building into it a V machine module running the plugin. now ive decided to shrink it all by about 30% so im making whole new artwork for the top and getting it laser cut and screen printed ,etc. as you can imagine, i have a lot of things going at once!

re: Volca bass, i certainly have it! and i love it also. i also have a TT-303 and a XOXbox. they all rock. i might move on to the Volca Bass if i get bored of the Beats but really, other than some swing and accent (that are software things to add and i cant do that via hardware) the only thing it could do with is some overdrive. But its such a great unit, ive always been of the opinion that just modding for the sake of it is not really making it better. The reason why i just HAD to break open the Beats and was determined to fix it was because of that atrocious snare. It just really pissed me off. It really needed fixing. And i learnt about the circuit along the way to do the other mods. I know the circuit quite intimately now actually i can lay in bed in the dark and trace the signal path in my head (ouch).

Cheers man,
Darren.
awesome, and i totally understand. thanks for the response and best of wishes. you deserve mad props for what you've done with the volca beats. peace.
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