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Korg Volca Sample 2

edited August 19 in Off-topic

A new generation volca sample with more memory, features, and connectivity to take your beat making further than ever before.

The volca sample is the compact and powerful sample-based drum machine that has captured attention and creativity of countless players around the world.

The newest version retains all of the features which made the original so popular, and adds a micro USB port for better connectivity, increased sample memory, a new up to date sound library and additional functions for an improved workflow.

https://www.korg.com/us/products/dj/volca_sample2/

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Comments

  • And so it begins.

  • Midi Multimode? Good. Micro USB? Good. 8 MB RAM? Better, but...

  • Where’s the audio input, oled-screen for editing etc. etc....

    Meh, I’ll stick with my iPad for now and hope we’ll some day get a dedicated sampler Gadget and App from Korg...

  • edited August 19

    Glad to see our web projects aren't the only ones mistakenly launched with placeholder/instruction comments still in place. :)

    USB to transfer samples and patterns quickly back and forth is definitely a welcome addition!

    • Pattern chain mode with 2 different STEP JUMP modes

    It's not clear to me what the step jump modes have to do with pattern chains.

    Pattern locations have also have been increased from 10 to 16.

    Hmm. It looks like they've entirely removed 'songs' to make room for 6 new patterns. Ostensibly replaced by pattern chains but it looks like those chains have to be created from adjacent patterns and there's no longer a way to create something like patterns 5+5+6+7. :(

    • Start delay function: Go “off the grid” with the new delay feature that lets you slightly delay the start of any part to achieve different kinds of grooves and swing.

    Gah, yes! This one is a big deal for me. Not only for "natural" grooves or whatever but for stuff that's super common and simple on a piano roll like delaying your claps behind the snares a bit.

    volca sample has an increased memory of 200 memory slots; double its predecessor.

    Handy. Though, tbh, the way I use the volca sample anyway, 100 slots has been fine. Unless it becomes possible to save an edited sample (knob positions) as a new memory slot–that'd be epic.

    The new manual still talks about motion recording per step (ala p-locks). Maybe that'll actually work this time around. :wink:

  • Looks interesting.

    In the meantime, I’ve been having fun with the unofficial alternative firmware for the current unit....

    https://ranzee.com/volca-sample-unofficial-firmware/

  • Good improvements but really needs an audio input.

  • @d4d0ug said:
    Looks interesting.

    In the meantime, I’ve been having fun with the unofficial alternative firmware for the current unit....

    https://ranzee.com/volca-sample-unofficial-firmware/

    I tried to load this last week but kept getting CRC errors. Think I need to mess with volumes/audio devices/try another cable. Definitely curious to know if the Pajen firmware will be usable on the new device. Can't imagine the developer will be terribly keen to make a new version for the VS2, seeing as the firmware is free and all.

    Not yet sure if the new features + price add up to something better than the Pajen firmware (for those who already own a VS1 anyway).

  • @syrupcore said:

    @d4d0ug said:
    Looks interesting.

    In the meantime, I’ve been having fun with the unofficial alternative firmware for the current unit....

    https://ranzee.com/volca-sample-unofficial-firmware/

    I tried to load this last week but kept getting CRC errors. Think I need to mess with volumes/audio devices/try another cable. Definitely curious to know if the Pajen firmware will be usable on the new device. Can't imagine the developer will be terribly keen to make a new version for the VS2, seeing as the firmware is free and all.

    Not yet sure if the new features + price add up to something better than the Pajen firmware (for those who already own a VS1 anyway).

    Yeah, I had some issues loading it too, but realised I needed to be in the firmware updating mode - not the sample loading mode. Yes volume can be a challenge - I think I used my phone rather than my iPad.

    The firmware is complex but offers loads of cool things, but in reality the one thing I’ve been enjoying is not having to spread all the midi over multiple channels 😁

  • edited August 19

    wondering why it is such problem to put into those low-costs samplers also input for sampling (same criticism goes to model:samples). Simple mono 16/44 A/D chip costs literally few $.Teenage engineering were able to put put sampling input into PO32 ... There is no excuse, there is enough place for input jack and for sure inside enough place for another small chip.

    Btw. taking in account expected price around $150 i think this one makes sense just for somebody with extreme tight budget, otherwise it's worth to save a more and buy Model:Samples, which costs twice as much but has 10x more features :)

  • @dendy said:
    wondering why it is such problem to put into those low-costs samplers also input for sampling (same criticism goes to model:samples). Simple mono 16/44 A/D chip costs literally few $.Teenage engineering were able to put put sampling input into PO32 ... There is no excuse, there is enough place for input jack and for sure inside enough place for another small chip.

    A synth amateur’s guess: because while recording may be trivial, sample editing isn’t, and the former without the latter has extremely limited utility.

  • edited August 19

    @celtic_elk said:

    @dendy said:
    wondering why it is such problem to put into those low-costs samplers also input for sampling (same criticism goes to model:samples). Simple mono 16/44 A/D chip costs literally few $.Teenage engineering were able to put put sampling input into PO32 ... There is no excuse, there is enough place for input jack and for sure inside enough place for another small chip.

    A synth amateur’s guess: because while recording may be trivial, sample editing isn’t, and the former without the latter has extremely limited utility.

    Totaly basic edit functionality like on PO32 will be more than enough for this kind of device

  • Simple start end sample editing shouldn't be that hard.

  • I just listened to the demo on the Korg site. It sounds so thin squashed

  • @syrupcore said:.

    The new manual still talks about motion recording per step (ala p-locks). Maybe that'll actually work this time around. :wink:

    Interesting. So the motion recording doesn’t work on the Sample? That’s the feature that elevates these boxes from toy to tool, imo.

  • @dendy said:
    wondering why it is such problem to put into those low-costs samplers also input for sampling (same criticism goes to model:samples). Simple mono 16/44 A/D chip costs literally few $.Teenage engineering were able to put put sampling input into PO32 ... There is no excuse, there is enough place for input jack and for sure inside enough place for another small chip.

    Btw. taking in account expected price around $150 i think this one makes sense just for somebody with extreme tight budget, otherwise it's worth to save a more and buy Model:Samples, which costs twice as much but has 10x more features :)

    Model Samples is not a great machine. Id much rather a volca sample and its not about budget.

  • @Bill_Brasky said:

    @dendy said:
    wondering why it is such problem to put into those low-costs samplers also input for sampling (same criticism goes to model:samples). Simple mono 16/44 A/D chip costs literally few $.Teenage engineering were able to put put sampling input into PO32 ... There is no excuse, there is enough place for input jack and for sure inside enough place for another small chip.

    Btw. taking in account expected price around $150 i think this one makes sense just for somebody with extreme tight budget, otherwise it's worth to save a more and buy Model:Samples, which costs twice as much but has 10x more features :)

    Model Samples is not a great machine. Id much rather a volca sample and its not about budget.

    I have a Volca sample and it’s great, but I’m craving the Model samples. The reverb sounds lovely and of course the sequencer is superb. I’ve watched so many demos now, that I think I’ve made my mind up.

    Why do you not like it out of interest?

  • Volca sample is cool and I get the reason for the minor refresh, but a volca sample with direct recording would have actually made me interested in the unit (though I'd probably still just stick with drambo).

  • @quartzite said:
    Volca sample is cool and I get the reason for the minor refresh, but a volca sample with direct recording would have actually made me interested in the unit (though I'd probably still just stick with drambo).

    I really should dive into Drambo from a sampler perspective more. There are so many options in that thing though, would be nice if there were a ‘Drambo as Sampler’ video explainer/tutorial thingy...

  • edited August 19

    @stormbeats said:
    I just listened to the demo on the Korg site. It sounds so thin squashed

    Only learned this recently, 16bit 31khz output, not even 44.1.

    Super meh. I guess lofi is cool, but I'd rather control how lofi something is.

    Better off using headphone out from an old iPad.

  • @auxmux said:

    @stormbeats said:
    I just listened to the demo on the Korg site. It sounds so thin squashed

    Only learned this recently, 16bit 31khz output, not even 44.1.

    Super meh. I guess lofi is cool, but I'd rather control how lofi something is.

    Better off using headphone out from an old iPad.

    @auxmux lofi is my thing I have 12bit hardware samplers & lofi effects on ipad&mac. Its the thin “sound” that I hear that leaves me not impressed

  • @Bill_Brasky said:

    @dendy said:
    wondering why it is such problem to put into those low-costs samplers also input for sampling (same criticism goes to model:samples). Simple mono 16/44 A/D chip costs literally few $.Teenage engineering were able to put put sampling input into PO32 ... There is no excuse, there is enough place for input jack and for sure inside enough place for another small chip.

    Btw. taking in account expected price around $150 i think this one makes sense just for somebody with extreme tight budget, otherwise it's worth to save a more and buy Model:Samples, which costs twice as much but has 10x more features :)

    Model Samples is not a great machine. Id much rather a volca sample and its not about budget.

    I agree about Model. For what it offers it is not worth 2x the price of the VSample.

  • @auxmux said:

    @stormbeats said:
    I just listened to the demo on the Korg site. It sounds so thin squashed

    Only learned this recently, 16bit 31khz output, not even 44.1.

    Super meh. I guess lofi is cool, but I'd rather control how lofi something is.

    I've had 12bit samplers that sounded fat as f**k. Not sure why this shouldn't.

    @auxmux said:
    Better off using headphone out from an old iPad.

    You have a good point.

  • @AudioGus said:
    I really should dive into Drambo from a sampler perspective more. There are so many options in that thing though, would be nice if there were a ‘Drambo as Sampler’ video explainer/tutorial thingy...

    Honestly I use it more as a sampler and midi sender than as a synth at the moment! You can pretty much just drop a "flexi sampler" module on a track and use it, and then add filters/fx later in the chain.

    You can also live sample into the module (30 second max right now I think). Pretty awesome with a phone and a mic (I use an iQ6), being able to record environment samples and compose immediately

  • @LeeB said:

    @Bill_Brasky said:

    Model Samples is not a great machine. Id much rather a volca sample and its not about budget.

    I have a Volca sample and it’s great, but I’m craving the Model samples. The reverb sounds lovely and of course the sequencer is superb. I’ve watched so many demos now, that I think I’ve made my mind up.

    Why do you not like it out of interest?

    Funny, I literally just got my Model:Samples on Friday, and I've had a Volca Sample for 2 years or so (whenever it came out). Of the entire Volca lineup, it's a close call between the Sample and the Volca FM as to which is my favorite. Both suffer from the same annoying issue of severely limited memory coupled with annoying Sysex transfer requirements.

    But knowing what I know about the limitations of Volca Sample 1, seeing that spec sheet does not concern me at all that I'd be missing out on Volca Sample 2. I'm still getting to know the Elektron Model:Samples, but I think it's far superior in terms of both audio quality and functionality.

    At most, you can you can get 100 sounds on a Volca Sample, but I run out of memory well before that unless every one of your samples is like a half-second one-shot. Transferring new samples on there with Sysex is a nightmare. The official Korg PC app basically wouldn't work through many interfaces, and their iOS app (AudioPocket) was trash and basically only good for reloading factory samples. There is no "pattern chaining" in the true sense of the word, and a lot of parameter lock features (which were admittedly impressive for a budget device) are confusing and broken. In fact, my favorite thing about the Sample (and many of the Volcas, actually), is that you can get strange and unexpected sounds trying to program moving parameter changes that the Volca doesn't handle properly.

    I'd be happy to answer any questions about the Model:Samples. It isn't perfect either, but when they added sample locking, it basically solved the problem of being limited to 6 tracks. Yes, it's $300 versus $150 to $180 for the Volca, but you get sample pads and MUCH better trigger keys that can actually be played chromatically. It also runs for hours off a standard 5V USB battery pack if you buy a $6 adapter cable. Best of all, it unlocks the power of dozens (hundreds?) of iOS music apps I've accumulated since 2013, which I can now use to create samples, and send them into 1GB of storage quickly over USB cable from my phone.

    @dendy said:
    wondering why it is such problem to put into those low-costs samplers also input for sampling (same criticism goes to model:samples). Simple mono 16/44 A/D chip costs literally few $.Teenage engineering were able to put put sampling input into PO32 ... There is no excuse, there is enough place for input jack and for sure inside enough place for another small chip.

    Btw. taking in account expected price around $150 i think this one makes sense just for somebody with extreme tight budget, otherwise it's worth to save a more and buy Model:Samples, which costs twice as much but has 10x more features :)

    THIS. I'm no expert with hardware, but out of the three devices, the $89.99 PO-33 K.O. (Pocket Operator) is the only one that can actually be called a "sampler". And it looks like freaking calculator they forgot to put in a case. The PO-33 has many limitations, including the sampling/audio engine itself, which I believe is 12-bit and badly distorts if you try to record anything with low end. But until you get up to the Electribe 2 (around $500), I'm still amazed how few companies have even tried to make a budget sampler, when PO-33 proves it is possible. There's actually a number things that the PO-33 has over the Volca Sample, including MUCH better sample chaining, live effects, etc.

  • Can you import your own samples with this?

  • @StormJH1 Thanks for your thoughts on the Model samples.
    I feel it’s the next thing I need for jamming, being so immediate. I agree with what you say about sound quality and I have heard it mentioned before. There’s something about Elektron stuff that pricks my ears.
    I still love the Volca sample and will keep it and use it in my live setup. The crunchy sound is great if you feed it the right stuff.
    I’ve still got my Akai S700 if I want to go 12 bit too.

  • @LeeB just buy it, can't wait for your live jams with Model:Samples :-)

  • I think there’s major misconceptions about the Volca Sample general sound being wispy / thin / less-than etc: in capable hands it sounds rich and powerful with a subtle saturation that I’ve not heard replicated. To me the VS has a “magic glue” nature to it and loaded with even decent sounds is difficult to make sound bad.

    The Model:Samples doesn’t have said “glue” nature to my ears and sounds as clear (and also plain) as any DAW or sample player. The mojo comes from the workflow (p-locks and live tweaking).

    I love both but If I had to own only one it’d be the Volca Sample because it’s more unique and can’t find a better word: magical.

  • @Proppa said:
    I think there’s major misconceptions about the Volca Sample general sound being wispy / thin / less-than etc: in capable hands it sounds rich and powerful with a subtle saturation that I’ve not heard replicated. To me the VS has a “magic glue” nature to it and loaded with even decent sounds is difficult to make sound bad.

    The Model:Samples doesn’t have said “glue” nature to my ears and sounds as clear (and also plain) as any DAW or sample player. The mojo comes from the workflow (p-locks and live tweaking).

    I love both but If I had to own only one it’d be the Volca Sample because it’s more unique and can’t find a better word: magical.

    Part of that is definitely the dual analog filters on the output.

  • @stormbeats said:

    @auxmux said:

    @stormbeats said:
    I just listened to the demo on the Korg site. It sounds so thin squashed

    Only learned this recently, 16bit 31khz output, not even 44.1.

    Super meh. I guess lofi is cool, but I'd rather control how lofi something is.

    Better off using headphone out from an old iPad.

    @auxmux lofi is my thing I have 12bit hardware samplers & lofi effects on ipad&mac. Its the thin “sound” that I hear that leaves me not impressed

    It's not really "thin."

    Depending on your samples and how you tweak it can sound very good or very bad.

    Kinda like iOS sounds dull and sterile until you start using the tools to get "fat."

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