Korg USA has announced the Volca Series of portable, true-analog synthesizers. Following in the footsteps of the Korg Monotron, Monotribe, and the MS-20 Mini synth, these next-generation true-analog instruments offer on-the-go sounds and grooves along with MIDI functionality. The series is comprised of three models: the Volca Keys lead synthesizer; the Volca Bass synthesizer; and the Volca Beats rhythm machine.
All models provide carefully selected parameters that allow users to create the distinctive, massive sounds that come from a true analog synthesizer. Each instrument features a loop sequencer for intuitively generating and recalling phrase-based performances. Multiple Volcas can be used in tandem thanks to vintage-style sync in/out, or with the user's DAW software via MIDI In. Convenient, optional battery operation and built-in speakers provide the ability to play anywhere at any time.
Volca Keys represents a new chapter in Korg's long history of analog synthesizers. This 27-key analog lead synth generates sound that's more powerful than its compact, low-profile body would suggest. Its three oscillators can be tuned against each other in a variety of ways-from one part unison to three-part chords-to provide the versatility needed to create a diversity of sounds.
With a filter section that utilizes the circuitry of the classic miniKORG700S (1974) plus an easy-to-use interface that includes delay effects and a 16-step sequencer, Volca Keys offers the richly expressive sounds that are distinctive of an analog synth, and combines the enjoyment of basic sound creation with deep functionality.
Volca Bass is an analog bass line groove box that's capable of generating a wide range of bass lines. Though basic in structure, the analog sound engine has an unmistakable presence with subtle nuances that cannot be reproduced by a digital simulation, making it ideally-suited for acid house and many other styles of electronic music. Its step sequencer-distilled from Korg's Electribe series-offers a convenient, visually intuitive way to generate "free form" bass loops to stimulate inspiration. The three oscillators can be combined in several ways via a voicing function, to generate a variety of thick and modulated bass sounds.
Volca Beats offers six fat analog drum sounds: Kick, Snare, Hi Tom, Lo Tom, Closed Hi Hat, and Open Hi Hat. It contains a wide array of sound variations that could not be produced by any means other than analog, with special emphasis on the sounds that are considered indispensable for dance music. A PCM sound engine is also included for generating clap, crash and others sounds that are better suited for PCM. Simple knob-based parameters can be used to quickly create a variety of drum sounds. For example, simply by using the three knobs (Click, Pitch, and Decay), a variety of kick sounds can be crafted, ranging from rough sounds that dominate the low range to tight sounds that keep a precise beat. In addition, a 16-part sequencer is included to easily add or remove parts.
The Volca series will be available in July 2013 for a U.S. street price of $149.99 each. Additional product information is available at Korg.com