Korg Volca – unoffical firmware

Tips & tricksThe Korg Volcas are pretty flexible devices that received a little firmware-update last year.
But there are also unofficial firmware versions for the Volca FM and the Volca Sample, which I have tested as well.

Installation

Similar to the installation of the official updates, the update mode must be activated while the Korg Volca is started. Therefore, you have to keep the buttons Func and Play pressed while you switch the Volca on. Now, you can connect the sync-in jack of the Volca with the audio-out of the computer.
The volume of the computer ought to be quite loud, but not maxed. I mostly use a level of 80%.
By using an adequate media plays, the firmware can be played back as an audio file via the computer. In this case, it is important to deactivate all further sounds (like emailbox or likewise). Otherwise, you will get an error message.
After the update is finished, the Volca needs a re-start.

Volca FM 1.09

For the velocity function is a decisive characteristic of inspiring FM sounds, a FM synth actually is supposed to provide such a feature.
Unfortunately, Korg has not implemented this feature by now.
Alternatively, you could complement this function for external keyboards via using a specific Retrokits RK-002 midi cable.
The unofficial Firmware 1.09 add the velocity function to the Volca. The keys of the internal keyboard do not send velocity information, but by connecting an external keyboard, the respective data can be sent to the FM.

Another interesting feature is the patch changes note on/off. While it is deactivated, a played tone can be sustained, even though you select another sound. Until now, the sound has been stopped in this case. Now, a fluent transition between different sounds is possible.

Besides, there have been new control change orders added. For example, the free assignment of the mod wheel, various chorus settings, the loading of patches and pattern as well as subdivisions of the tempo.

The firmware runs quite reliably. Only some posts on the internet revolve around the problem, that the Volca switches itself of with this firmware. The reason is a flat battery or the power supply does not provide enough current. The FM needs more than 100mA to work reliable. The unofficial firmware might need a little more current; thus, you should keep the capacity of your power supply in mind.

All of these new features can be deactivated in the global menu. Ant those, who don’t like the firmware anyway, can downgrade the Volca to the official firmware easily. The Korg Volca support website offers a free download of this file.

Volca Sample Beta 7

Regarding the Volca Sample, the process of the installation of the Beta 7 firmware update is identical. You can replay all samples chromatically as well as using the “sequencer channel” to select all of the 10 sounds via the midi keyboard. As with the Volca FM, you can also activate velocity.
It can be selected just like pitch and note triggering via part or pattern.

New control changes for reverb, mutes, pattern-changes, reverse and so on have been implemented. Besides, there are also to new reverb algorithms.
Many of these new parameters can be changed directly in the live mode. It is not necessary to enter the global setup and re-start the device. By keeping the func button pressed, you can select a respective function through the sample pot.

Another interesting feature is the SAMP. It assigns 100 samples to the midi keyboard. Thereby, you can use all samples at the same time or rather program them via midi.
Thus, the Sample becomes a fully adequate sampler.
Of course, you can play polyphonic samples as well. Similar to the Digitakt, you can adjust the probabilities of a trigger. The standard setting is set to 100%. By reducing the probability, each pattern becomes a diversified part of the song.

Last but not least, there is the drone mode. It allows to set the decay of all samples to the maximum and thereby enables you to create some kind of infinite mode while you are looping.
This unofficial Beta 7 firmware runs stable and reliable. Because of the numerous features, I really recommend this type of firmware.
And it also applies in this case: if you don’t like the new firmware, you can go back too the official Korg firmware easily and for free.

Malekko EKKO 616 MKII Dark

Malekko Ekko darkThe name reflects the aim: The Malekko EKKO 616 MKII Dark: this is the dark version of the Malekko EKKO 616 MKII. The pedalboard-friendly analog delay offers up to 650ms of maximum delay time and enables its user to choose between true bypass and buffer. Continue reading “Malekko EKKO 616 MKII Dark”

Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man vs. DOD Rubberneck

This is a comparison of the Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man with the DOD Rubberneck.
Find out mor about the sonic possibilities like brighter and darker repeats, modulation and the sound of these two analog delays in the mix.

Adjustments for the Rubberneck
0:10 tone at noon Continue reading “Electro Harmonix Deluxe Memory Man vs. DOD Rubberneck”

Effect pedals for recording

Tips & tricksToday, almost every musician records his/her music at home. Mostly via a soundcard directly into a DAW.
There, you will find numerous VST effects to create a sophisticated sound.
But many effect pedals as well are also suitable for recording. Continue reading “Effect pedals for recording”

Malekko Ekko 616/ Ekko 616 MKII

Malekko EkkoThe Malekko Ekko 616 as well as its improved version, the Ekko 616 MKII is a pedalboard-friendly analog delay. Continue reading “Malekko Ekko 616/ Ekko 616 MKII”

Neunaber Expanse as a delay

In this video, I used the Neunaber Expanse as a delay.
Most people use it as a reverb effect, but through the Neunaber App you can also download several delay algorithms. The additional EXP Controller allows to choose between up to four different presets.
For it is stereo, please use your headphones!

 

0:08 echelon scatter Continue reading “Neunaber Expanse as a delay”

1×12, 1×10, 2×12, 4×12 – about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of speakers

Tips & tricksIf you own a combo amp, means an amplifier with an in-built speaker, it mostly has a 1×12 or 1×10 speaker.
Looking for a sonic variation, most guitarists start with replacing the speaker of one manufacturer by a suitable model from another brand.
But the alteration of the speaker sizes can also effect decisive sonic changes. Continue reading “1×12, 1×10, 2×12, 4×12 – about the advantages and disadvantages of different types of speakers”

Korg SDD-3000 Pedal

Korg SDD 3000 PedalA long time ago, there was the Korg SDD-3000 rack delay with its legendary sound.
Some years ago, the also less pedalboard-friendly version of this classic has been put on the market. Continue reading “Korg SDD-3000 Pedal”

Korg Kaosspad3 loops and the Elektron Digitakt midi sync

This is a video about how to use the Elektron Digitakt to midi sync start and stop loops of the Korg Kaoss Pad3 (KP3).

Gear:Elektron Digitakt, Korg Kaosspad3, Digitech SDRUM, DelayDude Midi Sync Cable

I show step by step how to record several loops on the Kaoss Pad3. The Digitakt starts the first loop of the KP3 via midi note #36, the second via midi note #37 and the third loop via midi note #38. Continue reading “Korg Kaosspad3 loops and the Elektron Digitakt midi sync”

Lunchbox Tube Amps Part III

Ask the DudeIn the first part of this series, I presented some budget tube combos. In the second part, I started a small overview of several heads. And finally, I would like to end up this series with some last recommendations. Continue reading “Lunchbox Tube Amps Part III”

Lovepedal Hermida EPH-3

lovepedal hermida eph-3The Lovepedal Hermida EPH-3 is a pedalboard-friendly digital delay.
Inicially, the tape echo emulation has been produced by Hermida. Some time ago, Lovepedal aquired Hermida. Continue reading “Lovepedal Hermida EPH-3”

Source Audio Nemesis vs. Erica Synths Zen Delay

This is a comparison of the Source Audio Nemesis with the Erica Synths Zen Delay.
For these two are digital stereo delays, please use your headphones.

Both delays do not have true bypass, I used a true bypass looper (Lehle Parallel) for the audio recording.

0:08 digital mode (Zen Delay)
digital mode (Nemesis) Continue reading “Source Audio Nemesis vs. Erica Synths Zen Delay”

7 questions to Yoshi Ikegami (Boss)

7 questions toI guess, there is no guitarist/ bass player in the world, who doesn’t own at least one BOSS pedal. And the effects that are produced under the leadership of the company’s president, Yoshi Ikegami, accompany me since my first days as a guitarist.
Therefore, it is a special honor for me that he took the time to answer to the 7 questions of the Delay Dude. Continue reading “7 questions to Yoshi Ikegami (Boss)”

Maxon/ Ibanez AD 999

Maxon AD 999Similar to the other Maxon AD-pedals, the AD 999 as well is a less pedalboard-friendly analog delay.
The MC4107D bucket brigade ICs make the AD 999 sound a bit dirtier, less defined and a bit rougher than the AD 900. Continue reading “Maxon/ Ibanez AD 999”

Erica Synths Zen Delay vs. DOD Rubberneck

This is a comparison of the DOD Rubberneck with the Erica Synths Zen Delay
For both delays do not have true bypass, I used a true bypass looper (Lehle Parallel) for the audio recording.
The Zen Delay does not provide an analog mode. Via the filter settings, I formed an analog-like sound in the digital delay mode. And the Rubberneck is, what it is: a great dark and gritty analog delay.

0:09 band pass filter (Zen Delay)
tone at noon (Rubberneck) Continue reading “Erica Synths Zen Delay vs. DOD Rubberneck”