Customer Review

13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Analogue Drum Machine, 2 Nov. 2013
This review is from: Korg Volca-Beats Machine Analog Rhythm Drum Synthesizer (Electronics)
Korg are onto a winner here. A diminutive box with loads of flashing lights offering a 16-step analogue drum sequencer for £120. Christmas stocking alert! I've wanted one of these since I heard of them earlier in the year and it seems to have taken an age for them to actually arrive in the UK, and here they are.

Looks wise I think this looks great, a solid enough black plastic case with what seems like a black metal front plate. All buttons and dials are easily accessible - if you had to be picky then maybe the main dials are a little small, but it hasn't concerned me whilst using it. The keypad itself I am very impressed with a very reactive touch response which is great when live recording parts.

You get six analogue sounds and four PCM, all adjustable to varying degrees, the most editable being kick and snare as you'd expect. The kick sounds excellent, you will be surprised such a mighty boom can emanate from such a small box. In my opinion the rest of the sounds aren't so instantly likeable, but as you begin to mould them together into sequences they all come together with a really great vibe.

I stared at this for a few minutes at first wondering what I should be pressing, but once you get the hang of the eight buttons on the right hand side (and their second functions) you will be knocking out sequences in no time. There are three main recording modes; live (which quantises to the closest step), step record (each key you press takes you to the next one) and step mode (where you choose which instrument and click where you'd like it to play on the grid). They're all easy and intuitive to use. It's a very visual experience when sequences are playing with LEDs lighting up as each voice is triggered and more LEDs along the bottom to show you where you are in the sequence or which modes are active.
There are few cool functions; stutter, step jump and active step to bring further life to your patterns. The features seem really well thought through and I haven't yet been thinking "I wish this would do XXX".

Overall, this comes across as very useable, it definitely doesn't feel or sound like a "toy" and I'm sure it will be making an appearance in many home and potentially more professional recordings. I dreamed of having something like this when I was in my teens, and now quite a few years later its arrived in an affordable little box. Are we moving back in time with this resurgence of analogue?.... maybe.... but who cares... it sounds great. Nice one Korg!
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 3 Nov 2013 13:43:06 GMT
L. Glanville says:
What power supply do you use to power them? Apparently they only work with a KA350, but i've only seen them with the American two pin plug and they're about £30 each.

In reply to an earlier post on 3 Nov 2013 16:51:20 GMT
D. Stinton says:
I have just been using the supplied batteries (6 x aaa). They apparently have a life if 10 hours which is good enough for me to not worry about a power supply.
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