Volca Sample – Unofficial Firmware

Thanks to Pajen (again) for his wonderful firmware hacks on Korg Volcas. This time he’s gone and improved the Korg Volca Sample. Here’s a list of the features:

  • keeping the original MIDI implementation for people that actually like it.
  • adding a “sequencer channel” – cramming all parts into one MIDI channel, including all standard CCs.
  • making it possible to deactivate channels 1-10 to free them up.
  • adding true chromatic response to note in, none of that RK-002 out-of-tune misery.
  • adding velocity sensitivity on MIDI in.
  • making note triggering, pitch and velocity sensitivity optional per-part, per-pattern.
  • adding new CCs for changing patterns, reverb, mutes, reverse etc.
  • unlocking 2 new reverb programs.
  • “Omni mode” – helping connecting a midi keyboard for live playing with a variety of features.
  • probability triggering for variety; per part, per pattern.
  • “bar filtering” – adding capability to tell parts to skip certain bars in a 4-bar sequence. Makes it possible to create patterns that are up to 4 bars, while keeping full motion seq resolution.
  • optional instant drone mode for noise fiends.

Download the BETA firmware here:

Further information:

additional CCs:

  • CC_SAMPLE 50
  • CC_REVERB_LEVEL 51
  • CC_REVERB_TYPE 52
  • CC_PATTERN 53
  • CC_SELECTED_PART 54
  • CC_LOOP 55
  • CC_REVERSE 56
  • CC_REVERB 57
  • CC_MUTE 58
  • CC_SOLO 59

GLOBAL SETTINGS:
setting 9: “original MIDI” on/off: if “off” the original mapping of channels 1-10 to parts 1-10 will be deactivated. THIS IS DEFAULT OFF!
setting 10: “sequencer MIDI” on/off: maps MIDI channel 11 to all parts and all original CCs. See old post on how it is mapped?

EXTENDED MENU:
In original “LIVE” mode (not step mode please), press and hold “FUNC” and turn the sample knob to enter Extended menu.
Select menu item and release FUNC. Select sub-menu alternative and press FUNC to activate.
menu items:

  • Omni: Omni MIDI mode. This will route all remaining MIDI channel inputs (see GLOBAL SETTINGS) to CURRENT SELECTED PART. The idea is that it help in a live performance setting. Omni setting is global and is not remembered when powering off.

OFF: deactivated (default)
SEL: play in standard way on selected part
SAMP: maps sample 1-100 on to keys 1-100. Good to audition sounds etc.
PAtr: maps keys C-A to activate patterns 1-10
Py2, Py3, Py4: plays incoming notes on selected part, and neighboring 1,2 or 3 parts for polyphony.

  • PROB: sets the probability that any given trig in a part will generate sound. Defaults to 100%. Remember you can use “<” and “>” or the part touch pads to select which part probability to edit. Stored together with the pattern.
  • BrFL: “Bar Filter”: Sets which bars in a 4-bar sequence that that part will sound. Makes it possible to sacrifice parts to get longer sequences. Remember you can use “<” and “>” or the part touch pads to select which part bar filter to edit. Values range from 0-15. Try changing it while running the pattern to see and hear the effect. Stored together with the pattern.
  • ntFL: “Note Filter”: Sets (per part) what incoming MIDI notes should influence. Default is “tnv” – trig, note and velocity. Any combination is possible. E.g. “-n-” will disregard velocity and trig, only changing note pitch – can be used to change a preprogrammed bass line pitch (M.sequencing off). “t–” is like the original – only using the trig, ignoring pitch and velocity. Remember you can use “<” and “>” or the part touch pads to select which part note filter to edit. Stored together with the pattern.
  • Rb.ty: Reverb type. Switch reverb program 0-2. “2” is the standard one. This setting is global and is not remembered when powering off.
  • dron: Insta-drone on or off. Insta-drone makes a decay setting of “127” infinite for looping parts. If it is off, it works like the original.

Robotunes did a cool PDF user guide here:

Older firmware versions: