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.

Hey! Don’t forget to watch Synth Geekery every Saturday at 2PM UK time – next show link is here!

Download the BETA firmware here:

Further information:

additional CCs:

  • CC_SAMPLE 50
  • CC_LOOP 55
  • CC_REVERB 57
  • CC_MUTE 58
  • CC_SOLO 59

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?

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: