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Korg Volca series (+ VST vs Hardware talks)

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#1
andorra

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You guys have these small Korg Volca series synths/samplers in use?

What are your thoughts? Good value for the price?

 

Might be fun add to live set or just play around.

I've been thinking to purchase Volca Sample or/and FM but I'm not sure yet..



#2
Iacchus

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I started off with things like this, electribes and stuff, worked my way up through various levels of hardware, generally i found it a waste of money and feel i should have just saved up and got a top of the range item

 

VST plugins can match or outperform these small grooveboxes and synths, you are having all the added faff of working with hardware, but not getting a great deal out of it, IMO you'd be better off just getting a really good MIDI controller for ableton/bitwig and wiring it up to anything you want.

 

If you are a gear junkie and just want to jump around on stage with lots of knobs, wires, and flashing lights, grab them and fill your boots :)  But i think you will out grow them quickly if you are serious about production.


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#3
andorra

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generally i found it a waste of money and feel i should have just saved up and got a top of the range item

 

 

This is exactly what I've been thinking with this. I'm not too much of a gear junkie so I've been thinking if it would be better idea just save more and go with more pro gear. For example Elektron Octatrack is something I've been drooling a lot... Maybe I'll try to borrow one or two of these Volcas from my friends before I decide if to purchase it.



#4
Mønsterhed

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If you have the chance, always try before you buy :) That said I've heard a lot of good things about the volca's. They are powerful if you know how to use them.



#5
neil (spatialize)

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This is exactly what I've been thinking with this. I'm not too much of a gear junkie so I've been thinking if it would be better idea just save more and go with more pro gear. For example Elektron Octatrack is something I've been drooling a lot... Maybe I'll try to borrow one or two of these Volcas from my friends before I decide if to purchase it.

 

i hear that the octatracks are quite complicated bits of gear to get used to.  

 

The only real advantage I can see to it, over a laptop plus ableton controller, is that it is one piece of hardware.  Probably really decent for gigging but for studio use I think I would prefer a computer.  Maybe they are handy for lying on the sofa and writing a tune but they are expensive too.



#6
neil (spatialize)

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I started off with things like this, electribes and stuff, worked my way up through various levels of hardware, generally i found it a waste of money and feel i should have just saved up and got a top of the range item

 

VST plugins can match or outperform these small grooveboxes and synths, you are having all the added faff of working with hardware, but not getting a great deal out of it, IMO you'd be better off just getting a really good MIDI controller for ableton/bitwig and wiring it up to anything you want.

 

If you are a gear junkie and just want to jump around on stage with lots of knobs, wires, and flashing lights, grab them and fill your boots :)  But i think you will out grow them quickly if you are serious about production.

 

i agree.  you might get a few cool samples out of them but it's not much that you couldn;t do with software. it will most like end up in the corner of a room after the initial interest wears off.

 

if you want a bit of external hardware I would recommend going for one decent analogue synth.  I just bought a novation bass station 2 and that is absolutely ideal for psy-chill.  i love it!



#7
Gagarin

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nice to read you friends, i edited topic and added "Korg Volca series (+ VST vs Hardware talks)".


reality is a creation of your mind


#8
neil (spatialize)

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if we're moving into the software versus hardware question, in terms of sound....I'm not too convinced that analogue is that much better.  For a start I think you need decent cables and a decent desk with nice preamps to make the most of it.  Maybe then..  I seem to remember that on baby robot Ott did one track completely analogue and one completely digital.  I haven;t heard it and i don;t know which is which so it might be interesting to see if it is possible to pick the difference.

 

However, In terms of fun and tweakability I think every producer should have at least one external synth in their studio (i;ve got 4).  I like to set up a midi part up on an external synth, set the computer to record, and then tweak the hell out of the synth.  Then I'll go back and nip out the best bits into audio chunks.  You can often get sounds that you were'nt even looking for; strange rhythmic chops when you moved from one filter type to another or you might tweak the portamento in just the right spot.  The best thing about it though is that it;s fun and it keeps the cpu levels on the computer low.  Plus having your synth part as audio allows a lot a audio pitching / granulation possibilites.  

 

I find that if you just use software and a controller, things can get a little static and, because the software isn;t often enormously accessible and tweakable, you end up trying to be too clever and start setting lfo's and envelope modulations all over the place to induce that movement.  While this is a good thing to do, sometimes it;s more human...and quicker to just sweep that filter yourself and record it as audio, rather than setting up lfos or envelope to do it for you.  And if you tweak and rcord the automation, well that's good, but editing midi parts that contain lots of automation can get a bit fiddly.



#9
Lorn

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  While this is a good thing to do, sometimes it;s more human...and quicker to just sweep that filter yourself and record it as audio, rather than setting up lfos or envelope to do it for you. 

 

...more human...I like.
 



#10
neil (spatialize)

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i find that you end up "playing" the filter and res like an instrument

 

you certainly start to make more musical tweaks, tweaks that embellish the rythym,

 

just using an lfo to modulate the filter can be a bit robotic sometimes



#11
Iacchus

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I dont think its about analogue being inherently better, my best synth is effectively digital, (analogue modelling), it could theoretically be a VST.  But I cant get sounds as good out of VSTs.  I suspect people who put a lot of money into developing a really good sound engine dont want to make a VST that everyone just cracks and downloads, so they only sell hardware synths.. its like a rather large dongle. 

Also you are getting loads of dedicated DSP boards.. I dont know if my computer could handle the 16 instances of the synth that the hardware provides. 



#12
neil (spatialize)

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which synth is that mate?



#13
neil (spatialize)

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back in the atari days you had to recall loads of patches across a range of synths and effects every time you turned a computer on.

 

now, with all  the instant recall of a daw, i've got into the habit of not really saving patches on my external gear.  i make the sound quickly, send it some midi and then record down a long take straight away.  with a little analogue monosytnh in particular it;s quite quick to program the sound you want (particularly the bass station 2).



#14
Iacchus

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which synth is that mate?

 

Virus TI Polar has been my main workhorse for about 7 years now <3


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#15
neil (spatialize)

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Hmmm...yeah. Nice.

I really should use my blofeld more. Reduce the strain on the laptop.
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#16
andorra

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Virus TI Polar has been my main workhorse for about 7 years now <3

 

I actually just yesterday stumbled up on a great deal with Virus C and will get it on my hands on Monday!  :D







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