Korg is coming through for us today. In January, most of us were left hanging on for more info about the volca fm. Although the minilogue stole the show, the Korg volca fm truly came out of left field. When everyone and their keyboard-playing mama is jonesing for the next analog synth, here’s this Cracker-Jack-sized miniature digital synth, offering the sounds of the ’80s. So, why bother with the volca fm?
Why not? was what the minds of Korg seemed to say. The mistakes in workflow that earlier FM synthesizers made are sidestepped for a more user-friendly interface in the new volca fm. That’s what Korg’s designers offer in this pint-sized box: the truly out-there tones that other forms of synthesis like subtractive can’t quite replicate, and the almost clinical exactitude of pitch/intonation is all here. However, the difference with volca fm, as outlined on Korg’s own site, is the way they’ve let you create, store, play, and share sounds like never before.
Korg volca fm – Digital FM Synthesizer
Knobs and faders for sound shaping/editing. Onboard chorus for those classic FM bass sounds. Things that the original FM synths didn’t have like a 16-step sequencer (with automation recording!), pattern chaining, and the ability to warp active steps to mangle your own patterns or that of other Volcas are a boon to song creation. A huge boon to knocking songs into fruition is that the Korg volca fm includes a built-in arpeggiator, the first for any Volca product. Don’t know where to start? Heck, Korg has confirmed that you can dump old SysEx files from the DX-7 (or your favorite DX-7 patch site) on it and it should load those files as well…Oh, hello E.PIANO 1!
I’m not going to copy and paste some of the specs that Korg has detailed on their site, but I strongly recommend that you check out the videos and sound samples they’ve shared of the Korg volca fm in action. In case you’ve forgotten, there’s a whole site dedicated to the obvious charm of FM tones. It’s a sound that can’t quite easily be replicated in the analog realm. Now, given the price point, which we’d say will be around the price of current Volcas that you can find at zZounds, it’s only a matter of time before we have some available so that everyone can feed their inner Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Although you can do something like this as well (and I’ll shine all my money on you)…
DX-7 Track: Kate Bush “Waking the Witch”.