As part of the company’s DJ and Production Tools, the volca range of modules provides artists and performers with easily accessible and fun-to-use sound generators that can function as stand-alone units, or be interconnected with each other to create a complete performance system. A newly announced addition is the volca sample, a digital sample sequencer that allows for editing and sequencing up to one hundred pre-recorded sample sounds in real time.
The unit harks back to the early days of sampling where any sound—vocals, spoken words, ambient sound, or glitches—can become inspiration for a song or performance piece. A sixteen-note step sequencer is designed for ease of editing and to allow parts to be inserted or removed in real time, while a motion sequencer records any changes made to a sound using up to eleven knob movements. A swing function is available to generate the distinctive groove of dance music styles.
An analog circuit allows for treble and bass cuts, while onboard reverb can be applied to each part. A reverse function provides backward playback. Up to six song patterns, each containing sixteen sequences, can be saved internally and custom samples loaded via a free iOS app (the internal sounds are overwritten). Developers can also build their own data input tools for the volca sample using the recently released software development kit (SDK).
A dedicated MIDI In is available for sample trigger, sync, and parameter changes from any MIDI device and playback can be synchronized with other volca or electribe units via sync I/O ports.
The unit can be powered by six AA batteries or with an optional power supply. A built-in speaker on the underside, while not being full-range, does allow for on-location monitoring. Otherwise, audio output is available from the 1/8" TRS stereo mini connector that does double duty as the as the main out, or for headphones. Overall, the unit delivers an old-school vibe while being a thoroughly modern digital device, with surprisingly deep sample-shaping abilities.