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Help with Volca Drum + Keystep Pro

 
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moomism



Joined: 15 Jun 2020
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 9:57 am    Post subject: Help with Volca Drum + Keystep Pro Reply with quote

Hey guys, Volca noob here, I’ve recently got both the Volca Drum and the Arturia Keystep Pro, and cannot for the life of me get them to talk to each other.

I’ve updated the Drum to the latest userware and followed every step this video describes and yet all I’m getting is complete silence when I hit the keys on the Keystep Pro. The only activity I get is when I hit play on the Keystep Pro, it triggers the preset patterns on the Drum.

Am I just being dumb and have missed something obvious? Any help would be really appreciated.

Cheers
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megamarkd
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Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 593
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 4:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Help with Volca Drum + Keystep Pro Reply with quote

moomism wrote:
Hey guys, Volca noob here, I’ve recently got both the Volca Drum and the Arturia Keystep Pro, and cannot for the life of me get them to talk to each other.

I’ve updated the Drum to the latest userware and followed every step this video describes and yet all I’m getting is complete silence when I hit the keys on the Keystep Pro. The only activity I get is when I hit play on the Keystep Pro, it triggers the preset patterns on the Drum.

Am I just being dumb and have missed something obvious? Any help would be really appreciated.

Cheers


Volas are a bit fiddly to set up for use with anything but other Volcas. First time owners can easily miss some of the finer points of what is needed as Korg don't really tell us exactly what is need to be set.
The video, although helpful, does miss an important step with setting up the Volca Drum. To be controlled via MIDI, you need to switch on Receive MIDI Short Message. To do this you need to switch off and enter global settings mode by holding function while switching on. Once you have done this, make the LED on step 7 is lit. If it is not, press 7 and then hit REC to save and exit. If you don't want the Volca Drum to automatically start playing a pattern when you hit play on the KSP, you will need to set it to internal sync. That is also done in global setting by turning off the LED on step 6.

The only other ting to do is to ensure you have the latest firmware for the KSP. Arturia's Midi Control Centre software should automatically detect if you are not using the latest firmware (currently 1.2.6), if not you can manually upload it to the KSP by hitting the firmware button in MCC (below the device selection drop-down menu) and choosing update firmware. It will ask you to point to the firmware file then guide you the rest of the process.

Once everything is set and you are running how you would like to be, take a look at the Volca Drum MIDI Implementation charts. Many of the parameters have MIDI CC numbers attached to them so you can change them remotely via MIDI. If you are running in Internal sync mode, you won't be able to use the Volca's parameter lock feature, but with the KSP you can still animate five of them via the control pattern. By switching to Control mode you can record knob movements with upto 64 steps, but first you will need to set the knobs to transmit the desired CC's. So choose five parameters you want to sequence and go into the utility menu (as you did to set up the MIDI channel for the drum track). Scroll down to the Controller settings option, set the Global Channel to the same as the Volca Drum and set each knob to transmit the CC you want it to control. You won't need to worry about the other settings as they are set by default to the what you need (channel: global, min:0, max:127). If you find it easier to work with a programmer on a computer, you do all this using MCC while you have the KSP connected.
Once set there you can record and your control sequence pattern as you would one of the voice tracks, either in real-time or step-edit. Once you have recorded a pattern you can edit the steps in step-edit mode or by pressing and holding the step and changing the knob. Unlike the Volca's parameter lock, you can turn off steps and change the length of the pattern, the latter being quite fun for creating a mismatched pattern length to that of your drum pattern.

One last thing you can do is to use both the Volca Drum's internal sequencer and the KSP at the same time. Set the Volca to Auto sync (Global setting step 7) so it starts running when the KSP starts. As the Volca's patterns are only 16 steps long (and to make longer patterns you need to chain them), you could program all your 'duty' work which tend to run on a four bar loop (eg kick and snare) using the Volca and then do some longer patterns for other instruments using the KSP. Also running the internal sequencer gives you back the parameter lock, but also provides you five extra parameters to modulate via the KSP's control pattern. Another creative way to use both the sequencers is to run them at different speeds. You can tell the KSP to step at a lower division than 1/16 while the runs the Volca at 1/16. Both can run polyrhythms (mismatched length instrument patterns), so play with that too.

Hope this helps and Have Fun!

[edit: I must have been tired as I couldn't even count things that were right in front of me last night!)
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Stuff I'm using: Umm right now, well there's a Volca Drum, a Micro Freak, an ADX-1, a Pulse, a Blofeld, a UNO Drum, KeyStep/Beatstep Pro/Keystep Pro (one of each), a Circuit, a LiveTrak L-12 and this nonsense: The Brief-case as it was about a bit over a year ago (the the complete ridiculous GAS monster collection here)


Last edited by megamarkd on Tue Jun 16, 2020 5:42 am; edited 1 time in total
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moomism



Joined: 15 Jun 2020
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Mon Jun 15, 2020 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wonderful, thank you so much for taking the time to explain everything so clearly! Someone on reddit pointed me toward the implementation chart and that helped a lot but there’s a lot more here for sure!

I have the FM and Modular too, all purchased within a couple of weeks of each other, just to add to the fun Smile
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ilmatic



Joined: 28 Jun 2020
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

@moomism how did you get this working? Here are the steps I've completed.

On the KeyStep Pro:
- Updated firmware to 1.2.6
- Set MIDI Drum Out to Channel 10
- Set MIDI Drum Mode to Chromatic, root note 0


On the Volca Drum:
- Tried to update firmware but got VER ERR because it's already on 1.14
- Set to Single Channel mode, Channel 10
- Set Midi RX ShortMessage to ON

And I still get nothing when I press a key in Drum mode on the KSP. Similar to you, it does respond to pressing play on the KSP. I've verified that the KSP is sending out the expected MIDI messages with MIDI Monitor.
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moomism



Joined: 15 Jun 2020
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jun 28, 2020 4:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is what someone replied to me on Reddit with, and it worked perfectly:

“ You need to configure the pads to notes 60, 62, 64, 65, 67, 69 in the MIDI Control Center...

"Drum Map: Custom"@Drum Channel. Thats how I did it here. I have the lower pads for my Drum and the higher pads to my M:Samples.”
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ilmatic



Joined: 28 Jun 2020
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2020 12:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Was just about to post this as I also got it working via the ol' trial and error! Thanks moomism!

Fwiw: I got mine working using Chromatic Drum Mode and setting the low note to 60. Same diff as far as I know, just a different angle, couple fewer steps.
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