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is volca Beats rinky-dinky?
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ShoNuff
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sat Jul 14, 2018 5:54 pm    Post subject: is volca Beats rinky-dinky? Reply with quote

Very Happy

honestly, i don't want to slate it- i'm trying to find it some
redemption.

it's a perplexing drum machine design: who makes a drum
machine with EIGHT PATTERNS ? with NO ACCENT ?
NO SONG MODE ? (or chain mode...)

it ends up with a kind of Bossa feel (haha...)
a bit like some of those old preset accompaniment boxes.

i feel that people comparing it to a 606 can't have done much
programming on the TR, which depends so much on Accent,
on chains of patterns, etc.

maybe the Beats is revolutionnary? a new concept?
storing Stutter settings per pattern (do these get sent out as MIDI?)
or Speed for the PCMs gives it lots more variation...

does anyone use it as a MIDI slave, controlling each voice level
with MIDI CC ? do you use it to write MIDI to another sequencer?

why are the MIDI notes mapped out so far apart?

i feel it's pretty good for a big kick, toms, hihats, clap, keeping a
spare kit. as soon as it gets busy with PCM sounds it gets a bit
BossaNova - what do you think ?
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ShoNuff
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

aah was hoping to get some *reaction!*
but this is a very quiet forum, if it's the centre of all things volca.
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megamarkd
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Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 330
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey ShoNuff, this is a user-run, forum not an official forum as such. Sharp runs it out of the goodness of his heart (and pocket) and it's not supported by Korg. We are active here, just not as active as you would think a official forum would be.

As far as your question about the Beats, it seems to be aimed at live use with the operator running and editing patterns live. The different playback modes are designed for live play. You are encouraged to program patterns then mess with them in a performance, not having a song mode. I myself run mine via a Beatstep Pro and don't use the sequencer at all. I like sounds that come out of it. It's lofi but it's not crap. The snare could be better.
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Stuff I'm using: Umm right now, this: Ever-growing Dumbmachine: Bastl Instruments, Circuit Abbey, Elby Designs, Expert Sleepers, Blue Lantern, Tiptop Audio, Make Noise, Busy Circuits, Mutable Instruments, Buchla/Topbrillo, 2hp, Metro Modular, Doepfer, Intellijel, Frostwave, Synthrotek, Korg, Arturia, Teenage Engineering, Patchblocks, Waldorf, Cat Full Of Ghosts, Music Thing Modular
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ShoNuff
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

hi Very Happy
thanks for the reply.
yeah i'm very well acquainted with my Beats, had it for a
few years now. i always find it perplexing: i have a little
collection of drum machines, ...

actually find the volcas fascinating, not least because of
the design ethos. i wonder what was behind Tats' decisions,
in context of what would have been a Korg team - and to
tell the truth i keep hoping for some firmware updates to
come, -which will never happen, i guess-

i've done the snare mod - as a removable 104cap, and it has
improved it. also did the individual outs, that i haven't really
used since.

it's interesting velocity wasn't implemented: the Bass can record
it into it's sequencer, and Keys can't record it but can receive it...
dynamics being so important in rhythm, it's strange that Beats
didn't get that.

certainly they are much more than a bunch of syncable things
meant to run on their own sequencers: they are midi sound
modules, midi sequencers - so their limitations make you work
a bit to get more out of them: and they do offer just as much
in many ways as... a tb303 or other old gear.

my synth interlocutors don't want to hear about them and
dismiss them out of hand. i look at them as basic raw
building blocks. i have had, and have, other synths, so i can
put them in context. just want to know how others think of them.
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ShoNuff
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 15, 2018 12:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

double post..

Last edited by ShoNuff on Mon Aug 13, 2018 6:57 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Darkside



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Estonia

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, imho by itself Volca Beats can be really somewhat underwelming, while still having some interesting little things to offer, most obvious being stutter. It's still a good option to combine Beats with other drum machines and probably not as a main part, but somewhere in the background, where it's really capable of adding that little something to the mix. I'm speaking here mainly from a stylistic view point of electro or acid, but it might as well work in other situations. And really, without joking, we can get pretty nice bossa/samba from this little box. Personally for me the most irritating thing on this drum machine is the touchpad interface, where as real physical buttons would have been way better solution. So what to conclude: Volca Beats isn't probably a good choice for the only one drum machine in most setups, but in combination with other gear it can have a place. I once sold my Volca Beats and bought the Akai Rhythm Wolf, but later got rid of the Wolf, but convinced a good friend, who in terms had got himself a DrumBrute, to sell me his Volca Beats and now I have used it together with Monotribe or Roland Tr-08.
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ShoNuff
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2018 8:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

was listening to a drumbrute impact demo last night,
thinking that the transient of the kick is *wrong* !

the Beats could definitely have been better receiving
midi velocity. - but we just have part level control.
certainly it can do good things - it's just that i'm used
to drum machines with more patterns, a song mode, etc.

so i conclude it has more of the vibe like the old preset
rhythm machines. yeah stutter is good, if you save it
with a pattern to change the sound, like a parameter lock,
same thing with PCM 'speed'. - turn Global Stutter off, and
save per pattern.
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megamarkd
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Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 330
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 1:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darkside wrote:
Well, imho by itself Volca Beats can be really somewhat underwelming, while still having some interesting little things to offer, most obvious being stutter. It's still a good option to combine Beats with other drum machines and probably not as a main part, but somewhere in the background, where it's really capable of adding that little something to the mix. I'm speaking here mainly from a stylistic view point of electro or acid, but it might as well work in other situations. And really, without joking, we can get pretty nice bossa/samba from this little box. Personally for me the most irritating thing on this drum machine is the touchpad interface, where as real physical buttons would have been way better solution. So what to conclude: Volca Beats isn't probably a good choice for the only one drum machine in most setups, but in combination with other gear it can have a place. I once sold my Volca Beats and bought the Akai Rhythm Wolf, but later got rid of the Wolf, but convinced a good friend, who in terms had got himself a DrumBrute, to sell me his Volca Beats and now I have used it together with Monotribe or Roland Tr-08.


This. It is what it is and that's very much what you pay for and a little more. It would be interesting to see a list of professionals who use the VBeats on stage. I use mine in an augmentative manner along side an RWolf, ADX1, Lancet Kick and VKick. And if I was to sell the RWolf or VBeats, I'm sorry to say, it'd be the VBeats. The sequencer on the RWolf was worth the price of admission alone. People give it a bad wrap because of a weak bass and not great snare, but it's a way more usable than the VBeats as a song tool (a/b/fill patterns) and it's kick destroys walls.
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Stuff I'm using: Umm right now, this: Ever-growing Dumbmachine: Bastl Instruments, Circuit Abbey, Elby Designs, Expert Sleepers, Blue Lantern, Tiptop Audio, Make Noise, Busy Circuits, Mutable Instruments, Buchla/Topbrillo, 2hp, Metro Modular, Doepfer, Intellijel, Frostwave, Synthrotek, Korg, Arturia, Teenage Engineering, Patchblocks, Waldorf, Cat Full Of Ghosts, Music Thing Modular
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Darkside



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Estonia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can really only agree, that Rhythm Wolf was mostly a nice machine, but with some really strange personality problems. Physically the thing is built to blast and last, especially considering it's price, but soundwise it lacked some certain punch or power. While it can easily give out low and long booming kick, it certainly isn't capable of getting short and snappy. Percussion voice is some kind of oddity all together. Snare is actually not all that bad, but those hats are definitely too ringy. And what about that acidy bass: well, it should have had that calibration thing onboard. And the last issue with the Rhythm Wolf is of course the midi slavery/mastery. Wolf users probably know that all too well, so I wouldn't rant here on that one. So yeah: having used the Rhythm Wolf on a couple of tracks, I actually don't really regret selling it.
Regarding using Volcas live, I would be happily capable of doing it if only not those touchpads. While it's somewhat possible to do studio work with them, I would never get with them in front of a croud. Don't get me wrong, I don't really like to bring this up all the time, but for sake of new fresh users or whatever, being against touch interfaces is correctly justified by my complete lack of eye sight or simply speaking blindness. Staying on a similar topic, I'm currently waiting with great excitement for the Dtronics DTRDX controller for Yamaha ReFace DX to become available and will order it emediately.
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ShoNuff
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
Posts: 73

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no, beats is a niche machine. sample it or something.
if you were doing some seriously minimalist studio thing,
it can do it. taking anything like that live is asking for
disaster. out of the question.
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Darkside



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Estonia

PostPosted: Fri Jul 20, 2018 11:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

And here's a track, where things go just as described before: Rhythm Wolf on the main beat with Volca Beats adding some at the back. So yeah: some estonian electro for ya!

https://soundcloud.com/drxid/kosmiline-otsus
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megamarkd
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Joined: 15 Aug 2017
Posts: 330
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 4:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darkside wrote:
I can really only agree, that Rhythm Wolf was mostly a nice machine, but with some really strange personality problems. Physically the thing is built to blast and last, especially considering it's price, but soundwise it lacked some certain punch or power. While it can easily give out low and long booming kick, it certainly isn't capable of getting short and snappy. Percussion voice is some kind of oddity all together. Snare is actually not all that bad, but those hats are definitely too ringy. And what about that acidy bass: well, it should have had that calibration thing onboard. And the last issue with the Rhythm Wolf is of course the midi slavery/mastery. Wolf users probably know that all too well, so I wouldn't rant here on that one. So yeah: having used the Rhythm Wolf on a couple of tracks, I actually don't really regret selling it.
Regarding using Volcas live, I would be happily capable of doing it if only not those touchpads. While it's somewhat possible to do studio work with them, I would never get with them in front of a croud. Don't get me wrong, I don't really like to bring this up all the time, but for sake of new fresh users or whatever, being against touch interfaces is correctly justified by my complete lack of eye sight or simply speaking blindness. Staying on a similar topic, I'm currently waiting with great excitement for the Dtronics DTRDX controller for Yamaha ReFace DX to become available and will order it emediately.


Cheers for that. I don't use MIDI with my RWolf, preferring to run it off a Beatstep Pro drum trigger to step it along following a wonky beat. It's really way more exciting like that and has fun things happen like the bass hanging as it sits in stasis waiting for the end of the note to be delivered.
_________________
Stuff I'm using: Umm right now, this: Ever-growing Dumbmachine: Bastl Instruments, Circuit Abbey, Elby Designs, Expert Sleepers, Blue Lantern, Tiptop Audio, Make Noise, Busy Circuits, Mutable Instruments, Buchla/Topbrillo, 2hp, Metro Modular, Doepfer, Intellijel, Frostwave, Synthrotek, Korg, Arturia, Teenage Engineering, Patchblocks, Waldorf, Cat Full Of Ghosts, Music Thing Modular
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ShoNuff
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Joined: 27 Oct 2014
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 5:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nice little track, darkside Cool like the intro especially.
can't really identify the vBeats so much in there. the snare
must be the rhythm wolf. what are you using for the acid line?

ok so my vBeats has separate outputs and the snare mod
- did that as removable. much easier to solder wires to the
points than a trembling rigid capacitor leg. used a digital
audio connector. couldn't see it anyway, too small, had to
use a large loupe, with a magnifying glass behind that!

so the outs should improve possibilities. but every time
i use it, it's "ah, wish it had this/that".

almost as if it was conceived as something you record a
loop from into Ableton, as opposed to running it in a song,
with pattern changes. if only they'd given it Program Change,
to change patterns, and another bank of patterns.

there are many things, like control over Mutes, etc.
Confused

so it's a korg drum machine oddity. maybe a sound module,
to use with some 'proper' midi drum machine... i must do
the midi out, and see if i can use that to write into another
drum machine sequencer...i wonder if Mutes affect the midi
going out...

i can live with it like that, it has produced some interesting
things, and yes the Stutter - which i don't like as a trend in
drum machines eg: Scatter on TR8 - does have it's uses in
storing sound modifications.

so i suppose it's a machine where you exploit its limitations,
still capable of a good Boom Tsss - how to get more dynamics
though... have midi CC tracks running with Part Level values
changing ? just the CCs coming in ? could be worth a try.

wonder if there are any more physical mods? (idle thought...)
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Darkside



Joined: 16 Jul 2009
Posts: 38
Location: Estonia

PostPosted: Sat Jul 21, 2018 9:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanx for warm feedback. Usually when sharing tracks I give lengthy descriptions of what was used where, but as it isn't a new track, I didn't find it to be needed, but of course always ready to lecture, so to speak. So in that one the drums are, as menchened before Wolf and Beats, the acid line is Tb-03, fm pad is ReFace DX and that soft string-like thing is R3. The vocoder also comes from R3. Whole thing is mixed in Audacity and edited in Adobe Audition. Actually the song consiscs of only two audio tracks: drum machines with synths recorded live and the vocoder added later. This track has actually been released on cassette and recently on cd. So yeah, it's completely possible to almost jam a track together and get it out, but obviously not in a really commercial sense, but underground and in small quantities.
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jeftones
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Joined: 03 May 2017
Posts: 53

PostPosted: Tue Jul 24, 2018 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShoNuff wrote:
no, beats is a niche machine. sample it or something.
if you were doing some seriously minimalist studio thing,
it can do it. taking anything like that live is asking for
disaster. out of the question.


for a while i was using the beat, keys, and fm alongside a monomachine in a live setting. If you stick to what each volca is good at, very good results can be had. I used the volca beat mainly for its kick and hi-hats, with midi cc's being controlled and sequenced by the monomachine.
niche usage though like you said.
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