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Volca easiest MIDI Out mod!!!
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cooptrol
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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 2:50 pm    Post subject: Volca easiest MIDI Out mod!!! Reply with quote

Hi, I want to share my own MIDI out mod, in my case for a Volca Beats.
Instead of buying the expensive Amazing Machines kit, or doing the mod that is shown everywhere, with a female DIN connector in a hole drilled to the box, I figured out a completely inexpensive and non-destructive way of having MIDI out.

I just connected the 3 MIDI terminals on the PCB to the 3 legs of the Sync Out minijack female connector, and then made a minijack-DIN midi cable. MIDI only uses 3 of the 5 DIN pins, so a stereo minijack connector is as good for MIDI data. This way you avoid drilling the volca case, and you don't need a female DIN conector.

Photos:

https://www.flickr.com/photos/68730219@N03/

Here a list of the MIDI data the Volca Beats outputs. The note numbers for the parts are weird, and the choice of the knobs that output CCs is even weirder. Maybe someone can shed a light on this. So far I managed to control my Nord Micromodular very well. The Volca outputs incoming MIDI clock too, so it works like a Clock MIDI Thru. This is very useful for daisy chaining.

NOTES:

Kick - C2
Snare- D2
Lo Tom - G2
Hi Tom - D3
Cl Hat - F#2
Op Hat - A#2
Clap - D#2
Claves - D#5
Agogo - G4
Crash - C#3

CCs:

Part 1 Level: cc40
Part 2 Level: cc41
Part 3 Level: cc42
Part 4 Level: cc43
Part 5 Level: cc44
Part 6 Level: cc45
Part 7 Level: cc46
Part 8 Level: cc47
Part 9 Level: cc48
Part 10 Level: cc49

Part 7 PCM Speed: cc50
Part 8 PCM Speed: cc51
Part 9 PCM Speed: cc52
Part 10 PCM Speed: cc53

Stutter Time: cc54
Stutter Depth: cc55
Tom Decay: cc56
Hat Closed Decay: cc57
Hat Open Decay: cc58
Hat Grain: cc59

MIDI Clock Out: Yes (also routed from MIDI In)
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analoguekid
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Joined: 11 Aug 2013
Posts: 177
Location: Staffordshire UK

PostPosted: Fri May 23, 2014 7:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That's very cool, well done in finding that out, does it render the CV out useless though?
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Korg gear past and present:- DW6000, DW8000, MicroKorg, MicroKontrol, R3, Nintendo Korg DS10, VolcaKeys.
Other gear presently being used:- Tascam US1800 audio interface, Yamaha QX5, QX21, M Audio radium 49, Fender Precision lyte bass and Boss ME50B fx pedal. Yamaha TX1P, XRI xr300, Boss BX-4 mini mixer.
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cooptrol
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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Sat May 24, 2014 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks! I am not sure it it affects the sync out since I don't have other volcas to test it. My guess is it doesn't.
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Sclr
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Joined: 14 Jul 2012
Posts: 50

PostPosted: Sun May 25, 2014 10:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Genius! Thanks.
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zenwanger



Joined: 14 Jun 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 2:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi, first that was good thinking! I am wondering if you could share some hints on making your cable. FYI korg has an app called SyncKontrol that sends pulses from an iOS device to stereo out. This can be used to send the master clock to the sync in of the volca via a stereo cable. With the Volca's I measured a pulse on the tip and about 400 mV on the ring. (Current leakage?). Are these the connection you made? If so I think that means sync in clock would work with your mod!

1. tip to DIN PIN 5 and TX (on pcb)
2. Sleeve to DIN PIN 2 and GND (on pcb)
3. Ring to DIN PIN 4 and VD (on pcb)


Thanks!
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cooptrol
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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 7:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey, I did it trial-and-error, the midi end connected to an electribe and the other tip of the cable with the live wires, touching the terminals of the stereo jack connected to the volca, tried all combinations until one worked, and soldered it. Sorry for the untechnical answer!
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zenwanger



Joined: 14 Jun 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sat Jun 14, 2014 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ok. Actually that is a good tip too. Maybe someone can confirm.
See http://www.interfacebus.com/PC_MIDI_Pinout.html

Pretty sure that should be the right connections.

What gauge wire did you use?
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zenwanger



Joined: 14 Jun 2014
Posts: 3

PostPosted: Sun Jun 15, 2014 2:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So here is an update with the detailed connections:

Pcb Midi Trs
Tx Pin5 tip
VD Pin4 ring
GND Pin2 Sleeve

I tested that sync in still works with korg's SyncKontrol iOS app (tempo and swing).

Anyway, just want to say cooptrol that this was an elegant approach to the mod. Nice job.

Note: I recommend 18 gauge max.
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cooptrol
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Joined: 05 Jun 2009
Posts: 100

PostPosted: Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the compliment! I must say that in my case, there was no other way to do it than trial and error, because the MIDI cable I was using could not be disassembled to see the pinout, and the color codes it had didnt match any MIDI color codes I found on google, so there was no way to know which terminal was connected to which pin on the DIN connector.
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Hugo
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Joined: 23 Jun 2006
Posts: 808

PostPosted: Wed Jun 25, 2014 12:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shouldn't this thread be made a sticky?
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TBN



Joined: 09 Oct 2011
Posts: 5

PostPosted: Sat Jun 28, 2014 8:39 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried connecting the midi- out -points to the sync out port.
It does send midi now, syncing another volca through that sync out port will not work anymore.

So to keep all functionality an extra jack socket is nescesary.
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Carn



Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2015 3:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi,

I wanted to try this mod, but I'm a little unclear on one thing, not being too electronics savvy.

Do you have to make a custom mini-jack to Din cable or can you use one ready made like this? http://www.amazon.co.uk/kenable-3-5mm-Stereo-Audio-Cable/dp/B003OSNVC4/ref=pd_cp_23_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1XBJAKX8E925XMFRJW7B

And then just solder the wires to the correct connection on the Volca sync out?

I want to try this on a Keys and Bass

many thanks
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chris-korg
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Joined: 31 Oct 2013
Posts: 220
Location: Austria

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 7:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Conc. the kenable 5 Pin DIN MIDI Plug:

It says in its description:
"With regards to the photo, going clockwise, the pin out for the 5 pin din to 3.5mm stereo jack plug is: Tip- First pin Middle- Second pin Base- Third pin"

That differs to the description of zenwanger:
Pcb Midi Trs
Tx Pin5 tip
VD Pin4 ring
GND Pin2 Sleeve

So I´m afraid this plug won´t work without manual adjustment (which should not be to difficult)
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Carn



Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 12:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, got it, tip, ring, sleeve...makes sense now thanks. So I guess hacking the connection shouldn't be too difficult.

cheers
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Carn



Joined: 17 Sep 2015
Posts: 8

PostPosted: Sat Sep 19, 2015 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I found a diagram someone has made of this particular cable if anyone else intends to try and change it.

note, this is before hacking it..

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