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Digital Subscriptions > MusicTech > Sep-16 > KORG Volca FM


With the original Volca range, Korg was right there at the peak of the revival of analogue synthesis. With the Volca FM, it’s a different story altogether. Andy Jones looks at the company’s latest mobile synth and unearths some surprises, one being nothing less than the Holy Grail of synthesis: easy FM…

Choice 9/10 MusicTech

Value €£$ MusicTech

It’s fair to say that with the original Volca range back in 2013, Korg was right there at the analogue cutting edge – wittingly or not – at the right place at the right time. It was my first year back on a music-technology magazine after being away for a while and it felt like it was 25 years before: a new Novation BassStation, a new Nord Lead (okay, that’s virtual analogue) and new and relatively cheap analogue gear – something all the big guns in gear had said would never happen ever again.

Yet there was Korg, with three Volca synths recreating all the fun of analogue, much of the sound (albeit from a small speaker), the playability and tweakability, and in boxes that cost a shade over a hundred quid each.

We loved these Beats, Keys and Bass units – still do – and Korg later added Volca Sample which I looked at in early 2015. That is a more digital affair, offering sampling as its raison d’etre and very good it is, too. We said: “There’s more creativity to be had here than on the other Volcas (and especially with the other Volcas) and we like the nod back to happier, simpler sampling times, as under those limitations, creativity blossomed!” So to Volca FM and the move away from analogue continues, albeit differently…

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About MusicTech

The new issue of MusicTech is all about mastering your music, and mastering it for everywhere! These days you have to master for various outlets so your music needs to sound professional not just in the studio but online too. We have guides to the whole process, the whys, and hows. We also interview leading mastering engineers about the joys of vinyl mastering and other challenges modern mastering experts face. There's well over 1GB of free samples on the DVD plus 2 hours of tutorials and a bumper set of reviews and workshops too. Make music and master it now!