Volcas - which are your favorites?

So, I had been planning to sell off a few things and the Volcas were on the list, but I ended up getting a Zoom ms-70cdr and realized that they are just kind of awesome so I can’t let them go.

I have the Keys, Bass, and Kick and started wondering if maybe I should be adding rather than subtracting.

So the questions: Which are your favorite Volcas? Which do you like pairing with your Elektron gear? Any love for the Beats, Sample, and FM, these are the ones I don’t have.

I have to be honest with a Digitakt and some Korg apps on my iPad, the Sample and FM are the least appealing to me. The Beats interests me, since I’m mainly attracted to the analog ones, but it’s often singled out as the weakest one due to the snare. What are your thoughts?

A nice video showcasing the Keys.


This video had me thinking about the Beats:

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My favorite Volca Bass video since I’m a huge BoC fan:


Nice video yes. Almost bought the bass when I heard that, back then :slight_smile:


The Volca FM is great. The parameter “bundling” makes it really tweakable. I also love that they added a built-in chorus. The only thing that’s a shame is the lack of velocity response over MIDI. I know it can be “fixed” with a cable mod but it’s not very convenient.

The Beats is really solid, a lot of people will say the snare mod is essential, and I do think the modded snare sounds better, but it’s not mandatory.

The Sample is cool but let down a bit by the actual sample management / transfer.

The FM is definitely my favourite.


really nice :slight_smile:

Probably obliged at this point to post the famous Volca FM through Eventide Space video. :wink:


Never owned any volca, but I think all of them have something appealing.
I really like the kick and hats of the Volca Beats.
The snare sounds shitty, but with the snare mod it seems to sound great. This demo is quite awesome imo.

The fm is pretty powerful, I might get one.
The sample is often recommended and very popular. Featurewise I don’t really get what’s so cool about it, and if it would be something I use, since I have an OT. But people seem to dig the sound. Seems to have some charming vintage 12bit sound.
Even RDJ made some very positive comments on the volca sample and volca fm. So that certainly got me interested in those :slight_smile:


At one point I had them all up to Volca Kick. I had an old weird medical case that fit six of them perfectly and I dreamed of gigging with only that setup. Never happened though. If I had to say, I’d say that Volca FM is absolutely the best. Feels like a professional product compared to some of them. For some reason I always despised the Volca Keys. It never sounded quite right.


I had them all except the Keys, I sold the Sample, bass and Keys.

I do love the Beats and the FM is the best one by far. It’s great just using the top level controls but if you want to you can go deep into some synthesis.


That video is pretty sick! I’ve never seen that one. I don’t know why I have the Beats on my mind at the moment. I have the Kick, so it seems sort of redundant, but I still sort of want one. Lol. I’ve been listening to some podcasts about early 80s hip hop (Mantronix, etc), so I think I have drum machines on the brain, and I love the form factor since space is a premium for me.

Everyone raves about the FM and I know it’s everyone’s favorite, but for some reason I have a hard time seeing where it would fit into my setup. Maybe as sample fodder for the DT?

I’m with you about the Sample. I am actually much more of a Sampler person than a synth person, but owing a DT, I have a hard time seeing how I would integrate it.

It’s kind of funny, but to me it’s my favorite. Lol. Different strokes for different folks, I guess. I feel like the Keys and Bass are just sort of primative and raw in a good way.


So much FM love around here and on the rest of the Internet. I must be missing something.

It’s a cheap DX7 in a small box, basically. If you’re not a fan of the DX sound then it’s probably not for you. It’s definitely on a slightly different tip to the other Volcas, but the way you can tweak patches on the fly with the knobs (they bundled a bunch of the parameters together in a very clever way) is quite different to a typical DX synth and definitely makes it more Volca-ish.

Running it through a Monotron Delay is also fun if it’s sounding too clean.


This is a great demo for sure

I have the volca sample and volca FM. I barely touched the volca sample after I got the digitakt, but I love the volca FM. Especially in combination with the digitakt. So much fun to P-lock sequences, sample them into the digitakt and further tweak them. For the price it’s a really versatile synth and you can get even more use out of it when paired with the digitakt.


Volca sample is real cool, notably because of its quite lofi sound. Pitch something one or two octaves up before sending it in, then repitch it in the volca and, hmmmm, lofi crunch all over the place! Some people even say that it’s the poor man sp1200. But yeah, I agree that it’s quite useless when you already have a digitakt… and the transfer process is really annoying and long. Nowadays, I would go with a PO-33 I think.

Volca keys is quite fun and almost everything can be driven by CC. Volca bass is a bit meh, never really gel’d with it, think I’ll sell mine soon.

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Yep. The transfer process is what stopped me in my tracks. I totally agree about the PO33.

Another cheap lofi sampler:

The Zoom Sampletrak also gets loads of love as a poor man’s SP1200, but I have a no smartmedia or compact flash card rule. It’s silly, but that’s what stopped me from buying an Octatrack.

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