Got a Volca Beats, a soldering iron, and a few hours to spare? Mod your Volca Beat and improve its sound with a few bucks!
The Korg Volca Beat is a drum machine that includes six 100% analog sounds (kick, snare, bass tom, treble tom, closed hi-hat, open hi-hat) as well as some PCM samples (clave, clap, agogo and crash). The analog part of the Volca Beats is therefore quite easily modified by electronic tinkerers to get a unique sound. If you're not afraid to use a soldering iron, then try these "Mods" to improve the sound of your Volca. This kind of mods were already very popular on other analog drum machines like the 808 from Roland.
Be careful though, the compactness of the Korg Volca Beats means that some Mods are reserved for the most experienced solderers!
Modding the Volca Beats snare and hats
Just about everyone agrees that the sound of the Volca Beats Snare is not great, and you can start with the C78 capacitor mod.
The 1st trick is to add a 0,1 uF capacitor (104) in C78 place resulting in a snare sound with more noise, but with a short decay.
It's even possible to use a 1 uF capacitor (105) to get a longer decay. And you can keep both capacitors, 0.1uF and 1uF and add a switch to be able to switch between the 2 sounds.
Then if you really want to have the sound of the TR808, you just have to change two caps and a resistor following the 'Dimitree' mod.
Here are the links for the Snare C78 mod:
- C78 mod instructions pdf by Dimitree (copy here)
- SoundCheck: Volca Beats + Snare Mod
- Another snare mod video
By the way, the pdf above also offers a simple mod of the Hats.
Adding separate outputs to the Volca Beats
To improve the sound of the Volca Beats, a good thing is to separate the outputs of the different sounds to be able to process them with different effects. Indeed on the Volca Beats all sounds are finally mixed on a single output. Fortunately there is enough room in the Beats to add 3.5mm jacks under the main board.
The Mod proposed by ArvidJense is quite simple to realize:
2btech found a way to improve the quality of the Snare output, because with the original mod above, the Snare has a rather low volume:
Beats MIDI Out mod
Like many Volcas, you may be missing a MIDI Out interface... This mod is quite simple because you just have to solder 3 wires on a MIDI connector as you can see in this guide.
This mod is applicable almost as is, on other Volcas, like the Volca Keys or FM 1st gen.
If you know of other interesting mods for the Volca Beats, don't hesitate to discuss them below 😉
Speak your mind: