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By Ill-Green Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:26 am
Did not see anything about the VS in depth except for the NAMM threads, so I figure credit is due.

This thread is dedicated to the Volca Sample. Drop knowledge, praises and tips & tricks.

I own 2 of them and they are very powerful. These were the vids that made the VS an instant purchase for me.





By Big Monk Sun Apr 28, 2019 12:31 pm
Ill-Green wrote:Did not see anything about the VS in depth except for the NAMM threads, so I figure credit is due.

This thread is dedicated to the Volca Sample. Drop knowledge, praises and tips & tricks.

I own 2 of them and they are very powerful. These were the vids that made the VS an instant purchase for me.


I’ve been looking into to this every since you suggested it. The price is certainly right for something with those features.

The app seems pretty user friendly as well.
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By Ill-Green Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:41 am
Yeah the app is really simple. Just don't try to load more than 10 seconds per sample or it'll crash. I tried to upload a 45 second wav. file in hopes of trimming and chopping inside the Caustic Volca app the first day, but it crashed on me. Luckily the app fixed itself in a second. So I did the chopping in the DJS. The VS ate it up well.

I slept on this machine for 5 years. Nowadays, my android is my PC. An awesome sketch pad when you can't be in the studio.

Song Mode is pretty cool. You lay 16 patterns and you can play around with the order as it plays too giving you some control like mutes, repeats, stutters. Really a sample player, but the engine is powerful for mangling and automating samples. A poor man's Digitakt? At least on the VS, you can loop from the pads instead of holding it down.
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By tapedeck Mon Apr 29, 2019 10:51 pm
i got one initially pretty excited, wasn't very impressed, but am now coming around to it.

first off, it sounds great from the audio out. i mean, what you put in is what you get out, but it does it extremely well.
the built-in speaker is ok but basically the weakest speaker you could put in there.

the 1-bar limitation kills me. song mode is kind of a joke when you only have 16 patterns to choose from. this is a pretty big limitation and has forced me to consider this thing in a much smaller role... drum machine - thats basically it.
you can hack it of course to do cool things with step jumps and mutes, but its not worth the effort for me.

what really changed the game for me was the computer editor voysr. another huge complaint i had was that any editing you do on the machine is basically stuck there - you cant dump to computer or export/backup in any way (of course you can record the audio). however, if you build all your programs and sequences on voysr, it saves all those files together, and then you can load up whichever 'bank' as you'd like. it takes a long time though to do this via audio out with a modem tone.
but seriously - i cant stress enough how awesome voysr is. i was building patterns in literally 30 seconds. extremely fast. and such a nice surprise that it runs basically standalone - even with out the volca sample, its a pretty functional little sample sequencer. audio can kind of glitch out at times but its great for sketching.
https://www.frederikson-labs.com/

so basically i prep things on the computer, dump them into the volca, and then use it pretty strictly as a backing-beat player when i am playing acoustic guitar. i have done a few fuller compositions with it, but the fact that you cant really save the tweaks has basically prevented me from ever doing anything worth saving on it. i think it would work best at either playing very basic beats (what i do), or devoting the entire machine to one production, so you could have all 16 patterns available. i'm used to squeezing every ounce of power out of a machine, and you hit the limit on this thing pretty quick.

i wish it was half the price - the teenage engineering ko sampler is cheaper and i've heard some dope stuff with that. seems like a totally different approach, so maybe they both have their place.

so yea to sum up, i like it and dislike it for its simplicity, but it does sound good.
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By Ill-Green Thu May 02, 2019 2:06 pm
Interesting insight Tapedeck.

I have recognized those limitations and why I never bought a VS since its intro/release. But I see its a capable device and the limits pushes me into realms of sound I had forgotten when most samplers had 1 to 2MB of RAM to play with.

I have seen videos with the sequencer playing a 4 bar pattern. When I had an ESX, I would lower the tempo to around 40 bpm so I can get double time off the sequencer when making a 80 bpm beat. It worked the same on the Monotribe. I haven't tried it on the VS yet, I'm sure its what those cats are doing to get more bars out of the sequencer.

You can do Pete Rock-esique timestretching with the sequencer too like he does with the MPC2000.

The VS is my travel guitar. I love the rawness it brings for when you can't be in the studio. Raw beats, and thats what I get with it.

For full productions? Maybe, would be a challenge. I guess the person that knows all the ninja tricks and limitations can make amazing stuff with it. Thats the level I seek :mrgreen:
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By tapedeck Fri May 03, 2019 3:35 pm
yea it can definitely be done, but its got to be very hands on and using most of the limited resources of the machine. much like in that video you posted (which is indeed dope and exactly what i'm talking about).

you know its got me brainstorming tho, transmitting sequence data wouldn't take long. so if you kept a phone handy with the sequence data as audio, you could re-load sequences quickly and just keep a big bank of sounds in the machine. its an extra step, but it would make it more powerful.
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By Ill-Green Thu May 09, 2019 3:42 pm
tapedeck wrote:yea it can definitely be done, but its got to be very hands on and using most of the limited resources of the machine. much like in that video you posted (which is indeed dope and exactly what i'm talking about).

you know its got me brainstorming tho, transmitting sequence data wouldn't take long. so if you kept a phone handy with the sequence data as audio, you could re-load sequences quickly and just keep a big bank of sounds in the machine. its an extra step, but it would make it more powerful.

Hmm, never thought about that. I didn't think it could transmit seq data because when you power off and power on, I gotta retweak it again.
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By tapedeck Thu May 09, 2019 4:53 pm
i mean you could basically load the thing up with samples, and then use a phone or mp3 player to transmit sequence data to the volca during a set. that shouldn't take too long to transmit - but yea, def not something i like to think about.
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By Ill-Green Thu May 09, 2019 7:20 pm
Ohhh! (mindblown :shock: )

I just got an iRig2, I plan to make a video over the weekend and show a little insight to how I use the VS. Might inspire some. Stay tuned.
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By Wormhelmet Fri May 10, 2019 1:25 pm
I’ve been tempted to get one of these.

I like small samplers with limitations. Maybe because my first was an SP-202. I don’t have one of those still, but do still have a Zoom ST-224, several 16mb smart media cards and the win 98 pc program to pre-make banks and fx settings for it.
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By Sharris Thu May 30, 2019 5:10 pm
I got my Volca Sample a little over 3 years ago & I still love the little guy. I have issues with transferring samples sometimes tho. Sometimes it works perfect, other times it just won't work & I get frustrated. The last time I tried I couldn't get it to work. If it worked smooth every time I would use it A LOT more. I have 3 MPC's, a 404sx, Maschine Mk3, ect, ect but I still love the Volca Sample. For the price it's crazy what it can do. I love the sound of it too, the analogue isolator sounds really good. When you bump up the bass a little, bass & kicks hit hard.

I use the half bpm trick (if making a 80 bpm beat I set bpm to 40, sometimes even 20). You have to do some kind of trick to get the bpm to go that low, I found it on youtube somewhere. I'll look for the video & post it if I find it, the video had a ton of cool tricks.

I use Caustic Editor to transfer samples, does Voysr transfer samples too? Maybe I should try another app besides Caustic Editor, I don't know why I have issues sometimes. It seems really random when it doesn't work, like even with short samples. I even use the cable it came with (short cable). Hhhhmmmm
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By Ill-Green Thu May 30, 2019 11:12 pm
I use the Caustic app too. The trick is each sample slot must be between 3 to 6 seconds. The volume of your laptop or phone must be around 75% loud (too much volume will clip and distort the data). And the final nail, is keeping the memory between 65% to 72% full.

Following those guidelines will get you a successful download every time.

My volca has only 25 slots filled but they are all long samples of 6 to 10 seconds long of drum breaks and melodic samples. I sped up the samples in my DJS-1000 to 1 to 2 second samples and transfered it over to my android. I been making tons of beats with just those 25 slots. Every time I turn it on, I find something else to do with the same sample. VS is really dope.
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By Sharris Fri May 31, 2019 7:27 pm
Ill-Green wrote:I use the Caustic app too. The trick is each sample slot must be between 3 to 6 seconds. The volume of your laptop or phone must be around 75% loud (too much volume will clip and distort the data). And the final nail, is keeping the memory between 65% to 72% full.

Following those guidelines will get you a successful download every time.


Thanks Ill-Green I'm glad I said something!!! I have the volume as loud as it will go on my ipad & memory over 72%. YAY!!! The VS is gonna get all kinds of love from me again :)
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By tapedeck Fri May 31, 2019 7:58 pm
voysr works great - i am rocking all 100 samples and about 99% full.

i think volume and consistent connection is the key to a good transfer.

also you have to clear samples out first. if you are 99% and you try to replace a sample, it will likely fail.
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By Ill-Green Sun Jun 02, 2019 4:04 pm
Sharris wrote:
Ill-Green wrote:I use the Caustic app too. The trick is each sample slot must be between 3 to 6 seconds. The volume of your laptop or phone must be around 75% loud (too much volume will clip and distort the data). And the final nail, is keeping the memory between 65% to 72% full.

Following those guidelines will get you a successful download every time.


Thanks Ill-Green I'm glad I said something!!! I have the volume as loud as it will go on my ipad & memory over 72%. YAY!!! The VS is gonna get all kinds of love from me again :)

No probs. I went through that little nightmare too. Coming from the Commodore 64 days, I was flashbacking trouble-shoots and they worked here. Once you get the samples, you'll see its a tiny poor man's MPC. :D

tapedeck wrote:voysr works great - i am rocking all 100 samples and about 99% full.

i think volume and consistent connection is the key to a good transfer.

also you have to clear samples out first. if you are 99% and you try to replace a sample, it will likely fail.


I heard so much about Vosyr and was recommended to me first before Caustic. But I only have an android for my needs and Vosyr cannot be found in the G store. iPhone maybe, but I have none.

I NEED THAT 99% THOUGH!! :mrgreen: :smoker: