SynthesizersKorg Volca Bass

Manufacturer’s Note:

The volca bass is an analog bassline groovebox. Detuning the three oscillators (VCOs) achieves the deep, modulating characteristics of analog sound. Furthermore, the combination of the envelope generator (EG) with the traditional 12 dB/oct low-pass filter (LPF) used on the miniKORG 700S allows you to create hard acid house sounds with tones similar to those of a bass guitar. In addition, separately playing the three oscillators of the sequencer allows you to create sequences that combine the bass and lead parts as well as chord-like loops.

Visit Korg’s Website

Volca Bass Features

EG (Envelope Generator)

The VCA level (volume) and VCF cutoff frequency are modulated over time.

  • ATTACK knob: This knob sets the speed of the rise when a note is sounded.
  • DECAY/RELEASE knob: This knob sets the speed of the fall. The timing for starting the fall changes according to the SUSTAIN ON setting (FUNC+STEP 11).
  • CUTOFF EG INT knob: This knob sets the intensity where the VCF cutoff is changed according to the EG.

VCF (Voltage-controlled low-pass filter)

This filter modifies the timbre (tonal character) by boosting or cutting specific frequency regions of the sound that’s produced by the oscillator.

  • CUTOFF knob: This adjusts the cutoff frequency of the VCF. Turning the knob toward the left will darken the sound, and turning the knob toward the right will brighten the sound.
  • PEAK knob: This emphasizes the harmonic component of the cutoff frequency. The more that the knob is turned toward the right, the more of an emphasis will be applied to the harmonic component.

VCO (Voltage-controlled oscillator)

This oscillator generates the waveform that is the basis of the sound: a sawtooth wave or square wave. The volca bass is equipped with the three oscillators VCO1 to VCO3.

  • PITCH 1 to PITCH 3 knobs: These knobs set the pitch for the corresponding oscillator within the range of ±1 octave.
  • VCO1 to VCO3 buttons: Use these buttons to select the oscillators desired to produce sounds or to be edited. The button for the selected oscillators will light up.
VCO muting

While holding down the FUNC button, press any of the VCO1 to VCO3 buttons to mute the corresponding VCO. If this operation is performed with a VCO that is already muted, it will be unmuted. When the FUNC button is pressed, the buttons of unmuted VCOs will light up.

Adjusting the Global Settings

Korg Volca Global Settings

Volca Bass: MIDI Implementation

The MIDI jack can connect an external MIDI device to control the sound generator of the volca bass.

Volca Bass MIDI Implementation

Setting the MIDI channel

  1. While holding down the MEMORY button, turn on the volca bass.
  2. Step buttons 1 to 16 correspond to the MIDI channels 1 to 16. Press the button that corresponds to the desired channel, and the LED below the step button will light up

Korg Volca Bass Resources:

Tips & Tutorial Videos


Related Articles

  • Volca Bass Patch Cheat Sheet
Volca Bass
Analog Synthesis
Owner's Manual

Follow us