SynthesizersKorg Volca FM

Manufacturer’s Description

The volca fm is a three-voice digital FM synthesizer that completely reproduces the sound engine of a classic FM synthesizer, and provides compatibility with it as well. The unique volca interface makes it easy to manipulate distinctive FM sounds even if you’re not familiar with the complexities of FM synthesis.

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Volca FM Features

  • 3-voice polyphonic FM synthesizer, fully compatible with classic unit
  • Super-easy sound editing
  • Onboard CHORUS effect
  • 16-step sequencer allows to automate each parameters

This slider raises or lowers the pitch in units of octaves or semitones.


In PLAY mode, this slider controls the global velocity. In EDIT mode, this slider functions as the VALUE slider for editing the FM synthesis parameters.

OCTAVE / OPERATOR +, – buttons

In PLAY mode, these buttons change the octave range of the keyboard. In EDIT mode, these buttons select the operator to edit. By selecting “A” (All), you can edit parameters that apply to all operators.


When not in EDIT mode, this button saves the FM sound engine parameters. Press the SAVE/EXPORT button, and then use the PROGRAM knob to select the save location for the program. Press the SAVE/EXPORT button again to begin saving. To cancel the save operation, press the EDIT button before pressing the SAVE/EXPORT button.

  • You can connect the volca fm’s SYNC OUT jack to the SYNC IN jack of another volca fm unit, and export (transmit) FM sound programs and sequences to the other volca fm unit. In EDIT mode, press the SAVE/EXPORT button so that the button blinks, and then use the PROGRAM knob to select the item to be exported. After selecting the item to be exported, press the SAVE/EXPORT button again to export it. The SAVE/EXPORT button lights up while the export operation is being performed. The SAVE/EXPORT button blinks again when the operation is finished. Items to be exported Crnt PGM (currently selected program), ALL PGM (all 32 programs), Crnt SEQ (current sequence), ALL SEQ (all 16 sequences), CLOnE (all previously listed items)
EDIT button

Use this button to toggle between the EDIT and PLAY modes. EDIT mode is the mode for specifying settings for FM synthesis parameters and exporting

Envelope Generator Controls

The envelopes [EG] control how fast an operator comes up to full level (Attack) and how fast an operator dies down (Decay) after the key is pressed or released.


  • ATTACK: This knob controls the EG attack for the selected MODULATOR operator.
  • DECAY: This knob controls the EG decay for the selected MODULATOR operator.


  • ATTACK: This knob controls the EG attack for the selected CARRIER operator.
  • DECAY: This knob controls the EG decay for the selected CARRIER operator.

LFO (Low Frequency Oscillator)

  • RATE: This knob sets the LFO speed of the FM sound source parameters.
  • P.DEPTH: This knob sets the depth of the LFO applied to the pitch of the FM sound source parameters.


Normally, this knob selects the program. In EDIT mode, this knob selects the FM synthesis parameter.


This knob selects the operator algorithm for the FM sound engine

Adjusting the Global Settings

Korg Volca Global Settings

Volca FM: MIDI Implementation

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

Volca FM MIDI Implementation Chart

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

Volca FM Resources

Tips and Tutorial Videos

Related Articles

  • Free Volca FM Patch Downloads
  • How to Use Motion Sequence on Korg Volcas
Manufacturer :
Volca FM
FM Synthesis

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