Syncing Volcas with VCV Rack

Hi guys! I think about integrating a korg volca into my vcv rack projects.The question is can I sync the volca with vcv through a behringer usb mixer or should i go with a audio card? Thanks in advance:)

if your volca can send and/or receive clock via midi you need an interface, a very cheap one like this will do the job

you can find a second hand for 5 bucks or new for 15/20

I think it’s the easiest way to do it

Are you just wanting to sync the clock or actually drive the volca with VCV? The volca can’t send anything over midi unless you have the mod kit, so you’ll have to slave your volca to VCV.

From my experiments, the volcas are fine with pitch and gate from VCV (although some modules work better than others over CV-MIDI). However, I’ve found that it’s harder to sync clock over midi, and I’d be interested to know if you manage to do it from Rack. The only way I’ve been able to do it is through internal midi routing from Ableton into VCV -> clock/n into clock divider- > clock into volcas. If I try and sync the volca to a clock source from within Rack I get some very weird results.

Ive managed to use my volca bass as a clock source in vcv over audio, dont know how good it is for the interface though. You can take the sync out of the volca and send it through a spare input on the soundcard and route that as your clock in vcv. I used ML modules bpm tools, with smooth turned up, to tidy up the signal. Probably meant to use a DC coupled interface for this type of stuff, but it does work. There’s no start sync and starting the volca seems to mess with the sync signal so i usually run it muted until needed

I didn’t manage to properly sync my Volcas and VCV, so I just play them as sound modules. Same interface suggested by @ale47p + the native VCV CV-MIDI module. If you have a Volca FM, don’t miss the unofficial 1.09 firmware. Together with the free Dexed synth and the native VCV CV-CC module, it allows you to modulate all the parameters of the 6 oscillators.

not strictly a “sync” … not sure if I should post this in a new thread?

basic instructions (assuming you’ve installed the unofficial firmware):

  • (I’m on Linux) Jackd running
  • in VCV: AUDIO-8 module set on “JACK”; CV-MIDI and CV-CC modules set on “Midi Through Port-0” (other OS may use some MIDI loopback tool?)
  • in Dexed - Options: Audio device type = “JACK”; Active MIDI input = Midi Through Port-0; MIDI output = my USB-MIDI interface; Dexed Parameters: DX7 Out = my USB-MIDI interface

In Dexed, right-click each parameter you want to automate; in VCV, send any signal to the CV-CC port you want to map to that parameter. Make sure no other MIDI signals are being sent during the mapping process: I found useful to clone the CV-CC module and disable it, and to use the clone while mapping.

Of course the right MIDI channel have to be set where appropriate, and the VolcaFM needs to be properly set up to receive MIDI messages.

Hello Mixer, can you help me to synchronize model sampler with VCV, I use ableton and I have midi interface. Regards.

Hi @JhonnyBe and welcome to the forum! Unfortunately I don’t know Ableton but there are quite a few topics around about Ableton and VCV Rack:

I suggest that you start practicing by connecting your Volca Sample directly to VCV (without Ableton) by using the native CV-MIDI module (to send basic notes, which I guess may trigger samples on the Volca Sample) and CV-CC module (to change Volca parameters like Level, Pan, Sample Start Point, etc). Use your MIDI interface to connect your Volca to your computer, then select the interface in each of the two modules.

I don’t have specifically a Volca Sample. Check out this article, at the end it mentions its weird MIDI implementation (which would use/waste 10 MIDI channels): - that was 5 years ago, not sure if that was later improved via firmware updates.

Here are some tips about Volcas in general:

  • be sure you know what MIDI channel(s) is/are currently set on your Volca, and how to change it/them if needed. Check out the manual for your own model (you’ll set this channel in the CV-MIDI module)
  • check out the “MIDI Implementation chart” of your Volca to know what parameters can be controlled via MIDI. It looks complicated but it’s just one page, and the “Control Change” values may be all what you need
  • basic stuff: make sure you’re running the latest firmware, use

Manuals, MIDI implementation charts and firmware files for each Volca model can be downloaded from

Thank you very much for the information, I already managed to synchronize my external drums. success!

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Hi brother, I have a latency problem, it makes synchronization changes, every two minutes, it is not stable, I have changed the hertz and nothing, that could be a friend. Greetings.

Ouch! Since it’s about Ableton please start a new topic and include all details about your setup. More people may be able to help you :slight_smile: