Using Korg Volta FM with VCV Rack

I wanted to try a bit of hardware for once, so I got a Korg Volca FM for birthday. And VCV Rack makes a wonderful sequencer/controller driving it and animating it with LFOs. Forget all that MIDI syncing horror - sending it MIDI notes and CC’s instead works a treat.

Just thought you’d all like to know :smiley:


thanks for the tip, I m planning buy a volca modular for xmas

I think you’ll love it too, espicially driven from Rack. Being late to the party as I am is a benefit as there’s tons of resources out there.

Everything I read said editing the patches on FM is partiularly difficult, so I was girding my loins, but it seems pretty logical. Six oscillators? Pah! Editing onboard is slighly fiddly, but there’s a choice of computer-based graphical editors that cut through that.

Yeah using Dexed with the Volca FM is great, you can import any of the 30,000+ patches for the DX7 line in it and then export direct to the Volca.

Do you work around the MIDI velocity limitations somehow?

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I’m using MIDI CC to animate the velocity (and other parameters) from an LFO in Rack, which is nice I think. I read there’s some unofficial firmware that makes it respond to MIDI velocity? Maybe for later. Have you got that?

Quick bit of noodling demo with one of the stock patches

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I just saw ‘modular’ sorry I was so excited about the marriage of Rack and Volca FM I missed that. I’d be interested to hear how that goes too :smile: I don’t think it has a MIDI input (?) so I don’t know how to integrate that.

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I’ve just controlled a Volca FM through SuperCollider; to apply a different velocity to different “simultaneous” notes the code needs to send a separate velocity message in between each note. I’m not sure what the most elegant way to do that in VCV would be.

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That would be an interesting technical challenge. I’m thinking maybe sending each velocity CC with a slight delay before sending the midi note.

Currently I’m planning to treat velocity simply as one of the global parameters that can be varied from Rack, rather than seeing it as representing keyboard velocity. I can see that a patch can be programmed to make interesting timbral changes by changing how the individual oscillators respond to this parameter and there seems to be lots of goodness in there.

I change my mind, since I realize the volca modular have not MIDI input!!, then I bought the FM

I was looking the Stoev page and I found this that is perhaps interesting for this thread

Stoev have some modules for the rack

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Good call! Yes, lots of resources out there, here’s a pure-browser one that works with the standard firmware where you can tweak all the patch parameters, save them as sysex file etc.

Dexed looks great, although I’ve not worked out how to load the sysex files to the Volca yet without a the firmware patch.

There’s millions of ways to use this kit, as I say I was originally just going to use it another sound source, played from Rack or Sonic Pi. But last session I found myself playing it from it’s own little keyboard too - why not!

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