Step sequencing is a fundamental technique in electronic music production, allowing you to perform and create intricate rhythms and melodies with precision. The Korg Volca Sample is a compact little hardware sampler that offers a unique and intuitive approach to step sequencing. The same can be said about all the Korg Volcas, as they all feature motion recording and many Volcas offer per-step automation. In this video, I show how I use the step sequencer on the Volca Sample and Volca Drum to create a great House music groove!
Understanding the Korg Volca Sample
The Korg Volca Sample is a small, battery-operated hardware sampler with 16 step sequencer. It’s equipped with a built-in drum machine and an extensive sample library, but what truly sets it apart is its intuitive step sequencer interface.
Sample Selection: Before diving into step sequencing, it’s crucial to load your preferred samples into the Volca Sample. You can import samples from your computer or smartphone via the Volca Sample app or by using the built-in microphone.
Pattern Creation: Volca Sample allows you to create 10 different patterns, each consisting of 16 steps. You can switch between these patterns on the fly, enabling dynamic changes in your music.
Creative Step Sequencing Techniques
Motion Sequencing: Volca Sample offers “Motion Sequence” recording, which allows you to automate parameter changes over time. This feature can add movement to your sequences and sounds, over making your patterns highly unique. For example, you can apply motion sequencing to pitch, pan, or sample start time to create evolving textures within your patterns, up to 11 parameters can be motion-recorded and play-backed.
Parameter Locks: Volca Sample’s parameter locking feature allows you to set different sound parameters for each step. This means you can vary the pitch, volume, pan, and other parameters per step in your sequence. Effectively each step in a single sequence pattern can have a different parameter. Parameter locks are a powerful tool for creating evolving, dynamic patterns that are unique to you.
Swing and Shuffle: Volca Sample offers a swing function, allowing you to add groove, syncopation and swing to your sequences. A subtle application of swing can make your patterns feel more human and dynamic. Use it to create a lively and funky feel in your music.
Not forgetting the Volca Drum, this little drum machine comes digital synth that offers so much sonic scope, from metallic hits to deep bass tones. There are 6 parts on the Drum, but each part has 2 oscillators. Effectively you can create 12 different sounds with some clever manipulation of the Layers and Korg’s motion sequencing of course!