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Taking inspiration (we suspect) from Roland's classic TR-808, the Volca Beats has an analogue and PCM sound engine but offers digital control, meaning that knob tweaks and note info can be recorded into the built-in sequencer. This is limited to 16 steps, but you can record in real or step time. The unit can hold up to eight sequences and you can flip between these instantly.
Volca Beats has six analogue and four PCM sounds. The kick can be clicky or deep, the hats cut nicely, and the snare has a woody tone that can be further bolstered by layering a PCM clap or increasing the amount of 'snap'.
As with the other Volcas, connectivity options are somewhat limited. There's just a single stereo mini-jack output (though there is also a built-in speaker), a MIDI In port and Sync In/Out so that you can use the Beats with the other devices in the range. The Beats can be battery- or mains-powered, but you don't get a power supply in the box.
Ultimately, the Volca Beats is about fun, and that's what you'll have when you use it. If you want quality analogue drum sounds on a budget, look no further.45 Stars