NAMM 2019: Korg gets back on the beat with the Volca Drum digital percussion synth

NAMM 2019: You might have thought that there were already enough drum-related models in the Volca line-up - we’re looking at you, Volca Beats and Volca Kick - but Korg reckons there’s room for at least one more. The Volca Drum is a digital percussion synth that comes with a six-part DSP engine, with sounds being created with DSP-powered analogue modelling. You can choose from various oscillator waveforms, including sine and sawtooth, then apply changes to them to create a wide range of “unexpectedly different” sounds.

Each of your six parts has two layers that are freely assignable, with the parts coming together to form a kit (you can save 16 of these to the unit and 10 come preloaded). The sounds can be effected by the universal ‘waveguide resonator’, a processor that’s based on physical modelling. You can choose from two types of waveguide - ‘tube’ adds the resonance of a cylindrical object such as a drum body or long pipe, while ‘strings’ adds the metallic resonance of a string.

Of course, this being a Volca, there’s also a sequencer here: this one is a 16-step affair that offers step and realtime recording. There’s also motion sequencing, which enables memorising of knob operations during realtime recording so that they can be reproduced during playback. Other sequencer features include active step, so that you can skip steps during sequence playback, a slice function for creating drum rolls and a 16-level accent option. Choke and randomisation functions are here, too.

Like its stablemates, the Volca Drum is super compact, can run on batteries and has a built-in speaker, making it a truly portable device.

The Volca Drum’s price is still to be confirmed, but we know that it’ll be released in March. Find out more on the Korg website.


NAMM 2019 - all the news

The dust is settling, but our ears are still ringing. You'll find all the stories that counted in our massive news hub. Below, enjoy our findings as we regrouped at the end of the show.

Ben Rogerson
Deputy Editor

I’m the Deputy Editor of MusicRadar, having worked on the site since its launch in 2007. I previously spent eight years working on our sister magazine, Computer Music. I’ve been playing the piano, gigging in bands and failing to finish tracks at home for more than 30 years, 24 of which I’ve also spent writing about music and the ever-changing technology used to make it.