Play The Volca Sample In Polyphony With The Retrokits RK-002 Cable Firmware Update

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The RK-002 Cable from Retrokits is one of the must have tools when you have a KORG Volca Synthesizer or Sampler because this cable is not just a cable but expand massively the functionalities of these little instruments. With the latest firmware update, the developers add polyphonic support to the KORG Volca Sample. Really great new feature that make this little sampler even better.

Here is what the developer said about this new update

As of RK-002 Volca Sample firmware v47+ you can now use chromatic and polyphonic play on the volca sample! In earlier firmwares it was already possible to set one specific channel to respond to MIDI keys and play a melody; MIDI Program Change messages 1-10 would fix a volca sample channel to chromatic play but with our new firmware this has been expanded:

Now Program Change 11-19 will reserve the amount of channels used for polyphonic (and chromatic) play. The RK-002 will evenly divide pressed keys across the reserved channels. It’s comparable to the PolyMUX implementation we did on the RK-002 Volca FM firmware

An example:

Sending Program Change 13 will reserve the 1st three Volca Sample channels for polyphony. Pressing a chord will trigger these three channels. If you set the same sample to all these channels you will have a bit of a lo-fi sample player.
Volca Sample MIDI parameter changes are sent to all reserved channels so you can change multiple channel sound properties at once (e.g. a mapped filter value on the modulation wheel will affect all polymuxed channels).

Mind you – the volca sample can normally not play samples chromatically, nor does it respond to note off-messages. The way we achieved this is a pure hack. Best playing range is about 2 octaves and sometimes sounds are a bit out of tune.

Having this said: It is again more loads of fun with the Volca Sample!

Some tips:

* Pan the channels a bit differently
* set loop points (or even map sample start on velocity)
* reverse play
* play with reverb.
* change samples across PolyMUX channels

… and… use the internal sequencer to also trigger the PolyMUXed channels. This way playing keys can tune the affected channels instantly to the correct pitch. Your volca sample sequencer can be used to program a 16 step arpeggiator like this.

More informations here: Retrokits

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