Volca FM
Volca FM Tutorial

KORG volca fm Explained®

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19 Videos | Length: 2hr 22min 40sec
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  • Introduction 3:36


    Welcome to this series on the Korg volca fm. In this first video we go through setting up the synth, using the synth, as well as basic instructions on getting MIDI in and audio out of the synth.

  • What is FM Synthesis? 4:37

    What is FM Synthesis?

    Larry introduces the concept of FM synthesis and how you use it to design sounds. This will give a some foundation before diving in and looking at the synth itself. Larry also uses Native Instruments Massive to demonstrate the most basic aspects of FM synthesis to prepare you for a full blown FM synth!

  • FM Synthesis in the volca fm 3:47

    FM Synthesis in the volca fm

    Larry reveals and discusses what algorithms are, and understanding the signal flow of the Volca FM.

  • Edit Menu, Keyboard Functions, & Global Parameters 9:53

    Edit Menu, Keyboard Functions, & Global Parameters

    Larry now dives in and shows you how to use the edit menu to change parameters relating to the operators, and also how to change all parameters which relate to all our operators simultaneously. After this you'll look at the additional functions of the built-in keyboard and also the global parameters.

  • Front Panel Controls 6:44

    Front Panel Controls

    Get a closer look at the controls that are easily accessible from the front panel of the synth. Larry demonstrates how these can be used to quickly and easily edit parameters without delving into the menus.

  • Loading, Altering & Saving Sounds 3:05

    Loading, Altering & Saving Sounds

    Now have a look at the Presets and how you can save our own sounds. Larry demonstrates by taking a patch, altering it, and then renaming it in Edit mode, and then returns the volca fm to factory settings.

  • Patterns 9:56


    What is a pattern? Larry shows how you can play patterns and record your own. You'll also explore connecting the volca fm with a guitar delay pedal for some interesting effects, and how to create more complex timings using Active Step and Warp Active Step.

  • Motion Sequences & Chaining Patterns 6:48

    Motion Sequences & Chaining Patterns

    In this video Larry covers how to record changes in parameters while patterns play, otherwise known as Motion Sequences. Then discover how to chain patterns together to create longer sequences, as well as how to loop patterns.

  • The Arpeggiator 5:30

    The Arpeggiator

    Larry now shows you how to use the Arpeggiator in the volca fm and goes through choosing different Arp Modes and what they do. You'll also see how to use the Arp Division Knob and Tempo Division selections to extend the length of the sequence allowing you to make longer patterns.

  • Building an Init Patch 4:32

    Building an Init Patch

    In this video Larry reveals how to build an Init Patch which is good when you want to start sound design from a blank slate. See how to clear out parameters and create a pure Sine Wave ready for designing via the other features and parameters.

  • The Envelopes 9:40

    The Envelopes

    Larry now shows you how to set the Envelope Rate and Level to create different amplitudes, as well as how the 4 Stage Envelope works on the volca fm.

  • Frequency Controls 4:03

    Frequency Controls

    Now have a look at Frequency Course, Frequency Fine Controls, and Detune, which allows you to change the pitch of your Operators.

  • The Level Scaling 9:19

    The Level Scaling

    Larry explains Level Scaling, which allows you to fine tune the timbre of a sound across the keyboard. By way of example, a sound which has a slightly harsh higher range is tamed by applying Level Scaling to decrease modulation of an operator at higher notes. You'll also learn about Curves, Breakpoint and Level Scale Depth.

  • The LFO 9:41

    The LFO

    In this video Larry examines and explains the LFO on the volca fm and how it can be routed to the Amp setting of each Operator, be it a Carrier or Modulator. You?ll then go through using the LFO to modulate pitch, using the Edit functions and LFO from the panel controls.

  • The Pitch Envelope 3:37

    The Pitch Envelope

    Larry now reveals the Pitch Envelope and how to set it up to introduce Pitch Modulation into your notes as you play them.

  • Algorithms, Sound Design, & Feedback 17:20

    Algorithms, Sound Design, & Feedback

    In this video Larry introduces 4 concepts for sound design when using the volca fm. You'll also go through the Feedback Control for further sonic options, which is part of all of the algorithms.

  • Velocity 4:46


    Now see how to use the slider and Key Velocity Sense to make changes in velocity to your sounds, as well as learn to understand the limitations of the volca fm in terms of Velocity Sensitivity and how you can overcome them.

  • Bass Sound Design 11:08

    Bass Sound Design

    See and hear how to create a killer FM Bass sound using the volca fm.

  • Pad Sound Design 14:38

    Pad Sound Design

    Larry wraps up the series with a cool video on how to creating an awesome Pad sound using the volca fm.

Product Overview

Studio pro Larry Holcombe brings you an in-depth series on the wildly popular KORG volca fm hardware synth. Explore what this small but mighty synth can do and learn all about its features and functions, how to operate and program it, as well as some cool sound design ideas!

Larry begins with an introduction to FM Synthesis, and then starts at the beginning with the KORG volca, covering how it executes FM synthesis, its Edit Menus, Keyboard Functions and Global Parameters, followed by front panel controls and how to load and save sounds.

Next, see how to play and create patterns with its built in sequencer, use the powerful Arpeggiator, how to make a blank starting patch to build upon, and then more specific topics like Level Scalling, the LFO, Pitch Envelope, and using Velocity.

Wrapping it up, Larry covers the Algorithms, Sound Design Concepts and Feedback, which is essential to programming sounds on the volca fM, followed by step by step videos on designing a Bass and Pad sound.

See the individual tutorial descriptions for more info. If you’re new to the KORG volca fm, or just want to go a little deeper into understanding and using its features, this is the video series to see… Watch “KORG volca fm Explained®” today!

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