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The Korg Volca Bass is a fun but very limited analog semi-mono synth. I say semi-mono because each voice can have its own lane for sequence information. And the coolest part of this is that each lane can have its own step length. So with three sequences playing at once, paraphonicly (single filter for all three oscillators), you can get some very evolving sequences. I would say each iteration of the dynamic loop isn't always as useful as the previous or the next. To remedy this, I record the sequencer playing itself into my DAW and just chop up my favorite combinations of the odd sequence alignments. The sound of the Volca Bass is not fat by any means. It can do bass but with the octave knob can be dialed into higher registers as well. Three note minor chords are particularly welcome. I bought this specifically for adding three tunable oscillators to my Korg Monotribe, which has a filter in. Since I have a modded MIDI out on my Monotribe, I can drive the Volca Bass with the sequencer of the Montribe and tune each oscillator for slight detuning around the pitch center of the Monotribe or I can tune three intervals above and/or below the Monotribe. In this setup with the filter all the way open and the volume at 50% on the Volca Bass, I now have essentially a four oscillator MS20 with a sequencer and the oscillators of the Volca Bass sound identical to the Mobotribe's to my ears. One drawback of the Volca Bass is its inability to store every function parameter as part of the memory location. The VCO Group type is naturally saved, as that dictates how many lanes of sequence there are, but all the rest of the parameters - LFO Target, LFO Wave, VCO Wave, Sustain On, and Amp EG On - don't get stored within memory. Indeed they will remain the same from memory to memory when you change a setting. I see this as a limitation especially for live performance because there can be no recall of contrasting settings upon loading a new memory. It seems that the Volca Bass is best suited for studio recording with maybe all eight memories thoughtfully programmed and then performed. Just be sure you have your settings set as you actually intend to have them. The only other drawback of the Volca Bass, and this is a matter of personal preference, is that, above 3 o'clock on the LFO Rate, it seems a bit unusable for the filter and the amp. Above that modifying pitch can get some very aggressive analog-FM tones but I would honestly prefer the LFO to go even faster for heightened analog-FM. All in all a decently cool synth but very limited. Great for adding oscillators to something with a filter in and, honestly, that might be what it's best suited for.
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