Korg Volca Sample woes

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Blairio
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Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Blairio » Fri Feb 07, 2020 7:44 pm

My trusty Volca Sample decided to stop loading new samples today. What was previously a simple process using "Caustic Editor for Volca Sample" or the "Vosyr" app simply won't work any more. The apps send the updates as an audio stream that sounds a bit like a fax or modem dialling into the 'sync in' socket, but the Volca Sample doesn't recognise anything incoming. Different leads, playback devices and levels made not one whit of a difference.

Next, I decided to reload the firmware. Give that this employs the same process as sample update, that failed too.

My Volca Sample will stay play all the samples stored in it, so it is not exactly 'bricked'. It is very odd though how a process that has worked time without number, one day decides to stop.

Note: there is sufficient free space in the Voca Sample for the updates, and the target memory slots are free.

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col
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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by col » Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:03 pm

Yeah, that is pretty odd. Have you loaded much into it before? Perhaps you have reached the maximum writes to the memory. No idea what that figure is. The good thing is you can pick one up cheap secondhand fairly easily!

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Blairio » Sat Feb 08, 2020 8:19 pm

col wrote:
Sat Feb 08, 2020 4:03 pm
Yeah, that is pretty odd. Have you loaded much into it before? Perhaps you have reached the maximum writes to the memory. No idea what that figure is. The good thing is you can pick one up cheap secondhand fairly easily!
Memory was sitting at 80% used, which from a total allocation of 4mb means I had 800kb free. The samples I wanted to load came to about 250kb in total, so plenty of space left for them. Also, several slots were empty. No capacity issues I could see. And yes, I have loaded and deleted samples many times before.

As you suggest, I may keep an eye out for a cheap second hand one. Mostly I used it for CR78 and Linn Drum samples. I have ordered a Cyclone TT78 (CR78 clone), but finding a reasonably priced Linn Drum clone is a tougher ask.

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Voltcontrol » Sun Feb 09, 2020 3:32 am

Same issue here, I'll follow the thread with interest.

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Blairio » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:12 pm

Well, it seems my Volca Sample is ok. The headphone output of my Saffire Pro 24 interface however is not. It is completely dead.

After some fankle I was able to load the latest Volca Sample firmware (1.42) from my mobile phone, although it took a while to find just the right output level. Until I did, the Volca Sample displayed a succession of 'err dcod' messages. It seems the update process is *very* sensitive when it comes to signal level.

Firmware now updated, I connected my Volca Sample direct to the audio output of my Mac mini. New samples then loaded without issue using the VOYSR application.

Going back to the Saffire Pro 24, I will send it to the Focusrite repair centre here in the UK and get it fixed, as long as it is not more than £50. It will then be my backup interface. Meanwhile I have ordered a new MOTU M4 interface. The Saffire is good, but behind the curve performance-wise these days.

I am slightly disappointed in the Saffire. It is less than 4 years old - in my view that is too soon to develop a major fault. By contrast, it sits next to a Mackie VLZ1402, which turns 21 this year and works perfectly.

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by CoreInside » Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:29 pm

I bought a sample second hand on ebay and I couldn't load anything into it. I assumed you need the iphone 6 official app. Fuck that bad quality shit. They should have added an sd card reader to the bloody thing. I later bought an elektron digitakt and have had loads of fun with that,playing live and banging out album after album.

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Blairio » Sun Feb 09, 2020 11:34 pm

CoreInside wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:29 pm
I bought a sample second hand on ebay and I couldn't load anything into it. I assumed you need the iphone 6 official app. Fuck that bad quality shit. They should have added an sd card reader to the bloody thing. I later bought an elektron digitakt and have had loads of fun with that,playing live and banging out album after album.
This is about cost. Digitakts round my way cost over 5 times as much as a Volca Sample. A different price point brings with it different expectations.

A card reader would have been nice, but you would need a bunch of extra firmware too - for memory management, ensuring samples were compatible with the Volca's unusual sample format, and so on. The screen would also need to be larger to convey more information.

I don't think it is a quality thing, just a cost thing.

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by moloque » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:04 am

I had similar problems. However, for me, it was always because of the computer or the phone used never my volca. The sounds MUST be as clean as possible. Took me a while to found out that my computer had a EQ always ON (hifi enhancer crap)in the setting which needed to be switch OFF for transferring data. Same with the phone gotta stop absolutely ALL EQ, compression or whatever enhancer the phone is using. Definitely was annoying...

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by naos » Mon Feb 10, 2020 3:51 am

Blairio wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:12 pm
Well, it seems my Volca Sample is ok. The headphone output of my Saffire Pro 24 interface however is not. It is completely dead.
this is quite reassuring.
CoreInside wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:29 pm
I bought a sample second hand on ebay and I couldn't load anything into it.
did you try everything posted above before giving up?

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by CoreInside » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:10 am

i tried two different laptops and a samsung mobile phone at different volumes etc, this was about 2 or 3 years ago,time flies.

i was thinking of paying someone to copy samples over to a brand new volca sample because i'm getting into my volcas again, triggered and randomised by supercollider. i havent got the dough at the moment but maybe one or two months from now.

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Blairio » Mon Feb 10, 2020 8:17 am

CoreInside wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:10 am
i tried two different laptops and a samsung mobile phone at different volumes etc, this was about 2 or 3 years ago,time flies.

i was thinking of paying someone to copy samples over to a brand new volca sample because i'm getting into my volcas again, triggered and randomised by supercollider. i havent got the dough at the moment but maybe one or two months from now.
Once you get the right combination of audio device and level sorted, it is just cookie-cutting, honestly. It is pain until these things are sorted, but my Volca Sample has around 50% samples I loaded, mostly a set of great freeware Linn Drum and Roland CR78 samples. Those, together with the factory default 707, 808, 909 and DMX sounds, make for a pretty punchy wee drum machine.

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Art » Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:36 am

Blairio wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:12 pm
The headphone output of my Saffire Pro 24 interface however is not. It is completely dead.
I've had the same experience—borrowing a friend's Saffire and found that the headphone output didn't work well. I had to jiggle the jack quite a lot as well as turning the gain knob up/down very fast many times to make it output both channels...

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Re: Korg Volca Sample woes

Post by Blairio » Tue Feb 11, 2020 5:58 am

Art wrote:
Tue Feb 11, 2020 4:36 am
Blairio wrote:
Sun Feb 09, 2020 1:12 pm
The headphone output of my Saffire Pro 24 interface however is not. It is completely dead.
I've had the same experience—borrowing a friend's Saffire and found that the headphone output didn't work well. I had to jiggle the jack quite a lot as well as turning the gain knob up/down very fast many times to make it output both channels...
interesting. My Pro 24's headphone output is as dead as a doornail. It used to work fine (for nearly 4 years), but it stopped suddenly last week. I have raised a support ticket with Focusrite here in the UK, and waiting a response from them.

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