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Improve Korg Volca Beats with Individual-Out Mod

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WARNING, PERFORMING THIS MOD WILL VOID THE WARRANTY OF YOUR VOLCA BEATS AND MIGHT POTENTIALLY DAMAGE IT, SO PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK!


The Korg Volca Beats is a really cool affordable analog drum machine, but having all the instruments summed into one output is a serious limitation. Luckily, Korg made it relatively easy for us to tap all the instruments off the circuit-board and feed them to individual outputs:

  • Kick
  • Snare
  • Toms (it is actually possible to get both toms separate, but I didn't think that was necessary)
  • Hats
  • PCM sounds

The tools you need are:

  • 5x 3.5mm audio jack
  • Nice thin wires will make your life a lot easier. Some thing like this would work perfectly.
  • A soldering iron with a thin tip.
  • A thin strand of solder.

The video below demonstrates how it looks like, what it sounds like and how I've done it.

 
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Step 1: Open up the volca

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Open up the battery cover and take out the batteries.

Pry off the two buttons of Stutter Time and Depth

Now you can take out all large screws. (You can leave in the smaller screws, as they just hold in the battery compartment.)

Carefully open the enclosure making sure you don't stretch the battery and speaker wires too much. I actually had to re-solder both speaker wires as they just broke off from opening and closing the enclosure too often. Not such a big deal, but beware of it.

Step 2: Mount the five audio jacks

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Find connectors that will leave enough space to fit underneath the circuit board. Mine were only just small enough that it fits, but I can't tighten the screws on the enclosure completely without putting pressure on the circuit board.

Measure out the locations for all connectors and drill holes of the right size.

My connectors didn't have enough length to fit through the casing, so I had to clear some extra material around it with a larger drill bit.

BMLu made it!1 month ago

Hello, thanks for the clear instructions. Works like a dream, and I did not find a better snare point. I used short jacks that fit on the top plate.

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There has to be a better spot for the snare sound :/ with this mod the snare volume is low, as many pointed out already. The other instruments work flawlessly, even the BD seems great to me (as for the fact that you can't use its "part level" control... i never touch that knob on the volca, so it's not a big deal!)

danielpbyrne5 months ago

there are better spots for the kick and snare out near the bottom left, to the left of the snare point shown in the pic. The snare level is too low, and the kick sound isn't complete sounding...it's missing some harmonics that get added further down the signal flow. You also don't get any "part level" control when using these points,which can be handy you will see a bunch of points near the kick snare toms point.. Find the snare and kick out there.

You should notice a tiny amount of toms bleeding into the snare and kick when you find the right spots

Hi Daniel,

I made the separate output's mod in agreement with the points given in this article. I confirm that a continuous audible residue is present on the snare drum which the volume is lower than the others. I searched on the web for best hack points : without success. Could you indicate me on the picture of the circuit the best points for each instrument? Many thanks!

JB

andersbang55 months ago

Did u use stereo out jacks, or mono? Regards and thanks for instruction!

jean.fatal6 months ago

Beginners question: Could I just exchange the 3,5 mm jacks for 6,3 mm?

ArvidJense (author)  jean.fatal6 months ago
not a problem, but you probably won't be able to mount them inside the volca any more

How do you get the toms separately please ?
You said it was possible, but where are the points ?
Thanks

I would also really appreciate info on how to output the toms separately. It would be great to be able to pan them left and right.

victor.winters made it!9 months ago

Thanks for all the info, very clear instructions :) Did the mod yesterday and all works fine...just a question about the snare: The volume is really low now, is that normal with this mod? (Just want to know if I didn't mess anything up by accident)

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jortband1 year ago
nice arvid, I am already listing after itvbut seeing the flexibility of the circuit makes me want it even more. And a well documented Instructable, however use a tripod next time for filming ;)

Hallo Arvid!

Thanks for this well done and usefull documentation!

You say, that "it is actually possible to get both toms separate" - but how? Where can i find the connects? Would be nice to get that info!

Rainer