Overview

Today's electronic landscape has sprouted from a few underground scenes and enthusiasts into a sprawling community of genres, artists, and fans. Leaving behind the bulky synth models from decades past, modern music makers demand three things: seamless functionality, plenty of power, and easily transportable models. Enter the Korg Volca Keys. Capturing the fat, warm sounds only an analog synth could produce, this packs authentic Korg tone in a package that won't eat up your desk space or wallet.

Product Specs

Brand
Model
  • Volca Keys Analog Loop Synthesizer
Finish
  • Gold/Black
Year
  • 2010s
Categories

From the Price Guide

Reviews for the Korg Volca Keys Analog Loop Synth
23
Help another musician by sharing your experience!
  • Everything perfect!

    Verified Purchase

    Amazing little device that will get me in the synthesis world.

  • Affordable

    Verified Purchase

    You get what you pay for, which, in this case, is a lot of features but a crappy sound. I'll admit I am a little biased because almost all Korg synths sound thin and cheap to my ears. I would save a couple extra hundred bucks and get a proper synth, but hey, for the money it's worth a shot.

  • Really fun, makes you want to play it all the time

    Verified Purchase

    I've been playing synth every day since I got this, which is not normal for me! It's definitely got a lo-fi sound, the poly mode chords can easily become washed out, and the delay has a metallic sound that sounds cheap to my ears. I feel like there's a fairly narrow spectrum of the sounds it COULD m…

  • Start with this one!

    Verified Purchase

    I had a trigger finger for a microkorg on sale, but diving in a bit made me realize that my expected lifespan might not be enough to learn it well enough. Then I saw this little thing, got one and it did what I wanted: synthesis made simple for non-bookheads. Indeed a capable little beast, the seque…

  • Capable little beast

    Verified Purchase

    At first glance and first use even, you’re not so sure this little thing is capable of much, but when you dive in you realize that this thing can do a lot. From stabs to chords to leads to complex pads. FYI the power is in the motion sequencing. My first of many Volcas to come. Only gripe is the lac…

More Information

The Volca series was introduced by Korg in 2014 with a two-prong aim: offer the electronic market a serious synthesizer that comes in a fun-to-use package that will impress beginners and pros alike. Great as a standalone model if you're just in the mood to play around with lead sounds, the Keys is also designed to function seamlessly with the Volca Bass synthesizer and Beats rhythm machine for an all-in-one music creation system. Before we get ahead of ourselves, let's take a look at what's under the hood.

Real Analog Synthesis

The Volca Keys is a polyphony powerhouse with the flexibility to immerse users in true analog sound-sculpting. Built with the iconic miniKORG700S circuitry, the Keys' three-voice design lets you craft three-note chords which can be stacked or placed in unison for even bigger presence. Set up your base sound with the VCO and LFO, and then send it through the Voltage-Controlled Filter (VCF) for huge, throbbing synth tone a la John Carpenter or Goblin. And that's just the beginning.

Onboard Sequencing and Step Functions

The Volca Keys makes writing down and developing an idea easier than ever. The easy to use onboard Loop and Motion Sequencers pin down not only what you're playing in real time, but also your knob edits for even more precise control over texture. You have plenty to work with when creating patterns: the Active Step and Flux functions pepper the dynamics needed to make your signature sound.

Built-In Arpeggiation, Effects, and More

One of the most fun parts of playing around on an analog synth is setting up and modifying an arpeggio, and the Keys delivers the experience in spades. The approachable but powerful onboard arpeggiator churns out rich, expressive lines within minutes of playing the synth. When you have a line set up, you can take your tone even further with the built-in delay to create lush, crisp '80s soundscapes. Want to go a little more experimental? The Keys even sports a Ring Modulator for those after spacey robot soundscapes with a few button presses and knob twists.

True Synchronicity

The Keys is a load of fun when flying solo, but if you want to bring this little behemoth out to play with other gear, have no fear. A MIDI input allows you to control the Keys through any MIDI controller (really useful for those who want a bigger keyboard) and can connect with your favorite DAW for an even more versatile experience. Or maybe you want to keep it in the family and expand your Volca arsenal. A dedicated Sync In/Out setup grants seamless synchronicity with any Volca unit as well as the Monotribe and Monotron for a complete command center. There's even a SyncKontrol iOS app to punch in parameters like tap tempo and swing so you can turn all your attention to making music.

Pick It Up and Play Anywhere

Smaller than an iPad, the Volca Keys was made to be played anywhere, anytime. Able to operate on a KA-350 power adapter, the Keys can also take six AA batteries for up to 10 hours of portable playing power. Forgot your speakers when you were in a rush to that jam session? The Keys comes with a built-in speaker system so you can be heard whether you're on stage or in your bedroom. With so much band for so little buck, the Keys should be a serious contender looking for an authentic analog synth experience in a modern package.