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Volca FM
Updated 73 Days AgoPublic

Patches

Create patches:

Libraries of programs (FM terminology for patches, admittedly conceptually a bit different under the hood):

Load patches into the Volca FM:

  • Easiest way is via Dexed, as ironic as it is to be using a software FM synth plugin to set up a standalone hardware synth. Just get Dexed open, press the Cart button to go to the cart menu and then just right-click on any patch and choose to send it to the "DX7" (which in our case is actually a Volca FM).

Settings

Change MIDI channel by holding MEMORY while powering on. Press step 1-16 for corresponding MIDI channels, then to save the change.

Alternate Firmware

Someone named Pajen has released modified firmware for a few Volcas, notably for our sake the Volca FM 1.

  1. Download the two firmware audio files
  2. Connect your playback device (PC, phone, whatever) to the Sync-In port with a 3.5mm TRS cable
  3. Put your playback volume one notch below max to avoid any distortion
  4. Turn on the Volca FM while holding FUNC+PLAY.
    1. Display should say uPdatE
  5. Play the first WAV file.
    1. Step LEDs 1-16 should track the progress
    2. Once complete, the Volca should automatically turn itself off.
  6. Turn the Volca on again and play the 2nd file
    1. Once complete, the display should say End.
  7. Turn off Volca, then turn it on again, et voila

Various changes

  • adds support for Program Change of patches and patterns. PC 0-31 are the patches, 32-48 are the patterns.
  • fixed S&H 256x scale error
  • fixed S&H update logic error that completely ruined S&H LFO
  • fixed LFO sign error (saw up <-> saw down, square polarity etc, now same as dexed)
  • added filtering to remove nasty "digital pop" on discontinous LFOs (audible when amplitude modulating with saw, square and S&H)
  • put the SYSEX Parameter Change commands as NRPN number 0-155 if you e.g. happen to have a MIDI controller with NRPN support.
    • ex., to set the ALGORITHM (parameter number 134) to "22" you will send CC99:1 (MSB NRPN#), CC98:6 (LSB NRPN#) and finally CC6:22 (NRPN value) etc. or B0 63 01 B0 62 06 B0 06 16 for MIDI channel 1.

Global settings

Access by holding down FUNC while turning the Volca FM on. Then press the step buttons to toggle on or off various settings as follows, with defaults in bold:

BtnParameterLit status & Display saysUnlit status & Display saysFW
1Auto power-off functionEnabled, AutoP OnDisabled, AutoP OFFKorg
2Battery type selectionNiMH, bAtt nHAlkaline, bAtt ALKorg
3Sync Out polarityFall, SyncOt LoRise, SyncOt HIKorg
4Sync In polarityFall, SyncIn LoRise, SyncIn HIKorg
5Tempo range settingsFull (10-600), TEmPo FuLNarrow (56-240), TEmPo nArKorg
6MIDI Clock SrcAuto, MdCLK AutInternal, MdCLK IntKorg
7MIDI RX ShortMessageOn, MdShrt OnOff, MdShrt OFKorg
8Sync input/output unitOnce a step, SyncStp 1Once every 2 steps, SyncStp 2Korg
9enable/disable velocity on MIDI notes INEnabled, Nd VEL OnDisabled, Nd VEL OFPajen1.08
10Yamaha or Korg single patch import/exportEnabled, NdSYSH YaDisabled, NdSYSH K0Pajen1.08
11Patch change: keep notes onEnabled, PCnot OnDisabled, PCnot OFPajen1.08
12Patch change CC onEnabled, PCNld OnDisabled, PCNld OFPajen1.09

Setting 11 notes: this will disable killing off sounding notes when patch switching. This removes the popping noise, but most importantly gives new creative opportunities since the FM can in reality play up to three different sounds at the same time. Already sounding notes are not affected by the newly selected patch. Play a note and hold it down, switch patch and play other notes on top. Or MIDI sequence it using the new MIDI functionality.

MIDI CCs

With this alternate firmware, a full list of MIDI CCs:

  • CC 1 : (Mod wheel) assignable via CC 91, defaults to Pitch Mod Depth
  • CC 85: Chorus on/off. value < 64 off, value >= 64 on.
  • CC 86: Chorus stereo width, 64 is default
  • CC 87: Chorus speed, 64 is default
  • CC 88: Load patch, value 0-4: patch 1, 5-8: patch 2 etc up to 127
  • CC 89: Load pattern, value 0-8: pattern 1, 9-16: pattern 2 etc up to 127
  • CC 90: Tempo divisor, value 0-31: 1/1, 32-63: 1/2, 64-95: 1/4, 96-127: 1/8 (!)
  • CC 91: Mod wheel mapping: decides what MIDI CC mod wheel should map to. Example: value 42 sent on CC 91 -> Mod wheel now controls Modulator Attack

Official Stuff

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Referenced Files
F139317: volcafm_sys_2_109RC2.wav
Apr 8 2024, 10:15 PM
F139316: volcafm_sys_1_109RC2.wav
Apr 8 2024, 10:15 PM
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Last Author
keithzg
Last Edited
Apr 8 2024, 10:15 PM

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