Michael Vilogi has released a free sample pack featuring the sounds of the Volca Beats compact analog drum machine by Korg.
Volca Beats certainly isn’t the most pristine sounding drum instrument on the market, but many people have a soft spot for its quirky lo-fi sound character. Pair that with Volca’s unmatched portability and you have yourself one of the most popular hardware drum machines around. The instrument’s budget-friendly price only helps boost its popularity among established electronic musicians and bedroom producers alike.
If you don’t own a Volca Beats yet, that doesn’t mean you can’t use its quirky drum sounds in your music. Michael Vilogi’s free sound set does a great job of capturing the instrument’s tonal range and translating it into a sample pack. You’ll miss the sequencing workflow and the ability to modify the individual drum hits directly, but hey, you can’t have it all for free.
We were interested in learning more about the techniques and gear used to create the sample pack so we reached out to Michael and this is his response:
“The Korg Volca Beats samples were recorded into a Golden Age Pre-73 mkII (Neve 1073 Clone Preamp) hooked up to our Apogee DA at 96/24. This runs into Adobe Audition, where we sampled the Volca at 96/24. Our general mindset behind doing things this way is to capture the instrument’s character as honestly as possible. For that reason, I’d never post-process sampled material whatsoever. I didn’t use any plug-ins nor normalization due to preserving the real volume ratio between the different drum sounds. This way, the end user can do all that in a way he or she likes.”
In addition to the Volca Beats sample pack featured in this article, Michael offers several other freely downloadable sound libraries on his website:
“The same setup was used for the Roland TR-707 and the Yamaha DX21 bass samples on the site. As for the Oberheim DX drum machine and the Boss DR-110, They were recorded on setup B which is: Daking Mic Pre One (Trident A series clone preamp) hooked up to our Apogee DA. This all runs into Pro Tools 12. No downstream processing is done after the Apogee, as to maintain the best sample we can get. The reason we use the Daking for some samples is that it provides a ‘snappy’ midrange while maintaining a solid low end, perfect for certain drum machines.”
The only real downside is that the sounds are provided as raw recordings, meaning that you’ll have to isolate the individual drum hits manually. That shouldn’t be too much work in a decent free audio editor or sampler instrument, though. Another thing worth noting is that pack is hosted on Sendspace, resulting in relatively slow download speeds. Also, be extra careful when clicking the download button on Sendspace, as it will launch a couple of annoying popups before the actual download begins. Then again, it’s all worth the effort considering the quality of the provided samples and their price.
The sample pack is available for free download on Michael Vilogi’s website (137 MB download size, ZIP archive, contains 12 audio recordings in 24-bit WAV format).