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Cables for Korg Volca?

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Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby d4z0mg » Sat Oct 10, 2020 1:12 am

I've tried a couple of different cables to connect my korg volca drum to my focusrite scarlett 8i6 but it didn't work, I think I figured out this is because it's a stereo cable and the volca is 'stereo' outpur but a single input on the 8i6 is mono.

I have 6 inputs and plan to have 4 volcas in the back and 2 synths in the front.

So will a stereo mini jack to single mono jack lead work for this? I don't want a dual jack because I only want to use one input or do I need a mono mini jack to mono jack?
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby Arpangel » Sat Oct 10, 2020 7:00 am

I’d be careful, summing together stereo outputs like this can harm things sometimes, I’ve got some Korg mini jack stuff, and in the manual it tells me not to do this.
I just use a stereo mini-jack to twin mono jack lead, and leave one unplugged at the quarter inch end.
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Oct 10, 2020 9:36 am

Arpangel is right. Summing two output to one input might cause damage to your gear.

You need something like this:

https://www.studiospares.com/studiospares-red503-passive-line-combiner_458220.htm?gclid=Cj0KCQjwt4X8BRCPARIsABmcnOqxY3QkSOK3pG8hvHZdz3OIfv2xHTWHGeGm8-T2kftlvP8yK6ht6N4aAsuvEALw_wcB&gclsrc=aw.ds

... or if you're handy with a soldering iron then you can make up a lead with resistors in the plugs. Come back if you want more info on that.
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby BillB » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:18 am

The Volca outputs are monophonic but designed for stereo headphones. So they send the same signal to tip and ring of the 3.5mm socket. The inputs to the Focusrite are balanced, so if receiving the same input to tip and ring, they cancel out each other and you hear nothing. A mono 3.5mm jack to mono 6.5mm jack should work fine. I have just tried running my Volca synth this way into the (balanced) input of a Mackie mixer and there is no problem. The 3.5mm mono jack sleeve going into the Volca does does not earth the signal going into the tip, so tip and ring signals are probably isolated from each other within the Volca. Subject to what the experts hereabouts say, you could probably safely combine the tip and ring signals into a mono lead to get a little more level.
There has been quite lot written about this, perhaps on Gearslutz, so a little Googling may help - just don’t believe the first thing you read, check a few sources,
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby BillB » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:24 am

In fact...
https://www.soundonsound.com/forum/view ... 630&hilit=

And even
https://labshop.bigcartel.com/product/s ... ries-close

I assume this has a couple of low value resistors connecting tip/ring of the 3.5mm jack to the tip of the 6.5mm jack.
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby Mike Stranks » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:34 am

Ah! Useful info; thanks Bill!

In that case a simple 3.5mm mono jack plug to 6.35mm mono jack lead would do the trick.
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby BillB » Sat Oct 10, 2020 10:42 am

It is worth saying that the reason for there being so much confusion around this is that mixer/interface inputs can be balanced or unbalanced - yours, I think, are balanced. The Volca will behave differently depending what type of input it is plugged into.

Also note, if you are planning on having a few Volcas, that some are mono (same signal to tip and ring) and some are stereo (L/R to tip/ring) so one cable will not fit all Volcas. I just read that the Volca Drum (not Beats) has stereo outputs. Don’t know about the full range. For stereo you would need the cable suggested by Arpangel, TRS to 2 mono jacks, but it would obviously require 2 channels to provide a stereo signal.
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby ef37a » Sat Oct 10, 2020 11:05 am

The only output on that Korg is a 3.5mm headphone jack.

All* headphone outputs are fed from physical resistors, usually of around 100 Ohms and so shorting one channel will not harm the drive device unless it is some really cheap tat and you would not expect that of Korg. 'Line' outputs should not be shorted, not because of damage, we have had op amps that can stand a continuous short for over 30 years, but because one side of the balanced out will be clipping hard and could put nasties into the other channel.

*Note, there is a trend recently to have headphone amplifiers with very low, <10 Ohm source resistance (for no good reason I can see). These SHOULD be made bombproof but worth checking the book. I doubt such tweaky nonsense has yet toinvadedthe world of synths and drum machines?

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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby N i g e l » Mon Oct 19, 2020 12:32 am

I am a VOLCA Drum user.

it has a 3.5 mm {headphone} stereo output which can drive my studio headphones.
It is digital & one of the paramaters is PAN, which is unusual for a volca ?.
Normally, I use it on batteries, for portability, no problems plugging into a mixer but I have had noise issues when using a PSU & mixer.

Noise issues were overcome with either a 600 ohm transformer cable or homebrew special cable with inbuilt resistors.

I found a service manual schematic pdf for the korg_volca_bass_sm.pdf which suggests that Sync in, out, Output and battery -ve all share the same ground. PSU in (-ve) goes through some kind of RF suppress network.
If your syncing several VOLCAS together, that shared earth could give problems.



ef37a wrote:
*Note, there is a trend recently to have headphone amplifiers with very low, <10 Ohm source resistance (for no good reason I can see).

The Volca.Bass output looks like its just got inductors & caps after the op amp.
As operational voltages drop, the output impedance would have to drop accordingly to maintain power output.

Power = Volts ^2 / Resistance

VOLCA uses 9V

PROs: drives my studio headphones
CONs: P.I.T.A as needs 6 AAs which normally come in 4 packs
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby ef37a » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:13 am

"CONs: P.I.T.A as needs 6 AAs which normally come in 4 packs"

Don't want to challenge your arithmetic Nige' but three four packs give you 12 AAs, TWO loadings.

I am not questioning the headphone amplifiers with very low supply voltages (the limit being phones but they use clever class D amps which have their own S/C protection)
No, I mean full power amps that boast an output resistance of less than one Ohm. The claim is that this gives better 'damping' but since headphones invariably have a DC resistance of 90-99% of nominal impedance this cannot be true.

A near zero OPR is fine if they want to do it but it must come with total short protection, some designs don't.

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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby Arpangel » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:23 am

In my Monotron manual it warns against summing the stereo output jack, they advise leaving one jack disconnected into a mono input.
It says this.....

"Do not connect a cable to this socket using a monaural jack plug"

I’d check that this may be the same for the Volca's.
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby al_diablo » Mon Oct 19, 2020 8:51 am

I've found the volca beats and keys work fine with a stereo mini minijack to mono jack cable but no idea about the drum.

I think the best and most bulletproof way is to use a stereo to 2x mono jack cable as recommended, even if it is a bit messy having one jack unplugged
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Re: Cables for Korg Volca?

Postby N i g e l » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:51 pm

ef37a wrote:"CONs: P.I.T.A as needs 6 AAs which normally come in 4 packs"

Don't want to challenge your arithmetic Nige' but three four packs give you 12 AAs, TWO loadings.

True but I dont need to reload. Rechargeables were about £15 so I dont want to make that £30, or have to spend the same on a Di box when Ive only spent a bit over £100 on the Volca itself.

I wonder if the Volca mixer solves all the problems that multi Volca users experience ?
Thats 4 ch for £100
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