Korg's Volca Sample 2 is a huge upgrade in almost every way

Double the sample slots, USB connectivity and improved MIDI make this a worthy successor.


Korg’s Volca Sample is one of the most beloved members of beloved family of affordable and portable instruments. But it’s far from perfect. Now, after almost six years since its introduction, the Sample is getting a sequel. The Volca Sample 2 is visually almost indistinguishable from the original. The only dead giveaway is the micro USB port at the top.

That USB port is definitely the biggest upgrade here. It greatly simplifies sample management. Where before you had to load new samples on by transferring data over an audio cable, now you can just fire up the free desktop librarian app and freely swap out sounds to your hearts content. The USB port also allows you to control the Sample via MIDI over USB which makes integrating it with your DAW much simpler. Plus, the MIDI implementation has been completely revamped for version two. Now you can assign different MIDI channels to the different parts, which will make it easier to use with an external controller.

Sample storage has also been doubled. There’s now 8MB of memory for a total of 130 seconds of samples, spread over 200sample slots. There’s a few other nice additions, such as two new step jump modes and delay start feature which lets you go off grid and get a little more creative with your grooves.

There are some oft-requested features that are missing however, including the native ability to play a sample chromatically across the keyboard. And, judging from reactions on message boards and Reddit, many users are content to stick with the original Sample loaded with a custom hacked firmware called Pajen which already added a lot of these software features, plus a lot more.

Still, if you’re not into messing with unofficial upgrades to gear and have been on the fence about snagging a Volca Sample this might be just the thing for you. The Volca Sample 2 is available for preorder now for $149 and will be shipping later this year.