lundi 18 janvier 2016

Volca Sample MIDI OUT mod - Step by step.

STEP 1 : Removing the back cover

. remove the battery cover
. remove batteries
. Unscrew the 7 screws as shown below


STEP 2 : Adding the mini-jack female connector


The picture above is showing how the mini jack female connector is attached to the Volca sample box.  BEFORE SOLDERING ANYTHING, you have to drill carefully a small hole, and make a flat surface inside the box with a “Dreymel like” tool.  GO Slowly.

Try to put the connector in place, with its locking ring, tighted by hand, then try to put the Volca box carefully.

I recommend to protect the PCB under the connector with insulating tape, to avoid tearing or rubbing the surface soldered components.


I don’t give any measure here as the connector you will get may be different than mine.
So, make your own measure with precision.


Once everything is ok, you can remove the connector, and solder the 3 wires on the connector.  I recommend to bend the connector pins against the connector box to facilitate the passage in the housing.  Put the connector in place, and tight ( not to much !!) the locking ring externally with a small pliers. 

STEP 3 : Soldering wires on the Volca PCB

. Locate the MIDI OUT print on the PCB : you will find 3 pads names GND, TX, VD
. Solder the 3 wires from the mini-jack connector on the PCB as shows the picture above

. Check connections with an  ohm-meter.  Ideally, use a male mini-jack inserted into the female connector to test point to point, from the PCB to the external mini-jack.

. Put the PCB in the case, carefully inserting the mini-jack connector between the two PCB, and screw the back cover.  Then take the time to print a nice “Midi Out” sticker to finish the job properly 

STEP 3 : Build a mini-jack to MIDI DIN 5 cable adaptor

You have to connect  : 
- TX (red) to the MIDI DIN PIN 5
- VD (white) to the MIDI DIN PIN 4
- GND (green) to the MIDI DIN PIN 2

Warning : do not use DIN 5 to mini-jack adapter sold on the web as they are not compatible with MIDI. 

About MIDI OUT on the Volca Sample

  1. The MIDI clock is sent to any device connected to the MIDI OUT despite the chart above

  2. Know that the Volca Sample uses permanently 10 MIDI channels : one per part, as it is a sampler, and not a drums box.  You can play the part 1 on the channel 1, the part 2 on the channel 2, and so on..on the full range of an external keyboard connected to the midi in, BUT NOT CHROMATICALLY. On the other hand, the Volca sample will trig notes from parts to the MIDI OUT.  So, you have to set the global midi channel of other instruments connected upper # 10, to avoid “note on” effect.  For example, if I set my Microbrute to global channel 1 and want to use the internal step sequencer, the Volca “resets” the sequence by sending a “note on” from the part 1 to the synth (nb : i set the sequence reset from the Microbrute configuration software because I feel better like that !!).  Then I set the global channel to 11, and everything is working fine.   
    Check also my "Vokaoss" project allowing to use the Volca Sample as a drum machine at the channel 10, as a General MIDI drums device.
  3. The “motion capture” is not sent externally (e;g. when you turn the PAN knob when recording motion on a part) , but you can send CC from an external device.


4 commentaires:

  1. est-il possible de faire cette modif avec une fiche din5 et non pas une connection jack-femelle ?

    1. Oui bien sûr, mais il n'y a pas trop de place, et c'est plus chaud de faire entrer une DIN 5...d'autant plus que seuls 3 fils sont requis... Tu peux toujours te fabriquer un câble jack => DIN 5 femelle assez court. A mon avis c'est plus simple et moins risqué pour le VS

  2. can I record the sequence data to a daw with this mod? (i understand the sample does not send knob data) but can I backup my patterns?

  3. Any idea if having the unofficial FW installed makes the mod not work? Have it installed, and did the mod ... but can't get it working.


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