Man, can I come up with some strange blog names or what! As the name slightly suggests, in today’s blog, I will be documenting my journey into integrating hardware with software, more specifically, my iPad with the Volca Series, by Korg. Unless you have an insanely short attention span, you will also notice that this blog is part one of a multi-part series. Most likely, they parts will be spread out over time and interrupted by other posts about apps and whatnot. Let’s get started, shall we?

Over then last few months, I have been piecing together a hardware rig that consists mostly of Korg gear. I started with the purchase of a Volca Sample(hereto after will be referred to as Sample) and a Volca FM(to be called FM). Not to long after, I mistakenly purchased a Volca Beats(Beats), thinking it was a Volca Keys(Keys) off the ‘Bay. After a short pause to rebuild funds, I bought a Volca Bass(Bass). Somewhere in that mix, I had also bought a used Kaoss Pad 2(KP2) and all the necessary cabling. After watching a YouTube video from Jakob Haq, I had purchased an Amptone Lab MIDI Splitter thru box, so that I could use a MIDI sequence to send MIDI to all the Volcas. Ultimately, I rounded out my Volca collection with the purchase of a Volca Keys(Keys).

After all that money spent, I now had a relatively complete set of noise makers with which to make synthesized music. I have posted a couple of videos on my channel to demonstrate the use of these machines. I had them hooked up in a conventional manor, using the sync cables and running them to my main mixer while adding the KP2 through the effects loop on the mixer. I have run a few variations of things using my Microbrute, the Korg Kaossillator and my iPad.

As I got to thinking about building a cabinet to house all my Volcas and the KP2, I thought I’d need a more compact mixing solution to bring everything together. I then purchased a couple of 4 channel line mixers to handle all my sub-mixing needs. At this point, I think I have my bases covered.

My parts list consists of:
iPad Air 1
Volca Keys
Volca Beats
Volca Bass
Volca FM
Volca Sample
Kaoss Pad KP2
MIDI Splitter from Amptone Lab
2 X Behringer Micromix M400
5 X 3.5mm to 1/4″ stereo to mono cables
Stereo RCA cable
2 X Stereo RCA cables
6 X MIDI cables
4 X Volca sync cables
Griffin Studio Connect
30-pin to Lightning adapter
Optional gear:

Arturia Microbrute
Korg Kaossillator
Yamaha DX27

With all these toys, there is much to document along the way, so we will conclude for now. Part two will document how I plan to hook up the audio for all the Volcas and optional gear. Subsequent blogs will continue with routing MIDI versus Sync cables, what effects I’ll be using, and the role of the iPad in this rig. I will also be discussing various apps that can be used in this set up. My goal here is to see if I can use the iPad to create an arrangement via MIDI and manipulate effects and sounds in real-time, while recording the whole thing. Stay tuned, I hope to also capture video of all the proceedings and put them on my YouTube channel.

Thanks for reading and see you next time.