Five questions for the developer of the Korg volcas and monotribe who hints at a possible new volca-member


Five questions for Tatsuya Takahashi, lead developer for Korgs volca-series and also responsible for the development of the monotribe. See our current issue for a review of the volcas.

De:Bug: How long did it take you guys to develop the Volcas and how many people were directly involved in the development?

Tatsuya Takahashi: It’s difficult to define the beginning of a project because we were shooting ideas for the volcas even before the monotribe came out. But from deciding on the specs to finalising the design, it was roughly ten months. It took a little longer than usual with the volcas because we had three concurrent products.

The total number of engineers involved is a sensitive matter for a company so I can’t really say how many. I will say that I account for all of the specs and hardware design and I have a sequencer guru and expert programmer who takes care of the software.

De:Bug: Are you planning other members for the Volca-family? It seems there would be a lot of possibilities given the fact that the Volcas are such a success and there could also be stuff like a sequencer, a sequenced multi effect, other synths and drummachines and so on…

Tatsuya Takahashi: Although we haven’t settled on any definite ideas, we have come up with a form factor and price point that resonates with a lot of people out there. So I am very keen to get a chance to pursue an expansion of the volca series.

De:Bug: Which one is your favorite Volca and why?

Tatsuya Takahashi: Tough question, bit like choosing your favourite child. Right at this moment, I am a bit hung-over so feel like playing with the volca keys. I think I will turn the tempo down and get nursed by soft attack chords, drenched in delay.

De:Bug: Did you expect the Volcas to become such a success?

Tatsuya Takahashi: I did think it was a catchy idea from the start (btw the ideas weren’t mine). But whether it will really be good or not is hard to tell until I have a prototype that sounds and feels right. In the case of the bass for example I was making changes until the very last minute, so I wasn’t sure of it until I’d nailed it.

But all in all in hind-sight, yes the response has been above expectation.

De:Bug: What are your next projects (if you can already talk about them or give us a hint)?

Tatsuya Takahashi: Something that is just around the corner 😉