- Connect your Volca FM (or DX7) to your chosen MIDI interface.
- Select that MIDI interface in the Midi Device Setup and set the channel (for Volcas this should always be channel 1).
- Choose the instrument type from: Original Volca FM, New Volca FM (2022, green display) or DX7.
- The patch will be sent to your Volca automatically when the interface/instrument/channel is chosen. Click the "Init Patch" button to send a good starting point for patch creation.
- Make your patch (or use the Randomizer)!
Don't have a USB-MIDI interface? I usually reccomend the Roland UM-One mk2 which has been confirmed to work well by multiple users and is pretty inexpensive.
My preferred way to "save" your patch is by clicking "Create Sharable Patch Link" and saving the link somewhere (and don't forget to share it!).
You can also save your patch by hitting the "Save Sysex" button. This will download a midi sysex filke which you can send to your instrument using one of many sysex tools eg:
- MIDI Sysex Transfer Utility (Windows, available on the Microsoft Store)
- Bome SendSX (Windows)
- Sysex Librarian (macOS)
Synthmata works with single patch sysex files - please be aware that many patches available online are in the cartridge format and are not (currently) compatible with this editor.
If things aren't working, 90% of the time it's down to the MIDI interface. If you have a cheaper, unbranded USB-MIDI interface these are very hit and miss in terms of sending larger buffers of sysex data. I have one and it works fine, but I've used another which looks identical but doesn't work. The Arturia KeyStep and BeatStep controllers also don't pass Sysex properly - this is also the case for a lot of "controllers". As noted above: the Roland UM-One Mk.2 is known to work well and is inexpensive.
Anoter potential cause on the newer Volca FM with MIDI on minijack connectors is using the incorrect adapter. Korg instruments use Type A converter.
If you have questions you can get hold of me on one of many social media platforms:
Oh, and if you want to create your own midi controller in html you can find the library I built here: ccynthmata
Midi Device Setup
NB For Volca-FM please leave channel set to '1' as the Volca only listens for patch information on this channel
For Yamaha DX7, leave channel set to '1' if you want to receive voices from the DX7 ('Sysex available' mode), as it always transmits at channel 1.
The Randomizer automatically generates new patches based upon a set of 10 descriptive parameters.
Set the parameters, click "New Patch" as many times as it takes to find a patch you like (the new patch will be sent to the synth automatically each time).
This is a great way to find inspiration for new patches, but with most moderate settings on the sliders the patches will be usually be completely usable "out of the box".