Thursday, 10 March 2016

MyVolts 5 way power splitter cable - Part 2

After the great reaction I got from my first article on MyVolts’ rather handy five way splitter cable I thought I would do some additional testing to see if it can play nicely with some other Korg gear that uses the same power connectors.

I didn't have to look particularly far to find something suitable, as Korg’s first and second generation Kaossilator units also use the same power connector and positive polarity as the Volca units, albeit with half the voltage requirements.

The Kaossilators come in two different flavours: a yellow one that comes with tons of synth sounds, drums and sound effects and a red one that comes with lots of useful effects like filters, reverbs, delays, modulators and even a few sound effects too. Ideally they are meant to compliment each other so you can build up phrases and loops with the yellow and give a bit of animation or depth with the red. In their most recent redesign, Korg shrunk them down from a blocky plastic and 7-segment LED affair to a mobile phone size with a sharp OLED display, SD card support for loop saving and recall and better, more modern sounds.

I am pleased to report that all four of them can be plugged in to the Volca splitter as normal and work fine if you plug a 4.5V or 5V supply in to the business end, giving you hassle free power to run your Kaossillators as you see fit. I have also tested them on the USB power adaptor I got in my initial purchase and it seemed to run fine as well. In doing this I have determined that the splitter cable itself is passive, so it only relies on you changing the input voltage to power whatever you need. This is a great step forward; while they don't take the six batteries that the Volca’s do, the first gen Kaossilators take four AAs and the second generation two: as before you can save yourself a bucketload of cash in batteries with this unit.

Despite the Kaossillators' limitations, which I have spoken about at length the last time I got rid of one, the immediacy of having an XY pad for firing off silly sound effects or adding reverb/delay quickly is the reason why after selling my yellow one I immediately bought another one in limited edition pink and the matching red one from a nice Australian in West London. They are perfect for adding to a Volca setup, so of course it is great that I had the chance to give them a new lease of life without breaking the bank in extra power supplies or batteries.

MyVolts now have the Volca splitters for sale on their website, alongside the accessories you need for your particular setup. Check them out here and happy twiddling!