Top critical review
Adequate, useful, does what it claims to do. It would be much better if had panning, and if cables went to back for tidiness!
March 27, 2018
I really want to like this. I ordered one of the first ones.
The good: It's a nice way to tie 3 Volcas together (or possibly 4 if you use the aux in for a 4th one). Everything is up front where you can see/reach it. It comes with power cables for your Volcas, plus a few mini audio cables. The faders are nice and quiet. It looks neat. The speakers sound fairly decent for little speakers. The RCA output is helpful. The sync feature works great (not that it was ever difficult to link/sync multiple Volcas, but hey, this is still a good feature on this mixer.
The bad: First and foremost, YOU CAN'T PAN INDIVIDUAL CHANNELS. That's right, somebody is manufacturing and selling a mixer in this century that has no pan controls! Yes, the original Volcas are all mono. But even so, I absolutely want to be able to pan-control the signal from each one as it passes through this mixer. This is a glaring omission, and the reason I am withholding 2 of the possible 5 stars in this review. Other issues: Yes, I suppose it's in keeping with the Volca design principles that everything is on top, rather than on the back (plugs, etc). But in real life, when you set this thing up with some source Volcas, it's going to be difficult to see beneath the tangle of audio and power cables routed in and out of it. You will find yourself having to reach around/through/between cables. THIS IS SUPER ANNOYING. And finally, there is no 'return' for the effects send.
Given the limitations and constraints, I advise people to consider carefully whether this is a good value. At this price point, you can get two mini mixers from various other manufacturers, and then you will have pan control and you won't be dealing with the rats' nest of cables that comes with this device.
I believe this is the first Volca-branded product since Tatsuya Takahashi left Korg. I don't know whether he was involved in designing it before he left, but based on its general jankiness I sort of suspect that he wasn't involved in this one.