I have the volca mix, and you can get pretty far with it.
If you are worried about the lack of inputs - this is fixable with relatively cheap passive mixers. All the cables, from right to left:
- Direct mono signal from a synth.
- PO through a 1-to-5 mono multiplier.
- OP-Z through a passive 5-way stereo mixer.
- A laptop via an aux in (this is where the effects are normally plugged in).
Although this setup works, it’s only there for the photo I never used it this way for longer times, and the mickxer (the red splitter on the photo) seems to butcher the signal substantially. Until now I was sure that the blue thing is a mono mixer. It actually does the opposite: multiplies the signal – which might help to sync multiple POs.
I like volca mix, but it feels it does better with volcas than the other gear. The DC slot is thinner, so I wasn’t able to power any other hardware so far, i.e. the keystep. The filter knobs are annoying and seem to flatten the sound a bit. And I barely used the tempo knob so far: it really lacks a sync in.
If not the Volca, I would go for the maker heart loop because it’s cheaper and smaller. But I couldn’t get one easily, and Volca’s power hub seemed promising at that time.
Also, for the same money you can get a cheap 4-channel audio interface, which is nice for recording.