posted by rasterbatr (COLLEGE PARK, MD) Nov 29, 2008
Member since Dec 2006
gamers (100%) found this review helpful
I had never previously understood why serious composers and sonic tinkerers went on and on about analog synthesizers, why my Commodore 64 had the tone generation options it had, and why all those options looked very familiar when I loaded KORG DS-10 for the first time.
I took piano and trumpet lessons as a kid, played with various cheap consumer electronic keyboards as a kid, and messed with the Commodore 64's synthesis capabilities as an early teenager. Later I listened to MODs and other sampled, patterned music files; I loved watching others' compositions unfold in trackers that would display the patterns as they played in sequence. But I had no idea where to begin either making or modifying my own patches in a synthesizer or composing music in a sequencer.
This emulator connected those bits of my musical passions together at once. I've been playing with the DS-10 for a couple days now and the more I play, the more fun I'm having. I'm learning more about how to make music than I ever could have without something this powerful, easy to use, portable, and affordable.
I've learned the most by starting with the demo patches and patterns and listening to how they change as I vary parameters and move patch cables. Sometimes I get too knob-happy and screw up the sound, but that's okay. I can go back to the last savefile I made for the patch or just start over to see what new sound I come up with. As the Wikipedia article for KORG DS-10 suggests, the old KORG MS-20 manual is helpful in learning how to patch the DS-10.
So far I've sequenced two songs and I've been playing with them. The KAOSS pad lets you map two knobs to X and Y on the touchscreen. It's essentially two effects pedals you control simultaneously with the X and Y axes of the stylus' motion.
As the IGN reviewer mentions, you can't change any parameters or use any controls while a song plays-- you can only modify them while a single pattern repeats over and over. That gets old fast.
While it is awesome to have the Korg synth miniaturized onto your DS, you may find that the sound quality is lacking. While a ton of fun for keyboard and synth lovers like myself, this port of a massively expensive electronic wonderboard comes as a bit of a "what the heck?" Without a way to export the tunes you dish out, you will soon find yourself asking friends to "check this out" and then shoving the DS in their faces, only to receive a look of bewilderment as to how huge a nerd you really are. This is more of a personal synth...as opposed to the one that will make you a rockstar.