Author Topic: Korg DS10  (Read 784 times)

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Offline Zar Nakitama

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Korg DS10
« on: April 09, 2009, 10:33:00 pm »
M'kay. This is my first review of something, so bear with me. During this review, I will be comparing it to FL Studio (Minus the ability to add VSTs etc. to your music) since, to me, they seem somewhat similar.

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Korg DS10 is a very powerful synthesizer/sequencer for the Nintendo DS. If you've ever wanted to get into making electronic music, this is a good stepping stone for you to get the hang of it.

A annoying part of the entire "game," if you want to call it that, is that the touch screen sometimes only works when it wants to. I used tested the touch screen on 2 other games (Drawn to Life and TLOZ: Phantom Hourglass) to see if it was just the DS, but it wasn't.

DS10 gives you swing & BPM control, the ability to choose how many steps are in each pattern (Maximum of 16), 2 synthesizers (With a keyboard & KAOS pas you can use to record notes or using the piano roll), 4 synthesized drums (With a step sequencer & a piano roll for each), a mixer, some effects, a pattern selector, and a playlist.

Each synthesizer and drum has 2 oscillerators (Triangle, saw, square, noise waves), a filter, ADSR (Attack, decay, sustain, release) (The drums have no release), overdrive, portamento, etc. Most of these controlls, like filter cutoff and pitch, can be controlled with the ADSR controlls. This can sometimes get annoying because it also controlls the volume of the synth. For the drums, however, this can be pretty effective. The knobs are somewhat annoying to turn. Sometimes they get put too far up or down where you want. This happens a lot with balancing the 2 oscillerators and controlling the 2nd's pitch. There are preset synths you can choose, like basses, leads, or effects, and also drums. These are really nice, but it's also fun to make your own sound, which you can just save into the presets anyway. It makes your track more original. The step sequencer works fine, which is an upside.

The synthesizers also come with a LFO editor they named "PATCH." In this, you can control the synth's pitch, an oscillerator's pitch, the filter cutoff, and the VCA (I'm not exactly sure what this is, but it adds a niceish effect if you edit the synth right) input, with a triangle, saw, square, or S&H (Not exactly sure what this kind of wave is) waves, along with the ADSR settings & 2nd oscillerator's input. The only downside with this is that you can't use one kind of wave twice.

The piano roll coming with each synth is somewhat limited when it comes to writing melodies. For instance, you can't have 2 notes on the same step (1/4 of a beat), and each pattern can only be 1 bar long.

The keyboard is used like any other keyboard. Just press the notes and it will play it. There is a record button in the corner you can use to record melodies, but I wouldn't reccommend it. The KAOS pad is pretty versatile, but again, I wouldn't use it to record notes. It comes with 3 pads. One for notes & gating, one for panning & volume, and one for filter cutoff & resonance. The filter pad you can change to your choice of paramaters, ranging from Pitch octave, to oscillerator balance, to ADSR controls, to fine pitch. This can be useful at times, but other times, just seems to be there.

Now, onto the mixer & effects. The mixer is where you can control the volume, panning, and if the intrument will be muted or solo. Everything works fine here. The effects, however, are kind of annoying. You have your choice of delay, which is kind of like an echo, a flanger, which makes the sound somewhat metalic and also makes it sound like it's going through a midpass filter, and chorus, which gives the synth a "fatter," better sound. Now, these all work fine. The only annoying thing is that you can only have 1 effect going. This can either go on a synthesizer, both synths, the drums, or all the instruments. This is possibly the most annoying part of DS10 since you should have the versatility to put atleast 1 effect on 1 instrument.

Next, we move to the pattern selector, I think it's called. It has 16 patterns. All of these are which you can edit your sections of your track. A somewhat bad, but also good at times, aspect of it is that your synths don't stay what they were in other patterns. The effects stay, however. There is a lock button, which, when you're playing the track, locks the pattern from chaging before it's done. There is also a copy button, which, I don't know what does, and probably is useless anyway. Why have 2 copies of the same pattern when you can use that pattern as, say, a buildup or something? Here, you can also control the mute & solo of each instrument, which is pretty handy if you want to improvise something live. I don't see any musicians using this at, say, a concert though. XD

And finally, we go onto the playlist. You have 16 patterns and 100 bars. Only one pattern can be used in a bar, so it'd be best if you didn't make one instrument one pattern, like I do with FL Studio. This is where the song is sequenced. There aren't really any complaints with this, besides the ones stated earlier, and that the markers which show every 4 bars don't stay the numbers 1, 5, 9, etc. which make it a little more confusing to use, but once you get the hang of it, it's not that hard.

Overall, it's a very useful tool if you're going to use it as background for a hardware keyboard or something. I got a male to male cord a few weeks ago and plug the DS into my keyboard's input every now & then.

I give Korg DS10 a 7/10.
LATEST TRACK: Zar - Hope

Offline Colecovision

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Re: Korg DS10
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2009, 10:56:39 pm »
Did you get that game from Ben? Cause it sounds like something Ben would have.
Whats done is done. You can't change the past any more then you can change the number of stars in the sky. However, you can change the future, and when it comes to that, I have but one thing to say, and that is "Go for it". Because, when you're old and crippled, the things you'll regret most are the things you never did.

Offline Zar Nakitama

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Re: Korg DS10
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2009, 10:58:25 pm »
Did you get that game from Ben? Cause it sounds like something Ben would have.
No, I bought it from EB Games during March Break. We should tell Ben about it though. He would like it.
LATEST TRACK: Zar - Hope

Offline Colecovision

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Re: Korg DS10
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2009, 11:01:24 pm »
Did you get that game from Ben? Cause it sounds like something Ben would have.
No, I bought it from EB Games during March Break. We should tell Ben about it though. He would like it.

No......Ben already has to many DS games.....he does not need another.....
Whats done is done. You can't change the past any more then you can change the number of stars in the sky. However, you can change the future, and when it comes to that, I have but one thing to say, and that is "Go for it". Because, when you're old and crippled, the things you'll regret most are the things you never did.

Offline Zar Nakitama

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Re: Korg DS10
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2009, 11:05:04 pm »
Did you get that game from Ben? Cause it sounds like something Ben would have.
No, I bought it from EB Games during March Break. We should tell Ben about it though. He would like it.

No......Ben already has to many DS games.....he does not need another.....
True enough, lol.
LATEST TRACK: Zar - Hope