argus's Korg DS-10 (Nintendo DS) review

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  • argus has written a total of 7 reviews. The last one was for Eufloria

A powerful music maker, if you have the patience to learn.

KORG DS-10 Synthesizer is an application for the Nintendo DS that allows the user to design and mix up to 16 musical patterns in order to create electronic, loop-based songs.

At first the software seems severely limited. Each "pattern" is made up of only two synthesized tracks, the maximum duration of which is about 4 beats (not measures... beats.) Add in a stunted instrument selection and you have something that, on the surface, appears capable of making only basic tunes.

The reality is so much more.

Once you listen to the impressive demo song, you realize that the strength of KORG DS-10 lies in its expansive ability to alter the sound of each track. The user has the option to fiddle with Flange, Cutoff, Delay, etc. - (you slowly figure out what these terms mean) and fine-tune every category to the nth degree. Two track music (Three if you count the drums) suddenly becomes very deep and very complex, and if you're willing to invest the time and effort you will be rewarded.

A caveat, though - this game is not for anyone looking to compose long melodies. With only 4 beats to create music in per pattern... well, John Hammond wouldn't be satisfied with this title. Its main flexibility comes from mixing and matching the 16 patterns and blending them together in various ways. You can get some pretty complicated sounds out, and if you wanted to, you could painstakingly force the game into creating a *brief* melody. But that wouldn't be the purpose of KORG DS-10. KORG is made for dance music, and in this matter it shines.

There are other issues to consider -The title isn't friendly to absolute novices (that's the price you pay for versatility) and one wishes one *could* expand the track length to at least 16 beats. But if one is willing to pass over these drawbacks, you'll truly come to enjoy the product.

I recommend KORG DS-10 to anyone who likes dance/electronica style music and/or enjoys rocking out on the commuter rail.


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