Published today by XSEED Games, the KORG DS-10 synthesizer is no mere Nintendo DS game; it’s an emulator that offers aspiring artists and curious musicians KORG-quality sound creation as well as a 6-track/16-step sequencer. Taking advantage of the DS unit’s touch screen technology, users can write music note by note or play via the on-screen keyboard. Up to eight DS units can even be linked via a wireless connection to play together or to exchange sounds and songs.
According to XSEED, the KORG DS-10 Synthesizer offers two patchable duel-oscillator analog synth simulators and a four-part drum machine utilizing sounds generated from the analog synth simulator. "Sculpt your own sounds with expansive on-screen controls, or start from a preset template and get straight to writing," says the official website. "Create synth and drum lines using KORG DS-10 Synthesizer’s on-screen touch keyboard and drum pads, or engage the elegant 16-step sequencer. Employ KORG’s KAOSS technology to add astonishing custom modulations to your tracks in real-time. Tighten the mix with KORG DS-10 Synthesizer’s full featured mixer, then polish that next big groove with multiple effects. Chain patterns to create complete songs and save it all right on the spot."
The six-track sequencer features two analog synth tracks and four drum machine tracks. Musicians also have access to sound effects via the mixing board including delay, chorus, and flanger. There are also three note-entry modes: Touch Screen control, keyboard screen and matrix screen; users can control sounds in real-time via the Touch Screen control mode and virtual knobs. With the touch of the DS stylus, musicians can change the pitch of a note on-screen turning virtual knobs assigned to octave, portamento and EG INT. THE VCO completely alters the sound with saw, noise, triangle, pulse and more. The VCF section allows the user to modify various values to "create more interesting and textured sounds." A good way to understand the DS-10 full capabilities is to read Korg’s MS Monophonic Synthesizers manuals here.
In 2006, Nintendo released another interactive "musical" program called Electroplankton. However, unlike the KORG Ds-10 Synthesizer that emulates an actual instrument, Electroplankton is classified as an interactive musical video game offering ten different plankton-themed environments. Gamers use the stylus to interact with the plankton while making music in the process. Another musical interactive game offering for the Nintendo DS is Guitar Hero On Tour, featuring music tracks ripped straight from the likes of No Doubt, Twisted Sister, Nirvana and even blink-182; the game also comes with a Guitar Grip adapter that slides into the GBA port.
Unlike Guitar Hero On Tour and Electroplankton, the KORG DS-10 is no game. “The DS-10 produces an outstanding software facsimile, and it also makes superb use of touch screen interface to capture the feel of using one of these awesome old school synthesizers in person. All fans and performers of music should explore XSEED’s KORG DS-10," said Mike Griffin, Play Magazine.
Interested gamers and curious musicians can head to stores now and pick up a copy of the KORG DS-10 Synthesizer for $39.99.