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Nintendo DS Review: KORG DS-10 Plus

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The second thing I need to tell you about KORG DS-10 Plus is that it is really neat. The first thing you should know is that it’s not a game. This is a real, live music synthesizer. It includes a keyboard and drum pads that can be played with a stylus. There is no end to the irritability factor one can create in public places such as airplanes and buses with this title.

Clearly, I am not a music professional. I’ve written some things that I like to pair up with traditional melodies, and it helps if I have a keyboard with which to hammer out some of the tunes. I have a couple of large keyboards that are pretty inconvenient to use, and I keep them in places where I usually am not. When I need them, they’re nowhere to be found. The advantage to KORG DS-10 Plus is that the keyboard is my DS which is always in reach and compact enough to go where I go. I was surprised how superior the sound quality is to most mini-keyboards and very happy to report it is in no way “tinny.”

If you are not familiar with this type of application (game), it is highly recommended that you read the instruction booklet. I know that goes against the grain for most of us, but there are so many features included, it would be a pity if one didn’t know how to use them. To get the full value from KORG DS-10 Plus, a DSi is preferable as it allows the user 12 tracks. Other DS users (I’ve got a DS Lite) will have only six tracks with which to work.

Although this is not really a game, I find it to be a great toy. KORG DS-10 Plus meets my needs by allowing song composition and “real-time performance.” It is the kind of application that can be played with for hours because there is so much room for experimentation. There is a mixing board for working with sound effects and “two dual oscillator synth parts and four synth/drum parts” to accompany one’s work.

KORG DS-10 Plus incorporates wireless features which connect up to eight units.  Although I didn't have the opportunity to test it, according to the manufacturer “You can sync up to 8 units and perform an ensemble. Each KORG DS-10 PLUS can be its own independent instrument, or can be assigned a part to create a band — it's up to you on how you want to play!” It seems like a useful expansion for those who need (or want) that many tracks.

At approximately one-third the price of the original KORG DS-10, KORG DS-10 Plus offers expanded features which include the ability to edit parameters during playback as well as the ability to program mutes on specific tracks in song mode. The opportunity for the casual player to experiment with a synthesizer without breaking the bank makes the title well worth it.

Bottom Line: Would I buy KORG DS-10 Plus? Yes, I think I am going to find it very useful; I already know it’s cool.

KORG DS-10 Plus is rated E (Everyone) by the ESRB.

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