Nintendo DS Synth Program: “Korg DS-10 Analog Synth Emulator”
One correction: There are now North American and European releases out with appropriate documentation.
By Inside Synthesis
KORG DS-10 is a music creation program for the Nintendo DS that emulates the Korg MS range of synthesizers. Frequently people refer to the Korg MS-10 but this is a single oscillator monosynth. The DS-10 adds sync which the MS-20 is lacking. It was released on July 24, 2008 in Japan, October 10, 2008 in Europe, and November 4, 2008 in the United States.
A newer, DSi compatible version, entitled KORG DS-10 Plus, was released in Japan on September 17, 2009 and in the United States on February 16, 2010. It doubles the number of synth and drum machines. It also adds some minor new features for the standard DS.
The DS-10 creates sound with two analogue synthesizer emulators, each with two Voltage-Controlled Oscillators (the Korg MS-10 had only one VCO). The VCOs feature a sawtooth, a pulse (with a non-modifiable pulse width), a triangle and a noise waveform. There is also a four-part drum machine that uses the same sound creation techniques as the synthesizers. The sounds made by each of the synthesizer emulators are modified using virtual knobs to change the value of standard synthesizer parameters such as cutoff frequency and waveform shape. Additionally there is a screen where users can patch certain parameters to be modified by an LFO, the envelope generator, or VCO2. Those new to Korg synthesizers may find the original Korg MS-10 Manuals useful in understanding the function of its components.
The user interface is mainly through the DS’s touch screen with the cursors serving as a supplementary method of moving through the various interface screens. The primary method of navigating through interface screens is by switching the interface screen with the processing flow map and selecting which item to modify. Notes can be played using a 2 octave keyboard or through an interface that detects the X and Y position of the stylus on the touch pad simulating a KORG Kaoss Pad. The Kaoss Pad can also be used to modify volume and pan as well as being able to assign the X or Y values to any of the parameters that can be modified elsewhere. Users can record twenty-one sessions with sixteen different step patterns with either live input or through a step sequencer. These patterns can then either be selected live or sequenced with the song mode.
The DS-10 features a chorus, flanger and delay parameter that can be applied to each synth or the drum machine individually or as a whole. In addition, each of the editable drum sounds can have a separate effect added to it in addition to the global effect.