Knobs and knobs and knobs and knobs and knobs: Korg's classic MS-10 synthesizer will see an improved emulator in this September's launch of the DS-12, exclusively for the Nintendo 3DS.
In 2008, Korg, the music industry's leading supplier of analog synthesizers, made waves—figuratively and literally—with its surprisingly robust DS-10, a synthesizer emulator for the original Nintendo DS. Since the cartridge landed well before tablets and smartphones had risen as suitable, portable pieces of musical hardware, its use of the DS touchscreen proved welcome for anybody who wanted to quickly twist knobs, create sequences, and create glorious, synthesized sounds in a cheap, portable way.
However, since its host hardware only had 4MB of RAM, the designers at Japanese studio Detune had to make compromises in reproducing the decades-old MS-10 synthesizer, particularly in cutting the number of simultaneous sounds. After launching various follow-ups on iOS, the DSi, and even a limited keyboard synthesizer on the 3DS, Korg has returned with its most robust synth emulation offering yet: the DS-12, set to launch this September.
For starters, Korg enthusiasts can now look forward to 12 discrete synthesizers running simultaneously, as opposed to the original DS-10's weird hack of four synths and two "drum tracks" (which actually worked by pre-recording drum tracks to be played back, so as to reduce overall hardware load). As with last year's M01-D piano synthesizer, the new DS-12 will also include longer 64-step patterns, which can either lengthen sequences or provide greater sonic density in the same amount of time.