A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this game.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that KORG DS-10 Plus is a remarkably detailed music creation software that mimics all the functions of sophisticated synthesizers and drum machines. Younger kids may find fiddling around fun, but learning the complex and deep composition and editing elements requires patience and determination that players younger than 12 may not have.
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What's it about?
In the game KORG DS-10 PLUS, keyboard manufacturer KORG has managed to pack features and functionality from some of their electronic music-making products onto a tiny, Nintendo DS cartridge. Features include a drum module that lets users build a track with snare, bass drum, high-hat, etc., and four keyboard synthesizers. Players can build songs comprised of up to 12 tracks, layering them together within a sequencer. There are nearly limitless options for changing the shape of track sounds by tweaking knobs, sliders and wires. One impressive option for fiddling with tone is a DS version of the Korg Kaoss Pad, a touch-sensitive screen with an X and Y axis for manipulating pitch, volume, and other properties in real time.
Is it any good?
KORG DS-10 Plus is a very impressive music creation tool that offers literally unlimited choices for composing multi-track songs using a fairly basic interface. This software is really more musical instrument than game, though it does have high fun and replayability factors. Learning the finer points of music track building, however, requires careful study of the manual and real practice with and exploration of the features. The only drawback is a lack of explanatory text and tutorial. The payoff for learning, however, is very rich musical experience that is well worth the effort.
Online interaction: Players can link to other NIntendo DS users to download their musical compositions and add to them.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the ways in which sound can be manipulated. This game introduces concepts such as decay, sustain, attack, reverberation, and many others. What does increasing or decreasing these qualities do to the sound?
Parents can talk to kids about some types of synthesizer sounds found in the game. These same sounds can be heard in many popular songs, so it's fun to identify instances of the sounds.
You can also discuss the basic physical properties of sound and how these apply to music. Changing the actual shape of sound waves has fascinating, satisfying, and immediate effect.
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