KORG DS-10 Plus

Common Sense Media says

Powerful, portable electronic music composition software.

Age(i)

2
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Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

This music creation game teaches kids that creating music can be fun and exciting.

Ease of play

The controls are complicated to use. Learning the complex and deep composition and editing elements offered in this software require patience.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

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.

Parents say

Kids say

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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?

QUALITY
 

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.

Families can talk 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.

Game details

Platforms:Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi
Price:$29.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Xseed Games
Release date:February 16, 2009
Genre:Music and Dance
ESRB rating:E for (No Descriptors) (Nintendo DS, Nintendo DSi)

This review of KORG DS-10 Plus was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Parent of a 15 year old Written byanamberani March 1, 2010
AGE
17
QUALITY
 
i love yoou all
What other families should know
Too much consumerism
Teen, 16 years old Written bySynchronicity February 26, 2010
AGE
13
QUALITY
 

Double the power, double the fun, but not a game in any sense

If you know about synthesizers (like I do), you know Korg is number one. Everyone from The Chemical Brothers to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs has used a Korg in at least one of their songs. Likewise, the Korg DS-10+, not to mention its prequel (2008's Korg DS-10), are expansive music creation tools, and it'd be a huge stretch to call 'em games. The original Korg DS-10 was an excellent effort, but never caught on (probably because its original $40 price point was perceived as way too high for DS software [I CAN'T CALL IT A GAME], and thus only Guitar Center [seriously], Amazon, and GameStop carried it). It was a very complex emulation of the classic Korg MS-10/MS-20 synthesizer, used by the Chemical Brothers and Digitalism, among others. Now, the people behind the Korg DS-10 have created a sequel/successor that is more of the same - but if you've got a Nintendo DSi, you've got double the power. The original DS-10 had 2 analog synth tracks; the DS-10+ has 4. DS-10 had 4 drum tracks, and the DS-10+ has 8. The song mode has a larger amount of pattern tracks. And there are better effects, such as the synth choir (I'VE WANTED THAT!) Overall, the Korg DS-10+ is THE best synthesizer emulation ever made. In terms of age appropriateness, there is nothing wrong when it comes to content; however, this software is very complex (it's an "easy-to-learn-but-hard-to-master" sort of affair), so I set the age limit at ages 13 plus. If you've already bought the DS-10 and have a regular DS, don't waste your time. But, if you have a DSi and the DS-10, or don't have the DS-10, then...you must buy the DS-10+.

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