A few comments that I’ve posted up elsewhere:
Just had my first proper go on this. It’s pretty cool! Navigation is really friendly and intuitive. The kaos stuff is a nice plus. It’s a shame it’s only got the two synths and four drum patches, but you can use drum patch slots for synth sounds – they just have to be played monophonic. With a bit of luck this thing might teach me to work within constraints. Either that or we’ll have to form that band.
Spent a bit more time with this tonight. There’s a few things I misunderstood. All four of the drum sounds have the full chromatic range but they have a separate effects section and there’s no KAOSS pad on those patches, just on the two synths.
The sequencer is a very basic up-to-4-bar old school 16th note step sequencer. Arrangement is just a string of up to 100 patterns chained. There are 16 patterns and each uses the same sound, effect and mixer settings.
The KAOSS pad is quite configurable and movements can be recorded and/or edited in the step sequencer. This is definitely one of the better features.
The effects are very basic but serviceable.
The synth sounds good. Basically does what it says on the tin.
I’m not seeing any way to back it up other than to transmit to another DS. Might need to look in to that in more detail.
Ultimately, with constraints like these, you’re unlikely to put together your next great opus on this thing, but with such a stripped-down set of features there’s very little to distract from the business of making music. I’m pretty sure I know it almost inside-out after just a couple of hours. All that said, it really is very fun to use and worth every penny of £125 (or £25 if you already own a DS).