Not amazing or anything, but gives a decent idea of what can be done with the thing. We were also discussing (to belatedly cite the quotes in my last post) whether or not some of the tracks had been 8-bit compressed afterwards, which was inconclusive. You can grab the comp and the mix of the tracks on the comp here.
Replies from me:
Is it something that you could use to make releasable tracks? Releasable in the regular sense I mean, as opposed to on some release called something like “DS10 Trax” where people would allow it to sound a bit duff because it’s a concepty thing.
I’ve not put it through monitors to say, but I reckon it would be passable. Thing is, you’re just always going to be working with a quite limited number of sounds, and that would reduce the types of music you could properly make on it.
One other thing I’ve come to realise today is that the song mode is a bit disappointing, as you can’t actually modify things with the KAOSS pad, synth settings or effects in real time. You can still record distinct KAOSS pad movements in each pattern, but when the patterns are only 4 bars that’s a bit poo. This ultimately means you can do very little fading/effecting manipulation or you have to do everything on the fly in pattern mode (probably not the end of the world).
And how do you get your tracks off it? Does it render tracks to a .wav file or somat like that, and you then save the .wav to a memory card which you can then stick in another computer in order to pull it off?
Record the headphone jack output.
I like the idea of someone sat on the tube playing with something like this and spotting someone else opposite them doing the same. You’d then hit a “Jam!” button and choose whether you want to be the bassist, drummer etc. and then start making sweet sweet wireless jam music together.
Yeah, the “multi-player” mode could make things a bit more interesting. One person is master and the rest are slaves, as I understand it. Not totally clear on how that works in practice.
Incidentally, the patterns are only 1 bar in length, not 4- unless there’s something I’m missing?
No, you’re right. That’s my error. Up to 16 steps.
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).