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KORG DSN-12 Review

by Karlie Yeung - October 8, 2014, 2:33 am EDT
Total comments: 1


Ever wanted to create music? Maybe this is a good place to learn on the go!

Before kicking off my review for KORG DSN-12, I never gave DETUNE's range of music creation software much thought. Not that I toyed around with this kind of software in the past, but I couldn't imagine it working well on a Nintendo 3DS. It turns out that my initial thoughts were quite wrong, and that I mostly needed time to adjust myself to its standards.

My initial moments with KORG DSN-12 were an absolute struggle. The interface will tell you nothing about what you can do with the software. Every time I saw bits that I couldn't grasp, I had to open the digital manual. While the digital manual is a paradise of information, it can also be clunky to use. I would have preferred if KORG DSN-12 told me everything in-game and guided me more while building my very first arrangement.

Once it gets going, though, you will see the true excellence of the tools on offer in KORG DSN-12. The title comes fully equipped with a synthesizer and sequencer, and these can help you to build anything from scratch. There are 12 channels that allow you to put different tones on each, and this can create the feeling of various instruments. Simple changes to the pitch and other aspects made for interesting results, and I am still experimenting with it. Every ''instrument'' can be used for 64 segments, and each segment is a self contained melody that you create step by step. The creative freedom you have with the segments allow for the creation of varied songs. The duration, speed, and volume of each section can be tailored to your liking, and the possibilities seem endless.

What I likemost about KORG DSN-12 is the variety of ways to listen back to my creations. While the Pattern Program lets you simply arrange sequences in a single timeline, I usually found myself toying with the Patterns Pads. You can place segments on buttons on the touchscreen and mix them while the song is playing live. This allows for quick changes to the song's overall structure and lets you take the first steps in becoming a DJ.

I really enjoyed my time with KORG DSN-12, even though I struggled at first to make something good. If you barely or never toyed around with software like this, your only true help is the digital manual, and it will take a lot of effort to learn everything. Once the dust is settled, you have the perfect portable music mixing and matching tool. Producing music is snappy and fun, and it becomes even crazier when you put those sequences into motion.


  • Allows for a large variety of music
  • Lots of handy tools
  • Sequencing the music is quite lovely
  • Really confusing at first


ejamerOctober 08, 2014

I don't really have the time/talent to make software like this worth buying... but love the fact that it exists and am jealous of people who do have the skill to make music that is worth listening to.

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Genre Rhythm
Developer DETUNE Ltd.
Players1 - 4

Worldwide Releases

na: KORG DSN-12
Release Oct 23, 2014
PublisherDETUNE Ltd.
eu: KORG DSN-12
Release Sep 25, 2014

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