Stumbling on the Korg DS-10 emulator for the Nintendo DS on Amazon sent me spiraling back to the early seventies. As a thirteen-year old brought up on late 60’s synth-pop I was fascinated by the thirteen part series in Practical Electronics magazine to build your own analogue Sound Synthesizer.

The series began in the February 1973 issue and each month a new module was added; voltage controlled oscillators, ring modulators, noise generators etc. I remember pouring over the circuit diagrams and dreaming of vast arrays of pots to twiddle and spaghetti-like patch leads. Unfortunately my schoolboy pocket money didn’t stretch to that many 741 op amps and by the time a DIY keyboard and one VCO had been built I was out of funds. Another youthful dream horribly dashed on the rocks of reality.

Sound on Sound have an interesting article on DIY synthesizer projects that describes the PE Sound Synthesizer and its descendents. One phrase, describing the original article’s audience:

aimed at the anal-retentive schoolboy with no interest in girls or sports. The schoolboy would have had to have some kind of qualification in either physics or maths to complete such a task, and few did!

gave my wife much amusement for some reason.

And now there’s an emulator for the classic Korg MS-10 running on the Nintendo handheld. According to the spec sheet it is not an 100% emulation and adds enhancements such as a sequencer. It’s unlikely that the DS will get close to reproducing the famous MS-10 fat bass sounds but in a few days time I’ll be able to live my boyhood dreams and find out.