Synth Site: Miscellaneous: DS-12: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.0 out of 5
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Roel a hobbyist user from The Netherlands writes:
The Orla "Digital Sound Expander" comes probably in different versions. I have a, so called, "DSE-12/24"; with room for an extra 12 voices. It is also possible to expand the 98 factorysounds with another set of 98 voices. But we are talking about the eighties. I don't think Orla delivers these expansions anymore. There's a big empty place on the mainboard where you are supposed to solder a bagfull of electronic parts in order to get the extra 12 voices. The Orla seems more to be a do-it-yourself-kit. The manual states that it uses "PM synthese". That would mean that soundgeneration is more close to the Casio CZ's than FM-synths. To my ears it sounds smoother than FM. Besides 4 operators and eight algorithms things differ from, let's say a humble DX100. Only one sinus-LFO for general modulation and no pitch-envelopes. Instead you get the option to double a patch with itself (making the Orla 6-voice) with a detune parameter. Also built-in on the mainboard you will find an "ensemble-chorus"unit. Not common on old FM synths. This 19-inch unit is more directed to the professional organplayer (Böhm, Wersi, Orla or Elka).

If you can find one very cheap you could buy yourself a friendly, ugly-built, "hybrid" of a FM/PM synthesizer, with some classic sounds. The 98 patches in RAM can all be overwritten, and if you go for the cheesy, eighties-sounds you can re-call these from ROM.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-14-1999 at 12:42
Roel Visser a hobbyist user from The Netherlands writes:
This is a strange hybrid. It uses Phase modulation, so it's closer to Casio CZ's than Yamaha FM synths. I have the impression that the sounds are a bit smoother than FM. Built in you can find an "ensemble"circuit that makes you sound as a real oldfashioned electronic organplayer. You can also double a sound with itself (reducing polyphony from 12 to 6) and slightly detune it. On the LFO-side you only have sinus-vibrato as a general modulation. It is obvious that this 19 inch unit was really aimed at the organplayer who wished that he had more voices & sounds for his Wersi, Orla, Böhm or Elka organ. The manual says that you could order an expansionkit for double polyphony and an extra 98 romvoices. Peeking inside I found out that this has to be a complete bag of electronic parts that can be soldered on the mainboard. Really do-it-yourself stuff for the experienced technician.

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Thursday-Jan-14-1999 at 10:48
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