Korg DDD-5

Korg DDD-5 Image

The DDD-5 is a digital programmable drum machine from Korg from the mid-eighties. It was a newer but less professional version of the DDD-1. It offers 14 electronic drum sounds at once with a typical mid-eighties electronic drum sound that is not too popular today. In fact today the DDD-5 may be used more often as a trusty old play along drum machine for practicing musicians. Basic sounds include kicks, snares, toms, rimshot, closed hi hats, open hi hats, ride, crash, claps, cowbell, tambourine and cabasa. Additional sounds can be added using ROM cards, compatible with the DDD-1. The DDD-5 does not include the sampling option that was available on the DDD-1. And there are only seven assignable Dynamic Sound buttons for triggering drum sounds.

Korg DDD-5 Image

Programming the DDD-5 is fairly straight forward. Memory holds 100 patterns which can be linked or chained to form songs, for which there are 24 song memory locations. The drum sounds have editable parameters such as tuning and decay. For added groove in your patterns there are Roll and Flam effects. The DDD-5 is equipped with MIDI implementation making it an easy drum machine to use in any MIDI environment. If you like typical eighties drum sounds, the DDD-5 is a cheap alternative to the DDD-1 and other similar drum machines like the Roland TR-707.

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14 Visitor comments
September 8, 2010 @ 3:39 pm
I have a Korg ddd5 and it's back to life after the lithium battery gave up the ghost, I want to re-set it back to factory settings and do not have a manual....can anyone help..cheers..tel 0161 303 9966..
September 5, 2010 @ 8:16 am
This review is wrong. There are 29 sounds in the DDD5.

The DDD5 has two modes of operation: preset & programmable. In preset mode, you can select from two dozen built in rhythms, much like an old organ beatbox. These can be triggered (start/stop, fill in, intro) via footswitches that plug in on the back.

A typical beatbox of the mid-80s.

The Roland units of the time didn't blow these out of the water. None of these early pcm boxes sound much like acoustic drums (which is what they're supposed to do).

Feature wise, the this Korg is far more capable than the PCM TRs - touch sensitive, more memory, and more samples.
July 31, 2009 @ 2:57 pm
Unfortunately, these are among the most forgettable drum machines ever made. The sounds were very synthesized sounding and not in a good way. The build quality and functionality were typically good as we have come to expect from Korg, but these machines just didn't have it where it really counted, sound quality. Comparable Roland units of the time just blew these out of the water.
Hint Me
November 30, 2008 @ 7:16 am
This is an underdog, very punchy, very Eighties sounds drum machine. Love at first sight
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Rated 2.98 (168 Votes)

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  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 12 (14) voices
  • Sounds - 18 sampled sounds: 2 Kick, 2 Snare, Low/Mid/Hi Toms, Rimshot, Claps, Crash, 2 Open hihats, 2 Closed hihats, Ride, Cowbell, Tambourine and Cabasa
  • Controls - decay, tuning and more
  • Patterns - 100
  • Songs - 24
  • Keyboard - 7 velocity sensitive pads
  • Effects - None
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - 1987
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