Siel DK70

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The DK70 is a fully programmable, battery powered portable synthesizer featuring subtractive synthesis using DCO, VCF and VCA technology (similar to Roland's Alpha Juno series). It has a polyphony of 8 voices in normal mode and 4 voices in dual mode. There are 50 memory patches (40 preset, 10 user) but that could be expanded to 100 with additional ROM or RAM cartridges. Editing and creating sounds is a behind the scenes affair - that is, not for real time or live use. With only a handful of press buttons for all data entry, editing is very tedious and boring.

So stick with the presets or pre-program and store your own sounds for later because this synth is otherwise aimed right at the live user - battery powered, lightweight, built-in guitar strap hooks and an optional "Stage Set" Grip with pitch ribbon, modulation depth, program change and octave +/- controls. The 49-note keyboard does not have velocity sensitivity. It also has a chorus effect and a simple two track sequencer which can store up to 200 notes. This cheap synth is great for string sounds, pads, bass and strange noises. Although similarly designed synths like the Roland Alpha Juno and Korg Poly 800 often seem more popular, many users have found the DK70 to have warmer and more 'analog' qualities from its VCF and VCA sections. The DK70 is probably an underrated synth and definitely worth checking out if you ever come across one.

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ManualDownload the original owner's manual from SoundProgramming.net.

Specifications

Polyphony - 8 voices (or 4 voice 'Dual Mode' with 2 DCOs per voice)
Oscillators - 8 DCO's (Square / Saw-tooth).
Filter - VCF: 1 resonant 24dB/Octave (4 pole) Low-Pass filter
Envelopes - VCA: ADSR envelope, triggered by gate or LFO
LFO - One
Effects - Chorus
Arpeg/Seq - 2 track polyphonic sequencer
Keyboard - 49 keys (Split/layer)
Memory - 40 preset, 10 user
Control - MIDI In/Out/Thru
Date Produced - 1985

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Reviewed November 2007.