Hello again, it’s been a while! The last 18 months have seen me buy a new house, move in, move out again, then pretty much rebuild it.
We are finally getting back to normality though, and I now have the luxury of a dedicated studio space in the house (no more shed at the end of the garden!).
Whilst unpacking my equipment, I decided it was time to give some TLC to some of my more aged items.
Korg DDD-1 Drum Machine
Korg launched the DDD-1 drum machine in 1986. Built like a tank, it’s sounds have arguably aged better than competitor drum machines of the day such as the Roland TR-505 and Yamaha RX series. You aren’t limited to the 18 onboard sounds either, as it has 4 rom card expansion slots and Korg released a large number of expansions which pop up from time to time on ebay.
It also has an optional sampling board but these are very difficult to find, not to mention cost prohibitive on those rare occasions when one comes up for sale. More usefully though, an enterprising individual has reverse-engineered the rom cards and built an adapter that lets you add your own sounds, stored on EPROM chips.
I have a couple of these adapters myself, and have started burning my own EPROM’s with sounds created on my modular system. Of course, as the DDD-1 is only 8-bit, the samples don’t sound exactly the same as the originals, but this only serves to make them more unique.
Time for surgery
I purchased my DDD-1 a couple of years ago, and it generally works fine, but does have a high-pitched whining noise which I suspect comes from the LCD backlight. This isn’t present on the audio outputs though so is something I’ve largely learned to live with.
More recently though, I’ve noticed that the selection slider is a bit temperamental and the plus and minus selection buttons need quite a hard push before they work, which makes it difficult to program. Being over 30 years old, there’s a high probability the back-up battery will soon fail too, so I’ve decided some surgery is in order.
The back-up battery is your usual CR2032 button affair, although in their wisdom, Korg elected to solder this on the board. So I’ll also be fitting a battery holder to make future maintenance easier.