Back in about 1990, a friend of mine bought a second hand Roland SH-101 synth for £45. I was very jealous, despite the fact that I have no musical talent and wouldn’t have had a clue what to do with it.

Now, I’m never going to get an SH-101 (have you seen the prices these days?) but I do now have the Korg DS-10. Okay, so you tap away with the stylus instead of physically moving knobs and switches. And the sound quality isn’t as good. But, you know what? It’s £30 imported from Japan and it makes me feel good. It’s very limited in sequencing terms and seems to be designed as a live tool, but what you’ve got works very well and there’s lots of stuff to play around with. I don’t know the terms, I don’t know what I’m doing, I can only seem to make a horrible repeating racket, but it makes me happy.

It’s a toy, but it’s had a lot of thought put into it. It gives me a lovely feeling of being musical and creative even when I’m just making horrible noise. And, most of all, unlike homebrew music apps, it’s official. It’s an official Korg synth. This makes a world of difference to me, though I’m not sure why.

(It’s also all in English. Well, if you can call baffling acronyms and abbreviations English.)