Think "Yamaha" and you might imagine the ground breaking (and back breaking!) CS80 monster polysynth, the CP70 / 80 electric grand piano and, of course, the (in)famous DX7 FM synth.

But there's another side to Yamaha.

Aside from motorcycles (not to mention acous†ic pianos, orchestral instruments, guitars, recording equipment and more), they also have a vibrant 'consumer electronics' department dedicated to getting inexpensive (and hence compromised) derivatives of their technologies onto the high street.

Released in 1988, the DD10 was never intended as a 'pro' piece of kit - instead (as can be seen from the drawing to the right which was taken from the original operator's manual!), it was aimed at the home market for those who fancied banging out a few beats in a self-contained. self-amplified 'laptop' unit. It also had preset patterns which you could play along with. The sounds are 8-bit (at a push!) with a low bandwidth and several sounds share the same samples at different pitches (for example, the crash cymbal appears to be the ride cymbal slowed down!) and with no interpolation or anti-aliasing, the transposed samples are very crunchy.

The pads were velocity sensitive, albeit only at two levels - half volume and maximum volume! The sounds could be played with velocity using the unit's limited MIDI spec though.

However, none of these limitations stopped creative musicians utilsing it in their music. With 26 drum, percussion and sound effects samples available, its low cost appealed very much to musos on a budget.

Frankly speaking, the sounds (by and large) are absolute rubbish and some don't even bear any resemblance to their label! However, they do have a lo-fi charm all their own which might add some distinctive spice to a track.

The 26 samples presented here authentically reproduce the originals and cover a range of C1-C4

Samples kindly donated by regular Hollow Sun contributor Louis van Dompselaar.