Tech Review: Sonic Union road tests the new Kenton D-Sync MIDI converter

Kenton is a UK company known for their high quality MIDI, CV/Gate and utility products. Their latest offering is the ‘D-Sync’ a compact bi-directional MIDI to DIN-Sync (Sync-24) converter used to synchronise old pre-midi hardware. Since its bi-directional it means the device can also convert DIN-Sync back to MIDI and both conversion steps can be used at the same time using the dedicated ‘MIDI in’ to ‘Sync out’ and ‘Sync in’ to ‘MIDI out’ ports.

The ‘D-Sync’ is housed in a brushed aluminium box not much larger than a cigarette package, and feels sturdy enough it can be tossed into your gig bag without having to worry. The device uses an USB micro cable (included in the package) to power the device and can be done either by plugging it into a computer USB socket or by using the supplied multi-regional power adapter that connects to the USB cable much like a phone charger.

I used the ‘D-Sync’ to synchronise my old Roland TB-303 through my Korg Electribe 2 and it just worked. Previously I have used my Novation Drumstation sync capabilities to get the 303 in sync but have always felt it was lagging behind. The Kenton ‘D-Sync’ definitely felt a lot more stable and changing tempo during a song was no problem, the 303 stayed in sync throughout. It might not be a very exciting thing to add to your studio but it is a product that works really well, takes very little space and just works with not fiddling around.

Worth mentioning is that Kenton has said that a future upgrade of the firmware (presumably through USB) would enable the ‘D-Sync’ to also do Sync-48, mostly used on older Korg hardware. I finally feel that my 303 is staying in sync properly using the ‘D-Sync’ and the ‘fit and forget’ mentality Kenton has for it is just right. The price of £70 is very reasonable, so I will be definitely keeping this one.

About the Author

Sweden’s Erik Pettersson is better known as DJ/producer Sonic Union, one half of prolific progressive house pair Bastards of Funk and Sonic Union and co-founder, label owner and manager of Lowbit Records.