korg dss1 ever had one?

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korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby afelinecasanova » Tue Feb 10, 2009 7:15 pm

has anyone used a dss 1?
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby yburn » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:12 am

it's a monster. Has a very raw sound, is fairly easy to program although using a midi controller board doesn't work too well. It's huge and heavy so you need a decent stand a lots of space. Mines currently out of action unfortunately but having taken it apart I can vouch for the fact it's build like a tank, the steel chassis looks like it came out of an old Merc. This website has pretty much every bit of info available, http://glenstegner.com/dss1/home.html. I think Glen posts on here on the odd occasion too.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby Dreamtronix » Wed Feb 11, 2009 12:39 am

The DSS-1 is one of Korg's best synths. Really warm and phat. It sounds so good that back in the day I had two and I still miss 'em.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby gs » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:36 pm

yburn wrote:This website has pretty much every bit of info available, http://glenstegner.com/dss1/home.html. I think Glen posts on here on the odd occasion too.


Yup I post here, and so here I am! -- posting here. :lol:

Agree with the comments so far. The DSS-1 has a big fat warm sound, it can put any number of DCO analogs to shame, is quite flexible for a "sampler" - has a full compliment of synth parameters that were lacking in the more popular 8-bit samplers of the day (Mirage, Emulator). I use mine mainly as a polysynth not as a sampler, though I sometimes like to sample my JD800 or Z1 and mangle the sound through the VCF or experiment with backwards playback / crossfading / sample stitching / waverform creation. There's a ton of stuff you can do with this machine. It's a HUGE bang for the buck.

I really do think it's Korg's best synth since the Trident, and it's their last one with resonant analog filters (their last 'proper synth' architecture before the rompler topology of the M1 took over). Between the Trident and the DSS-1, Korg released a string of budget synths trying to compete with the Roland Juno, from the Poly6/61 all the way up to the DW-6000/8000 (the Poly800 was the low point of this period), and most of those synths sound like it (though I'll make an exception for the Poly6 and DW-8000). Think of the DSS-1 as a DW-8000 on steroids with sampling, that's pretty much what it is.

With the DSS-1, Korg tried to get back up into the upper priced pro-range synth arena, just as Roland tried to do with the JX-10 after a few similar years of pumping out budget models.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby gs » Sat Feb 14, 2009 3:44 pm

yburn wrote:although using a midi controller board doesn't work too well.


I use a Peavey PC-1600 to control params on my DSS-1. The part that doesn't work too well is that you get MIDI stuttering noise when adjusting params using external MIDI control. It has something to do with the more complex OS, as the DW-8000 never had this problem. So a MIDI controller would still be great for creating patches (my main use for it), but not so great for live performance.

There's a nifty little trick (mentioned on my web site) to get the filter to sweep smoothly using a slider or knob of an external MIDI controller. You have to set the DSS-1 joystick pitchbend off, and then set the joystick left/right movements to control filter cutoff. Then you just program a knob/slider on your controller to send the Pitchbend MIDI message. Voila - you got complete control of the filter cutoff in realtime, in THOUSANDS of steps (not 128) -- not possible by adjusting VCF Cutoff directly.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby ndkent » Sun Feb 15, 2009 11:38 pm

In todays world it's by far the ultimate in the DW series. In other words loadable samples rather than ROM waves with a very good solid analog synth engine. As a sampler it's a mixed bag being so old. The load time from floppies is really long and while it's easier to sample with than say a Mirage, it's not exactly easy, fast or powerful. I don't consider it as having a raw sound. Certainly not against say an 8 bit Mirage. It can do some very lush smooth sounds. But it does have a "raw" sound capability in that you can sync the two sample playing oscs to create meaner sounds than conventional sample playback creates. I agree that it's not easy to try to control with a knob box because of more complex parameters. It's not that terrible to use except for the multi-sample structure which is complicated to set up but makes it easy to try different samples with a cool synth patch (you know, filters, envelopes, etc.) So it's unusually one of the few samplers where you can do a real flip through and tweak the presets sort of routine if you want to.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby thefonz003 » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:45 pm

yburn wrote:it's a monster. Has a very raw sound, is fairly easy to program although using a midi controller board doesn't work too well. It's huge and heavy so you need a decent stand a lots of space. Mines currently out of action unfortunately but having taken it apart I can vouch for the fact it's build like a tank, the steel chassis looks like it came out of an old Merc. This website has pretty much every bit of info available, http://glenstegner.com/dss1/home.html. I think Glen posts on here on the odd occasion too.


Glen Stegner is the freaking man. Just thought I'd throw that out there. He hosts like 100-and-some sound banks for the DSS-1 on his site; all you need is a floppy drive and the awesome OmniFlop program to make your own floppies with these banks, which include both factory presets and extensive custom banks.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby commodorejohn » Tue Apr 21, 2015 3:53 pm

Yes, it's the goods as far as sound is concerned. Same excellent dark spacey SSM sound as the DW-8000, plus another delay unit, oscillator sync, and some other goodies. The only downsides are A. it's just slightly too small to pass for a ping-pong table, and more importantly B. the LFO is, for some stupid reason, limited to sine, and C. its floppy drive is achingly slow. There's a mod to fix that last one, but it's on the pricey side.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby max badwan » Tue Apr 21, 2015 11:04 pm

No-one has mentioned waveform drawing on the DSS. Not particularly useful, but hours of fun to be had.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby Aaron2 » Wed Apr 22, 2015 5:31 am

commodorejohn wrote:The only downsides are A. it's just slightly too small to pass for a ping-pong table


That thing is a monster! It's easily the heaviest 61-key synth known to man.
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Re: korg dss1 ever had one?

Postby commodorejohn » Wed Apr 22, 2015 6:03 am

Well, it's not quite CS-80 levels of massive - but yeah, it is a beast alright. You could pretty much fit an entire other smallish keyboard (h**l, maybe even a mid-sized '70s stringer) on top of it and not even cover up the controls.
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