Korg DSS-1

Korg DSS-1 Image

A wonderful early digital synthesizer. With eight notes of polyphony, two oscillators per voice, a noise source, two multi-stage envelopes, a resonant filter and auto-bend, the DSS-1 has much in common with Korg's previous flagship DW-8000. But it went much further, boasting twin digital delays, oscillator sync, an improved unison mode, a lush analog VCF switchable between 12 and 24dB, and more. Whereas the DW-8000 got its raw material from 16 stored digital waves, the DSS1's oscillators take their source from sampling, additive synthesis, or even hand-drawn waveforms!

It actually had a warm sound and was great for creating pads and textures, as well as deep basses and drones. The synthesis method is based on altering various waveform samples via 2 data sliders. It can sample and then treat the samples as its waveforms - that includes all filtering and envelopes.

Korg DSM-1 Image

The DSM-1 (1987) was the expanded rackmount version.

It was used by Jean Michel Jarre, Joe Zawinul, Michael Cretu of Enigma, Mark Jenkins, Hiro Kawahara, Paul Nagle, Shriekback, and Steve Winwood.

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89 Visitor comments
April 19, 2014 @ 11:01 pm
I finally found a DSS-1. It is just awesome as it is. I sent my broads to tom for a proper installation of the mod kit and now enjoy it even more. As said by VSE in their description, it goes ways further than the DW-8000 (which I also own).
March 30, 2014 @ 12:24 pm
Does anyone know how too reset the dss -1 I do need too get a new floppy drive for it thanks
February 24, 2014 @ 2:12 pm
Crunchy crystals! This machine is unbelievable. I once played a PPG Wave, found out about their prices and forgot about it. Two years later, I find a DSS-1 and am amazed how it can make the same sounds! There is a way to bitcrush your samples down to 6 bit and lower the sample rate below recognition. LOADS of character and class. All that wrapped in quality analog filters. The Floppy drive still works on mine but if it ever breaks down, I'll just replace it with a Lotharek drive.
Kastriot Hoxha
October 18, 2013 @ 12:47 pm
I have one at home in fully working order, great synth&sampler :)
October 18, 2013 @ 10:00 am
The modification kit is still available. I have 20 left. Go to www.straylightengineering.com for more details on the mod. I'm working on a similar mod for the DSM that will bring it up to par with the DSS-1 (resonance, dual osc, USB, expanded memory, waveform drawing). Plus some other features...
VSE Rating


User Rating

Rated 4.56 (966 Votes)

  • Check Price
  • The link above will take you to an eBay search for this synth to see active listings. If you don't find it there, try looking in our forum marketplace or post a wanted classified.
  • Specifications
  • Polyphony - 8 Voices
  • Oscillators - 16 - 2 oscillators per voice
  • Sampler - 256k
  • Memory - 5 sec sampling
  • Synthesis - 128 Sine waveforms you re-shape using 2 sliders
  • Keyboard - 61 keys w/ velocity and aftertouch
  • Filter - Lowpass 2 or 4 pole + envelope
  • Control - MIDI
  • Date Produced - DSS-1: 1986, DSM-1: 1987
  • Resources & Credits
  • Images from

    Thanks to Glen Stegner for providing info.

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