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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88 Visitor comments
Don Airey
August 21, 2012 @ 1:12 pm
When people understand what DSS-1 is, it will cost more than 1000 bucks on 2nd hand shops and eBay.

It is a monster ANALOG with sampled oscillators and a Chaos of routing..
August 18, 2012 @ 9:14 pm
Picked up one of these on eBay for $50. Replaced the floppy drive with [http://www.lotharek.pl/]'s SD floppy drive emulator. Downloaded all the disk images from [http://glenstegner.com/dss1/home.html]. This synth is awesome! Although you can only edit 1 parameter at a time, the interface isn't that bad. You can make crazy sounds with this. Can't wait to make my own samples.
July 15, 2012 @ 7:47 am
the dsm is not a rack version of the dss, it is sort of bad follow-up or at least revision. it lacks wavedrawing, delays - and filter resonance. it is pretty useless therefore.
July 3, 2012 @ 7:26 am
I own a Dss-1. When I heard it for the first time I couldn't believe how fat the sound is. Close your eyes and it could easily be coming from an Oberheim or Roland Jupiter. They are pretty big and cumbersome but well worth the space in the studio if you're lucky enough to find one for sale these days. They are still quite cheap, about 300 - 400 euros in good condition..but I can see the prices rising when people catch on!
Steppenwolf von Mensch
June 1, 2012 @ 4:16 pm
This is the best Synth directly after the Korg MS-20.
Together with the DSI Tetra it makes a real great live-set within a band, not even the Bassist can sound this fat!
The Keys are very loud when released, but all in all it's just a perfect synthesizer/sampler with perfect warmth.
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  • Check Prices on eBay
  • The link above will take you to a 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

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