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
June 1, 2013 @ 3:37 pm
DSS-1 For Sale Oakland CA 94609
Contact me Via email secret_squirrel_secretagent@yahoo.com
March 13, 2013 @ 3:10 pm
It's a wondefrul cheap synth!!!A must for every one!After a pair of hours of use you understand enought about how to use the synthesis engine!!!A lot of fun with it!!

I think my DSS1 has lost the eprom data....I powered it up after 1 year and now the display show only black dots....I've tried to replace the cpu and 8155 controller without luck...
February 13, 2013 @ 8:23 am
I don´t get why a lot of people are complaining about the OS. I took me 30 min to understand most of it. I don´t need more than a second to get to the section I am looking for and alter those parameters.

The only downside so far: a broken disk drive.

Damn, this thing sounds like it looks: Huge, fat and warm. I won´t sell mine for sure. I´m so in love with this synth/sampler/thingy.
January 10, 2013 @ 6:57 am
totally agree with you about the Operating System and is one of the downfalls of the DSS-1 /DSM-1 IMO. I think it's the one thing that lets this beast down. If you're looking for one make sure the fragile disk drive still works as replacing is a pain. Also watch out for poor key triggering as it suffers from the same "iffy" keyboard mechanism as the (brilliant) DW-8000. Big fat analog sounds from the DSS-1 though if you can find room for it :) They rarely go for more than a few hundred $'s so defo worth checking out and can sound huge in the right hands.
January 6, 2013 @ 6:32 pm
This has to be one of the most underrated synths on the market. I've been using a combo of D550, MKS70 and 2 Matrix 1000s, all layered, for pad sounds. The DSS1 sounds *so* good, it has freed all those up. The synth portion is like a DW8000 but expanded, it has a lot more parameters (compare and you'll see). I even like how huge it is because I have the computer kyd, mouse and PG800 on it. It's nice enough to put up with the floppy, the lack of assignable controllers and the small display. As to the OS, it's like anything else: easy once you know it, hard when you don't. I won't sell mine.
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Rated 4.56 (961 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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