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
September 7, 2011 @ 8:34 pm
I've just recently got this for $150 from a girl who prefers knobs over buttons. This thing is huge and heavy! Drawing waveforms is a little tricky, but I was able to get a nice fat sound from it. I can't wait till I get some floppy disks for this thing!
August 23, 2011 @ 6:40 pm
You can see Kevin Moore from Dream Thater use this live on the Tokyo concert video from '93 (along with the DW-8000 and a Roland JD-800.)
One of the most interesting synths in Korg history
August 16, 2011 @ 5:38 pm
The DSM-1 is NOT the mountrack version of the DSS-1 !! Please vintagesynth.com, fix that!
May 30, 2011 @ 6:23 am
A few weeks ago I installed this mod into my DSS1: web.me.com/tomvirostek/DSS-1/DSS1.html
Installation is not for the faint hearted,took up a whole day and I spent twice the money for the mod than on he actual unit, but it's worth every penny.
Bright blue display, storage on CFcard/USBstick,24MB of memory (in 256kB chunks though), have all four systems off a floppy loaded at a time, but most important wav-file compatibility for transferring samples to and fro PC with the CF.
Didn't go for the SCSIinterface though, it's not needed if you got USB.
I got a new old favorite KORGsynth again
May 20, 2011 @ 1:03 pm
My exhaust fell off while in kentucky, so I inched my way toward a pickers paradise looking for wire. The owner gave me some wire and the dss 1 for 20 bucks. What a great day.
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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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