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
kev slaney
January 29, 2012 @ 6:51 pm
The DSS1 is a truly magical synth in the right hands and with a few decent analogue waveform samples. It can creat massive and etheral analogue strings and pads. Not one for the squelchy bass brigade! But if you like writing music, you'll love it.
Korg Power
January 10, 2012 @ 11:37 am
Massive ANALOGUE POWER the synth is great easy to programme watch out moogs and PPGs this is on your tail. Disks can hold around 132 sounds (4 banks) which is good and means that theres no need to keep loading disks, really a classic gem for the synth enthusiast and analogue lovers. I would pay $600 for a good example easy.
October 29, 2011 @ 6:02 pm
The DSM-1 is NOT the rackmount version of th DSS-1. They are related but different. The DSM came later, has more room for samples (don´t remember how much, I believe 4 times as much), Midi-Mulitmode, had a single output for every SINGLE SAMPLE (not multisample), no Delays, no EQ (2band in DSS-1) and filters without resonance. And no double osc in one synth-section, just single.
Consequences: No real synthesizer sounds, no effects (mono), a pain in the [beep] to route the single outputs. Don´t expect a "big DSS-1" inside the DSM. It´s not. The lack of Double OSC, EQ and DSP make sounds dull.
September 11, 2011 @ 3:21 pm
ust for context, i use this synth for weird bleepy goopy analogy techno, not realistic sounds. the dss-1's sampling capabilities are sure to dissapoint, trust me. that said, i've used it to bitcrush drums to great effect!
i put a usb floppy emulator in mine
basically just a way to load a .dsk image sans disk.
this synth is worth it just for the vcf+vca, but the floppy emulator unleashes the true beast that lies hidden within the dss-1's 350 pound chassis.
once you wrap your mind around programming it, this board will make you poop, i promise.
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!
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Rated 4.55 (927 Votes)

  • 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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