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Korg DSS-1: Closest equivalent in 2018?
Old 20th August 2018
  #1
Gear Maniac
 
Silverfish's Avatar
Korg DSS-1: Closest equivalent in 2018?

Hi all,

I recently picked up a Korg DSS-1, and I absolutely love the sound. Of course, the thing is absolutely massive, and I'm running out of space in my studio area (confession- I have too much stuff).

After lusting for one of these for so long, and finally finding one in good shape at a nice price, it would be a shame to have to let it go, but...

What would be the closest modern equivalent in a considerably smaller package? Blofeld with sample option? Micromonsta? I've got a DSI Poly Evolver, but four voices isn't enough.

Thanks for your thoughts!
Old 20th August 2018
  #2
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EvilDragon's Avatar
To get close to DSS-1 you'd need multisampled single-cycle oscillators into an analog filter... Not much to choose from in 2018 that fits that. Closest would probably be DSI Prophet-12, but that has generated oscillators, and quite bland filters (DSS-1 had a mofo of a filter, Korg's own NJM-2069).
Old 21st August 2018
  #3
Gotharman PolySpaze.
Sampler with analog filters and effects.
4 voices and fits on your lap!

And about a thousand times easier to use than a DSS-1. And much better filters too. It even does sync on samples like the DSS-1 as well as FM.
Old 21st August 2018
  #4
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EvilDragon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfish View Post
I've got a DSI Poly Evolver, but four voices isn't enough.
...
Old 21st August 2018
  #5
DSS-1: Closest equivalent in 2018?
Old 21st August 2018
  #6
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acreil's Avatar
 

Honestly software is a better way to go for that kind of thing.
Old 21st August 2018
  #7
And that’s why we don’t have much of any modern equivalents in 2018
Old 21st August 2018
  #8
My DSS-1 with the Straylight upgrade is my burning building synth. Haven’t named it though since I haven’t had to save it from a burning building yet.

But seriously, if someone made a modern version of this for a decent price...

I’ve seen people suggest a SampleMind from Behringer. I could get behind that. Hybrid synths are sweet. I’ve got my ESQ-1, and Mirage, but the DSS-1 can cover Boom Bap style drums, huge analog brass, electric piano, and everything I’ve thrown at it. It’s a beast, so I keep it in the closet and use clyphx or CTRLR to remotely program it. It is a pain to assign samples on though, but sounds great to sample on, or even pass audio into for the grit and drive it imparts. (Did a video on it on my Carillon Audio Blog YouTube channel)
Old 21st August 2018
  #9
Gear Guru
 
zerocrossing's Avatar
Prophet X?
Old 21st August 2018
  #10
I had one with the Straylight upgrade. Having 16 Mbytes of RAM but no samples larger than 128k killed it for me. Then having to laboriously enter the names of every single object over and over and over and over and over again with each save and never knowing if the saves actually took or not was too much for my patience.
Out it went.

I’m much happier now with a simple little box that takes Flash drives, is fast and simple to use, has two real analog VCFs with modulatable resonance per voice, real-time performance controls, sample chopping (also modulatable), the best onboard step sequencer ever, filterbank modes and 4 effects including some that make samples sound low resolution.
And it doesn’t take up 40% of my studio.

It’s a no brainer especially considering in 2018 there’s nothing else available besides modular stuff that can do all of these things.
Old 21st August 2018
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

If the size is the main issue, why not replace it with the Korg DSM-1 (rack version of the DSS-1)?
Old 21st August 2018
  #12
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cjogo's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_M_R View Post
If the size is the main issue, why not replace it with the Korg DSM-1 (rack version of the DSS-1)?
We had the rack version -- & yes it did have some interesting sounds .. And a 8 bit Mirage ..
Old 21st August 2018
  #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by D_M_R View Post
If the size is the main issue, why not replace it with the Korg DSM-1 (rack version of the DSS-1)?
its not the same, otherwise they would be worth squillions.

its only size thats holds the dss1 back...
big as my chroma not quite as big as a dx 1
Old 21st August 2018
  #14
Deleted 83f48a0
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by D_M_R View Post
If the size is the main issue, why not replace it with the Korg DSM-1 (rack version of the DSS-1)?
Non-resonant filters and I'm pretty sure the CPU is slower.

I think some of the old E-mu rack samplers had resonant filters, so you could conceivably load the waves you want from the expanded DWGS set into one of those. And you'd have to create custom waveforms on a computer and load them in manually, without the waveform drawing thing.

Anyway, it'll cost twice as much, weigh the same and take up all your rack space to do that. I'd keep the DSS-1.
Old 21st August 2018
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitdough View Post
Non-resonant filters and I'm pretty sure the CPU is slower.

I think some of the old E-mu rack samplers had resonant filters, so you could conceivably load the waves you want from the expanded DWGS set into one of those. And you'd have to create custom waveforms on a computer and load them in manually, without the waveform drawing thing.

Anyway, it'll cost twice as much, weigh the same and take up all your rack space to do that. I'd keep the DSS-1.
I've had a DSM-1 for decades. It actually came later than the DSS-1 so it's upgraded in some ways (4x the sample memory, higher capacity floppy drive, 16 individual outputs, etc), but a lot of the synth capabilities were gimped (same filter but no resonance control, no noise generator, no OSC sync, no drawing of waveforms, no delay FX).

The DSM will load DSS library disks, but I'm not sure how the missing functions effect the patches. I've never compared them side-by-side.

Also Korg's T-series (T1, T2ex, and T3ex) will load DSM sample disks. Having access to all my DSM samples in a workstation has been a dream of mine, but over the years I've never seen one cheap enough. I ended up grabbing a Triton LE with the sampling option installed for only $150.
Old 21st August 2018
  #16
Casio FZ is another option. Smaller but only slightly lighter LOL. At least the rack version has same filter as keyboard. If you're lucky, the FZ-20M with SCSI is the way to go.

It's a good bit easier to use, and IIRC you can fill the base 2MB RAM with one sample if you like. I have the FZ-1 with a Lotharek and the PC editor so it's quick enough to get sounds in and out. The filter is very Korg-ish, probably gnarlier if anything!

But y'know, acreil is right. Software. There's a huge amount of mileage in the filters in Kontakt... I use that a lot more! The AIR Vintage Filter plugin is a hidden gem- dismissed because it is so cheap to buy. But it sounds very good. Haven't used the FZ in a track yet. All that time setting up hardware is not very inspiring.
Old 21st August 2018
  #17
Gear Addict
 

DSI Prophet X is the obvious answer. Digital samples through analog filters (better than the Curtis chip in the P12). Just use single cycle samples. User sampling may not be available yet, haven't been paying attention.
Old 21st August 2018
  #18
Prophet X is the obvious answer if you want to pay more than twice as much than a PolySpaze for a sampler that doesn’t sample.
Quote:
Support for user-created samples is planned for December 2018
Until that happens it’s a ROMpler. 4 grand is alot to spend on something when you have no idea how well this new feature will be implemented and what limitations and compromises it may have. Personally I’d hold onto my money until this feature materialized and gets reviewed.
Old 21st August 2018
  #19
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EvilDragon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
DSS-1: Closest equivalent in 2018?
If 4 voices are not enough, they are not enough. DSS-1 had 8 voices, so I'd assume that's the minimum OP wouldn't go below.
Old 21st August 2018
  #20
Quote:
Originally Posted by EvilDragon View Post
If 4 voices are not enough, they are not enough. DSS-1 had 8 voices, so I'd assume that's the minimum OP wouldn't go below.


Still if 8 voices are needed than a pair of PolySpazes is still reasonable costwise compared to the Prophet X. And takes up less space too.

I guess without further feedback from the OP we’ll never know what his exact needs are. Maybe he’s given up in futility.
Old 21st August 2018
  #21
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daviddever's Avatar
For what it's worth, the Prophet X would eliminate a good number of devices in my studio (Kawai K3, multiple Emaxes / ESI-32, and possibly a Prophet-12) from a space perspective - in fact, so much so that I am considering that as an end-game for next year.

I have put a moratorium on any new sampler / drum machine purchases (with analogue filters) to that end.
Old 21st August 2018
  #22
Gear Maniac
 
SoundReverend's Avatar
I have the DSS-1 and love it but it is starting to fall apart...

I wonder if it would be possible to convert the DSS-1 Disks to WAV format somehow. And then load it into the TAL Sampler with the EMU II filters, how close would it come (Yes, different filters but anyway) Or into the Studiologic Sledge Sample RAM.

TAL Software

IS there something similar like the EMX software for the DSS-1?
Old 21st August 2018
  #23
Deleted 83f48a0
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Prophet X is the obvious answer if you want to pay more than twice as much than a PolySpaze for a sampler that doesn’t sample.

Until that happens it’s a ROMpler. 4 grand is alot to spend on something when you have no idea how well this new feature will be implemented and what limitations and compromises it may have. Personally I’d hold onto my money until this feature materialized and gets reviewed.
It absolutely should have user samples already implemented, at the price they want for it.

On the other hand, "just a rompler" is a bit much. I mean, OK, a JD-800 is a rompler at heart, but you have filter and modulation options with it that make it a legit synth. You have exponentially more of those on a Prophet X. It's not fair to put it in the class of a U-20 or M1.
Old 21st August 2018
  #24
Quote:
Originally Posted by biscuitdough View Post
It absolutely should have user samples already implemented, at the price they want for it.

On the other hand, "just a rompler" is a bit much. I mean, OK, a JD-800 is a rompler at heart, but you have filter and modulation options with it that make it a legit synth. You have exponentially more of those on a Prophet X. It's not fair to put it in the class of a U-20 or M1.
Well it is more than a ROMpler having analog filters and such but until I see it loading something besides premade sample packs I can’t help but think of it in that light.

ROMplers aren’t a bad thing in my mind. Ones like the various E-Mu modules still kick ass today.

My concern is with the whole future features scenario. The site says December (maybe) for user samples support. Fine but there’s no details of its implementation. Is it going to be an afterthought type affair with serious limitations or is it going to be a full on sampling engine with in depth editing?
Nobody knows yet. It could even be vaporware for all we know.

I just can’t recommend a product based on future features and wouldn’t drop money on that myself.
I really wanted a sampler with analog filters so I picked an option that’s a completed product with all advertised functionality intact from the start.
I don’t spend my hard earned money on wishful thinking and I think people who do so are setting themselves up for disappointment. Expectations result in disappointment more often than not.

My $0.02. Take it or leave it.
Old 21st August 2018
  #25
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EvilDragon's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by SoundReverend View Post
And then load it into the TAL Sampler with the EMU II filters
TAL Sampler doesn't have EMU II filters, it emulates EMU II's DACs, that's all.
Old 21st August 2018
  #26
PES
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PES's Avatar
What about the Prologue? Does/will that support samples?
Old 21st August 2018
  #27
Deleted 83f48a0
Guest
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hollowman9 View Post
Well it is more than a ROMpler having analog filters and such but until I see it loading something besides premade sample packs I can’t help but think of it in that light.

ROMplers aren’t a bad thing in my mind. Ones like the various E-Mu modules still kick ass today.

My concern is with the whole future features scenario. The site says December (maybe) for user samples support. Fine but there’s no details of its implementation. Is it going to be an afterthought type affair with serious limitations or is it going to be a full on sampling engine with in depth editing?
Nobody knows yet. It could even be vaporware for all we know.

I just can’t recommend a product based on future features and wouldn’t drop money on that myself.
I really wanted a sampler with analog filters so I picked an option that’s a completed product with all advertised functionality intact from the start.
I don’t spend my hard earned money on wishful thinking and I think people who do so are setting themselves up for disappointment. Expectations result in disappointment more often than not.

My $0.02. Take it or leave it.
One slut'z rompler is another slut'z treasure, I guess! And I agree totally that it's ridiculous to release a top of the line synth when a major feature of it is unavailable and unknowable.
Old 21st August 2018
  #28
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 83f48a0 View Post
It absolutely should have user samples already implemented, at the price they want for it.
That's not unfair. Curiously, the current Prophet X OS will load user samples if you know what format to put everything in. DSI has confirmed 100% that everything is in place – except the Windows and macOS software to prepare them in whatever format is required.

I wouldn't blame anyone for waiting to see the details, but I expect we'll know more when 8dio ships their first expansion packs. Or when more people decide to open their Prophet X and mount of the SSD to explore the content. One brave soul who did so provided a snippet that shows it's a simple textual format listing samples with the following:
  • Sample filename
  • Low + high MIDI note number
  • Low + high MIDI velocity
  • Loop start and end
  • Round robin number
  • Pitch in Hz
  • "Mono Pitch"? (Y/N answer)
  • Mono/stereo sample
  • Category and Sample Group (eg: "Drums – Blackbird Kit")
  • Three unlabeled fields (for future expansion?)

I think the capabilities are pretty easy to intuit and very much in line with expectations.

Quote:
On the other hand, "just a rompler" is a bit much.
Indeed. The pair of DSP-generated oscillators and all the audio rate modulation makes it a very capable synthesizer out of the box. It makes as much sense to dismiss the whole of subtractive analog synthesis because they only use a tiny fixed collection of waveforms as their starting material.

The one area where the Prophet X doesn't make an obvious DSS-1 replacement is the fixed 24dB/octave filter. Doesn't the DSS-1 also have a 12dB option? I'm not familiar enough with the hardware, but the underlying filter chip is capable of offering both slopes. On the positive side, the new SSI2144 sounds wonderful to my ears.
Old 21st August 2018
  #29
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Lady Gaia's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by PES View Post
What about the Prologue? Does/will that support samples?
Nope. User oscillators consist of a whopping total of 32kB of code and data. That's not going to satisfy anyone's sampling needs.
Old 21st August 2018
  #30
Quote:
Originally Posted by Deleted 83f48a0 View Post
One slut'z rompler is another slut'z treasure, I guess! And I agree totally that it's ridiculous to release a top of the line synth when a major feature of it is unavailable and unknowable.
I look at it like this. I live in an area where roads are icy in winter. I need a vehicle with traction control. Do I buy the one that has it already or one where it’s a future option?
If it’s winter then simple choice.
But if it’s summer then there’s time but I want to know when down to the exact day, I want to know how (is it adaptive? Automatic or manual etc,) and how does the vehicle handle without it?
In short what am I getting for the money and what makes it better than the vehicle I can buy with that option now?

It’s practicality and common sense. And I sure don’t want to be stuck when winter comes and that TC option still isn’t available.
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