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Love for the Korg DSS-1
Old 27th February 2020
  #1
Gear Nut
Love for the Korg DSS-1

Everyone is loving their synths lately so ...

Just got a DSS-1, a giant beast from the 80s. I found SampleWrench which runs on Windows 10 and loads wav files into the DSS-1 and DSSend which opens ds1 disk files and loads and saves via midi.

I was expecting a low fi old sampler sound but it’s huge sounding with tons of analog sound shaping in a great sounding Korg Filter with 2 delays at the end of the signal chain. A pain to get the samples in and out of but the sound is worth it. Huge vintage analog poly synth sound with that old Korg digital delay modulation to top it off.

I bet the size and slowness probably turns a lot of you off now days but given what it is there must be some out there still loving this hybrid synth.
Old 27th February 2020
  #2
Lives for gear
 
Rezisehtnys's Avatar
@ xanderbeanz loves their DSS-1, so maybe they'll chime in soon.

I've always wanted one if that counts.
Old 27th February 2020
  #3
Gear Maniac
The DSS-1 will always have a massive place in my heart. As a child I was obsessed with someday owning a sampler. After watching a Fairlight being demonstrated on TV, my mind boggled at the possibilities. But I thought I would never be able to afford one, given that they cost more than your average house and I was 10 years old.

But over the next few years I watched as the price of samplers plunged. Relatively affordable samplers like the Mirage came on to the market and I knew it was time to start seriously saving.

The DSS-1 came out at the exact time I found myself in a position to make a purchase. I remember reading the review in Sound on Sound - and I had to have it. The day My dad drove me to the music shop and helped me load it into our car was surely one of the most exciting of my life.

And the DSS-1 was everything I’d hoped for and more. Every day I spent hours on that thing, dreaming up new ways to take the sounds around me, snippets from the radio, and turn them into music.

I wrote my first commissioned piece of music on that thing - a soundtrack for a theatre production. I took a breakbeat and I slowed it down and played some moody ambient strings over the top, along with a rhythmically repetitive vocal sample. It was what came to be called trip hop and it blew people away - no one in my community had heard stuff like this before, it was only later that I realised others had started doing similar things in their bedroom studios around the same time.

The DSS-1 gave me an unfair advantage that I milked for every last drop. It launched my career in music, and when I sold it to fund an Ensoniq EPS-16+, I missed it tremendously.
Old 27th February 2020
  #4
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by locosynth View Post
Everyone is loving their synths lately so ...

Just got a DSS-1, a giant beast from the 80s. I found SampleWrench which runs on Windows 10 and loads wav files into the DSS-1 and DSSend which opens ds1 disk files and loads and saves via midi.

I was expecting a low fi old sampler sound but it’s huge sounding with tons of analog sound shaping in a great sounding Korg Filter with 2 delays at the end of the signal chain. A pain to get the samples in and out of but the sound is worth it. Huge vintage analog poly synth sound with that old Korg digital delay modulation to top it off.

I bet the size and slowness probably turns a lot of you off now days but given what it is there must be some out there still loving this hybrid synth.
I enjoy my DSS1 a lot. It took a while to get the sample wrench workflow down, the truncating everything and saving it to disk...then building Multisounds.

It would be a nightmare for a regular Joe, you really need to work with it in the way it wants you to.

Now I have a collection of waves I’m happy with, I’ve been creating patches and systems and love what I’m hearing.

This is an MP3 of my first couple of patches, made a few hours after I installed a HXC drive:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/atta...clones-dss.mp3
Old 27th February 2020
  #5
Gear Maniac
I certainly love mine! I hate the sampling workflow though. So I mainly use it with the waveforms it can generate by itself. I have another great sounding sampler with analog filters: the Akai S900 plugged in an AX-73 as a second oscillator. It's much more in tune with the way I like to work with samples so I might not get as deep as I should in the DSS-1 architecture...
Old 27th February 2020
  #6
Gear Nut
Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
I enjoy my DSS1 a lot. It took a while to get the sample wrench workflow down, the truncating everything and saving it to disk...then building Multisounds.


This is an MP3 of my first couple of patches, made a few hours after I installed a HXC drive:
Do you send each sample individually and then save it to disk, then create a new multisound and load the samples into it, or can you send multiple samples into memory and into an existing multisound template. I have been struggling with this a bit.

Also, I’m about to install an HXC drive. How did that go for you?
Old 4 weeks ago
  #7
Gear Maniac
Yesh I’m curious too, I have sampleWrench,
And like to know about the Workflow.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I am among those waiting for Straylight Engineering to release the next iteration of the DSS-1 upgrade. I love the DSS-1 and its hybrid synth twin DW-8000.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #9
Lives for gear
 
xanderbeanz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by locosynth View Post
Do you send each sample individually and then save it to disk, then create a new multisound and load the samples into it, or can you send multiple samples into memory and into an existing multisound template. I have been struggling with this a bit.

Also, I’m about to install an HXC drive. How did that go for you?
The HXC drive took f***king ages longer than I thought it would...and I’ve installed them before in my FZ1 & EPS16+ without issue. Some of the screws were really tricky.

I think my issue is I took out the back hinge screws. Don’t do this...

In uploading sounds I have to, create a new blank sample (or load someone else’s previously existing one), then sample wrench over my WAV...fair play that this works at all btw...then I truncate it to length and save it to disk as a sound. Truncating is very important.

Then, I create a new multisound and load in the single sounds from disk with its little process, which is probably the most friendly bit of the UI.

Then I save the multisample to a disk.

If you try to load multiple samples, and then try to edit just one, the rest will get wiped as the selected sample gets moved to the “work area”...which seems to take importance over everything else, so you have to work one at a time and save to disk.

This is what I mean when I say you have to work in the way it wants you to, you have no other choice.

Still, the filters, sync, proto-M1 naivety, looks and overall sound mean that the process is ultimately worth it, and quite satisfying once you have Multisounds ready to synthesize with.

As killer as the sound is, I can see why these have stalled at about £5-600 on the used market. People don’t want to wrestle with the dated UI...personally I get a kick out of it.
Old 4 weeks ago
  #10
Gear Addict
 

It was my first sampler and common story, didn't knew what I had. Huge sounding synth with huge presence, shame working with it is slow and not very intuitive. I still miss it sometimes and will purchase one again now that I know it is unique and nothing similar exist.
Old 3 weeks ago
  #11
Gear Addict
 
Juno6's Avatar
 

I love mine. I got it when they were very cheap.
To me the workflow is extremely fast if you use the machine as a synth. I make my own waveforms by drawing, and the rest of the analogue settings are also very easy to set. As a synth, I'd say it's relatively biased towards melodic/harmonic sounds, not strange noises. I find that everything I do with it is a sweet spot, every sound I make sound great. Specially pads, leads, stabs.
Everything sounds "professional", high quality, warm. I think they are still relatively inexpensive if you consider price/quality ratio.
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