Vintage Sampler: DSS-1 or FZ-1?

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solderguy
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Post by solderguy » Tue Aug 07, 2007 10:59 pm

This topic has come up before. If you look at the FZ-1 service manual, the filter chips have analog audio going in and analog audio going out, while the control signal to set cutoff and resonance is a digital word. My guess is that the filter uses internal multiplying DACs (MDACs) as digitally-controlled variable resistors to tune the otherwise analog filter... in a similar manner to what is probably being done with the state-variable filter built into the SID chip in the old C-64 computer. The actual filtering would be completely in the analog domain, but the MDACs would provide discrete rather than continuous contol of cutoff and resonance. A true VCF (using a voltage-controlled impedance or current-controlled impedance to tune the filter) has continous control of cutoff (ie. no stepping), although if controlled by a DAC there will be stepping determined by the resolution of the DAC. The above is just a guess, the filter could also be implemented with internal OTAs, but that would probably take up more chip area than the MDAC approach.

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gmeredith
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Post by gmeredith » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:49 am

although if controlled by a DAC there will be stepping determined by the resolution of the DAC
This might explain why when I play a sound on my FZ, and go into the filter page and move the input value slider up and down while playing, the filtered sound has a "steppy" sound as it sweeps - only really noticeable when you do it at a medium speed.

Cheers, Graham

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Post by bjoerngiesler » Wed Aug 08, 2007 7:21 am

donaldm wrote:The EPS is simple to work with, its like walking in the park on a spring day. The EPS is your friend, your sampling companion. It imparts no magical sound and the lack of a resonant filter sucks. But it does what is meant to do very well.

The DSS-1 on the other hand is an absolute beast to work with. (...) it is a DW-8000 with a highly flexable osc scheme.
That's what I was thinking. I know that there are much easier, but less "characteristically sounding", samplers; however, if I want a neutral sampler, I'll just use Reason's or any other modern PC-based thing (even easier to work with).

Oh well, thanks a lot everyone, I guess my mind's made up: I'll get a DSS-1 and (if I find one) an FZ-10m later.

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Post by Sealed » Wed Aug 08, 2007 10:47 am

I agree with FZ's digitally-controlled analog filter. I suppose it's related to CASIO HZ/HT series synths. It's sweet, but does not self-oscillate.

I only have an FZ-10M, and haven't owned a DSS-1. It's very interesting, but too big.
I'd like to add that FZ has only 8 oscillators, while DSS has 16.

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Post by prophei » Wed Aug 08, 2007 5:41 pm

bjoerngiesler wrote:
donaldm wrote:The EPS is simple to work with, its like walking in the park on a spring day. The EPS is your friend, your sampling companion. It imparts no magical sound and the lack of a resonant filter sucks. But it does what is meant to do very well.

The DSS-1 on the other hand is an absolute beast to work with. (...) it is a DW-8000 with a highly flexable osc scheme.
That's what I was thinking. I know that there are much easier, but less "characteristically sounding", samplers; however, if I want a neutral sampler, I'll just use Reason's or any other modern PC-based thing (even easier to work with).

Oh well, thanks a lot everyone, I guess my mind's made up: I'll get a DSS-1 and (if I find one) an FZ-10m later.


where are you located? i have a dss-1 sitting in my garage that may need a home.
andromeda > polyevolver keyboard > ms-20 > oberheim two voice > arp 2600 > minimoog > custom modular system > polivoks > roland SVC-350 > jomox mbase01 > sh2 > acidlab > tr-808 > drumtrax > korg dvp-1 > protools hd3 > mac dual 2.0 G5

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Post by hinotori » Wed Aug 08, 2007 6:24 pm

for what its worth .
i have an FZ-1 and if you happen to see one cheaper than a dss then you wont be dissapointed if you pick it up .
i have the keyboard fz-1 not the rack fz-10 though i used to own that .
the keyboard is VERY heavy .
but i can be had for very cheap .
im not going to get into the whole analogue/digital filter conversation as more time is wated on that talk than on the merits of actual sound quality these days .
i can say that to my ears the f-1 has a very individual ind interesting sound to it .
its synthesis options are very interesting too . just wish it had more modulation options . . for the price they go for these days its worth picking up, even to pass on in a few months to another lucky owner . its fun and interesting to work with and will make you approach your other kit in a new light .
if the screen is dead . its real easy to replace too .

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Post by gmeredith » Thu Aug 09, 2007 12:04 am

And make sure the floppy drive is working and you can load and save samples on it before you buy one. The floppy drive continues to spin in these keyboards even after completing the load/save action, and sits there wearing itself out. Make sure you always eject the floppy disk after every use.

Cheers, Graham

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