Korg DSS-1

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Korg DSS-1

Postby tubesurfer6 » Mon Dec 28, 2015 3:30 pm

Hi!

This is my first post. I started my musical venture as a guitar player but have lately accumulated a big pile of keyboards/synths: Minimoog Model D, Korg Polysix, Korg CX-3/Leslie 145, Wurlitzer 206, Philicorda GM752 and probably some others I don't remember right now. I love them all, though! :lol:

I'm looking to get a Korg DSS-1 as something completely different but I think I have an issue with the unit running on floppy disks. Can I upgrade it with something like this? http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Updated- ... 4.html?s=p

I am aware there are better (and pricier) upgrades out there, but most seem to be unavailable at the moment?

Please let me know what you think would be a good (and not too expensive) upgrade for this unit to be able to use USB or SD card?

Thanks!
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby synthroom » Mon Dec 28, 2015 7:38 pm

I'd skip the floppy replacement devices like you link to above and get a HxC:
http://hxc2001.free.fr/floppy_drive_emulator/
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/lotharek1977/m.html

The HxC is known to work with the DSS-1:
http://www.reflexmusic.de/DSS-1/

Get one of the Rev. F HxC with the SD card interface (the one listed as "SDF" on Lotharek's ebay page. It comes with a case for installation into a 3.5" floppy bay and has a build in LCD display to show you the names of files and help with navigating around (you can have nested directories on the HxC).

There's lot's of DSS-1 disk images out there once you have a way to get them into your DSS-1. Here's one place to find them:
http://www.straylightengineering.com/downloads/
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby tubesurfer6 » Wed Dec 30, 2015 11:45 am

Thanks for the reply, synthroom!

If I'll get the DSS-1, I'll just buy one of those. If I understand correctly the DSS-1 will still be 'slow' loading the sounds?

Some samples sound really good and can make the DSS-1 a very versatile keyboard, I guess. I'm mainly after grand piano and string (Mellotron style) sounds for live playing. From the demos I've heard, the DSS-1 can do that and much more!
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby synthroom » Wed Dec 30, 2015 3:38 pm

Disk loading speed is not changed with the HxC - it emulates a floppy drive only. The speed of data transfer is controlled by the floppy disk controller, and since that is in the sampler and not in the floppy drive or HxC, the speed is unchanged.

But the HxC is way better than a floppy drive and disks!!

I've not heard a DSS-1 but people seem to love them!
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby madtheory » Wed Dec 30, 2015 5:10 pm

Straylight Engineering does a combined SCSI and memory upgrade for US$250. But the samples a so small I'd imagine the load time is not that bad with the HxC.
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby tubesurfer6 » Sun Jan 03, 2016 11:03 am

Is the HxC a direct drop-in replacement or are any mods required?
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby synthroom » Sun Jan 03, 2016 4:28 pm

The HTC Rev. F a direct drop in replacement for a floppy, including the mounting.
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby tubesurfer6 » Mon Jan 04, 2016 5:30 pm

Thanks synthroom! I'll post a clip or some pics if I do get the DSS-1.
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby _seph » Thu Jan 07, 2016 4:20 pm

tubesurfer6 wrote:Some samples sound really good and can make the DSS-1 a very versatile keyboard, I guess. I'm mainly after grand piano and string (Mellotron style) sounds for live playing. From the demos I've heard, the DSS-1 can do that and much more!


as a DSS-1 owner I strongly feel that you shouldn't buy one.

the DSS-1 is really more a sampling synth than anything, essentially being a DW-8000 without fixed waveforms. yes, you can load up some piano samples but do keep in mind that this is an 8 voice 12-bit sampler, with analog filters, a dual-delay and the ability to "draw" your own wavetables... it's user interface is somewhat obtuse, it is slow to load and more importantly, it's massive. this is quite possibly the worst choice you could make for what you're wanting.

all that said, the DSS-1 is great but it isn't great for what you desire.

for standard keyboard sounds there are so many other options which would be a superior choice in every way, is there anything else that you're wanting a sampler to do?
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby madtheory » Thu Jan 07, 2016 5:11 pm

That's a good point _seph. A Proteus 1000 with vintage and Holy Grail piano ROMs would do the Mellotron and piano beautifully. Or a Mac with Mainstage and M-Tron with Synthogy Ivory.
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby tubesurfer6 » Mon Jan 25, 2016 12:54 pm

Thanks for the tip! I got the DSS-1 offered so I checked what it can do and I thought I could use it for the piano and tron sounds. The deal fell through anyway, the seller changed his mind...

Can you suggest something a bit older that would work great for piano (acoustic and EP), tron and maybe orchestral sounds? I'm looking for something that's not too expensive and I can live with a floppy drive emulator.

There's an Ensoniq Mirage for sale locally, but ... should I be looking for a sampler or something else? :shock:
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby Silverfish » Mon Jan 25, 2016 7:41 pm

Maybe take a look at the E-mu vintage keys module. I believe it's got the mellotron sounds in it, but I've never used one myself.
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby madtheory » Mon Jan 25, 2016 9:53 pm

Ya Vintage Keys is really good! Proteus 1000 with Vintage and Holy Grail Piano ROMs is better. Both are basically Emulators that you can't sample with. If you want a bit more flexibility, then an Emu ESI series sampler or an E4x is a whole other headache ;)

Ensoniq Mirage? Only if you want really grungy lo-fi sampling funk, and a very difficult machine to set up yourself. You only get two samples on the keyboard at any time, so forget about a convincing Mellotron. The pianos will sound like Chicago/ Detroit house. Is that what you want?
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby tubesurfer6 » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:45 am

Maybe this should be in another sub-forum? Anyway, the thing is that I'm really not familiar with this kind of keyboards. I got the DSS-1 offered, checked it out and it seemed like a good solution to cover the sounds mentioned above. I listened to the sound samples in this link: http://glenstegner.com/dss1/home.html

The DSS-1 deal is now off, but I decided to get a keyboard for my band setup to put between the Korg CX-3 (into a 145) and the Minimoog. I really don't mind a little lo-fi edge and at this time I can't spend too much on another keyboard. Most of them have like a million sounds, which I don't really need. I'm basically looking for a 'blank' keyboard (or module if it has to be that way) where I can load any samples of the sounds described earlier, sooo ... what am I looking for? :lol:
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Re: Korg DSS-1

Postby madtheory » Tue Jan 26, 2016 4:16 pm

OK, so a keyboard not a rack module, and not a laptop. So, here are your options ranked by ease of use (in my opinion, YMMV):

1. Clavia Nord Electro 3 or Stage 2.
2. Emu PK6 (with the right ROMS).
3. Korg Kronos.
4. Roland Fantom (series).
5. Korg Triton (series).
6. Yamaha Motif (series).

  • The Nord piano sound I dislike, action is heavy but the Mellotron is accurate. All Melly sounds for download on Clavia's website. They have Fairlight CMI IIx as well, which is cool IMO :)
  • The Emu sounds the best all 'round, if you get the right ROMS, but the keyboard is meh.
  • Kronos is lovely, especially the 88 note weighted one, pianos are excellent but it's $$$ and it does not come with fully authentic Mellotron sounds. Extra sounds for Kronos are also $$$ unless you program/ sample your own.
  • The Roland does have authentic Mellotron available, somewhere, but not as standard AFAIK. Action and piano as per Kronos.
  • Same with Motif, good action not quite as lovely as the Kronos.

Buy the samples here, but you have to map them onto the keyboard yourself:
http://www.vintagekeyboardsounds.com/index.html
Last edited by madtheory on Tue Jan 26, 2016 9:53 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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