Korg DSS-1
Hybrid Synth Keyboard

Wow! All I can say is that if you have never tried a keyboard with true, honest to goodness analog filters, you need to! This keyboard is a hybrid synth which uses 12-bit samples in place of the traditional analog VCO or DCO (like the Juno-106), but the signal path is all analog, including a 2 or 4 pole analog filter for each voice. This is one truly underrated synth. Right now I am using it as a pseudo analog subtractive synth since I am waiting for a floppy disk drive replacement. Yes, good old fashioned 720k 3.5″ floppies. Without a drive though, it means I have to setup patches manually each time I turn it on. The keyboard has to “create” the sample in order for a sound to be produced, and you can either harmonically synthesize it, or draw it in manually. The shapes you can create for your oscillators are virtually limitless. It even has a great harmonic synthesis generator which allows you to set the level of each of the 128 harmonics to a tone. This is great for creating “glassy” type sounds that you might get on a true digital synth like a Yamaha DX-7.

This keyboard has some pretty cool stuff in it, and there are other great sites dedicated to it, such as Glen Stegner’s, Vintage Synth, as well as a Yahoo Group, Wiseguysynth and others.

Check out my DIY page for some info on replacing the floppy drive and refurbishing the keybed.

Here are some sounds from it…

and a youtube video with the same sounds: