DSS-1 hacking

J. Larry Hendry jlarryh at iquest.net
Fri Nov 5 01:53:22 CET 1999

I would be interested in any hacking you do on the DSS-1.  I agree it is a
great machine with analog filters.  As a sampler, it is not that neat due
to the memory size.  But that can be added to.

I have two DSS-1s.  One has the added sound logic board that increases the
memory 8 times, cuts the disk access time in 1/2, and adds a SCSI port.  I
have one of the old Syquest 44 MB drives attached to mine and the disc load
time is about 2 seconds (as opposed to the 45 seconds with the original

I sent all the documentation concerning the memory upgrade and SCSI
addition to Cary Roberts.  He was working on duplicating that process for a
friend of his.  I don't think Cary reads synth-diy any longer.  But, you
can still find him at his retrosynth web site.  I never followed up with
him to see how he was doing on that project.  You might want to follow up
with him.  If not, I can send you a copy of the docs.  e-mail me privately.

One of the problems with the DSS-1 has been disk drive replacements.  They
are Cannon 720K drives.  Of course, Cannon no longer makes drives.  I have
tried various 720 K substitutes without success.  Fortunately, both mine
are still working.

If you use your DSS-1 much, there are two programs that you will need to

1. Turtle Beach Samplevision - This allows you to communicate samples with
the DSS-1 via MIDI and do computer editing of the samples.  I use it to set
all my DSS-1 loops.  Samplevision is LONG out of production.  TB sent me
the last upgrade free of charge years ago just for asking.  Heck, I think I
paid about $300 for the first DOS version.  Since that time, TB has stopped
selling and supporting the product.  They started giving it away for a
while to anyone that asked after it was officially out of production.  So,
at the risk of drawing the ire of some, I will offer send you the same file
that TB sent me for free.  It is the latest version.  Since they no longer
sell it, I don't figure that is taking any cash out of anyone's pocket. 
Last tie I checked, nobody was rushing out to write new code for the DSS-1.
  I have both the DOS version and windows version.   The DOS version
insists on true MPU-401 (no soundcard).  The windows version is very picky
about being 401 compatible.  I use the Ensoniq card that Gateway supplies
with their PCs and that works fine for the windows version.

2. CopyQM.  This is a shareware program.  This will allow you to make disc
copies of your DSS-1 disks with your PC, or make images that you can store
on your hard drive or e-mail to your other DSS-1 friends.  I also use it to
do all my DSS-1 disk formatting.  Although it does not even recognize the
DSS-1 format, it will indeed make an exact copy of a blank formatted DSS-1
disk.  The DSS-1 recognizes it as formatted and all works fine.  I figure
taking the extra wear and tear off the DSS-1 drive is a good idea.

Larry Hendry

> From: Netroin at aol.com
> To: synth-diy at mailhost.bpa.nl
> Subject: DSS-1 hacking
> Date: Thursday, November 04, 1999 4:18 PM
> Ok, so an EPS isint analog =(, but my dss-1 is and as far as I know it's
> analog filters. I really would like to hack some controls into it such as

> pots for cutoff,mod,res
>  feedback and time for the delays. I'm pretty sure panel space wont be a 
> problem.
> I'm getting tired of pushing that one slider around.Anybody out there
> what chips korg used for the filters in this puppy? CEM? 3320? are they
> same as the ones in a poly 800? I've heard about replacing the uP and OS
> to speed up disk access. also while i'm at it it seems that my EPS mem 
> expander IS fine, checked all the resistors,caps, all fine I even
> the '04/'07.....anybody? I'm dying here. 
> /Vetroin
> ::synth youve been gone i've sampled others::

More information about the Synth-diy mailing list