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The Korg DSS-1. A great big beast of a sampling keyboard from the mid 1980s. Features a digital sampler & two digital delays, an analog filter & analog ADSR, and the ability to generate synth waveforms (digital I believe, have not used that feature seeing as I've got dedicated synths for that).

 

A bit cumbersome to use, it sat in my closet for years until I had an urge to dig it out the other day & make some tracks, which reminded me that it's probably the warmest sounding sampling unit I've ever used & now I wanna make a whole buncha tracks with it

 

Problem is! It runs on floppy disks. Actually that's mostly a good thing because it coats the samples in lofi grit & it forces you to be choosier about what sounds you use & it makes this cool mechanical noise while it reads the disk. But it's a pain in the arse to record sounds to my Zoom H2, hook that up to the DSS-1 via audio cable, & play the sounds back individually to record them to the floppy.

 

There's a program called Omniflop which allows you to create properly formatted dss-1 disks on a PC, problem is it only seems to work on internal drives & I'm running off a netbook with a usb floppy.

 

Long story short, does anyone else here own one of these things & have any ideas on how to take the hassle out of floppifying my sound banks?

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  • 3 weeks later...

@DerWaschbar - thanks, didn't see that

 

GOTTA NOTTA QUESTION THO

I had a vision of making jams by creating a bunch of mono loops on my MS-10, recording them through (effects pedals and) the DSS-1 to floppy disk, then loading them back onto the DSS-1, assigning each loop to a key, & sequencing an entire techno song all easy like.

 

Most of that's pretty straight forward. 3.5mb storage space on the floppy is a bit snug but it encourages strategic simplification (which is good!), & the DSS-1 can load up to 30 sounds at a time. Problem is, the DSS-1's internal memory is only 256kb, or 16 seconds of audio time for all the active sounds combined.

 

16 seconds ain't gonna cut it. That'd be like, 4 second drum loop + 4 second bassline + 4 second melody + maybe a teeny pad or atmospheric sound. TOO SNUG

 

Way I see it is, my options are

 

-shell out $300 for DSS-1 upgrade (pro: 12mb storage space & usb, con: hellz expensive)

-use my korg microsampler (pro: lots of space, con: no sick-ass analog filter)

-record the stems to my computer & assemble the song there (pro: easy, con: tried it, doesn't blend right)

-record 1-shots to DSS-1 & sequence entire song (pro: can do, con: lose CV pitch idiosyncrasies, limits effects)

 

Any other ideas you guys?

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hearing you describe how short the sample time is gave me a little bit of a music boner for wanting to hear songs that work within those limitations. i'm picturing extremely loopy minimal techno like robert hood but i'm sure there's more possibilities than that. try it out while you search for your solution.

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^Yeah, I'm definitely getting a lot of cool sounds from the ms-10 + DSS-1 + delay pedal combo (in the last week or so I've pretty much figured out every neat sound I'd been previously mystified by in Kraftwerk/early Aphex/OPN/etc & have moved on to new ones, but thus far haven't ganked getting them into a cohesive song as opposed to "cool fiddling around session")

 

It's actually making tracks with this stuff that's taking the bulk of the figuring. I started off with straight piano-style live improvisations (see link in OP), currently up to to basic individual loops, gonna maybe trying creating a full beat tomorrow, then on to early 90s style loopy 4 instrument jams, then on to something new & different!

 

that's the plan anyways

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One trick to make the best of the lack of storage is to record the sample source at a higher speed and pitch than ultimately desired and then play it back transposed lower.

Edit: This will add all sorts of digital artifacts, but they are totally sweet.

Edited by DerWaschbar
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One trick to make the best of the lack of storage is to record the sample source at a higher speed and pitch than ultimately desired and then play it back transposed lower.

That's a good idea. Could def try that out for long pads & arpeggios. Record beat elements as one shots & sequence them out from the computer (love me some Jeskola Buzz grids for rhythms). Complex melodic & bass lines (and maybe some textural noise) I'm gonna keep experimenting with

 

also just looked up robert hood for the first time & this shiz is inccccreeeeddddibbbbllllleeee

 

 

totally opens my mind to the idea of songs with hardly any structural variation (though I get the feeling part of what makes this so fresh is the subtle variations of the synth texture with each repetition)

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