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Korg DSM-1




Korg DSM-1

info Country: Japan
Weight: 11, 5 Kg Kg
Dimensions: 433 x 134 x 430 mm
audio demo trend price : 250€
manual demo comments

Korg DSM-1
Digital Sampling Synthesizer Module (1987)


A rackmount sampler derived from keyboard version model Korg DSS-1 with some enhancement- but also some misses from the original machine.

display dsss1
edit functions

info MODULE SAMPLER 3 rack height units.
The main panel features a 2 x 20 LCD backlit display (with contrast adjust ) 3 knobs and 32 buttons.

Rear panel terminal connectors:
- mix analog out
- 16 AUX analog outs
- Midi interface with ked activity

Front panel terminal connectors:
- signal audio input with gain knob and impedance switch
- headphones out
- footswitch control to playback a sound.



TECH main core based on 8 bits CPU HD64180 manages 16 voices polyphony, each voice is composed by 1 digital oscillators with an assigned sampled or digitally generated sound.

structure DSM1 features 2 kind of syntheses:

- sampling at 12 bits resolution

- additive harmonic synthesis

the DSM engine samples at 12 bits and 4 fixed frequencies (check table below), once sampled there are some standard sample edit functions such as : reverse, merge, chain samples (LINK) truncate, loop, crossfade, copy and zone assign (up to 30 samples can be mapped).

Frequency Transpose limit Sampling time (seconds)
16 kHz 24 semitones up 16
24 kHz 17 semitones up 11
32 kHz 12 semitones up 8
48 kHz 05 semitones up 5.5
sample mode


is a non real-time process based on 128 sinewave harmonics with adjustable level. This process also includes 17 preset shapes: square, sawtooth (x3) , organ, metal, sax, synthesizer, bass, sinewave, EP (x2). TIP: Created waves can be saved as normal samples.

harmonic synth demo HEAR generated cycled wave

edit MEMORY the internal sample non-expandable memory is 1 megabyte + 32 slots for sound patch programs and 32 multi-sounds. Sounds and samples can be stored to primitive 1,44 Mb floppy drive but it is possible to install a more modern USB emulator disk (like HxC).



PERFORMANCE unit manages up to 4 parts some special features

- Midi channel assign
- semitones shift
- keyboard zone
- allocated voices
- poly or mono mode
- part volume
- part tuning
- up to 16 split points
- multimode layer: 2 x layer / split 2 / split 4 / single / multi
- trigger input: sets a threshold to playback a sample.




editFILTER resonant lowpass analog filter based on 8 X chips NJM-2069 (same found on Korg Poly 800 but not paraphonic of course) at -12 or -24 d/B slopes. Proportional Keyboard tracking function is implement into the VCF section.

NJM2069 demo HEAR filter resonance



edit LFO 2 triangle-shaped delayed modulators "MG" (Modulation Generator).
The modulators are retriggered at each note press, relative frequency is quantized into 32 values with variable depth amount. LFo Destinations are:


- pitch (OSC1 / OSC2 / both)
- filter cutoff
- modulation for delay effect


edit ENVELOPE 2 EGs based on VCA each with 4 segments + 2 times:
- EG1 amplitude
- EG2 filter cutoff (bipolar)
DSS1 features also a bipolar AUTOBEND function for the pitch on a range of time + 2 slimmed-down EGs for the VCF/VCA touch sensibility.

Common issues are:

dss floppy drive replacement

- backlight LCD

- faulty Shugart fromat - Personally I always managed to clean the drive head with success, or it is possible to install a more modern USB emulator disk (like HxC).

- other common upgrades : for a short period, a third-part company by Tom Virostek released an upgrade kit with new board, faster CPU, more memory and SCSI option.



edit EDITORS there are some free and commercial computer-based editors:

- SpazTech for Korg DSM-1 (old MAC, FREE) PIC
- Digidesign Turbosynth (Atari ST) PIC
- Turtle Beach samplevision (for old PC ->no more available) PIC
- Midiquest (PC/MAC, commercial) PIC
- Clyphx (Ableton script)
- Edit DSS (Atari ST, no more available) PIC
- Softynth Digidesign (Atari ST, no more available) PIC
- VSTizer DSS-1 (plugin, commercial)

dss1 editor


edit RELATED FAMILY:KORG DSS-1 more or less the keyboard version with some differences:


- DSM1 has HD disk1,6 mb VS DD 880kb
- DSM1 has more RAM (4 times more )
- DSM1 has more 15 analog outs
- DSM1 has no OSC sync (ouch!)
- DSM1 has only 4 poles filter VS. 2/4 mode
- DSM1 ha no resonance Q (big miss!)
- DSM1 has no delay engine
- DSM1 has no "DRAW waveform" function
- DSM1 has more additive presets
- DSM1 manages 4 parts vs 1 DSS1s
- DSM1 features 1 VCF per oscillator / DSS1 1 VCF per VOICE (2 oscillators)
- DSM1 D/A resolution is fixed to 12 bits, DSS1 can be changed also to lo-fi 8/10/7/6 bits
- DSM1 has no noise generator

Korg DSM1


effet VST PLUGIN / SAMPLED VERSION there is no plugin VST / reliable DSM1 samples sounds available for the moment.

effet NONE n/a


dsm1 dsm1 dsm1

Company: Korg
Model: DSM-1
Class: module sampler
Rackmount: 3 units
Display: 2 x 20 LCD
Dates: 1987
Resolution: 12 bits
S. rate: 16->48 kHz
Polyphony: 16 voices
Multitimbric: 4 part
Filter: lowpass analog
Envelope: 2 EGs
LFO: 2 modulators
Effect: digital delay
Memory: 1 mega
Storage: HD disk
CPU: Z80

IC: NJM-2069


demo Pad with CVF MG
demo Strings
demo raw pad
demo brass pad
demo Resonance1
demo Resonance2
demo Cylone brass
demo arpeggio resonances
demo (another) resonant pad
demo Brass with 2 delays
demo Fat LFO
demo EBM bass like
demo Warm Rhodes
demo Clavinet
demo XP LFO pitch all
demo XP: generated wave
demo XP: square wave --> Unison --> detune
demo XP: "organ" created by ADDITIVE
demo XP: "Square" by ADDITIVE
demo XP:"Metal" by ADDITIVE

demohave some DSM1







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REVIEW"Quite disappointed by this module which lacks too many original features: the DSS1 is more a synthesizer while DSM1 is a more a plain sampler."

manual manual
-sounds many features from DSS1 are lost e.g resonance
-enhancement (disk / ram)
- bulky, rack is very deep,sync,delay

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Korg DSM-1 Korg DSM-1
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