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Yes, I admit. I do suffer from a mild form of GAS ... But only the stuff I couldn't afford back in the 1980s :)

The Korg DSS-1 was one of these beasts that always fascinated me. Recently, I finally was able to score one of these tanks. And since I like the Korg design of that era (no kidding) I also got myself a DS-8 and a DW-8000. Meanwhile, there's also a Wavestation EX for company.

Suggestions, questions, acclamation, or simply curiosity about who that guy is you might want to place here:

To fight spam, I'm running a combination of DNS and reverse-DNS checking, RBL-based filtering, and Greylisting, so if your ISP's mail server is blacklisted or doesn't play according to the SMTP RFC, you might encounter bounces.

Wavestation Area Technical Information
The Wavestation comes in three essential flavors:
  • The classic Wavestation (WS) and the Wavestation EX (EX) are essentially the same machine and only differ in OS version and number of WaveROMs installed.
  • The Wavestation AD (AD) is essentially a Wavestation EX that comes with a built-in A/D converter, enabling routing external stereo signals through the device.
  • The Wavestation SR (SR) is a redesign with different UI and partly changed interface (cf. PCM card)
When using PCM cards, the machine generation must be taken into account:
  • The WS, EX, and AD electrically work with M1-style PCM cards. However, their sound chip's interpolation is different: sample- or loop-end markers need to be placed 2 samples earlier with the WS (like with the 01R/W), which might render audible artifacts when using M1 PCM cards.
  • SR uses 01R/W-style PCM cards.
Service Manual & Schematics
ROM Dumps and OS documentation
Documentation of ICs

DSS1/DW8000/DS8 Area Technical Information
Reading and writing DSS-1 disks

Luckily, the DSS-1 does not use an esoteric disk format like some other machines. No special rotation speed (like the Casio FZ-1), no mixed sector sizes (like the Ensoniqs). Just 80 tracks per 5 sectors of 1024 bytes each. This is so straightforward, that Linux users can read/write disk images out of the box:

  1. Firstly, create a dedicated DSS-1 disk device, e.g. as follows
    mknod /dev/fd0dss1 b 2 40

  2. Now configure the new device with the proper disk geometry information
    setfdprm /dev/fd0dss1 DD DS sect=5 cyl=80 ssize=1024

  3. That's all. Now you can use dd for disk transfers:
    for reading: dd if=/dev/fd0dss1 bs=1024 count=800 of=dumpfile.dd
    for writing: dd if=dumpfile.dd bs=1024 count=800 of=/dev/fd0dss1

  4. For formatting own DSS-1 disks, use superformat /dev/ds0dss1. Don't forget to configure the drive before formatting.

Glen Stegner has an awesome collection of DSS-1 sample disks for download. Unfortunately, they are in a somewhat lesser known format (CQM) requiring some ancient DOS software to read and write.

Don't go that road.

Instead, use this converter (you know how to use gcc, right?) together with this script. No need for funky stone-age software.

No idea why CQM keeps sectors in the interleaved track layout (1-3-5-2-4), even though it is a plain data dump format -- which I didn't know when doing the above script. So to make those disks work, you'd first reorder the interleaved sector. I leave that to you as an excercise ;)

To make it more interesting, there's an alternative DSS-1 disk format ("turbo disks") out that came with the original DSS-1 expansion which is of course not interleaved (thanks for the hint, Tom!).

USB Storage

Lucky owners of Tom Virostek's marvellous DSS-1 expansion don't have to deal with disk images but can resort to real USB storage.

Here's a tool for turning dd-style disk dumps into disk folders containing the corresponding DS1 and DSM files as required from the expansion unit.

It should work with "real" linear disk dumps and CQM-style dumps preserving the interleave layout and supports both standard DSS-1 disks and "turbo" disks.

Repairing and upgrades
Replacing and repairing the disk drive. While the link is for the Casio FZ-1, the DSS-1 and DSM-1 also use Shugart drives.

Tom Virostek's DSS-1 upgrade is a must-have.
Service Manual & Schematics




Documentation of ICs

The Korg DSS-1 originally uses a 8085 processor. With Tom's upgrade board, the processing hardware almost resembles a Casio FZ-1, so here's some bits and pieces about the hardware:

ROM Dumps and OS documentation


  • not yet


  • Original ROM V.870214 (27C256)


  • Original ROM V.0713 (27C128)
  • Musitronics / Angel City expansion ROM(27C256; requires installed expansion unit)
  • Waveform ROMs (4*27C010)
  • A new waveform set for more analog waveforms designed by Bernd "The Synth King" Brüning. (If you have any questions regarding this, don't ask me but him -- and make sure to have checked the contained README. Or just wait for the to-come video he's preparing right now ;)