Archives for : korg

Korg DSS-1 Resources for Gotek Flash Floppy owners – entire library


Assuming you bought a Gotek Flash Floppy (eBay et al.) and decided to upgrade your Korg DSS-1 there are probably a lot of questions bothering you. To save you time this page is here to provide all the basic steps to get your system up and running. This setup could theoretically work on HxC, but you will have to ask / search on their forum about the configuration file. I spoke with the author of HxC he is a great guy and always willing to help so don’t worry you’re safe. The images from this library are in .hfe file format and will work on HxC, while for the setup you will probably have to look on forums. If your Gotek is a Flash Floppy type then ignore previous three sentience’s and continue reading on!

Hardware setup
If you installed a Gotek drive (ideally the one with the OLED display), buy a USB stick as small as possible. Format it as FAT32, or if working on a Mac on OSX this is known as MS-DOS style partition. Inspect the Gotek drive and make sure it has a jumper on S0 pins and make sure other pins do not have any jumpers. If you want sound (of virtual floppy clicking) you might want to buy one of those tiny PC speakers and install it into a Gotek by connecting it onto pins marked as JB.

Software setup
There’s nothing really to set up. Simply extract the .7z archive onto USB stick and you can use it immediately. Flash Floppy configuration file (FF.CFG) is already in the archive. If you want you can edit it for your own fine tuned setup, it’s just a standard text file with each line described what it is and what it does. If you decided to upgrade or downgrade your Gotek with and need a good reference on how to setup the configuration file for your own suits, or just feel like a nerd and what to know what each flag does, please follow this link. To remind you, the one which is included in this archive is working just fine.

DSS-1 Library
This the reason you came here, right. But please read this first. While there are various web sources online that provide DSS-1 Library, unfortunately many of them are incomplete / contain corrupt data or contain duplicates and duplicates of duplicates, or are in a format that does not work with Flash Floppy and HxC. This one is different. I’ve decided to start from zero and slowly build or better to say precompile a “new” library that contains all of the DSS-1 images from online, converted into .hfe format, all of the duplicates removed, and corrupted disks replaced with valid ones. There are a total of 144 disks. They are all in .hfe format ready to be used in Flash Floppy and HxC Gotek drives. The library can be downloaded from here:

Korg DSS1 144_disk_Library (64MB) Kindly: do not ask me to add any commercial disks in this library I do NOT support piracy!

What’s inside?
What’s the use of such a huge library without anyone knowing what’s inside. Well we can certainly change that. I took some time and built this large table that covers all 144 Floppy Disks. The table is located here: One huge table

I have a Gotek but don’t have Flash Floppy or HxC what to do?
Fair enough! I assume there are some folks who bought a native “raw” Gotek drive or have one lying around unused or just want to save a buck or two. Don’t worry we got some good news for you. If you know your work with a screwdriver, a paper clip and have USB-A to USB-A cable, you can easily upgrade your Gotek to Flash Floppy for literally free of charge. The instructions are super simple and available here: Gotek FlashFloppy EZ Installer

Below there is a comment section. If you think there is something that can be improved or just wanted to say thanks, you’re welcome. Now go play that DSS-1! Those of us who are lucky owners know how good it sounds and leaving one gathering dust is a sin. 🙂

And so I joined the Korg DSS-1 club!

What a beast! I don’t care for playing acoustic samples at this stage just using it a synth itself is enough power. I kid you not, this thing sounds as good and powerful as a Prophet 5. Still can’t believe its sound. The low end is insane. Osc sync is killer. You can change the bit depth of the samples in real time from 12 bit down to 8 bit and even 6 bit. Also the two delay lines can pull up some incredible flangers. Took me two years to find a mint unit. But it was worth it. I have another unit which I got few yrs ago but it has one dead delay unit and some problems, but when ever I would play it I was always blown away by its sound. Patiently waited to find one in good condition to ensure long life. So here it is. If you can find one locally, give it a try. Press the Synthesize function, use a standard Saw wave (it will auto generate one for each octave) and try it as a synth and tell me it doesn’t sound good! There is also additive engine inside which can generate all kinds of weird sounds like formants, bells etc.

As of the upgrades, for those interested…

We upgraded the PSU with the new caps

Installed a LED based display.

Goodbye to that old “80 calculator” display. Hello LED.

Then we had new tact switches installed, so that when you press the switch it actually works.

Old floppy was removed replaced with Gotek Flash Floppy currently running some 140 floppies on the USB. Floppy images are available here.

Sharp eyed ones probably noticed something unusual about the first image. It’s because this unit has a Evil_Dragon_sayz_the_DSS’_too_big_letz_fix_dat mod. Took a while to build these sides as the slope has that unusual “stair” not easy to do on regular carpenter desk, but a friend Chris is good in his business and built a pair over the drawings I’ve provided. Also this mod is not easy plug and play type of thing. Some things need to be cut inside the unit. Don’t do it unless you know your shi1t.

This is the design I went with. Probably can be made better, I’m not a gear designer. So take it with a grain of salt.

Korg Trident MkI Demo


After many years of search, and one unsuccessful purchase of a busted MkII (that i’ve never managed to repair) i’ve finally found a good condition MkI at a very good price. There was nothing to think about but to pull the trigger. Always liked that “cosmic” string sound of this machine. And in the meantime i’ve became a fan for its brass section as well, because there is something magical and retro about that brass section – it screams 70’s. Although the synth was manufactured in 1980, circuits inside were designed in the 70’s and that’s about how they sound! As of its synth section, the thyristor based VCO core can hardly disappoint you and in combination with powerful and liquid SSM filters, it just brings smile on your face each time you hit a note. Same design will be later used for the famous Korg Polysix, though many corners will be cut to make Polysix affordable for average (read: starving) musician. Trident was no doubt the flagship model, you know that big thing that dominates the center of the studio with its ability to cover a large sonic territory thanks to independent synth, string ensemble and brass sections. I just wish it had the arpeggiator and unison that later came with the Polysix. To anyone who played Polsix, already knows it is SO EASY to lose several hours just by dialing some nice resonant patch with a long release and then hitting a six note arpeggio while gently tweaking knobs. Don’t do it – you’ve been warned.

Back to Trident. While i must admit the price was good, it actually requires some minor work. Resonance does not work on the brass section (i suspect dead SSM2044), which is why brass in the demo will play only non resonant sweeps, so i apologize for that part. Also most of the push buttons are busted and these are first to be replaced after i fix the resonance issue. Luckily PCB boards inside are separated per unit, so i hope it really shouldn’t be hard to fix the brass section.

On the back of the unit there are CV inputs for synth and brass filter sections. Which is precisely what i did on one part of the demo. I’ve connected a Korg MS-20, built a simple Sample an Hold patch there and then routed that voltage into the Trident. Also used MS-20’s LFO to do the ramp down type of repeating note effects. In case you wonder how i’ve achieved that effect.

Overall the sound of the synth section is really nice, filter can be opened really high in the spectrum (not as some other analogs where it reaches certain range deep within human hearing) so you can achieve some razor sharp synth tones if required. The sound of Trident/Polysix VCO is hard to describe. It is not silky like Jupiter 8 or aggressive like Prophet 5. It is just something different on its own. I’d say somewhere in the middle between the mentioned two polys, at least for the PWM types of sounds. Bass is nice too, again unison would come as a killer feature and i’m not excluding the possibility to design it myself. I really want to hear this thing in unison because i know it will be brutal for basslines. Just like the Polysix, Trident’s VCOs don’t push a lot of power in the extreme low which is actually ideal type of VCO for unison types of sounds (you don’t end up in most of the headroom eaten by extreme low). For more info please check Robert L’s Trident review while i will proceed with the demo now: