65 comments on “DSM-1 initial thoughts

  1. Oh yes! Oh yes!
    I bought one DSM-1 that some hyperactive kid destroyed by frontally and forcefully “inserting” screwdriver into random holes and plastic parts, punching hole through the control surface pcb and also smashing the inside of the floppy unit. A friend of mine helped me patch the broken pcb up, also replacing few components the machine works but I lack some kind of floppy drive or replacement (btw any suggestions on cheap floppy emulator that would work with dsm-1?);
    However, your interest in upgrading DSM-1 and the fact that there is maybe a possibility of activating those filters puts a different light on my quest to make this thing working!
    It would be kick ass to have a chance of connecting these old machines to modern PCs by USB and modernizing its digital abilities is a true hommage to the people who designed these beautiful things.
    I will patiently follow your progress on this one! Cheers from Croatia!

    • I’m also looking into options for replacing the original DSM floppy drive with an emulator. Have you had any luck?

  2. I’m looking me too and i’m very excited to heard your interest in this very underrated synth sampler. Please shared any new update and count me in for the buy of, i will hope, this future mod’s upgrade.

  3. Hi!

    I just want to say that I’m interested in this project. I assume it is not only me that would like to add filter resonance and other synthesis capabilities to this overlooked synthsampler.


  4. Any progress on DSM-1 mods? Really, just the ability to control resonance (even just a pot on the front panel) would make the machine a whole lot more useful. Any ideas?

    • Was working on it just now. Sure, you could add a front panel control for manual control of resonance. You could just disconnect the resonance pin of the NJM2069 from ground and connect them all to the control voltage of the pot. My goal is to make it programmable and MIDI-controllable.

      • I’ll keep an eye in this space. I had been considering just harvesting the filter chips to be used in a different project, but this might be worth te wait.

        • On a related note, I just discovered that the Korg SG-1 and SG-1D each have 12 of the same filter chip (NJM2069). I may look into doing an upgrade for those, to turn them into a 12-voice DSS / DSM

  5. Wow! My DSM 1 is sitting right here next to me waiting for your mod instruction, pls tell us more.

  6. Tom,
    Thank you for dedicating your time into bringing this gear more relevancy. It’s very interesting to hear the potential of these old units. I will also be tracking progress in hopes to upgrade my DSM-1.

  7. Hi Tom,

    I’d love to read a little about the progress on this mod. Im geeky enough to enjoy the techy details.


  8. Hi Tom,

    I am interested on DSM-1 mod too!!

    DSM-1 is one of the best samplers I ever had and it deserves an upgrade by you. I already have Tom’s kit installed in my DSS-1 and I bet that this upgrade will be perfect too.

  9. I’ve owned a DSM-1 since 1989. It was my main sampler for 10 years or so. I bought a mint condition one on ebay about 5 years ago, so I now have spares. I’m looking forward to any type of mod.

  10. Count me in on the “can’t wait” list! I already believe it to be a fantastic drum sound module as is… Is osc sync possible?

  11. Had a DSS1 for many years but had to ditch the behemoth when I emigrated here to the States. Fortunately, also had the DSM1 (even if it couldn’t play my original sounds). Mine has a mod on the back grouping the 16 outs into 4 separate outs (making 21 outs in total including the mix out). Any upgrades would be eagerly awaited by me. I’ll keep checking in.

  12. Hello:
    Just a quick note to inform that maybe I would like to get the mod kit for my DSM-1HD.
    Best regards

    • Olá José Pereira

      Em tempos , tive 2 Korg DSM-1 , um sei que tinha trocado ao Rui Veloso, na V. Carvalho Estudio

      depois não sei o que fiz aos samplers, por acaso quererá vender-me o seu ?

      moro no Estoril

      depois de vinte anos estou novamente a comprar samplers

      já consegui um Akai s5000 um EMU E5000 um Yamaha A3000 um Roland S760 e um S550



      • Bom dia Luís:
        Poderemos tentar chegar a um acordo.
        Contacte-me através de jose.gouveia.pereira@netvisao.pt.
        O meu DSM-1 foi comprado há muitos anos a um membro da banda Essa Entente.
        Entretanto consegui obter no Ebay a rara expansão SCSI e fiz a sua instalação que permite o acesso a um disco rigido externo onde tenho aramazenados os bancos de sons.
        É portanto uma versão algo rara mas se tiver mesmo interesse poderemos chegar a um acordo em termos de valor até porque tenho um DSS1 e portanto acaba por ser material redundante.
        O meu DSM-1 não tem a s orelhas de instalação em rack. Já o comprei assim e nunca consegui obter umas…
        José Pereira

  13. We’re all crossing our fingers that you’ll work out the mod for the DSM. You’d win the Synth Mod of the year award for sure.

  14. lots of expectations here too, despite your 90min daily commutations :]
    count me in for 3 kits on the future waiting list 😉

    • Not much progress lately. The MCU I have been planning to use is a year late to market but is finally in the distributors’ catalogs. I may use an older version of the chip to start testing just to get some work done. Additionally I finally found a DSM-1 with the rare SCSI upgrade, so I will investigate adding that functionality as well.

  15. Another DSM-1 owner (with electronics experience) who would LOVE to see it turned into a capable synthesizer! It could become an ‘analog’ M1 on steroids! I’m at your disposal for testing.

  16. I got informed on Synthforum.nl for this upgrade. I was a bit concirned bout being not compatible.. since I own a DSM with some rare SCSI OS.. but I just red you’re willing to add this function too..
    I’m really looking forward to have this mod on mine 🙂

  17. Hi Tom,
    A DSS1 & DSM1 user here. Super keen for the return of Straylight.
    It’s amazing work that you do!

  18. Just a quick note to inform the group that I’m selling my Korg DSM-1 with SCSI expansion card and external SCSI Hard diskThe module doesn’t have the rack ears. EUR450,00 plus mailing expenses.
    I’ll keep just my Korg DSS-1 hoping to install one day the Tom Virostek expansion.
    If anyone’s interested can contact me to jose.gouveia.pereira-at-netvisao.pt
    Best regards.
    José Pereira

  19. Hi Tom
    another DSM user here waiting patiently for an upgrade :o)

    Keep up the great work!


  20. Hi Tom,

    You must be sick of hearing new people who express their eager wish to be your customers, and really not wanting to sound completely unoriginal, but you have another one with me!!

    I know the feeling of never enough time in the day, so do I sympathise. They really should allow cloning when it comes to talented people like yourself. Can you imagine in the future “TOM Inc. (c)” With a huge bespoke factory, staffed full of Tom’s pumping out wonderful products to happy consumers.. But in the mean time all we can do is wish you well and let you know that we are here for when you do succeed with this project.

    Da Beagle,

    • Thank you! I do wish that doing these projects was my main line of work, but sadly it’s not. I’m hoping to get some time starting in the new year to devote to the projects.

  21. hello Tom, returning customer here (bought your re-created chips for my Prophet VS),

    i am also here to express huge interest to buy the modification to Korg DSM-1 resonance
    and scsi, if it ever materializes.

    best regards

  22. Hi Tom , here another potential DSM-1 owner and n near future (in two weeks time) l can’t wait it to arrive.I heard about your famous work on the DSS-1. And looking forward to hear your working progress in a DMS1 upgrade. Many of us hope it will happens in the near future.You’re a genius. Stay Blessed. Hagaha

  23. Crying and crossing fingers that l don’t know when a divine inspires TomV to materialize the most expected upgrade ever made for the sack of happiness of the DSM- 1

  24. Hi,

    I have a DSM-1 and I’m thinking of putting in a potentiometer to control the resonance manually. I’ve seen this mod done, but bo instructions.

    Any chance you could put together a simple text on how to do this ?

    I understand you have to take a control voltage somewhere, run thru the potentiometer and back to the resonance pin on the filter chip.

    But where is a good place to steal the control voltage, and does it have to be hardwired to the resonance pin of all the chips ?

    I guess a 12/24 db switch could be done quite easily too?

    best regards
    Niklas / sweden

  25. Hi, any progress on the DSM-1 upgrade ? It’s time to upgrade it to the best Analog Sampler in the world.

  26. I have acquired 4 dsm’s over the years, bought one original when they came out and still have it. Any upgrades to these units I am interested in.


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