Well…better late than never I guess.
Response to the DSS-1 expansion project has been mixed, to say the least. Most people feel it costs too much money. Many people don’t realize that the project isn’t just a memory board that drops in place, it’s a whole new CPU board AND memory board. Not too much I can do about that, as Korg really under-powered the instrument when it was designed. Although in terms of 1986 tech, it probably didn’t make financial sense to make it more powerful. Korg tried to correct the shortcomings of the DSS-1 with the DSM-1, adding expanded memory, SCSI, and improved (?) operating system, but left out some of the good bits like the filter resonance control and DDL’s.
The DSS-MSRK addressed many of the DSS-1’s shortcomings but for various reasons never became widespread.
Another misconception is that I have ‘redesigned’ the original expansion kit. I haven’t. I guess you could say I’ve ‘reorganized and repackaged’ the original design, but I haven’t (and couldn’t) make changes to the software since I don’t have the source code nor the time to disassemble, analyze, and rebuild the software for a project that might interest 50 people. I did make an exact clone of the original DSS-MSRK PCB, but without the custom Korg chip to put on it, it’s not much use. The main ideo of this project was to simplify the original design and make it easier for an end user to install.
For those of you who haven’t been on the DSS-1 Yahoo user’s group, the biggest news has been the software updates to the project. I was contacted by Jim Babb, who was one of the original designers of the DSS-MSRK expansion kit. We had exchanged a few emails, and it turned out that he still had the original 1987 source code for the DSS-MSRK!!! Not only did he agree to send me the last version that was developed (which added support for 1.44Mb floppy drives), but agreed to further develop the software and add user-requested features (thanks Jim!!).
At this point the software (V3.3) supports HD floppy drives, but also improves the SCSI spec (now supporting up to 1GB drives), improves support for SCSI to CF drives, improves the diagnostic mode, and allows you to reassign the data entry and tuning sliders to various voice parameters. The sofware will now support a 16 MB memory board that will be going into production in a few weeks.
Of course this is only the beginning….stay tuned.