need help at disassemble a cartridge DMS1 with music software for the CX5M

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By dms1guy

Resident (50)

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14-05-2014, 13:07

I have found an interesting group on linkedin called [Retro Games & Emulation] which I have joined.

FYI
My linkedin details:
http://www.linkedin.com/pub/abdul-hafiz-ibrahim/3b/418/7b1
My Facebook details:
https://www.facebook.com/abdul.h.ibrahim.948

By dms1guy

Resident (50)

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14-05-2014, 13:11

You are most welcome mtn.
I did not expect anyone to be interested in this.

By syn

Prophet (2069)

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14-05-2014, 13:36

Quote:

I hope I haven't bored anyone with too much irrelevant detail and am happy to help with anything that is within my power.

No this was very interesting to read, and I have never even touched/seen a cx5m or DMS1 Wink And your posts actually made me somewhat want to try and hunt down one Wink

Basically you are saying DMS1 layed the foundation of present-day music sequencing software (since cubase and others seem to be inspired by your software)? Thats cool and a shame that (afaik) neither you or the MSX gets creditted for that.

Do you have know of any examples (albums/loose songs) where the artists/producers used a Cx5m in their setup?

By Grauw

Ascended (10163)

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14-05-2014, 13:46

Amazing story! I love these kind of posts Smile.

So much preparation and costs before you could start developing… Hard to imagine for someone like me who only really started programming for MSX at the beginning of the 90’s. By that time, there were quite some tools readily available, assemblers / disassemblers on MSX itself, so things were much easier.

I just bought a CX5MII recently, I’ll be sure to keep an eye out for a copy of your DMS1 software and check it out!

I myself am working on a piece of software right now that lets you program sounds on all kinds of MSX sound chips in a very configurable (modular) way, and then lets you play it via a MIDI controller. It’s fun stuff to do Smile.

By dms1guy

Resident (50)

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14-05-2014, 14:08

Very much appreciate your comment syn about not getting due recognition, but you would be surprised how rarely the true inventors get credited. Like the guy who designed the original iPod and whom APple have only recently acknowledged.

I was only ever directly contacted by one recording studio which was in London and they invited me down to see how they were using the CX5M and DMS1. They wanted to share how much it had changed their professional lives, and wanted to make some suggestions for extensions. They were doing work for a lot of top bands at that time (mid eighties). But it was such a long time ago that I don't remember the name of the studio.

I did stay in touch with the music lawyer for the studio, a really nice gent by the name Tim Spencer, but unfortunately he died of a heart attack a few years ago.

The main thing is that at that time, if you wanted to experiemt with a piece of music, there were some very very expensive machines around, but no all-in-one box that a home user could edit a multi-track backing, choose different sounds and then play them back on the same box. There was nothing even close until the Atari ST was launched and all of a sudden you had MIDI, 1MB of RAM and a 32-bit processor.

I remember being at the British Music Fair at Earls Court in London and there was a crowd at the DMS1 stand for the Mark 2 software, and they took over £5,000 in cash sales in a single day.

By NYYRIKKI

Enlighted (5889)

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14-05-2014, 13:55

I do agree. This is very interesting stuff and a great story!

Especially the MIDI-part of SFG is completely undocumented. I did write some documentation about FM-part, but practically the stuff I wrote has been untested and it may contain errors. If you have any documentation left from your efforts it would be very valuable.

By dms1guy

Resident (50)

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14-05-2014, 14:20

Hey Grauw,

Quote:

re: So much preparation and costs before you could start developing… Hard to imagine for someone like me who only really started programming for MSX at the beginning of the 90’s. By that time, there were quite some tools readily available, assemblers / disassemblers on MSX itself, so things were much easier.

In those days, it wasn't normal to think about going out and buying software like today. There was no internet to speak of, just a few bulletin boards accessed by audio modems. very few sources of information, and software and computers were very very expensive.

But on a positive note, there's nothing quite like rolling your sleeves up and building things from scratch to teach you fundamentals of systems. It sets you up to actually appreciate how things work and to have much more confidence in your work in general.

I come across so many programmers today who are really some kind of power-user. They know how to operate an interface, but don't really understand the underlying data movements. This translates into poor execution efficiency.

I struggle to this day when talking to programmers who have no idea about how much memory or compute resource they use, and they don't care. I have always continued to be frugal in using memory, even when people say "why bother". But things have come full circle, and today I find that there is a new type of memory shortage. Even though people have gigabytes of memory on their systems, the processors are going so fast that accessing off-chip memory slows them down to a crawl. So they try to stay on-chip and use L1, L2 or L3 cache. Guess what, L1 cache is about 32K, which is the size of a complete system from the old days. So now, if you can program efficiently, you can fit all performance critical code into L1 cache. ... so it definitely pays to stay efficient.

By dms1guy

Resident (50)

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14-05-2014, 14:22

re:

Quote:

I myself am working on a piece of software right now that lets you program sounds on all kinds of MSX sound chips in a very configurable (modular) way, and then lets you play it via a MIDI controller. It’s fun stuff to do Smile.

This would have been a wondeful tool to have when I was writing music and sound effects for games.

By dms1guy

Resident (50)

dms1guy's picture

14-05-2014, 14:28

Quote:

I do agree. This is very interesting stuff and a great story!

Thank you

Quote:

Especially the MIDI-part of SFG is completely undocumented. I did write some documentation about FM-part, but practically the stuff I wrote has been untested and it may contain errors. If you have any documentation left from your efforts it would be very valuable.

I don't have anything left from that time, but one thing I can tel you is that the MIDI part of the system is really simple. To send data, you just write to a port and the data is sent. To receive data from MIDI IN, you just read a byte from a port. There is also a status port that has a bit that flags when the MIDI OUT is ready for another byte and a bit that flags when the MIDI IN has data ready to be picked up. The FM-part is by far more complex, so you have done very well to make progress with that.

One easy way to track these port access, is to scan the firmware (or DMS1 disassembly) for I/O accesses. The Z80 uses special machine instructions for I/O and in DMS1 they are only used in a handful of places. So just find these and then find the routines that drive them. Work backwards from the I/O accesses, that's my opening suggestion that you may find helpful. If you come across any candidate disassembly, let me have a look and I'll see if I can recognise it.

By mars2000you

Enlighted (6016)

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14-05-2014, 14:31

FYI, blueMSX has the most advanced support for CX5M machines, including the MIDI part.

You can take a look at the source code :

http://sourceforge.net/p/bluemsx/code/HEAD/tree/trunk/blueMS...

I have also a question : only the first version of DMS1 has been dumped, it's a 16 Kb rom :

http://www.passionmsx.org/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php...

Manual :

http://www.passionmsx.org/modules/mydownloads/singlefile.php...

By any chance, could someone dump the second version ?

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