Modern MSX-Audio cartridges

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By Nprod

Expert (100)

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02-05-2022, 14:52

I've been looking around at audio cartridges for MSX computers and it looks like neither MSX-Audio nor Moonsound are obtainable from anywhere. I'm guessing this is mainly due to the scarcity of Yamaha OPL4 and Y8950 chips, which had me wondering - have any cartridges been developed that use modern FM+ADPCM chips? Something like the Yamaha YMU762 should be able to emulate MSX-AUDIO at least, perhaps also Moonsound. Those IC's are still being produced, carry the same or better features and more importantly cost less than a dollar a piece.

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By wolf_

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02-05-2022, 15:05

https://www.msx.org/wiki/Category:OPL4

Original Moonsound is EOL because Sunrise's halted activities, several years ago.

By Nprod

Expert (100)

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02-05-2022, 15:11

Well yes, i also meant things like the Wozblaster which are open-hardware. I wanted to build one some time ago, but YMF278 chips aren't available anywhere.

By ducasp

Hero (580)

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02-05-2022, 15:46

Tecnobytes is gathering a list of people interested in a new batch of their MSX Audio product:

http://www.tecnobytes.com.br/2021/03/audiowave-msx-audio-pre...

Now, about OPL4, seems like the only option is to buy a a GR8NET and use it in OPL4 mode, can't see anyone having it on stock. GR8NET emulates it over FPGA, but Eugeny is quite a hard worker on getting things working properly, so even though not a real OPL4, I would think it should already be working quite close to the real thing and if not, it will in the near future.

By Nprod

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02-05-2022, 19:51

I saw that one, but it's from more than a year ago and it says "batch close". As in, that batch run has ended and the email is just to be notified of future batches. Is GR8NET opensource? I'm guessing ordering stuff from Russia is going to be difficult now due to sanctions...

By ducasp

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02-05-2022, 20:09

Nprod wrote:

I saw that one, but it's from more than a year ago and it says "batch close". As in, that batch run has ended and the email is just to be notified of future batches. Is GR8NET opensource? I'm guessing ordering stuff from Russia is going to be difficult now due to sanctions...

GR8NET is proprietary

Well, it won't hurt sending them an e-mail, you never know when someone change their mind and decide to no longer buy and ask them if they can look for someone else to fill in or if they end-up being able to produce some spare devices... Anyway, yeah, ultimately it is quite difficult, even though I rarely use it, I keep my OPL4 Shock Wave with me just because it is really difficult to find those being sold, be it new or used. Good luck, hope you find what you are looking for. Smile

By ducasp

Hero (580)

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02-05-2022, 20:10

By the way, I think gr8net also does MSX AUDIO as well, perhaps you can find someone that want to sell it, if Eugeny is not being able to ship it to your country.

By Nprod

Expert (100)

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02-05-2022, 20:16

Ebsoft.fr had a wozblaster kit for sale last year but i missed it... In terms of software support, which standard would you say is more popular - msx-audio or moonsound? The latter is obviously higher quality, but i suppose a lot more titles have options for msx-music FM synthesis at least.

By Parn

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02-05-2022, 21:01

MSX-Audio has more software support, since it's an official ASCII-backed standard. OPL4 has been gaining support in the last years, though.

By ducasp

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02-05-2022, 21:26

Nprod wrote:

Ebsoft.fr had a wozblaster kit for sale last year but i missed it... In terms of software support, which standard would you say is more popular - msx-audio or moonsound? The latter is obviously higher quality, but i suppose a lot more titles have options for msx-music FM synthesis at least.

I think that first you should tell us what you expect to achieve with those expansions...

If for gaming, a few have MSX Audio, a few homebrews have OPL4 support (and most of them support MSX Audio as well), but I don't think it is worth the trouble just for that, OpenMSX can serve you well if you are just curious about those few games sound tracks

If for using it to make tracks, or playing back sound tracks, etc... MSX Audio has more support, but like Parn said, OPL4 has been gaining traction... If your intention is to have fun for yourself, then I would go through OPL4 route... If you plan to share and want to have some audience, MSX Audio...

I don't think that there is an universal response, you have to think about it and make a choice that is best for you.

By wolf_

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02-05-2022, 21:36

I'm not that sure MSX Audio is as popular as it used to be in the 90's. MSX-Music would still be popular for gaming reasons, SCC is, PSG is... but MSX-Audio?

I'd pick the OPL4 any day.

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