Many Many Music Expansion Questions

Par NetNomad

Supporter (7)

Portrait de NetNomad

26-07-2020, 02:54

Hello! I am a newcomer to the MSX scene and am very excited to dive in. I'm a big soundchip music enthusiast so one of the things that really interests me about the MSX is the wide array of music expansion modules. I have an SX-1 Mini+ preordered which I am very excited about, and that has FPGA implementations of the PSG, MSX-MUSIC OPLL, and SCC but there are a few other music expansions I'm debating maybe getting eventually but I want to ask you all for your advice in planning ahead to avoid any regrets like getting an expensive cartridge when a cheaper one does the same thing or buying a cartridge and not having it work the way I thought it would.

One of the chips I definitely want to get eventually is a DCSG. I've read about the Tanam Mega MSX Adapter on the wiki which states that it is available for 2000 yen but I can't seem to find anywhere to buy it online or where you would buy it in person. Is this cartridge or the Coleco one still in print? Is there a difference in functionality between those two devices aside from the cartridge slot on top? I also noticed that it is not listed under the supported cartridges for DCSG on VGMPlay, will VGMPlay recognize it as a Musical Memory Mapper cartridge or will it not be able to use it? The other option I am considering is the Franky DIY PCB. I have basic through-hole soldering skills and it seems like a fun project but every single IC on the BOM seems to be obsolete. Does anyone have any experience sourcing parts for it? If I got an old SMS for the VDP, would the other ICs like the SRAM also be salvageable from there? Even if it's more expensive the Franky would be fun to have for playing and writing SMS software although unfortunately the full Playsoniq cartridge is definitely out of my budget

Another one is the OPM SFG module. It seems like the originals have a different pinout than the standard MSX cartridge slot and need an adapter, so the more recent option seems to be the way to go. I feel like I remember the Supersoniqs shop stocking them for a bit and I've also read through threads on here about batches of those clear blue SFG cartridges that fit the normal cartridge slot. Are there any other options for that or is waiting and hoping for another batch of either of those the best option?

The last one I'm thinking about is the OPL4. I've seen a few DIY options out there but they require surface out soldering which is unfortunately above my skill level at the moment. For the premade ones there's an overwhelming amount of options. The DalSoRi product page linked in the wiki doesn't seem to have a price listed or an option to purchase if I'm not mistaken, am I looking at it in the wrong spot? Other than that it seems like the 8bits4ever option seems to be the cheapest unless I'm mistaken. I can live without the ADPCM though and I saw this OPL3 DIY cartridge- does anyone know if that PCB from the last picture is available somewhere? Otherwise I guess it's a debate between breadboarding out that first schematic and getting a breakout cartridge or splurging for an OPL4 cartridge.

With any/all of these I would be using them with the SX-1 Mini+ FPGA MSX. I know the Mini+ hasn't been released yet but does anyone have any of the prior models and know if any of these music expansions have compatibility issues with the SX-1 line or FPGA MSXes in general? I did read about previous OCMs needing a fix in order to get cartridge sound to mix back into the cartridge correctly and believe this was fixed in the new design. I also read about the new OCM firmware which among other things provides TurboR PCM to MSX2+ FPGA solutions which is very cool. A few different specific ones like the MS-X and Zemmix Neo are mentioned but not the SX-1, does anyone happen to know if that firmware is compatible with the SX-1 line?

Sorry for having so many questions in one thread, I figured better that than starting a whole bunch of different threads. Also sorry if this belongs in Music and Graphics instead of hardware. I'll happily repost this there instead needbe. This site has been an awesome resource to get started with all of this and I am hoping to be able to contribute once I get started. Thank you for taking the time to read my obnoxiously long post!

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Par Grauw

Ascended (9342)

Portrait de Grauw

26-07-2020, 03:08

I’ve never heard of the Tanam Mega MSX Adapter, but if the documentation on the wiki page is correct it conflicts with the MoonSound OPL4, since it uses the same I/O port. VGMPlay does not support it but you can of course modify the source code. I recommend a Musical Memory Mapper for DCSG, the extra memory is useful for VGMPlay too.

Par ToriHino

Hero (589)

Portrait de ToriHino

26-07-2020, 09:07

NetNomad wrote:

The last one I'm thinking about is the OPL4. ... I can live without the ADPCM though and I saw this OPL3 DIY cartridge...

Notet that the OPL4 does not have ADPCM (that's only on MSX Audio like the Philips Music Module or GR8NET cartridge). It does have wavetable support and PCM sample ram. This is supported by for example VGMPlay, Moonblaster Wave, NOP Modplayer or RoboPlay.

Par Grauw

Ascended (9342)

Portrait de Grauw

26-07-2020, 12:03

And most MoonSound music made for the MSX uses the PCM, the FM is under-utilised.

An OPL3 cartridge is nice though, with VGMPlay it opens up a large catalog of music from e.g. the IBM PC.

Par gdx

Prophet (3761)

Portrait de gdx

26-07-2020, 13:21

In addition, most of the links to download software for Tanam Mega MSX adapter are no longer valid, and the adapter doesn't use any filter/amp, nor no system disable/enable the SN76489 and contacts are tinned. If you still want one try contacting Tanam. You should probably log on to his blog contact him.

Par NetNomad

Supporter (7)

Portrait de NetNomad

27-07-2020, 05:25

Thabk you all for your input! i think i'll be avoding that Tanam cartridge for sure then. I'm sad to hear the FM on the OPL4 is so underutilized with myself coming from the Soundblaster/Adlib music world but i guess saving up for an OPL4 cartridge is the way to go in that case as well. Thank you again!

Par Pencioner

Scribe (1182)

Portrait de Pencioner

27-07-2020, 21:23

I think there's at least two cartridges you never regret buying - OPM (SFG/clone), and OPL4. Others are cool too but those two have the best money to fun rate Big smile

Par gdx

Prophet (3761)

Portrait de gdx

28-07-2020, 02:12

Konami sound cartridge and Musical Memory Mapper are fun too but hard to get now.