PSG upgrade - anybody interested?

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Door Shiru

Expert (115)

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08-01-2007, 00:25

Maybe this information will be interesting for someone of MSX-users.

I'm not really MSX-user, I more have deals with ZX Spectrum. Here, in Russia, we have many types of ZX-compatible computers, and fans of them. Some of this computers (ATM Turbo 2+, Pentagon 1024SL) are in produced by enthusiasts even today, as enthusiasts of MSX or C64 produced MoC or C-One. Additionally, some hardware upgrades are produced. In last year gained popularity sound extension called 'Turbo Sound' (TS for short). It's replacement for AY/YM sound chip - board, plugged into AY IC socket instead of AY. Board contains two AY (YM) chips, it's given six sound channels instead three, which means more polyphony, or non-overlapped sound fx in games (of course, only in games with support of TS). No additional connections with computed board required, chip selects by output in un-exists register of AY (above 15th), audio output return to corresponding pins of AY socket (also user can get output directly from TS board, if he need more cleaner sound). For this extension already exists some ZX software, include two musical editors (trackers) for ZX, and one cross-editor for win32 - Vortex Tracker II (latest versions have support for TS). Music compo for TS already spent on two our local demoparty - DiHalt'06 and CC'06.

In this year planned production of new version this sound extension - 'Turbo Sound FM' (TFM for short). It give all features of TS, fully compatible with it, and also give six channels 4-op FM-synth (OPN, two YM2203 chips on board). It sounds very close to Sega Megadrive (directly conversion of registers data from .gym or .vgm-files also possible, except digital channel and LFO features). Prototypes already were made and debugged, and production of first series must begin in first half of this year. Special music cross-editor (tracker for win32) now in developing, it already close to release, and planned to be released with TFM boards or earlier. TFM connected with computer and programming with same methods as TS.

There is no serious problems to use these two devices on MSX computers (or any systems with AY/YM chips) - except that in all devices which I saw, AY have soldered to main board (in almost all of ZX-compatible russian clones AY/YM plugs into IC socket), so desoldering chip and replacing them to socket is needed.

Of course, these devices gave nothing for old games. But that can be optionally supported in new software, and can be way to upgrade sound features of old computers without using of rare original devices.

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Van pitpan

Prophet (3133)

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08-01-2007, 00:28

I've got some bad news for you: AFAIK, in all MSX2 and higher computers the PSG is included in the MSX Engine. Therefore, there's no way to desolder and replace it. It could be interesting for MSX1 though.

Van Shiru

Expert (115)

afbeelding van Shiru

08-01-2007, 00:42

I've got some bad news for you: AFAIK, in all MSX2 and higher computers the PSG is included in the MSX Engine. Therefore, there's no way to desolder and replace it. It could be interesting for MSX1 though.
I saw not very many MSX models in reality - two, if be exact: Daewoo MSX CPC300 and CPC400/400s. It is Korean MSX2, and it have real AY chip on board. Also I saw some photos (not many) of MSX board in internet, including MSX2 - it's also has real AY chips on board.

Of course, I not expert in this - in Russia common models is only this Daewoo's and Yamaha YIS503, all other models very rare here.

Van dhau

Paragon (1563)

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08-01-2007, 00:42

MSX is doing quite well with sound chips: PSG, OPLL, OPL1, OPL4, SCC plus the MIDI interface in Turbo-R, which is probably the most used MSX computer nowadays.

BTW: both Yamaha teacher and pupil computers use S1985 engine, which include PSG among other things.

Van Shiru

Expert (115)

afbeelding van Shiru

08-01-2007, 01:01

I know, MSX have many good sound devices, and I like all of it.

But let's compare:

TS vs PSG = 6ch vs 3ch, two envelopes vs one. AY lose.
TS vs SCC = .. vs 4ch without envelope, but with custom wave-form... Let's say this is a draw.
TS vs PSG+SCC = yeah, TS lose.

TFM vs PSG, SCC, PSG+SCC = all they lose.
TFM vs OPLL = OPLL lose. Only one custom instrument, 2-op synth.
TFM vs OPL1 = OPL1 lose, 2-op.
TFM vs OPL4 = of course TFM crashed in dust, OPL4 winSmile

MIDI is not a sound device.

With this thoughts I think all that I said in first post can be slightly interesting for MSX-community. Of course, it's just information, not a appeal to warm up big soldering ironWink

Van flyguille

Prophet (3028)

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08-01-2007, 02:45

I am interested but thinking more in msx1 upgrades...... who will upgrade the sound of a msx1 anyway?

how much is we talking about?

Van SLotman

Paragon (1224)

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08-01-2007, 02:47

Dont forget MSX can play cd-audio tracks... no way to beat *that* quality of sound Wink

Van snout

Ascended (15186)

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08-01-2007, 03:03

Depends on what CDs you're playing Tongue

Either way... perhaps TurboSound can be VHDL-ed into the OCM?

Van Manuel

Ascended (17078)

afbeelding van Manuel

08-01-2007, 09:45

I've got some bad news for you: AFAIK, in all MSX2 and higher computers the PSG is included in the MSX Engine. Therefore, there's no way to desolder and replace it. It could be interesting for MSX1 though.

Not completely true[*], but indeed, practically all MSX computers currently in use have no separate PSG chip.

[*] Some MSX1 machines have an MSX-ENGINE, e.g. the Philips VG-8020/20 and some MSX2 machines have no engine, e.g. the Sony HB-G900P.

Van iamweasel2

Hero (650)

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08-01-2007, 13:12

Shiru: First of all, welcome to our msx community. Really nice project this one. Smile Unfortunately (in this case), MSX already have many sound chips, but I welcome this as a oportunity for both comunities, since MSX1 and ZX have similar hardware, there's no reason why both platforms can't benefit from exchanging hardware/software. It would be nice to see more ZX-Spectrum <-> MSX hardware projects being used in both platforms, in the future.

Van HansO

Paladin (672)

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08-01-2007, 18:50

Is this the PSG upgrade?

Simple and fun!

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