Philips NMS 1205
This page was last modified 10:14, 12 May 2019 by Rderooy. Based on work by Mars2000you and HansO and others.
Philips Music Module NMS 1205

The Philips NMS 1205 Music Module is one of the most extended sound modules available on the MSX. It features a lot of connections, like a MIDI interface, audio in and audio out and a built-in microphone for easy recording. The built-in Music-BOX software allows users to create their own songs, play along with the preset rhythms and play with echo and pitch effects using the microphone in real time. The Music Module also has 32kB sample RAM that allows you to record sampled instruments.

The Philips NMS 1160 keyboard can be connected as a controller and to record your note input. The NMS 1160 came with new software that expanded on the idea of the Music-BOX software and allowed users to play the device as a regular music keyboard; the MSX providing the background instruments and rhythm, and the user playing along with the right hand while changing the chords using the left hand. This follow-up software is likely also the first software that used the sample RAM for drums.

  • 32KB of sampleRAM for the ADPCM unit (however, this can be upgraded, see below)
  • MIDI interface (with IN/OUT/THRU connectors)
  • Proprietary connector for music keyboard (NMS-1160)
  • 2 RCA mono Audio-out connectors
  • built-in microphone (mono)
  • 1 RCA external microphone connector (mono)
  • volume adjuster (sample volume)
  • 1 audio-in RCA connector (mono, to sample from a "line"-source)
  • built in software (Music-BOX, CALL MUSICBOX)

When an external microphone or line is connected the internal microphone is automatically disabled.

Brand Philips (Manufacturer: Richard Watts Computers Ltd and Music Sales Ltd.)
Type NMS 1205
Year 1987
Region Europe
Official price BE: Bfr 12000
DE: 248 DM
DE: 646 DM with NMS 1160
NL: ƒ399
Package content NMS 1205 Music Module
Sound Effects audio tape
Music Book
User's Guide


Music-BOX firmware

The cartridge has a built-in program called Music-BOX that will automatically start unless ESC is pressed on startup. The software can be started from basic with CALL MUSICBOX or _MUSICBOX

Note: On the Philips NMS 8220 pressing ESC on startup to skip the integrated Designer firmware will also prevent the Music Box software from starting at the same time. In this case, start it from BASIC with CALL MUSICBOX.

Music-BOX - Melody
Music-BOX - Sounds Menu
Music-BOX - Drums
Music-BOX - Volume Control
Music-BOX - Sound Sampler
Music-BOX - Special Effects
Music-BOX - External
Music-BOX - Tape Operations


Philips NMS 1205
Philips NMS 1205 PCB
Philips NMS 1205 PCB with 256kB upgrade
Philips NMS 1205 PCB with Supersoniqs upgrade


  • Replace R41 with a 27K resistor to increase the output volume to the same level as MSX-MUSIC.
  • Lift or cut one pin of R39 (10K, Brown Black orange). That will stop the audio from reaching the MSX slot. The audio will now only be routed to the two (mono) connectors at the right side of the cartridge. This comes in handy when playing Moonblaster stereo songs.
  • Can be modified with a switch, so two Music Modules can be addressed at the same time. This is useful for XelaSoft's Super Music Editor, the Amiga MOD player/editor and the MSX-AUDIO BIOS itself.
  • Can be expanded with the Supersoniqs board containing 256kB sample RAM, MSX-AUDIO BASIC 1.2 and modified Philips ROM.