If there's one hardware extension for MSX that really made an impact, it is without a doubt the Panasonic FM-PAC. A sound extension that delivers 9 FM channels, known as MSX-MUSIC. Before the FM-PAC there was another extension called MSX-AUDIO, the most popular version was the Philips Music Module. While the FM-PAC was used widely in Japanese MSX games, the Music Module was the thing to use in the MSX demo Scene. This device is still a collector's item. Now the Brazilian company Tecnobytes presents a MSX-AUDIO device, comparable to the Music Module.

If you know the MSX demo scene, you sure are familiar with the MSX-AUDIO sound. Pioneers like the FAC gave us a peek of what was possible with the the Music Module. The ADPCM Sample Ram was a thing, back then. Later on the 9 FM channels, just like the FM-PAC, were explored deeper and dedicated music editors came to the scene. Those editors made it possible to combine the sample ram with the FM channels and give us some really cool tunes to dance to. Remember Moonblaster, perhaps the most popular tracker of all. The sample RAM was limited, so clever minds adapted the Music Module to have 256K or RAM. Demos like NOP's Unknown Reality took heavy advantage of that.

Since it is hard to get your hands on a Music Module, the Brazilian hardware developers at Tecnobytes decided it was time for a worthy clone. A tribute to the original piece of hardware. And it's called Audiowave. A cartridge fully compatible with the MSX AUDIO standard. The size is a lot smaller than that of its older brothers so it'll fit nicely with your other extensions.

We are talking:

  • Y8950 sound chip with 9 channels of FM synthesis
  • 4 bit ADPCM channel, with max16 Khz resolution.
  • 256 KB Sample RAM
  • 512 KB FLASHROM, allowing BIOS upgrade.
  • 32 KB WorkRAM
  • The MSX-BASIC extension and musical keyboard software in ROM.
  • Line Out Jack P2.
  • Line In Jack P2, used for audio capture.
  • Connector to use compatible musical keyboards, such as YAMAHA YK-01, YK-10 and YK-20, Panasonic FS-MKB1, TOSHIBA HX-MU901
  • Compatible with all MSX standard machines

The price of apparatus is USD 82,00, ex shipping. If you want to get your copy, you can now pre-order Audiowaves.

The MSX-AUDIO is not just a rarely used piece of sound extension, no. There is a lot of MSX software out there that benefits from this unique sound chip. This is your change to get back to the nineties and swing your head on them MSX-Audio tunes like never before. Hit it!

relevant link: http://www.tecnobytes.com.br/
relevant link: Audiowave product page
relevant link: Video of the Audiowave in action.

Media browser (3)

  • New MSX-AUDIO hardware called AudioWave
  • New MSX-AUDIO hardware called AudioWave
  • New MSX-AUDIO hardware called AudioWave

Comentarios (24)

Por lintweaker

Champion (355)

Imagen del lintweaker

30-11-2020, 09:18

I saw this on the tecnobytes site a couple of days ago, was really tempted to order one. But then I thought, when was the last time I used my Philips module...still tempting though. Really nice small format.

Por Sander

Ambassador (1858)

Imagen del Sander

30-11-2020, 14:13

I think it's a good choice for People who don't have a music module, want the genuine sound, play with keyboard and need the smaller format. Plus; not having to solder in the Music module for extra ram or MSX-Audio bios is also a plus.

Por syn

Paragon (2014)

Imagen del syn

30-11-2020, 16:18

I already have 2x philips music module with 256KB, this one might be interesting though because of its smaller form factor

It would seem its compatible with *any* keyboard? iirc normally the keyboards are not interchangable
This one is lacking midi though unfortunately, but then again its not part of the MSX audio standard.

Por ToriHino

Hero (641)

Imagen del ToriHino

30-11-2020, 17:18

Although quite a lot of the MSX Audio songs can already be replayed on OPL4, it's nice to see this new hardware release. Especially with the ability to update the BIOS and connect a real keyboard. Although not often used, the 256K sample ram is a nice bonus :-)

Por Grauw

Ascended (9580)

Imagen del Grauw

30-11-2020, 20:05

I think that’s very cool! Philips and Toshiba modules can still be found but are getting more expensive, and usually don’t have the memory upgrade or MSX-AUDIO BIOS. Plus it’s a nice compact form factor. And the ROM is flashable. Having the Yamaha type keyboard connector’s also nice.

Por msd

Paragon (1412)

Imagen del msd

30-11-2020, 20:10

Should also mention that especially compile games support the msx-audio Wink It is not just demo's

Por Giangiacomo Zaffini 2

Master (246)

Imagen del Giangiacomo Zaffini 2

30-11-2020, 21:29

I'm a lot interested in the 256kBytes od ADPCM. I think Yamaha OPNA can use same amount of ADPCM RAM of MSX-AUDIO, possibly also the capability of OKI MSM6258 ADPCM chip of Sharp X68000. Uhm...

Por MarMSX

Resident (40)

Imagen del MarMSX

30-11-2020, 22:17

Congratulations to Tecnobytes!

Another great hardware for our MSX.

Por Takamichi

Champion (440)

Imagen del Takamichi

01-12-2020, 04:39

FS-CA1 seldom appears on the market so this one is very welcome. It can also boot the FS-CA1 software that the upgraded NMS-1205 cannot. Only thing it lacks is NMS-1205's MIDI interface.

Por The_Engineer

Master (168)

Imagen del The_Engineer

02-12-2020, 16:54

Excellent product! Ordered!

Por Pac

Guardian (6103)

Imagen del Pac

03-12-2020, 19:15

Good to see there are still Y8950 chips out there... Smile

Por tooloud

Rookie (25)

Imagen del tooloud

04-12-2020, 09:55

ordered!

Por Rataplan

Master (241)

Imagen del Rataplan

05-12-2020, 00:37

In terms of the memory; Kb or KB?

Por syn

Paragon (2014)

Imagen del syn

05-12-2020, 01:32

Anyone from holland wants to buy together to share shipping? up to 3 items for the same costs

Por Randam

Paragon (1156)

Imagen del Randam

05-12-2020, 07:32

@syn; yeah I am interested.

Por Meits

Scribe (6209)

Imagen del Meits

05-12-2020, 12:23

Rataplan wrote:

In terms of the memory; Kb or KB?

Fixed that for you Smile I guess it's a classic mistake Wink

Por syn

Paragon (2014)

Imagen del syn

06-12-2020, 18:36

randam ive send you an e-mail.

Por KdL

Paragon (1375)

Imagen del KdL

08-12-2020, 19:24

Very nice MSX-AUDIO cartridge, congratulations! LOL!

Por Alexey

Guardian (2989)

Imagen del Alexey

20-12-2020, 22:07

Glad to see yet another good hardware for our beloved platform! Smile

Por gdx

Prophet (4040)

Imagen del gdx

21-12-2020, 09:09

Sorry for Tecnobytes but I cannot agree with you because it's really a shame to make a cartridge of such a level and to put tinned contacts coarse.

Por lintweaker

Champion (355)

Imagen del lintweaker

19-01-2021, 09:05

Did anyone receive any update on this? I mailed tecnobytes but I have not received any reply yet.

Por lintweaker

Champion (355)

Imagen del lintweaker

01-02-2021, 18:27

lintweaker wrote:

Did anyone receive any update on this? I mailed tecnobytes but I have not received any reply yet.

Heard back from Tecnobytes. They are finalizing production and hope to start shipping in a week or two.

Por Manuel

Ascended (17501)

Imagen del Manuel

01-02-2021, 19:52

lintweaker wrote:

Really nice small format.

Especially compared to the Panasonic FS-CA1... :S

Por Pencioner

Scribe (1335)

Imagen del Pencioner

01-02-2021, 23:55

lintweaker wrote:
lintweaker wrote:

Did anyone receive any update on this? I mailed tecnobytes but I have not received any reply yet.

Heard back from Tecnobytes. They are finalizing production and hope to start shipping in a week or two.

I hope to hear about audio quality. I have requested the recording sample (not from microphone like on their youtube video but from line in) to check if i'll be interested or not but had no response since. Now the batch is over so i will stick with my old good Philips module, but i'm still curious about the audio quality (noise level at least, because other things like crosstalk between channels need more effort and sometimes patching the vgmplay)