Why and how was MSX-AUDIO failed?

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Van yzi

Champion (444)

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20-02-2013, 23:56

Good AdLib FM music that I used to like: Secret of Monkey Island and Indy 500 loading/intro music (which was made by Rob Hubbard, IIRC).

For other very good FM music, check out the AdLib music by Vibrants members. I think they are modulating the sound parameters on the fly, which makes the sounds much more interesting. The Surprise!Productions demo Copper is a good example. I remember one Amiga musician commenting it as being the first good PC music he had ever heard.
http://www.pouet.net/prod.php?which=2048

Van popolon33

Expert (85)

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21-02-2013, 09:25

wrong balance with OPLL :
http://cpu.dip.jp/3mhz/data.html

Van Low_Profile

Champion (425)

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21-02-2013, 12:28

MSX-Audio was too expensive to be mainstream at launch. Philips Music Module was around 400 guilders, which was a lot in the 1980's.
Besides being expensive it had other flaws:
- crappy software support (Music Creator -which is only half decent to create your own songs- was not in the standard package, but delivered with the optional keyboard iirc. In stead you had this very simple Rom Tool, which was more an annoyance than really helpful)
- Low internal volume routing, to the point where it is unusable in combination with PSG.
- Only to be revived years later by scene-based software it reached it's full potential.

The FM-Pac cost between 150 and 180 guilders iirc. It has a better volume ratio with the PSG. (Actually better than the volume of the build-in MSX-Music in the Turbo-R's, which I think is a bit on the low side compared to the PSG. With the FM-PAC though, you have volume differences depending on which model MSX you're using.)

Van poke-1,170

Paragon (1769)

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21-02-2013, 12:31

Heh, that explains an awful lot Tongue I always thought the soundvolumes were oddly balanced when making music on the 8250. Another annoyance is that the sound of one cartridge leaks through the other (as odd as that sounds). Did anyone ever consider using the cx5m's soundchip as a add on cartridge ? that one has 4 operators doesn't it ?

Van Samor

Prophet (2148)

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21-02-2013, 12:35

yeah, 8250's terribly off.
good computer, but sound-wise... oO

Van poke-1,170

Paragon (1769)

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21-02-2013, 12:44

What would be the best msx to use when using music module + fm-pac ? (apart from turboR)

Van poke-1,170

Paragon (1769)

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21-02-2013, 12:46

I always thought it might have something to do with the cartridge slots though... switching cartridges between slots already seemed to have an effect, or unplugging one. Maybe philips did something wrong on the 8250 there...

Van meits

Scribe (6509)

afbeelding van meits

21-02-2013, 17:25

@ poke-1,170: If you connect your cartridges directly to an amplifier with a balance knob or to a mixer, all computers should do... Even the 8250 - 8280 (just beware that an line out of an FM-PAC won't do any good if your computer has one internal, I found out and didn't really like that fact). Or replace just one resistor in your music module to gain the same volume output as the fm-pac does (which I did and I don't regret it Wink )

@ LowProfile: Indeed, I just checked MSX Compputer Magazine 13 for the review of the thing. fl. 399,-... And for what, indeed... It was a useless thing until the hobbyscene started to build stuff... As far as I can judge, there was never even professional software for its MIDI ports.

Van Low_Profile

Champion (425)

afbeelding van Low_Profile

21-02-2013, 22:13

My NMS8255 had the infamous audio drop out glitch. When I first got my FM-Pac the sound was really distorted, and every other 10 seconds, the sound would disappear for a few seconds. The distortion sound could be solved by placing a SCC cartridge in the other slot, which provided extra resistance(?) so the sound of the FM-Pac would be a bit softer and wouldn't distort anymore. However to my discontent, the audio dropouts kept remaining. Sad
SCC would sound way off too btw (so loud that PSG was hardly audible), so I never had drums while playing any SCC game.

This was a known problem back then. I went to Checkmark (the same guys that later developed the memory-expansions and stereo-Pak) to 'fix' my computer. He replaced a few instable parts (a powersupply that got waaay too hot, which caused the dropouts) and added a stereo-switch to route all cartridge sound directly to a cinch-connector at the back of my 8255 when switched on, or route it internally when switched off. Also added was a pot-meter to balance volume between PSG and any sound produced by cartridges (SCC/FM-Pac/MusMod) when you were forced to route all sound internally.
So... Finally 'good' sound for me, yay!! Big smile

@Meits: the Music Module was so ridiculous, that on the NMS8220 (the MSX2 without floppydrive, but with build-in paint-software) you would have to hold ESC at boot-up to start-up the Rom-Tool of the Music-Module. But not holding ESC at boot-up started the build in paint-tool of the 8220. So you were either forced to work with the internal Paint-Tool or the Crappy Rom-tool of the Music Module... Idiots @ Philips, I tell ya! ;D Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

Van MTC

Rookie (26)

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21-02-2013, 23:01

@yzi: Vibrants and other demo groups at least showed what was (and is) possible, even with 'low specced' hardware. Smile

@Low_Profile: The Turbo-R is indeed off with its volumes. Not only MSX-Music/ PSG but also MSX-Audio, SCC,... everything that used pin 49. Back then I got so frustrated that I soldered a few extra resistors on my TR GT mainboard to get the volumes right. Don't remember the resistor numbers anymore though.
Quite odd they could not get it right. The only MSX I had which had good balanced sound out of the box was my NMS8245 (cannot remember how the 8220 did).

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