Zxpand+ with Midi.

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moggy
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Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 02.07.2017, 13:51

For the record.

On the Thursday 22 June 2017 at 15:20 after 108 emails and a dozen false starts, a ZX81 plus Zxpand+ combo using Sir Morris' prototype Midi player played,possibly for the first time ever for an 81,a full blown 16 channel General Midi file via two Midi modules daisy-chained together.
This is not to be confused with the play command 8 channel simple type Midi of the spectrum or the non GM peripherals created for it.

For reference the Midi file was a full orchestrated version of "Alfie" from the film of the same name.


What Charlie has done is in my opinion quite incredible and whilst some technical flaws still exist the fact that a zeddy can now play files just like the Midi orientated Atari ste or a PC, is quite some achievement and worthy of high praise. :ugeek:


My days are now spent converting my jazz collection so thanks for this Charlie much appreciated.




To paraphrase C.M. Schulz "You're a good man Charlie R."
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schombi
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von schombi » 03.07.2017, 08:26

Cool! Thanks for letting us know. Is there a video or audio recording available?

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msch
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von msch » 03.07.2017, 10:29

Great! Please share more infos about the setup and the software (preferably with pics) :-)
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moggy
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 03.07.2017, 15:08

Link to thread on UK forum....

http://www.sinclairzxworld.com/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=2444

In my simple terms, Sir Morris worked out that midi file data in its natural form was too complex to be put through the serial port of the new Zxpand+.
He worked out a method of turning it into something that was easier for the 81 to handle so in one week he immersed himself in the general midi specification and after some false starts developed a simple player that in my own testing will satisfactorily play about 96% of converted midi files which is some achievement,considering it obeys the full GM spec', controller data and patch change etc.



If anyone is sufficiently interested I can run through the simple process involved, as for video Sir Morris may be putting something together for you-tube with a short piece I recorded from the 81 but that is up to him as to when and if he decides to do it.

A few pictures of the Zxpand+ which requires a firmware update for midi operation, the midi patch lead and a few stock pictures of the type of midi unit that can be used.
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 03.07.2017, 15:08

another...
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 03.07.2017, 15:09

another..
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moggy
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 03.07.2017, 15:10

finally..
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Paul
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von Paul » 03.07.2017, 16:52

Hi Moggy,
Maybe not of my most intelligent questions:
Can I hook my Yamaha keyboard with Midi to a ZX81 and have it play the music or do I need a box like yours?
Because I only have my old Yamaha keyboard at the moment.
I'm also not shure how to configure my keyboard for such operations.
Kind regards Paul
Theoretisch ist zwischen Theorie und Praxis kein Unterschied.
Praktisch allerdings wohl.

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tokabln
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von tokabln » 03.07.2017, 17:14

Hi Paul,

if your Keyboard has a MIDI In port ( 5pol DIN female socket as used in the old days for turntable players or cassette decks ) then you do need at least a similar brakeout box with a 5pol DIN female socket connected to the ZXPand+ as shown above. To connect both units a MIDI cable is needed. That is the physical part to play MIDI files... the rest seems to be a bit different reading moggy's thread... as the ZX81 seems to be limited in playing original MIDI files
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moggy
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 03.07.2017, 17:27

Hi Paul, it is a very good question.

Any midi keyboard with DIN sockets will work out of the box.
The USB types favoured by more modern keyboards require their own manufactures drivers although Charlie has worked out some clever USB type bridge which he can explain more clearly.

As for your own keyboard if it doesn't have the GENERAL MIDI logo and is a PSS rather than a PSR keyboard then the instrument patches will be all over the place as just like early 8-bit computers and their BASIC there wasn't a common standard with midi so when playing a general midi file some setting up of the synth is required or altering of the file for the voices to be correct.

If you would like let me know what keyboard you have and if there is particular file you want to hear I can alter the instrument-channel assignments to suit your device if it's not GM, although some drum assignments can be a pain as a drum-kit is made up of several parts and the note assignments may not match your keyboards drum-kit.

If you follow the link in the thread on the UK forum details of the req' board (pictured) is there for examination.
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 03.07.2017, 17:35

tokabln hat geschrieben:
03.07.2017, 17:14
... as the ZX81 seems to be limited in playing original MIDI files
This is correct.

As I posted earlier It is a fully GM compatible player only, with a few shortcomings of a technical nature that are a bit above me but in the main it is a full 16 channel player and for such a primitive computer hardly limited I would have thought and maybe the more technically minded amongst could improve upon Charlie's efforts?

The 81 does not become a sequencer nor even have the simplistic 8 channel non GM bare bones play command of the 128, but any file created by your self in say a simple PC based midi keyboard/module set-up, which is how most if not all compositions are usually done rather than tapping away on a zeddy I would imagine, can now be played plus daisy-chaining of midi modules is permissible for instruments of a different Timbre.

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msch
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von msch » 03.07.2017, 18:15

Hi Moggy,

is it possible to get the midi adapter board (with flat cable) from You? I am very interested to connect a Roland Sound Canvas to the ZX81 (I own one of the zxpand+ Prototypes with hand wired serial socket).

Best regards

Mathias
manche meinen lechts und rinks kann man nicht velwechsern.
werch ein illtum! (Lichtung, Ernst Jandl)

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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 03.07.2017, 19:35

msch hat geschrieben:
03.07.2017, 18:15
Hi Moggy,

is it possible to get the midi adapter board (with flat cable) from You? I am very interested to connect a Roland Sound Canvas to the ZX81 (I own one of the zxpand+ Prototypes with hand wired serial socket).

Best regards

Mathias
Hi Mathias.

The board/cable was made up by Sir Morris as a one off so I could test the player, I wouldn't know where to start. :oops:

Nice choice of module by the way. :D

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Paul
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von Paul » 03.07.2017, 22:04

moggy hat geschrieben:
03.07.2017, 17:27
Hi Paul, it is a very good question.

If you would like let me know what keyboard you have and if there is particular file you want to hear I can alter the instrument-channel assignments to suit your device if it's not GM, although some drum assignments can be a pain as a drum-kit is made up of several parts and the note assignments may not match your keyboards drum-kit.

If you follow the link in the thread on the UK forum details of the req' board (pictured) is there for examination.
Thanks a lot Moggy.
I'm afraid it's only a very cheap keyboard I could afford while I was studying on university.
Not much money then :oops:
It's a Yamaha PSR 220. it has general Midi and can play the 16 instruments. While not beeing up to date it seems a good match to a ZX81 though :wink:
Kind regards Paul
Theoretisch ist zwischen Theorie und Praxis kein Unterschied.
Praktisch allerdings wohl.

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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von msch » 03.07.2017, 23:53

Thanks moggy - I will contact Charlie.
manche meinen lechts und rinks kann man nicht velwechsern.
werch ein illtum! (Lichtung, Ernst Jandl)

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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von SirMorris » 04.07.2017, 10:04

Thanks for your email Mathias!

There is a github repo rapidly filling with goodies for ZXpand+ and modified classic boards, as well as wiki-style documentation.

https://github.com/charlierobson/ZXpand-Vitamins

Doku:

https://github.com/charlierobson/ZXpand ... /wiki/Midi

To get midi you only need a DIN socket and 2 x 220r resistors. Oh and the ribbon cable of course. This could be achieved with nothing more than a 'dupont' style female cable from eBay and some scissors :twisted: so technically no pcb is necessary. I intend to make some kind of video but time and home matters are keeping my hobby at arms length at the moment :(

Technically there is nothing stopping a zeddy from being the originator of midi data, and there is functionality available to do so. I was imagining that some kind of simplistic integration into the PT3 player would be possible. When time is available I will check.

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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von msch » 04.07.2017, 13:41

Thank You Charlie!

I will make some (10) pcbs - if anyone is interested, please pm me :-)
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von moggy » 04.07.2017, 13:50

Paul hat geschrieben:
03.07.2017, 22:04
moggy hat geschrieben:
03.07.2017, 17:27
Hi Paul, it is a very good question.

If you would like let me know what keyboard you have and if there is particular file you want to hear I can alter the instrument-channel assignments to suit your device if it's not GM, although some drum assignments can be a pain as a drum-kit is made up of several parts and the note assignments may not match your keyboards drum-kit.

If you follow the link in the thread on the UK forum details of the req' board (pictured) is there for examination.
Thanks a lot Moggy.
I'm afraid it's only a very cheap keyboard I could afford while I was studying on university.
Not much money then :oops:
It's a Yamaha PSR 220. it has general Midi and can play the 16 instruments. While not beeing up to date it seems a good match to a ZX81 though :wink:
Kind regards Paul
Nothing wrong with that keyboard Paul it is a very nice match for the zeddy. :D

Whilst jazz may not be to everyone's taste here is a jazz file converted to run on the zx81/xpand+ combo with suitable firmware.

@Sir Morris.

If your plan is to combine midi and ay then tuning will be a big problem trust me.
No doubt another email marathon between us will begin now. :lol:
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von SirMorris » 05.07.2017, 08:43

Midi might be good for non-melodic elements such as percussion perhaps. I understand that AY chips aren't the most ... consistent sound-wise and tuning is a matter of luck most of the time ;)

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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von msch » 21.07.2017, 16:21

Wer Interesse hat - ich habe noch ein Paar Platinen für je 2 EUR zzgl. Versandkosten:
If interested I have some spare pcbs: one costs 2 EUR + shipping:
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von SirMorris » 24.07.2017, 10:11

I have many of the joystick d connector and I will be happy to send some for the price of shipping if desired.

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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von Joachim » 24.07.2017, 11:37

Hallo Mathias,
ich weiß noch nicht genau wofür, aber würdest du mir bitte eine Platine reservieren. Übergabe in Mahlerts würde reichen. Zahlen kann ich aber sofort.
Viele Grüße!
Joachim
Viele Grüße!
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msch
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von msch » 24.07.2017, 11:50

Kein Thema - ist reserviert.
manche meinen lechts und rinks kann man nicht velwechsern.
werch ein illtum! (Lichtung, Ernst Jandl)

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Joachim
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von Joachim » 29.07.2017, 15:31

Hallo Mathias,
ich habe keine Ahnung von Midi. Frage: kann man ZXserial auch für Midi verwenden?
Viele Grüße!
Joachim


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msch
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Re: Zxpand+ with Midi.

Beitrag von msch » 29.07.2017, 17:52

Ich vermute nein - MIDI ist ein unidirektionales Protokoll für die serielle Datenübertragung. Soweit in Ordnung. Allerdings ist die Geschwindigkeit festgelegt auf 31250 Bit/s. Das dürfte der zeddy ohne Hilfe kaum schaffen - oder vielleicht doch?
manche meinen lechts und rinks kann man nicht velwechsern.
werch ein illtum! (Lichtung, Ernst Jandl)

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