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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software » Thomas Henry designs
The GM Voice
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RF



Joined: Mar 23, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 9:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Whoohoo!~

Thanks for posting that Thomas - very fun to hear what you can do with that.

I've got the daughterboard, am putting together the circuit, and my keyboard controller is backordered...but coming eventually. Smile
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Thomas Henry



Joined: Mar 25, 2007
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 31, 2007 8:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

RF wrote:
Whoohoo!~
I've got the daughterboard, am putting together the circuit, and my keyboard controller is backordered...but coming eventually. Smile


That is good news! I'm curious, which daughterboard did you come up with and from where did you get it? Are there any more available?

And what's the temperature on Rainy Lake tonight?

Thomas Henry
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RF



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 02, 2008 3:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thomas,
A friend from the forum set me up with the daughterboard - it has a Crystal chipset, but I don't know much more about it.

I'm scouring my parts bin (that would be my garage Exclamation ) for the AC transformer - I know there's one out there somewhere.... but it was darn close to minus 20 F. this morning & I think our high was +5 F... so my search today was short.

Other than that the circuit is complete - and my controller was shipped on Monday.

bruce
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fonik



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

my motherboard is etched and drilled. i think i will start to populate it it tonight, still with the klee2 on the workbench waiting for the wiring to be completed Embarassed
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RF



Joined: Mar 23, 2007
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I found the transformer this AM Smile

fonik - My Klee is a long ways from being done as well. I blame you - at least in part - for those PCB's you keep sending me. Razz
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Dan Lavin



Joined: Nov 09, 2006
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 10:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

RF,

I do recall that Popular Electronics, or perhaps Radio Electronics magazine, ran their own version of the GM Voice shortly after Thomas and I abandoned it 10 years ago and their version used the surface mount Crystal chipset. I'm sure I still have the article in my E-M filing cabinet.

Don't feel bad if you don't etch a pcb for this project. I've built 3 of these just using perf board. They all worked first time. It's a pretty simple circuit.
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RF



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 1:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi antman -

I perfboard lots Smile I actually quite enjoy it for smallish projects - it's more like a puzzle than the "paint by numbers" of PCboards.
Wasn't ready to perf the Klee, although I saw that someone has....

Any info on the Crystal chipset board would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Bruce
(it's 44 degrees warmer right now than yesterday morning here in Frostbite Falls)
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fonik



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i etched a motherboard for only one reason: it will carry the db50xg and the GM voice circuitry and then it all gets panelmounted utilizing the cliff sockets i use. i am actually building a module for my modular, you know...

oh, and i made some progress in wiring the klee tonight, so the GM voice had to wait... Very Happy

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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 9:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I can't begin to tell everyone how much of a hoot I've been having with my GM-Voice! Things just keep getting better and better as I learn more about it and what it can do.

This has encouraged me to go back and relearn the details of MIDI. As most of you know, in everyday life I am a college mathematics instructor. One of the things I spend a great deal of time thinking about in the class room is how to best organize seemingly disparate ideas, to help make technical concepts easier to master. As I was reviewing the MIDI language, it occurred to me that with a branching tree diagram it's simpler to learn the connections between the types of messages.

So, without any further ado, here's a chart I put together for my GM-Voice notebook. Perhaps it will help you to organize your thoughts as well.

And by the way, has anyone mentioned that the GM-Voice operates in a multimode? That is, it performs as sixteen independent polyphonic instruments, on any combination of channels and with a minimum of 24 simultaneous voices.

Thomas Henry


MIDI Messages.pdf
 Description:
All-in-one chart showing the MIDI 1.0 message format for easy memorization.
(.pdf format, and as always, prepared on a DOS machine in Geos!)

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 Filename:  MIDI Messages.pdf
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RF



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 8:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

A couple questions -

I'm completely new to everything midi - I have no clue. What commands do I need to initially send to the GM voice once I plug it into the controller?
Is there be any difference between Crystal chipset daughterboard and the db50XG or others that I should be aware of?

Thanks,

bruce
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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 06, 2008 3:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

When you turn it on, it will probably come up as a Grand Piano. If you now push your Program Change buttons on the keyboard, you will proceed through the 127 basic voices. on any channel. If you play the keyboard on Channel 10, you'll get the drum voices, one per key.

That'll get you started. Be sure to download the cheatsheets I provided which show the Control commands for the other voices.

So in general, you'll get the basic 127 voices plus drums just by using the Program Change function. To get the other voices you'll do combinations of Program Change and Controller Change operations. That's more complicated, but you can worry about that later.

By the way, the GM-Voice operates in a sort of multimode. It receives on all 16 MIDI channels, and each one can be set to a different instrument with full polyphony.

Hope this helps,

Thomas Henry
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RF



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2008 10:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thomas & Antman -
My GM Voice is up and running - although I have not got the midi in and midi through hooked up yet.

Have not had much chance to play with it yet, but I have my keyboard controller plugged into it and it sounds very nice.

I'll be interested to see what else besides General Midi (if anything) is available with the Crystal chipset board, but to this point I'm quite happy with what is there Smile so anything else is gravy...

Thanks again for sharing this!

bruce
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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Some MIDI programs use a 1-based system of counting, while others use a 0-based system. When I posted all those tables earlier, I prepared them for a 1-based system. Since then, I find myself using 0-based numbering almost exclusively. (For example, in MIDI-Ox, 0-based coding is used. In my old Cakewalk, I can use either).

So to stay consistent, and also make it simpler to code assembler routines, I've revised all of the tables to be 0-based. I also cleaned up some of the formatting, and added a few additional comments.

You'll find these files attached. I recommend punching them and keeping them in a 3-ring binder. Anyway, perhaps this will save you some typing.

Thomas Henry


GM Voice Docs.zip
 Description:
Complete GM/GS tables for the GM-Voice project, in .pdf/zipped format.
For personal use of EM-ers only. Please don't copy or distribute.

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 Filename:  GM Voice Docs.zip
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I blame Thomas and Dan for sucking me into the world of MIDI, especially because I'm such a Midiot.

In any case, I've learned more about MIDI this past week than I ever knew before, mainly because of this project (which still needs to be built). Has anyone discovered if their GM Card has the extra drum voices on channel 10 (which can usually be accessed by a program change such as 41 or 48 to name a couple of examples)? These sets include the 808 drum sounds as well as Orchestral drum sounds (which has some really nice Timpani). My SC-7 has them anyhow.

Cheerio,
Scott

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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 3:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I once again reveal my Midiocy - Thomas' previous doc mentions just exactly what I was asking.

Doh.

Slowly grokking,
Scott

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Dan Lavin



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 15, 2008 8:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott,

you know you can breadboard the circuit up to try it out, oh ye master of the solderless breadboard!

Actually I'm using midi in the classic sense less and less. I use it more to stack instrument sounds and record. I don't plan to sequence much outside of the rhythm tracks with it. Well, at least this week. Next week, I'm sure I'll flip flop.
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Scott Stites
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 11:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey Dan,

Quote:
I don't plan to sequence much outside of the rhythm tracks with it. Well, at least this week.


That's sort of the point I'm at now, though I'm approaching it from the direction of a lower level of knowledge rather than a higher level like yourself. I'm running this really spiffy step sequencer program, SoftStep from Algorithmic Arts (version 1.3). It's a real gas.....

I'm still too low on the curve to produce anything listenable, but I'm learning, be it ever so slowly.

Cheerio,
Scott

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Dan Lavin



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Scott,

One thing you might want to look for is a new midi controller keyboard. If you get one with assignable controllers (knobs/sliders) you can vary the sound characteristics while recording. Another good feature would be multiple channel output so you can split the keyboard with say a bass on the bottom octaves and an organ on the top OR layering voices with a piano on one channel and a string section on another channel (my favorite). The more advanced controllers will let you do any combination of splits and layers. Another feature I've seen is velocity switching. I'll use this on guitar voices. With low velocity, the output is a muted string and when I hit the keys hard, it's an open string sound. This is great for rhythm guitar parts. Lots of folks use the two different slap bass sounds to do the Seinfeld bass thing....a little overused, but you get the idea of velocity switching.

I use a Roland AX-1 (pls spare me the keytar jokes...heard 'em all!) which allows for both splits and layers.
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fonik



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 3:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

some progress here: i finished the motherboard and mounted the db50xg daughterboard:

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

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Dan Lavin



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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Fonik:

It looks great! Very compact and professional looking! Plus you have one of the best daughterboards in the Yamaha db50XG. They're the best I've tried so far, although I haven't tried the new ones from Terratec Producer (Wave XTable). You will be very impressed with the amount of programming and manipulation of the sounds you can do via midi commands.
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State Machine
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 16, 2008 8:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
some progress here: i finished the motherboard and mounted the db50xg daughterboard


Matthias, wow! that is really very nice work !!
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fonik



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 3:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
Matthias, that is really very nice work !!

...and it doesn't work Shocked Very Happy

before i inserted the ICs and the db50xg i checked the motherboard as usual: the supply voltages where okay, +5V, +12V and -12V where they ought to be (i am powering the motherboard from my +/-15V supply, using onboard LM781x regulators).

as soon as i insert the daughterboard the +12V supply voltage drops to 7.5V and the LM7912 regulator gets really hot. the 15V offboard supply voltages are not affected...

the motherboard seems to work - according to the LED MIDI indicator. i did not try the MIDI thru though...

i reviewed my schematic, it seems to be correct. will check the PCB layout tomorrow.

i hope i did not buy a damaged db50sag board...

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janvanvolt



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 5:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

i've bought a board a day ago, so once this is there, i might be able to lend it out to you. are you willing to share the pcb design ( as i'd like to make one for my modular as well)
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State Machine
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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Quote:
hope i did not buy a damaged db50sag board...


Sorry about the trouble Crying or Very sad Although it's likely it may be a bad daughter card, try swapping out the +12 V regulator just in case it is a "bum" component Wink You never know. It may test good with no load, but with a load, well that may be a different story.

Will see what we can do to get you up and running .... I have a spare of exactly the same one you have [db50] SO if it's damaged, I can part with one of mine for you Very Happy Very Happy

Bill
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Thomas Henry



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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2008 7:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

fonik wrote:
and the LM7912 regulator gets really hot.


Bummer! When I measured the current drain on mine, the -12V side drew virtually nothing, so something's up here.

Don't be offended, but double check the 26 pin connector and make sure you got the orientation correct. It's pretty easy to trace the ground, and +5V lines on the daughterboard as a check that you haven't flipped things. As I see it, that's the most likely cause of the symptoms you've observed. Next on the list would be a defective daughterboard.

Again, bummer! I really hope you can get this thing up and running.

Thomas Henry
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