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 Forum index » DIY Hardware and Software
My DIY Yamaha RX5 programmable waveform cartridge: RX5USB
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 8:43 am    Post subject:  My DIY Yamaha RX5 programmable waveform cartridge: RX5USB Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hello,

I'm new to this forum, and I'm not sure this is the right category to post this, sorry if it isn't.

So, I love my RX5, but I became quickly limited by the small amount of onboard sounds, so I started searching for waveform cartridges.
I quickly found out that there were few of them, and they were rare and expensive.

I know quite a bit about programming, electronics, and that sort of stuff so I thought: what if I could make a programmable waveform cartridge?

Waveform cartridges

I bought the cheapest cartridge I could find: the RX5 ROM, which apparently was sold with the RX5 itself, and started to dump it.

Inside there's two 1 Megabit mask roms of relatively standard pinout, each chip contains an independant sound bank.

Sound banks format is relatively easy to understand: there's a header with one 32 bytes entry per sound, sample rate is 25Khz, and samples are either 8bit or 12bit signed PCM (two 12 bit samples being packed in 3 bytes).

Hardware

My design is based around a "Teensy++ USB Development Board" ( http://www.pjrc.com/store/teensypp_pins.html ) and a 4 Megabit flash chip: the SST39SF040 ( http://www.kesaitech.com.cn/gb/files/39SF040_020A_010A.pdf ).
The flash chip replaces the 2 mask ROMs, and the Teensy board is used to program it through USB.
I took advantage of the ridiculously small price difference between 2 Mbit and 4 Mbit chips to add a "side" switch to my design, so that you can change which pair of banks the RX5 will access.

Here's the current schematics: http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-16/rx5usb_sch_rev1.1.pdf
I also designed a PCB board: http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-16/rx5usb_pcb_rev2.8.pdf

The schematics work on breadboard, but I haven't tested the PCB board yet (still being printed).

Software

I also coded a computer app to edit and program the sound banks, it's in lazarus (object pascal), Windows only right now, but it shouldn't be very hard to port it to other systems.

Here's a video where I demonstrate it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4zNYN3vE_iY (it's in French tho)

By the way, one nice feature I added not long ago: it can import Fairlight CMI IIx voice disks ^^

Project files

The whole project is under GPL v3 license, and is hosted on github: https://github.com/gligli/rx5usb
I'm quite close to a first binary release, which will probably happen this year.

My breadboard prototype:
Posted Image, might have been reduced in size. Click Image to view fullscreen.

Here are 2 audio demos:
http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-02/camarche.mp3 (my sampled voice, and TR707 samples being played by the RX5)
http://sfx.gligli.free.fr/zik/rx5usb/2012-12-13/fairzero.mp3 (me noodling some famous Fairlight sounds with a MIDI keyboard attached to the RX5)

Contributing

So, all of this is free and gratis, and I hope it will be usefull to others Smile

Right now it needs testing, reviewing and all that stuff...

I also hope someone will dump the Yamaha WRC cartridges, so they are available to anyone, and that sound banks made with my app will be freely available, tho You are free not to release them.

Phew that was a lot of typing ! Smile
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seaweedfactory



Joined: Apr 12, 2006
Posts: 61
Location: Earth

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 2:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

.
Last edited by seaweedfactory on Sun Jul 06, 2014 7:24 pm; edited 1 time in total
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andrewF



Joined: Dec 29, 2006
Posts: 1176
Location: australia
Audio files: 4

PostPosted: Sun Dec 16, 2012 9:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Great job - well done
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Bogus Noise



Joined: Jun 03, 2009
Posts: 65
Location: Sheffield

PostPosted: Tue Dec 18, 2012 11:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Wow, nice work!
_________________
Circuit Bent Sonic Absurdity:

www.bogus-noise.co.uk
http://www.youtube.com/user/BogusNoise
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aladan



Joined: Aug 13, 2011
Posts: 52
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Wed Dec 19, 2012 6:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi gligli, this is great!
I have a few RX5s, and would be interested in being able to load new sounds. One of my RX5s already has the Robin Whittle mod (EPROM chips added internally) with some extra sound banks available.
I would be happy to be a beta-tester for you. I have a spare teensy already - once you have confirmed the PCB layout works could you send me the .pcb file so I can get one etched and build the interface?
Thanks,
A.
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, thanks!

I got my printed PCB yesterday from a friend, it didn't print very well but I fixed the damaged tracks, should be ok as a test PCB still.

PCB files are there: https://github.com/gligli/rx5usb/tree/master/board_sch (I used KiCad) , I'm fairly confident with it, but yeah it's quite logical I test it first Smile

Still, It's cool you want to test it, that's what it needs the most right now Smile
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Thu Dec 20, 2012 2:42 pm    Post subject:   Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok, I confirm that revision 2.8 of my PCB (the one that's on my github) works Very Happy

Actually plugging it into the RX5 stressed me a lil, but it went well Smile

Also I had a few occasional sound clicks with the breadboard, but none yet with the PCB.
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gligli



Joined: Dec 16, 2012
Posts: 5
Location: France

PostPosted: Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi again,

As promised, here's the beta 1 archive Smile :

http://dl.free.fr/vFdvp09Sj (also attached to this post)

There should be everything you need inside, in English and French.
For those who want to test it, please report any unclear, false or buggy stuff you could find, that's what a beta is for Smile

I won't make fully assembled cartridges or even PCBs, but anybody can, even if they sell it.
They only have to publish their changes under the same license I used (GNU GPL v3).


rx5usb_beta1.zip
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Mr. Pete



Joined: Mar 17, 2013
Posts: 1
Location: Toronto, Canada

PostPosted: Sun Mar 17, 2013 2:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thank you Gigli ~ Merci beaucoup
i LOVE my RX-5 Cool

Does anyone run your Editor Software under OSX on Mac? any special requirements or instructions on how to do it?

many thanks, PETE

https://soundcloud.com/misterpete
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Hollywood



Joined: May 22, 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Fri Mar 29, 2013 10:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

I'm very interested in this, I'd certainly buy a pcb if someone made one! Also, I have the WRC-04 cartridge, how would I go about getting the data off?
*edit* So it looks like rom ripping is somewhat beyond my capabilities...
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Hollywood



Joined: May 22, 2012
Posts: 17
Location: Ireland

PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 6:47 am    Post subject: Housing? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

So, I'm getting the parts together to build one (or more) of these, but I'm at a loss as to how to house it... I want to use the machine live so it's a serious consideration before I use the PCB layouts here... any ideas?
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Fernández



Joined: Oct 21, 2013
Posts: 1
Location: spain

PostPosted: Mon Oct 21, 2013 5:07 am    Post subject: it's posible? Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi, in new here and sorry about mu english. I follow this theme and in very interesantes. I hace a rx7 and I want to add it more wounds. My cuestión is if I could make easyly a similar cartridge with this PCI.

VIA VT6212L

Thanks


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le captain



Joined: Jul 19, 2014
Posts: 1
Location: belgium leuven

PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2014 2:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

hey,

Is there any chance of buying one of those cards?
Or getting the pcb for download (i did not manage to download any kind of gerber file from github)

PS: I love the rx5!
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prodigal_nt



Joined: Apr 21, 2018
Posts: 1
Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:29 am    Post subject:  Pharmasonic RX5 USB
Subject description: WARNING
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There’s a japanese guy called pharmasonic who manufactured a bunch of these and has them listed on a japanese Yahoo auction.

If you want to wait 3 weeks and pay an extra 70 dollars for shipping and customs, only to receive a caseless device which dangerously hangs out of the back of the RX5 and obviously never worked properly in the first place, then go right ahead and buy one.

Otherwise you should save yourself a lot of aggravation and get down to [EDIT - making your own from GliGli's surely awesome designs] - buying a RAM4 or loading voices via an editor and sysex, because that is definitely where you will end up eventually.

He has an auto responder on his email support which whinges about ill health. I genuinely hope whatever ailment he has gets much, much worse, or he contracts something even more painful, soon.
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dirtybeatz



Joined: Mar 01, 2019
Posts: 1
Location: Australia

PostPosted: Fri Mar 01, 2019 8:05 pm    Post subject: RX5 + Gligli RX5USB + RAM5 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hey guys,

Gligli your RX5USB and software is awesome, lots of fun! Sorry for pulling up an old thread but can't find the answer anywhere. I have the Yamaha RX5, a RAM5 data cartridge and a Gligli RX5USB device made by Pharmasonic. I have successfully loaded some sound banks onto the RX5USB which i am able to use in RX5 via key assign. I am trying to save these voices to the RAM5 for later use, though when I try to load voices from RAM5 back to RX5 experience error message ‘format conflict’. I have switched off multibank mode and formatted all 4 banks individually. I was wondering if anyone has been successful in saving voices from a RX5 voice cassette (or RX5USB) to a RAM4/RAM5 data cartridge and then retrieving/loading these voices? Any tips or what am i doing wrong? I’ve read the manual and followed instructions.

Thanks, Henry.
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ncosic



Joined: Oct 18, 2019
Posts: 1
Location: Serbia

PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:20 am    Post subject: gui tool compilation Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Currently there are no executable files in gui-tool on GitHub. You have to compile the tool yourself so you can upload the samples to your awesome RX5USB. Here are the instructions:

- Download the Free Pascal https://www.freepascal.org/download.var and
- Lazarus IDE https://www.lazarus-ide.org/forums.html?page=downloads ,
- install both in default location.
- download the source code from https://github.com/gligli/rx5usb/archive/master.zip
- Open the project file /gui_tool/rx5usb_tool.lpi from Lazarus, and click build.

This should give you your working .exe in the gui_tool directory. Copy the entire gui_tool to Program Files dir and pin it to Start.

If you find this useful, please subscribe to my YouTube channel dedicated to making music with vintage & Eurorack gear. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCk5DfQPIfO0kiy107RZMGGg
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hangnef



Joined: Feb 27, 2018
Posts: 2
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Jul 17, 2020 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

This is amazing! I just picked up an RX5 and was planning on circuit bending it, following this to some degree:

http://gumielectronic.net/?p=968

Idea is I would be shorting 2 ROM addr pins to get different sounds. I did something similar to my Alesis HR16.

From what I can tell, I can't do this kind of thing w/ the RX5USB as it uses a flash chip, not an EPROM. Or am I missing something w/ how the cart works in tandem with the mainboard roms?
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ilovemusic69



Joined: Sep 16, 2020
Posts: 1
Location: Mars

PostPosted: Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:46 am    Post subject: Gligli Build Help Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Hi! I was curious if anyone had a Gligli RX5 USB for sale or if anyone could provide a more indepth tutorial on how to build. I've never soldered before and I'm wary to get something wrong. Also curious if anyone has built a casing for it? Any help would be greatly appreciated Smile
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charliecrash



Joined: May 08, 2021
Posts: 3
Location: Northern Hemisphere

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 7:04 am    Post subject: RX5USB in PTX-8
Subject description: RX5USB in PTX-8
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Hi everybody. My first post in this forum, but I have been following this thread for some years.

I have finally got myself an RX5USB MK2, made by pharmasonic, just to test it in my Yamaha PTX-8, and as I suspected it came with some problems. The first one is purely mechanical because the socket for the Waveform Data Cartridge on the PTX-8 is much deeper seated than in the RX-5, but with the faceplate off, and removed the cartridge guide, it fits, with some room to wiggle.
Only one mm to the metalpiece holding the headphone socket, but it's testable at least.

Anyway, to the critical question, does it work at all? Oh YES it does, and here is proof.

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

Ive also tried to program RX5USB with homemade samples, and yes, those also work, but... I found a bug, which I have also written a PM to Gligli about.

If any of the 8 voice-slots on the PTX-8 is looped, the cartridge locks up. The yellow activity-LED lights up and stay lit, and you can only load the samples from the cartridge, not play them.

Once I found that out, I programmed all the slots without loops, and then everything works. I can play several cartridge samples simultanously and trigger them really fast, all is ok - but not with looped sounds. Even when only the internal sounds is looped, it locks up as soon as you play one one of those, and plays fine again as soon as you release the loop.

I hope this bugreport reaches Gligli, or those who now develop and maintain the firmware for the RX5USB, as it would be really great if this bug got fixed in the future.

I've also heard from the RX5 group on facebook that there sometimes is problems with playing sounds in reverse, from RX5USB, but I have yet not encountered this bug myself as I don't have an RX-5, only PTX-8.

Regards
Charlie Crash

Last edited by charliecrash on Sun May 09, 2021 11:46 am; edited 1 time in total
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infindebula



Joined: Sep 29, 2011
Posts: 29
Location: Canada

PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2021 7:39 pm    Post subject: Re: RX5USB in PTX-8
Subject description: RX5USB in PTX-8
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charliecrash wrote:
I have finally got myself an RX5USB MK2, made by pharmasonic, just to test it in my Yamaha PTX-8, and as I suspected it came with some problems. The first one is pure mechanical because the socket for the Waveform Data Cartridge on the PTX-8 is muck deeper seated than in the RX-5, but with the faceplate off, and removed the cartridge guide, it fits, with some room to wiggle.


Gee Charlie, your timing is impeccable. A couple months ago I borrowed an RX5USB from a friend to try in my PTX8. Obviously I had the same cartridge slot fit problem, and since I only had the card for a day, I decided removing the PTX front panel would be too much work.

So tonight I was cleaning up the studio, i looked at the PTX and it hit me: this is a really easy fix. You’d just need to get a prototype board with card edge “tongues” on it, and also buy a jack socket. Solder the socket to the prototype board and you’ve got a little extension to plug the RX5USB into.

The other option would be to open the board layout on GitHub and just make the long part a little longer. (Of course then you have to build your own RX5USB, but that’s not a big deal. Are you able to measure how much longer the board would need to be?

Also, does anyone know if Osh Park boards would be the correct thickness to fit in the RX5 ROM slot?
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charliecrash



Joined: May 08, 2021
Posts: 3
Location: Northern Hemisphere

PostPosted: Sun May 09, 2021 4:29 am    Post subject: Re: RX5USB in PTX-8
Subject description: RX5USB in PTX-8
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infindebula wrote:
charliecrash wrote:
I have finally got myself an RX5USB MK2, made by pharmasonic, just to test it in my Yamaha PTX-8, and as I suspected it came with some problems. The first one is pure mechanical because the socket for the Waveform Data Cartridge on the PTX-8 is muck deeper seated than in the RX-5, but with the faceplate off, and removed the cartridge guide, it fits, with some room to wiggle.


Gee Charlie, your timing is impeccable. A couple months ago I borrowed an RX5USB from a friend to try in my PTX8. Obviously I had the same cartridge slot fit problem, and since I only had the card for a day, I decided removing the PTX front panel would be too much work.

So tonight I was cleaning up the studio, i looked at the PTX and it hit me: this is a really easy fix. You’d just need to get a prototype board with card edge “tongues” on it, and also buy a jack socket. Solder the socket to the prototype board and you’ve got a little extension to plug the RX5USB into.

The other option would be to open the board layout on GitHub and just make the long part a little longer. (Of course then you have to build your own RX5USB, but that’s not a big deal. Are you able to measure how much longer the board would need to be?

Also, does anyone know if Osh Park boards would be the correct thickness to fit in the RX5 ROM slot?


I did one measurement for comparison beforehand. A normal WRC is poking out 15mm from the faceplate of the PTX-8. Compare that to the RX-5 and you have an offset to work with.
I'm not going to wait for a longer card or an adapter, I'm just going to carefully dremel up a "jokersmile" on the PTX-8, because it's pretty beat up anyways, so I don't really care. Playing my own 12bit samples is far higher up on priority.

I'm going to wait with that mod until I recieve the 3D-printed case from Wolfgang on the Yamaha RX5 group on Facebook. He has made the model himself and gets them printed somewhere else.
It's going to look ok as long as the cartridge is in place - and it's always going to.

-


While I'm here I was also looking for some guideance about the windows programmer.

1. What is the column "channel" doing? I can't figure out what it is. Mute-channels for hihats?

2. I know the drummachine is running in 25khz, but I don't get why there is an option to change it to something else. I've found that I can never reach the last few samples in the bank, even if I can see them in the programmer after the bank is on the RAM. The PTX-8 won't read or play them. I'm going to try to reload the firmware on to the teensy, just be sure it's not a bad write from factory. - I haven't checked or compared yet: Is the latest stable firmware on Pharmasoinic or Github?

3. Is it normal that windows can only find the usb-unit when the switch is in one position, and not the other? It's connected directly to a native usb2, and not via hub. Win 10.

4. And the last one: Is it still true that you can not use all 4 banks of the RAM? I haven't tried to fill it like that, but I read somewhere from Gligli that it was supposed to be 4 banks to fill up 2 complete RAMs.
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