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Hindsight and brain farts

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A8 - MMS - NTS-1 - Arpeggiator

Shortly after the Atari was sync-ed up with the PO-33 using the joystick port clock output, the Atari MIDI output was connected to the PC MIDI input to monitor the data stream.  I wish I could remember why.   That's when I noted that there was a MIDI clock ($F8) being sent from the Atari.  I guess the manual wasn't lying. There was never much use for a MIDI clock to sync my arpeggiatorless MIDI equipment. Now I can see where it might be handy to sync the Korg NTS-1's and/or MicroKorg's

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General Info. for NTS-1 Patch Editor Project

The Korg NTS-1 has 29 CC#s assigned to different parameters that get modified to define a patch.  There are patch editor and librarians for the PC but none for the Atari 8.   I feel the need for a patch editor that will adjust, save, load and transmit the CC# values to the NTS-1.  It would also be nice to be able to save them into MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM voice files for importing them into MMS music projects.   There is one missing thing on the MTS-1 that the Atari MIDI interface needs to ma

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Using Korg NTS-1 Effects on Audio In Signal

Putting your 8-bit computer audio through one or more effect processors will make a big difference to the listener.  Better or worse will be a matter of opinion. I just think that a little reverb never hurt anyone.     Korg's NTS-1 has three effects processors for MODulation, DELAY, and REVERB.  Changing their settings will effect the sounds from the NTS-1 oscillators and any sound source that is hooked up to the AUDIO IN jack. Even if it's our older computers or game machines.

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A8 - MMS - Tin Whistle Practice

Have you ever thought about learning to play a Tin Whistle?  Me ether, until I found one at the local gift/chocolate shop.  Noting that the whistle had but 6 holes,  I thought it might be easier to learn then a 9 hole flutophone.   Turns out that having 3 less finger holes didn't prove to be any less of a challenge.  So I have recruited my Atari 8bit-MIDI Music System software-MIDIMAX-Synth to help me practice.    Musical Instrument | For All Your Music Needs | Waltons Music

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A8 MMS sync to PO-33

I've watched a bunch of youTube videos on how to sync the PO-33 with other Pocket Operators and the Korg NTS-1.   Along with those were many explaining the problems with syncing different manufacture's equipment.  Not one was for syncing an Atari 8bit to the PO-33….. until now.     Better Recording  po33 - mms sync.mp3     MIDI Music System for the Atari has two options for syncing other equipment.  MMS sends a Timing Clock system command, 248($F8), to

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How to make your MicroKorg sound like an A8

When a sound is initialized on the MicroKorg, it’s a very simple sound. Reminiscent of the Atari 8 pokey sound created when playing an Advanced Music System II file.  Change the OS1 - Wave to Square and the sound seems a little more Atari like.   The one thing that you become aware of is that MicroKorg (or any MIDI synth) will play in perfect pitch where the Atari can only be played at an approximation of the pitch. Therefore, a way of detuning a note to match Atari is required.  

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MIDI Pitch Bending the microKorg with Atari BASIC

The microKorg was plugged into the MIDIMAX. Then a few simple Atari BASIC programs to control the Pitch Bend Wheel were written for no other reason then I hadn't done it before.  A couple of ideas did present themselves as the programs were written. As always, my list of possible projects increases.   For many of the adjustable parameters of a synthisizer, the Control Change command (176+channel # -1), Control number (0-127), followed by the set point value (0-127) was adequate.  The P

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A8- MMSDRUM.BAS-creating drum patterns for MMS

The program I am about to describe should be considered a beta version - of a beta version.  I was using it to test out some Ideas for inputting drum patterns so they could be saved as VOICE data files to load into MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM(MMS) projects.    It has the capabilities of setting up a 4/4 pattern and then outputting to a MMS voice file.  What it doesn't do is play the pattern or check for any kind of error. Most of the patterns are from books, I haven't experimented with rhythms.

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A8 MMS Voice File Data Explanation

Using MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM software to build music compositions seems to fit my skill set.  I'm not proficient at reading music but I can translate it.  My latest arrangement was a Celtic folk song for flute and drums.  Music was entered into MMS and a simple drum pattern was added.  It sounded terrible. Turns out that a synthesized flute doesn't need to breath and sounds very mechanical without those breaks.   Selected notes were shortened and rests were inserted to maintain timing and g

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Auto-Tune your Atari

Its been 10 months since I put the TASCAM TA-1VP vocal processor in the rack.  I've had the time to read the manual several times and watched the youTube videos. This made me feel a little less clueless during these initial tests.  Since a vocalist was unavailable the Atari Pokey chip was a good substitute.     The TA-1VP is designed to take an input from a microphone or the line input and adjust it to the nearest pitch specified in the SCALE settings. It will work for one v

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Rotary Encoder => A8 joystick port input

Of course,  after an afternoon of experimenting with an Arduino and KY-040 Rotary Encoder Board, the question of how to use a Rotary Encoder attached to an ATARI joystick port became an intriguing ponderance.  After all,  the Atari can read a trackball and mouse containing two encoders. How hard can it be to read one?   For this first experiment KISS was an objective.  The objective was to be able to read the input and determine  if the knob was being turned in a CW direction or CCW di

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microKorg - Assigning control changes

A couple of days ago I grabbed the microKorg owner's manual to read on the throne. I happened to open to  Page 61 - Assigning control changes(CC).  It says you can assign numbers to the principal parameters. The edit menu section on the microKorg is shown with the principal parameters highlighted.   You can assign the CC# or just use the defaults that are assigned to those parameters.  These are listed in the Table on page 56.  The Control 2 values when OSC1-WAVE = DWGS are within the

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MIDI Wind Chimes - Using M: and Atari BASIC

The last time I tried to simulate wind chimes was by outputting MIDI data through an RS-232 port on the 850 Interface(Rn:).   A8 Wind Chimes - Gentle Breeze in C minor - Out of the Pack - AtariAge Forums   Now that I have the Wizztronics MIDIMAX,  I can hook up a MIDI synthisizer to it and output MIDI data using Atari BASIC and the MIDI device handler(M:).   There were only a couple of lines in the original code that needed to be changed to open a channel to the M:

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A8 MMS - Rhythm Ukulele with CC64

These two MP3 files are the result  of experiments to program rhythm guitar and Ukulele tracks into the MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM software on the Atari 8bit.  The cords were programed into voice tracks and then called when needed.    The MMS files were recorded with a MIDIPLUS - miniEngine USB with reverb set to 81.  Sound 24, Acoustic Guitar(Nylon)  seemed to be the closest match to my ukulele.   "Drunken Sailor" used only down strums and both lead and rhythm tracks used Sound 24.

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A8 MMS - Measure Counter

I have yet to input music into the MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM (MMS) software and have it correct the first play through.  I can hear the error as it is played but MMS gives no indication of  which measure it might be in.  One solution requires an Arduino, MIDI shield with a THRU port, and numeric display.   The plan was to program a MMS voice to out put a MIDI command once per measure on an unused channel and have the Arduino count the number of times the command was received.    I r

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A8 - MMS - Five Part Canon - MP3

Found a good example for using the JUMP command in MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM. Once the notes were entered, I started trying out the patches during playback and found one that seemed to brighten an otherwise dreary day.    Of course bells and strings can make any music sound like it was meant for the coming holiday's. This is FIVE PART CANON by Michael Praetorius(1571-1621).   Five Part Canon.mp3 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

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Caverns of Zork - retro electronic music(ish)

Electronic music is a long standing interest that dates back to my 1970s Popular Electronic subscription.  Recently I was searching the Buffalo Library's database for the next episodes of Game of Thrones when I decided to search for electronic music.  One CD caught my eye with recordings from 9 BA(Before Atari). The list of LPs was much more extensive. That lead to the retrieval of my turn table from a friend, who was going to digitize his collection of LPs for the last 5 years.  I have bee

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A8 MMS Sn - changing presets

Changing presets/patches/voices/instruments/programs on your MIDI gear was rather easy in the early 80's. Having more the 128 instruments on a digital synth was unbelievable.  So unbelievable that the original MIDI standard got a special command number( 192+channel #-1 ) and a 7bit number (0  - 127) to made the change.    The MIDI Music System software provided the command Sn to accomplish this. Insert Sn  between two notes in a voice and the patch magically changes.   Then

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A8 MMS programing drum tracks

I never really thought about it but a drummer has 2 hands and 2 feet; that's 4 percussion instruments that can be struck at the same time.  But are they really?   I'm no drummer so the best place to start programming drum patterns was using a book of drum patterns. I chose to start with 200 Drum Patterns by Rene-Pierre Bardet and a chart of the standard MIDI note number for the percussion instruments.   MIDI Music System was loaded up and a drum pattern was entered. Two or th

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Easy Atari Page Flipping - a tutorial

If you typed in your first BASIC "HELLO" program and  made some small modification then there's a chance you've been typing ever since.  I've had some time on my hands and read an old tutorial that begged to be inputted and modified.   COMPUTE! September 1983 contains the article  "Easy Atari Page Flipping" by Chris Allen.  It's  a program to demonstrate page flipping on the Atari with plenty of room for experimentation.   https://www.atarimagazines.com/compute/issue40/page_f

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Digitizing 8-bit sound with the PO-33 K.O!

Teenage Engineering's PO-33 K.O! is an 8bit sampler.    I've had mine for a few months and am just now finding the free time to play with it.  The video is a first attempt at a loop using samples from the Atari 130XE.  The MP3 is the same set of patterns looped 6 times.     atari8ko33 loop01.mp3   You may recognize where some of the samples are from. You may also want to see how many you can recognize before you read on.     *************************

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Atari Monotone Synth - software for AU2PORTA

There were several issues left unresolved while programing the MIDI IN  interface for the ATARI8 joystick ports.  The first was to revert back to using the Cassette Motor Control pin on the SIO port for data flow control.  This was accomplished with the AU2PORTA shield design.     The second consideration was the startup default joystick pin status.  The joystick pins are set to high on startup and then grounded to zero by the joystick switches.  There is some reverse logic

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XBOX Controller With CX40 Cord mod

There I was, in garage sale heaven. Standing over a box of second hand XBOX controllers.  I got a little less excited when I noted how second hand they were. I thought I would salvage parts and asked, "How much?".  She said, "$2". I said, "OK."  He looked like he just lost an old friend and his wife was telling herself, "I should have said 3!"   Fast forward 16 months and I'm sorting them into a box labeled "electronic recycle" because I was to lazy to open them up for salvage.  One di

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Ping)) / AU2PORTA Controls Atari pitch

Back in January of 2015, I wanted of use a PING)) ultrasonic sensor to measure distance and send it to the Atari using the 850 - RS232 ports.  I initially thought that  I could move my hand in front of the sensor and the resulting change in desistance could be used to change the frequency of the sound command.  This might have worked if the SIO port could be used to make sound .AND. transmit data to the 850 interface at the same time. It doesn't. So, I forgot about the sound and just got the dis

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Arduino Shield For PORTA Input

Over the years I've been using an Arduino UNO to setup data for transfer to the Atari Joystick ports.  The first attempt was to read the data from a  Wii nunchuk and translate it to joystick movements.  Lately I've been experimenting reading midi data using an Arduino Midi Shield, along with using the Cassette Motor Control pin on the SIO port as feedback to the Arduino. You may have read some of these blogs.   During the "Switched On POKEY" music experiments, there were many modificat

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