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MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM and Two Synth Drums




A second Atari8 running SYNDRUM3.BAS was added to the MIDI chain without timing problems. There didn't seem to be a delay between the sounds from the two computers when playing 2 drum sounds on the same beat. Listen to the drum patterns and judge for yourself.

Two Drum mp3s.zip


Since the SYNDRUM program only allows one percussion sound, I pulled my first 130XE out of storage to be used as a second percussion sound source. The broken keyboard was replaced with a Transkey back in early 90s. One of the guys at the user group was so disturbed by the hole left from the missing keyboard that he made me a vacuum formed insert. It’s the computer I want to be buried with.

I had forgotten that the SYNDRUM3 program displayed a title screen and required a "press any key" to continue. It was easier to edit the program then find a keyboard to plug into the Transkey. A line was inserted to bypass this holdup.

30085 RETURN

A second Arduino interface was built with a Arduino Uno(clone), MIDI shield with an IN, OUT, and THRU port, and optocoupler circuit. This time, a prototype shield was used as the base for the optocouplers. It’s a little more permanent. The original circuit was moved to the 130XE because a joystick cable was used to make the connection, the DB-9 plug used on the second setup had the wings on the sides and could be used on the 800 without modification.




The THRU port is an important feature when using more then one MIDI Sound Module. All data that is coming into the MIDI IN port from the control computer is passed on to the next MIDI device through the THRU port. MIDI OUT data from the sound module is not added to the data stream or passed to the next sound module. Both MIDI/Arduino interfaces receive the same data stream but are programed to look for data specific to the MIDI Channel they are programed for. In this case Channel 10 and Channel 11 was used for the SYNDRUM computers.

Drum Patterns

Two Drum MMS_MUS_ATR.zip

Three drum patterns from the book "200 Drum Machine Patterns" by Rene-Pierre Bardet where modified to be played by the two Atari8s. The patterns consist of a Part A, Part B and BREAK. Using the MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM(MMS), each part of the pattern was programed into different Voices. Six total MMS voices were used with one measure in each voice.

MMS uses Voice 1 to 20 as output voices. 2 voices were used to make the calls to play the voice segments in the pattern: A-B-A-Break. This was repeated 5 times. The 2 voices were also assigned to MIDI Channels 10 and 11 before playing.

The audio outputs were patched into the mixer, combined and recorded. The EQ was used to drop the high frequencies and the bass was increased. Then the audio inputs were panned slightly left and right to give them a little separation. (I don't know if this is typical. I found that the gain setting for the 130XE needed to be much lower then the 800.)

Several different TEMPOs were recorded and one with the FX generator.

Loosing much of my hi frequency hearing has effected the way I hear music and when I'm doing the recording it probably effects what you hear. I've been using headphones that have a great bass response to set up the mixer for recording. So, I'm not sure what your hearing when you listen to these MP3 files.

What's next?

I want to get away from the solder fumes and the technical end of this and just try to use the available equipment/software to be musically creative. Of course my first two creative thoughts require solder fumes and programming.


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