serge

Working Project : DreamBlaster X2

9 posts in this topic

Hi all,

my MIDI electronics experiments started long long time ago, with a PIC based MIDIBox...

I sometimes peek at the midibox site (I am mostly on vogons forum these days), but now it is really time to post again ... :-)

I proudly announce my latest project, a successor for X1 : X2 !!

dreamblasterX2.jpg.1c0de667244e6953e769d

- Small form factor midi PCB : 65mm x 38mm size
- Waveblaster compatible connector for use on sound cards and DIY projects.
- Dream 5000 series synth chip with 81 voices polyphony
- Super low latency <1ms
- 64mbyte flash for soundbank data
- USB MIDI in (Class compliant midi device, works on Windows XP without drivers)
- stereo line out using a high quality 24 bit DAC (3.5mm stereo connector)
- Preloaded with a high quality 16 megabyte Dream General MIDI soundbank (http://dream.fr/pdf/Serie5000/Soundbanks/GMBK5X128.pdf)

Running very well already with old games,  still working on the software to add some features allowing to tweak more.
I expect to have a batch of these ready by december :-)
I should make some recordings soon.

What do you think ?


 

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Hi guys, 

launched a pre order campaign on Vogons

http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=51011

http://www.serdashop.com/DreamBlasterX2

I am working on a preset editor, allows to edit Detailed Reverb/Room and Chorus characteristics, 2 band equalizer, output gain setting and Swap Stereo L/R,...
and store your preference in the card's flash. Hope to be ready by december 5th.

 

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i dont know that concept, what is a dreambluster? is this a player only or can i edit the sounds (adsr filters...) - is there any blockdiagram outthere about sound generation? are that wavetables fixed or can them be replaced? thx.

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Not to speak for serge, but Serda Co's Dream Blaster boards are modern recreations of the GM daughter boards that plugged into the Soundblaster cards (FM) that had a 'Waveblaster' header. The videos show the S1, and the X2 is a more advanced model.  Back in the day Roland, Yamaha and others sold GM cards to upgrade from the FM. The cards accept TTL Midi and support full General Midi wavetables. It was noticed that these daughter boards could be used as standalone GM tone generators with the addition of a basic circuit. 

Because of scarcity and increased demand, from retro gamers and DIY synth builders, the going price for the old cards is very high. Serge's X1 board compares very favorably to both the Roland and Yamaha cards at a fraction of the cost.

Dream Blaster X1 vs Roland vs Yamaha

 

The X2 offers extended features, such as flashable wave banks. 

Yogi

EDIT: here are the links to the SAM5504 chip used on the X2

http://dream.fr/devices.html#S5

http://dream.fr/pdf/Serie5000/SAM_Datasheets/SAM5504B.pdf

Edited by yogi
Added links

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Posted (edited)

... i was searching for a cheap soundmodule... and came back to this... and its midi cc-able..:http://serdaco.com/downloads/X2/X2_Documentation/X2_5504_SPECIAL_MIDISPECS.PDF

ok there is this *.dxb [dreamsoundbank-format] which is a single binary file which, what seems somewhat closed (except you have +€650 for a editor),

so there are no user-patches possible > except you have the money... but mostley as artist you have the art and time and not the money... so one comes the nothing other... and since 2016 there was no grow in his soundbanks (of course!!!) you can download 3 of them.

info from 2016... dont know if there is anynews:

Quote

If you want to make your own soundbanks on your own pc, well this is how it can be done :

To edit + compile banks into this 'Dream 5000' proprietary binary format, you need the Dream 5000 SDK (http://www.profusionplc.com/parts/sam5000-sdk).
This is a hardware+software bundle which works well, but is fairly expensive (list price was 650 euro +VAT last year).
This toolkit allows to import wav files, and access to all synth engine parameters of the dream, to create professional soundbanks.
It has no soundfont import function, but it uses an XML based format (+ wav files) for storing your instrument/bank projects, so in theory you can make a tool that
generates data that can be read by the bank compiler.

And there actually is one person I know, who's working on generating this XML format : Garth from Chicken Systems (he also has the Dream 5000 SDK).
I am helping him test the Dream XML driver he is developing for his Translator Hi Tech edition software.
This 299$ software package allows to read many soundbank formats (including soundfonts) and export to Dream XML format http://www.chickensys.com/products/tran ... hitech.php.
It is really powerful software, but there are not many users for the Dream driver, which makes slow but steady progress.
Melodic instruments already convert fairly well (still needs some manual tweaking), drum bank support using the different 'drum' bank structure format is still under development.
So yes to convert an individual saxophone or piano bank, i think it is already up to it, for musicians. It does a large amount of the job for you.

 

so whats the deal with "dream"? I dont have a good feeling when looking on this lack of user-bank...

maybe this is more a way to go...https://www.tindie.com/products/monkeeeys/midi-sound-module/

if you just want to play sf2 files... (i know this here is for soundcards... but in fact the dream pcb could be used in a midibox environment to... so..)

Edited by Phatline

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Did you ever look at the Zynthian Project? That looks quite promising. 

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nope but but looks good.  will have to search a soundcard for pi with lowest latency and best sound abd normal price... since the project is played and triggered live...

 

ans alao how to use midibix in this envieonment... midi ttl i guess

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Posted (edited)

You can connect the midibox either via USB or via the MIDI jacks of the Zynthian.

I have a Zynthian here. Latency is... well... "okayish". I don't think it will satisfy professional-musicians. Here are some latency-tests:

https://discourse.zynthian.org/t/zynthian-midi-audio-latency-measurements/1793

There are "faster" soundcards like PiSound. But it seems not 100% compatible with zynthian. 
Also the original soundcard, that is recommend with Zynthian (HiFi Berry) doesn't have an audioinput while PiSound has... not sure if this is important for you. There is a version of the HiFi Berry that has an audioinput too... I wanted to check it out the next days... I'd like to run MODEP on it... 

Edited by FantomXR

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