Put Waveblaster daughter board (Yamaha DB50XG) in a box?

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I think the hardware bit of this may be the easiest part.... how do you plan the software?  Do you plan to customize mios to utilize the extended modes of the card ? 

When I used the xg as standalone module, I was not very happy with the "normal" sounds from the card.  I was quite impressed when I heard a well programmed xg midi song,,, I think it can be hard to do that in mios.....

Back then I also used Sw1000Xg with plg100vh add on.  Would be kewl to use the plg cards as standalone..... not sure if someone has done that yet..

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Posted · Report post

Whilst going through the documentation, it became clear to me that there's just one MIDI path throughout a core module.

That's correct.

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Dug up my copy of the Elektor magazine, made a quick pdf scan and uploaded it to my diy-folder..  Get it here http://kewlers.scene.org/bitchard/diy/DB50XG-standalone.pdf. Will remove the file after a few days so anyone who wants this, better be quick ;)

I did! Thanks!

...a day after I paid €1,30 for the same article downloaded from the Elektor site. :) Then again, it's in Dutch, which happens to be one of my two native languages. (Something that my wife says can't happen, having two native languages.)

But since the article was originally written in English, it's good to have the original next to it.

Thanks again,

- Peter

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Posted · Report post

I think the hardware bit of this may be the easiest part.... how do you plan the software?  Do you plan to customize mios to utilize the extended modes of the card ?

Something like that. I'd have to look into MIOS and the MIDIbox 64 first, of course. But since these days my programming limits itself to distributed interactive web sites in Java, getting my hands dirty on some plain old C could be fun. Assembly, the last bit I did was a super-optimised loop of 68000 code to calculate a Mandelbrot set on an Amiga, so I might not be ready for that just yet.

- Peter

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Assembly, the last bit I did was a super-optimised loop of 68000 code to calculate a Mandelbrot set on an Amiga, so I might not be ready for that just yet.

If you did that and are still relatively sane, I think PIC is not going to be a problem.

Mike (still having flashbacks about a FORTH system for 68000, though the treatment is helping).

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OK... as a architect/designer, the first thing you do is create a functional overview of the desired end result:

midiboxxgoverviewog2.png

This doesn't actually add anything, but since I had so much fun using JFDraw (a freeware Java-based vector drawing programme), I included it here. Although I may have gone a bit overboard with the XG logo. :)

The MIDI out from the Waveblaster connector won't do anything in the case of the DB50XG, but the WaveBlaster standard supports it, and it won't cost anything significant in extra components.

Next up is a drawing of what MIDIbox modules would be used.

- Peter

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Posted · Report post

As I remember db50xg in QS300 mode has bank of 8 or 16 slots for user patches. Midi out might be usfull for storing patches in sequencer or in midibox memory.

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Posted · Report post

As I remember db50xg in QS300 mode has bank of 8 or 16 slots for user patches. Midi out might be usfull for storing patches in sequencer or in midibox memory.

Unless the Yanaha is non standard, the normal waveblaster connector does not provide MIDI out: AFAIK, waveblaster cards are MIDI-in only.

You can give it orders, but it doesn't report back, (rather like a few component suppliers).

[tt]  1 Digital Ground              2 NC

  3 Digital Ground              4 MIDI IN

  5 Digital Ground              6 +5V

  7 Digital Ground              8 NC

  9 Digital Ground            10 +5V

11 Digital Ground            12 NC

13 NC                            14 +5V

15 Analog Ground            16 NC

17 Analog Ground            18 +12V

19 Analog Ground            20 Right Audio Out

21 Analog Ground            22 -12V

23 Analog Ground            24 Left Audio Out

25 Analog Ground            26 Reset (logic low) 

[/tt]

Pinout courtesy of www.epanorama.net Modified to show analog and digital grounds.

Hope this help. Your MIDIbox of course cab have MIDI out, but it will have to keep track of the state of the daughterboard.

For my money, initially, I'd just do a host adapter and get on with experimenting. Bit of veroboard and a kength of ribbon with an IDC. Use a seperate backplate, because not all daughter boards, (there are others - I've just bought an 'Adwave32' off ebay for £5),l share the same mounting hole arrangments and socket location as the Yamaha. Keep it loose and you've no problem. A rave fanatic friend tell me categorically that Creatives own original waveblaster board for the AWE32 etc is only any good as a beermat

OK now for another, totally opposite idea.

How many AWE32's etc can you fit in a PC?

How about using an old PC using a basic OS/driver to run say 4 AWE32/64's as voices? MIDI in, and perhaps a MIOS based control surface. Something using a low power CPU, then it wouldn't need fancy fan cooling, run with minimal IO and graphics card for setting up. The AWE64 Golds is/was quite reasonable. I use one in my MP3 machine, because it has proper phono sockets. Given the (free) price of old PC's, I wonder if this is worth trying as a recycle? I've got two AWE32's sitting here, that I can't bear the thought of stripping for chips, (I mean, paid £120 for one way back when - I don't think I had a night out for 2 months to  afford it!).

Is this a thought? Even as a sample player it might be worth a try. I do like the thought of 'old PC as appliance' - like my smoothwall, another excellent community project. http://www.smoothwall.org/

Mike

PS I nearly posted this link from a friend http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6dHD-4oG78E instead of epanorama - (I may have invented the Freudian paste) - I guess it's worth passing on:

<Scottish Voice> Captain you're 40,000 light years off topic, I tell ye we've not got the crystals to get back to MIDIbox central. . .

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Posted · Report post

Unless the Yanaha is non standard, the normal waveblaster connector does not provide MIDI out: AFAIK, waveblaster cards are MIDI-in only.

There is a midi out signal on PIN 8. http://www.mupro.de/index.shtml?page=/wblast.htm

Probably used also by Roland or Korg waveblaster cards ?

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Indeed, that was the idea. For the DB50XG it'll be useless, because it doesn't have a MIDI out, but since that pin on the I2C chip would remain unused anyway, there's no harm in connecting it. Unless it would lead to unwanted behaviour and 'ghost' signals being received, but one would expect Creative to have thought of that. And otherwise, you can always disregard the stream altogether.

For the next two weeks I'll be abroad and likely not be working on this...

- Peter

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There is a midi out signal on PIN 8. http://www.mupro.de/index.shtml?page=/wblast.htm

Probably used also by Roland or Korg waveblaster cards ?

Thanks for that Maniac! All other external box designs I've seen have pin 8 listed as 'NC'. I've got an Adwave32 on the way as a tryout, and will see what that has, which may be useful in finding what is on the Adwave card. I'll report back as soon as I can get to try it out.

Mike

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Be careful guys. There is a page around, which includes a number of incorrect pinouts, and I'm pretty sure that one is in it... I remember the separate grounds...

Yeh, my first link. this one mentions this pinouts history as one that was circulating usenet. I quote:

This waveblaster connector pinout has been posted to usenet news many times. According the comments I have received this pinout is not correct one. So this is not the correct pinout and do not use this wrong one:

Pin Definition          Pin Definition

1  Digital GND        14  Digital VCC

2  Not Used            15  Chassis GND

3  Digital GND        16  Not Used

4  MIDI Output (TTL)  17  Mixer Out Left

5  Digital GND        18  +12 V Analog

6  Digital VCC        19  Chassis GND

7  Digital GND        20  Left Audio Out

8  MIDI Input  (TTL)  21  Mixer Out Right

9  Digital GND        22  -12 V Analog

10  Digital VCC        23  Chassis GND

11  Digital GND        24  Audio Out Right

12  Not Used            25  Analog GND

13  Not Used            26  Reset

The bold text is theirs not mine. Your call :)

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Posted · Report post

Hmmm, let's see how easy it is to follow the leads on the SoundBlaster card. :)

- Peter

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I'm confused...

looking on bd50xg doughter board: analog GND is definitely separated from digital GND, but it's impossible to guess whether PIN 8 is connected or not. Unfortunately I don't have soundcard with waveblaster socket and I’m not able to activate daughter board :/

From the other hand: there are options 'receive bank' & 'transmit bank' in XG Gold editor. Don't know if it works with db50xg or not. Probably works with sw60xg / mu10 ...

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Posted · Report post

Thanks for that Strd. epanorama is down at the moment, but the version I posted was their latest one.

Hmmm, let's see how easy it is to follow the leads on the SoundBlaster card.

Have just got out old soundblaster card and testmeter. Answer: not that easy due to it being a multi layer board as far as i can tell.

With the AWE32 top edge up, looking at the component side, with the PC case back plate to the right.

Assuming a normal 26 pin IDC header numbering, Which for the AWE32, (whose header is horizontal), means pin 1 at the top row right.

The odd pins bar pin 13 are all to ground.  web searching for a while would seem to provide a consensus that

1,3,5,7,9,11 are digital ground and 15,17,19,21,23,15, are analogue

Pins 6, 10,and 14 are to 5 Volt.

The elektor magazine article is a bit confusing, due to the fact that they mounted the waveblaster board UNDER the host PCB, thus the pin outs on their connector are mirrored.

Jury is still out on the MIDI in.

I'll post more when I get my waveblaster boards. I thought there is one around here somewhere, best guess is in the box with the other AWE32, which I can't find either. . . .

The expansion on the AWE64 is different again - I think it's some kind of sample ROM. Turtle beach did a card that had sample RAM on it, but it loaded the samples via MIDI. Reports were that 4Meg of samples took 45 minutes....

Oh, and if anybody wants some RAM for an AWE32, I've just found about 8 sticks: free, your postage.

Mike

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Now that's a coincidence: just as I was about to post, you had posted your message about the SoundBlaster and the multi-meter.

If we take the following pin out, according to the print on the DB50XG:

1 2

3 4

5 6

...

then both pins 4 and 8 are connected. If you weren't confused before, this would be a good time.

The DB50XG has all components - without exception surface mounted - on one side of the PCB. Only the 26-pin WaveBlaster connector is soldered through-hole and sits on the other side of the board. It's a clever design, so they can use the huge grounded areas on the non-component side as a shield. (At least, that's what I presume, I could be talking total nonsense here.)

If you look closely, there are are two small leads on the non-component side coming from the 26-pin connector. They go on for about 2.5 cm/one inch and end up in through-holes (which makes them excellent to use with a multi-meter). These come from pins 4 and 8.

On the other side of the through-holes is a 74HC14A, a Schmitt-trigger inverter. From the Motorola datasheet:

The HC14A is useful to “square up†slow input rise and fall times. Due

to hysteresis voltage of the Schmitt trigger, the HC14A finds applications

in noisy environments.

Well, that would make sense. Another lead from the 74HC14A goes to pin 26, 'Reset', so that also appears to be correct.

The only conclusion that I feel is safe to draw at this moment is that you can't trust anything you find on the internet...

- Peter

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Posted · Report post

If oin 4 is connected to pin 8, then it means the DB50XG, has no real MIDI out, but spoofs the MIDI out connection as a MIDI thru.

Which supports Manics research, that at least a MIDI out was in the Waveblaster Spec.

As I said earlier, I'm going to start with a basic interface for external MIDI, which as least gets me a useable tool, then it might be worth looking at a MIDIbox <--> Waveblaster.

I'm not doing a 'piggy back board, but putting a cable mounted pin header on some ribbon cable because there are different daughter boards out there.

We're getting somewhere, anyhow!

Mike

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As far as I can tell, they are not connected directly to one another, but both to the 74HC14A. That's what the measurements showed.

I'l have to leave it at this for a little under two weeks, because of a holiday.

- Peter

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Posted · Report post

Bon Voyage man :)

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The SoundDiver editor layout pictured here might give you some ideas for a MIDIbox XG control surface layout.

sd_mu10.gif

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Posted · Report post

Great find bosone :)

Since this is one of those design concepts that just never dies, I am bringing that zip onsite :D

db50ext.zip

db50ext.zip

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I recently saw an article in Nuts and Volts magazine (Feb 2009 edition, I think) showing a PIC based controller for the DB50XG. Had USB interface, but the PIC wasn't one we use here.

Sorry to be so vague but I don't actually have mag in front of me.

At the time I saw this I did a search on ebay and there were very few DB50XG's for sale.

John

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