21 November 2020 meetup

It was good to catch up with Gary, Christoph and Brad on Saturday. Brad bought along a couple of his STFMs, one of which he needed guidance on updating the TOS to 1.4 so he can connect his UltraSatan. Gary did the honors of cracking open the computers so we could see what ROM ICs were inside. Both of Brad’s 2 STFMs had a 2 chip TOS and so we agreed the easiest solution was to upgrade the one needing 1.4 was to switch it to a 6 chip TOS installation. There were 3 solder jumpers to change along with clearing all the IC holes to install the additional 4 chips and installing the IC capacitors. Whilst we had the ROM ICs and sockets, we were missing some 100nf capacitors to install. Brad has some programmable ROM ICs so we programmed these with TOS 1.4 and Brad took these away and has since completed the updated and he can now use his UltraSatan on both STFM machines.

Rob brought along the recently delivery of H5 A3 STF remake boards to show off. These are yet to be built but very bling looking in green and gold.

Christoph updated us all on the various bits of coding he has under way including the cracks for a few Amiga games he has been working on. He also demonstrated his large multi-button joystick controller. Brad also showed us his recently acquired joystick he purchased from the latest competition pro clones being produced which was very solid and robust and also looks great.

We fired Rob’s H4 STF remake and also the MT32-pi emulator with his custom designed midi hat to show off the sound capabilities of Monkey Island 2 (ScummST version) and the MT32-pi emulator via the midi out. Given that a real Roland MT-32 can cost upwards of $600, the MT32-pi emulator is a great alternative and price. Brad and Gary took away one of the pi midi hats so that they can have do some more testing for me.

Gary and Rob then fired up Cubase on Rob’s H4 and connected up his synth. We started with Cubase Audio for Falcon but whilst this ran on the H4, it advised it was only for Falcon030 so we then fired up Cubase 3.01 (cracked) to see how this would work. With my Yamaha DX7s synth connected to the H4 via midi, Cubase could see the synth so we started to play with recording a tune into Cubase (trying to remember what Chris had shown us at a previous meetup). Rob’s DX7s had the internal battery replaced when he first got it but the internal voices/instruments were showing corrupted on the LCD and not usable. That said, the cartridge instruments were working fine so we managed to get some recording into Cubase done and then played back through the synth. Rob can play a few notes from Berlin’s “Take My Breath Away” and this was what got recorded in Cubase, tweaked and then played back through midi to the synth.

We need to learn more about Cubase to make better use of this but we managed to get the basics working on Saturday so we were very happy. Rob also needs to learn more about using my DX7. He did fix the DX7s internal voices/instruments on Sunday and now both internal and cartridge instruments work correctly.

Rob had a few midi files which we copied onto the H4 hard drive and then loaded these into Cubase to play back through the DX7s and had some success with some of the files. Some of the midi files sent midi control instructions to his synth which due to the internal corrupted instruments confused it.

We then moved on to using Cubase with the MT32-pi emulator and my pi midi hat and this sounded really good when we played the midi files in Cubase and the MT32-pi played them flawlessly including the ones that screwed Rob’s DX7s when connected. Again, the MT32-pi emulator proved that it worked really well, so very happy with this and his pi midi hat he created.

Time flew by really quickly on Saturday and I would like to thank Gary for hosting us again. We do encourage you to pop by at an upcoming meetup if you can find the time and say “hi”, it is very casual and we do enjoy chatting and catching up.