SFX Sound Sampler

From: Richard Atkinson (rga24_at_hermes.cam.ac.uk)
Date: 1999-07-28 13:49:20

No, not again, look at that subjext: Sampler... Sound Sampler.....

Yes, I finally got the SFX Sound Sampler after a _very_ long period of
negotiation and took it apart last night. Well - there's nothing unusual
in there *at*all* .....

The device runs in PIO mode rather than DMA mode on the SoundBlasters,
though if you had an REU I guess you could make an attempt at some sort of
interrupt driven pseudo-DMA. That is, if you can get an REU and a Sound
Sampler to coexist happily; the Sound Sampler seems to use *both* I/O
lines though I haven't examined how it is decoded.

Anyway, the device uses a ZN429 and a ZN449 for the conversion stuff, a
74139 for address decoding of some kind, two LM348 quad op-amps, a 7660
voltage convertor for generating -ve voltages and a 741 op-amp (YUK!) in
there as well, so there's nothing that couldn't be replicated on a clone
board. I'll find out the software interface in due course and set about
making another schematic, but this may take some time as there's a *lot*
of analogue components in there.

As with the Sound Expander, the cartridge pass-thru port is incomplete and
probably only supports MIDI cartridges. I suspect that the Expander and
the Sampler can't be run at the same time, which is a shame as they are
effectively equivalent to a real Sound Blaster when combined.

Unfortunately the version I got is the cassette version, without 'Latin'
drum kit samples, but I shall make some attempt to get it archived. Could
someone explain, what's the best way of creating tape images? I thought of
loading the tape into a C64 and using an Action Replay to save a disk
image, but I find that very unsatisfactory. I've seen a schematic for
adding datassette support to the X1541 cable, so how does that work?


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