Yes indeed, my cover is blown
I have to say I have been really quite surprised how well my prototype Music 5000 MIDI interface is working for a number of reasons...
The whole system is responsing remarkably rapidly from midi reception to audio output with very little perceivable timing issues.
This is really testament to the Music 5000, its software and the Beeb's ability to handle I/O in a timely manner. I deal with a lot of vintage kit for a living and its a constant reminder that when you strip a huge modern operating system away and run right on the metal its remarkable just what you can do in a few Kbytes running at a few MHz! Its no wonder really that the BBC Micro was found in so many science labs and research facilities controlling all manner of often ludicrously expensive/esoteric apparatus.
(as an aside, my late father, a research scientist in the field of High Temperature Superconductivity, had three labs dotted with BBC Micros controlling a whole host of sensitive experiments surrounded by steaming liquid helium and a plethora of lock-in amplifiers and probes for many years after the old Beeb vanished from our schools and homes!)
For the same reasons its no wonder that the Vince Clarke was such a fan of the UMI-2B Sequencer for the Beeb as its midi timing was rock solid!
The box itself simply plugs into the User Port - there is no configuration required other than you need to use a disk image of the Music 5000 software suite that has the M4000 keyboard module enabled (most on the net have this commented out on boot up). Naturally, if you already have a Music 4000 keyboard then it should just work out of the box.
The prototype interface has been performing flawlessly - I have a few more robustness checks to do on the midi protocol front but the hardware went together with zero modification to the pcb. This means I will most definitely be in a position to build further interfaces should anyone be interested (my own clients are now desperate for them!).
Here is another quick test recording I made yesterday to prove to myself that the Music 5000 will work ok in an overdubbed recording in Cubase. All of the tracks were recorded directly from the Music 5000 and no time alignment was required.
I have found a fairly smart black enclosure to house the pcbs - the first unit is now housed and it looks pretty smart.
As well as building completed tested/programmed units, for those who are good with a soldering ironf I am toying with the idea of supply the bare pcb, a programmed MCU and at least one slightly harder to source IC. Everything else is available from Farnell.
If anyone is interested in being an early adopter then feel free to PM me.
And for those you want to hear more Music 5000 in action - I have made a playlist of various recordings I have made recently:
https://soundcloud.com/hideaway-studio/ ... 5000-synth