PSQTOOLS updated and SMSLOAD for PlaySoniq released!

TNI informs us that PSQTOOLS, the toolset for the PlaySoniq module has been updated! Three new tools have been released: PSQSAVE and PSQLOAD, to save and load PlaySoniq module settings and SMSLOAD, a tool to load and run Sega Master System ROM images. SMSLOAD also supports Sega SC-3000 and SG-1000 rom files, when the correct extension (e.g. name.sg) is given at the command line. Grab them at the TNI site: www.tni.nl

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Playsoniq tools

Already announced last year on http://www.msx.org is the new Playsoniq tool made by BiFi of TNI, called PSQTOOLS.

These are support tools for the PlaySoniq module. As more tools are released, the archive is updated. Currently the list of tools is:

DUALVDP

  • Show the MSX screen on both the MSX VDP and Sega VDP in the PlaySoniq module

PSQSET

  • Configure every setting in the PlaySoniq module:
  • Memory layout
  • SCC(+) emulation
  • Frequency selections:
  • VBlank frequency
  • Composite output signal
  • SID frequency
  • Base I/O port configurations
  • Special features:
  • SCC join PSG
  • Sega pad overlay
  • Sega OPLL
  • Show current settings

BiFi also updated the MSX rom loader ROMLOAD (imho the best romloader around) with support for the DAC of the Playsoniq.

Please download his tools from the TNI website:

PSQTOOLS

http://www.tni.nl/products/psqtools.html

ROMLOAD

http://www.tni.nl/products/romload.html

Thank you again BiFi!

News bits

With the MIDI-PAC out in the open and Tjeerd already busy with making a second batch, we can’t complain. Thank you for your support! For new customers: we’ve made a new Order page were you can select the products you want to order. We will then contact you with the payment details.

Also, the PlaySoniq boxes, sponsored by Sunrise are in. If you bought your PlaySoniq without box, please use the order form to get your PlaySoniq box. The box costs nothing, you only pay shipping. Shipping will be around 10 euro for most European countries. If you know other PlaySoniq users in your neighbourhood maybe you can order together to cut down shipping costs.

MsxKun informs us that he is busy with a program to control the MSX PSG and the SID on the PlaySoniq through a MIDI keyboard. For this you need a Philips Music Module to connect your MIDI controller. This is of course very exciting news. Because using the PlaySoniq as a MIDI controllable syntheziser is one of the idea’s we had when we were designing the PlaySoniq. MsxKun also has plans to build in support for the SEGA Audio chip and the SCC of the PlaySoniq. At the moment this project has a low priority but he is willing to put more time in it, if more people are interested. So please let us or him know! Read all about it on his Spanish blog here: PaxBlog.

Also new is the instruction manual how to mount the Toshiba HX-MU900 MSX Audio expander. If you have a Toshiba Music Module lying around and want some more functionality, this expander might be for you. But you need to have quite some soldering skills to install this upgrade (or know someone who does). Check it out at the Docs section. This product can also be ordered from the Order page.

A while ago we adjusted the Commodore Basic instruction manual (sound chapters) so it would reflect the SID mounted on the PlaySoniq. It also contains the Basic listing, adjusted for use in MSX Basic. You can now download this document from the Docs page, in the PlaySoniq section.

If you read the comments on this site, you can find out how to flash your MIDI-PAC with the FM-PAC basic. Please note that afterwards, you can not use the MIDI-PAC together with a FM-PAC anymore (unless you flash the original rom back). The WORP3 website has a new configuration file for MT-32 users. If you made your own configuration file, please consider sharing them so we can add them to the website for other users. This counts for other MIDI equipment or game specific configs (like playing Aleste with only pianos). The MIDI-PAC will also have support for configuring instruments outside the general midi bank on Roland modules soon. So stay tuned.

Happy MSX-ing!

MSX meetings

Unfortunately we could not attend the latest MSX meeting held by AAMSX in Barcelona due to an unexpected strike of the air traffic controllers in Spain. Luckely Spanish MSX user Salva managed to bring his PlaySoniq to the party so at least visitors could take a peek. Thank you Salva for demoing the PlaySoniq.  We did however manage to attend the nice MSX Info Party in Helsinki last August and made a small video of the PlaySoniq in action for you to enjoy.

To make up for not being around in Barcelona, we will pay the shipping costs for our items bought by Spanish residents until the end of December and we hope to see you again next year.

PlaySoniq and MIDI-PAC together

Last Saturday, the monthly MSX Mariënberg meeting was held. We still had all the PlaySoniq, MIDI-PAC and MSX gear in boxes due to the Bonami retro fair that was held one week before. So we could easily also show a little demonstration in Mariënberg.

At the Bonami fair, people liked the PlaySoniq and the MIDI-PAC. For the PlaySoniq we had to convince people that it was actually a MSX that was playing Sega games. For the MIDI-PAC we’ve got questions about which CD’s we were playing (while we actually were demo-ing MSX games). This was also partly due to Tjeerd bringing his Yamaha XG wavetable MIDI module. Which actually blows away our simple Yamaha TG-300 tone generator.

Over the last weeks, we also managed to let the PlaySoniq work together with the MIDI-PAC.There are about 64 Sega Master System games with support for OPLL (the same chip as in the MSX Music standard or the FM-PAC has). Since the PlaySoniq can reroute that music and sound effects to the MSX, the MIDI-PAC can pick those up too and convert that to MIDI data on the fly. In short: with the PlaySoniq and the MIDI-PAC combined, you can also enjoy your SMS-FM games with your MIDI equipment. Try that with a Master System Console 😉

We recorded a little video at Mariënberg to show the MIDI-PAC and the PlaySoniq working together. A big thank you to Filip Slagter who was willing to demo YS2 FM and Scramble Spirits on the PlaySoniq and MIDI-PAC combined. And Firehawk with the MIDI-PAC. we hope you like this video. But keep in mind that this demo was recorded with a phone (and the TG-300). A lot of the lower frequencies in the bass and drums sounds are therefore missing in the sound output.