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X3M

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First post, by dreamblaster

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Hey, I've been working on X3M for quite a while now, time to show it off 😀 :
It is an USB soundcard / Module that features :
- Dream MIDI synth (54 voices polyphonic, 64 mbyte flash, compatible with X2 banks)
- 24 bit high quality DAC (same as on X2).
- Sample rate for all features is 48Khz
- USB audio playback, class compliant
- USB audio digital recording of MIDI+Wave output, class compliant --> for digital recording of game soundtracks
- USB MIDI in, class compliant
- Real MIDI in (DIN connector)
UPDATE : new keropi edition feature : Jumpers to select DIN connector function :
- MIDI IN
- MIDI OUT

Preset loading, bank loading supports the X2 tools.
X3M utilities will feature extra settings, such as DIN MIDI IN routing configuration :
(you can send the real DIN MIDI data to the synth, to USB MIDI port, or to both)

A few units were sent out to friends for beta testing, it does well.
The software will be final soon. So I will have 7 modules available around the end of may, personally built, very limited edition.

UPDATE : pricing :
80 euro for the fully assembled and tested PCB
20 euro for the enclosure + front and rear panels

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Last edited by dreamblaster on 2017-09-07, 18:34. Edited 5 times in total.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
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Reply 1 of 27, by keropi

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ooohhh I have one of these toys! good to see it revealed 😁
Basically it's a standalone X2 inside a case with either USB or MIDI connection. Added bonus is that it also acts as a full USB soundcard when it's connected via USB ie it plays system sounds not just midi.
I have tested it in a pc as low as a p2@450 with USB1.1 ports, under XP SP3 it just works without any drivers needed.
Certainly an option for anyone wanting an easily portable X2 for their dosbox setup or (real)dos-box build 🤣

tegvS4Sl.jpg 1quu4gPl.jpg

Quality-wise it's the same as the X2: same banks (even the GUD betas), same sounds , same rendering. So all previous X2 recordings apply to this as well 😎
I also never noticed a hickup on the usb-midi interface or the real midi one, they both just work fine.

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 2 of 27, by gdjacobs

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The PCM output is excellent. I haven't pulled spectrum to confirm sampling frequency, but subjectively this is a great sounding DAC.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 3 of 27, by dreamblaster

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Here are the 7 PCB's, latest X3M revision, from the assembly factory.

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All parts are in now 😀
Just need to add MIDI and RCA connectors, and enclosure.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 5 of 27, by kode54

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I would be interested if I could afford it, but it may end up being just another electronic gadget that goes semi-unused around here. And I don't exactly have 100 euros to toss your way at the moment.

I would, however, like to see Rightmark Audio Analyzer measurements of that AK4388 DAC, as sampled by a known high quality ADC. And maybe an ADC measurement of whichever solution you happen to be using, maybe it's on the other side of the circuit board?

I trust it's a high quality DAC, but there don't appear to be many known consumer devices using it that have been measured and reviewed.

It all sounds neat, though.

E: Of course you aren't using an ADC, you're piping the digital output of the USB sound output device and adding it to the digital output of the 5504 and piping it back into the USB interface. Not sure which chips are responsible for the USB interface, though. Not planning to duplicate, just curious.

Reply 6 of 27, by dreamblaster

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kode54 wrote:

E: Of course you aren't using an ADC, you're piping the digital output of the USB sound output device and adding it to the digital output of the 5504 and piping it back into the USB interface. Not sure which chips are responsible for the USB interface, though. Not planning to duplicate, just curious.

Hey, you are right I am not using an ADC, it is all digital processing.
The DSP chip I am using is the SAM5504B from Dream, it has 4 24/56 bit DSP cores, and a 16 bit general purpose core
On X3M, 1 of these is used for USB audio streaming, 1 for effects and 2 for MIDI synthesis. --> 56 voices polyphony = 2 x 27 voices
On X2 it was 1 for effects and 3 for MIDI synthesis. --> 81 voice polyphony = 3 x 27 voices

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 7 of 27, by dreamblaster

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The new version X3M is now available in larger quantity, professionally assembled : The X3M "Keropi" edition

This version has 3 green jumpers to configure the function of the MIDI Connector : this is the "keropi" feature 😉
Put in the 3 jumpers on the right positions : MIDI IN

Put in the 3 jumpers on the left positions : MIDI OUT

The preset editor allows to configure the 'route' of MIDI IN.
USB MIDI out is always sent to the synth and the MIDI OUT DIN connector.

This way you can now use X3M for even more purposes, for PC, for raspberry pi, ...
- X3M as MIDI interface : send USB MIDI to MIDI OUT, for example to connect to Sound Canvas
- X3M as MIDI module : receive real MIDI signal
- X3M as USB DAC and/or USB MIDI module : complete soundcard, for example for raspberry pi
- X3M as interface for MUNT : receive MIDI in from a DOS PC and play back the sound over USB DAC
-...

I think it needs more demos, tutorials,... on various platforms (for example I don't have a mac, I'm not a regular linux user).
Your ideas are welcome, and if you are interested in helping, you can PM me for a special offer (limited to a few people).

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Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 8 of 27, by keropi

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Yes this version is the best, it's in the name 🤣
In all seriousness the X3M is turning out to be a multi-purpose device, I'd say M stands for it.

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 9 of 27, by sigma

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Hi All! Great BB, BTW.

I've received the X3M+ board yesterday and found it very interesting. I'd like to thanks the Serdaco people for nice idea and its implementation. But the links for downloads (for X2 as compatible) is broken. Is it temporary event or not? I've downloaded X2 banks earlier but without the GUD bank. Is there a way to get it?

Also, please, reveal the purpose or pinouts for J2 and J4 connectors. Thanks!

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Reply 10 of 27, by dreamblaster

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sigma wrote:

Hi All! Great BB, BTW.
I've received the X3M+ board yesterday and found it very interesting. I'd like to thanks the Serdaco people for nice idea and its implementation. But the links for downloads (for X2 as compatible) is broken. Is it temporary event or not? I've downloaded X2 banks earlier but without the GUD bank. Is there a way to get it?
Also, please, reveal the purpose or pinouts for J2 and J4 connectors. Thanks!

Hi sigma
sorry for the trouble,this is temporary,
my hosting company moved servers a few days ago, and apparently file browsing does not work anymore.
I noticed this yesterday evening, and now have a ticket running with their support : they promised to fix it ASAP, but so far it seems all they got is a 'hello world' test ??
--> http://serdaco.com/downloads/

The files will become available again on the same place, if the issue is solved.

meanwhile just pm me your e-mail address and I will send you the latest GUD version.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 11 of 27, by dreamblaster

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sigma wrote:

Also, please, reveal the purpose or pinouts for J2 and J4 connectors. Thanks!

J2: bootup jumper header : when a jumper is placed, the X3M boots with all default settings instead of configured presets.
J4: proprietary programmer header for the Dream DSP chip

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 12 of 27, by dreamblaster

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Here's an overview :

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And this is the exact pinout for J8 :

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put jumpers on the left 3 headers --> DIN connector has midi out function
put jumpers on the right 3 headers --> DIN connector has midi in function

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 13 of 27, by sigma

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dreamblaster wrote:
sigma wrote:

J2: bootup jumper header : when a jumper is placed, the X3M boots with all default settings instead of configured presets.
J4: proprietary programmer header for the Dream DSP chip

Thank you!

dreamblaster wrote:

And this is the exact pinout for J8 :

So it's also possible to add an external DIN to 8, 10, 12 pins of J8 to get the MIDI OUT simultaneously with MIDI IN?

42

Reply 14 of 27, by dreamblaster

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sigma wrote:

So it's also possible to add an external DIN to 8, 10, 12 pins of J8 to get the MIDI OUT simultaneously with MIDI IN?

Yes

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 15 of 27, by dreamblaster

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Hi,
the hosting issues persisted, so I put an indexing php script up there, to make the X2/X3M downloads available again :
http://serdaco.com/downloads/
I think this solves it. If you still notice a problem, let me know.
S

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 17 of 27, by dreamblaster

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X3M audio and midi will work under linux

But the utilities for flash preset editing and upload are windows utils. maybe in wine.
The settings are persistent, so you can flash it on one pc, and then use it on another

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 18 of 27, by Solarstorm

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I just read that you can choose between the standard 16M ROM and the GUD ROM.
Is it possible to flash it myself with software or idk jtag?

My YouTube Channel

Reply 19 of 27, by keropi

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flashing is done via the micro USB connector without any special hardware - so you can easily update/revert/test banks 😀

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system