VOGONS


First post, by dreamblaster

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EDIT 25.06.2023 : X16 and X16GS are now released !

X16 is a High End Waveblaster + USB synthesizer board.
It also exists in X16GS - gamer's edition (with licensed Dream/Roland GS bank - for DOS gaming purposes).
Together with Hummtaro, the tools and soundbanks were finalized.
X16 will be preloaded with multiple soundbanks.

Launch prices are :
X16 : 135 euro : https://www.serdashop.com/DreamBlaster-X16
X16GS : 145 euro : https://www.serdashop.com/DreamBlaster-X16GS

In this thread i will document the features, post demos and provide additional support/information.

Documentation : https://serdaco.com/downloads/X16/X16_Documentation/
Demo : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9ql7mKiHZr0

Hardware Specs :

  • High End 16 core Dream 5000 series synth chip (SAM5716B), with up to 256 voice polyphony
  • Compact high quality green, gold plated PCB, 53mm x 77mm
  • Super low latency < 1ms
  • 8 MByte SDRAM for high quality effects
  • 1 GByte Flash for soundbanks
  • 2x13 Waveblaster header for integration on DOS sound cards and custom projects
  • Up to 400mA current consumption at 5V, when using all DSP cores.
  • USB-MIDI interface (Class compliant), USB mini connector
  • Stereo out, high quality 24 bit 112 dB DNR DAC
  • Expansion header for future expansion / OEM projects

Features :

  • High quality Dream synth engine, compatible with Dream 5000 SDK for custom soundbank design
  • High quality GS compatible reverb and chorus
  • 3 Stereo Insert Multi-Effects blocks (s (Distortion, Equalizer, Compressor, Chorus/Flanger/Phaser/Tremolo/Rotary, Delay), controllable by MIDI.
  • 4-bands Equalizer, controllable by MIDI.
  • Multi slot soundbank support, fast bank uploading over USB to flash using Serdaco multi slot upload tool - X16Manager.
  • Bootloader for updating firmware over USB
  • Support for DreamBlaster Presets

X16 (musician's card, without GS license) :

X16_FRONT.jpg
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X16GS (gamer's card, with GS license) :

X16GS_FRONT.jpg
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X16/X16GS bottom side:

X16GS_BOTTOM.jpg
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Synth Signal Processing Overview :

synth_architecture.png
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Last edited by dreamblaster on 2024-02-25, 00:01. Edited 7 times in total.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 1 of 43, by SuperDeadite

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Will this fit in the M size chill box?

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2, Yucatan FX, BeepBlaster

Reply 2 of 43, by dreamblaster

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SuperDeadite wrote on 2023-03-04, 12:08:

Will this fit in the M size chill box?

No it requires XL size chill box (see orientation on photo).

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Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 3 of 43, by keropi

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ohlala!
I will need some of this goodness 😁
the gamer edition ofcourse !

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , OrpheusII , Action Rewind , Megacard and 🎶GoldLib soundcard website

Reply 4 of 43, by RetroGamer4Ever

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I'll be getting the X16GS and the X2GS in it's respective case, but I'll let others have it first and get the early batch of X16's into the hands of those who really have a burning need for it, as I'm just using it to listen to tunes. You need to find some GS-compatible MIDI files that can show off the polyphony capability, but I don't know of any aside from the Quest Studio Sierra Soundtrack MIDI files (whole game score) that go to 128 or above. I'll spread the news about the new modules. If you can get some pre-sale units into the hands of those MIDI enthusiasts who would use them for actually making MIDI and put the design through it's paces, it should help speed up the bug-bashing process and get everything in order.

Reply 5 of 43, by stgiga

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1 gigabyte flash would mean that my JummBox SoundFont would be able to fit. Oh and funnily enough, the SoundFont specification in Section 11 has a hidden feature called "Silicon SoundFonts", which is a header addendum (more of a prefix) designed around putting SoundFonts onto memory chips for use in modules, keyboards, and stuff that would go on a WaveBlaster header. So technically, I could put my JummBox SF2 (http://stgiga.itch.io/jummboxsoundfont or http://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/2722) into the 1GiB flash on a Dreamblaster. The bank is libre. It's an upgrade in quality over the OPL3 FM, but it's at the same time still chiptune. Also it's libre under a license not unfriendly to commercial use. So one could actually use it in a Dreamblaster without fear.

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Reply 6 of 43, by dreamblaster

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X16 Manager tool now working fine :
allows to :
- upload soundbanks and presets to different slots
- update firmware (in boot mode)

X16Manager.png
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X16ManagerBoot.png
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Soundbank selection can be done using midi commands, or the dipswitch on X16 :

X16Dip.png
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The 4 switches are represented from left (1) to right (4):
1 means the switch is turned on (moved towards pcb outside).
0 means the switch is off (moved towards pcb inside).
x means the switch does not matter.

0000: Bootloader mode (for updating only, does not play music)
x001: Synthesiser using soundbank from slot 1 at startup
x010: Synthesiser using soundbank from slot 2 at startup
x011: Synthesiser using soundbank from slot 3 at startup
x100: Synthesiser using soundbank from slot 4 at startup
x101: Synthesiser using soundbank from slot 5 at startup
x110: Synthesiser using soundbank from slot 6 at startup
x111: Synthesiser using soundbank from slot 7 at startup
1xxx: Reserved for future use

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 7 of 43, by dreamblaster

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Here are the midi files for slot selection :

X16Slot1.mid Select soundbank in slot 1
X16Slot2.mid Select soundbank in slot 2
X16Slot3.mid Select soundbank in slot 3
X16Slot4.mid Select soundbank in slot 4
X16Slot5.mid Select soundbank in slot 5
X16Slot6.mid Select soundbank in slot 6
X16Slot7.mid Select soundbank in slot 7
X16Next.mid Cycle to the next soundbank
X16Prev.mid Cycle to the previous soundbank

Soundbank slot selection through NRPN commands


NRPN CC controls:
CC#06 NRPN Data Value MSB
CC#38 NRPN Data Value LSB (Unused)

CC#96 NRPN Data +1
CC#97 NRPN Data -1

CC#98 NRPN ID LSB
CC#99 NRPN ID MSB

NRPN MSB : 0x53
NRPN LSB : 0x00
Value MSB : 1 - 7
Meaning : select slot
slots can be cycled via CC#96 and CC#97

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Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 8 of 43, by dreamblaster

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Some quick youtube demos of the Tie Fighter title track :
X16GS, GS bank : https://youtu.be/_sysYmlJiZ8
X16, Buran bank : https://youtu.be/3wKoyHOJizg

Still optimizing the default presets, and default soundbank set.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 11 of 43, by dreamblaster

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Jccwu wrote on 2023-04-15, 19:39:

I will buy if there is an opportunity to send to Russia. I need QWave and X16GS.

pm me

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 12 of 43, by dreamblaster

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another quick demo : X16GS playing 'Secret World of Soccer Theme' : https://youtu.be/lLGYs1FBUSg

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 13 of 43, by dreamblaster

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User manual and midi specs uploaded to : https://serdaco.com/downloads/X16/X16_Documentation/

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 14 of 43, by riplin

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I know I'm just a newbie here so I'll just wait my turn until the general release, but that GS version looks very appealing! Do you have any indication when it will be available? Q2, Q3? This year, next year?

Reply 15 of 43, by dreamblaster

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riplin wrote on 2023-05-11, 07:11:

I know I'm just a newbie here so I'll just wait my turn until the general release, but that GS version looks very appealing! Do you have any indication when it will be available? Q2, Q3? This year, next year?

This year, in a few weeks.
I sent out some units for 'field tests', and gather feedback for the final launch presets.

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 17 of 43, by dreamblaster

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Karmeck wrote on 2023-05-29, 06:56:

Wanting to have the sc-55 in my life, currently settling for the Roland sound canvas vsti.

Would this be an upgrade?

This has a Roland sound bank, but which one?

it has an official dream GS soundbank, which is based on roland samples (officially licensed !)
It sounds close to SC-55
That said, it will be quite an upgrade, as X16 features multiple soundbanks, have a look at the documentation to get an idea :
https://serdaco.com/downloads/X16/X16_Documentation/

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !

Reply 18 of 43, by Karmeck

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dreamblaster wrote on 2023-05-29, 11:10:
it has an official dream GS soundbank, which is based on roland samples (officially licensed !) It sounds close to SC-55 That sa […]
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Karmeck wrote on 2023-05-29, 06:56:

Wanting to have the sc-55 in my life, currently settling for the Roland sound canvas vsti.

Would this be an upgrade?

This has a Roland sound bank, but which one?

it has an official dream GS soundbank, which is based on roland samples (officially licensed !)
It sounds close to SC-55
That said, it will be quite an upgrade, as X16 features multiple soundbanks, have a look at the documentation to get an idea :
https://serdaco.com/downloads/X16/X16_Documentation/

what I'm looking for is this sound.

Re: Heads Up: Roland Sound Canvas VA VSTi Plugin!

So how close it is?

The included opl3 support is interesting as well, so promising product over all.

Reply 19 of 43, by dreamblaster

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Karmeck wrote on 2023-05-29, 11:44:

So how close it is?

It sounds close to it, but it is not an emulation,
rather is is a high end dream synth, based on the same studio samples as the sound canvas series, it has its own character
listen to this : https://youtu.be/_sysYmlJiZ8

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
DreamBlaster X2, S2, S2P, HDD Clicker, ... many projects !
New X2GS SE & X16GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS-SE ,
Thanks for your support !