Hi,

I've spent the past month or so playing Sega Master System and PC games from the Apogee era and have come to the conclusion I fricking love the sound on the Yamaha YM3812!  It sounds like my childhood :-)

Has anyone come up with a stand-alone project for the OPL2 that's accessible via external MIDI control?  I'd love to do a classic computer build but don't have the space next to my other crap (albeit valuable crap consisting of an E-MU e5000 ultra sampler, Future Retro Revolution synth and a Novation Xio25, hence valuable :-) )

Just looking for options here, my current PC could possibly run some older sound cards, it has 2 PCI slots readily available but no ISA slots and I never bothered to upgrade past XP 32-bit)

I'm no stranger to soldering and wiring but was never too handy with programming micro-controllers beyond the absolute most basic of functions (light goes on, light goes off) so I'd be really keen to find a working DIY project, get the parts and wire it all together!

Many thanks :-)

the closest would be the midibox FM synth which is based on the opl3... http://ucapps.de/midibox_fm.html & http://ucapps.de/mbhp_opl3.html

the minimal build would be a mbhp core module and the opl3 module + power, kits for core modules and the bare opl3 pcb are both available here. http://www.midibox-shop.com/buy.html combined that with a midi editor and you've got a standalone fm synth for cheap smile

Awesome!  A little optimistic but I sent an email asking if there is any compatibility, you never know.  Either way I will post back with the answer :-)

Thank you Boner, I almost had a heart attack till I read the part that says you don't need to build the entire interface and box lol

shurthi1 is really good at that 2op and additive synth thing fwiw.

epinema wrote:

Awesome!  A little optimistic but I sent an email asking if there is any compatibility, you never know.

OPL3 is backwards compatible with OPL2

The shurthi1 failed to leave an impression with me but the Polivoks filter board on the unit i used was actually really rad.
I didnt like programming the thing and it always sounded super thin to me. Not what i wanted personally but other people seem to love theirs. The FM might be ok for this kind of thing tho.

http://www.vintagesynth.com/yamaha/dx200.php
The dx200 is a great easy to use FM synth box too. If you only use 2 of the operators then you can get those OPL2ish sounds.
In my experience authentic chiptune sounding FM synthesis really is something that can be made with any of your average FM synthesizers.

There are various Yamaha YMF7xx based PCI card, these chips contain an OLP3 for legacy support. If you can find one or two, they are usually cheap, it's possible to control them with Freq Monster 801: http://fm801.kewl.org/help/windows/
I guess that's another option even though I never tried.

Seeing as this got bumped, AGREE! FM is the bomb!

FreqMonster is cool, the best is it runs on XP with PCI based YMF72x cards; there are very cheap Labway YMF723 PCI card on ebay. The YMF's OPL core isn't supported by the XP drivers but can be exposed with a old tool PowerYMF. All the setup is covered at kewl.org so it's not too painful. The bonus with the YMF723 is the XG Midi synth which can be played concurrently with the FM core. I think there is also an older ADLibTracker ][ version that supports these PCI cards, but haven't tested that.

In addition to the Midibox OPL3 synth there is this project http://midibox.org/forums/topic/19678-m … d-genesis/
Up to 4 YM2612/3438 FM/PSG boards to recreate the Sega Gen's voices. Still a WIP for the UI and midi synth apps but an SD card VGM player app with advance features is released. Could work well with VGMMusicMaker of Deflemask trackers for cross platform composing.

For modern FM designs, check out the PreenFM2 http://ixox.fr/preenfm2/
An FM design on a ARM uController. Very much like the Shurthi1 form wise, boards and kits in production and a large user base for support.

And last there is this modern FM design http://fredslab.net/opa/
Kickstarter project, designed on a dsPIC uController. Bad news is the developer hasn't followed up with retail sales so would be hard to get hold of one now. The Board formfactor is an Arduino shield but can be used with any system that has a 57,600 baud serial port or FTDI converter, RPi for example. On the software side is a cross platform editor that allows control of all prams for the 10 FM voices and 8 PCM drum voices along with patch storage. This software accepts midi note messages only so ATM there is no way to automate controller changes. The editor is open source so could be the basis for a more advanced midi synth. There is also Arduino libs and examples for developing custom instruments and such.
Yogi

Last edited by yogi (Dec 21, 2016 5:19 pm)

Also check out the YM2151 arduino project thread on this site .   User, Masl, created a java app that can interface w/ the arduino/YM2151 for controlling parameters, channel mapping, etc.

Charbot wrote:

Also check out the YM2151 arduino project thread on this site .   User, Masl, created a java app that can interface w/ the arduino/YM2151 for controlling parameters, channel mapping, etc.

A+

There is also the GIMIC box, but it's maybe hard to find if you're not living in Japan:

http://gimic.net/index.php?Getting%20St … 0G.I.M.I.C

It can be used as a VGM player, or as hardware synth, which is really cool. It supports, among others, the OPL3 chip.

I own a YMF724 opl3 PCI card, and I can confirm the dedicated Adlib Tracker II version for DOS is working fine from any windows XP session, and drive directly the OPL3 module on the chip: https://soundcloud.com/garvalf/cyber-danserye

I also have the YM2151 arduino shield and the OPA shield, they are cool projects, the only thing I regret on the new OPA thing is that there is no software emulator, which would be easier for me for designing things for it. So for I've only recorded one thing on it, I hope to find time to make more stuff on it during the winter holidays: https://soundcloud.com/memento-somniare … musicbox-2

The GIMIC is very interesting, wish it was more available.  There was another similar design with separate sound boards, but really functioned as a USB PC sound card, and again, mainly for the Japanese market.

Glad to hear that  AT][ does work with the PCI cards smile Kind of got things packed away due to space, so been waiting to test it for awhile. Hoping to find space, but between my wife's addiction to quilting and my obsession with retro systems is always a struggle big_smile

And I agree with a OPA EMU but would really like to see a full midi support. Even having PC messages supported would help with internal patches on the dsPIC. I think one of my next projects will have to be with PD/wiringPi or maybe just diving into the Editor source to add some features. Anyway, look forward to hearing more from you.
Yogi

It seems you can buy a GIMIC there: http://eleshop.jp/shop/g/gDAV361/ but at 40000 yen, it's around 350 €, it's quite expensive (and you have to get the OPL3 module in addition)

garvalf wrote:

It seems you can buy a GIMIC there: http://eleshop.jp/shop/g/gDAV361/ but at 40000 yen, it's around 350 €, it's quite expensive (and you have to get the OPL3 module in addition)

Good to know; the link on the GIMIC page, to 3-get.com, is a private server. Still, priced a little too high for me, but would be fun. Waiting to see the Nerdsynth released, also with plug in sound cards.