(76 replies, posted in General Discussion)

I check in occasionally to see what's going on, answer a few questions if I know the answer, maybe ask a few.

Enders Crusade wrote:

I’ve been on the fence for a long time about building my own, might just have to pull the trigger and give it a go.
I don’t have much experience soldering but I have a lot of friends who do.
I used to solely buy all my gameboys from Kitsch-bent many years ago but it seem like they mostly just sell parts now.

I had thought about modding my own DMG for nearly a decade before I decided to do it myself. My soldering skills are crap and I was so worried about destroying something. However, after finally biting the bullet, it's definitely a beginner level mod that went much more easily than I thought. Pro-sound modded my NES as well while I was at it and I'm so happy I did it myself because it's very satisfying. Just watch a few videos of people soldering surface PCB joints (it helps to see someone do it) and follow a clear tutorial for where to connect things and take your time. Also, don't forget the flax...game changer for a beginner like me who was trying to solder dry joints for years lol.

Split wrote:

You may have already found the solution at this point but I'll give you my experience with this set up so far.

It looks like the Pololu you have on hand is the S10V4F5? The one I have been using with a FunnyPlaying Retro Pixel IPS kit is the S7V7F5 and the specifications appear to be pretty close to the one you have on hand. Of course the S10V4F5 has the SHDN input as well. I don't think the SHDN would be used in the case of a DMG if I remember correctly from other posts I have seen, I would love for someone else to chime in on this to confirm though. At least according to Pololu's product page it would need to be "driven low or left floating." My only experience so far has been with the S7V7F5 model so I'm afraid I can't speak confidently beyond it but I have been happy with the Pololu branded components as a whole.

For the wiring I used my Pololu entirely in place of the original regulator, not in conjunction like a traditional backlighting method. The connection is like so:

Pololu        DMG CPU Board

VIN - - - - - VCC (green top)
GND - - - - - GND (green middle, marked with G)
              ( - ) (green bottom)
VOUT  - - - - ( + ) (red)

The connection on the CPU board that I am using for the regulator is right above where the audio board connects (the audio connection being the four through holes with the little triangle pointing to one of them) and the diagram above assumes the original green and red wires are still in place. If they're not, that's fine too. You can just use a 26 AWG wire to hook it up to the same area. The ( - ) connection (negative voltage rail) on the CPU board is not used at all in my case. After asking around I've found the FunnyPlaying IPS kit does not use the negative rail whatsoever. The CPU board schematics show the negative line going directly to the 3rd pin from the left on the ribbon cable connection if you are interested in tracing this connection on your kit to see if it's used.

I have a little 3M Command velcro-like pad trimmed down attaching the regulator to the wall of the battery compartment where the old regulator sat, makes it easy to remove the guts if needed but keeps the regulator from rattling around. I imagine some kapton tape could work too.

All in all I've been very pleased with this set up and have not had any apparent issues using the IPS along with an EverDrive X3 powered from a Pololu. Granted, the battery life has been shorter, but that's to be expected I think.

I documented some of these IPS related findings in a thread I made a few months ago (that you were kind enough to contribute to!) so if you're interested check back in on it here. Hope this helps you along your way!

Thanks for the response! I ended up trying out the clean power board from Retro Six - some swear by it, others say it doesn't work well but it seemed like the most straight-forward fix. So far so good, except I botched the pro-sound mod so I only get sound from one channel haha. I'll have to fix that at some point but otherwise, it worked like a charm, and the documentation for installing it is available and easy to follow.


(6 replies, posted in Nintendo Consoles)

10k wrote:

I’ve copped.

Don’t know about the creator, but PayPal is pretty robust re this stuff in my experience. If it’s a scam we can get our cash back.

That's a good outlook. I'm convinced! Wouldn't want to miss out on this one. I love using SNES sound fonts in my DAW so having the real deal and be able to play it on the system itself would be great. Time to put my SNES-101 to work!


(6 replies, posted in Nintendo Consoles)

nummernoll wrote:

I saw this today. Looks cool!
It is a midi-cartridge for SNES so you can play it via midi.
Maybe it’s been featured here already but if not:

Very cool. Might have to add this to my 'orchestra'. Anyone know anything about the creator? While I lucked out with MidiNES, I'd hate to see another situation like that arise from inability to follow through. I would have expected them to go through Kickstarter but maybe that's just me.


(7 replies, posted in Commodore Computers)

I'm hoping there is an easy solution for this - I recently picked up a C64 and I'm happy to say it's in great, working and cosmetic condition. I picked up Mssiah, a MIDI-to-USB cable and even a small screen to navigate to MIDI mode when starting things up.

However, when I began adding parts into a composition that uses a NES and GB, I found that the pitch on the C64 is way off - like two or three full steps off. I can bend the pitch in my DAW to compensate but does anyone know if this is a hardware issue or an issue with how the Mssiah sends data to the SID? It's definitely possible that the Messiah doesn't send pitch data the same way as my other systems but it would be very weird if a 'C' note on the C64 isn't programmed to match true 'C' musically speaking.

I know a lot of people use the C64 on its own but does anyone who uses it in conjunction with any other systems (or instruments for that matter) have this issue? And if so, what is the fix? Do I need to dial in some settings in the Mssiah interface to correct this? I've heard that SID chips can go out of tune as they age but everything I've read suggests it's semitones, not multiple steps out of tune.

I would personally start with the classic grey brick DMG. For starters, it's a classic! I also think you can get the best sound out of it but that's debatable. I'm sure some people prefer the sound of the GBP or GBC. One thing to note with the DMG is that its power board tends to struggle with mods that require extra voltage (backlight, IPS, LED's, etc.) so depending on what you're using it for, a buck/boost or clean power board may alleviate some of that stress. I did an IPS mod and it worked fine for many months but eventually started shutting down on me due to the power draw. I installed a clean power board and thus far I haven't had any issues but this isn't my area of expertise so I can't say for sure if this is a permanent solution. Of all the mod I've done, I've had the hardest time finding info on power-related ones.

But whatever mods you're planning to do, the DMG has the most extra room inside for components so you won't struggle to find space. I think pretty much any mod video you find online should have the basics of where all the screws are and where the stock components fit into the shell, which will be a good jumping off point for any mod.

I built a custom Gameboy DMG awhile back with an IPS screen and it works well for the most part but has problems from time to time - usually double-booting or blank screen. I'm not using a flash cart or any additional mods (just pro sound but that doesn't mess with voltage as far as I know), just running the MGB cart for music. I'm 99% sure it's related to power issues but in trying to find the best solution, I can't seem to find any solid answers on what is the best fix or how to implement. As far as I know, I have two options but figured I'd tap the pros here for advice. I've searched this forum, YouTube and Google without any luck thus far.

The first option, as far as I know, is adding a buck/boost.

I have this Pololu 5V Step-Up/Step-Down Voltage Regulator on hand, along with the two leads pictured:

However, I can't seem to find any documentation on installing it into a DMG specifically. I know from this video that it needs to be wired to the unregulated pin(s) on the power regulator board but I'm not sure where it needs to be wired to the IPS screen's PCB. This guide says to wire the Pololu VIN to the positive unregulated pin on the DMG's power regulator and wire the Pololu GND to the negative/GND lead on the power regulator board. I can do that much.

But I don't know where on my IPS mod to wire the other two it mentions. The first says "Output voltage: Wire to the positive end of your mod" and the second says "Ground: Wire the ground (-, black wire) from the mod to ground on the voltage regulator". So obviously, this guide is referring to a traditional backlight mod with clearly colored wires but since the IPS is a drop-in mod and I'm not good at reading circuits, I would need some direction (preferably a visual guide) as to where the other two connections would need to be. This is the IPS mod I have although I believe I have the V2 since I installed it well over a year ago.

The second option, I believe, would be the Retro Six Clean Power board.

This, I can do without further need of instructions as it's just a swap but I don't have this on hand so I'd need to acquire it.

So I guess my first question is which one is preferable? Would it make any sense to do both or is one or the other sufficient on its own.

And my second question is, if I go with the Pololu, are there any guides out there for installing this in conjunction with an IPS mod? Alternatively, is anyone able to help me figure out where on my IPS mod the other two connections need to be? I can post images of the PCB of my specific IPS mod if it will help but as far as I can tell, aside from mine being a green PCB and the V3 being black, the layout is exactly the same.

captain wrote:

Not sure I can compare to MidiNES, but for DAW work in Reaper with Famimimidi I use Reacontrolmidi, or Blue Cats Remote Control and automate. For live work and patch programming I use a Faderfox EC4 http://faderfox.de/ec4.html . Hope this helps.

Thanks for the info! I'm not familiar with Reaper or any of its plugins - do you input notes from an external keyboard or are you composing on a piano roll/pattern editor within reaper?

Has anyone who's used MidiNES also used Famimimidi? I'm curious if there are any similarities in terms of the parameters used and their effect. For example, when controlling from my DAW (FL Studio) I can manually draw into the event editor on the channel volume and pitch to control these, as well as all relevant custom MIDI CC's like Duty Cycle, Volume Envelope, Loop, Length, etc. Do channel specific CC's work in the same way or are all parameters controlled using the custom CC's? I'm thinking of picking one up but am curious if these specific functions work similarly as I use them a LOT in my compositions.

Followup question - I'll eventually want to get my hands on another SID chip to do the dual SID mod - anyone know of a reputable seller who has the chips or is my best bet to get my hands on another system with a working SID?

DSC wrote:

Remember to check your filter(s) on the SID chip.  Lots of em are bad.

At this point I'm going to use whatever sound I can get out of it haha. At least for the current album I'm working on, it's mainly going to be supplemental to the NES and GB. I have heard that it's hard to get a good SID these days and there are a lot of fakes out there. Gauging the auction it looked like the person knew what they were doing and demonstrated knowledge of the system that a lot of people don't have so I'm hopeful.

herr_prof wrote:

I think the sid2sid board will cover your prosounding!

Right on. I read a bit more about it and watched some other do the mod. I'm done audio mods to my NES and GB without a hitch so this ahouldn't be too bad, just have to hunt down a lot more small components!

Alright, I pulled the trigger on a C64 on eBay and picked up a modern power supply as well since I've heard the original is an unpredictable monster haha. I'm waiting to see if Kerberos carts go back up for sale in June as the Protovision website says they will because I'm thinking of picking up one of them as well as the Mssiah to see which works better for my needs.

I'll probably grab the SID2SID board with the Mssiah for an eventually upgrade since it's only a few bucks more but I've read that the bread bin model that I got (I'm a sucker for the retro look) can have trouble with the dual SID setup. Anyone have experience in this area that can shed some light?

And any other recommendations for mods or accessories I should pick up? Is there a prosound type mod for the C64 that anyone recommends?

nummernoll wrote:

If I understand you correctly, you want to use the c64 as a regular midi-enabled synth with midi-cc control over its parameters.
If so, then you can use both mssiah and Station64. I’ve tried both but is most familiar with Mssiah.
Both can receive midi-cc for controlling the sound parameters and midi-note for pitch.
If you decide the station64-route: I use a tapecart sd (cost around 30usd I guess, check you local eBay) and a midi-interface from sharewareplus (£35 plus shipping). Works perfect. Mssiah has build-in midi but it’s midi-interface is only usable with cartridge itself.
I would say that both are great and quite simple to use.

https://sharewareplus.blogspot.com/2020 … e.html?m=1

Good luck!

Thanks for the info, sounds like the MSSIAH is the way to go! I read through the manual and it looks like it does exactly what I need it to do with some limitations common to other primitive sound chips. Perfect! Am I correct in thinking that all I need is a MSSIAH cart, C64 and Midi cable/interface to connect to my computer and FL Studio will recognize a MIDI device I can 'target' with instruments I create with the proper CC #'s associated with them? And audio cables, of course.

I'm contemplating adding the C64 to my setup and was curious if there is a cart that can be used the same way as MidiNES or Teensyboy Pro (with MGB) in the sense that I can send MIDI out from my computer to the cart/system to control note parameters as well as what notes to send. I've been doing research but it seems that most people (whether with MSSIAH, Cynthcart, Kerberos, etc) use either an external instrument or the onboard tracker program - and either way, they still seem to set the note parameters within the C64 program on the cart itself prior to sending MIDI data.

So is there a feasible solution to this? What cart would people recommend picking up if I want to be able to draw events into a piano roll (in say, FL Studio) to adjust things like pulse width, attack, decay, etc along with penning the notes being sent via MIDI CC? I have heard this is possible and that too much data shouldn't be sent at once - I'm planning to use the C64 in conjunction with a NES/MidiNES and Gameboy/Teensyboy Pro so I'll likely only utilize one or two channels at a time and won't likely be setting parameters often along the course of a given track. Just want to vary the sound in my tracks a bit and the C64 seems like a great one to add but it all has to work together from MIDI out data from my computer.