Announcing VGX Live – A New Live Performance Tool for the Sega Mega Drive / Genesis!

We thought it was time for some more Sega chipmusic dev!
This new tool lets you perform VGM files live using a grid controller without the need for a laptop or even a tablet.

Right now we're looking for people to participate in beta testing. To start with we'd like to do a limited release to a few pioneering testers.

We need:

  1. ROM Testers - We'll send you a ROM with pre-made tracks. You can test playback on any hardware with just a regular joypad.

  2. Arduino Testers - As above but hooking up an Arduino Uno (or compatible) to the joypad port. We have a simple Arduino test program to control the Sega from the Arduino console.

  3. Launchpad Testers - As above but testing the full Launchpad setup. USB Host Shield for Arduino required.

  4. VGM Testers - We'll send you our ROM builder. See if your tracks play back properly on our engine. This can be done with just an emulator. Add section/block markers to your VGMs and check the player can loop blocks, jump around in the track and mute/unmute correctly.

*We've tested on PAL Mega Drive II. It would be great to get some NTSC systems and Nomad tested as well.

Let us know if you'd like to help out with any of the above by replying below and/or PM.

Creators
xspheric – software / design / testing
freezedream – initial concept / design / hardware / testing

• Employing the fantastic development kit, SGDK and Z80 sample player created by Stephane Dallongeville.


Demo Video


Details
• Currently compatible with the original Novation Launchpad
• No laptop required!
• Open source software (Mega Drive / Genesis ROM builder + Arduino firmware)
• DIY-friendly hardware (Arduino + USB Host shield)
   - program your own Launchpad layouts on Arduino
   - program your own alternative controller input sources on Arduino
• Single cable into control port 2 (compatible with Sega Nomad (untested))
• Channel grid, block selection and track selection visualized on the Sega side
• Synced button presses and button lights on the Launchpad side

Current Features
• User-friendly ROM builder with VGM file input
• Independent muting/unmuting control of every channel (FM + PSG)
• Queued mute/unmute synced to block start position
• Instant mute/unmute via Function button or Execute button
• Mute/unmute all; separate mute/unmute FM or PSG
• Supports user-defined loop points for blocks of patterns
• Loop blocks assigned to separate pads for easy queuing
• Next/Previous loop block selector
• Track name selector (track names extracted from GD3 tags)
• Next/Previous track selector
• Full sample support (compatible with Deflemask, up to 32kHz sample rate)
• Low latency sample pad triggering (latency looks worse in the video than it actually is due to bad syncing!)


Planned Features
• Note trigger pads (selectable scale)
• MIDI IN to allow the use of other controllers

Live Performance Example:

Last edited by freezedream (Oct 3, 2016 1:03 pm)

Woah, this looks awesome!

Brilliant stuff!

I don't have a Launchpad, but I can test the Nomad for you.

Is the UI generated off the sega video out? Does the loop blocks have follow actions like on ableton? Ie you can set it to loop x times then jump to block y?

Last edited by herr_prof (Mar 1, 2016 10:04 pm)

yeah, I wondered where the video comes from too?
Can I use it with an Akai MAX49, Or just Novation stuff?

shameful plug

Last edited by Jazzmarazz (Mar 1, 2016 10:26 pm)

wow, amazing

smile looks very interesting. Waiting for the demo video.....(not showing up for me)
Yogi

/me immediately starts trying to figure out how to completely rebuild and rewrite her entire live set for tour this summer.

This looks VERY interesting.

Now why did I just sell my original launchpad!?! [selfish plea for lp mini compatibility]

I'd like to see more of how the loop block and sample stuff works. EXCITED.

Yes the UI is done on the sega itself.

At the moment it always loops the current block until you queue up the next one, but open to suggestions.

Jazzmaraz I’ve got a test version which can take commands from the Arduino debug console which would be interesting to try with Nomad

It’s designed so that if you know the MIDI messages used by your controller it shouldn’t be too hard to edit the code to trigger player actions any way you like. The Launchpad bit is a separate module which can be replaced.

It can actually be used with just the sega and a regular joypad as well by moving a cursor around on the grid display.

Last edited by xspheric (Mar 2, 2016 8:01 pm)

xspheric wrote:

Yes the UI is done on the sega itself.

At the moment it always loops the current block until you queue up the next one, but open to suggestions.

Jazzmaraz I’ve got a test version which can take commands from the Arduino debug console which would be interesting to try with Nomad

It’s designed so that if you know the MIDI messages used by your controller it shouldn’t be too hard to edit the code to trigger player actions any way you like. The Launchpad bit is a separate module which can be replaced.

It can actually be used with just the sega and a regular joypad as well by moving a cursor around on the grid display.

Oh boy diggity! I can help anyway you need, just tell me which arduino to pull out and which pins to connect the db9 cable to.

Amazing stuff! Cant wait to see more videos...

Jazzmarazz wrote:

Can I use it with an Akai MAX49, Or just Novation stuff?

Currently it only works with the original Launchpad, but the modular nature of the software means it could be adapted to other hardware in the future.


xspheric and I are currently looking for beta testers! Check the OP for details. :]

Looking forward to it. It has a lot of potential.

I've got a launchpad mini, an arduino or two, and an eprom burner. also NTSC genesis mk II

Will a Teensey work for 2 ?
Otherwise can I join 1 or 4 ?

Edit: I've got a PAL model 2, and a flashcart.

Last edited by radian (Mar 15, 2016 8:44 pm)