Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by Anarkand » Sun Jan 17, 2016 6:24 am

Nice with an update. Let me know if you nee testing. Very nice silkscreen print.

All the best from DK

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by madtheory » Sun Jan 17, 2016 4:26 pm

***UPDATE FOR AKAI USERS***
dojoe wrote:madtheory didn't get the card working in his Akai keyboard. I've sent my debug hardware to him and he's going to take a look; maybe we can figure out what's going wrong and fix it for Rev.C.
So after a lot of hacking today with dojoe (which was fun) and his debug hardware, we confirmed that the Akai MX-1000 does not write anything to the card :( . So the next step is to hook up a logic analyser to see what the keyboard writes. There are 40 connections to be made with crocodile clips. :) We'll do this in the coming week, stay tuned.

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by brianjdc » Sat Jan 23, 2016 5:56 am

Awesome work. Subscribed and in for one when available. *thumbs up*

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by zozo_serieux » Mon Feb 01, 2016 12:02 am

Hi,
I live in France and I'm the happy owner a Roland D10 since dec.1990. I had not enough money in the past to get such a card and now the ebay price is really indecent and I wouldn't be sure to bid for a working one. After 10 years with an STe ATARI and now with GarageBand and Tracktion, it would be great for me to play with my great old'ma(chine) internal abilities ;-)
Congratulations for your initiative : I would be glad to own your custom M-256D card.

Do you have any idea of availability date? and how would it be possible to pay when available?

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by dojoe » Mon Feb 01, 2016 2:21 pm

zozo_serieux wrote:Do you have any idea of availability date?
As this is a hobby side project with external dependencies like beta testers on top, I can't give you any date; only a promise that it will be available some day. Hopefully this year as it's been dragging on for too long as it is ;)
and how would it be possible to pay when available?
I'll likely go the PayPal route, and probably wire transfer if you live in the EU. Nothing set in stone yet.

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by zozo_serieux » Mon Feb 01, 2016 3:16 pm

Thanks for your answer. Great topic!

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by zozo_serieux » Tue Feb 02, 2016 11:33 am

Hi,
while waiting for this card, I'd like to manually patch some sounds on my Roland D-10. 25 years ago there was, in magazines, "written patterns" to be programmed in the Roland. I can't find any of these nowadays (only through midi now).
Do you know where I can find some of these "paper templates"?
Sorry, I'm French and I just know "template" or "pattern" to explain that.

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by ʝɵʝɵ » Tue Feb 02, 2016 12:25 pm

Sometimes those tables were included in the synth manual; if you no longer have yours, maybe try looking for a PDF copy online. MIDI dumps are probably way more comfortable, though. :)

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by madtheory » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:44 pm

zozo_serieux wrote:Sorry, I'm French and I just know "template" or "pattern" to explain that.
The term you're looking for is "patch sheets" and there are some here:
http://llamamusic.com/d110/d-110_utils.html

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by desmond » Tue Feb 02, 2016 6:35 pm

zozo_serieux wrote:25 years ago there was, in magazines, "written patterns" to be programmed in the Roland. I can't find any of these nowadays (only through midi now).
If only there was some way to get those old music magazines online, you'd just be able to look them up... :geek:

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by dojoe » Sat Feb 06, 2016 4:58 pm

HA! madtheory and I report BLAZING SUCCESS! :mrgreen:
madtheory wrote:So the next step is to hook up a logic analyser to see what the keyboard writes. There are 40 connections to be made with crocodile clips. :) We'll do this in the coming week, stay tuned.
Turns out all we needed was a multimeter :lol: Something inside the Akai was drawing a lot of current out of the card's battery sense pin, and the tiny 3.3V regulator on the card couldn't keep up. Maybe the Akai cards are using that specific pin for some other purpose -- don't know, don't care ;) Either way, that was pulling the 3.3V supply rail (which powers the MRAM chip among other things) down to a few millivolts, so it's not surprising nothing got written -- the MRAM chip actually has brownout protection and completely shuts down it the supply voltage goes too low.

All it took to fix this was cutting the trace to the battery sense pin and lo and behold, the card works now. madtheory will give it a good testing in the next days, switching banks, writing, reading and looking for corruption, but I am optimistic this will all work out fine.

I'll add a cuttable solder jumper to the Rev.C layout so all you Akai users can just cut it, and solder it back in case a Roland complains about low battery (which is nothing more than an annoyance, but eh).

Thanks heaps to madtheory for going through this with me! I had lots of fun, and Akai users around the world will thank you ;)

Y'all have a great weekend!

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by ʝɵʝɵ » Sat Feb 06, 2016 5:03 pm

Awesome news. Updated the first post accordingly. ;) Sadly phpBB only allows for relatively short thread titles, so Akai won't fit in there anymore.

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by madtheory » Sat Feb 06, 2016 6:35 pm

Ya this is great. Really happy we didn't have to use the Logic Analyzer LOL!

So I will throw some data in and out of the card for a few days, but ya as dojoe said it's looking good. 16 banks! Makes my MX1000 so much more useable now for live gigs with Mainstage. This is a great old controller. I was able to run all levels and patch changes in a 6 song set without touching the laptop. With this card, I can do a lot more songs.

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by SoundWerx » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:30 pm

It's a credit to the design that you were able to solve this problem so simply. Congratulations guys on getting around the problem!

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Re: Custom-built multi-bank Roland M-256/M-512 memory cards

Post by ʝɵʝɵ » Sat Feb 06, 2016 8:33 pm

Yup, this is one of the many reasons why it paid off to follow dojoe's idea of using MRAM chips (and thus being able to more or less mimic the original and simple card design from the 80s) rather than using, say, a micro controller.

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