15 November 2011

SammichFM (Part 6)

In the last post I was at the point that the MIOS booted OK and now it was time to take it to the next level and program the software for the SammichFM. To do this you hook it up with the Midi input and output to your PC and run an application called MIOS studio. It actually talks to the processor of midi. It didn't work to begin with and after a few minutes I found out that one jumper on the main PCB was in the wrong position. After changing this the software was uploading alright.

The uploading of the software doesn't even take that long, but after that the SammichFM reboots and at first boot it starts to format it's memory banks. Since there are quite some installed by default that process takes a little while. Then finally after that you have a working synthesizer. So the big question was if it would actually produce sounds as well. I still was not sure about the soldering of those SMD components.

So I hooked up a midi keyboard and it worked! :) Always a very satisfying feeling when you can actually play on a synthesizer that you just build with your own hands. There was just one odd thing, there was only one preset in there. After reading a bit in the documentation I found out quickly that this was normal behavior and that you had to put in the factory presets by uploading a sysex file to it over midi. So I did and had some fun with it. It is a nice polyphonic synthesizer and it sounds very .... FM like :) Reminded me right away of the Yamaha DX series that were very popular in the 80's. All in all a very musically usable machine I think :) OK. Enough for today. Next up is to finish up the enclosure. Coming soon!

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