[sdiy] Looking for a specific sample-player/expander IC/module

Mike Bryant mbryant at futurehorizons.com
Wed Jan 12 00:02:13 CET 2022


I was thinking more of a drop-in replacement for the Dream chips.  They wouldn't be pin-compatible but functionally the same.  An ARM might even be better, but probably wouldn't operate the same.

-----Original Message-----
From: cheater cheater [mailto:cheater00social at gmail.com] 
Sent: 11 January 2022 22:25
To: Brian Willoughby
Cc: Mike Bryant; synth-diy at synth-diy.org
Subject: Re: [sdiy] Looking for a specific sample-player/expander IC/module

I agree, Arm is a better platform for a sampler than an FPGA, unless maybe you're doing something that requires the tiniest latency, like processing incoming audio via a waveshaper, or some special version of FM, or something like that.


On Tue, Jan 11, 2022 at 12:18 AM Brian Willoughby <brianw at audiobanshee.com> wrote:
>
> There are other options besides DReam. There used to be Ensoniq chips, but I suppose those are out of production. Seems like there would be others, but I doubt anyone has better features than Ensoniq, given their long experience with synthesis.
>
> Has nobody released an ARM-based ROMpler? A decent ARM chip with synchronous serial port(s) for the DAC, DMA to streamline the audio buffer playback, external DRAM interface or even just ROM memory, plus some simple DSP support for mixing ... that should be all you need. An ARM solution might be a lot quicker than an FPGA solution (and you'd still probably need memory and certainly a DAC).
>
> Brian
>
>
> On Jan 10, 2022, at 14:54, Mike Bryant wrote:
> > Agreed.  But as these devices are unobtainable unless you're a major player, an FPGA emulation would appear the only option.
> >
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: Brian Willoughby
> >
> > Sure, FPGA can be used to recreate all manner of CPU and sample player designs. However, the FPGA will not be as energy efficient as an ASIC. This might not be an issue unless you want to run on batteries. FPGA has an advantage for prototyping, or for designs that absolutely must be changed in the field, but for something as well-understood and popular as sample playback, ASIC designs are superior. In other words, there's nothing inferior about an "old" ASIC design, nor is there anything superior about FPGA emulations of the same.
> >
> > Brian
> >
> > On Jan 10, 2022, at 12:03, Mike Bryant wrote:
> >> Couldn’t the functionality of some of these devices be recreated using an FPGA nowadays ?   Not volunteering to try but these chips seem to be from about 10 to 15 nodes back.
> >>
> >> From:Ingo Debus
> >>
> >> Am 10.01.2022 um 12:45 schrieb Loscha:
> >>
> >> I have a General MIDI / Controller keyboard, the CME u-Keys, Which 
> >> also has a Dream chip in it.
> >>
> >> Here’s a picture of a PCB from the MalletKat:
> >> <image001.jpg>
> >
> >
>
>
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