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ATARI 65XEM + AMY CHIP - CURT'S UPDATE


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#51 tschak909 ONLINE  

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Posted Tue Dec 5, 2017 11:31 AM

I know the Synergy (and its direct ancestor, the Crumar GDS), very well, if anyone has questions about it.

 

-Thom



#52 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 6, 2017 5:47 PM

actually there would still be all that minus the ST and probably even more including the Atari AMYGA, short for AMY and Graphics Architecture... lol

Maybe Epyx' Handy would have landed in hands that would have done a better job of marketing it...

O well....all in the past now....

Edited by Level42, Wed Dec 6, 2017 5:48 PM.


#53 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 9:49 PM

Found this...

 

InfoWorld - Jan 28, 1985 - Page 16

 

U8y6NH7.png

 

This might suggest that instead of Atari selling the AMY chip technology to Sight & Sound, that perhaps instead the technology was 'shared' with them in order for them to write a music application for the upcoming 65XEM release. Now if I let my imagination play out, what if after Atari abandoned the idea of releasing the 65XEM, Sight & Sound decided to implement their own version of the chip in a new MIDI product they were developing. If Atari had shared all of the details pertaining to the AMY chip hardware, it might not have been too difficult for someone like Billings to create his own version. And of course if Atari found out, that would be grounds for a lawsuit.

 

Now please keep in mind that this is only an 'imagined' scenario, and could very well be entirely wrong.

 

- Michael

 

I'd like to know why Atari Corp didn't like one of the other chips that Atari Inc Advanced Research designed....the RAINBOW graphics chip. Maybe it's been awhile since I read up on it but I thought it was more powerful than the TTL/Atari Corp. SHIFTER.



#54 Lynxpro OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Dec 8, 2017 9:57 PM

Hi... I've always been curious about the "AMY" sound chip and how it works; particularly how it may sound so tonight I did a couple of hours of research on it just browsing around online and made pdf files out of every website that mention the AMY chip or that's closely related. Found out that the tech comes from or is inspired by, based on, or influenced by a music synthesizer  called the "Hall Alles (Alice) Synthesizer" created by "Bell Labs".. More details can be found on the pdf and other files I've been collecting/downloading where as I haven't read through all of them yet. It would be nice to see this chip on an fpga fully functioning or greatly improved upon. I hope all of this helps out for what it's worth. Below are a couple of YouTube featuring the "Alles Synthesizer" demonstrated. Now that doesn't mean that the AMY chip will sound similar where as there's probably a lot of added features on the Alles. It does however give an idea of possible sound range of some sort the AMY might can do minus the effects and what-have-you... The Alles was a 16bit hardware made public around 1977 (see YouTube) thus could be affordably made into a chip by 82/83; in AMY's case, around $8 a chip. Whatever the case, the Alles by Bell Labs is the mojo behind the inspired tech for the AMY sound processor. What would be interesting is finding the spec sheets on the Alles synthesizer... You find that and you'll get a logistic of what the design philosophy for the AMY was about by comparing the two techs.

 

 

 

I could swear Atari Inc's - it could've been Atari Coin Division - memo from early 1984 estimated the AMY's chip cost at $4. That's that chip itself and not any other controller chip. Some of the documentation I've seen had an Intel chip as a controller for it. Kinda like how many arcade boards had a 6502 or a Z80 controlling other sound chips.

 

Another casualty of Atari Corp "owning" the AMY was that Atari Coin/Games shelved their plans to use the AMY in their arcade games and pivoted to the YM2151. Yamaha wouldn't sell Atari Corp - or any other home computer company deemed a "competitor to Yamaha's own computer ambitions - the YM2151, which is another reason why the ST got the shoddy YM2149 instead.

 

Atari Coin/Games also lost out on the licensing agreement to use the Amiga Lorraine chipset in their arcade games when Commodore stole Amiga Corp away from Atari Inc. Had Warner been more aggressive in defending their interests in the Atari Inc remnants that they folded into Atari Coin/Games, that entity could've ended up with both the 7800 and the Amiga. Which would've been very interesting...imagine a "Tengen" 7800 and Amiga. Maybe they could've driven TTL/Atari Corp into the ground and then bought them up in bankruptcy while excising all of Atari Inc's burdensome debt that TTL/Atari Corp assumed. Steve Ross and James Morgan could've out-Tramiel'ed Jack at his own game had they wanted to...



#55 Level42 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Dec 9, 2017 11:45 AM

OK, the Tramiels weren't the brightest in technological sense, but you can bet a pretty nice amount on the fact that they were smart enough include some nice articles in the contract that Warner and/or Atari Games weren't allowed to sell any consoles or homecoomputers anymore....

#56 philipj OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Dec 11, 2017 1:26 AM

 

I could swear Atari Inc's - it could've been Atari Coin Division - memo from early 1984 estimated the AMY's chip cost at $4. That's that chip itself and not any other controller chip. Some of the documentation I've seen had an Intel chip as a controller for it. Kinda like how many arcade boards had a 6502 or a Z80 controlling other sound chips.

 

Another casualty of Atari Corp "owning" the AMY was that Atari Coin/Games shelved their plans to use the AMY in their arcade games and pivoted to the YM2151. Yamaha wouldn't sell Atari Corp - or any other home computer company deemed a "competitor to Yamaha's own computer ambitions - the YM2151, which is another reason why the ST got the shoddy YM2149 instead.

 

Atari Coin/Games also lost out on the licensing agreement to use the Amiga Lorraine chipset in their arcade games when Commodore stole Amiga Corp away from Atari Inc. Had Warner been more aggressive in defending their interests in the Atari Inc remnants that they folded into Atari Coin/Games, that entity could've ended up with both the 7800 and the Amiga. Which would've been very interesting...imagine a "Tengen" 7800 and Amiga. Maybe they could've driven TTL/Atari Corp into the ground and then bought them up in bankruptcy while excising all of Atari Inc's burdensome debt that TTL/Atari Corp assumed. Steve Ross and James Morgan could've out-Tramiel'ed Jack at his own game had they wanted to...

 

Yea it is kind of a shame the AMY didn't make it to the arcade machines... It would've helped giving a leg up in solidifying the sound chip. I would've loved to see something better in the 7800 myself. There's just a lot of stuff Atari really didn't seem to have the foresight on some things at the time of their. I know sometimes with companies there can be a lack of or even a breakdown in communication of multiple things rather it's ideas or missed opportunities that can fly right over people's head without them even knowing. Or sometimes people can know things and not fully realize the full reach of the information they have in their hands; much of that requires a level of wisdom beyond just the business aspect of things. I think of Steve Jobs and he seemed very connected to his audience of buyers, but was a complete douchebag with how he treated his employees in his early days; but as he got older he not only ran treated his employees better, he still knew how to release a good product better than his competitors.

 

I found another related video, which I think is very note worthy to post being that the song seems significant in history... This time it's a composition using, not the "Synergy Synth" but the original Bell Labs "Alles Synthesizer" composed by Don Slepian, who was the music composer at Bell Labs. The graphics was added by the YouTube author "Stuart Diamond"... I'll add the full YouTube description below:

 

 

 

Algorithms of Time is Stuart Diamond’s visualization to Don Slepian’s classic “Sea of Bliss”. Computer music was born back in 1958 in Max Mathew’s sound lab, at what was then the Bell Telephone Labs research center in Murray Hill, New Jersey. From 1979 through 1981, Don Slepian was “Artist In Residence” at the Labs. Most of his time then was spent working with the Bell Labs Digital Synthesizer, also known as the Alles Machine (pronounced “Alice”), named after its designer Hal Alles. The Alles Machine was disassembled in 1981, with Sea of Bliss the only full length piece of music ever realized on it. Sea of Bliss was very influential work when it was first released, impacting what was to become Ambient, New Age and Meditative music. Quite an accomplishment. It was recently re-released in vinyl.






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