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Hindsight and brain farts

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Auto-Tune your Atari

Auto-Tune your Atari

Its been 10 months since I put the TASCAM TA-1VP vocal processor in the rack.  I've had the time to read the manual several times and watched the youTube videos. This made me feel a little less clueless during these initial tests.  Since a vocalist was unavailable the Atari Pokey chip was a good substitute.     The TA-1VP is designed to take an input from a microphone or the line input and adjust it to the nearest pitch specified in the SCALE settings. It will work for one v

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RTC v2.1

I wanted the RTC project to be over but it wasn't long before daylight savings kicked in and I needed to reset the clock. All I wanted to do was be able to run a program on the Atari8 to set the time on the RTC and then have it rerun the SETCLOCK.BAS to update the clock on the Atari8.   And as long as I was going to do that I may as well reconfigure the hardware and………. . So by the time I was finished it needed to be called version 2.1.   Hardware: When I found Arduino Uno clones for $6.50

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MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM and Two Synth Drums

A second Atari8 running SYNDRUM3.BAS was added to the MIDI chain without timing problems. There didn't seem to be a delay between the sounds from the two computers when playing 2 drum sounds on the same beat. Listen to the drum patterns and judge for yourself. Two Drum mp3s.zip THE SECOND DRUM Since the SYNDRUM program only allows one percussion sound, I pulled my first 130XE out of storage to be used as a second percussion sound source. The broken keyboard was replaced with a Transkey

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AMS v1.0 Command Summary and Stereo Recording

I've started a project to recreate W. Carlos's Switched on Bach album playlist using the Atari8 as a sound source. A goal on my bucket list is to finish it. I intend to use the MIDI Music System to send data to other Ataris that will act as sound synthesizers. My original thought was to have the ability to play the songs in real time; something Carlos couldn't do in 1968 when the album was published. Then I thought of something else that lead me to something else until I asked, "Am I ever

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Atari Monotone Synth -  software for AU2PORTA

Atari Monotone Synth - software for AU2PORTA

There were several issues left unresolved while programing the MIDI IN  interface for the ATARI8 joystick ports.  The first was to revert back to using the Cassette Motor Control pin on the SIO port for data flow control.  This was accomplished with the AU2PORTA shield design.     The second consideration was the startup default joystick pin status.  The joystick pins are set to high on startup and then grounded to zero by the joystick switches.  There is some reverse logic

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DDT for MAC/65 Reference Sheet

You would think that at some point, while writing programs for the Diamond GOS using the MAC/65 V1.01 assembler cartridge, I would have learned how to use DDT(Dunion's Debugging Tool). I was much to busy trouble shooting the programs to read the manual. It wasn't until reading Atari Roots by Mark Andrews that learning DDT seemed advantageous. Now that the manual has been read, DDT will be used. But the question remains, How many commands will be remembered when next it is used? (As often

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Controlling the Cassette Motor Control Bit on the A8

The Cassette Motor Control(CMC) bit in the Port A Controller (PACTL ($D302)) address is going to be used as feed back from the Atari8 to the Arduino in the digital horn project. This bit controls the logic state of Pin 8 on the SIO port. This bit has been used to control the data cassette motor. If you're not using the bit to load data from the cassette it is free to be used for other purposes. Put a music tape into a 410 and play 1 audio track through the Monitor or sound system. MIDIMAX u

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Atari 8 bit <-> 850 Interface <-> RS232 Shield <-> Arduino

As if there isn’t enough hardware to hook up to your RS232 equipped computer, now you can build your own. It was a nice thought to build Arduino boards with a USB port for serial communications and programming, and even nicer that it can be equipped with an RS232 port for communicating with our Ataris.   You’ll need an 850 interface or a PR:connection hooked up and running on your Atari 8-bit. The ST has an on board RS232 port. If you have hooked up a modem or set up communication to anothe

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A8 - MMS - Five Part Canon - MP3

A8 - MMS - Five Part Canon - MP3

Found a good example for using the JUMP command in MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM. Once the notes were entered, I started trying out the patches during playback and found one that seemed to brighten an otherwise dreary day.    Of course bells and strings can make any music sound like it was meant for the coming holiday's. This is FIVE PART CANON by Michael Praetorius(1571-1621).   Five Part Canon.mp3 --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------  

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DATA COUP

Looking through some disks I found some more unfinished business from around 1993. I had been writing articles for the Western New York Atari User Group (WNYAUG) newsletter, POKEY, for a couple of years before I started running out of things to write about. The newsletter was a good place to hone my writing skills and decided to try my hand at fiction.   The story, “Data Coup” was written as a serial to appear in POKEY over 5 issues. The first chapter was published in the last paper edition

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Going Retro: What's the DIF?

Having chosen Calc Magic as my A8 spreadsheet program, the next logical step seems to be to transfer the data into Calc Magic. Several of the files that are to be transfered started out as Visicalc files then migrated to Calc Magic, then to the ST, then to the IBM running Lotus 1-2-3, then to Microsoft Office, then to the iMAC running Microsoft Office, then back to an IBM compatible running Microsoft office, then to Open Office, then to Excel 2013, and now back to Calc Magic. I could have save

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A8 Hardware Project Literature

This bibliography (of sorts) began while researching previous projects and has expanded greatly while organizing my magazine collection. Articles or books on hardware projects requiring a screw driver and/or a soldering iron were added to the list along with a general interest piece or two. Most of these articles/books can easily be found on the web and will be in hard copy forever. I'm hoping that someone will find the inspiration within this list to build or update some of these projects

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Ultra-sonic Range Finder -> Arduino -> RS232 -> Atari Computer

Ultra-sonic Range Finder -> Arduino -> RS232 -> Atari Computer

If capturing text from your Arduino to a terminal buffer is all you want to do, you are lucky. You may want to collect data and use it in your own programs. Unfortunately there are not a lot of example programs to learn from and the 850 interface manual can be cryptic for us mortals. Persistence does pay off. Usually the “let’s try this” style of debugging will eventually get you to the proper combination of port settings and program logic.   I wanted to hook up a sensor to the Arduino

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microKorg - Assigning control changes

microKorg - Assigning control changes

A couple of days ago I grabbed the microKorg owner's manual to read on the throne. I happened to open to  Page 61 - Assigning control changes(CC).  It says you can assign numbers to the principal parameters. The edit menu section on the microKorg is shown with the principal parameters highlighted.   You can assign the CC# or just use the defaults that are assigned to those parameters.  These are listed in the Table on page 56.  The Control 2 values when OSC1-WAVE = DWGS are within the

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Nunchuk Your Way To a Better Pac-man Score

While playing Pac-man with a standard Atari Joystick, how often have you missed a turn? I may have a solution, if its due to pushing the joystick to far off the four directional axis. If its due to a slow reaction time then you're still on your own.   I noted while playing Pac-man that my granddaughter would rotate the joystick base and start pushing the joystick into the diagonal directions(and so was I to a lesser extent). When 2 directional buttons on the joystick are pressed Pac-man determ

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GVOX Guitar --> 850 -->Atari 8bit - FAIL

Fender’s GVOX Guitar interface has a DB9 serial connector that would fit nicely into the rs232 port on the Atari 850 interface. I wasn’t able to rule out the possibility of getting the two to communicate, its just that I can’t justify the time, effort or value to find out.   The GVOX Guitar interface connected your steel string Guitar to a Win95 computer with a MIDI sound card through a COMM: port. The interface would monitor the pickups mounted under the strings for frequency and volume da

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DB9 Experimenter Box

Someday I'm going to take a photo while experimenting with DB9 connectors on the Atari Joystick ports or RS-232 ports and this box is going to be in the middle of a mess of wires. Some one is likely to ask, "What's up with that box?" This is an attempt to have this information ready to answer that very question.         If your from the future, I guess it worked.       It is simply a pass through box for each of the pins of a DB9 connector. It simply passes the signal for a pin to p

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Rotary Encoder => A8 joystick port input

Rotary Encoder => A8 joystick port input

Of course,  after an afternoon of experimenting with an Arduino and KY-040 Rotary Encoder Board, the question of how to use a Rotary Encoder attached to an ATARI joystick port became an intriguing ponderance.  After all,  the Atari can read a trackball and mouse containing two encoders. How hard can it be to read one?   For this first experiment KISS was an objective.  The objective was to be able to read the input and determine  if the knob was being turned in a CW direction or CCW di

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Analog’s Boot Camp Table of Contents?

Analog published a column dedicated to teaching assembly language programming. Boot Camp appeared as 42 articles spanning a wide range of topics with many tips, tricks and example code. If Boot Camp was compiled into a book, this might be the table of contents or at least I’m hoping that it helps the next time I’m looking for information or code examples. PDF of following table Analog boot camp index.pdf Chap Issue Author Subject 1 72 Hudson

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When is a 410 not a 410?

When it’s a camouflaged storage box.                       It took me years of careful deliberation before I could gut one of my 410 Data Cassette Recorders. I finally came to the conclusion that I wasn't going to replace the belts just so I could play "Sammy the Sea Serpent". Why not put the case to good use and have it out on display?   My original thought was to turn it into a bank. Put a coin in front of the cassette door and have a hand reach out and grab the coin. Th

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A journey to Bach's Invention 1 and other miscellaneous updates

After recording PRELUDE1.MP3 it seemed that the Atari BASIC sound program needed to be reprogrammed in assembly. I got out the MAC65 cart and two days later things were so messed up I wasn't sure if it was the Arduino and/or Atari software or the Arduino interface hardware giving me the headaches.   I decided to go back and setup the equipment/software as it was for "house of the Rising sun". That seemed to work fine and it still did.   I couldn't just turn it off and start programming.

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8-bit Atari meets LEGO’s Maxilos and Spinax #001

I’m assuming that everyone has hooked up an LED to their computer and made it blink. I’m also assuming that most everyone said, ”That’s cool. Now what?” I'm going to be running lights to a LEGO Bionicle and then using the Atari to control the light show. This could be accomplished with any programmable controller but, since this is an Atari Age blog, an Atari 8-bit computer seemed to be a logical choice.     The Bionicle kit #8924 is the embodiment of Maxilos and his four legged friend,

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Digitizing 8-bit sound with the PO-33 K.O!

Digitizing 8-bit sound with the PO-33 K.O!

Teenage Engineering's PO-33 K.O! is an 8bit sampler.    I've had mine for a few months and am just now finding the free time to play with it.  The video is a first attempt at a loop using samples from the Atari 130XE.  The MP3 is the same set of patterns looped 6 times.     atari8ko33 loop01.mp3   You may recognize where some of the samples are from. You may also want to see how many you can recognize before you read on.     *************************

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MIDI Computer Blues - Setting up the Hardware

Within the Atari 800 computer manual is a program called Computer Blues. "This program generates random musical notes to "write" some very interesting melodies for the programmed bass." Maybe the first program I typed in . That same program is in the 1030 XE manual. It was while listening to this program and trying to figure out what to do with an Arduino MIDI shield that I thought, "What would Computer Blues sound like if played through a synthesizer?"   Gone is my MIDI Mate, CZ-101 and Rolan

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S.A.M. RAAKS YUW

I've added a third computer to the MIDI chain. Computer #1 plays drums, and Computer #2 runs S.A.M. and Computer #3 plays the lead, . Each computer had a specific BASIC program written to read data from the joystick ports. For this example, Queen's -" We Will Rock You" was arranged for the three computers. You can listen to the MP3 file and then decide if you want to read about the how. SAM Rocks - mp3.zip   COMPUTER #0 - Control The music was entered using the MIDI MUSIC SYSTEM softwar

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