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MrPastGlory

Atari Portfolio MIDI-Interface

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Hello there,

 

finally found one ... ehm ... two ... earlier this year. Just uploaded a short demonstration video I recorded a few weeks ago, showing the Portfolio playing a MIDI file using a MIDI-NES cartridge. The second Portfolio is used to monitor the MIDI-data.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsJ0j91T2Wo

 

Maybe I'll do a video about the other programm, mpm.com.

 

Best wishes,

 

pastglory

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Nice work and it makes me wonder if there is anything similar for my Psion Series 3mx, which is not unlike your Portfolio.

 

How many sequencer tracks and MIDI channels can it handle? Is it capable of playing a regular MIDI file song, normally played on a GM synth?

 

*** EDIT - it seems it has a small amount of RAM, and not large enough to hold a regular MIDI file. So I see why a simple chipmusic file was used; still pretty cool though! icon_thumbsup.gif

Edited by Shredder11

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How many sequencer tracks and MIDI channels can it handle? Is it capable of playing a regular MIDI file song, normally played on a GM synth?

 

It seems it has a small amount of RAM, and not large enough to hold a regular MIDI file. So I see why a simple chipmusic file was used; still pretty cool though! icon_thumbsup.gif

 

Hello there,

 

thanks for the positive reply. The MIDI-file from the demo uses 5 channels. Each instrument of wayfars' MIDI-NES cart is dedicated to a channel (2 x pulse, tri, noise, dmc/sample). All mentioned instruments/channels were used on the track You can hear. I re-edited the .mid-file to break it down to 5 channels, so that it could be played on the MIDI-NES.

The interface itself has 128 kb of memory and both MIDI-Out ports support 16 channels each. But You can also play files from drive A. I use a 2 MB B&P memory card as drive A, which means lotsa memory for .mid-files.

As I mainly use synths from the early 80s (Akai AX-80 & Kawai SX-240) and 'alienated equipment', which supply very basic MIDI-capabilities only, I haven't tested the interface with a synth that offers the whole bandwith of General Midi possibilities. But I'm in contact with another user from Portfolio Club Germany who uses the MPF128 for playing regular MIDI file songs on a GM synth.

There were reviews in German Atari magazines from the 90s about the Interface and there are two entries in pofowiki.de, too.

http://www.stcarchiv.de/ai1995/04_midipofo.php - article about an older version of the mpm.com software

http://www.pofowiki.de/doku.php?id=hardware:3rd:interface:midi_interface&rev=1167097923 - article about mpf on pofowiki.de

http://www.pofowiki.de/doku.php?id=software:vorstellung:music:mpm - article on a later version of mpm.com

As the complete software was only available in German language and due to the reason that very powerful and small digital sequencers by Yamaha (QY-series) and Roland (PMA-5, for example) appeared during the 90s' the MPF128 wasn't successful of course. It was distributed by the developer Koller & Halem and some specialized dealers. Even if You could use the MPF-interface to control a setup by the advanced mpm.com software - a programm which it's creator originally designes for his own purposes. I talked to him a while ago and he told me that he only sold a few units in the mid-90s.

 

Best wishes,

 

pastglory

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I own a Yamaha QY100 sequencer which is superb and I have used pretty much the whole range at some point; I have also used the Roland PMA-5 but found it a bit awkward and limited in comparison.

 

After reading your post I Googled around for my Psion and found something just like yours! There is a freeware GM XG MIDI sequencer and an external MIDI interface, although it possibly could work with a TO-HOST type cable. Elby Designs MIDI3c

 

l_img_0054_000.jpg

 

 

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I own a Yamaha QY100 sequencer which is superb and I have used pretty much the whole range at some point; I have also used the Roland PMA-5 but found it a bit awkward and limited in comparison.

 

After reading your post I Googled around for my Psion and found something just like yours! There is a freeware GM XG MIDI sequencer and an external MIDI interface, although it possibly could work with a TO-HOST type cable. Elby Designs MIDI3c

 

Very interesting stuff ... and these units still seem to be available.

 

I owned a QY-700, which was the one with the nice screen and 3.5" floppy drive. But totally overpowered for my purposes, that's why I rarely used it and finally sold it a while ago. My favorite sequencers are still that type of classic chase-light sequencers. I use a MAM SQ-16. I am still a huge fan of MAM, a company that doesn't exist anymore. Their products were simple but functional and I try to keep it as simple as possible. Used that SQ-16 sequencer such often in the past years, that the labels on the front panel are totally worn out and nearly impossible to be read off. ;-)

 

best wishes,

 

pastglory

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