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Networking two Ataris using Atari 850s for MIDI Maze

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Hello and sorry if this has been answered before (I could not find this particular question answered via search).

 

Having tooled around in MIDI Maze with bots, it seems like live players would be much more fun, yet MIDI Mate interfaces are expensive, or require some DIY assembly beyond my skill set:

https://ataribits.weebly.com/midi.html (These seems really cool though!)

 

Considering Atari 850s are much less sought after, how hard is it to network two Atari 8-bits using two Atari 850s and an RS-232 cable for playing MIDI Maze?

 

Has anyone gotten it working, and -- assuming the various hardware is in working order -- is it as "plug and play" as it sounds?  

 

Thanks!

Ben

 

 

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It’s not really plug and play at all via 850’s. MIDI Maze is written expecting MIDI-based networking, something the 850 cannot do. However, building your own modern MIDI Mate-equivalent device is really simple - @mytek’s website, which you’ve linked above - has the board design files, the schematic, the code and the bill of materials, which is pretty inexpensive.

 

Alternately, you can use a FujiNet device on each computer for the networking - these modern devices can emulate a MIDI Mate in their code. 

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8 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

It’s not really plug and play at all via 850’s. MIDI Maze is written expecting MIDI-based networking, something the 850 cannot do. However, building your own modern MIDI Mate-equivalent device is really simple - @mytek’s website, which you’ve linked above - has the board design files, the schematic, the code and the bill of materials, which is pretty inexpensive.

 

Alternately, you can use a FujiNet device on each computer for the networking - these modern devices can emulate a MIDI Mate in their code. 

Ah, so I am barking up the wrong tree.  Thanks!

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Maybe if people pool resources a batch of SIO2MIDI boards could be built and distributed. Or if the demand is there, The Brewing Academy might be persuaded to offer these for sale already assembled. BTW, thanks to @Mr Robot we have XE and XL style 3D printed cases for these, and TBA also has some pretty nice 3D printing capabilities as well.

 

sio2midi-3d-cases-600x312.jpg.8ccf0b74fa2c7cac451d33d0254d1492.jpg

https://ataribits.weebly.com/midi-3d-printed-cases.html

 

Also before I forget, Bits of the Past has something they call the Super XE 128 cartridge for sale, that can have MidiMaze on board pretty much for use on any XL or XE computer ever made (not sure about a stock 600XL with 16K of RAM???).

 

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I was thinking of making a small batch of SIO2MIDI's for sale, is there any interest?

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1 hour ago, Mr Robot said:

I was thinking of making a small batch of SIO2MIDI's for sale, is there any interest?

Sweet!  If you get enough interest, I would be in for TWO. :D

 

Cheers,

Ben

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Interesting.  I didn't know that MidiMaze worked with the 8-bit Ataris.  Our computer club used to run two MidiMazes using Atari STs at GenCon when it was located in Milwaukee.  We were lucky that Atari would ship us a bunch of STs to use.  At our peak we had two full rings of 16 running every hour of the convention.  After Atari quit sending us computers we stayed at the convention using our own machines.  

 

Some of our members spent almost the entire run of the convention working there.  Those really were the days.

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10 minutes ago, djglish said:

I didn't know that MidiMaze worked with the 8-bit Ataris. 

It works with an external MIDI Mate interface, of course. :) Or these days, if you have one of Mytek's other projects, the 1088XLD, you can use the MIDI interface built into that machine. And, as I noted above, today you can also get a FujiNet device. Among FujiNet's many talents is acting as a MIDI Mate emulator of sorts - the MIDI networking data is sent over your LAN rather than via wires, which is certainly convenient but does require that every device connecting has to be through FujiNet devices. 

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2 minutes ago, Mr Robot said:

Does it work cross platform? 

I have a friend who swears he used to watch people playing with both STs and XEs on the MIDI ring but I've never seen it in action myself.

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There is MidiMate/Midimaze support in #FujiNet. You put in the addresses of each participant in a ring, last person uses first person's address.

 

image.thumb.png.1b7523fe1bc0ad8f4e8991dcb8a3e9d6.png

 

And a video with @mozzwald

 

-Thom

 

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Hello Steve

 

3 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

I was thinking of making a small batch of SIO2MIDI's for sale, is there any interest?

 

Just out of curiousity, would that be two (IN, OUT) or three (IN, THRU, OUT) MIDI port interfaces?  Or both?

 

Sincerely

 

Mathy

 

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SIO2MIDI only has in and out. I’m only suggesting I make a few of those, no mods or anything. 

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4 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

I was thinking of making a small batch of SIO2MIDI's for sale, is there any interest?

 

Do you have any projected cost?

 

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6 minutes ago, Mr Robot said:

Not yet but I don’t think they are expensive 

 

I didn't think they would be. Do you have a rough estimate/guess (don't worry, I won't hold you to it)?

 

Edited by MrFish

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Not a clue yet I’ll cost up the parts / labour tomorrow. Lots of 3D printing and making of sio cables. The cables are soul sucking. 

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7 hours ago, Mr Robot said:

I was thinking of making a small batch of SIO2MIDI's for sale, is there any interest?

I would be interested in 2, so I can link my upgraded 1200XL and 800. Though I sure would like to have an 800 style case for one...any chance you could make those too?

 

There are quite a few Incognito 800's out there now that can play Midi Maze. I don't know if Dropcheck's or Video61's XEGS super carts will work on 48K machines, but if they do, then there might be quite a few people wanting SIO2MIDI in 800 style cases.

 

I was going to build them myself, but I'd still need cases and I already have way to many projects in the works, so buying pre-built sounds good to me in this case. I built assembled 2 of my own SDrive Max's and bought a 3D printed XL style case for one, but still need another...

 

5 hours ago, DrVenkman said:

I have a friend who swears he used to watch people playing with both STs and XEs on the MIDI ring but I've never seen it in action myself.

I've heard this was possible too, but I've never even seen XE's or ST's in action among their own kind.

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Sounds great - if it works 🙂

 

Is there actually also audio software on the 8-bit system that supports MIDI? I really have no idea ... Perhaps it could even be integrated into the Falcon as a MIDI device?

 

And what is also important, how expensive it is per piece ...

 

And yes, I am very interested in it.

 

There were already various MIDI variants for the XL, but somehow none of them convinced me.

 

I'm just looking for a variant that could even be built in internally, where no MIDI sockets are soldered on, so that the circuit board can be installed in one place and the sockets in another place (above all, I would rather use the mini-midi sockets, already in terms of space consumption). And no, an external solution is not something I would be interested in, because i don't like to have so much "stuff" floating around on the table.

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Audio software that I know of comes with the original MIDImate by Hybrid arts: Miditrack 1, 2 and 3. And there were one or two other MIDI adapters back in the day and I'm sure they came with software too, since back then MIDI was only used for music, until MIDImaze came along, which was never officially released on the 8-bits, so I don't know when the proto game was originally released. MIDImate's were the best because they included sync I/O. Of course that isn't necessary for networking and I never actually used them when I had a MIDImate.

 

But if you had seen a Hybrid Arts MIDImate and MIDItrack III software in action in a music store, you would have been convinced, as I was (I bought the last display model for dirt cheap in the late 90's from a music shop), @dash_rendar , MIDItrack III (never used 1 or 2, but 3 requires 128K) is an amazing piece of software and after seeing it demoed and then using it for myself, I never felt it was inferior to 16-bit software, it just didn't use a GUI interface.

 

I too, was going to install a MIDImate or DIY MIDI internally in at least one of my machines as I'm the same and don't like (especially dead-end) a bunch of external devices and have enough already. But, I've so many upgrades installed internally already, and more to come, that I'm short on I/O port space now, so I've decided to go with externals instead. After all, they only need to be plugged in when using them...

 

Plans and Gerber files, and the best 8-bit software can be found here:

 

https://ataribits.weebly.com/midi.html

Edited by Gunstar

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9 hours ago, tschak909 said:

/me shrugs and walks away.

 

-Thom

Why? Just because not everyone needs or wants a FujiNet isn’t a reason to publicly announce you’re walking away from a discussion. Jeez, Tom - it’s not personal. 

 

Besides, if all someone wants is to play MIDI Maze, a couple of Michael’s MIDI Mate clone boards and parts will run you a lot less than the cost of a FujiNet. Yes, FujiNet can do a lot of great stuff but maybe that’s not what everyone wants, at least not all the time. And that’s a-okay. 

 

Besides which, so far as I know, FujiNet doesn’t actually support physical MIDI networking. In other words, I can’t wire up my 1088XLD’s MIDI ports to my FujiNet - even if I could jury-rig up a USB-A to micro USB adapter, then plug in a MIDI-to-USB adapter into that, FujiNet is not a USB Host device and so cannot “talk” to the MIDI adapter. This may be a question for @mozzwald but if I’m wrong, please let me know and I’ll cobble together a bunch of adapters in the next week or two and give it a try. :) 

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9 minutes ago, DrVenkman said:

In other words, I can’t wire up my 1088XLD’s MIDI ports to my FujiNet - even if I could jury-rig up a USB-A to micro USB adapter, then plug in a MIDI-to-USB adapter into that, FujiNet is not a USB Host device and so cannot “talk” to the MIDI adapter.

No, the esp32 we use does not have USB. The USB port on FujiNet is attached to a Serial-to-USB chip which connects to an esp32 UART. There is a new ESP32-S2 which is capable of USB host and device mode, but it lacks in other areas so probably not useful as a FujiNet.

 

While MIDIMaze mode on FujiNet works it still needs improvement. Connections are eventually dropped so you can only play for so long.

 

In regards to general MIDI with FujiNet, there is the AppleMIDI / rtpMIDI protocol which could be implemented allowing Atari to connect to MIDI devices via network. Just need someone to want it bad enough and do it (not me) ;) 

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17 hours ago, tschak909 said:

There is MidiMate/Midimaze support in #FujiNet. You put in the addresses of each participant in a ring, last person uses first person's address.

 

 

-Thom

 

The last I heard of this it was working for two people but failed with timing issues, it wouldn't work for more than two for more than a few mins, has that improved? 

 

10 hours ago, tschak909 said:

/me shrugs and walks away.

 

-Thom

How does one plug a midi keyboard into the fujinet and use it as a MIDIMate?

 

 

Edited by Mr Robot
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