June 19, 2013 | In: Hardware, Software, Video by Stamba

Print Technik Video Digitizer

Let’s dig this from the grave… Back in 2008 I’ve found this video digitizer but i did encounter many issues with it… 

Here is the Print Technik Video Digitizer for Commodore 64 but i haven’t been able to digitize a single picture ! The german manual is not much help as i don’t read german! 🙂

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 Download : Print_Technik_Video_Digitizer_C64 manual (PDF, 1.2 Mb)

Here is the screenshot of the software :

digit

And here is a .d64 file i’ve found : Digitizer (50 Kb)

scan

I tried it in Vice and it’s not the same software I got on the floppy. On the floppy, the software ask me for the type of interface but on this .d64.. it doesn’t ask anything and runs straight away to the menu!

After few questions on lemon64 I had some help from Overdoc :
http://www.lemon64.com/forum/

This was a digitizer made here in Vienna Smile
The company Print Technik still exists and also has a shop. 

Well, the manual mainly says you have to connect a video signal which shouldn’t move (still picture) or at least 4 seconds. 
You can decide between 320×200 (monocolour) or 160×200 (multicolour 4 colours) mode. 
For digitizing simply click on the digitize icon. 
The press run/stop & restore and click on one of the save icons, depending on the format you want to save the pic.

We tried many things but no luck at all. I’ve even found another video digitizer but with no information at all on the cartridge… no luck at all ! Nothing worked.

Any toughts ? Comments ?

Anybody able to translate the manual ? 🙂

Thanks !

title

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After few months away from all the Commodore 64 madness, here we’re finally back with a nasty software to make SID roar like a beast!

Let’s start with the official description :

Multisound Synthesizer by Romik Software – 1983

” A versatile musical instrument with which even an inexperienced user can quickly learn to produce a wide variety of sounds. Many musical instruments can be emulated including flutes, pianos and guitars.

Multisound may be used as a simple keyboard or tunes can be created and appended in memory and then saved on tape. A merge from tape facility allows the creation of long complex works.

Eight full octaves are available to the user, the keyboard covering three continuous octaves at any time. These may be altered whilst playing or during playback.

A visual display provides feedback on the keyboard operation, greatly aiding real-time and allowing easy entry of individual notes in preset mode.

Provision is made for a repetitive keyboard background tune or drum routine up to 85 notes. Ten such tunes may be entered by the user and stored in memory. A further eight drum routines are predefined.

The synthesizer incorporates independent selection and control the foreground, background and special effects oscillator waveforms. The latter being used to provide extensive special effects facilities including ring modulation, synchronisation, and sweeping on the foreground note, pulse width, filter cutoff, and filter resonance. “

 

The hunt for information

I’ve tried to find some clues about this software but nothing amazing showed up except some reviews in Your Commodore of july 1984 (1 year later!) and ZZAP! 64 magazine of may 1985 (really ?! 2 years later !). As you can see, reviews are quite short but somehow explicits about what i’ll face in a near future !

Your_Commodore_Issue_00_Jul_84-13

zzap0100107

 

The Call of Duty

Google hasn’t been really friendly on this one, no PDF manual, no tape rip, no screenshots… NADA ! Ok, ok – I’m not afraid by those reviews and it seems this software is a bit “rare”. Here we go for some dirty work, let’s scan the manual. “Luckily”, that electric blue manual has just 24 pages.

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Manual : Multisound Synthesizer manual by Romik Software.pdf (15 Mb)

 

From magnetic tape to digital .tap

No luck neither to find a rip of the tape. Too bad ! I’m wondering why nobody has done it before… but, oh well !Here I am, plugging my old fellow Akai GXC-46D tape deck to the computer to record the Multisound Synthesizer tape and convert it to a classic .tap file.

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“Press PLAY on tape” … and … ten minutes later I finally got a .wav file. Yes, you can download this .wav file from Soundcloud if you want to play it back on the Commodore 64.

Let’s have a closer look at the waveform after a quick conversion to mono.

Audiotap 2.0 is a nice and sharp tool to convert a .wav file to .tap. Here is a screenshot of the settings I’ve used to get the file working in Vice.
audiotap

Download : Multisound Synthesizer by Romik Software (.zip 264 Kb – .tap 1.3 Mb)

 

Let’s rock !

As described in the manual, it consists of 3 screens : Special effects panel, Control panel and Keyboard. Every functions is binded to a key on the c64 keyboard. No use at all of joystick or mouse, plain ascii fun !

Better than a long explanation, here is a short video (no fancy keyboard playing, just trying few parameters!)

Plain audio file :

 

Mmm ? Who is Vakis Paraskeva ?!

Oh wait! Watch the tape : ” by Vakis Paraskeva ” is written on the face. I guess this guy is the developper. Can I find him back ? Answer is : YES ! After few searches on Facebook and Google, I’ve finally found him on Linkedin. Thanks social network; you helped me on that one! Vakis replied to my email, he’s really friendly and he gave me many details on how this software has been released back in 1983. Here is the copy/paste, have a nice read and thanks again Vakis!

” Wow I didn’t realise the C64 still had a following and I had completely forgot about Multisound synthesiser! Its great to hear people are still interested in something I did so long ago,

I think I was about 16 when I programmed it. I got a VIC 20 for my 14th birthday after a lot of persuading my parents. They didn’t know much about computers and it was a lot of money.

Back then there was no Internet and very few people knew about programming. I managed to get some books on the subject and taught myself 6502 assembler and BASIC.

I would write simple games and other programmes until I thought they were good enough to publish. I contacted ROMIK after seeing an advert for them in a computing magazine. I went to see them to show them what I had don and they liked it but they didn’t think it was good enough to publish.

I kept trying to write games but I started playing around programming audio software too. I was never a musician but I liked electronic music and was very interested in how to make sounds with computers. I used to play around with electrics too making amps and other things. Once I even made a simple sound card for the C64 using D/A converters to sample and playback sounds. It worked very well and I tried to get someone interested in manufacturing it but with no luck.

I wish I was a musician, I tried to learn guitar for a long time but I’m not very good. I do have some friends now who are gifted musicians and I greatly admire their talent.

ROMIK gave me a C64, monitor, hard drive and I continued to develop music software on it. When they saw what I had done they liked it a lot so I developed it into Multisound synthesiser which they published it in 1983. It was programmed using BASIC for the UI and assembler for all the sound record and playback. I had never used a synth or knew any musicians so I mostly just experimented with the programme until I thought it looked ok. I showed it to a few friends and at a games show to help with ideas and get some feedback but that’s about it. Looking back I wish I did know people into music as I think I could have made it much better and I may have continued developing it.

I went on to write another game or two (can’t remember) and then ROMIK closed down. I don’t know how many copies were sold of multisound and Mike the owner of ROMIK bought the rights of it from me and I’ve never saw him or know what happened to my software since.

When I was 16 I set up a games studio called Probe software (also called probe entertainment). It was very successful and eventually was bought by Acclaim software. I did we’ll out of it but I had sold my shares before the big sell off.

I wasn’t really interested in or very good at games development. I was more interested in commercial business systems. My IT career so far has been interesting and rewarding. Currently I’m the technical lead and architect for a large project to build one of the biggest online payments platforms.

I’ve also been looking into developing mobile apps, something I’ve been thinking about for a few years but I’ve just been too busy. I hope I don’t miss the boat on that as I think it’s going to be massive, even bigger than today.

Regards,

Vakis”

Once again, many thanks Vakis for your reply 😉

 

Files

Manual : Multisound Synthesizer manual by Romik Software.pdf (15 Mb)
Download : Multisound Synthesizer by Romik Software (.zip 264 Kb – .tap 1.3 Mb)
Covers and bonus : 

Bonus : At the end of the manual, there is a reference to a book ” Will you Still Love me I’m Sixty-Four ” by Peter Gerrard (published by Duckworth) about the SID and Commodore64 capabilities, here is the book ! (.pdf 5.3 Mb)

 

January 6, 2012 | In: Other by Stamba

Commodore 64 is now 30
and still kicking!

C= logo tshirt today @ work for c64 birthday !

September 27, 2011 | In: Audio, Hardware by Stamba

Commodore SID Symphony II

 

As you can read it in the shop :
Commodore SID Symphony II 6581 Cartridge

For 64 Owners Who Need Stereo Sound

Adding a second SID to your 64 & 128 has always involved soldering, cables, jumpers and more! Now you have a real alternative! A Plug & Go Option!

The SID Symphony II 6581 Cartridge – This is as simple as it can be, insert your Commodore 6581 SID (not included) into the empty socket and plug into your Commodore 64! Thats it!

As simple as ABC, works with any software which access between the $DE00 to $DFE0 address range.

Commodore 6581 SID is not included.

Plug In 6581 SID Cartidge designed by Digital Audio Concepts


September 14, 2011 | In: Hardware, Software by Stamba

Sequential Circuits MusicMate

A real music keyboard for the Commodore 64 with disk drive!*

The MusicMate is a quality musical instrument keyboard featuring full size keys like traditional instruments. And because it’s designed for use with a powerful computer it let’s you explore your music easily, and in exciting new ways! For instance, you can select and play many different instruments sounds. You can also record and playback any 3 voice  arrangement you play on the MusicMate keyboard, up to 10 minutes worth at a time! And with the addition of other inexpensive software you can store your music on diskette or print** your music in standard music notation. The MusicMate keyboard doesn’t tie up to your computer’s expansion slot. Just plug it into the joystick port!”

The keyboard and software in this package let you:

  • Record up to 10 continuous minutes of your music and play it back!
  • Choose between 8 preset instrument sounds including electric piano, violin, clarinet, banjo, etc.
  • Play the keyboard live, sounding up to three notes at a time!
  • Expand your music capabilities with exciting additional software.
*Commodore 64 is a registered trademark of Commodore Business Machines, Inc.
** You need a high quality printer.
©1984 Sequential Circuits, Inc.

 The MusicMate comes with the Model 970 software diskette package but it seems there are few other software :

SONG BUILDER (Model 971)

Build your own songs by overdubbing up to 3 layers of notes (each with its own instrument sound!). Or record 1 – 2 layers of notes and play the third layer live. Also, change the key and speed of your music.

SONG EDITOR (Model 972)

See the songs you write with the SONG BUILDER displayed on a four-color Grand Staff on your monitor. And conveniently edit your songs.

SONG PRINTER (Model 973)

The SONG PRINTER prints out your songs in standard music notation.

SOUND MAKER (Model 974)

View a full color graphic display that looks like the front panel of a professional synthesizer to program the shape, volume and tone of your own personal sounds.

Here is the original ad you could find in Commodore Power Play #11 (1984) :

MusicMate software (.d64) : MusicMate

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David BAGEL

www.davidbagel.com

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