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Another odd piece of computer-music gear

Anything to do with New Zealand Classic or Vintage Computing not covered in the other forums

Another odd piece of computer-music gear

by xjas » Sat Jun 01, 2013 2:51 pm

I almost forgot I had this thing, picked it up a few months ago in very tidy shape (with the original box even.) The mighty Roland CMU-800 from 1983~ish. It's an analog synthesizer, drum machine, and 8-channel CV/Gate interface (pre-MIDI control system for monophonic synths) for classic computers. It has three "parts", bass, melody & chord (4-voices), so it's more or less 6-voice polyphonic, not including the drums. Designed to be sequenced from an Apple II, C64, or Japan-only Sharp MZ80K or NEC PC 8001 (what the heck are those?!) There were separate interface cards for each of the four computers that attached to the end of the long ribbon cable & they were controlled via Roland's own software.

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Unfortunately I don't have the interface card so it's not useful for very much at the moment. Here's somebody else's with what looks to be the Apple II card attached:

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Not sure what I'm going to do with it just yet. There are plans online for a MIDI breakout box that replaces the interface card and gives a very nice set of functionality, but it involves etching a circuit board and programming a microcontroller, not something I'm really equipped to do at the moment.

Anyone know anything about these?
xjas
 
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