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More Synth Electronics Pron

Posted 2016.02.12 14.58 in Hobbies

Today’s pics are from a Korg Volca Sample.

The Volca series has a reputation of being hacker / modder friendly, but the first three in the series were basically analog, the Sample is all digital. It has 4MB memory to hold 100 samples.

The obvious mod is Midi Out, which is labeled on the bottom of the main pcb.

I wonder about a memory expansion. The 4MB is an 8-pin SMD chip, 25Q032, and there are drop-in replacements like an 8MB 25Q064. Whether or not the Sample’s firmware would recognize more memory is unknown. The memory uses SPI and could be read out by a SPI probe.

There’s also a couple test points whose function is not provided, they might be interesting. And a connector CN4 which appears to be connected directly to the ARM processor. Maybe for JTAG, or for ICSP?

Top of main circuit board:

Volca Sample Main Board

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Hugh on the Trumpet

Posted 2014.08.25 16.59 in Family/Friends

Here’s a brief clip of my dad Hugh playing his trumpet to one of the arrangements he wrote. The other parts are being played by the computer.

Dingoo vs. AAC

Posted 2010.04.19 7.38 in Computers/Internet/Technology

Yes, you can teach an old Dingoo new tricks.

Aside from being a neato mini portable retro gaming platform, the Dingoo is also a little media player. There’s a long list of digital audio formats that it can handle. For some reason I never noticed that AAC (file suffix m4a) was not one of them.

See way back when, AAC was going to be the new big thing. I’d read that it was better than mp3, technically superior, better sounding, and all that jazz. So when I digitized my music collection, I used AAC. Now, over 90% of my collection is in AAC format.

So I was initially confused when I put a bunch of AAC files on the Dingoo, only to have them not show up in the music player. Of course, mp3 files appeared ok, but it was like the AAC files didn’t exist.

In all my bricking & unbricking adventures, I had acquired tools for examining and mucking with the firmware. I could see a list of codecs and there was an AAC codec in there. So why weren’t my files working?

It turns out that the AAC codec is in there for supporting movies. For whatever reason they didn’t set it up to support AAC files on their own. Wierd. But fixable.

So I opened up the main binary file in a hex editor and got to work. Of all the music formats it was set up to work with, I picked a format I’ve never heard of and know nothing about – APE. I then went through the binary and changed all the references to .ape files, into references to .m4a files. These references were in areas of the binary that determine what files are displayed, and how.

Dingoo playing an AAC / .m4a music file.

And voila, my Dingoo recognizes and plays AAC files. I don’t actually think it’s any big deal, since it already had the codec. All I did was fix up the interface so that the AAC files were available to the user.

But then again, maybe it is a big deal? I don’t know. Maybe noone else has done it, and maybe my Dingoo is the only one in the world that can play AAC music files.

Maple Leaf Forever

Posted 2009.11.17 8.09 in Music/Movies/TV

Back on Rememberance day, the best version of Maple Leaf Forever that I could find was a crummy synthesizer midi file that just didn’t cut it.

Here’s a clip of a better version. It’s an m4a (aka AAC) file, so if you have trouble playing it you may need to add another codec or whatever to your music playing software.

Maple Leaf Forever

This clip is the right size to make into a ringtone, by the way… if you download the file and change the suffix from m4a to m4r then drop it into iTunes, you can copy it to your iPhone and use it as a ringtone. Just sayin’ is all.

Fear the Kittens!

Posted 2009.03.21 8.47 in Music/Movies/TV

More music & video fun… this time the music is by Laibach and the video is just… compelling.
kittens

Fear the Kittens!

Ultimate Showdown

Posted 2009.03.20 18.07 in Music/Movies/TV

Great song, great video, great fun.

1135942367_ultimateshowdown

Ultimate Showdown of Ultimate Destiny

I Wanna Be Retired

Posted 2007.07.22 0.00 in Work

Ring-ring-ring goes that f-ing phone, I wanna be retired
Email’s full and fax is on a roll, I wanna be retired
Keep me in my house, it’s quieter in here
Just sit me by the TV, lemme have a beer
Find me the remote, leave it somewhere near
Oh no no no oh oh

Ring-ring-ring goes that f-ing phone, I wanna be retired
Email’s full and fax is on a roll, I wanna be retired
Customers are angry, want me to call them back
The stress just keeps on building, think I’m gonna crack
Please not another meeting, I really need a nap
Oh no no no oh oh

Ring-ring-ring goes that f-ing phone, I wanna be retired
Email’s full and fax is on a roll, I wanna be retired
Not gonna check my messages, please unplug my phone
Computer must be broken, them emails are all gone
I can’t take no more pressure, please let me stay at home
Oh no no no oh oh

Bam bam ba-bam, ba-bam bam ba-bam, I wanna be retired
Bam bam ba-bam, ba-bam bam ba-bam, I wanna be retired
Bam bam ba-bam, ba-bam bam ba-bam, I wanna be retired
Bam bam ba-bam, ba-bam bam ba-bam, I wanna be retired

I wanna be retired.

* to the music of I Wanna Be Sedated, by The Ramones