Retrocade Synth, not working


Recommended Posts

First off I say I ordered this in early february, tried to get it work in march-april.

First I noticed that noteOff issue and tried to fix that by very complicated process of loaning friends windows machine etc back in March. I couldnt solve even that it and I think I did something wrong, now the when I plug in usb-cable screen is lit but nothing comes on.

SO, I assume I fucked up something pretty bad with the firmware or even the .bit file? Is there any way to get this thing working on mac so I could update the baffling noteOff thing and after that maybe get this thing working with my MPC?

OR, does somebody want to buy this off from me with very discounted price?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hello dkstr,


I'm very sorry for your frustration, I've experienced frustration like you describe with other products that I've purchased and tried to use and it is not what I want for the Retrocade.


First of all, let me say, you don't need to sell your Retrocade at a discounted price, I'll give you a full refund if you decide you don't want to mess with it anymore. But I hope you will give me a little more time, we are right on the verge of a new release. I hope to have it done in the next week, two weeks at the most. You can follow my progress in this thread about the SID filters.


This new release is going to have the Note Off fixes, the SID analog filters implemented, and a SID file player added. Pretty exciting new features! Also, I just got access to a Mac OSX machine and as soon as I finish I'm going to take a look at making a Mac release as well. In the past I didn't have access to a Mac so I had to hope that someone would make a release...


So please hang in just a little bit longer and see if the next couple weeks bring a change for you. If you still aren't happy you are welcome to return the RetroCade Synth for a full refund, just send us an email at and include a link to this thread.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yeah well I try to wait for little bit more for the mac release, as I've been this far.. I really would want this to work, it could easily be really cool alternative to SammichSID with knobs and stuff. Lets see how this goes, if there is nothing up before I start travelling again I might need to just return this.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...



I brought in some professional help to make a mac installer for the Papilio Loader and the Retrocade synth. There is more work that needs to be done but I wanted to share with you what there is so far.


Attached is a beta version of the installer and a video showing what needs to be done to get up and running with the Papilio Loader. Once the Papilio Loader is running you just need to open the RetroCade 1.1 bit file and write it to the SPI Flash of your board. I've requested that the person who made the installer make it a little easier to find the Papilio Loader and the RetroCade bit file by supplying symbolic links or something.


Hope this help, I know it still needs more polishing.


MAC 1.1 Installer




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 months later...

Hi, Mac version installer is pain, I would need to install xCode etc, or thats at least what Terminal prompts me. I finally got my hands to Windows (or well, OSX with Parallers) but still no luck, Retrocades screen is just bright blank (upper row is little bit darker). I select the correct bit file and at least Papilio Loader says OK in its report.

ISC_Done = 1
ISC_Enabled = 0
House Cleaning = 1
DONE = 1

I unplug it, plug it again, no difference. Tried Lite bit file too.

Is there some way to factory restart both boards or format them and reflash everything?

Link to comment
Share on other sites



That was the very first MAC installer, I asked they guy who made it to make it standalone. This newer installer should have everything necessary and not require XCode:


The RetroCade bit file is also bundled with the MAC version of the Papilio Loader.


For windows, I think the problem that you are seeing is that the Papilio Loader is not doing all stages, erase, verify, program, verify when it writes to SPI Flash. Please try to go to the settings and change to expert mode. Once expert mode is selected make sure that erase, verify, and program are selected.



Link to comment
Share on other sites

Newest installer for mac still needs libftdi and to install that you need Homebrew and to install homebrew im pretty sure it gave error about xCode missing / not chosen. 


BUT anyways, i got it working on PC with expert mode. Didnt have guts to try it with another hardware but works nice on Ableton Live! Note hangups are kinda common or maybe I feed too much data in. This happens often if I browse the display, but also if I just send lot CC data from Live. Its nice sounding tho and nicely chaotic.

Couple humble requests:

​- SID filter CC control!!
- Do a idiot proof tutorial of how to add physical controls + modify it to sketch (say a button which controls CC2 on/off on channel 1 and a potentiometer to control CC75 on range 0-127)
-Fix drum channel, it seems to cause note hangups
- Do a idiot proof tutorial of how to add own samples to Drum channel

If these are fixed, this could be a very cool alternative to way more expensive Sammich Sids. But for that it would be nice to have certain controls as physical.

But im glad I got it working, thanks for all the help.

and heres  a silly experiment I did in an hour.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Cool! I just put up a blog post about your test track:


Thank you very much for the feedback and suggestions, I am copying and pasting your bullet points directly onto my task list. I don't expect to get much done in the next couple of days but I will have it on top of my task list. I think the tutorials are a great idea, I will work them into what I'm doing for the Papilio Schematic Library.




Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.