Controlling real chips with Retrocade synth


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While digging into the retrocade project I thought about how easy it would be to control real chips, since the HDL chips are implemented with the same interfaces as the real chips it seems to me that it would be very simple to modify a SID peripheral for example to just connect the interface signals to IO and drive a real chip SID.  It would be a great way to compare the real thing to the HDL versions, and a way to use real chips if you had them.

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I scraped ebay for some time ago and ended up with these 6581, SMC0608S, YM2203C, SAA1099P, SN76477N, AY-3-8910, but not that chip,damn..

Got also some dacs:TDA1543, DIR9001, BB PCM61P, MCP4921, YM3016-D, YM3014B, YM3012


Are these types of chips difficult to wire up?, going to read that thread anyway, looks very detailed, kudos to that!

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Your best bet is to look up the datasheets for each of those chips. Most of these sound chips have similar interfaces regardless of how they function internally. Usually there is a clock signal and then a parallel bus is used to access a series of registers within the chip. The number and function of these registers is specific to each chip but the difficulty is similar. The hard part will be coaxing them into making sounds that are pleasant to listen to.


For example, here's a datasheet for the AY-3-8910


The other thing I would do is scour the internet for other projects incorporating the chips you are interested in using. There are quite a few chiptune synth projects out there.


The DACs are probably not terribly interesting. You can get pretty much the same result with a resistor ladder or a delta-sigma DAC in the FPGA.

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