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Project RE:birth 2nd - Powerful FM synthesizer/vgm player via USB serial port

Technical discussion which is not directly related to VGM files. Talk about Hardware and Software.

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  • denjhang Offline
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Project RE:birth 2nd - Powerful FM synthesizer/vgm player via USB serial port

Post by denjhang »


Project RE-birth 2nd ... her-board/
is the spiritual continuation of [Project RE-birth](
In 2021, for unknown reasons, the Japanese closed the website, deleted all public schematics, and stopped the distribution of all peripheral hardware. This makes me feel very regretful and annoyed. Even if I have money, I can’t buy it. to any SPFM motherboard or rebirth module.

In the absence of original hardware, I forked almost all RE-birth music modules to really revive this project, my intention was to make FM music chips available to people all over the world, no internal meetings, no internal stores and Hungry sound effects, long-term stock.
By copying the rebirth module, I learned a lot, such as the bus layout of rebirth, digital-to-analog isolation, single-power audio amplifier design, and standardized module appearance. It can be said that it is as worth learning as a textbook.
YM2203 sound card suitable for SPFM series. The circuit is redesigned by myself and is compatible with RE:birth bus.
You can use it with SPFM Light, SPFM Lite, RESPFM, IAP-RESPFM and other motherboards.

I referred to the ps98-YM2203 schematic and pictures of the original rebirth module, as well as the SPFM Tower schematic.
My dream: to make SPFM and rebirth modules and make them available to everyone in the world.
No internal meetings, no mystery shops, fair play to all.--
Due to the extensive experience accumulated in designing MegaMod, these modules were basically designed within a week.

Supported Chips:
OPLL Clone:2413,MY2413,YM2413 THINK,UM2413,UM3567,U3567
Music Module:
RE2-NBV5/AYB03 Convert Board
SPFM Lite (2 card slots)
IAP-RESPFM (4 card slots)

Simple appearance, with YM2203 logo and parameters, using the classic universal dual operational amplifier NE5532, with adjustable volume, excellent sound quality, good digital-analog isolation, and completely follows the design soul of Project RE:birth.
The design of the rebirth module is very excellent, pursuing the ultimate sound quality, standardized appearance, reasonable bus layout and ground plane isolation at the cost of an amateur project. Just like a textbook, I completed all this in accordance with the design spirit of rebirth.
In particular, RE2-YM2203 supports stereo PSG, and the stereo configuration can be freely adjusted through the three-position switch. This is my original design.

###The following software supports SPFM:
Currently still actively updating.
It provides professional chip music visualization and can play chip music formats such as VGM. The important thing is that it directly supports MDX, FMPMD, MGS and other Japanese computer music formats through hardware playback.
The following formats are supported:

The MIDI-FM middleware, which is still active today, allows for complete graphical adjustment of FM tone parameters, powerful arpeggio definition function, and rich MIDI functions. It can be used with modern step sequencers and supports VSTi.
MAmidiMEmo is a virtual chiptune sound MIDI module using a MAME sound engine. You can control various chips and make sound via MIDI I/F. So, you don't need to use dedicated tracker and so on anymore. You can use your favorite MIDI sequencer to make a chip sound.

[wayback machine]( ... omproject/)
The updated MIDI-FM middleware has been stopped, but its functions are still perfect.
FITOM (FM Instruments Total Operating Middleware) is a middleware driver that receives MIDI messages from the MIDI input of the PC and controls FM sound source modules such as RE:birth based on the message content.

We assume the following use case.
Connect a USB-MIDI keyboard and use your PC as a sound source keyboard.
Use with a MIDI sequencer to turn your PC into a MIDI sound module.
(The MIDI loopback driver is required to run the MIDI sequencer and FITOM on the same PC.)

Action confirmation motherboard
-RE:birth (MB-100)
-SPFM Light

[wayback machine]( ... mldrv.html)
Arranger software officially supported by SCCI.
MML-based sound driver using SCCI.
It is being developed as a sample program for SCCI.
*This application is only available in 32-bit version.

Operation confirmation motherboard
-SPFM Light

###5.np2 (SCCI compatible version)
[wayback machine]( ...
NEC PC-98 series emulators now support the long-awaited (SCCI)!
*Requires BIOS ROM image.
*Compatible with the combination of motherboard + OPNA module (RE1-YM2608).

Action confirmation motherboard
-RE:birth (MB-100)
-SPFM Light

###6.SPFM Player:
[wayback machine]( ... layer.html)
SPFM player (SCCI compatible version)
Player software compatible with S98 and VGM

Action confirmation motherboard
-RE:birth (MB-100)
-SPFM Light

###7. ToneEditor (FM sound source tone editing tool)
[wayback machine]( ...
The software was featured in the Summer 2015 issue of Electronic Works magazine.
This is software for editing the tones of FM sound sources.
It was originally created as a sample and therefore not elaborately crafted.
It was created to allow you to easily try out existing published tones by entering them.
We hope you'll remember the fun of ancient "sound-making."
(Quoted from documentation)

Features and specifications have changed compared to the version released on June 28, 2015.

Action confirmation motherboard
-RE:birth (MB-100)
-SPFM Light

###8.M88 (PC-88 emulator)(SCCI compatible version)
[wayback machine]( ... 8scci.html)

SCCI compatible version PC8801 series emulator M88

Operation confirmation motherboard
-SPFM Light

###9.X68Sound.dll (SCCI compatible version)
[wayback machine]( ... dScci.html)

SCCI-compliant version of X68Sound.dll
Can be used with X68Sound.dll-compatible software.

Operation confirmation motherboard
-SPFM Light

###10.gens-2.11 SCCI compatible version
SCCI-compliant version of the GENESIS (Mega Drive) emulator
This is an emulator that does screen drawing etc on the PC and outputs audio from the actual chip (via SCCI).

Operation confirmation motherboard
-SPFM Light + YM2612/SN76489 (recommended)
-RE:birth + YM2612 / SN76489
-RESPFM REV1.0 (Confirming)

###11.genplus-gx SCCI compatible version
SCCI Compatible Version GENESIS (Mega Drive) and SMS Emulator
This is an emulator that does screen drawing etc on the PC and outputs audio from the actual chip (via SCCI).

Action motherboard confirmed
-SPFM Light + YM2413 / SN76489 / YM2612
-RE:birth + YM2413 / SN76489 / YM2612
-RESPFM REV1.0 (under confirmation)

###12.KSS player
[wayback machine]( ... ss-player/)
Supports using RE1-EXT-MSCCX REV1.0 to play KSS format data. It is developed in JAVA, so you need to install the runtime separately. it Available in beta form, so use at your own risk.

Action confirmation motherboard
-SPFM Light

hoot is software that recreates the gaming music of that era by emulating previous generation PC and consumer console hardware. Pure sound simulators are rare, but among them, hoots are relatively lightweight and focus on appearance, such as the ability to display keyboards and level meters. It also contains drivers for the sound parts of arcade games that the author personally plays and enjoys.

###14.X millennium
[wayback machine]( ...
X1 series emulator

###Software support list source:
[vintage2608]( ... ge2608/emu)
[pyonpyon]( ... /link.html)
[Project RE:birth]( ... page_id=30)

Re: Project RE:birth 2nd - Powerful FM synthesizer/vgm player via USB serial port

Post by Kaminari »

Amazing work, congratulations :chicken2:
  • lo zaffo Offline
  • Posts: 39
  • Joined: 2016-08-03, 22:36:09
  • Location: Italy

Re: Project RE:birth 2nd - Powerful FM synthesizer/vgm player via USB serial port

Post by lo zaffo »

That's a huge body of work for both hardware many modules design and construct plus software discovery and research.
Thank for sharing.

Re: Project RE:birth 2nd - Powerful FM synthesizer/vgm player via USB serial port

Post by vampirefrog »

Nice job
  • snakemeat Offline
  • Posts: 23
  • Joined: 2012-06-04, 5:24:46

Re: Project RE:birth 2nd - Powerful FM synthesizer/vgm player via USB serial port

Post by snakemeat »

This looks amazing. What are the minimum boards to purchase? Is it just a 2-slot or 4-slot motherboard and a chip board?

Also, have you tested this with Hoot?
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