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Oberheim Matrix 1000 firmware hacks
Old 28th March 2013
  #1
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tux99's Avatar
Oberheim Matrix 1000 firmware hacks

Ok, I have a Matrix 1000 and an eeprom burner.

I have used the eeprom burner to read out the firmware of the M1000 as I wanted to fix that famous Env1 Sustain firmware bug, but while I'm at it I was wondering if there are any other useful hacks that could be applied to the firmware.

Do you know of any good firmware hacks that could enhance the M1000 functionality?

I was also thinking of reading out the ROM where the 800 presets are stored to modify some of those (for example assign modulation wheel to filter cutoff).

Does anyone have details on the data format of how the presets are stored in the ROM?
Old 28th March 2013
  #2
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Xero's Avatar
The matrix 1000 is really due for a cpu/firmware upgrade. I'm unaware of any at the moment. However, an upgrade to give it full CC/sysex control without the lag issues would be awesome. I believe Murray from Kiwi Technics / Painting With Sound talked about possibly developing an upgrade for it, but he's often pretty busy with his other products so that might not be any time soon.
Old 28th March 2013
  #3
Gear Addict
 

I also have a Matrix 1000 and an eprom burner. But never thought about exporting the firmware. Just assigning the filter to the mod wheel alone (by default) would be a big plus. Since there is an inherent 20ms lag due to processing, I don't know how much more you could do without addressing the hardware side..
Old 28th March 2013
  #4
I build a knobby programmer for my Matrix 1000 a few years ago.
I had to work around a few of these issues.

I could be wrong, but I believe the 'lag' from changing some parameters was a result of the cpu having to recompute lookup tables that convert values to the DAC.

As for getting the filter cutoff to the modwheel (or any other cc), you can send the SYSEX message to set one of the matrix mod slots to filter (+64) and modwheel - or something else.
This works fine as long as matrix mod slot 10 wasn't used for anything.
I did this trick on my hardware programmer with great success.
Old 28th March 2013
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pmanderson View Post
As for getting the filter cutoff to the modwheel (or any other cc), you can send the SYSEX message to set one of the matrix mod slots to filter (+64) and modwheel - or something else.
This works fine as long as matrix mod slot 10 wasn't used for anything.
I did this trick on my hardware programmer with great success.
I guess this only works for RAM patches, or am I mistaken?

I would like to modify the patches stored in ROM to add modwheel to filter cutoff without having to copy them to RAM first.

Basically my idea is to read out the ROM (I have already read out the firmware ROM but not the patches ROM yet, although that should be straight forward too), decode the stored patch data and then edit it and finally burn it to a new replacement EPROM chip.

What would help me a lot is if anyone has the info on how the patch data is stored in ROM, I'm pretty sure it's compressed as otherwise 800 patches wouldn't fit in 64K.
Old 28th March 2013
  #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Xero View Post
I believe Murray from Kiwi Technics / Painting With Sound talked about possibly developing an upgrade for it, but he's often pretty busy with his other products so that might not be any time soon.
That sounds very interesting, I hope that will happen at some point (hopefully soon).
Old 28th March 2013
  #7
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pounce's Avatar
 

Would love this
Old 28th March 2013
  #8
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Add an option to select from 1 to 6 voices in unison mode. Current implementation is all six voices. Six unison DCOs firing in synchrony sounds terrible and is useless for monophonic phrasing. It's one of the reasons I sold my M6R.
Old 28th March 2013
  #9
tux99
Quote:
I guess this only works for RAM patches, or am I mistaken?
Sysex messages affect the patch buffer, the current program. Once you switch to another patch, the changes are lost.
However the sysex message to save the patch buffer requires a parameter for the patch location to save to... the first 200.
So, with a handy script, and some MIDI software you can load up your favorite patches, alter them and save them to one of the first 200 locations.
Old 28th March 2013
  #10
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EvilDragon's Avatar
I was wondering if anyone would ever tackle that env sustain bug. Kudos to you, OP!


How about doing the same for M6/M6R (because I'm in the market for a M6R, not M1000)?
Old 29th March 2013
  #11
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Second vote for the Matrix 6r mod. I think that synth, beyond most others out there, is ripe for a major upgrade. A faster CPU and better midi implimentation would be heeeuge.
Old 29th March 2013
  #12
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pounce's Avatar
 

I think those synths are a little unfairly slighted. This would really get them in the game. I'd love to see this. Come on kiwi or whoever is up to the task.
Old 29th March 2013
  #13
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atma's Avatar
if someone could fix the sluggish cpu, it'd be awesome to build a dedicated knob/slider controller for it, like the old roland PG-200 (or MPG-80!).
Old 29th March 2013
  #14
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tux99's Avatar
Ok, the following thread of a German synth forum is very interesting, it's by a German M1000 user (Fetz/nordcore) who has disassembled the M1000 Firmware and posted patches for the three main bugs of the M1000 firmware: sequencer.de forum - Matrix 1000 - Bugfixing (in German!)

The firmware issues are nicely summarised here:
[oberheim matrix-1000 : firmware notes]


The three issues fixed are the following:

- Sustain Level of Envelope 1 is impossible to set by MIDI (SysEx Remote Parameter Edit command)

- Envelope 2 to VCA 2 (parameter 29) cannot be set individually but only sending the entire set of patch data

- VCF Frequency (parameter 21) update is much more sluggish than in case of the rest of parameters


And here are the fixes taken from the above thread:
Code:
 byte         : orig. val  ->  fixed val -  description
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    2 (0x0002):  49 (0x31) ->  51 (0x33) -  firmware version minor number change to 3

 3521 (0x0DC1): 153 (0x99) -> 143 (0x8F) -  fix for VCA 2 (parameter 29) cannot be set
 3522 (0x0DC2):  44 (0x2C) ->  52 (0x34)    individually

 6090 (0x17CA): 189 (0xBD) ->  57 (0x39) - fix for VCF Frequency (parameter 21) update
 6091 (0x17CB): 152 (0x98) ->  18 (0x12)   sluggishness
 6092 (0x17CC):  67 (0x43) ->  18 (0x12)

24136 (0x5E48):  56 (0x38) ->  45 (0x2D) - fix for Env1 Sustain impossible to set via MIDI
Basically by editing the above 7 bytes in the original firmware and burning it to a 27C256 eprom you will have a new 1.1.3 firmware where the above three issues are fixed.

I have a 27C256 eprom on order and will try the fixed firmware as soon as I get it.

All kudos belong to Fetz/nordcore from that German forum, I have only summarised here what he published on that thread in German.


Edit: I forgot, here are instructions from Fetz on how to replace the ROM with the newly burned 27C256 eprom: http://www.sequencer.de/synth/index....eim_Matrix1000
Old 29th March 2013
  #15
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Excellent news!
Old 29th March 2013
  #16
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That's great! Someone do the problem fixes for the M6r and sell me a rom chip for $30

While you're in there find out why tweaking the VCA level via sysex on the M6r causes the synth to lock up for like 20 seconds. It seems like there are a handful of parameters that are just painful to tweak on my Matrix 6r via sysex...I'd be happy to make a list!

Oh, and please make all of the matrix settings easier to modify via sysex messages. Your $30 is waiting!
Old 29th March 2013
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atma View Post
if someone could fix the sluggish cpu, it'd be awesome to build a dedicated knob/slider controller for it, like the old roland PG-200 (or MPG-80!).
I created one for the Novation Remote SL and it's a giant improvement, even with the slow CPU. But I could never figure out how to manipulate the global settings or control the matrix settings from the Novation.
Old 29th March 2013
  #18
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Xero's Avatar
Ah, wow! Didn't even know about this, though I vaguely recalled hearing someone had some sort of patch for it a while ago. Didn't know it fixed all that though, that sounds like the major issues are all fixed. Gotta try this...
Old 29th March 2013
  #19
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EvilDragon's Avatar
This is far out!!!
Old 29th March 2013
  #20
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Can I buy one for my matrix 6 please?
Old 29th March 2013
  #21
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I want one for my Matrix 1000!
Old 29th March 2013
  #22
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
Will the chips be the same for 6 & 1000? As far as I know they're identical apart from patch memory and the dco tuning routines. Will there need to be 2 versions?
Old 29th March 2013
  #23
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xanderbeanz's Avatar
PS I'm aware it's nearly April 1st so this best not be a hoax XD
Old 29th March 2013
  #24
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tux99's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by slippast View Post
While you're in there find out why tweaking the VCA level via sysex on the M6r causes the synth to lock up for like 20 seconds.
I think you didn't read my post properly, I have not created any of the hacks, I simply reposted the hacks that Fetz posted on that German synth forum in 2006.

Also all these fixes are for the Matrix 1000, I don't own a Matrix 6(R) so I have no idea whether they apply to the Matrix 6(R) too or not. Somebody who owns a Matrix 6(R) and an eprom burner will have to find that out him/herself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
Will the chips be the same for 6 & 1000? As far as I know they're identical apart from patch memory and the dco tuning routines. Will there need to be 2 versions?
I'm not selling any chips as that would be illegal, the ROM is still copyrighted by Oberheim so selling copies is illegal.
You have to create your own modified eprom using an eprom burner or find someone who can do it for you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by xanderbeanz View Post
PS I'm aware it's nearly April 1st so this best not be a hoax XD
The original thread from the German forum is from 2006 and I posted the link to it so you can check it out yourself (use Google translate).
Old 29th March 2013
  #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tux99 View Post
I think you didn't read my post properly, I have not created any of the hacks, I simply reposted the hacks that Fetz posted on that German synth forum in 2006.

Also all these fixes are for the Matrix 1000, I don't own a Matrix 6(R) so I have no idea whether they apply to the Matrix 6(R) too or not. Somebody who owns a Matrix 6(R) and an eprom burner will have to find that out him/herself.
No, I read it correctly. I'm just hoping that someone will eventually find it in their good will to extend some love to the owners of the similarly limited Matrix 6.
Old 29th March 2013
  #26
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Just ordered one for my M1000 from Fran, details here: Yahoo! Groups
Old 29th March 2013
  #27
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So will this actually allow, gulp, Matrix 1000 filter sweeps?!

Crazy. People have been looking for something like this for ages and it's been around since 2006 all along? I'll believe it when I see it!
Old 29th March 2013
  #28
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tux99's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by rockmanrock View Post
Just ordered one for my M1000 from Fran, details here: Yahoo! Groups
Good luck to him... while I don't think Oberheim/Gibson's layers will go after him as long as he doesn't make a profit from it, it's still a risk and a lot of hassle for no benefit (for him)...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ninja_Oberheim View Post
So will this actually allow, gulp, Matrix 1000 filter sweeps?!
The only fix related to the filter is:
- fix for VCF Frequency (parameter 21) update sluggishness

I don't know if this will help with filter sweeps, I guess we'll find out soon.
Old 29th March 2013
  #29
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tux99's Avatar
I have started analysing the 64Kbyte patches ROM image of the M1000 and found out how the data is structured:
each patch uses 80 bytes, therefore each bank of 100 patches uses 8000 bytes, the first bank starts at byte 0 and all subsequent banks are 8Kbyte aligned, so the second bank starts at byte 8192, the third one at byte 16384 and so on.

This was easy, now I want to decode the meaning of each of the 80 bytes so that I can change some parameters in the ROM patches (primarily assign mod wheel to filter cutoff).

If anyone else wants to contribute, I have put the 64Kbyte patches ROM image here:
pkgrepo.linuxtech.net/files/M1000-CAT27512P-20_patic.BIN
(md5sum: fa081871ed9120468577eefab72330b1 )
Old 3rd April 2013
  #30
Gear Maniac
 

I am little excited and have always wanted this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Real MC View Post
Add an option to select from 1 to 6 voices in unison mode. Current implementation is all six voices. Six unison DCOs firing in synchrony sounds terrible and is useless for monophonic phrasing. It's one of the reasons I sold my M6R.
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