MSSIAH CTRL Hardware Controller

This is MSSIAH CTRL – a custom DIY hardware control mod for the Mssiah synth.

If you’re not familiar with MSSIAH it is a cartridge for the Commodore 64 that turns the 64 into a MIDI synth module.

Here’s a short demo of the controller in action:

The developer would be interested in input on MSSIAH CTRL:

I am looking for feeback to what people think, becasue I would like to build another one of these boxes and would include even more ideas into it.  I don’t know if you need more of a ‘performance’ showing it in action, as I am really focused on the sound of the hardware at the moment.

Any input would be greatly appreciated.

More information is available at AbsoluteExtremes.com.

12 thoughts on “MSSIAH CTRL Hardware Controller

  1. Looks cool. That was a pretty average demo though. The sound he was using didn't even sound like a SID, and also seemed like he was using a distortion pedal or some kind of post processing?

  2. I am working on this box. There is only one at the moment. I am working on shaping the sound. I kept the demo as simple as possible, because I am looking for feedback on what others would like to see in a full featured box for the Mssiah synthesizer. Are there any 8bit peeps out there that are working with the Mssiah? Please give me more input. Thanks.

  3. It's rather nice looking, and unfortunately I have one of the pre-midi carts so it'd be useless to me, though I have been considering picking one of the midi-fied ones up.

    Though isn't it a bit extravagant to have a dedicated box what what is essentially just a series of midi CCs that you would only really ever use for this single purpose, as opposed to say buying a Behringer BCR-2000 or a Novation Remote which could be set up for multiple purposes? The rack form factor might be a plus if you hadn't put knobs on top as well. It is very pretty looking though. 🙂

    I'm not trying to flame, I just want to know if there is something i'm missing and surely i'm not the only person with these kinds of questions.

  4. Thanks for the input. Yes, the knobs on top will have to go. You are right and that is a BCR-2000 on top controlling the CCs. After playing with the potentiometers and having mixed results in 'midi' mode, I finally caved in and I'm using the BCR-2000. Yes, I still like the idea of rack mounting it and put it in the same rack as the Commodore 128D. It also fits in a standard rack. http://www.absolutextremes.com/8bit%20rack.jpg
    I have found the pots/mouse switch to be very handy and as far as the distortion filters, that really is what I thought was missing from the 8bit sound of the Mssiah. Having the sound over-driven makes for some interesting type guitar licks, but unlike a conventional guitar, you have mutiple waveforms and a couple of oscillators and a cut-off to play with. What effects do you apply to your 8bit sound?

  5. Thanks for the input. Yes, the knobs on top will have to go. You are right and that is a BCR-2000 on top controlling the CCs. After playing with the potentiometers and having mixed results in 'midi' mode, I finally caved in and I'm using the BCR-2000. Yes, I still like the idea of rack mounting it and put it in the same rack as the Commodore 128D. It also fits in a standard rack. http://www.absolutextremes.com/8bit%20rack.jpg
    I have found the pots/mouse switch to be very handy and as far as the distortion filters, that really is what I thought was missing from the 8bit sound of the Mssiah. Having the sound over-driven makes for some interesting type guitar licks, but unlike a conventional guitar, you have mutiple waveforms and a couple of oscillators and a cut-off to play with. What effects do you apply to your 8bit sound?

  6. I like a bit of overdrive and delay on my sid and gameboy sounds as i'm sure most of us do 🙂

    I've got a couple of c64 breadboxes. one with the MSSIAH, another with a Cyanide Cart. I have a sidstation, and a DM-5 drum kit going through a OTO Machines Biscuit for some cheap 8-bit type live drums. I've been meaning to form an 8bit 3 piece band for some time now. ^^;;

    I like the 128D! I hadn't seen one of those before. It really does sit very nicely in that rack. No wonder you are making a rack based tweaker for it. 🙂

  7. That's a great collection Polite_Society,

    I am building a Sammich Sid and might even circuit bend it.
    When I originally built the CTRL, it was to exploit the difference between the sid chips. Since I added the second sid using the SID2SID mod, the first real glaring difference was the sound coming from each sid. I even experimented with different sids to see if this was an anomaly. I have one particular 8580R that just sounds bizarre! So to exploit this, I have these two distortion effects that I can custom route the sound of each sid to. The first switch 'in front of' each effect allows you to assign sound from sid 1 or sid 2 or off. I am going to put together a 'better' demo, one where I'm soling a bit to try and show this feature. I added the stomp box switches, so that you can simultaneously switch both on, or one on and one off, or both off, with one quick action of your foot.
    Do you have a site that might have a few demos of your sound on it?
    I have found the experimental 8bit musicians are a very small group, I would appreciate your input directly in the future!

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