Solid State Music SB1

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Solid State Music SB1 Music Synthesizer Board

From the SSM SB1 manual: "The Synthesizer Board (SB1) is a waveform generator card designed to interface with any computer that supports the S-100 bus and its signals."

I have six of these SB1 cards four (4) of them working to specification.

Solid State Music SB1.png SSM SB1.png

Wanted to buy I'd like to have a full set of eight (8) SB1 boards. Most of the .MUS music files I have utilize up to the full compliment of eight boards to play all channels in real time.. Please use the contact form to communicate with me if you have any SB1 cards you're willing to part with.

Historical press

"Computer music is real with the new SB1 music board" New Product Announcment see 3rd page (originally 86). The 'mystery' SSM 2000 propriety chip is mentioned. I suspect (or hope) it is a repackaged op amp. "The SB1 music board incorporates a proprietary synthesizer IC, SSM-2000, developed by Solid State Music."

Restoration history

  • (07/08/2015) Created Demonstration .mp3 and documented in this wiki.
  • (07/06/2015) Score some more! Yet another working to specification for a total of 4 out of 6
  • (06/14/2015) Score! I got one more for a total of three working to specifications.

Documentation

SB1 Product Manual

SSM SB1 Product manual download

Schematic

It's not pretty (yet) but this schematic is legible. <guilt> I uploaded a better image, still imperfect but better. </guilt> Might want to ask some questions, a one page schematic will be easier to read.

SSM SB1 Schematic.png

Sample .Mus file

0001 "*SCOTT JOPLIN:  THE ENTERTAINER"
0002 "Music coding by Walter White, 12/5/77."
0004 (W1-0)(E1-0)(T0); (W1-0)(E1-0)(T0); (W1-0)(E1-0)(T0);
0005  (W1-0)(E1-0)(T0); (W1-0)(E1-0)(T0); (W1-0)(E1-0)(T0)/
0006 "For wider volume excursions, change each MP# to P"
0009 (100,2,4)(K)/
0010 I S6DECO5ASBOG; I S5DECO4ASBOG/
0020 S5DECO4ASBOG; S4DECO3ASBOG/
0030 S4DECO3ASBA-A; S3DECO2ASBA-A/
0040 O3GR5GS MP# 4D+D; O2GR5D MI S4D MP +D; QRO1G3G;
0041  QRO2G3B; QRO4BR; QRO4GR/
0050 :MP# S4EO5CS4EO5CS4E(L1)5C; MP# S4EO5CS4EO5CS4E(L1)5C; MP# OR4CRC;
0051  MP# O3CE2G3G; MP# OR3GG-B/
0060 Q5C(L0)SC6C MP D MI +D; QRSR5E MP F MI +F; O2F3A2E3G; O3F4C3E4C;
0061  MP# QRSR5C MP D MI +D/
0070 I S6ECDOES5BO6D; I S4GEFOGSDOF; I O2G3E2G3F; I OR3GRG;
0071  I OR4CR3B; I S5ECDOES4BO5D/
0080 Q.6C MI S4D MP +D; Q.5EOR; O3CEEG; OR3GGB;
0081  OR4CCR; Q.5COR/
[...]

Demonstration

SSM SB1 Demonstration Studio.png

This is the 'studio' I used to create the following recording. It's an Imsai S-100 running Josh Bendason's JAIR CPU with four (4) SB1 boards. Note: One card in extender. The music is encoded with eight (8) channels. I recorded the first four channels through a Mackie ProFx12 mixer with alternating channels primarily panned left and right and recorded using audacity on Windows 7. I then readdressed the four SB1 cards to channels four through seven recording another stereo track that was synced with the first track and exported to create an eight channel recording of Scott Joplin The Entertainer.. (<-- click the file name in the next screen to play, while I think about installing an mp3 player in my mediawiki)

Proprietary SSM 2000 - mystery chip

Not a mystery anymore. Found a SSM 2000 data sheet. Thank you Al and others.

Check out the schematic shortly before the audio out. You'll find a 16 pin DIP chip marked SSM 2000. It is billed as a 'propitiatory chip' I doubt that Solid State Music was a company with enough capital nor demand to create a custom chip for the SB1. I suspect it was a re branded chip of some sort. In the schematic it looks like a couple op amps with null offsets like LM741. Note that the envelope comes into the opamp as a null offset while the waveform comes in the + input.

Can anyone hazard a guess as to what this chip is? I suspect it may be a problem on my two remaining non functioning SB1 boards. Can we match the pinout? Pins transcribed from schematic

 1 A Vout
 2 A Vin+
 3 A Gvin (null)
 4 A Vin-
 5 -10vdc
 6 B Vin-
 7 B Gvin (null)
 8 B Vin+
 9 B Vout
10 nc
11 nc
12 nc
13 +10vdc
14 Gnd
15 nc
16 nc

Repairs

Wanted to make some proper connector cables for the boards. With the help of some folks on the N8VEM-S100 google groups I was able to find some likely candidates for the connectors and order them up from Digi-Key.

SSM SB1 Molex.png SSM SB1 Molex Finished.png