Hardware information and hacking resources
New life for an old machine – Matrix-1000 Firmware Update
Bob Grieb from tauntek.com worked up a new version of the Matrix-1000 firmware which I am helping to distribute in Europe.
The advantages of the new firmware over the factory version v1.11 are:
- Most important parameters respond in real-time, enabling you to play the synth shaping the sound
- NPRN control of parameters enabled for real-time sound tweaking via DAW or MIDI controller
- Value of parameters displayed on the synth’s LED when editing
- ENV1 Sustain and ENV2->VCA control bugs fixed
- GliGli’s Unison Detune mod enables detune control via CC #94
EPROMs will be available for €25 plus P&P (€2,50 in Germany, €5 in Europe). Half of it goes to Bob as a recognition of his endless hours of work in this thing, half of it is for the chip, handling, processing, eBay and Paypal charges, package, shipping, and the occasional beer. The order form is at the end of the document.
For Matrix-6/6R owners, there is Bob’s improved firmware V2.14. It fixes the bugs and speeds up parameters just like the Matrix-1000 firmware does, and is available for the same price.
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I happen to own two of these late 80s analog rack synthesizers – 1HU versions of the entry-level Oberheim Matrix-6 beast – and have spent some time understanding them. I have not been remotely as successful as some real engineers and hackers, but I have made some inroads:
- For those trying to understand the M-1000, I’ve made a hardware/software primer as a Google Doc. Please feel free to leave your comments and hints. Thanks to Bob Grieb, there are also reconstructed schematics: 1: CPU, Memory, Decode [PDF], 2: MIDI [PDF], 3: Timers [PDF], 4: DAC, CV Mux [PDF], 5: Voice circuitry [PDF], 6: LEDs and switches [PDF]
- A handy PDF chart of all the Matrix’s regular parameters (Matrix control not included)
- I’ve designed a simple controller interface for the iPad with the €4.99 TB Midi Stuff app.Read here about it, and download the latest version for free in the TBMS forum. It’s like a virtual Access Matrix Programmer – no: it’s a lot better – and it works especially well with V1.16 and V1.20 ROMs.
- Owners of a Novation X-Station might have a look at the controller template in the Files section of the X-Station Yahoo group. No matrix control – but real knobs and sliders!
- I also had a look at the Matrix Touch iPad editor when it came out – my verdict: it’s worth getting!
- The 2MHz 6809 brain of the Matrix-1000 is a bit overworked, and there have been attempts to replace it with something more powerful. First step is to replace the original CPU with a socket. And, as I’ve learned the hard way, have a replacement 6809 CPU ready.
- Howto: Replacing the battery and resetting the memory