Update: Looking for the new, rewritten firmware? Info on how to get the latest version here.
There is some (potentially) very good news for Matrix-6/6R owners hoping to get a firmware update – it has come a huge step closer. An extremely experienced engineer has just decided to put his annotated source code file for the Matrix-6 online – you will find it on his page at Oberheim Matrix 6 Firmware. Not the original sources from Oberheim, mind you – they are rumoured to have been lost when someone accidentally dropped the master source disk – but a very carefully annotated listing, reverse-engineered. The engineer who did this even spent the time to mark code that has been re-used in the Matrix-1000 firmware.
So what does that mean to you as a (potential) M6 owner?
- If you do not know a thing about coding for a 6809 CPU, possibly nothing. You’ll have to wait.
- But if you are into hacking and tinkering with old 8-bit machinery, it makes understanding the code a whole lot easier – and should also make it possible to backport GliGli’s patches into the M6 firmware, comparing his Matrix-1000 V1.16 code with the original V1.13 code and looking at the changes.
The engineer has decided to abandon the project – he thinks that the performance problems of the Matrixes are a result of fundamental design decisions and would need too much effort to get around properly. But his code definitely improves the chances of doing something useful for the code. Someone with skill and spare time might even backport the M1000’s NRPN and matrix modulation Sysex commands into the M6 code.
BTW: My attempts at starting a documented source code file for the Matrix-1000 can be found here, with a hardware and software primer here. If I can find the time, I’ll try to backport a few of Bob’s insights into the M-1000 code.
With the amount of work waiting for me with Jen, I’m glad I don’t own a M-6…