Support for very special disk formats (like Emulator II) ?

HxC Floppy Emulator E-mu Emulator I & II support
Post Reply
Esynthesist
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:21 pm

Support for very special disk formats (like Emulator II) ?

Post by Esynthesist » Tue Oct 05, 2010 12:19 am

Hi,

I was wondering to what degree the HxC would be capable to support "exotic" disk formats ?
People on this forum have already mentioned the Emulator II sampler synthesizer, and I'm very interested in being able to use the HxC in this sampler also !

However the disks of this instrument can not be recognized by any disk analysis tool on a PC (22Disk on MSDOS, AnaDisk on MSDOS, OmniDisk on MSDOS/Win95, OmniFlop, ...).
Suppose the characteristics of these disks are indeed very a-typical, e.g:
- datarate is 150 kbits/sec, or 300 kbits/sec at 300 RPM
- tracksize is 3584 bytes, with one soft sector/track
- GCR encoding instead of FM or MFM
I'm not sure these assumptions are correct, but I wouldn't be surprised based on what I have measured and seen so far...

Is the HxC capable of supporting any of this exotic stuff (after firmware upgrade of course...) ?
If so, would this support be limited to read activity ?
If I understand well, someone at HxC-side is currently already trying to reverse engineer this Emulator II disk format: I hope he will succeed !

Thanks, and also thanks for having developed this great device !
I will use it in my Prophet 2000 and Ensoniq EPS Classic samplers for sure !

Jeff
Site Admin
Posts: 5741
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:12 am
Location: Paris
Contact:

Re: Support for very special disk formats (like Emulator II)

Post by Jeff » Tue Oct 05, 2010 11:56 pm

Esynthesist wrote:Hi,

I was wondering to what degree the HxC would be capable to support "exotic" disk formats ?
People on this forum have already mentioned the Emulator II sampler synthesizer, and I'm very interested in being able to use the HxC in this sampler also !

However the disks of this instrument can not be recognized by any disk analysis tool on a PC (22Disk on MSDOS, AnaDisk on MSDOS, OmniDisk on MSDOS/Win95, OmniFlop, ...).
Suppose the characteristics of these disks are indeed very a-typical, e.g:
- datarate is 150 kbits/sec, or 300 kbits/sec at 300 RPM
- tracksize is 3584 bytes, with one soft sector/track
- GCR encoding instead of FM or MFM
I'm not sure these assumptions are correct, but I wouldn't be surprised based on what I have measured and seen so far...

Is the HxC capable of supporting any of this exotic stuff (after firmware upgrade of course...) ?
If so, would this support be limited to read activity ?
If I understand well, someone at HxC-side is currently already trying to reverse engineer this Emulator II disk format: I hope he will succeed !

Thanks, and also thanks for having developed this great device !
I will use it in my Prophet 2000 and Ensoniq EPS Classic samplers for sure !
EII support is on the way. The encoding scheme used by the EII is FM.
Almost all the track format is now know thanks to the KryoFlux team ;-) (sync, sector id , data ,crc...)

Esynthesist
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:21 pm

Post by Esynthesist » Wed Oct 06, 2010 11:32 am

EII support is on the way. The encoding scheme used by the EII is FM.
Almost all the track format is now know thanks to the KryoFlux team Wink (sync, sector id , data ,crc...)
Fantastic !
If for any reason the Kryoflux team would not be able to reverse engineer the full set of required information, feel free to let me know. I can capture all bit streams between the disk controller and the disk drive with a digital storage oscilloscope, and quite some information can be derived from this too. E.g. so far I found this:
- 300 RPM
- 2 sides of 80 tracks
- 1 sector per track, sized 3584 bytes
- FM encoding (clockpulses all the way :-) )
- approx. 300 kbits/sec, but since it's FM this means only 150 actual kbits/sec (measurements indicate slightly higher rates though: 311/155 ?)
- no waste of time during floppy access: tracks are read immediately after each step motor pulse and index detection, the disk doesn't make any useless round at all :-). Reading 136 tracks (=2 sides 68, =487424 bytes) takes only between 27 and 28 seconds.
- each track consists of a 45-byte header (incl. GAPs and SYNCs), 3584 data bytes and a 24-byte trailer (CRC, SYNC, GAP)

Good luck !
And many thanks of course, this will be a revolution in the Emulator II sampler community !

Esynthesist
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:21 pm

Post by Esynthesist » Fri Oct 08, 2010 12:32 am

I just received the great news: the Emulator II support is ready and yes ! it works ! The tests are successful, the files are perfect !

Thanks thanks thanks !!!!
Also to Jan who triggered this initiative and of course to the kryoflux team for their amazing reverse engineering support and to Jeff to make all of this possible !
No one ever thought that this would be possible with the Emulator II !

Jeff
Site Admin
Posts: 5741
Joined: Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:12 am
Location: Paris
Contact:

Post by Jeff » Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:08 pm

Esynthesist wrote:I just received the great news: the Emulator II support is ready and yes ! it works ! The tests are successful, the files are perfect !

Thanks thanks thanks !!!!
Also to Jan who triggered this initiative and of course to the kryoflux team for their amazing reverse engineering support and to Jeff to make all of this possible !
No one ever thought that this would be possible with the Emulator II !
And now the HxC Floppy software can generate EmuII floppy from a sector dump.

Now i want to add the possibility to generate an EmuII disk from a sample file for example by generating all the file system.

Someone told me that you have some informations about this. is it true ? :D

Esynthesist
Posts: 11
Joined: Mon Oct 04, 2010 11:21 pm

Post by Esynthesist » Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:51 pm

And now the HxC Floppy software can generate EmuII floppy from a sector dump.
Fantastic.
I just think that it would be even more great if you could natively support sound bank ".EII" files and operating system "OS" files.
Because the full floppy images themselves are - for obvious reasons - not being used by any EII user so far.
Supporting .EII and OS files should be a very simple step now for you :wink: because:
- the OS file can be found from position 0 till 78847 in the full floppy image
- the EII file can be found from position 78848 till 564734 in the floppy image
Now i want to add the possibility to generate an EmuII disk from a sample file for example by generating all the file system.
I assume you mean that you want to support the .EII files as described above.
Supporting real individual sample files is very very complicated and stuff for specialized sample translation software. The "sample" is not a unit of file handling in the Emulator II; it's an integral part of an EII sound bank.

There's one exception. The EII in fact supports two types of disks:
- the very common Performance disks, containing the .EII sound bank file and (optionally) the operating system; there are only 2 files on it and as a result there's no FAT-like table on them.
- the almost obsolete Library disks, containing several individual samples that can be accessed from the EII to assemble .EII sound banks from samples spread across different library disks. These disks are almost not being used anymore. These disks contain a kind of FAT table.

Now I don't think that we need support for library disks for the Emulator II. But if we have time that we can't spend useful to other activities, we might delve into it of course :)

I have sent an e-mail with some more clarification about the file handling by the Emulator II.
Someone told me that you have some informations about this. is it true ?
Yes, I do :) But except for the information above and in my e-mail, I don't think it is very useful for the HxC project... I would be tricky to support too many internal details of specific devices like EII in HxC, you will not have any sleep anymore. E.g. EMXP is 'only' supporting the full internals of 4 sampler types [Emax, Emulator II, Emulator III, SoundFont] and it's almost a second full time job for me :?


I hope you will release the modified HxC software/firmware soon !
Can't wait to receive my HxC Rev C boards !

Post Reply