Commodore Sound Expander
|This article is very short and not very detailed. Please help to improve it.|
|Commodore Sound Expander|
|Producer:||Commodore/Music Sales Limited|
|Price:||125 US$; 99.99 £; 399 DM (ca. 200 €)|
|Processor:||Yamaha YM3526 OPL|
|Info:||External Software "F.M. Sound Expander" with C64, SFX or MIDI keyboards|
The Commodore Sound Expander or SFX Sound Expander is a sound synthesizer cartridge with 9 voices for the Commodore 64. It was developed by Richard Watts. The synthesizer chip is a Yamaha YM3526 OPL, which can upgraded by a YM3812 OPL2 chip, which is also used by AdLib- and Soundblaster sound cards in PCs. This cartridge was produced by Music Sales Limited in the UK and marketed as "Commodore SFX series" by Commodore world-wide.
The cartridge is plugged in into the expansion port of a powerlesss C64. The audio plug can be plugged in into speakers or devices which have a speaker plug in. Also can added the external SFX keyboard with 61 keays and 5 octaves
A manual (user's guide) exists, but provides very little technical information. And also the audio lead book "Start Playing Keyboard - The SFX-Tutor" by Peter Lavender.
- Used Chips:
- Yamaha YM3526 OPL
- ROM : ?
- RAM : ?
- Dimensions: 53 × 140 × 135 mm
- Weight: 315? g
- Power Supply: 5 V= through C64 expansions port
- Power: ca. ?? W
- Expansions port for connection other cartridges
- Cinch for audio out
- SFX interface for connection a external SFX keyboard.
- Optional extras:
- Original software: "F.M. Sound Expander" (aka amazing "Riff Machine") on tape or floppy disk.
- CSDb - Release No. 119462
- CSDb - Release No. 119462 C64 DRO player by Gábor Lénárt
- CSDb - Release No. 147615 FM-Sid by "4-Mat"
- VGM-Player by "4-Mat"
- CSDb - Release No. 157163 Vibrants FM by "Xentax"
- 12 voice demo 2 stereo GoatTracker songs
Xentax released FM-YAM  in March 2018. FM-YAM is a Sound Expander compatible with ym3812 (OPL2), audio in (to mix SID audio) and audio out (with FM and SID mixed). Over 200 cartridges have been sold to date.
See MsMadLemon's review here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q32I0jk7THE. It also featured in the Zzap!64 Annual 2019.
- Some photographs at 8bit.dk
- Nice article about the SFX series of modules and software at floodgap.com
- Sound Expander schematics at zimmers.net