MSSIAH Cartridge - MIDI Hardware and Software for the Commodore 64!


What is the MSSIAH?
The MSSIAH is a hardware cartridge for the Commodore 64 and contains five different music applications. With MSSIAH plugged in to your C64, the applications load directly from the cartridge.
The MSSIAH Cartridge features an integrated MIDI interface and all five applications have full MIDI modes.

Is it compatible with C128?
MSSIAH Cartridge and SID2SID works with breadbin and slimline C64, C64G, C128, C128D and SX64.

Does it work on NTSC machines?
Yes. MSSIAH is compatible with both NTSC and PAL Commodore 64s.

So with the MSSIAH I can plug in the cartridge into my C64 and plug in my MIDI cable and then play it via MIDI?

Can I send control change messages to alter sound parameters in real time?
Yes. Every application has its own set of messages to change all the sound parameters directly via control change.

What about velocity and pitch wheel?
Velocity is recognized as well as pitch wheel on all six channels (all voices when played polyphonically).

How do I set the MIDI channel?
All of the MSSIAH applications have MIDI settings. You simply choose which MIDI channel to use before going into MIDI mode.
The Sequencer app also allows for individual channels to be turned off (no receive channel) or for that matter, double the sound by using the same channel on multiple oscillators.

Are these applications like sound modules or internal sequencers?
Every application has its specific purpose, Sequencer being an internal Sequencer, Drummer being a drum machine etc., but all of them can be switched into full MIDI mode to function as MIDI modules.
When not in full MIDI mode they still respond to MIDI in different ways, MIDI clock being standard. I.e., you can synchronize their internal sequencers to MIDI etc.

Is the MSSIAH compatible with my Datel MIDI interface?
No, and there's no need for that. MSSIAH has its own much more powerful MIDI interface built into the cartridge.

Can I use MSSIAH's midi interface with other music applications?

Is Sync24 supported?
When the MSSIAH applications are switched to external clock mode they all use MIDI clock. There is an option however (except for the Sequencer app) to use Sync24 clock fed into two pins on the user port instead.

Are potentiometers supported?

Do I really need a mouse?
Yes, it's recommended if you plan to use MSSIAH Sequencer. The other applications on the cart do not support a mouse controller.
The Sequencer can be controlled with a Commodore 1351 mouse, Amiga/Atari mouse, Joystick or Keyboard. The 1351 is the smoothest and quickest way to work the application, Amiga/Atari mice are slower and less precise. Using a joystick is obviously slower and even though keyboard does work as a controller it is not a serious option. Keyboard control is more like a panic mode in case your controller fails.
Our recommendation is to use the 1351 or a modern PS/2 to 1351 converter. The Micromys adapter works great with MSSIAH.

Do I need a monitor? Can I operate the software blind?
Yes, you need a monitor (or regular TV with C64's RF output). It's possible to start up software completely blind but extremely hard. As for MSSIAH Sequencer, operating in blind is not possible since it's controlled by a mouse pointer.
If you are in tight quarters or aim to use MSSIAH playing live and do not want to carry around a big bulky TV-set or old school monitor, a great tip is to get a USB capture device. Those are available on the market for the purpose of capturing old camcorders, video games etc. These devices accept composite video or s-video input (comes out of your C64's audio/video-output) and converts it to a live video feed on your PC or Mac.

Is there a MIDI out?

I want to play classic C64 broken chords directly on my MIDI keyboard. Can I use the MSSIAH for that?
Yes. With MSSIAH Sequencer in polyphonic mode, just play multiple MIDI notes with any wave-table enabled instrument and you have that instantly recognizable C64 broken chord.

Application specific

Does MSSIAH provide both polyphonic MIDI playing as well as multitimbral modes?
Short answer: Yes.
Each application responds to MIDI in its own way, MonoSynthesizer being a monophonic synthesizer, Drummer using a keyboard map etc.
The Sequencer app has three modes of operation: Multi (1-6 individual channels), poly (up to 6 voice polyphony with two SIDs) and Multi/Poly where SID #1 is multitimbral and SID #2 is polyphonic.
Note that the MSSIAH apps (except Wave-Player being 100% MIDI controlled) still operate in their own standard modes. Switching to MIDI mode makes the application respond to MIDI messages only.

Are these stand-alone applications or "plugins"?
No plugins, these are stand-alone applications. You can't run two at the same time. After all, it's a 1 Mhz computer..

Can I load for example, a Drummer file into the Sequencer and play it?
No. The applications are not interchangable in that way. Drummer software is not replicated inside Sequencer and vice versa.

Can I use the Sequencer for making music to a game or demo?
No, MSSIAH Sequencer tracks require too much CPU and memory. There is a stand-alone tool to play the songs though, so you can still send your arrangement to someone without a MSSIAH for playback.

Does the Drummer have filter control?

What about the Wave-Player, is it a sampler?
It is a MIDI sample player designed to import samples such as drums and sound fx played back on the gritty SID triggered with your MIDI keyboard.
We did not add the ability to record or edit samples because most people have no access to a C64 sampler, it's better to use a modern PC to record and edit your files. The cartridge would have been more costly if we would have built in a sampler. Recording functionality would have wasted precious memory too...

Does Wave-Player work with both 6581 and 8580 SID chips?

Does Wave-Player have an internal sequencer? Does it work without MIDI?
Wave-Player does not come with an internal sequencer, samples are only triggered via MIDI (and previewed with space bar key).

How many sounds can I squeeze into the Wave-Player?
The Wave-Player plays back 4-bit samples at 6Khz. The free memory available allows a total of about 5 1/2 seconds of samples.
You can have up to 16 samples in memory and lay them out on your keyboard in two different keygroups.

Is 5 1/2 seconds really enough?
Percussive sounds and fx are generally quite short and does not require that much memory.

What other features does the Wave-Player have?
Three virtual channels each freely routed to either SID #1 or #2 (i.e., up to three voice polyphony). Keygroup samples are adjustable for output, fixed level or velocity and one-shot triggering (plays to end).

Are there any preset samples for the Wave-Player?
Yes. There is a ROM library with 130 preset samples on the cartridge ready to fire away!

Can I use my own samples in the Wave-Player app?
Of course. There are import functions for disk, MIDI dump and SDR. The easiest way is to plug in your MIDI cable and dump the samples from a PC audio editing program (such as SoundForge) with an "open loop" dump feature i.e., one-way transfer of MIDI samples using one MIDI cable only.
Another option is to transfer a normal wave file to a 1541 floppy and import it right away (Wave-Player reads Windows Wave files). MIDI dumps are faster and easier though.


Do I need the SID2SID?
You can still run the software without the SID2SID but if you want 3 extra parts in Sequencer and 3 extra voices of polyphony, SID2SID is a great addon!

Is it hard to assemble the SID2SID?
If you have never touched a soldering iron? -Yes!
If you are an average with a soldering iron, no problems. If you are a complete beginner, you can always ask a friend with better skills..

Do you sell SID circuits?

Do you sell assembled SID2SIDs?

Do you sell components to the SID2SID?
No. You can get a kit of components here: Shareware PLUS
Or go to your local electronics supplier, like Digikey, Mouser, Farnell etc.. You find the bill of material in the installation guide.

On what address do I access the SID2SID should I write my own software?

Can I exchange the transistor 2N2222 for a 2N2222A instead? Can I use the ones with plastic casing?
Yes. 2N2222A and 2N2222 are practically the same transistor. Same goes for the plastic versions MPS2222. Be aware that there is a deviating version P2N2222 with the pins in completely reversed order.
Just take the extra time to have a look in the datasheet for your specific transistor package before you start and verify the Collector-Base-Emitter pins.

Ordering / Shipping

Where do I order the MSSIAH?
Right here -> ORDER

How much does it cost to ship it to my country?
Go to the order page and fill in your order and the total price is calculated automatically on the bottom of the page.
You do not need to place the order to see the price.

How long does it take to ship it to my country?
Normally 1 week within Europe, 2 weeks outside Europe. Times may vary and local holidays can also affect shipping time.

From where is the package shipped?
Sweden, Europe.

Do you have express shipping service? Fedex? UPS?
No. Shipping is via local post carriers.

Do you use my address registered at Paypal or the one I fill in the order form?
The one printed on the address label is the one you submitted in the order form but we will visually verify that the address submitted to Paypal do not differ.

I just ordered. What now? Where do I pay?
Wait for us to process the order. You will receive a payment bill via email.

Can I pay with western union?
No. The payment options we offer are Paypal/credit card (via Paypal) or bank wire transfer.

What is my order page?
It's a page with your order info and the current status, whether a bill has been sent and whether we have received your payment etc.
Before we dispatch your order we will ask you to confirm that your shipping address is correct which is done by clicking a confirm button visible on your order page after payment is received.