[Philips NMS-1205 MSX-Audio]
Philips NMS-1205 Music Module (most common MSX-Audio in Europe)

What's an MSX-Audio?

MSX-Audio is a standard for FM sound synthesizer cartridges, which contain an OPL-compatible chip made by Yamaha, the Y8950. This chip is called the MSX-AUDIO. The FM sound generator in the MSX-AUDIO is compatible with the YM3526 (OPL, sometimes called OPL1), so any OPL software can be used with an MSX-Audio. The chip was produced in 1984.

The general characteristics of the chip:

Are there different kinds of MSX-Audio modules?

There are 3 MSX-Audio cartridges as far I know:


What software supports the MSX-Audio?

Are there any MSX emulators which support MSX-Audio?

The old CJS MSX2 emulator was the first one to support MSX-Audio. Later, more came. However, in 2001 Mitsutaka Okazaki wrote an Y8950 emulation engine, which is used in the newest MSX emulators. Fore more information, the MSX emulator section.

Where can I buy an MSX-Audio cartridge?

Since the MSX-Audio isn't produced anymore it can only be acquired 2nd hand. Contact your local MSX club or put an advertisement in the MSX newsgroup or in your local MSX-(disk)-magazine.

You can also buy a MoonSound card; some software that uses only the OPL(1) part of the MSX-AUDIO will work with it. Software that tries to access the ADPCM sampler will not work, because the MoonSound hasn't got any ADPCM sample unit.

I have a Philips Music Module with the NMS-1160 keyboard. Can I use this keyboard as a MIDI keyboard on my PC?

No. The keyboard is merely a bunch of keys and resistors. All the MIDI stuff is inside the Philips Music Module. You can use an MSX with Music Module and keyboard as MIDI device though. You then need a program that reads the keyboard touches (no need to remind you that the keyboad is not touch/velocity sensitive!) via the Music Module and then sends the appropriate MIDI data through the Music Module's MIDI interface.

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