C64 MIDI and Flash Cart

KerberosThe SID chip inside the Commodore 64 and 128 is arguably still the gold standard for chip tunes, and the C64 itself still a decent computer for MIDI sequencing. [Frank Buss] realized most of the MIDI cartridges for the Commodore computers are either out of production or severely limited, so he set out to create his own.

Unlike the few Commodore MIDI cartridges that are available, [Frank]’s Kerberos has MIDI In, Out, and Thru, controlled by the 6850 ACIA chip, just like the old 80s interfaces. This allows the Kerberos to interface with the old Sequential Circuits, Passport, and Datel software. He’s offering the Kerberos cart up on a crowdfunding site, so if you’d like to grab your own, have at it.

Because the Kerberos is also a Flash cart, it also ships with some of this software; [Frank] got permission from Steinberg to install their Pro 16 software with the Kerberos.  SID Wizard is also pre-loaded on the cart, along with a few other fabulous trackers and sequencers. Of course, there’s no requirement for the Flash portion of the cart to only host MIDI and synth software. You can always upload a few games to the cart over a MIDI interface. Video of the Kerberos below.

11 thoughts on “C64 MIDI and Flash Cart

  1. I knew the Kerberos had three heads, but until I saw this logo I didn’t know it also had three ummm…. yeah, I’ll leave it there.

    1. Most existing C64 MIDI software need a 6850, the 6551 is not register compatible. But I wonder where do you get 6551 chips brand new? The original manufacturer, MOS Technology, is defunct since 2001.
      Availabitlity of the 6850 is no problem, there are a lot of it on eBay, which works great in my prototype. And if I’ll sell thausands of the interface :-) I can replace it with a CPLD.

      1. Ah okay, not register compatible is probably more of a pain then.
        WDC is manufacturing 6502 related stuff these days, they have the W65C51 which you can order from jameco or mouser.
        It’s probably cheaper and easier to get the 6850 though!

  2. Might want to change the name as Kerberos is already taken by a very popular and ubiquitous network authentication protocol. Perhaps it could be named Hydra?

    1. There are a lot of products and companies called Kerberos, I’m sure the network protocol won’t be mixed up with the MIDI interface. Imagine in some IT company “did you fix the kerberos on this computer?” would not mean that someone should have fixed the MIDI interface for a C64 :-)

    2. What Frank said.

      Also, it’s a common enough name from with a sufficiently broadly known origin that I think it would probably be a bad idea for a company to try to pick a fight over it. Absent very clear signs of deliberate attempts at confusing customers or a company in *precisely* the same market it would be inviting litigation from a huge number of other companies and organizations. It’d be like if the Smith Plumbing Co tried to sue the Smith Interior Decorator Co, only to come under fire from Smith Fire Suppression Systems Inc.

  3. So, I have to ask…… Why? There are far more capable programs for the PC under windows and linux than what is available for the C64 for MIDI. What about this would make a musician excited and want one?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s