Hybrid Music System

The Hybrid Music System is a range of musical add-ons for the BBC Micro. The first to appear was an 8 voice digital synthesizer called Music 500. This uses a music composition language called AMPLE to control its sound generation and playback of musical parts.

The Music 5000, which followed, is essentially the same hardware as the 500, with the addition of more user friendly software to allow for recording, playback and mixing of the sounds, plus a more powerful ROM based version of the AMPLE language.

The Music 4000 is a 4 octave keyboard add-on that allows the user to play the sounds, and to record sequences directly.

The Music 2000 is a MIDI interface, that allows external instruments to be controlled using AMPLE.

Some time ago I built a copy of the Music 2000, working from an original unit.
Here is a schematic of a functionally equivalent midi interface.
This is a first draft of the schematic.
I am in the (slow) process of laying out a PCB for it, which I will post here when it is complete and tested.
In the meantime I would only recommend you attempt to build one if you know what you're doing.

OCR'ed Manuals:

AMPLE Nucleus Prgrammers Guide (PDF Format, 391k)
Music 2000 Manual (PDF Format, 143k)

(If you find any errors in these, please drop me a mail !)

Music 5000 and 4000 manuals are still to be OCR'ed
If anyone's interested please let me know, as I'm more likely to scan and OCR them if it's going to be of use to someone.

Here are zips of some standard format disk images of AMPLE system disks, and a couple of extras.

Music 5000 System Disk Includes M2000 and M4000 modules, and patched ROM image.

If you SHIFT+BREAK this disk on a Master, it checks for the AMPLE ROM in sideways slot 4, and if not found, loads both the AMPLE ROM image, and AMPLE Nucleus Help File ROM.
A further SHIFT+BREAK then loads the AMPLE Studio system.
If you use real ROMs, you may want to replace the !BOOT file with 'runner' which is the normal AMPLE !BOOT script.
If you don't have a Music 4000 or 2000, you can edit 'runner' so modules M2 and M4 don't INSTALL, saving memory.

'Ample Bytes Back' and 'Cosmix' - Ample 'Albums'
Music 500 System Disk
Ample User Group disks - for Music 500

AMPLINEX (Ample Information Exchange) was a disk based magazine for Music 5000 users.
Here are image files of the first 16 disks, plus the extra Music disks.

Amplinex 001 and 002
Amplinex 003 and 004
Music disks 1 to 5
Amplinex 005
Amplinex 006
Amplinex 006
Amplinex 009
Amplinex 010 and 012
Amplinex 011
Amplinex 013
Amplinex 014 and 015
Amplinex 016

Please note these disk images are provided for educational use only.
If you are the original copyright owner of any of the files on these disks,
and you do not wish them to be distributed, let me know and I'll take the files down.

Here is an article about the internal operation of the synth.

ETI Article - Inside Hybrid's Music 5000

What does it sound like ?

Cheesy as hell when you try to create a whole track from it, although it seemed incredibly powerful in the mid 1980s
It is however, capable of some interesting sounds, with a nice retro 8 bit digital graininess.

Have a listen...
A bit of Bach (540k)
More of the Bach (3.7M)
Oscillator sync fx (320k)

Last update: 7th January 2007