Author Topic: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise! (UPDATE)  (Read 37228 times)

DiyFreaque

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #20 on: December 12, 2005, 10:01:19 PM »
Reminds me of the "Dan Electro" perspex guitar with "plug in pickups" !!
Choose from HB/SC/ etc etc.... ( Dave from Foo Fighters uses one )


Reminds me of (IIRC) the Electra MPC guitar (could be wrong about the name) - early to mid eighties, a Les Paul knockoff that you could insert two different effects modules into it.  A buddy of mine had one.  Seems to me he had  phase shifter, flanger and distortion modules for it.  Halfway decent effects to my memory.

From what I understand, Line 6 puts out a damn nice stompbox.  For some reason this concept fails to excite me.   Dunno why, I guess I get this mental image of my kid shoving modules into his Gameboy, always wanting the next one that comes out. 

Edit:  It was Electra (not Ibanez) - Jack has a better memory than me.
« Last Edit: December 12, 2005, 10:15:11 PM by DiyFreaque »

PharaohAmps

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #21 on: December 12, 2005, 10:20:46 PM »
Good Times...

Yessir!  The MM-4 was the first Line6 product I ever bought.  I should post a pic of mine - it's been modified a bit at this point.  Actually, here you go:



It's got a switch connected to the exp. pedal jack, which gets bypassed if I use an exp. pedal.  I also did some "road ready" mods and maintenance to it, just tightening things up and similar.  I've had it since they first came out, probably around 1999?  Jorge would remember.  They use (IIRC) an Atmel OTP PROM chip for program data storage, which isn't protected or anything.  I bought an FM-4 when they were new (and $250!!!) and liked it, but not enough to own it.  I pulled the PROM and read it down.  I get some samples of the PROM from Atmel and programmed 'em.  Fired up my MM-4 with the FM-4 chip installed and it was an FM-4.  I then bought another MM-4 used, pretty cheap, and made it the dedicated FM-4.  I painted it orange, too.  ;)

But the MM-4 is super great to have around.  Takes enough space for 3 pedals and needs its own power supply (my board has a 3-output number with 2x 9VDC regulated and 1x 9VAC) but the sounds it makes are worth it.  My presets are analog chorus, opto trem, putch vibrato, and rotary drum & horn.  Each effect has a "heel down" and "toe down" setting on the exp. pedal saved, and so with the switch up top I get 8 different modulation effects.

and DiyFreaque:  those guitars were made by Electra.  I have some custom-made modules for my Electra MPC Outlaw bass...
Pharaoh Amplifiers
http://www.pharaohamps.com

DiyFreaque

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #22 on: December 12, 2005, 10:38:55 PM »
Yep - Electra - I read a post from AMZ-Effects in a diff thread and that sparked my memory.  I knew there was in E in there somewhere  :)  (I think I burned through that section of my noggin at a UB40/Police concert sometime after he sold the thing). 

Had no idea they had a bass, too!  Not to hijack the thread, but what custom effects do you have for it?

SeanCostello

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #23 on: December 13, 2005, 02:38:17 AM »
So...what DSP chips are used? Anyone?

I suppose I should open up my DL-4 and see what is in there.

Sean Costello


Processaurus

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #24 on: December 13, 2005, 04:03:42 AM »
  Each effect has a "heel down" and "toe down" setting on the exp. pedal saved, and so with the switch up top I get 8 different modulation effects.

Did you see Mr Huge's simple schematic for a switch plugged into the expression pedal jack, but with an indicator LED?  That way you know if you're in the heel up or heel down setting.

http://www.diystompboxes.com/smfforum/index.php?topic=33554.msg267874#msg267874

Thats awsome, PharoahAmps, I always wondered if you could switch out the EPROMs ever since I saw the little guy had DL4 stamped on it when I took mine apart.  Too bad it has a trillion little pins on it, otherwise you could fill up the battery compartment with eproms from the other modelers and have a rotary switch on the side to select which modeler you wanted.  Maybe you could do it with one of those crazy jillion pole rotary switches you find in those 5 way computer data switcher boxes. Kind of like the guy that sells digitech XP series Modulation pedals with a switch to select between that and the Whammy pedal, reverb, and the Space Station:

http://guitargeek.com/chat/showthread.php?s=f742924bb5ab6d45e7a635b729a3372a&threadid=58360&perpage=15&pagenumber=2







PharaohAmps

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #25 on: December 13, 2005, 06:39:51 AM »
Yep - Electra - I read a post from AMZ-Effects in a diff thread and that sparked my memory.  I knew there was in E in there somewhere  :)  (I think I burned through that section of my noggin at a UB40/Police concert sometime after he sold the thing). 

Had no idea they had a bass, too!  Not to hijack the thread, but what custom effects do you have for it?

I have a phase shifter (the Electra one was very much like a Small Stone, mine is more like a Phase 90,) a distortion (basically a Rat with LED's,) and a compressor (OTA / Ross / Dynacomp type.)  My bass has two slots, and it came with "Power Overdrive" and "Treble / Bass Expander."

Matt Farrow
Pharaoh Amplifiers
http://www.pharaohamps.com

amz-fx

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #26 on: December 13, 2005, 08:12:34 AM »
So which DSP do these things use anyway? 

If you disassemble the base unit it is easy to see the dsp chip. I have seen pictures of a closeup of the board online where it could be seen but I don't have the link handy.

regards, Jack


PharaohAmps

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #27 on: December 13, 2005, 08:53:40 AM »
IIRC, it's a TI.  I can't remember if it's a TMS320 or what, it's been over a year since I had the back off mine.  But Jack is right, the DSP is right there on the back of the main board.  I'll pop mine open and look tonight.

Matt Farrow
Pharaoh Amplifiers
http://www.pharaohamps.com

Mark Hammer

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #28 on: December 13, 2005, 09:34:48 AM »
It is based on the Motorola 56364 platform, apparently.  What the implications of that are, I cannot tell you because I do not know.

Arno van der Heijden

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #29 on: December 13, 2005, 12:40:25 PM »
So, can Motorola 56364 DSP's be bought somewhere?
And how hard would it be to upload your own code to the DSP?

vettaville

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #30 on: December 13, 2005, 12:46:29 PM »
Hi guys,

Just saw you've found my site, a while back.

FYI, but you guys tear the whole systems apart, I've got a video of the unlocking here
http://www.vettaville.nl/vvtonecoremodularity.html#5

and added another one here
http://www.vettaville.nl/vvlatestnewsnl.htm#187

take care

Arno van der Heijden

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #31 on: December 14, 2005, 02:06:47 PM »
So, can Motorola 56364 DSP's be bought somewhere?
And how hard would it be to upload your own code to the DSP?

Nobody?

Peter Snowberg

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #32 on: December 14, 2005, 03:43:38 PM »
Nice site vettaville! Thanks for putting that stuff on-line. 8)

Motorola spun off their chip making division into what is now Freescale Semiconductor.

Arno, I'm guessing you mean upload to a tone core faceplate module? That's hard to say. Their interface and architecture is going to be totally proprietary.

In terms of the 563xx DSP, it's fairly easy to upload new code. The DSPs actually go through a serial "boot" process when you apply power. The hard part is that uploading new code is just the tip of the iceberg. You also need to know about the support circuits and how they need to be configured. In essence, you need to do a complete hardware reverse engineering job and you might have to make a bunch of guesses along the way about exactly what they built.

The Freescale site says the budgetary price of the '364 is less than $5 in 1000 quantity, but beyond the DSP you have to have the CODEC, the analog conditioning, the user interface, etc.

Look around for an evaluation kit or development board that uses the same 56364 or any of the other DSP563xx Family. There are some AMAZING chips there. You'll also find LOTS of DSP56K tools in production since it's the DSP family that "started it all" for digital audio manipulation at professional quality. :D
Eschew paradigm obfuscation

Mark Hammer

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #33 on: December 14, 2005, 04:07:25 PM »
Those of us in the beta testing group received a note the other day suggesting that Line 6 was considering inviting 3rd parties to develop  modules for insertion into the Tone Core "dock".  I gather the idea is that the dock would essentially be treated as a licenseable platform, the way that Windows or XBox is.  Of course, if companies X, Y, and Z needed docks for their modules, then Line 6 benefits by being able to get even better bulk pricing on them from whoever produces them, and saves themselves the cost of the R&D.  Clever thinking.  Unfortunately, 3rd party developers are pretty much on their own since Line 6 can not provide any development software, though I suppose they are willing to help within the usual limits of IP-theft cautiousness and paranoia (which can go in BOTH directions, so no caustic comments please).  So, if you're a DSP whiz and you think "Geez, I could make so many cool pedals if only I didn't have to go through the drudgery of getting the damn thing manufactured and all the calls to Taiwan that THAT entails", then this may be for you.  I know it certainly isn't for me.  I'm not that clever, and I already have a job.

One of the interesting things this presents is something that prior "modular effects systems" could never get around/past, and that is the proprietary housing/package.  Sequential Circuits had a nifty frac-rac chassis but if you didn't like their phaser, you were stuck.  They never allowed others to take advantage of the chassis/cage so that manufacturer X's effects could be mixed and mingled with SCI's.  Same thing with the Korg PME system and the Vesta Fire system.  Line 6's idea here is to use a single pedal format, rather than a cage/control chassis, but allow others to use the pedal framework/dock.  So, modular in a different kind of way.

Would this mean that a spate of cheap plug-in modules would suddenly make themselves available?  I don't think so.  At least not for the moment.  How far it goes, I can't say.  The absence of development system may simply preclude all but Line 6's avowed competitors from doing anything with this possibility.  Still, I'm pleased that they are willing to maybe broaden out.  It's a very 21st century way to do business, and very different from what most pedal manufacturers have been doing.

Please note that this is NOT any sort of official announcement from Line 6.  It is merely a hint about what MIGHT be in development in the future.  People are considering options, and something might come from it or something may not.  I'm not well-informed enough to say either way, so take it at that level.
« Last Edit: December 14, 2005, 04:11:27 PM by Mark Hammer »

vettaville

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2005, 05:24:14 PM »
Nice site vettaville! Thanks for putting that stuff on-line. 8)


Thanks

Arno van der Heijden

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise! (UPDATE)
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2006, 04:45:55 AM »
The modules will be sold individually:

ToneCore Module MSRP:
ToneDock Mono - $99.99
ToneDock Stereo - $112.99
Uber Metal Module - $41.99
Echo Park Module - $99.99
Crunchtone Module - $41.99
Space Chorus Module - $55.99
Tap Tremolo Module - $55.99
Constrictor Module - $55.99
Dr. Distorto Module - $41.99
Verbzilla Module - $99.99
Liqua Flange Module - $55.99
Roto-Machine Module - $55.99
Otto Filter Module - $41.99

Expected this Spring...

source: http://www.vettaville.nl/vvlatestnewsnl.htm#224

amz-fx

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise!
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2006, 06:36:10 AM »
So, can Motorola 56364 DSP's be bought somewhere?
And how hard would it be to upload your own code to the DSP?

Those who know are prevented from saying because of an NDA.

Quote
Those of us in the beta testing group received a note the other day suggesting that Line 6 was considering inviting 3rd parties to develop  modules for insertion into the Tone Core "dock".  I gather the idea is that the dock would essentially be treated as a licenseable platform, the way that Windows or XBox is.

I predict it won't happen...  until more support is available.

-Jack

Mark Hammer

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise! (UPDATE)
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2006, 10:31:57 AM »
Not having pursued the 3rd party invite myself, I have no idea of what the company's or Jeorge's vision is for this.  As I noted in the Lounge thread on this very topic, though, it makes a certain degree of business sense to invite 3rd party modules as a way of extending the lifespan of the docks as a product in themselves.  I'm assuming that a great deal of investment went into designing and producing them (Lord knows a lot of money has to go into shipping those hefty buggers!), and that the longer a life they have as a vehicle for getting things to market, the greater the likelihood that they remain desirable as a platform, and the more all those investment costs are recouped.

*IF* it should happen that Jeorge gets enough interest from outside (and one assumes corporate support from inside) to justify including 3rd party modules into the Tone Core series, there are a couple of paths to pursue.  One is that the outside parties become sort of contracted designers, and the modules become part of the Tone Core series, with some licensing contract between Line 6 and the 3rd party.  The 3rd party doesn't necessarily have their name associated with the module, but they save themselves the trouble of having to market it themselves.  Another path is the contrary one, in which the 3rd party "scores a ride" with Line 6 via the dock, but takes on the responsibility for promotion and marketing their own product themselves.  Obviously SOME connection to Line 6 has to be maintained in any marketing, though.

Again, I have no idea what they're planning, or what unknown factors might mitigate against this choice, that one, or any others we don't know about.  I will say that the very concept of the "digital wrapper" (to borrow RG's term from the analog domain and extend it - thanks, buddy) is attractive, adventurous, and invites a fascinating collaboration between independent designers and a big company.  Could we one day see hard feelings set aside and a digital implementation of yet another clever sonic adventure by Zachary Vex or other "guest designers"?  That would be interesting, wouldn't it?

I will close this note by repeating what I said in the Lounge.  The mono modules WILL work with stereo docks, so if you're considering dock purchase, spring the extra money for the stereo one just to maintain stereo options for whatever you happen to have plugged into your pedalboard.  I will also emphasize proper maintenance of the contacts and edge connectors in these things.  It's a bit like older cartridge based game platforms like Super NIntendo.  You do NOT want your stage gigs jeopardized by dirty or bent contacts.

A.S.P.

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise! (UPDATE)
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2006, 11:04:51 AM »
maybe a clever sonic "Tube Dock"(TM?) adventure in case valves should get scarce...
 :icon_question:
(maybe with "DigiWrap" ?)
 :icon_wink:
 :icon_razz:

(if so, there`ll surely be a "Tube-Hammer" module...  :icon_smile:)
Analogue Signal Processing

WGTP

Re: WTF?! Line 6 Tonecore series surprise! (UPDATE)
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2006, 05:44:39 PM »
How do the distortions sound???   :icon_cool:
Stomping Out Sparks & Flames