01/W PCM Cards

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- What Is PCM? 
- Technical Details 
  - The PCM Memory 
  - The Connector 
  - PCM Card Pinouts 
  - Theory of Operation
- Korg PCM Cards 
  - Best of M&T 
  - Orchestral  
  - Piano Keyboard 
  - Dance  
  - Synth Design 
  - Ethnic
- Korg XPC Cards
Custom-made Cards 
Copying a PCM card 
Finding used cards 
Compatibility with other synths 
PCM card problems, fixing 
Big Warning!
- Please Note -
We don't sell PCM cards and don't know exactly where to find them, so please don't bother sending an e-mail asking how or where to get one. I'll just send you to my Used Gear page.

What Is PCM?
PCM stands for Pulse Code Modulation. It is a way of storing recorded sounds, much like digitizing a wave file for your personal computer. The most basic building-blocks of the 01 are the Multi-Sounds and Drum Sounds that are stored in ROM as PCM-encoded recordings (or "samples").

Note: At this level, 01/W terminology needs to be precise. Technically, "Sound" refers to either a Multi-Sound or a Drum Sound. One or more Sounds are used to make a Program, or "Prog" (commonly called a Patch by non-Korg synthesists). Up to eight Programs are used to build a Combination, or "Combi". So, technically, a Sound is a PCM sample.

The 01 comes with permanent Sounds burned into ROMs. These cannot be lost or changed. Additional Sounds were/are available on a card that plugs into the "PCM DATA" slot in the back of the 01. These "PCM Cards" were/are sold by Korg and others.

When you plug a PCM card into your 01, you are adding Multi-Sounds and/or Drum Sounds to those already installed in your 01. If you click on "Card Contents" in the descriptions below, you will see exactly how many Sounds will be added.

A PCM Card can break or simply die. If/when it does, none of your Progs, Combis, or Sequences that use Sounds off that Card will work. You cannot "back-up" a PCM Card - not to the floppy or anything over MIDI. If you have a gig the night your Card dies, then you, too, are dead, dead, dead. You have two options: 
1. Buy a second, identical Card and have it ready to plug in, 
2. It may be possible to build a custom SRAM PCM Card that can hold a copy the PCM Card. 
Also Be Aware:
1. Adding a PCM Card does NOT give you any Programs or Drum Kits using the new Sounds. You must either acquire or create new Programs/Kits that use the new Sounds. These Progs/Kits can come off cards that plug into the PROG/SEQ DATA slot (in the back of your 01), come off a floppy disk, or be sent over MIDI using SysEx messages.

2. The PCM card must always be plugged into the 01 when you want to use any Sounds off that PCM card - the PCM Sounds are NOT read off the Card and magically stored anywhere. This means...

3. You can't use the PCM Card in multiple 01s at the same time, and

4. You can't use two or more PCM Cards OR the Sounds off two or more PCM Cards at the same time.

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Commercial PCM Cards

Commercial PCM cards were made and sold by Korg and at least one other manufacturer. Korg no longer sells 01/W PCM cards.

Korg XSC Series Card Sets (PCM Card and Program/Combination Card Set)

Korg sold six PCM Card Sets at a cost of $200 (US $) each. Cards could be used "with all 0-series products except 03R/W". As expressed in 1992 sales literature:

"Each two-card set in the XSC series of data cards gives you a PCM card which offers a huge volume of quality PCM data, plus a program/combination card containing 100 programs and 100 combinations, and demo sequences."

You must have the PCM Card (XSC) to get the new Sounds. The Prog/Combi Card (XPC) is conveneint but not required. You may be able to find the contents the contents of this card as downloadable files on the internet, which you can then put on a floppy or send over MIDI. Try http://www.vienxu.com/korg0.

Best of M&T
XSC-1S (XSC-801 + XPC-01) Click here to see Card contents.
Multi-Sounds: 37. Drum Sounds: 24.
"This set features a PCM card with 37 multisounds and 24 drum sounds, plus a program/combination card, that reproduces some of the sounds of Korg's M and T series workstations, such as koto tremolo (#34, Koto Trem), the fantasy-like Magic Ring (#57), and the popular Magic Organ (program #10)."

XSC-2S (XSC-802 + XPC-02) Click here to see Card contents.
Multi-Sounds: 23. Drum Sounds: 14.
"This unique set of data cards features a PCM card with 23 multisounds reproducing a wide variety of orchestral instruments, plus 14 drum sounds that include various orchestral percussion and sound effects. This is a solid collection of material for orchestration and sound effect applications."

Piano Keyboard
XSC-3S (XSC-803 + XPC-03) Click here to see Card contents.
Multi-Sounds: 7. Drum Sounds: 0.
"The PCM card of this practical set contains seven keyboard multisounds, each occupying a large portion of the card's memory. The highlight of the set is a soft, classical-sounding piano with a keyboard response that will topple your notion of what a 'synthesized piano' sounds like."

XSC-4S (XSC-804 + XPC-04) Click here to see Card contents.
Multi-Sounds: 16. Drum Sounds: ?.
"The XSC-4S PCM Card contains 16 multisounds such as SynthBass and SlapBass, which are essential for funk and dance music like House and Rap. This is a super set of multisounds and drum sounds for dance music!"

Synth Design
XSC-5S (XSC-805 + XPC-05) Click here to see Card contents.
Multi-Sounds: 82. Drum Sounds: ?.
"This set presents a montage of synthesized sounds that will take you from analog synths through the latest techno-industrial sounds."

XSC-6S (XSC-806 + XPC-06) Click here to see Card contents.
Multi-Sounds: 64(or 66?). Drum Sounds: 43.

"The XSC-6S card contains ethnic sounds not in internal memory such as traditional Japanese instruments. There is a wide range of ethnic instruments; for example, Shakuhachi, Koto, Taiko, Tsutsumi, Sitar and Santur. In particular, the sounds of Sitar and Santur are excellent. The drum kits also contain unique ethnic sounds."

XPC Series (Program/Combination Cards)

"Created by professional programmers, this series includes sounds created using the Wave Shaping function, remarkable simulations of acoustic instruments, and a host of other effects that demonstrate the abilities of the 01/W series. Each card contains 100 programs and 100 combinations." {source: Korg brouchure, 1992}

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SynthLegends (http://perso.wanadoo.fr/synthlegends/home.htm). They write:
TR & TB Multisamples in quantity & quality are available on the SYNTHLEGENDS PCM Cards, the 2 cards that contain those samples are :
PCM-EXP-001: Synth Legend
PCM-EXP-002: Techno & Hip-Hop
- - - -
They now offer 4 different PCM cards:
PCM-EXP-001: Synth Legend
PCM-EXP-002: Techno & Hip-Hop
PCM-EXP-003: Rock & Pop
PCM-EXP-004: Orchestral Elements & Filmscore
The price:  $100 each.
Note:  All prices include international air mail shipping. (2002Aug20)
- - - - -
Sybaris Labs (http://www.sybarislabs.com/shop/)

"New PCM cards for 01/W synths, including the acoustic string modeled piano PCM card, 'The Way'."
The card costs $155+shipping from Turkey. (2000Jun14)
2002 Aug 20: E-mail reports this company may be out of business. I have not confirmed.

Invision may have been another manufacturer. Their Acoustic Instruments card is reported to contain the following 8 Multi-Sounds: "Bari Horn", "Rainstick1", "Rainstick2", "Harpelieke", "Solo Flute", "Solo Violin", "Guitar", and "Concert Harp". These samples were said to be "fabulous" by the card owner.

Custom-Made Cards
It appears possible to create your own PCM cards. (I have not done this personally). Basically, you can create a 2MB card for $135 plus the hardware and software required to do the job. You can copy an existing PCM card or create your own sounds and store them on this card. For details, visit http://members.aol.com/wrkshppcm.

Used Cards
You may be able to find used PCM cards for sale over the internet at places like the korg 01 mail list, an auction house like E-bay, or by posting you interest at a site like SynthZone. You might also get lucky by posting a "PCM Card Wanted" notice at you local Korg music store and/or service center. For more details, go to the Used 01 Gear page.

Compatibility with Other Synths
The 03 uses the same PCM cards as the 01. There are no separate PCM cards for the 03.
Click here to see a list of 03R/W Cards and their part numbers.
The 03R/W was Korg's way of having a General MIDI synth on the market until the follow-up to the 01 appeared. It is a sound module that powers-up with GM Progs and Drum Kit in the proper Program numbers. (That is, totally different from the 01.) It does not have a floppy drive.

The 03R/W  has some 01 Sounds and some Sounds unique to the 03. This means that any Prog/Combi Cards made for the 03 will likely not sound right in an 01. One 01 owner reported that his 01 would not recognize the 03 Prog/Combi cards at all - his money was wasted.

Wavestation SR
It has been reported that 01 PCM cards will work in the Korg X3 and Wavestation SR. (It wasn't stated whether X3 and/or SR cards will work in the 01.)

Cards made for Wavestation models other than the SR are said not to work in either the SR or the 01.

M1 cards will not work in the 01.

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PCM Card Problems

If you insert a card and get the message "no card", the card is probably not making good electrical contact. This could be because:
1. The card is not inserted properly. Both the PCM and Prog/Combi cards should extend exactly the same distance from the back of the 01.
2. The card fingers are dirty. Clean them with contact cleaner, alcohol, or even a pencil eraser. Just make sure the fingers are completely clean before putting the card in the slot.

3. The card slot is dirty. These slots tend to accumulate dust that gets pushed onto the contacts. A blast of compressed air (from your lungs or a can) can fix the problem.

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Copying a PCM Card

PCM cards cannot be copied to the 01 floppy (not to be confused with the companion Prog/Combi card, which can.) PCM cards cannot be read and sent out over MIDI in any way.

It has been reported that a PCM card can be copied to a PC disk. Once there, it can be copied out to an SRAM card. You must have a PCMCIA slot on your PC to do this. (NOTE: I haven't done any of this, so I can't answer any questions about it.)

Some PCM cards have a feature called CIS/Attribute memory. The Korg card does NOT support Attribute memory. Knowing this

1. Obtain and install on your PC "Freecard services software" which will read PCM cards that do not support Attribute memory. (available from http://www.csluk.demon.co.uk/cs)

2. Set the software to read 2MB, read your card, and save the file to your computer's disk.

3. Buy a 2MB SRAM card that does NOT have CIS/Attribute memory (about $135 from Synchrotech (http://www.synchrotech.com PCM-SR-N02 - Synchrotech 2MB PCMCIA SRAM without Attribute).

4. Write the file from the disk out to the SRAM card.

5. As a bonus, if you have the system described above, you can create your own PCM cards by using the PCM Workshop program (from http://members.aol.com/wrkshppcm).

NOTE: This only works for copying PCM cards. There is no way to copy the Sounds stored in ROM inside the 01.

Technical Details

Precise details on how the samples are stored is not available. There are reports that these are 16-bit samples, uncompressed and unencrypted. That means if you could read the data from a card into your computer, you could play the sample back with any common wave editor. It is unknown what the code is that marks the start and/or end of a sample.
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The PCM Memory
The 01 internal PCM data is contained in five mask ROMs (a sixth socket is empty). Each ROM is 1M x 16 (16 Megabits), which is the same as 2 MegaBytes (2MB) Click here for 01 ROM details.
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The Connector
The connector itself is Part Code 474015400, described as "Card Connector FCN-565P068-G/C". It is also identified as "JEIDA PCM CARD SLOT  CN22A".

This is said to be a PCMCIA Type-I connector, compatible with Release 1.0 (1990 Sep) or 2.0 (1991 Sep). Cards that plug into this connector are said to be a one-time programmable memory (OTP) ROM card. I have not confirmed this.

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PCM Card Pinouts
These are the pin assignments for the PCM connector in the 01/W as given in the Service Manual. I don't yet know how the pin numbers line up on the connector physically. To find that out means opening up my 01 and studying markings on the PC board where the connector is mounted and looking for actual pin numbers printed on the board, or at least a Pin 1 indicator (like a dot). The table below is my best guess. If you have definite knowledge about this, please e-mail any corrections or additional information (address is at the bottom of this page).
PCM Card Slot Pin Numbers and Signal Names
01 Name Card Name Pin Pin Card Name 01 Name
Ground Ground 1 68 Ground Ground
EWD2 D3 2 67 CD2- P.C ST
EWD3 D4 3 66 D10 EWD9
EWD4 D5 4 65 D9 EWD8
EWD5 D6 5 64 D8 EWD7
EWD6 D7 6 63 AM1- (?) (open)
WB3 CSL- 7 62 AM2- (?) (open)
WA9 A10 8 61 nc Ground
Ground OE- 9 60 nc Ground
WA10 A11 10 59 nc nc
WA8 A9 11 58 nc nc
WA7 A8 12 57 nc nc
WA12 A13 13 56 nc nc
WA13 A14 14 55 nc nc
"A" (5/16 volts) nc 15 54 A23 WB2
nc nc 16 53 A22 WB1
"A" (5/16 volts) VCC 17 52 nc "A" (5/16 volts)
"A" (5/16 volts) nc 18 51 VCC "A" (5/16 volts)
WA15 A16 19 50 A21 WB0
WA14 A15 20 49 A20 WA19
WA11 A12 21 48 A19 WA18
WA6 A7 22 47 A18 WA17
WA5 A6 23 46 A17 WA16
WA4 A5 24 45 nc nc
WA3 A4 25 44 nc nc
WA2 A3 26 43 nc nc
WA1 A2 27 42 CSH- WB3
WA0 A1 28 41 D15 EWD14
Ground A0 29 40 D14 EWD13
nc D0 30 39 D13 EWD12
EWD0 D1 31 38 D12 EWD11
EWD1 D2 32 37 D11 EWD10
nc WP 33 36 CD1- P.C ST
Ground Ground 34 35 Ground Ground
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Signal Descriptions
Signal Description
A0 - A23 Address lines. 24 bits can address 16,777,216 (16M) addresses. 
Each address line is terminated with a 100-ohm pull-up resistor and a 330 pf capacitor to ground.
WAn probably "Wave Address"
WBn probably "Wave Bank"
D0 - D16 Data lines. 16 bits of data.
EWDn probably "E(something) Wave Data"
CSH- normally means "Chip Select, High", but the usage here is not clear
CSL- normally means "Chip Select, Low", but the usage here is not clear
OE- Output Enable (active low)
"A" A DC voltage labeled "16V" that likely goes to a 5-volt regulator on the PCM card. It is also possible that it is mislabeled, and it is actually 5 volts. An actual measurement would settle this question.
P.C ST Output from Card to CPU. This may indicate that a card is inserted.
WP probably "Write Protect". May have been designed-in early in case writable PCM memory was ever offered. The signal is not connected on the 01/W side.
nc Normally means "not connected", but there are exceptions: 
Card pins 15, 18, and 52 are connected to "A" (5-volts?). 
Card pins 60 and 61 are connected to 01/W ground.
VCC This is labelled as "VCC" on the connector, but is connected to "A" in the 01. There are two VCC pins on the connector, which are decoupled to the four Ground pins with a 10uF, 16-volt electrolytic capacitor (another indication that "A" is really 5-volts).
Ground There are four Ground pins. All are connected together and decoupled to VCC.
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Theory of Operation

A ROM is enabled by a chip select line (CSn-, active low) that is driven by a 3-to-8 line decoder (the two high lines, Y6- and Y7-, are not used). This decoder is enabled by an active high signal (WB3).  The ROM Output Enable (OE-) pins are tied to ground, which means the outputs are turned on by the Chip Select lines.

The PCM card slot is designed to address up to eight ROMs. It uses a similar addressing scheme by using the highest Card address bits (A21, A22, A23) to drive a 3-to-8 line decoder. This decoder is enabled when the same signal (WB3) is low. The PCM card ROM Output Enable (OE-) pins are tied to ground, which means the outputs are turned on by Chip Select lines.

All PCM ROMs are accessed by IC12 (MB87726PF, a QFP-160 package, with the note "TG88"). It is driven by a 32 MHz (31.25ns) clock, which would have some relation to the access time of the PCM ROM.

Copyright ©1998-2003, 2020 by Ken Westover at Cliff Canyon Publishing Co. All rights reserved.
This material may not be distributed without the written permission of the author.
 E-mail questions or comments to cliffcan@indra.com.
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