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Build your own SoundBlaster compatible MIDI interface

This is a very old project, from the days a SoundBlaster 16 was a miracle,... A lot of people keep asking for these schematics so I decided to put it on my webpage.

Remember: This is for the Soundblaster (and compatible) cards that use their Joystick-port for MIDI access !

Building this is pretty cheap ... :)

Read the disclaimer!

Hardware ...

Scematics and parts

The chip in the upper part, called "MIDI Instrument to computer", is an optocoupler, this can be either a 4N35 or 4N36.

IC2A and IC2B combine to one single chip IC2, which must be a 7404.

D1 a common diode for example a 1N4108 (not required).

R1 is a resistor of 270 Ohm.
R2 is 1 KOhm,
R3 is 4700 Ohm (also known as 4K7 Ohm),
R4 and R5 are 220 Ohm.

C1 and C2 area ceramic capcitor of 220 pF.

For the connector (plug) to the MIDI devices we need a so called DIN-5 connector, a rond plug with 5 connections. For the joystick we need a 15-pin SubD:

MIDI Connector (female)
Joystick Connector (female)
MIDI connector for MIDI equipment
Soundblaster Joystick connector (female - on the SB)

MIDI Interface schematics

Note: both parts (to and from the MIDI device) are seperate scematics and can be used seperately, so if you only want to "read" key pressures of a keyboard into your computer, then you only nee the "MIDI Instrument to computer" part.



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