No, MIDI is a balanced signal, where RS-232 is unablanced. MIDI also runs at (IIRC) 32kbaud, which is not a common speed for RS-232 interfaces.If I understand correctly, MIDI is elecrically equivalent to RS232 - I'm a big fan of supporting that (and MIDI also). If there is a header or some other RS232 port, then a MIDI interface cable is all you'd need.
GPIO is definitely a worthwhile thing on modern microcontroller based systems, and having SPI, I2C, and RS-232 I/O would be super useful. On the other hand, all of these things require additional hardware to support, and the team has decided to focus first on making the core computer work as well as possible, leaving expansions for other people to develop.Honestly I think the Commander X16 should feature more IO ports as standard. Namely the MIDI ports we are discussing here and at least a serial port. a MIDI port with super low latency is one of the features that made the Atari ST survive to this day. MIDI ports with the 2 onboard sound chips would make the X16 a must for chiptune/synth lovers and composers. BASIC commands for the MIDI port could be added too, opening more options
A I2C port adressable directly from the address/data bus (ex: PCF8584) would be amazing for interfacing all those nifty breakout boards available to electronics hobbyists, but such chips a quite specialized. Okay, the I2C should be an expansion card...
When MIDI gets raised in the Facebook group, everything of course gets muddled ... since muddling things appears to be a primary function of Facebook ... but it tends to come down to:I watched the Dream Computer Part 2 video and the discussion around the sound hardware. Integration of FM synth hardware and a DAC seems certain. Good flexibility that all programmers would have access to from day one.
I did a bit of searching here but did not see someone talking about an on-board General MIDI synth. Or word it this way: Imagine effectively having a Roland MT-32 built into the system for what I think are a few dollars in parts. The beautiful sound of full wavetable synthesis (instruments plus a drum kit) without taxing the CPU by just a stream of serial commands feeding the synth IC. This would be in addition to the FM and DAC components previously discussed.
One solution to consider comes from the French company Dream and their SAM2695 IC. ...