GEM S Series Turbo Kit Overview

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GEM S Series Turbo Kit Overview

December 29, 2020 | | No Comments

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The original GEM S Series was expanded with an updated GEM S Turbo series.  This included the GEM S2 Turbo, GEM S3 Turbo and GEM S2/R (Turbo by default).

Due to the interest from owners of the original S Series (non-Turbo), a TurboKit (Hardware and software expansion), was released in March 1994.

The Turbokit offered new features and improvements over the original S Series, including:

  • Tone generation: variable oscillator assignment options, two new operating modes (dual oscillator and single oscillator)
  • Polyphony: max. 32 voices
  • Sounds: 500 sounds and 100 ROM performances
  • Sequencer: the sounds can be edited while the sequence is running, LFO can be synchronized with MIDI clock
  • Internal memory: A battery-backed RAM disk can be set up (with additional memory modules)
  • Sample features: Sample Translator integrated into the operating system, import of samples in many formats, Akai multisamples are read (no sound data)
  • MIDI: Compatible with the GM and Roland GS standards

Upgrades: The Operating System (Firmware), is stored in EPROM (erasable programmable read-only memory).  Various releases were made and can updated to the latest (at the time).  The EPROM releases can be found in GEM & LEM EPROM Information and all EPROM BIN files can be found in the GEMClub Members Downloads area.

Disks: A large range of GEM and GEMClub members disks can be found in the GEMClub Members Downloads area.

Issues: The original (non-turbo), S Series models have a CR2032 lithium coin cell that backs up the global parameters (sounds, patches, and performances are not backed up but can be saved to disk). The GEM S2 Turbo, GEM S3 Turbo and GEM S2/R have SRAM for internal storage. The SRAM (Static RAM), uses a rechargeable NiCd backup battery which is prone to leaking and the battery acid when leaking, often corrodes the PCB and components.  Recommend changing the NiCd battery immediately for a separate battery pack, mounted away from the PCBs.

New Replacement GEMClub TurboKit Plus

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Dave Williams

Original and sole proprietor of GEMWorks Europe, later renamed to GEMClub - Generalmusic Owners Club.

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