Some Frequently Asked Questions
- Where can I get a new power supply?
What are the power requirements of the MMT-8?
Sound Technology in the UK
sell them: Alesis PSUs.
"I have found that a company called LINE 6, which sells guitar effects
equipment and amps, uses the same power suply rating as the mmt-8. I have been
using that power suply (I believe 9 volt AC 1amp) for quite some time now and it
works great. Line 6 sells the power supplies separately... I used to work for an
Alesis/line 6 dealer, and used to sell them often... I believe the part number
is px-1." (D.Jones)
Here's a link to buy them at Yahoo's store: PX-1 AC Power Supply
The MMT-8 runs on 9V AC, 7VA. Allegedly, if you accidentally plug in DC voltage, it doesn't harm the MMT-8.
- My MMT-8 won't store parts or songs any more when I turn the power off.
Your MMT-8's internal battery is flat. See below...
- Where can I get a new battery?
How can I fit it?
Any kind of 3.6 volt lithium battery should do. As far as we know, there are two sorts
used in the MMT-8: a grey flat one, and a pink cylindrical one. The size/shape isn't important, but
you will need to be able to use a soldering iron to replace the battery. Here's one
"Although my battery was still retaining memory, the date code on
it was 05/89 and knowing that lithium memory batteries have a 10 year life at
best, I decided to replace mine before finding out it needed replacement. Knowing
that I can find almost anything on the web I discovered a source here in the midwest USA
at Tri-State Electronics. My
battery is a cylindrical type with axial leads for solder in. Go to the above
site, navigate to batteries, then in the battery listings navigate
to Tadiran Tl5101 1/2 AA 3.6V Lithium Battery. There you'll find 3 styles of this type
of battery with the COMP4-5 being the type to order.
They have a secure checkout and mine was received within 3 days of order. Price was reasonable
too - about $12.00 USD incl. shipping. You'll have to be careful forming the leads
to fit the solder pads on the MMT-8 motherboard so you don't short them together, but
the task of removing the old one and soldering in the new one was no big shakes." (Kevin)
- Does the LCD screen have variable contrast?
Sort of. It was rumoured that there was a combination of keypresses that could alter
the contrast, but no-one's discovered it yet. However:
"I have found that you can reach the variable contrast in the mmt-8 by
opening it up, and there's a variable resistor that adjusts it. it's right on
the back of the lcd pcb. But it's more of a brightness rather than a
- What version did the ROMs get to?
Where can I get hold of the latest version?
The final version of the ROM was 1.11. Go here to see the
differences between the versions.
To upgrade your MMT-8 to the latest version, you have two choices:
- Download the latest ROM binary from here,
and find someone kind who'll blow you an EPROM for a small amount of money.
- Ask on the forum if someone has any spares.
Sound Technology used to sell them,
we're not sure if they do any longer.
- How can I fix my buttons? They don't work any more.
The method we use is to (a) clean the contacts on the PCB with propyl
alcohol, and (b) gently rub an emory board or fine sandpaper on the button contacts
themselves. This works for us, but we take no responsibility if this doesn't work for
you! Here's a suggestion from the forum:
"Anyone who has suffered from 'sticky' buttons will know how frustrating
it is when you have to hold them down hard for ages or else they won't respond at all.
Well I know how to fix the problem. This is especially relevant to UK users
because it is harder for us to get replacement button membranes - Alesis UK don't
stock them as far as I know*. All you need to do is open up your mmt8 and glue
pieces of foil to the bottom of the electro conductive rubber pads under the
buttons. However make sure you know your mmt8 is very ill because there is no
going back on this once you've done it: the glue will stop the electro
conductive rubber ever working again. I recommend using a 2 part epoxy resin glue
(e.g., Araldite in the UK) as super glue is too brittle and the foil will come off
in use. It takes a while to do, but your mmt8 will work as well as it did when
it was new (maybe even better), and the buttons will not get worse, but I will
stress again DO NOT do this unless you are having major problems with your
machine. You may need to check the condition of the foil regularly, but is easy
to replace the foil with another piece." (Thomas)
* Alesis UK = Sound Technology, Alesis' distributors
in the UK. According to them, they sold me the last keyboard pad (membrane) at the end of 2001, sorry. pete
See the Miscellaneous page for more info about buttons
- Can the MMT-8 store audio?
Absolutely not. It stores nothing but MIDI, and not a great deal of that - about
11,000 notes on average.
- How can I use a computer to backup my parts and songs?
How do I get sysex data in and out of my MMT-8?
If your computer has a MIDI interface, then you can store the entire contents of
your MMT-8s memory on the computer's hard drive via sysex. Sysex is simply control
information that can be sent through MIDI cables; in this case, the MMT-8 uses sysex
to dump its memory. The memory files can be sent back to the MMT-8 in a similar fashion.
a 'how-to' using Alesis' Freeloader software. Most computer-based sequencers will allow
you to receive and send sysex.
- Can I convert MMT-8 sysex files to and from MIDI files?
Yes. Pete Kvitek's MMT-8 Exchange will let
you do exactly that, and has many other useful functions. The software costs $19.95.
Alternatively, you could look at Giebler Enterprise's MMT-8 Sequencer Conversion Software,
which is more expensive and hasn't got a nice Windows interface.
- What's the full character set?
(Very similar to ASCII: 32 is top left, 127 bottom right)
- Where can I get hold of the original demos that came loaded with the MMT-8?
Here: mmt8fact.syx (14.4 kb). [It's a sysex file, see above]
- How much does a second-hand MMT-8 cost?
In the UK, somewhere between £60 and £120.
- Are there any 'Easter Eggs' inside the MMT-8's software?
Sort of, though if you're expecting a lost level of Quake, you'll be disappointed.
Hold the NAME button, then either CLOCK, CLICK or TEMPO:
|NAME + CLOCK|
|NAME + CLICK|
|NAME + TEMPO|
As far as we know, "Fast Forward Designs" = Michel Doidic and Marcus Ryle, who went on to
found Line 6 (home of the POD). Keith
Barr started Alesis Studio Electronics in late 1984, according to
the Alesis Semiconductor site.
- Where can I buy/sell an MMT-8?
PLEASE don't email us about it, we can't help, sorry.
- Where can I get a replacement LCD screen?
Ranger Audio Enterprises sell them,
the part number is 12705955.
- Can the MMT-8 do step recording?
Not in the traditional sense, no. You can enter the notes by hand in the PART EDIT
mode, but this is a pain. The only real alternatives are (a) create the sequence elsewhere
and import it (via midi, sysex, whatever) into the MMT-8, or (b) play the sequence into
the MMT-8 then quantise and edit it.
- Do you make all the LCD screen gifs by hand?
No, we wrote a script. The script (VBScript) makes a bitmap, and we batch convert the
bitmaps into gifs with Photoshop.
- Why mmt8.com and not mmt-8.com?
No real reason! www.mmt-8.com should point to this site, too.
Please drop us a line here if you've any questions, or
would like to add to this FAQ.
FAQ last updated Tuesday, 9th April 2002