Alesis ModFx SmashUp part 1

Alesis ModFx units have been at clearance prices for quite sometime. I did get my Philtre and SmashUp relatively cheap a while ago. The Philtre is kind of cool, but the Smashup totally sucks IMO and here is the reason why. It puts that annoying compressor pop all over my tracks and I am sick and tired of it. Now I don’t expect a lesson on compressors and how I should use them, but for the longest time I wanted to take apart the darn thing and see what’s on the insides. The hardest part about that is undoing the nuts that are on the control pots, I used a pair of needle nose pliers to do the trick. To no surprise at all the main DSP consisted of a tiny tiny Chip. The main IC had an Alesis 0-61-0060 m14 v1.04 sticker on it, under the sticker the true identity of Phillips p87c51rd-1b was revealed, link to datasheet here. Its a programmable sucker and I have not had much time to look through the specs, but my guess is that all of the ModFxs are virtually identical except with different firmware. I still have the Philtre to disassemble and confirm that. I guess the next step is to probe around and see if I can fry the thing. One thing I gathered from the datasheet is that these chips have an onboard crystal, however there is a second clock input that can be manipulated. So the usual data injecting techniques will be tried. Please stay tuned for part 2……..