yes I decided to learn how to program the nes, and I'm now learning picmicro mpasm, and I'm probably going to split things for now between the midi application interface + nes midi driver and the actual nes based sequencer, focusing on midi first and the sequencer afterwards.
the approach I am using with midi is to use a pic to handle midi processing and then using a translation program to encode the messages into patterns that use the gamepad ports to communicate. For power the pic doesn't have any problems running on the +5 out of the nes's joy lines.
The reason I am using this approach is the nes doesn't have a fast enough clock to deal with midi and everything else, so dumping off the overhead onto the pic is really the best way to go, this allows the nes to do more advanced audio junk, rather than waisting time on midi processing.
also since the pic can be clocked higher than the nes it has some headroom to implement features to complement the nes's joy to sound driver (that is another part of the process)- things like arpeggio
anyway , memblers midi is 8 bits sam witched between a start bit and stop bit, the bitch with midi is the clock, it's asynchronous serial 31.25Kbaud, if the nes were a risc cpu it might be able to handle/time it correctly but still you would be taking so many cycles just for polling
anyway the pic programmers are just as cheap and easy to build as any eprom programmer, and similarly cheap to purchase, so I don't see where it would be a problem, I mean essentially it's just another flash/eeprom programmer, just flashing a pic not standalone eeprom
the pic memory map is a bitch, as I'm new to it, but I luv the chips they are quite capable
as for the actual nesbased hardware sequencer, now that I understand the nes's memory map and capabilities I've somewhat altered my application logic/ideas for it's limited memory, taking an array based approach,
I'll probably work on the sequencer after I get the midi stuff working - anyway this is my first real hardware project, I've only known assembly programming for a few months, however thanks to nesdev I've been able to actually set up a dev station, and do basic testing with code working on the nes, and now I'm getting into picmicro's mcu's. There is no way I would have been able to do this without the scene's support. So I'd just like to say thanks for that.
Also at least now instead of having to beg people to build something for the nes. I can explore my ideas at my own pace, and rather contribute nesdev ideas based on tested working code rather than obscure lamer generalities, like I've previously posted.