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Viewing topic "To Cubase or not to Cubase? :)"

   
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Posted on: July 19, 2011 @ 11:22 AM
mrdelurk
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have fun with sampling your lava rocks matey :)

Hello Wellie,

The real kicker is, Big Fish Audio does have the “ili ili” lava rocks sampled in their “Roots of the Pacific” library. I bought it, imported the sound into Ableton’s Sampler which then promptly messed the file links up :-) Rocks vs. computers: 1:0. Though I read IBM equipment did outperform rocks recently in an African field test. :-)

I see a potential Cubase dongle compromise. Perhaps Steinberg could build their dongle into a small rock, too? This way, when the dongles don’t link up anymore, the musician still has a set of rocks to clink out rhytms with, like the ancient Hawaiians. As dongle users say, long term, we are all Hawaiians. (Why not, Hawaiians are very innovative people. They played rock music 1200 years before Elvis.)

In terms of the AW2400, it’s quite a coincidence, I was looking at it myself. (I know Yamaha longevity.) Same 4 lbs as the Zoom at twice the physical size, the AW2400 has MIDI ports for sync instead of the Zoom’s USB. So far, so good, but neither offers user multisample playback to compensate for the MOX8’s lack of it. Hmmm, a tough nut to crack. Even with an IBM.

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Posted on: July 20, 2011 @ 06:08 AM
Wellie
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The AW4416 did feature a sampler, but the 2400 being a newer architecture meant much speedier track transfers over USB2.

The 4416 is a veritable beast though and would weigh far more than you would want to carry. But is still one of the best spec’d all in one workstations around.

Cheers

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Posted on: July 20, 2011 @ 11:44 AM
mrdelurk
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5pinDIN - 18 July 2011 06:15 PM

Google “bad caps”—caps, short for capacitors. Found not only in computers, but in LCD monitors, power supplies, DVD and CD players, etc., etc., and yes, synthesizers.

Tell me about it. I had the first Kurzweil K2000 in my state; the cap blew after just one month. So that’s what “more bang for your buck!” stands for! Did you notice how electronics manufacturers still never advertise “more working for your buck”? :-)

Yesterday I went back to the XS8 for a round two of Ableton file Import. I trimmed my .wavs down to 2 minutes and imported them in Pattern mode. There they were, they just wouldn’t play. I couldn’t decode in 30 minutes how to insert C3 notes of 2 minute length to the tracks to make them play; Edit-Insert has no “length” field for note events. Ultimately I just recorded a 2 minute C3 note on Track 1, which got its audio file to play finally. Now how you hit the same C3 at the same millisecond for all the other 15 tracks? Ha ha. I do need an external multitrack.

So if ‘m only using the Motif for the sounds & arps maybe tomorrow’s Summer NAMM will introduce a matching device that does everything else, and is not a computer. (If I must use a device that crashes by default, I’ll get a snare. Or another Kurzweil. :-) )

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Posted on: July 21, 2011 @ 06:10 AM
Wellie
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Perhaps you enter the note WITH a sustain on message and then program a sustain OFF message at 2 mins ?

Did you try that already?

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Posted on: July 22, 2011 @ 01:04 PM
mrdelurk
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Thank you for the tip, Wellie, it worked. Now all the audio tracks play, although if I move the volume slider, I get crackles. I guess we are taxing the XS8 to the maximum it can do. I received the final word from the Zoom forums too, a R24 will sync only to another R24. To a Yamaha XS8, nothing doing. I decided to give Cubase a third chance. I ran install, connected the FireWire cable… all good, so far only 12 steps. Cubase launched, looking nicer than Reaper and Studio One. But its “create project” window didn’t list any Yamaha XS presets.

The XS8 manual says, download the AI driver next. So I hopped over to Yamahasynth, clicked OS Compatibility - and got a list into my face with a whopping 83 files, none of them called AI driver. Whoa! 34 troubleshooting clicks later, If found this how-to which I’m following now. This AI integration feature looks very much like a Motifator insiders only deal to me. How the average mortal could get past the royal mess of 83 files without this how-to is beyond me.

OK, in the life of every Bill Gates, there comes a moment when the banter ends and one must sit down, shut up and write the code for Windows 1.0. Or sit down, shut up, and try to install Cubase integration 1.0, not a much less daunting task, apparently. Here I go. If you don’t hear from me after a week, a big hairy IEEE1394 incompatibility ate me.

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Posted on: July 23, 2011 @ 09:59 PM
mrdelurk
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Ha ha ha ha ha ha! Just 2 hours later, at step #3 the Yamaha IEEE1394 Firmware Updater Ver. 1.0.7 for Windows says:

“Your system doesn’t satisfy the system requirements for the update. Please make sure the requirements are satisfied, then start the program again.”

I already disconnected the other FireWire devices, tried a new FireWire cable, plugged it into a different mLan slot… no avail. Gotta toss the computer, this i7 with 18 GB of RAM unfortunately reached the end of its useful life for Cubase after 3 months. :-)

I’m starting to get a hunch here. Did the same guy code Yamaha’s Cubase integration who wrote the Yamaha TX16W’s OS? :-)

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Posted on: July 26, 2011 @ 06:09 AM
Wellie
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Hmmm,

I feel your pain.

Double check - is your windows OS actually seeing the i7 and the RAM - what does your system report?

Could it be a faulty firewire buss??

There is no logical way that you don’t have enough resources to run the software so what is being reported doesnt make sense.

Keep us posted.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 @ 11:11 AM
mrdelurk
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Hello Wellie,

On the computer side, all FireWire ports work fine with other devices, and Windows 7 sees all the RAM. This leaves us with either the XS mLan board being toast or a Yamaha FireWire driver bug.

To check the mLAN board, after backing up the XS8’s internal data, I summoned the XS self test mode by holding [REMOTE] and [O](REC) at power up until “MOTIF XS Test Mode” appeared. The mLan test requires FireWire repeater hubs (which no one I know has) to be at the end of both FireWire cables plugged into the mLan board. One can use a PC instead of one hub, the instructions say; they are purposely vague on what to use instead of the second to keep you electrified. (What’s 30V between friends?) I plugged the second FireWire cable into my Edirol FA-101 interface, hit ENTER on the XS8 to start the tests, chose Test 22 mLAN board, and roared straight through all 7 mLAN checks with flying colors. The board is A-OK.

So it’s a software bug. Er, longevity feature. They figured, if it doesn’t work at the outset, you won’t be affected when the computer dies. See? :-)

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 @ 01:15 PM
meatballfulton
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This is a pretty funny thread. I’m an engineer who has worked designing computer and networking chips for 30 years, so I feel awfully embarrassed with the current state of the art when it comes to computers for the average person.

Things like dealing with drivers and such is way more complicated than it needs to be, especially in the land of Windows. Macs are not perfect but tend to be better behaved about such things.

What’s your FW chipset, some are not compatible with the mLAN16E2.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 @ 12:41 PM
mrdelurk
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This is a pretty funny thread.

It’s because Wellie keeps joking all the time.  :-)

What’s your FW chipset, some are not compatible with the mLAN16E2.

Hello Meatballfulton, it’s the T.I. TSB43AB23. Yamaha lists it as compatible.

Let’s reassess the situation. Since audio multitracking on the XS8 is more or less out, its mLan bugs are academic for me. If I get into computer patch editing at all, USB is probably sufficient and I favor the Melas XS editor’s pastel look anyway to the Götterdämmerung-hued AI version. For sequencing and sample playback, Ableton Live is already everywhere I go. (Ableton allows multiple alternative installations for a single license.) OK, so I will not be able to compose during travel. How the heck would I play a MOX8 on a plane anyway, hold it upright like a bassoon? How do you even get such a huge gizmo on board, lie the TSA guys it’s a bomb so they just wave it through?

Incidentally, I just bought a Cubase AI5 on eBay for $1385. (There was a MOX8 on its end.) By the time we slowly figure out I don’t need Cubase AI at all, it will be here. Now Yamaha does sell a big black dongle that provides 24/7/365 uptime (more dependable than space technology...) but try playing it on a plane.

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Posted on: August 01, 2011 @ 05:34 AM
mrdelurk
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A new turn on equipment longevity: my Yamaha TX816 came up today morning with 3 modules flashing an error and the number 4. Their batteries are toast. To replace them requires a surgery, soldering in a small maze of wires. In a fitting counterpoint, my Kurzweil K1000’s self-test revealed it hallucinates extra notes and distorts randomly due to its 3M Arnold chip socket. So after discussing how computers have a finite, approx. 5 years average life, my most (Yamaha) and least (Kurzweil) reliable hardware just demonstrated in unison that hardware does too, approx. 25 years average. Although this is five times longer, the bottom line remains: if it plugs into power, it won’t last as long as you will.

What could we do? To start drinking heavily, and/or become all singers or acoustic pianists seems a tad extreme. (Jim Morrison cornered the gig already, anyway.) After reflecting a bit I can think of two ways how to reduce the death of a musical tool to a mere maintenance issue.

1. Build hardware from clearly marked block units that plug together and self test by blocks. If I can self-test a troubled synth, and simply replace an erroring block C, it’s maintenance. If I have to solder, it’s dead. (For most other musicians too, I’d presume. Soldering wizards could still solder at will, with the new option of unplugging the block first.) Such a block-built instrument would be like the lumberjack’s axe. Still the same axe after 60 years; it had 4 new handles and six new heads but it’s still the same axe… I know manufacturers loathe the parts business. But selling synth blocks is a way to resell the same synth 3 times to the buyer block by block. A guaranteed, stable income, not subject to market swings, that doesn’t require a single new innovation over time. Not even a synth renaming to MOF8. (Though a web site called MOF8ER might attract more interest than plant soil, indeed :-).

2. Block design keeps the hardware alive in case of trouble. Let’s see what could keep the work alive too. Most DAW software has an “export tracks as WAVs” feature already. How about a recording black box: a USB stick (or iPhone solution) that exports as WAV every new track from the DAW to itself through USB in the background. If the computer dies you still have the track WAVs on a device that can play the mix back alone. In today’s DAW competition, such “black box compatibility” could offer a significant advantage. (As long as it doesn’t require 57 Arcane Installation steps… :-)

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Posted on: August 02, 2011 @ 04:33 AM
Wellie
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Hmm, I fear that the soldering issue may actually be getting worse. New regulations on the lead content of solder mean that current soldered products using new type solder don’t seem to last as long according to some comment I read somewhere recently.

Alas, any product containing metal will at some point in time fail. Metal oxidises (well, gold doesn’t, nor platinum or at least not in normal conditions) and this means that even non-soldered connections (the snap to fit style used by RAM, or the socket style used by CPUs) will oxidise and lose the integrity of the connection.

Its a shame that your kit seems to need new batteries all at once! My son’s EX5 is beginning to flash up that it needs a new battery - It woudl be nice if these things were more easily user replaceable - yes, you can replace them, but its a job best done by a proper service techie.

Anyways, all the best with your classic gear :)

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Posted on: August 03, 2011 @ 12:34 PM
mrdelurk
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Solder-free rhytm sequencers work great. I have a Hawaiian beatbox called ipu (hula drum); 300 years old, sounds as tight as ever. Real light on repairs. If it stops working, you just grow another in the yard. Try this with a Mac Pro.

Something this ipu can teach modern synth designers is continuity. If you developed a signature pattern or counterpoint style on an ipu, 60 years from now you can still play it. (As with an acoustic piano.) On a computer or a modern keyboard the sounds and the patterns don’t translate well. How’s that FS1R or SY77 patch coming on a Motif XF? This is why synth longevity is important. Sure, there might be newer synths with 2, 4, 8 or 120 times as much of everything, but if I spent a thousand hours developing a trademark sound with Synth X that doesn’t translate well to Synth X2, it’s my own work, not the unit’s aging specs that makes it worthwhile to keep it alive.

Alternatively, if full sound / arp / sequence backward compatibility existed with previous synths, I could actually get rid of the old synth after buying the new one. Unlike today when I must keep 4 generations of Korgs / Yamahas in my studio. On longer term, this compatibility is a more sustainable practice, as everyone’s studio space for new keyboards is bound to run out eventually. (By the way, there will be no Korg Kronos Rack.) But I still don’t see it happening. Perhaps manufacturers are afraid it may depress used synth prices.

So the EU enacted its RoHS lead solder law. After spending millions to increase the lead content of Libyans, they spend millions to decrase the lead content of solder. Hmm. They’ll legalize marijuana but my used synths are contraband now. Yay, I can see already the wild Hollywood parties where stars snort solder lines off my old DX7. :-)

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Posted on: August 04, 2011 @ 03:31 AM
Wellie
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Very funny!!

Of course, your point will be lost on harpsichord players whose tunes got lost in the supremacy of the Pianoforte.
I suppose in the old, analogue world change happened more slowly.

Nevertheless, in todays world, a new synth = a new sound to enjoy and be inspired by. So a part of the ‘new’ is about creating new timbres and styles to wrap them up in. It is of course quite handly that you can also access the classic sounds such as acoustic pianos and rhodes and hammys and so on, on today’s workstations. It means you do get something of the best of both worlds.

I like classic gear, but I do like the convenience of my motif. (with Cubase, LOL)

Cheers

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Posted on: August 05, 2011 @ 11:42 AM
mrdelurk
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Hello Wellie,

The markets have spoken… an unbundled Cubase AI5 just sold for $51 on eBay. So if I wanted to get a dongle-free Cubase AI on each computer I move between, it would be 15 x $51 = $765. One would think a 70 lbs Yamaha XS8 ought to be a good enough AI dongle alone, but Steinberg knows better. “Nah, Mrdelurk might buy fifteen Yamaha XS8’s just to access our $51 side product. We must remain eternally vigilant to preserve our core competency, which is dongle sales...” :)

Inspiring new features are the basis of life; the potted plant on my desk brings new leaves all the time too. (It also learned to live without nearly anything, the way I water it.) But see… when it brings a new leaf, it doesn’t throw all its old leaves and stem and root away. This is all I’m asking from my composing tools, too. Be as smart as a $5 potted plant. Don’t throw away all your old features (sounds, arps, applications) that you already had before the latest feature set and model name came out.

Keyboards handle this feature preservation smarter than computers. Thus, we call something software if it’s hard on the user, and vice versa. Makes sense, like a pool toaster. As a preservation solution, how about expanding MIDI with a sound data standard? So that synths can recreate not just the old, unrelated synths’ keypresses, but the sounds, arps, etc. too what those keypresses triggered. Most of todays’ workstations’ “latest” sounds have been around in the Akai / E-mu era already, and are often converted to monolith formats like SoundFont2. All one’d have to add to such a monolith core is a standardizing of the arps and the occasional combination (or ‘Performance’ in Yamahaspeak) parameters and pronto - MIDI Sound Standard. Aka sound survival. The missing link to preserving every aspect of a keyboard performance. Could this new MIDI create a new synth golden age as the old one did? Well, do we have a better candidate?

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