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Viewing topic "We Need a 64-bit FW driver from Steinberg / Yamaha (Mac) - Now"

     
Posted on: July 14, 2020 @ 11:32 AM
Intensified
Total Posts:  5
Joined  06-30-2012
status: Newcomer

When will we get one?  Why don’t we have one already?

When my Win7 / 10 hardware died last year, I decided to go with an iMac. My FW16E worked just as it always had until I was forced to upgrade to Catalina (10.15.4).

Catalina does not support 32 bit software, so we need a new 64 bit driver.  How hard can it be?

I realize that my XF is 10 years old, but I still like it and it works well.

Apple still supports FW, although I have to connect it with a chain of adapters: XF (FW400) to FW400 - FW800 to Lighting to USB C - But work it does!

I called Yamaha Tech Support, got a couple of non-answers, until the tech admitted he didn’t know and wasn’t about to ask about it.

I can connect the analog output to my audio interface ( no digital in) which works fine (as does USB midi), but I would still like the 16 digital inputs that I paid for.

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Posted on: July 14, 2020 @ 04:46 PM
🎹Lex
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status: Experienced

This is probably the best way we have to raise the issue to Yamaha’s attention: I’ve created a relevant “idea” on Yamaha’s IdeaScale:

https://yamahasynth.ideascale.com/a/dtd/Release-the-Yamaha-Steinberg-Firewire-Driver-compiled-for-64bit/254090-45978?submitted=1

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Posted on: July 15, 2020 @ 06:44 AM
lastmonk
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Joined  12-17-2013
status: Enthusiast
Intensified - 14 July 2020 11:32 AM

When will we get one?  Why don’t we have one already?

When my Win7 / 10 hardware died last year, I decided to go with an iMac. My FW16E worked just as it always had until I was forced to upgrade to Catalina (10.15.4).

Catalina does not support 32 bit software, so we need a new 64 bit driver.  How hard can it be?

I realize that my XF is 10 years old, but I still like it and it works well.

Apple still supports FW, although I have to connect it with a chain of adapters: XF (FW400) to FW400 - FW800 to Lighting to USB C - But work it does!

I called Yamaha Tech Support, got a couple of non-answers, until the tech admitted he didn’t know and wasn’t about to ask about it.

I can connect the analog output to my audio interface ( no digital in) which works fine (as does USB midi), but I would still like the 16 digital inputs that I paid for.

@Instensified I feel your pain., that being forced to upgrade is bull!@#$.  And after spending the money to get FW16E you would hope that Yamaha would keep supporting it thru 64bits, and perhaps the new Apple Silicon.  There are no easy answers here.  There are a few expensive answers.  I have one mac that I’ve had to dedicate to my Motif and Mox.  I won’t upgrade it under any circumstances.  I have had to purchase other Macs (the expensive part) for other work.  I plan to keep my Motif and Mox; for me, they’re very treasured instruments.  I will have to pay to keep 1 or 2 older Macs in good working order for the few times that I need to interface my Motif/Mox to a computer.  Fortunately if you maintain Macs they last for decades.  I still have fully functioning G3s, G4s, and G5s.  My suggestion is that you get another Mac to keep an older version of Mac OSX on so that you FW16E works on that, and then don’t upgrade!.  The Mac that I use to connect to my Motif/Mox is still running Mac OS 10.7 and Cubase AI5 LOL.

That being said, the other thing I did to break out of the computer upgrade , dongle, cloud, patch , security update, subscription service hustle was to purchase:

https://tascam.com/us/product/dp-24sd/top

I record, process, arrange, compose, all my Midi on my Motif XF8, and Mox8, sometimes my QY100 LOL, and then when it comes time to do digital audio editing, mixing, and mastering I do it all on the Tascam DP 24.  On rare occasions I take my audio tracks and perform subsequent processing in Cubase AI5 ( but those are getting more rare).  Once upon a time I used Cubase + Motif & Mox as a big part of my workflow., but all of the update, upgrade, feature changes, user interface changes, subscriptions, dongles, security breaches, patch, new operating system requirement nonsense pushed me away from the computer based DAW, and into the hands of dedicated hardware DAWS that don’t need to be updated, upgraded, no dongles, no subscriptions, no security breaches, and no unwanted changes to my workflow.  Just a basic bread-n-butter digital audio recording, and editing.

I know my work flow doesn’t solve your particular problem now, but consider it, it might save you from the inevitable future problems with the coming more intrusive cloud based, subscription based, ever upgrading, updating , always changing computer based daw and aging musical instrument no matter what they are.  For now it might be your Motif, in the future it might be your Montage.  The fact is from the moment you purchase a synth or digital keyboard a count down clock starts towards incompatibility, inconvenience, and headache with whatever software and computer you’ve chosen to use it with.  The only reprieve I’ve found so far is to go for quality dedicated devices that replace the computer and associated software ;-(

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Posted on: July 15, 2020 @ 08:29 AM
lastmonk
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Another possible option is to get a VM (Virtual Machine) for your Mac that has Catalina and then run an older version of the Mac OSX in the VM and connect your FW16E that way:

https://store-us.vmware.com/vmware-fusion-11-5-5222152200.html?cid=70134000001YWs5&src=ps_5c9bdda69b278&utm_medium=paidsearch&utm_source=google&utm_campaign=us-fusion-buy&&gclid;=EAIaIQobChMInNvyk9XP6gIVEr7ACh3sKgRyEAAYASAAEgL2qvD_BwE

Or

https://www.macworld.co.uk/how-to/mac-software/install-old-mac-os-3679956/

Or similar approach so that you can have Catalina loaded, but also run an older version of Mac OSX that supports your FW16E

Also keep in mind, if you can’t get your FW16E working in your new environment, I’m sure there are many on this forum that would buy it from you, thus a way for you to get your money back..... :-(

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Posted on: July 15, 2020 @ 02:16 PM
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Total Posts:  5
Joined  06-30-2012
status: Newcomer

@Lex - Thanks for posting and for creating the “idea” at YamahaSynth. I signed up (again!) to vote for it. I hope anyone else here who needs the 64bit driver will do the same.

I also saw your request for the release of the complete source code for the XF.  I agree. Are you a coder? In the past, I’ve programmed a fair amount in several languages, but never any hardware type stuff.

@lastmonk - Thanks for the very detailed replies. I had to laugh when I saw your current Tascam rig because it made me think of the first Tascam Portastudio I used which recorded to cassette tape! Your Digital Portastudio looks amazing....

I’m running VMWare Fusion now - so I can still run Windows 10 for the software that doesn’t have a macOS version. I’m a long time Reaper user (paid) but Logic sucked me in right away.

I had some of the same ideas about a second VM with an earlier macOS version, but I don’t know where I would get an older version of Logic Pro X and Final Cut Pro.  But truly, I haven’t had the time to chase it all down yet.

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Posted on: July 15, 2020 @ 04:47 PM
lastmonk
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Total Posts:  259
Joined  12-17-2013
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Well, LOL I’ve recently purchased Final Cut Pro 7 from Amazon, I’ve also purchased older versions of ILife for the Mac on Amazon.  Very good deals btw.

Because of Covid one of the gigs my band does every year in August has been moved to Youtube and Facebook.  As a result we’ve been working from Stems and remote Zoom rehearsals.  Its my job to mix all of the stems and produce the final audio and video for Youtube and Facebook, and yep, I’m doing all of the digital audio processing and tracking, mixing and mastering on the Tascam DP 24 Sd!  I would consider myself very , very capable in a Cubase environment these days.  But the DP 24, just dispenses with all of the nonsense, and I can get right down to the brass tacks with no worries, none, nada, zilch!  The DP 24 is a legitimate full featured digital audio music studio.

For sure there are several things that I can do much faster in Cubase, and if I were using it in my current Youtube and Facebook project it would save me about 4 hours.  But in the long run the trade-off is well worth it.  And I don’t have to do the update, upgrade, subscription service, oh-no-my-computer-is-getting-older hustle.

I hear good things about reaper. Lot of my m8s use it.  But I think because of the trend in SoC (System on a Chip), Raspberry Pi, Arduino, etc hardware dedicated devices are making a big comeback in music.  There are more new hardware synths released
and new hardware synth startups in 2018 thru 2020 than we’ve seen in a long time.  Tascam released a whole new line of digital mixer/recorder units:

https://tascam.com/us/product/model_12/top https://tascam.com/int/product/model_16/top

and zoom has stuff like

https://www.zoom-na.com/products/production-recording/multi-track-recorders/zoom-r24-recorder-interface-controller-sampler

Anywho, if Yamaha does release all of the Source Code for XF maybe we can write are own 64bit driver for FW16E.  When I’m not doing music, I make my money doing lots of Linux and C++ programming LOL

Cheers!

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Posted on: July 15, 2020 @ 06:17 PM
5pinDIN
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Best of luck, although I suspect Yamaha won’t willingly give up more than can be had here:
https://download.yamaha.com/sourcecodes/synth/

This older thread…
http://www.motifator.com/index.php/archive/viewthread/336644
...discussed the situation, but for the XS.

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Posted on: July 15, 2020 @ 08:12 PM
lastmonk
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Total Posts:  259
Joined  12-17-2013
status: Enthusiast
5pinDIN - 15 July 2020 06:17 PM

Best of luck, although I suspect Yamaha won’t willingly give up more than can be had here:
https://download.yamaha.com/sourcecodes/synth/

This older thread…
http://www.motifator.com/index.php/archive/viewthread/336644
...discussed the situation, but for the XS.

Thanx....

Downloading the sources now.,

setting up the tool chain will be a bi!@# especially if Yamaha doesn’t want to share.  But the GPL licenses are particular and companies bigger than Yamaha have tried to beat them and have lost.

I’m looking at some of the stuff as it downloads, there’s a lot here!

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Posted on: July 16, 2020 @ 10:36 AM
Intensified
Total Posts:  5
Joined  06-30-2012
status: Newcomer

@5pinDIN -

Thanks for the links. I’m sure there will be nothing of value in the XF source. At least that’s been my experience with this type of issue.  What makes the Motif the Motif will all be proprietary code which will never be released and is probably still in use (at least partially) in all subsequent Yamaha Synths.

(This was pointed out the 2007 Archive discussion)

I’m now looking at wrappers for 32bit code for 64bit macOS.  My preliminary search doesn’t give me much hope, but I’ll keep looking.

Without resorting to a VM with an earlier, 32bit supporting version of macOS and purchasing yet more out-of-date software, I might be able to record in my Win10 VM and then import the resulting audio into Catalina-based Logic Pro X. I’ll probably try that at some point, but time is an issue.

There might be a problem with Win10 supporting the Yamaha / Steinberg 32bit FW driver.  I think it was mentioned in some of the recent earlier threads on this issue. Rereading now.....

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: July 16, 2020 @ 11:46 AM
🎹Lex
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Joined  05-20-2009
status: Experienced
Intensified - 15 July 2020 02:16 PM

@Lex - Thanks for posting and for creating the “idea” at YamahaSynth. I signed up (again!) to vote for it. I hope anyone else here who needs the 64bit driver will do the same.

I also saw your request for the release of the complete source code for the XF.  I agree. Are you a coder? In the past, I’ve programmed a fair amount in several languages, but never any hardware type stuff.

Indeed I dabble in code, though only as a hobbyist in occasionally obsessive sprints. I tend to bobble back and forth between code, music, and sound design in my free time.

My latest obsession has been coding modules for VCV Rack—I find it’s a really lovely environment to work with, not least of which is due to the large community of open source developers working on great modules for it. I’m eagerly awaiting its v2 release which will add (among many other things) support for SysEx in the MIDI driver. At that point I intend to attempt replicating the functionality of the Melas XS/XF editors inside of a VCV Rack module in order to integrate the Motif sound engine into a modular synth environment.

Late last year I put some time into trying to pry my way into the XS/XF software updates, obtain a shell prompt on an XS, and decipher the data blocks within Voice files, but I didn’t have any real success. Unfortunately in this regard we aren’t so lucky as the Montage owners, who have their OS updates delivered in a largely unencrypted format (!!) which makes obtaining access to a shell prompt relatively simple.

Chris Webb has published great information on that process with the Montage, as well as information on the YSFC file format (used for Voices, Patterns, Songs, and All) and more:

Montage 1
Montage 2
YSFC
XS/XF Waveform/Arpeggio Mapping (thanks 5pin!)
XF Network Audio Protocol

In my own efforts, I followed in the footsteps left by those who have reverse-engineered the binary firmware images from consumer network routers. Unfortunately all of the methods and tools I found in that regard were unsuccessful with XS/XF firmware images. The data I did find at least seemed to strongly suggest that the images were indeed encrypted, as opposed to merely being compressed by some unknown/obscure algorithm.

I also learned a fair bit about browsing databases of old published software vulnerabilities, as well as the tools used to exploit them. Notably, the XS has a version of the SMB file server which should be vulnerable to multiple published exploits. I had high hopes that this would lead to shell access via network cable, but still I came up empty handed here as well.

I spent quite a bit of time generating dozens of All Pattern files by hand, each with a single parameter changed this way or that way, and then manually running a diff on the binary data inside. I was able to map out the binary offset for quite a few parameters this way, but the process was too laborious and I never got around to coding up a way to automate it. I shared my incomplete results in this thread over here.

Finally on the hardware side of things, I learned that the NOR Flash chip used in the XS/XF is the same as one used in some models of the Microsoft Xbox 360, which leads to the possibility of using a little tool called the 360-clip which can physically snap onto the memory chip in order to read and write to it from external hardware. Failing anything else, this seems a promising avenue to get our hands inside the XS/XF software stack in its fully compiled state at least. Notably this could also provide for a method of repairing Motifs which have become corrupted due to something like power failure during an OS update; Yamaha and all their service reps will rather insist that the only way out is to replace the entire DM board (nominally $1000, apparently no longer in stock at Yamaha US HQ).

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Posted on: July 16, 2020 @ 11:51 AM
🎹Lex
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Joined  05-20-2009
status: Experienced

I forgot to mention that I also spent time looking through the Yamaha’s published GPL source code, and there is indeed little of value to be found. Quite a bit of it does have Yamaha-specific patches included, which is neat to see.

One surprising thing that I did find was that the XF appears to have a VNC server installed, or perhaps it only did in development/testing versions? I posted a request for help in testing this over here, seeing as I myself only have access to XS and not XF.

  [ Ignore ]  

Posted on: July 16, 2020 @ 02:37 PM
lastmonk
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Total Posts:  259
Joined  12-17-2013
status: Enthusiast
Intensified - 16 July 2020 10:36 AM

@5pinDIN -

Thanks for the links. I’m sure there will be nothing of value in the XF source. At least that’s been my experience with this type of issue.  What makes the Motif the Motif will all be proprietary code which will never be released and is probably still in use (at least partially) in all subsequent Yamaha Synths.

(This was pointed out the 2007 Archive discussion)

I’m now looking at wrappers for 32bit code for 64bit macOS.  My preliminary search doesn’t give me much hope, but I’ll keep looking.

Without resorting to a VM with an earlier, 32bit supporting version of macOS and purchasing yet more out-of-date software, I might be able to record in my Win10 VM and then import the resulting audio into Catalina-based Logic Pro X. I’ll probably try that at some point, but time is an issue.

There might be a problem with Win10 supporting the Yamaha / Steinberg 32bit FW driver.  I think it was mentioned in some of the recent earlier threads on this issue. Rereading now.....

Yea, went through a lot of the code last night, although there is a lot of generic interesting stuff there, stuff I might actually use in non-synthesizer related projects, nothing of real interest with respect to the Motif.

Normally it is very hard to mix proprietary code with GPL stuff.  Its also very hard to separate the to depending on who or what is calling who or what.

Question: Has Yamaha ever been legally challenged on this front?  i.e.  Have any lawsuits been filed regarding the release of source code that Yamaha might want to claim is proprietary (but might not be)?

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