Author Topic: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!  (Read 4276 times)

Offline nickbirkby

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • new to the forums
Hello all, i have been offered a Roland DM80-8 hard disc recorder by a closing down studio ( for free!!)
This is one of the very first hard disc recorders from the early 90's. I didnt even know they made a recorder like this so long ago!

Reading the manual it says:  "The DM-80 can be run using a Macintosh computer and the Roland Track Manager software, thereby eliminating both the remote controller and fader unit"

Im not sure whether the unit has its remote control, but hopefully it should as the unit cant really be used without it.

Im wondering if the software still exists? Anyone heard of this? Or know where to look?
Thanks, Nick

Offline mrhappy

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 937
  • new to the forums
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #1 on: January 16, 2017, 06:17:24 AM »
Can't say no for THAT price!! ;D

Offline MacOS Plus

  • Gold Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 418
  • The 9serve Lives!
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #2 on: January 16, 2017, 10:09:49 AM »
  Looks like that software came along too early to make it to the internet.  Amazingly Roland actually has the manual online in PDF format though - http://cdn.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/DM-80_OM.pdf.  What I did note while reading through it was you needed an additional interface unit when connecting it to a computer to translate between Mac serial and the DM-80 control bus.  Without that the software isn't going to do anything.

Offline IIO

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1953
  • new to the forums
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline Knezzen

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 757
  • Pro Tools addict!
    • Macintosh Garden
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #4 on: January 16, 2017, 11:03:04 PM »
IIRC Cubase Audio on the Atari and Cubase Audio on the Mac supported these (connected through MIDI between Cubase and the DM80).
Might be worth a shot.

Cubase Audio can be found here: http://macintoshgarden.org/apps/cubase-audio-20

Offline nickbirkby

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • new to the forums
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2017, 07:27:05 AM »
Thanks for the interesting info! Yes I spotted that interface- it doesnt look like something one would find easily. I will look at Cubase Audio and see if I can find the manual. I was idly wondering if Sounddiver might control it but thats probably wishful thinking :)

I suspect the controller is there as it cant work without it. I am going to the studio on Friday morning so will know then...

I think gear like this might be collectable one day. Perhaps fairly far into the future though. :)

Offline IIO

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1953
  • new to the forums
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #6 on: January 20, 2017, 01:11:39 PM »
of course you could also replace the thing with an iphone 2, which is also only 25 USD and requries less energy and space.
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline IIO

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1953
  • new to the forums
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #7 on: January 20, 2017, 01:12:15 PM »
and its 24 bits and has more memory :P
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline ssp3

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #8 on: February 17, 2017, 08:17:04 AM »
Hello all, i have been offered a Roland DM80-8 hard disc recorder by a closing down studio ( for free!!)
This is one of the very first hard disc recorders from the early 90's. I didnt even know they made a recorder like this so long ago!

Reading the manual it says:  "The DM-80 can be run using a Macintosh computer and the Roland Track Manager software, thereby eliminating both the remote controller and fader unit"

Im not sure whether the unit has its remote control, but hopefully it should as the unit cant really be used without it.

Im wondering if the software still exists? Anyone heard of this? Or know where to look?
Thanks, Nick

Hi Nick,

I not even heard about it, I actually used it many moons ago. And I have a copy stored on one of my MO disks somewhere.

Best,

Offline MacOS Plus

  • Gold Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 418
  • The 9serve Lives!
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #9 on: February 17, 2017, 12:25:38 PM »
@ssp3:  It would be great if you can find and post that software.  Perhaps we can help save many of these recorders from being tossed in the dumpster.  BTW, as per your username, are you a SonicStudio Classic user?  It would be nice to have another one here on these forums.

Offline ssp3

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #10 on: February 17, 2017, 05:57:06 PM »
@ssp3:  It would be great if you can find and post that software.
Sure, but that might take some time. My both DM-80s are stored away and so are the software backup MOs.
Quote
Perhaps we can help save many of these recorders from being tossed in the dumpster.
I highly doubt that there are so many around. Maybe a handful, not more. These machines were very expensive back in the day and, due to their closed architecture, not that popular.
There are no tools to read the disk contents on the Mac (or PC), for 8 tracks two drives are needed which are connected in some sort of RAID configuration. 2GB (or was it 4GB?) drive size limit and so on.
On the plus side, they sounded very good - much better than anything available at that time (1990), topped, perhaps, only by some very high end gear. And, they were standalone..
Quote
BTW, as per your username, are you a SonicStudio Classic user?  It would be nice to have another one here on these forums.
Yes, I am.

Best,

Offline MacOS Plus

  • Gold Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 418
  • The 9serve Lives!
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #11 on: February 17, 2017, 07:33:15 PM »
Quote
BTW, as per your username, are you a SonicStudio Classic user?  It would be nice to have another one here on these forums.
Yes, I am.

  Cool, I've got far more of that gear than anything else, too much really!  All types - SSP/USP,  MediaNet copper/fibre, Nubus/PCI, and just about every accessory in multiple.  If you ever have any questions, PM me.

Offline splitpoint

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 3
  • new to the forums
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #12 on: April 18, 2017, 02:27:48 PM »
I have a DM-80.  To connect to a mac requires a piece of hardware (roland IB-1) in addition to the software, good luck finding one.

For storage the DM-80 can address 4GB disk space total per scsi buss and I've successfully used Seagate ST-15150n as well as Syquest Syjet with mine.  Remember your disks can only add up to 4GB per buss for a total of 8GB.  You can backup data to a scsi 4mm DAT drive.  I had an old exabyte 4mm for mine before the tape drive bit the dust.

The basic model is 4 tracks and can be upgraded to 8 tracks.  Most of the ones I've seen in the last 20 years have the 8 track upgrade.  The DM80r remote is required to use it if you aren't using the IB-1. The DM80f remote is optional. 

One kind of cool feature is that you can use it as a phrase sampler.  Each track can be assigned to a midi note and you can play it back using the keyboard.

As a very early Hard Disk recorder it is slow to use and kind of cumbersome but was cutting edge for it's time. 

Offline ssp3

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #13 on: April 18, 2017, 05:08:00 PM »
I have a DM-80.  To connect to a mac requires a piece of hardware (roland IB-1) in addition to the software, good luck finding one.
Actually, IB-1 is nothing more than a simple MIDI IN/OUT on 2 x 5 pin DIN connectors to MIDI IN/OUT on 1 x 8 pin DIN connector translator. ROLAND DM buss IS MIDI, just different connector.

I borrowed a IB-1 from a friend and reverse engineered it back in the '90s. There was nothing fancy inside, just a bunch of 74xx logic chips.

At the end I took two Midiman Mini Macman interfaces (one for each DM-80) and simply soldered 8 pin DIN connectors parallel to existing 5 pin ones with a couple of wires. Simple and elegant, no IB-1s needed.

And, by the way, with similar trick one can use DM-80 fader unit as MIDI controller. Just add PSU.

http://www.mes-musik.de/Roland-IB-1-DM-Buss-to-Midi-Converter-fuer-DM80




Offline widdly

  • Enthusiast
  • **
  • Posts: 25
  • Beige G3, Alchemy, Turbosynth, Sounddiver, K2000r
I found some treasure today. Its the manuals for the DM80 and also the software.  The huge box for the single floppy is just silly.

It is of no use to me.  If someone wants it I can mail it to them.  Otherwise I could upload the software if someone can explain how to do that using modern PC's and a USB floppy.

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Hi Widdly I'd love to get these off of you as I've got a full DM-80 setup and running a mac se/30. I joined this site and a few others specifically for setting up this as an old school DAW. I'm also in the process or trying to get a SCSI2SD to work with the DM-80. I don't have the IB-1 but have read the posts here and have ordered a midiman mini from*bay to try to mod as mentioned. These DM-80s much like the old macs can really be brought back to life. They record at 48k which is what basically every "classic" album recorded digitally  from the 80s were recorded at...

Offline DieHard

  • Administrator
  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1534
I found some treasure today. Its the manuals for the DM80 and also the software.  The huge box for the single floppy is just silly.

It is of no use to me.  If someone wants it I can mail it to them.  Otherwise I could upload the software if someone can explain how to do that using modern PC's and a USB floppy.

Step One: Take some "clear" pics of the floppy disk; Mac diskettes are a real pain in the ass and sometimes used "variable speed" hardware / floppy drives to read and write more data than was designed to fit on it...
Quote
...this is also the reason non-Mac computers canít mount 400K and 800K Mac floppy disks

Read Here:
http://lowendmac.com/2016/floppy-disk-compatibility-and-incompatibility-in-the-mac-world/

Step two: We need to get this diskette to a member with a drive that is compatible so it can be "imaged" and uploaded.  The PC won't cut it

Offline WhiteWarlock

  • Consistant Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
  • SynthWizards/N01ZE
    • SynthWizards




looks like very useful pro Roland recording gear especially for free...
make it happen
congrats
« Last Edit: June 24, 2018, 06:59:20 PM by WhiteWarlock »


Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
I had a little stroke of luck as it turns out the system I just got in fact includes the DM-80-S software as well as the IB-1 MIDI interconnect. Unfortunately I have no working MIDI interface for my SE/30 right now, so the software will only load as far as the "connect" window. I've made an image of the DM-80-S disk for anyone who may want it. What's the best way to upload it?

I cannot post any images for some reason. It keeps telling me the file is too big (which it's not) or it's "taking too long" (which it also isn't).

Offline WhiteWarlock

  • Consistant Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
  • SynthWizards/N01ZE
    • SynthWizards

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Opcode-Studio-3-Rack-Mount-MIDI-Interface-and-Synchronizer-Original-Box/223032479412?hash=item33edc58eb4:g:96gAAOSwVK9bHrtU
Opcode Studio3
works with OMS
used that with SE/30 way back when.... 91/92???
thus "verified" for working with you SE
good mac midi rack
generates/syncs SMPTE plus does MTC
you can grab one now on ebay for around $30 including shipping

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Thanks WhiteWarlock. The Studio 3 would be great (if anything else, no wallwart) but the DM-80-S manual says that the only compatible interfaces are the Studio 4, Studio 5 and MOTU MIDI Timepiece II (with some sort of specific firmware upgrade only: good luck finding one with that). I had a MIDI Timepiece II with the driver disk and still it didn't work at all with the SE/30 so I personally wouldn't bother with one of those. The Opcode interfaces are all over ebay which is great, however none of them up right now (and there's like a dozen) have driver disks. In any case, I'm in New Zealand so ebay is not really a good option for me. If anyone here has a Studio 4 and willing to ship to NZ pm me ;)

Also it turns out that the DM-80 unit I have is the later "II" version with the waveform displays which is pretty cool.

Offline WhiteWarlock

  • Consistant Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
  • SynthWizards/N01ZE
    • SynthWizards

XGF was from Hamilton
almost moved there
her brother is prolific "Doom Metal" musician in NZ
(is that you???)
saw some inexpensive Studio 4 units on ebay
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OPCODE-SYSTEMS-STUDIO-4-MIDI-INTERFACE-LOT-PRO-AUDIO-EQUIPMENT-MADE/253703619845?hash=item3b11ea0505:g:cAoAAOSwRdNbCcaR
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Opcode-Systems-Studio-4-Midi-Interface-Vintage-Rack-powers-on/112905806558?hash=item1a49b5e2de:g:BNsAAOSwvSxav8gY
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OMS-Opcode-Studio-4-MIDI-PATCH-BAY-Rack-Mountable/283024492614?hash=item41e5930846:g:IYEAAOSwOMdZWcZ4
yet those start getting more pricey used
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OMS-FUS4TISTUDIO5-Opcode-Studio-5LX-Midi-Interface/192498361463?epid=14010210554&hash=item2cd1cbe477:g:EW0AAOSw6MxavDAC
Studio 64x is 1997 yet may work
https://www.ebay.com/itm/OPCODE-STUDIO-64X-64-CHANNEL-MIDI-INTERFACE-PATCHBAY-for-MAC-PC/283024076164?hash=item41e58cad84:g:wioAAOSwnHZYTDBk
there's also the obscure Opcode Translator ProSync(have one currently running on PowerPC)
MOTU MIDI Timepiece II "bios" upgrade sounds like nightmare pain
does it say that in the manual?
went through something like that with Motu Midi Express XT
(ultimately just using it with OS9 G3 rather than pay $200+ for upgrade chip)
call: Hamilton Rock Shop, Music Works, & World of Music
make some friends asking if they have ever even heard of "Opcode"
Call NZ recording studios & chat with "engineers"
(The Lab, Red Room, The Porch, Depot Sound)
start putting out some feelers
maybe you will actually get lucky M8
there has to be something hidden in NZ collecting dust that will work for you
that's the best long shot stream of consciousness suggestion

« Last Edit: June 25, 2018, 09:13:53 PM by WhiteWarlock »

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Thanks again WW. Are you in NZ? It's the MOTU Timepiece that needs the upgrade, not the Opcodes. The Opcodes should work as is. Heh, nope I'm not a prolific Doom metal musician (as my handle might indicate).

I've no doubt that stuff is around (I found a full DM-80 setup with synchronizer, IB-1, and software after all...), but you just have to wait for it to surface somewhere like trademe or happen to walk into a music shop where there's 30 year old stuff gathering dust in the corner (like WOM in Hamilton... just played a show there last month). It does happen here, but the key word in all cases being "wait", unfortunately!

Offline WhiteWarlock

  • Consistant Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
  • SynthWizards/N01ZE
    • SynthWizards
Grab an old trusty opcode studio
send out some emails on ebay
get one of them shipping for you in NZ

Offline DieHard

  • Administrator
  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1534
I had a little stroke of luck as it turns out the system I just got in fact includes the DM-80-S software as well as the IB-1 MIDI interconnect. Unfortunately I have no working MIDI interface for my SE/30 right now, so the software will only load as far as the "connect" window. I've made an image of the DM-80-S disk for anyone who may want it. What's the best way to upload it?

I cannot post any images for some reason. It keeps telling me the file is too big (which it's not) or it's "taking too long" (which it also isn't).

It should be small enough to attach to any post... just give a link from a file service and we will download and re-upload

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Here it is. Made with ShrinkWrap 2.1

Offline nickbirkby

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 20
  • new to the forums
Brilliant! Thank you! :D

I have been considering giving my unit away but will give this a try.

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Cool nickbirkby I hope it works out for you. I'd be keen on your remote if you end up wanting to get rid of it ;) Mine works but it's got a line of dead pixels across the middle of the display.

Offline DieHard

  • Administrator
  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1534
I sent nickbirkby an email, he hasn't logged on since April, I think he fell of his chair...lol

Offline macStuff

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 794
  • www.oldschooldaw.com
    • www.oldschooldaw.com
Hamilton ? as in Hamilton Ontario Canada?

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Hamilton ? as in Hamilton Ontario Canada?


Hamilton, New Zealand ;)

Offline WhiteWarlock

  • Consistant Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
  • SynthWizards/N01ZE
    • SynthWizards

Open Tomb
hmmm very Wyrd
Sean can probably help you locate old Opcode Interface
somewhere in Hamilton or Aukland
tell him friend of Janiney sent you
plus what gear you just scored
maybe you can record something for them
yet be forewarned it will be "Extremely Brutal Slow Heavy"
plus he may turn whiter than a ghost when explain who sent you
inform him it's time for recording new album
« Last Edit: June 27, 2018, 03:38:30 AM by WhiteWarlock »

Offline IIO

  • Platinum Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1953
  • new to the forums
there is no more extreme than the careful, considerate jute gyte.
"It is true that the "pre-emptive multitasking" advantage present in OS X can be illustrated by downloading CD-ROM ISOs and rendering chaos theory formulas while simultaneously instant messaging and posting on FaceBook what you ate... but in reality, what did you create?"
- DieHard, random forum troll at macos9lives.com

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member

Open Tomb
hmmm very Wyrd
Sean can probably help you locate old Opcode Interface
somewhere in Hamilton or Aukland
tell him friend of Janiney sent you
plus what gear you just scored
maybe you can record something for them
yet be forewarned it will be "Extremely Brutal Slow Heavy"
plus he may turn whiter than a ghost when explain who sent you
inform him it's time for recording new album

Cool thanks I'll look them up, maybe they'll be playing Valhalla down in Welly sometime soon, heh.

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Thanks WhiteWarlock. The Studio 3 would be great (if anything else, no wallwart) but the DM-80-S manual says that the only compatible interfaces are the Studio 4, Studio 5 and MOTU MIDI Timepiece II (with some sort of specific firmware upgrade only:..

Correction here. The manual says that any MIDI interface for the Mac can be used (they recommend external powered as opposed to bus powered) with the DM80, however, "as of the time of writing" the Studio 4, Studio 5, and MOTU MTP are the only multi-input devices supported for using *multiple* DM80 units.

Offline WhiteWarlock

  • Consistant Contributor
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
  • SynthWizards/N01ZE
    • SynthWizards
well you got lucky
do you have mac midi box?
get some sync running

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Turns out that MOTU Digital Express XT I have *does* work with my SE/30. All it took was the proper 8 pin DIN cable (the modem type). I had to order one from overseas as, not surprisingly, there wasn't one to be had in the entire country of NZ. I fired up the OMS setup and it was recognized as a MOTU Midi Timepiece, but it works! I'm able to run the DM-80 software now, ironically, I don't have a f**ing 12V 500ma power adaptor for the IB-1 connector so I haven't been able to property run the DM-80 yet. But I've been enjoying using Max 3.5.8 to run patches on my SE/30 through my Korg Prologue so I'm pretty happy for now. I've also got 64MB of RAM in the Mac now so it runs everything pretty well. I also have the DM-80 sync unit so I'll be trying some syncing with my Fostex D80. If only the DM-80 did ADAT...

Offline tonyisyourpal

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • New Member
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #38 on: August 11, 2018, 01:45:48 AM »
Did anyone upload the DM80S software ? Roland themselves donít have it anymore (asked them a while ago, and they recommended searching the internet !) I have the IB1 sitting here, and while Iíve had the DM80 syncíd to SMPTE coming from tape (and had Logic X syncíd to the DM80 via MTC) it would be weirdly cool to have the Mac-based setup working...

Offline fenrisulfr

  • Active Member
  • **
  • Posts: 11
  • New Member
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #39 on: August 11, 2018, 01:55:37 AM »
Did anyone upload the DM80S software ? Roland themselves donít have it anymore (asked them a while ago, and they recommended searching the internet !) I have the IB1 sitting here, and while Iíve had the DM80 syncíd to SMPTE coming from tape (and had Logic X syncíd to the DM80 via MTC) it would be weirdly cool to have the Mac-based setup working...

Yes. There's a link to it in this thread. I finally got the whole setup running on my SE/30 and it works like a charm. Apart from being slow, it is essentially a modern DAW. One caveat/ tip is that the IB-1 does not require a power supply. When it's connected to the DM-80, the DM-80 will power it. If you use a power supply in addition it will cause strange behaviour and not work properly. I thought my setup was never going to work as it would behave erratically and never connect to the software... I "accidentally" ran it with the power disconnected from the IB-1 and it started working which is when I realized you don't need/wan't the psu connected.

Offline tonyisyourpal

  • Member
  • *
  • Posts: 2
  • New Member
Re: Obscure Mac software for a Roland DM80 hard disc recorder? Circa 1993!
« Reply #40 on: August 11, 2018, 06:51:14 AM »
Excellent - was browsing not logged in initially so didnít see the link. Thatís tonightís fun sorted then :)

I think you only need the PSU on the ib-1 if youíre going to use it to turn the DM80F into a midi controller, otherwise itís powered by the ďDM-BUSSĒ cable - which is basically a midi cable with some extra lines for carrying power to the DM80R. Iím sure I read somewhere that the data sent on the cable is all straightforward midi traffic as well, but havenít tried that out yet...