Author Topic: Opcode Studio 5LX  (Read 374 times)

Offline mmtuk

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Opcode Studio 5LX
« on: September 04, 2017, 01:32:37 AM »
Any help or links appreciated..........

I've been dabbling with a Studio 5LX for a couple of months now and until last week was unaware that it was the latest version produced and therefore contained the latest circuit boards/firmware. I've just acquired another one that's mid production and contains an earlier version of the firmware. As OMS Studio is not happy with a serial connection (i.e. the second device (with different firmware) being connected to the first as opposed to its own modem or printer port), I want to upgrade the firmware in the earlier Studio 5LX.

I have an eprom programmer, so what I need to know is - can I just update the EPROMs or are there other (PAL?) chips that formed part of the factory upgrade? Okay, so I could just insert the newer set into the older device and see what happens, but that doesn't give me confidence regarding other issues that may not be immediately apparent.

I have successfully got both devices simultaneously working okay with each to its own modem or printer port but my final setup will require/involve patches that connect MIDI controllers attached to one Studio 5LX and synths/expanders etc. attached to the other. I want them to function independent of a computer so it's vital that they are linked together to enable this.

I'm actually using a USB Keyspan USA28X device to provide the Modem/Printer ports and while this seems to function without problems (even with OMS Studio set to maximum communication speeds), does anybody have any experience that would suggest I'm going to have timing issues further down the line?
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 02:27:27 PM by mmtuk »
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Offline mmtuk

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2017, 11:25:33 AM »
Update.......

I've gone ahead and reprogrammed the EPROMs with code copied from the later Studio 5LXs EPROMs and all seems to work okay, my Studio 5s are now serially connected to just one Powerbook port and OMS Studio is happy.

I would still like feedback on potential problems as outlined in my earlier post if anybody has the knowledge or experience and wants to share it.

"What the mind of man can conceive, and truly believe, he will achieve" - Norman Vincent Peale

Offline GaryN

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2017, 05:41:34 PM »
I've just acquired another one that's mid production and contains an earlier version of the firmware.
You must have had the bad luck to get the very end of "mid production". The original 5 was shipped for two years from '91 to '93. The "LX" upgraded unit was released at the end of '93 along with new EPROMS for those who wanted them.
I have an eprom programmer, so what I need to know is - can I just update the EPROMs or are there other (PAL?) chips that formed part of the factory upgrade?
The upgrade was the EPROM only. There was also a 1995 "maintenance upgrade" that I personally can't remember the details of. It was one of those mysteries that happen every now and then. Some suspected it included an improvement to the MOTU Timepiece emulation mode and other little things. I do know that I never knew anyone who raved about how much better their LX worked after 1995 though…
I have successfully got both devices simultaneously working okay with each to its own modem or printer port but my final setup will require/involve patches that connect MIDI controllers attached to one Studio 5LX and synths/expanders etc. attached to the other. I want them to function independent of a computer so it's vital that they are linked together to enable this.
That should work just fine as long as you connect the two units in series with the controllers unit "A" port out connected to the expanders unit "B" port in. There's no real difference in performance having the units on separate computer ports unless the data flow is really heavy with s*^loads of CC's or aftertouch or timecode. Just set them up "daisychained" and it will be simpler to keep everything organized.
I'm actually using a USB Keyspan USA28X device to provide the Modem/Printer ports and while this seems to function without problems (even with OMS Studio set to maximum communication speeds), does anybody have any experience that would suggest I'm going to have timing issues further down the line?
The Keyspan will handle anything you throw at it without any hiccups. The secret to MIDI timing over Mac serial ports and/or USB is that there isn't any! The 5LX buffers and clocks all incoming and outgoing MIDI data against the software timing pulses generated in the DAW. That's primarily why it has it's own 68000 CPU -  that and also so it will operate in a stand-alone mode.

Any other issue you may have "down the line" I can't begin to anticipate from here since I have no idea what MIDI hardware you're using and how you intend to use it. I assume it a fair amount of stuff since you require two 5LX's. I also hope your Powerbook is a Titanium. Older, slower models may (note: not will, may) choke occasionally in such a large setup. Many, many variables involved. Provide more info on the setup and I'll check the crystal ball for any obvious potholes I know about…

Offline Syntho

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #3 on: September 04, 2017, 09:55:45 PM »
Can you upload the bin file here for posterity? I'm not sure which version is in mine, I should take a look. If I ever get another 5LX and it happens to have the old firmware, I can use the bin file to get a good EPROM in there.

Offline mmtuk

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #4 on: September 04, 2017, 10:34:34 PM »
Thanks for comprehensive response GaryN, and for time/thought given.

I'm pleased to say that yes, I am using a 1GHz Ti PowerBook but only for programming the Studio 5s and using the Yamaha Expert Editor software for my VL1-m (unless I can find other uses for it in my setup)! As to amounts of MIDI data.........

My main 'live' controller will be my Akai EWI 5000 which of course will be outputting shedloads of controller data, it will be attached to Studio 5LX #1. Also attached to #1 will be:

Up to 4 computers processing (i)sequencer data, (ii) Audio Mulch, (iii) Bidule etc.
iPad Pro
iPad 3
Behringer FCB1010 Foot Controller (includes 2 expression pedals)
Yamaha MFC2 Foot Controller
Yamaha MEP4 MIDI Processor
CME VX8 Master Keyboard (incl. expression pedal)
Behringer BCR2000 MIDI Controller
MRT MIDI Breath Controller
Yamaha Bluetooth MIDI i/o

Attached to #2 will be:

Yamaha VL1-m
Yamaha VL70m
Yamaha EX5r
Yamaha MU100r (with PLG100-VL & PLG100-VH boards)
Yamaha Motif Rack ES (with PLG150-VL board)
Yamaha SPX990
Behringer DEQ2496
Behringer DSP2024
Behringer FBQ2496
ART DMV Pro

That's 24 devices and may grow. I also have a Yamaha UX256 (6 in/out) MIDI Patchbay which integrates nicely with OMS Studio if I exceed the capacity of the LX5s.

I know that all devices are unlikely to be used simultaneously but the whole idea of patchbays is to cut out recabling time. There's nothing worse for stifling creativity than to have to spend ages sorting out connectivity issues prior to playing. To that end my computers will only be running OS 9.2 or Windows 7 because neither will be subject to catastrophic updates that wreck otherwise perfectly stable setups! - iPads excepted.



« Last Edit: September 05, 2017, 03:54:00 AM by mmtuk »
"What the mind of man can conceive, and truly believe, he will achieve" - Norman Vincent Peale

Offline mmtuk

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2017, 11:00:03 PM »
Can you upload the bin file here for posterity? I'm not sure which version is in mine, I should take a look. If I ever get another 5LX and it happens to have the old firmware, I can use the bin file to get a good EPROM in there.

Is the code still subject to copyright - am I allowed to post such code without incurring the wrath of moderators?
"What the mind of man can conceive, and truly believe, he will achieve" - Norman Vincent Peale

Offline paule

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #6 on: September 04, 2017, 11:49:25 PM »
Hi mmtuk,
I am an Studio5LX user too and really satisfied with the piece. Only one hint I would give you is that if you use it with OS X you cannot use "Fast Communication Speed". I am using the 5LX with my gport and the gport doesn't recognize the 5LX in OSX when in Fast mode. OS9 is fine also in Fastmode. But maybe it is just a gport thing...

Best, paule.

Offline Syntho

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2017, 01:38:35 AM »
Can you upload the bin file here for posterity? I'm not sure which version is in mine, I should take a look. If I ever get another 5LX and it happens to have the old firmware, I can use the bin file to get a good EPROM in there.

Is the code still subject to copyright - am I allowed to post such code without incurring the wrath of moderators?

You're in the clear on that for sure, go ahead and post  :)

Offline mmtuk

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2017, 01:01:57 AM »

You're in the clear on that for sure, go ahead and post  :)

Will do as soon as I'm back home!
"What the mind of man can conceive, and truly believe, he will achieve" - Norman Vincent Peale

Offline mmtuk

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2017, 08:34:24 AM »
Here are two versions of the Studio 5LX EPROMs together with an Opcode produced upgrade guide (pdf). Note that the included .bin files are for the two latest firmware versions and are for LX5s with 256k RAM.
"What the mind of man can conceive, and truly believe, he will achieve" - Norman Vincent Peale

Offline Syntho

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2017, 07:38:59 PM »
Beautiful. Thanks a lot!  :)