Author Topic: Opcode Studio 5LX  (Read 1224 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 »
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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!  :)

Offline B.Minor

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2018, 01:18:56 PM »
Thanks from my side as well.
Finally I can operate my 5LX using the latest maintenance firmware. 8)

Online macStuff

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2018, 07:11:57 PM »
until last week was unaware that it was the latest version produced and therefore contained the latest circuit boards/firmware.

well done MMtuk! & thanks for contributing those firmwares to the community
just curious what information led you to confirm that it was the last version produced?

Offline B.Minor

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #13 on: January 23, 2018, 10:52:11 AM »
Statement from another site (http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=27.0):

There were 3 Studio 5 ROM releases:
10/11/91 - original release: This release did not support networking.
10/13/93 - LX release: This release supported networking. Much code was optimized resulting in better performance, and numerous bugs were fixed.
8/15/95 - LX maintenance update: This release fixed a few minor bugs: One was the 100 protocol numbers bug.
(click link above for more)

Btw.: They already added a related firmware download link as well from their site some days ago, especially after they realized that mmtuk provided his ZIP archive here at this place  :D

As we all know, Opcode was killed later on by Gibson.
I'm very sure that the 1995 maintenance release was the very last firmware officially released for the Studio 5 LX, as I've been looking for that ROM dump for years now.

Additional hints for firmware programming & device setup:

Two pieces "27C256" EPROMs are necessary. Of course you can also use so-called OTP (One Time Process) PROMs of same type in case you don't intend to erase/re-use these memory chips later on for other purposes. At least OTP-PROMs are a little bit cheaper than EPROMs.

Another option is to use "27C512" EPROMs/OTP-PROMs instead (if you want to waste more space/money). In this case two jumpers on the Studio 5 LX mainboard must be set differently. Positions are clearly depicted on the board, so nothing can be done wrong.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2018, 11:44:29 AM by B.Minor »

Offline Syntho

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Re: Opcode Studio 5LX
« Reply #14 on: April 04, 2018, 08:54:34 PM »
https://web.archive.org/web/20051225090328fw_/http://www.fm-music.com:80/v/FAQ/Studio_5_Info.html

Quote
There were 3 Studio 5 ROM releases:

10/11/91 - original release This release did not support networking.

10/13/93 - LX release This release supported networking. Much code was optimized resulting in better performance, and numerous bugs were fixed.

8/15/95 - LX maintenance update This release fixed a few minor bugs: One was the 100 protocol numbers bug. This could cause some inputs or outputs to stop working, although you would get an alert first (with OMS 2.x), warning you that the Studio 5 was out of addresses. This only happens if you have more than 100 MIDI devices and/or virtual controllers and virtual instruments, so this mostly applies to people with several Studio 5's and/or people using lots of virtual controllers or instruments. Also, if you make a new Studio setup current, and both your old and new Studio setups have Studio 5's, you may see this problem. You can try and open the OMS MIDI Setup dialog to see if this helps things, but the ROM upgrade is what fixes it. Remember, if you do not see this specific alert saying the Studio 5 is out of addresses, you do not have this problem. There was a problem with stuck notes happening when you selected a new Studio Patch (if you are using Studio Patches, I have a feeling a lot of people aren't). A work around is to make sure all inputs sending data into the Studio 5 are in fact enabled. There was another problem with stuck notes or other channel data being dropped on input, when you have more than one controller sending Channel messages at the same time. You would only see this when playing two controllers (e.g. MIDI keyboards) at the same time. Since this was a running status problem, the work around here is to have the controllers send on different MIDI channels. I think there was also a bug that caused the Studio 5 state to be reloaded every time or every other time you ran an OMS application. This just means it takes more time when you run Vision, say, to start up the application. There were no performance enhancements in this version. - jarrell

I'm guessing there are a lot of folks out there still using Opcode Studio 5 (LX)s. At this point, I'm planning on holding on to mine at least until all the USB MIDI bugs are worked out. I did some shopping on ebay, and discovered that these days, original Studio 5's are going for about $200, and newer Studio 5LXs go for about $400. I picked up two, and thought I was pretty well set. Then, I ran across a person that had two Studio 5 LX's that went south, and I bought those too. I thought they'd only be useful for parts, but luckily, I was able to get them going. In the process of fooling around with these units, I discovered a few basic things that I'd like to share. Perhaps they'll help someone get a malfunctioning unit going again. Even better, there are some maintenance things that can be done to keep a person out of trouble in the first place. I believe the original Studio 5's came out in 1991, so some of the older ones are getting long in tooth and need some TLC. Here are the tips: First of all, you need to get into your Studio 5. There are three Phillips head screws along the top front, three along the top back, and four on the very top. These are flat headed screws that aren't deep, and it's possible that they're in pretty tight. You might only get one good chance at them before you strip them, so make it count. Whatever you do, use the right tool. Don't use the big fat screwdriver that you've been using to open paint cans and chip mortar. A nice, fresh Sears Craftsman Phillips #1 screwdriver is just perfect. When you insert the screwdriver, make sure to apply a fair amount of pressure so that it doesn't jump out of the slot. Remove the ten screws (don't lose them) and take the top off. If you can't remember when you last changed it, I'd highly recommend a new battery. This won't apply to most people, but if you're saving patch presets in your Studio 5's non-volatile memory, removing the battery will erase them, so make sure you've got them backed up. Most of the Studio 5LXs shipped with a 3 volt lithium RayOvac BR 2325 battery. The first letter refers to the manufacturer. The Radio Shack CR 2325 is a good replacement. Be careful when you lift the spring holding the battery in. It's not that hard to bend it too far (this was a problem with one of my defective units), and if you do, your new battery won't make a good contact. I found it's easiest to hold the spring slightly up with your thumbnail, and slide the battery out with your other fingers. The battery is a little hard to reach since it's part way under the Mezzanine board, so you might want to use a flat jeweler's screwdriver to help push it out from behind. Sticking the new battery back in is comparatively easy. Personally, when I replace batteries like this, I'm pretty careful about touching them so that finger acids don't tarnish the contacts over time. I use the Caig ProGold wipes (available from www.caig.com) to thoroughly wipe off the battery, and then hold the battery with the wipe as I slide it into the holder. If the battery holder was previously bent out of shape, push down hard on the upper contact while there's no battery in to holder to fix it. The battery should not be loose. I like to write the date of the battery replacement on the inside of the lid with a Sharpie, just in case there's any question. After a battery replacement (and also if you're experiencing any other weirdness) you need to re-initialize the Studio 5. To do this, you simultaneously hold in the two black (increment and decrement) buttons while you power the Studio 5 on. After powering on, you should first see a minus sign, and then after you release the buttons, you'll see first a 1, and then 0. While the unit is open (and turned off), re-seat all the socketed chips by firmly pushing them down. I discovered that one of the reasons that both of the defective units I had purchased wouldn't boot was because the chips had worked their way out of the sockets (this problem often comes up with older gear). The expansion and contraction of the chip, socket and circuit board as the unit heats up and cools down, can work the chips out over a number of years. In one of the defective units I worked on, I also discovered that the +5 voltage at the test point was somewhat down. Re-seating the connectors running from the power supply to the motherboard fixed this, and I also gave them a shot of Caig ProGold spray for good measure. One of the defective units I had purchased had another interesting problem. The increment button appeared to have some movement, but it was actually jammed against the side of the chassis. I loosened all the nuts holding the display PCB, repositioned the board, and it was fine. I didn't remove the mother board from this unit, so I don't know if this is the case, but in a lot of older equipment, circuit boards ground to the chassis via screw holes and the contacts can sometimes get tarnished. Just to be on the safe side, I loosened and tightened all the nuts I could get at (without removing the mezzanine board). After performing all the above operations, my two dead units instantly came back to life. My original Studio 5, which must be about 8-9 years old, has never given me a speck of trouble. I've replaced the battery in it twice just as a precaution, and while it was open, I always re-seated the socketed chips. BTW, for the obsessive compulsive folks out there, I've discovered that judicious use of a Sharpie pen does a pretty good job of masking any paint chips and scratches. Out of curiosity, I wonder if anyone knows what the last Rev. was for the Studio 5LX's firmware (Jarrell???). I'm curious as to whether there were any major performance issues dealt with in the later revs. Out of my stable of Studio 5LX's, I was able to find three sets of 10/13/93-3 EPROMs, and these seem to work fine (evidently, if you need to put more than one Studio 5 on a given port, OMS seems to prefer that the EPROMs agree). The most recent Studio 5 LX in my collection had an 8/15/95 EPROM. I'd like to know what this EPROM would do that the 10/13/93 versions don't do. If there are significant improvements in the later EPROMs, I'm wondering if updated EPROMs are available from Gibson. (OK OK, I had to throw that in there for a good laugh.) Seriously though, has anyone tried cloning these EPROMs with an EPROM blower? What chip is used? Anyway, for those of you with aging Studio 5 (LX)s, a little tune-up when you have the time might prevent a failure when you're up against a deadline. In general, I think the Studio 5 LX is quite a robust piece of gear. -Lee Blaske

One maintenance tip I'd add is to check the Thru switches. It is best to check them with a milliohm meter - a digital meter that has a low-ohm range setting. Depending on whether the switch is IN or OUT, you should find contact between adjacent pins when looking at the switch from the top. You skip every third pin as you check them. If any are less than 10milliohms or so, then it shows that oxidation has built up on the switch and it should be replaced. If you don't use the Thru position then you could even solder pins so that it is always closed. Also, if you're very careful, you can take a little pin out of the switch and disassemble it, clean the contacts with some kind of degreaser, and reassemble. Sometimes this works, but the best thing is to just replace the switch if the impedance is too high. Another thing I recall is a bad batch of serial connectors. Some customers pulled a cable out only to have the middle black part come out with it. These are circular-9 mini DIN connectors. Easier to find than the Thru switches, but probably not available at Radio Shack, either. They are a bitch to unsolder, though. You could easily lift pads or damage traces if you're not careful, and don't have the right tools. As previously mentioned, a common problem -- especially with the older units -- is a power problem. One important thing to know is whether you have an "LX" motherboard or the old motherboard. It is fairly easy to tell. Look at the back of the unit. Above the holes for the (4) serial connectors, you should see another hole. If the hole has a fuse holder with a fuse inside, then it is an original motherboard. If the hole has been plugged with a black plastic piece, then you have an upgraded (LX) motherboard. Hopefully the latter is the case. It is much more reliable than the original. If it is the original, and it's got a wacked out front display, then chances are it's a problem with cold solder joints on the transformer. The original board had a very heavy transformer, which would sometimes jar itself loose during shipment, causing cold solder joints or even come completely off the motherboard in the worst case. We tried to phase these boards out as soon as we learned of the problem, but if you have the old original board then try taking it completely out and inspect that area of the board. Disclaimer: I would not recommend trying to fix this problem yourself unless you know what you are doing. There are high voltages inside the unit which can shock or even kill you. (That's high voltage, for ya. No sense of humor.) Regardless of which power supply you have, you should be able to check the DC voltages with an ohmmeter. The Studio 5 uses +5, +12 and -12, I think. If you have a o'scope -- even better! Check these on a scope and see if you see any ripple. If you see a lot of ripple (more than a couple hundred millivolts) then it indicates some power supply problem. If not, then it's something else. Perhaps a blown chip somewhere or one of the other problems mentioned. Other chips do die once in awhile, but they can be a bugger to track down without schematics. (I almost said "impossible," but never say never...:) >If there are significant improvements in the later EPROMs, I'm >wondering if updated EPROMs are available from Gibson. (OK OK, I had >to throw that in there for a good laugh.) > >Seriously though, has anyone tried cloning these EPROMs with an EPROM >blower? What chip is used? I would say that I could dupe ROMs, but I don't want to get sued or something, so I won't. I think they were 27C512's, but it should say on top of the chip (under the version label). The old version ROMs might have been 27C256s. - Jim

Using two Studio 5s: If you have a Mac with two ports (modem and printer), the best thing to do is put one interface on each port. If you want to network two interfaces on one port, run the serial cable from the computer into the "A" input of the Studio 5 (LX), and then run a second serial cable from the "B" input of that interface to the "A" input of the second interface. On the first interface, both the A and B buttons need to be pushed in. If you run multiple interfaces on one serial port, OMS wants both interfaces to have the same EPROM versions. -Lee

To network Studio 5's, it is always Mac to port A, and B to next box's port A. - jarrell

The Studio 5s could not handle this low voltage and gave -2 errors, displays off, and other wacky things. I originally thought it was 2 bad units, or power supplies, but discovered that unlike other equipment in the studio, they need to see at least not much lower than 120 volts to operate. After installing a 15 amp Furman AR215 voltage regulator, the problems disappeared and have not returned. The Furman outputs a constant 120 volts with input from 97 to 140 volts.- Frank

Q: I bought a Studio 5LX in the US, to be used in the UK. I thought I'd have to use a converter or change the PSU but it turns out that newer boards have a jumper that's marked either position 115V or 230V.

A. Hopefully you have the "new" power supply, in which case you'll find a removeable jumper plug on the power supply. To convert it to 240V, you remove the plug and move it over one position. I don't recall if is marked on the power supply, but I think there are only two possible positions for the jumper if memory serves me. Disclaimer: In either case, take all safety procautions by unplugging the unit before removing the cover, etc. Also, I cannot take any responsibility for any damage to your equipment as a result of following these instructions. -JimA