Author Topic: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!  (Read 902 times)

Offline nickbirkby

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Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« on: July 18, 2020, 02:51:50 AM »
A pair of Opcode Studio 5 have turned up at a local music shop. They appear to be the pre- LX version, I have no idea of what chips they have, internal batteries, condition etc .

BUT, if I can get them up and running it means I can plug pretty much all my midi stuff in for once. I know a few people here are very familiar with these- should I be able to plug and play if its the old version? I see that there is a mention of the newer chips being to run better with newer OMS versions? I prmarily want to use them with Cubase 5,2 and Sounddiver. I imagine my OMS is the latest..
 
I have a Studio XTC 64 and 128 that I used previously so Im fairly familiar with the general setup.

I desperately need to track down a Keyspan adapter now though as I have migrated from a beige G3 to a G4 and was using a usb Midex 8 Lol

Offline IIO

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #1 on: July 18, 2020, 04:04:13 AM »
i just received a stealth port today so that i can add my old interface to the midex, which i bought in 2001 beause i didnt know about stealth ports. found mine by accident (saw the cable in a G4 offer picture) - good luck finding one.
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Offline nickbirkby

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2020, 10:06:43 AM »
Yes, I never knew about the Stealth port either...

Im on a local vinatge computer users fb group going to try them.

There was guy in (I think) Australia making G4 seriall conversion kits on a little board but it was quite expensive- 50-60$ I recall.



Offline coachla

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #3 on: July 19, 2020, 03:00:03 AM »
Keys pan SXPRO on Ebay item #233569433898

I use one with my Studio 5 and G4 MDD 1.25 Dual, and a Stealth on a other MDD. Both are excellent.


Offline IIO

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #4 on: July 19, 2020, 04:58:21 AM »
PCI card for midi seems a bit a waste ;) but you can connect dozens of interfaces to such a card.
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Offline IIO

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #5 on: July 19, 2020, 05:13:53 AM »
https://www.ebay.de/itm/CARTE-KEYSPAN-SX-PRO-4-ports-serie/323973452538?hash=item4b6e5292fa:g:iIgAAOSw9gxdxUCt

600 euro plus 50 euro shipping from france to germany.

it is probably the better pro pro version which has french techno music built in.
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Offline ssp3

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #6 on: July 19, 2020, 10:26:24 AM »
"Laurent Garnier edition". With platinum plated edge contacts :D

Offline nickbirkby

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #7 on: July 19, 2020, 11:42:33 AM »
LOL  :D
Hpefully I just find a regular one and daisy chain the two units

Im tempted to try the Galaxy editor, am finding SoundDiver doesnt have as many finished modules as it first appeared. Not that its bad.
Unisyn looks good as well

Anyway with THIRTY inividuall in/ outs I can finally plug it all in and probably still have space.

Offline GaryN

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #8 on: July 19, 2020, 06:00:44 PM »
LOL  :D
Hpefully I just find a regular one and daisy chain the two units
There is currently on ebay a guy selling up to six Keyspan USA-28XB USB-to-serial adapters at $50 each.
These work and work well with Studio 5's or any other Mac mini-DIN serial interface.
The only caveat with these is they must have the "X" suffix - which these do. There are revisions "B" thru "G" also but they handle MIDI identically.
They provide TWO serial outs - just like the old modem and printer ports. You can hang a 5 on each port - no daisy-chaining required.
https://www.ebay.com/itm/Keyspan-USA-28XB-USB-serial-connector-WORKING/283948488212?hash=item421ca61614:g:gHMAAOSw~XFeE22w

Im tempted to try the Galaxy editor, am finding SoundDiver doesnt have as many finished modules as it first appeared. Not that its bad.
Unisyn looks good as well
Galaxy is also limited to (obviously) the products that existed before Opcode was shut down.
It does work very, very well with Opcode interfaces (as it should) and there's no reason you can't have both SoundDiver and Galaxy.

Anyway with THIRTY inividuall in/ outs I can finally plug it all in and probably still have space.
You DO know you can put MIDI modules on different channels and daisy-chain some of them behind other modules, don't you?
You can also place simple MIDI splitters in strategic places to avoid the teeny-tiny delay using MIDI thrus.
With two Studio 5s you can have literally dozens of MIDI synths, modules, etc. in a system.

Offline IIO

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #9 on: July 19, 2020, 10:10:28 PM »
usb 2 serial conversion is a makeshift solution.
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Offline GaryN

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #10 on: July 19, 2020, 10:35:42 PM »
usb 2 serial conversion is a makeshift solution.
As always, you diss what appears on the Forum without offering anything better.

Consider:
1) You have an old Mac that has NO serial ports - only USB
2) You want to run OS9 and OS9 software
3) You have two of the best MIDI interfaces EVER made that require RS-422
4) PCI-based serial port cards are as scarce as dinosaur eggs AND the few that CAN be found are more $$ than your entire computer

This is where you put forth your brilliant solution _________________________________________

Offline IIO

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #11 on: July 20, 2020, 04:48:19 AM »
using an usb to serial adapter is only a solution if you

 - already have an old interface
 - dont have a chance to add a serial port to your machine
 - dont need your usb ports for anything else

and the combination of 1&2 is a very rare one when you think about it.

in all other situations other solutions seem more appropiate. for example if your machine has a modem port you can get a serial card and run your serial interface with real serial accuracy.

or you could get an usb interface.

or if you have an usb interface already and want to add another interface, you get an old serial one so that you dont need to get an external usb hub.

(btw, what about OSX compatibility with pre 1997 interfaces?)
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Offline nickbirkby

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #12 on: July 20, 2020, 10:33:01 AM »
Hi Gary, all
Thanks, yes, am aware of (most) ot the routing possibilties though Im admittedly not an absolute expert.
I noticed many of my modues had no midi through and I also dimly recall Sounddivers manual 'suggesting' that a device per port was recommended (I may have that wrong, I will look again)...

Anyhow, I very luckily tracked down a Keyspan 28x that a sound engineer had lying in a drawer for 10 years. he said he used it briefly with a 64XTC. Im getting it Free which is great!

The Studio 5 are going for about 35USD each which seems too good to pass up. No idea condidition but hoping all fine. They do look used.

Re timing accuracy, Im just hoping for the best. I have a Midex8 with the Cubase LTB extension that imroved timing but Im inclined to the Opcode units for the versatility and OMS integration. Plus they will look so cool! :)
 
Perhaps when I feel richer I can order the Jamport. http://alexhixon.com/projects/jamport/

Offline GaryN

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #13 on: July 20, 2020, 02:46:43 PM »
* There are always modules that don't need 100% accurate timing… say, a MidiVerb or similar that just needs an occasional patch change or such. Those are the ones you place at the "end of the chain".

* In a perfect world, sure… one device per port. Fine unless you're an incessant collector and you can't help but keep expanding…

* Don't forget you need to install a Keyspan Control Panel with the 28X

* $35 ea for Studio 5's is a great price.

* I used a Keyspan and both a Studio 4 and later a 5 for years with no timing issues. Just keep any MTC or other stream-hogging codes on their own port.

* Alex Hixon no longer makes the Jamport but if you have so much stuff you need two Studio 5s, it wouldn't cut it for you anyway.

Offline nickbirkby

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #14 on: July 21, 2020, 12:19:32 AM »
Thanks for the input Gary, I will look into the control panel for the keyspan.

Ive aquired a lot of outboard gear over the years- not all of it that special, but its going to give me a sense of completion to at least have it all plugged in- and maybe decide what can be let go in the process. I still need to build racks etc, its going to be a long process.

Interesting that Alex Hixon stopped production.

The Studio 5 units seem to have a processor inside Im sure there must be some sort of buffer that keeps the timing tight. Anyway from what you say its all good...


Offline GaryN

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #15 on: July 21, 2020, 04:56:56 PM »
You can get the entire Control Panel and manuals package here:
http://web.archive.org/web/20020618113009/http://keyspan.com:16080/products/usb/usa28x/downloads/KeyspanUSA28Xv19.sit.bin

The Studio 5 has none other than a real IBM 68000 proc - just like old Macs.. It provides very accurate timing indeed.

I will take this opportunity to note that there are many who complain about poor "MIDI timing" and blame the interface or other parts of the hardware.
Many of these folks either have forgotten or never realized that MIDI is a serial protocol and the stream can get clogged because all messages must go thru one-at-a-time. You pile too many devices requiring too many messages on one port and/or add a whole bunch of controllers or time code etc., there will be timing issues.

The Studio 5 gets around this by 1) allowing you to use two serial ports simultaneously, 2) transferring the MIDI at a faster-than-normal rate and 3) maintaining the timing with its own CPU and clock. You "use" the much faster USB port to carry the data since it's being buffered and clocked and not have to worry about overrunning a MIDI stream at any point.

This is what all new USB MIDI interfaces do now. The USB bus is used for everything you can think of… that's why it's named the Universal Serial Bus.

Offline nickbirkby

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2020, 11:18:15 AM »
Thanks for the info and the link Gary.

I will post an update in a few weeks when I get the units.  :)

Offline coachla

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #17 on: July 23, 2020, 11:10:45 PM »
The Studio 5 A serial port carries all the MIDI data originating from devices connected to the MIDI ports to your computer. The B serial port on the Studio 5 carries only data generated by the Studio 5 itself, i.e. the Studio 5's foot switch, foot controller, time code and audio in events. So MIDI notes are not distributed between the serial ports.

Serial has very little jitter, it is bi-directional simultaneously, and compared to USB, it is faster because USB is like a single lane underpass where each direction has to wait for the other to pass before entering, at least this was the case with older USB protocols.

SXPRO is much faster than the 28X....

Offline IIO

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2020, 03:29:47 AM »
...and that advantage  is what you loose when you use a usb2serial adapter.
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Offline GaryN

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #19 on: July 24, 2020, 05:20:48 PM »
The Studio 5 A serial port carries all the MIDI data originating from devices connected to the MIDI ports to your computer. The B serial port on the Studio 5 carries only data generated by the Studio 5 itself, i.e. the Studio 5's foot switch, foot controller, time code and audio in events. So MIDI notes are not distributed between the serial ports.
Sorry… you're confused. Don't feel bad, the description in the manual of how the S5 works is confusing, to say the least.
You quoted a paragraph from the S5 manual, but you left out part of it. The paragraph actually reads:

NOTE: When transmitting data in a dual port configuration, as shown in Figure 3.4, the Studio 5 distributes MIDI equitably between ports “A” and “B.”However, when the Studio 5 receives data, information from MIDI instruments enters port “A” while MIDI generated by the Studio 5 (time code, footswitch and foot controller info, and Audio In events) enters port “B.” Separating the incoming time code from incoming MIDI messages provides insures accurate synchronization.

The S5, with its resident CPU, configures and re-configures itself in a number of ways, depending on how it's connected and whether or not there are multiple S5's present. There are numerous ways to configure a stack of S5's (and a zillion MIDI devices) to handle the largest possible MIDI network, and MIDI data flows in and out of the two ports in the most efficient way possible in all configurations.
The paragraph of note here is pointing out that:  when there is a lot of continuous data because of MTC code, the S5 can send note data thru one port and continuous code thru the other, thus allowing for more timing accuracy without the notes suffering because of getting "bumped" by time code.
An important thing to remember is that the S5 typically communicates data to and from the Mac at 8X the MIDI rate and buffers it to be passed thru at the correct moment. It can do that because the RS-422 serial 230.4kbps data rate (aprox. 8X MIDI) is much faster than the standard 31.25kbps MIDI rate and bi-directional so there is almost never a traffic problem there. If TWO are in use, that's just that much better.

USB 1.1, while NOT bi-directional, has a max speed of 12 Megabits, which is in another class entirely. Even having to send stuff in one direction at a time in serial order, when part of the MIDI system it's still by far the fastest part and is never a factor in MIDI timing as long as the MIDI is properly buffered and timed on each end.

* The USB 1.0 spec was only 1.5Mbps but personally, I never saw an interface that actually operated at that speed.

USB's only "fault" here is that it's a what-should-be-unnecessary conversion in the middle of the stream. It's in there only because Apple dumped the serial ports and we want to use MIDI hardware and software that would rather have the serial ports present. In THAT sense, the SXPRO is a better way to go since it eliminates the need for the USB bus entirely and if more PCI-based serial port "restorers" actually existed and could be found, hardly anyone would use a little hang-on USB-to-serial converter box like the Keyspan… but:

The SXPRO is no faster than using the USB port via a Keyspan 28X and jitter is a non-issue in MIDI.

Offline nickbirkby

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #20 on: July 25, 2020, 09:47:06 AM »
Well the Keyspan 28x arrived today and Ive got the control panel instsalled and it sees the 28X.

BUT, just my luck OMS is being very buggy and throwing up an error 2 message and crashes when I try and reconfigure the studio. It was misbehaving before so i think i must just reinstall it...

Considering Im posting here, Im actually technically quite challenged in some areas. I suppose I remove and delete anything saying OMS especially from extensions and then run the installer again. Its 2.3.8
What could possibly go wrong, right? :)

Offline IIO

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #21 on: July 25, 2020, 10:54:04 AM »

USB 1.1, while NOT bi-directional, has a max speed of 12 Megabits, which is in another class entirely. Even having to send stuff in one direction at a time in serial order, when part of the MIDI system it's still by far the fastest part and is never a factor in MIDI timing as long as the MIDI is properly buffered and timed on each end.

what do you mean by properly timed... at the receiving side?

Quote
USB's only "fault" here is that it's a what-should-be-unnecessary conversion in the middle of the stream.

plus that the connection bidirectional and if someone tries to share yet another device at the same bus, you never know how the transfer rate is limited.

then, in USB, those bidirectional bursts of usb data are limited to a 1 ms clock. sure, that is quite a lot, but it is possible to hit the border when using midi in realtime expecially with multiple interface at that same usb port.

furthermore, in USB each 3 MIDI bytes require 32 bit of space and more data will only be send within the same burst when polyphony comes to play.

and the requirement of an usb device driver (in most cases - especially under OS9) is also not so sexy.

Quote
The SXPRO is no faster than using the USB port via a Keyspan 28X and jitter is a non-issue in MIDI.

in theory it makes huge difference if you can send stuff in time but limited to only 31kbaud - or if you have plenty of bandwidth but can only send 1000 packages per second.

however in practice you are right, because there is always only MIDI DIN on the other end anyway.

in the last online discussion about better or worse MIDI connectivity somebody recently posted a bunch of graphs showing the latency of devices: a waldorf microwave I or oberheim matrix 1000 sythesizer for example has a latency of 3 ms - which will rise up to 9 ms for the 10th voice i.e. when 9 voices are already running.

that kind of ended the discussion about how to connect interfaces to PCs in order to get nanosecond accuracy. :)

one will only get it when all synthesizers are able to receive time tagged control data, which is synced to their audio rate. which is about what you can get when working ITB.
« Last Edit: July 25, 2020, 11:27:27 AM by IIO »
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Offline nickbirkby

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #22 on: July 25, 2020, 10:56:36 AM »
Well to reply to my last post, umpteen (3-4) re-installs of OMS later it worked. I also uninstalled FreeMidi which could have been conflicting.

Very nice to see my 64XTC be recognized after so many years since my G3.  :D
Havent tested it much more but it is looking good! Time for a glass of wine (7.45pm here).





Offline GaryN

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Re: Found a pair of Opcode Studio 5!
« Reply #23 on: July 25, 2020, 01:40:09 PM »
I also uninstalled FreeMidi which could have been conflicting.
I had no way of knowing what your possible issues were but Freemidi would have been at the top of any list……

Glad to hear it's working for you.