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Author Topic: Back to work with OS9  (Read 2188 times)

fantome_noir

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Back to work with OS9
« on: February 14, 2024, 10:24:06 AM »

Hi there,

Long story short : years ago (1992->98) I used to run a MacIIfx with OS 7.5, a couple of nuBus SampleCell cards, 1 nuBus Audiomedia, 3 ADATS and various software (SoundDesigner, StudioVision 1.32, Opcode Max 2.2) along with some IRCAM stuff (SVP, Modalys, PatchWork) and of course CSound.
I did complete a few albums with this setup in pre-prod, before going to professional studios for the final mix.

Now I'm back into music as a hobby with the following gear :
- 2 G3 beige / 233MHz / os9
- 1 G3 beige / 400 MHz / 512 Mb / os9
- 1 g3 9600 / 300 / os 8.6
- 1 Audiomedia 3 PCI
- 2 SampleCell PCI
- 1 Opcode Studio 3 MIDI interface
- 1 Opcode Studio 4 MIDI interface
- 1 iMAC 27" running Reaper as well as SheepShaver with os9

So far, I can launch StudioVision 4.5 (with the MIDI tracks only) and SampleCell Editor 2.3 on one of the g3 / 233MHz.
I guess I will manage to install everything needed to get audio tracks in StudioVision as well.
My main question is : how far can I go in terms of sophistication with that gear ?
Specifically :
- which version of StudioVision or Vision to take advantage of the Audiomedia 3 ?
- could I get a MIDI/audio sequencer with more than 2 audio tracks ?
- what about ProTools Free 4.5 using the Audiomedia 3 ?
- could I do "weird" things with the sequencer like driving the SampleCells with the MIDI tracks and simultaneously recording the audio outputs on the audio tracks ?

Any ideas, tips and suggestions are welcome.
Thank you in advance.
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GaryN

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #1 on: February 14, 2024, 02:52:19 PM »

There are many answers to your many questions… some definite, some not so much.

"My main question is : how far can I go in terms of sophistication with that gear ?"
Probably far enough. If that sounds stupid, it's because there's no specificity to either the question OR the answer. Everybody's different.

"Which version of StudioVision or Vision to take advantage of the Audiomedia 3 ?"
Your copy of SVP 4.5 will work. Vision is a sequencer only. StudioVision adds audio.

"Could I get a MIDI/audio sequencer with more than 2 audio tracks ?"
You already have one. SVP will handle as many tracks as your ADA interface can deliver. If you only see two tracks, that's because the Aud3 only has 2 converters. They liked to say it "has 4 tracks" but 2 of those are just pass-thru digital. If you get a bigger ADA with more i/o, more will automatically appear in SVP.

"What about ProTools Free 4.5 using the Audiomedia 3 ?"
You're better off just using SVP. PT Free is as basic as it gets and limited plus, the MIDI sucks – that's why it was free.

"Could I do "weird" things with the sequencer like driving the SampleCells with the MIDI tracks and simultaneously recording the audio outputs on the audio tracks ?"
Yes… and that's not weird at all.

"Any ideas, tips and suggestions are welcome."

I'll try. I do have some notes:
Your G3 can handle a surprising amount of audio. That's because the ADA(s) offload the heavy lifting. The SampleCell cards do also. The MIDI sequencing "part" is not that CPU intensive which is why we were all able to sequence MIDI back when on 68k Macs. (I well remember when the IIfx was the completely unaffordable stuff of dreams!)
IF you really want to "do" digital audio tracks, my personal recommendation is that you lose the AudIII card. It's very old, primitive, won't give you more than 2 good tracks and doesn't play well with others. It requires DAE (Digidesign Audio Engine). Although SVP will run DAE, I think the Acadia Engine is a better fit with SVP. Replace it with an M-Audio Delta 44 or 66 or other PCI-based ADA.
In my experience, I did produce an entire album on a G3 Desktop using SVP with a Delta 44 plus some MIDI devices and a decent-sized mixer.
BUT I had a G4 500Mhz Sonnet CPU card in there. So, exactly how much and how far a G3 can/will go before little nasties start popping up I can't say. Some people can't produce a song with less than 20 tracks of audio, others only need a few. At some point however, you may have a few too many being mixed into the 4 outs or down to a stereo pair and stuff will start hiccuping. That's not to worry too much about… you just cross that bridge when and IF you come to it.

Note to Aud III and PT Free lovers: The preceding opinions are personal and my own. I'm sure more than a few good things were and maybe even still are produced with ancient Digi products. It's not necessary to start a debate.
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Protools5LEGuy

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #2 on: February 14, 2024, 02:53:15 PM »

Quote
"What about ProTools Free 4.5 using the Audiomedia 3 ?"
You're better off just using SVP. PT Free is as basic as it gets and limited plus, the MIDI sucks – that's why it was free.

MIDI on PT 5 is inferior to LOGIC, CuBase and probably SVT too, on tools but you can work with it. It is not as polished as the others but you can work with it better than with an old school sequencer.

Audiomedia III (Or AM3) can run FULL Protools 4 and Protools 5 LE. On 4 you got some extras like Key Commands but you have to work 16 bits AFAIK.

I have no idea what to do to work with samplecells, but I think it needs a TDM system
« Last Edit: February 14, 2024, 03:25:09 PM by Protools5LEGuy »
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Protools5LEGuy

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #3 on: February 14, 2024, 03:05:25 PM »


IF you really want to "do" digital audio tracks, my personal recommendation is that you lose the AudIII card. It's very old, primitive, won't give you more than 2 good tracks and doesn't play well with others. It requires DAE (Digidesign Audio Engine). Although SVP will run DAE, I think the Acadia Engine is a better fit with SVP. Replace it with an M-Audio Delta 44 or 66 or other PCI-based ADA.

Quote
They liked to say it "has 4 tracks" but 2 of those are just pass-thru digital

AM3 support 4 Ins and 4 Outs simultaneously. You can chooose if the analog output is cloned on the SPCIF or not.

The analog route is bad in todays standarts because it was 18 bits converters AD and DA, but the SPDIF fully supports 24 bits.

I know it is old gear but he already has it and can do wonders with Protools 5 (and probably more with 16 bits PT4). It has good FPGA for the monitoring (a Moto 56K IIRC).

I have a broken PCI M Audio Audiophile, but all my AM3 (and have had 3 of them) had a longer lifespan. None died with me. Dont ask me why. To be fair, a  DIGI 001 has died with me, but it were moded with a SARONIX clock and maybe that was the reason.

« Last Edit: February 14, 2024, 03:28:29 PM by Protools5LEGuy »
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Protools5LEGuy

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #4 on: February 14, 2024, 03:14:05 PM »


"What about ProTools Free 4.5 using the Audiomedia 3 ?"
You're better off just using SVP. PT Free is as basic as it gets and limited plus, the MIDI sucks – that's why it was free.



There is also protools 3.4 that can run with AM III and give 16 tracks.

Protools FREE was an early 5 version that was limited to 8 tracks.

We can have lots of stories about if it is necesary to waste more than 8 tracks with so many master works done with 4 tracks only (or 2 tracks only in mono era). But I would go ProTools 5 LE to have 24 tracks and update it to latest update that allowed 32 tracks, more that enought for a DAW

What interface do you have on the 27" iMac? If it has SPDIF you can conect digitally to the AM III

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Protools5LEGuy

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #5 on: February 14, 2024, 03:35:10 PM »

Quote
It requires DAE

Thanks god! For the DAE environment.    :) It is simply 500x times more stable than most ASIO cards. Worth mentioning that MOTU had stable drivers.

To be fair the ASIO driver for AM 3 is mostly stable but I spent most of my time with DAE and have to force reboot much less times working in PT5 LE than on Logic 6 (even with DAE engine).

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GaryN

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #6 on: February 14, 2024, 10:08:32 PM »

Quote
It requires DAE

Thanks god! For the DAE environment.    :) It is simply 500x times more stable than most ASIO cards. Worth mentioning that MOTU had stable drivers.

To be fair the ASIO driver for AM 3 is mostly stable but I spent most of my time with DAE and have to force reboot much less times working in PT5 LE than on Logic 6 (even with DAE engine).

The alternative to DAE with SVP is Acadia.  ASIO is something else entirely.

Also, to clarify:
The AM3 card has TWO analog ins and TWO outs. Do I really have to explain that is not the same as multiple digital audio tracks in the box?

fantome_noir has two SampleCell PCI cards which must be SCII's because the originals were NuBus. That means they each have 4 stereo outs which I believe makes 8. 8 times 2 cards = as many as 16 ANALOG outs that are going to have to go to a mixer along with any outs from the ADA be it AM3 or whatever AND any outs from external MIDI gear.
NOTE: I have never personally used SC cards but I believe they will simply show up as MIDI instruments OR be available via the IAC bus in SVP.  ASIO sends digital audio around the host CPU to the ADA interface. The AM3's output their analog audio directly so no need for ASIO.
« Last Edit: February 14, 2024, 10:36:55 PM by GaryN »
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smilesdavis

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #7 on: February 15, 2024, 04:37:57 AM »

What are your goals? Then we can chime in where we would go as each system is its own universe

I like to have a rig of each era

Iifx with 4x pro tools cards sysaxe and run logic audio
Q950 with expansion chassis
8100/g3/500 with full expansion chassis
G4/1800 with digidesign expansion chassis

Etc etc
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fantome_noir

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #8 on: February 15, 2024, 06:18:56 AM »

Thank you guys for your answers.
The truth is, after all these years away form music production, I need to catch up with formats, compatibility, etc.
These days, I am more into experimental / musique concrete kind of stuff than regular songs. So what I need is flexibility, and being able to plug in/out old and recent gear, being able to process sound between as many old and recent softs as possible, with MIDI control and as many audio tracks as possible, with as few sound quality loss as possible.
I know, it sounds a bit irrealistic if not childish, but again I'm back into music and gear as a hobby.

Best
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IIO

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #9 on: February 15, 2024, 02:25:36 PM »

These days, I am more into experimental / musique concrete kind of stuff than regular songs.

what regular is... and what strange... is only a matter of your own perspective. ;)

while the AM III had really OK converters and amplifiers and still be useful for those who want to record 16 bit masters for certain media, i would always recommend to use 24 bit systems for traditional recording to both pro´s and beginners whererever you can. it just makes things more convenient.

of course among vintage protools users there are a few other good arguments for still using 16 bit I/O and recording, but the fun ends when you want to do heavy computer based editing on such audiofiles.

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fantome_noir

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2024, 05:39:16 AM »

what regular is... and what strange... is only a matter of your own perspective. ;)

What I meant is that it's very unlikely that I will dedicate 1 track to voice, 1 to bass, 1 to guitar, etc.
I will rather have a complex MAX midi patch driving the Samplecell cards with their outputs recorded in real time on 8 different audio tracks for further processing.
I hope that makes things clearer and gives more clues about the kind of "flexibility" I'm expecting from the setup, along with sound quality and as few glitches as possible with the old gear.
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GaryN

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2024, 11:46:25 AM »

I will rather have a complex MAX midi patch driving the Samplecell cards with their outputs recorded in real time on 8 different audio tracks for further processing.
I hope that makes things clearer and gives more clues about the kind of "flexibility" I'm expecting from the setup, along with sound quality and as few glitches as possible with the old gear.
Well, that's certainly clearer. I do not see a role for the Audiomedia card in that scenario however unless you intend to record those SampleCell outputs 2-at-a-time. I would advise getting a Delta 1010 card for 8 simultaneous i/o but I'm uncertain just how glitch-free that would be with any G3.

If you do want to go 2-at-a-time with the AM3, SVP will certainly allow you to stack up all of the SC tracks you like, edit the audio if needed and mix internally with the SVP Console. You may get a decent track count before issues happen as well but just how many is anyone's guess.
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IIO

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2024, 11:54:07 AM »


I will rather have a complex MAX midi patch


of course! what else.

my philosophy in one sentence.



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fantome_noir

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #13 on: March 09, 2024, 06:04:46 AM »

Replace it with an M-Audio Delta 44 or 66 or other PCI-based ADA.

Hello,
You suggested to replace the AMIII with an M-Audio Delta 44 or 66.
I have an option for an M-Audio Delta 1010. Will it run on a G3 beige 400 MHz/512 Mb with SVP 4.5 and possibly 2 SampleCell boards or Soft SampleCell ?
Thanks.
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GaryN

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Re: Back to work with OS9
« Reply #14 on: March 09, 2024, 05:09:31 PM »

Replace it with an M-Audio Delta 44 or 66 or other PCI-based ADA.

Hello,
You suggested to replace the AMIII with an M-Audio Delta 44 or 66.
I have an option for an M-Audio Delta 1010. Will it run on a G3 beige 400 MHz/512 Mb with SVP 4.5 and possibly 2 SampleCell boards or Soft SampleCell ?
Thanks.

Let's see… enter the multiverse, divide by pi, activate PCI bus, check supply voltages, hit "play" and……

I have absolutely NO idea…none.
It's not like this particular combination is or has been commonly tried.
This is more than a little bit like: "How many superchargers, extra alternators (for the big stereo amps in the trunk) and such can I hang on this VW engine before it explodes?"
Well, to be fair, it is a PPC, so not a VW…… more like a Chevy 6-cylinder.

Best guesstimate: You can stuff every PCI slot with all of that, including a Delta 1010. It will work.*

*How well and/or how much, how many tracks etc. can you load up, record and or play simultaneously in a beige G3 before it starts to fart? Well, that's the question. The first possible issue that comes to mind is the 66Mhz bus. Since everything has to traverse that path, there may (again, MAY) well be a point where bits start flying everywhere other than where they're supposed to. How many simultaneous tracks and such before that happens is anybody's guess. Moderate your demands and it will be more cooperative than it might otherwise. You may get 8 simultaneous audio in/out at 44Khz but maybe start to glitch at 48Khz (and certainly 96Khz is going to be next to useless for much).
So, it ALL depends on how you use it… how much you demand from it. As I said before, I'm not a SampleCell expert. I DID successfully use SoftSC for just a couple of tracks. Actually, I think that SoftSC, using the host memory and CPU for the samples demands more from the host than the the cards do, so be glad you have the cards.
** You almost certainly must have a good SSD. You "only" have an ATA-2 interface but it should allow that with a simple SATA<>IDE adapter. I'm guessing you'll also need a SCSI<>SATA adapter of some kind for a 2nd/3rd drive to avoid choking the ATA-2.

I produced a few entire CD's AND all of the graphics on a G3 desktop. BUT it had a Sonnet G4 500 Mhz upgrade (BTW, I have never seen a 400Mhz Beige. Is your CPU from a Blue&White or…?) I used a Delta 44 @48Khz with mostly just a handful of audio tracks stemmed down to 4 with SVP and a lot of MIDI. It worked well although I could feel that I was right on the edge sometimes. So, I'm pretty sure there will be a limit for you. Your idea of running the SampleCells and recording them, editing and finally playing out in audio may well help to keep the system within its limits and mostly glitch-free.

All of that said, I went from that Beige Desktop directly to an MDD and never looked back. Compared to the Beige, it runs like a Ferrari.

Exactly how much performance will you ultimately be able to extract from the G3?
You'll just have to try it and find out.
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