Author Topic: mLAN  (Read 4299 times)

Offline MacTron

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mLAN
« on: June 23, 2014, 12:25:59 PM »
"mLAN is the integration of audio and MIDI bi-directional transfer over a single FireWire (IEEE 1394) cable. Up to 63 mLAN compatible products may be connected together in any order, and as mLAN ports are hot-pluggable, there is no need to power-down or reset any devices. mLAN is extremely useful in computer-based music production, although compatible products may be connected together without a computer - ideal for live performance situations. The format is supported by Windows XP and Mac OSs 9, and at OS level for Mac OSX platforms. Although mLAN has been developed by Yamaha, over 40 other manufacturers have signed on as licensees, many with products already in the market"

Unfortunately it's no possible to connect two computers alone with firewire cable.

But there is rumour that this had been achieved in OS 9 with mLAN ASIO drivers, has anyone else know more about this ?

Offline DieHard

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2014, 02:03:45 PM »
All I can say about MLan is that the "Firestation" uses it as a protocol and does NOT use the 1394 as a standard FW port.
http://www.presonus.com/products/firestation
Many studios gave up and returned them back in the day, they were an absolute nightmare under OS 9 and never worked correctly. I had 3 pages of notes that I used to use when I had to get them up and running.
Just to emphasize this, I have seen them sell for less than $80 on ebay since they are such a nightmare.  As far as other Mlan devices, I am not sure how well they operate, but I HATE the firestation and that was my first Mlan experience
« Last Edit: June 23, 2014, 11:22:48 PM by DieHard »

supernova777

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2014, 07:41:15 PM »
Quote

The FIREstation uses Yamaha's protocol for FireWire recording called mLAN. The difference between mLAN and other FireWire recording systems is that mLAN is an 'open' platform allowing compatibility with other manufacturer's hardware including Apogee™, Korg™ and Yamaha™ with many more to come. mLAN stands for 'Music Local Area Network' and works just like a computer network. Multiple mLAN devices can be chained together so that digital audio, MIDI and Word Clock information can be sent to and from each device. Now, audio interfaces, digital mixers and keyboards can all communicate using mLAN.

Offline cyberish

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #3 on: July 03, 2014, 01:29:17 PM »
I never runned  MLan under OS9 . But I'm very much tented to know at least how my i88x Yamaha interfaces would work with.
At least they are ,after a long battle driverwise , rock solid under Mac OS X Snow Leo. I even run them on Mountain Lion (MLPostfactor - thing )which installs a 32bit System-Kernel instead of the 64 bit. The latter would not run with the latest mLan driver. - There was a MLan - Forum in the newer days . But some month ago it disappeared from one day to another: http://mlan.dailyforum.net/index.php . I don't know what happened but probably there's someone in here who knows?

I never heard about connecting two Macs with a mLAN ASIO driver. What would it be for?

supernova777

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #4 on: April 28, 2015, 07:28:23 PM »
01x
http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=988.0

i88x
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=2482.0

mlan articles:
http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=1073.msg1114#msg1114

from what i read mlan was originally aimed at mac os 9 + windows xp

Quote
I looked up at the overcast Irish skies, the clouds parted, and like my biblical namesake in a sentimental Victorian painting, I caught a glimpse of Paradise! ADAT Optical had reduced the spaghetti in my studio to angelhair pasta -- but FireWire could eradicate it forever, and the constant replugging of cables, miswiring and crawling on the floor that went with it. I dedicated my life on the spot to do whatever it took to get an audio protocol for FireWire out there and adopted.

it really was a cool idea.. it sad to see it not succeed + gain larger support + stability (or rather, it should be stability, then support)

supernova777

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #5 on: May 03, 2015, 04:47:59 AM »
http://createdigitalmusic.com/2006/07/mlan-drivers-now-universal-binary-but-you-probably-dont-care/

seeing as how mlan was deemed such a "flop"
im wondering - is this mostly due to incompatibilities with osx?
and people not understanding the technology? perhaps it was too complicated?

theres tons of reports + warnings to stay 'far away' from mlan..
but.. if u were to fully understand how to make it work.. it might make for some of the best deals going because of that stigma.. that the equipment is buggy as hell.. etc etc if they are able to work fine with mac os 9 & windows xp..

anyone care to comment ? (anything other then the pre-existing stereotypical comments ie: mlan sucks, mlan is buggy, mlan is dead)


i was trying to discuss this with diehard but he hasnt been around

my idea being,
if u could pick up a yamaha 01x, a yamaha i88x + a presonus firestation
for cheap. and get it all to work with eachother. that might be a pretty impressive set up.. yes it would be limited to using it with older os'.. but for some of us thats thats ok..
« Last Edit: May 03, 2015, 05:18:25 AM by chrisNova777 »


Offline acelera

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2015, 11:02:50 AM »
Ah, mLAN.... those were the days.. did not do a whole lot of music but did have a lot of fun anyway. :D

I was a heavy mLAN user back in the day, starting with the 01x mixer/audio interface/controller combo and then the i88X and the 01v96 with the mLAN card.

The flexibility afforded by an expanded mLAN setup in terms of the freedom of routing all your IO from all the devices, choosing a clocking scheme, etc. was very ambitious and, once the software settled, it did work very well.
At the same time, it was not a system that was easy to grasp for the novice and I recall a few of us spending long hours on 01xray.com and Mlancentral.com literally what was a lifetime helping other budding users sort out their PC and Mac setups and DAWs with mLAN.

The big mistake for Yamaha and mLAN was the tactical decision to use the Apple Firewire OS X audio streaming driver - as did Apogee and a few others with variable success. Apogee Duet 1 and Ensemble users were similarly irked by the driver issues but eventually did manage to churn out their own beta ahead of the others. There is a lot of speculation on how they managed to do this but that is probably not relevant to this thread at all.

What it did mean for mLAN users was that we were stuck with a driver that had a variable recording offset for what felt like an age and that by the time it arrived most people had given up and sold their kit.

Eventually, Yamaha bought Steinberg, folded mLAN and from then on just used a Yamaha Steinberg FW driver for the newer units (such as the FW interface for the newer Motifs, for example). This meant that Mlan 1 devices like the Firestudio and Mlan 2 devices like the Yamaha ones mentioned above were stuck in OS X 10.5.x for ever after.

Some of the devices such as the mLAN expansion for the Triton and the one for the Kurzweil FX unit - cannot remember the name now - were pretty hard to come by.

I no longer have any of my mLAN kit but I do recall reports that the OS 9 software and drivers did not exhibit any of the traits suffered by the OS X drivers over the lifetime of mLAN.

If I come across a cheap 01x, I may just set it up as a dedicated control surface as it did have an excellent implementation of the Mackie Control protocol. Apart from that, it's a nice little mixer with a couple of Yamaha's well known multiFX units as well as analogue I/O and SPDIF.

Given that Firewire is on a different bus than the PCI slots on my MDD, this would not interfere with my PCI expansion chassis and is worth a shot...  8)


supernova777

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2015, 11:23:14 AM »
the price of the 01x is coming down to around 200$ some less + some more

thank u for the report re: mac os 9.. i suspected that some 'advanced users' would have experienced some success with this thing, provided they stayed on the lower os.

Offline acelera

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2015, 11:42:33 AM »
The Firestation, as mentioned by Diehard, is an mLAN 1 device and, indeed, was a nightmare in its inception.

01x, i88x, my16mlan card for the mixers and so on are mLAN 2.0 devices. Once the drivers became stable, you could use a Firestation as part of an mLAN network with mLAN 2 devices quite successfully as there was a firmware/driver upgrade for it. Even so, the firewire bandwidth was only 200Mbits on the Firestation and latency was also worse than on the native 2.0 devices so the best mlAN setup was one that only had mLAN 2 devices only  ;)

If you go down this route, I still recall a lot about how it worked and how to best set it up with regards to Studio Manager and the mLAN patchbay app... so should be able to answer many questions.
I used it all the way through my Powerbook G4 17, an Xserve dual G4 and then a PCI G5 at the time and only let go of it once I moved to a Mac Pro in 2009. Strangely enough, upgrades do not always result in productivity.

As you suspect yourself it was incredibly flexible!

You should be able to use the 01x as a  control surface for Live with motorised faders - although I do not recall at what version Ableton Live implemented the Mackie Control protocol.

Version 1.5.2 of the drivers is the one to get for OS 9. Not relevant to this forum obviously 1.2.0 is the stable version for OS X 10.4.x&10.5.x.


supernova777

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2015, 11:53:52 AM »
thanks so much for sharing that info  8) perfect!
this sheds alot of light on the comments re: the firestation.
it would seem that unit is defiantely best reserved to be used via adat expansion with another unit

Offline acelera

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2015, 12:03:07 PM »
There are some resources on this site from another guy that used to contribute regularly on 01xray.com and they are a pretty good of bunch tutorials and setup guides for your amusement or anyone else that wants to venture down mLAN memory lane:

http://happyharry.net/yamaha/

As for the drivers themselves they are all available here:

http://download.yamaha.com/search/product/?language=en&site=usa.yamaha.com&category_id=16268&product_id=100004


Offline DieHard

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #12 on: May 05, 2015, 09:06:06 AM »
From acelera
Quote
01x, i88x, my16mlan card for the mixers and so on are mLAN 2.0 devices. Once the drivers became stable, you could use a Firestation as part of an mLAN network with mLAN 2 devices quite successfully as there was a firmware/driver upgrade for it. Even so, the firewire bandwidth was only 200Mbits on the Firestation and latency was also worse than on the native 2.0 devices so the best mlAN setup was one that only had mLAN 2 devices only

Well, that was informative ! (and thank you).
Since it was clear that mLAN was not going to be around, many DAW Mac & PC hardware vendors (including my company at the time), gave up on it altogether. Looking back now, if it was properly implemented, it should have become the standard in Production Studios that had more that one tracking room. 

I think it was overkill (and perhaps too complex) for the Home studio with 1 interface and 1 computer; and I bet this is what really killed it in the end.

supernova777

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #13 on: May 05, 2015, 12:03:38 PM »
maybe im a glutton for punishment but im kind of interested in exploring the 01x + i88x on mac os 9... 8)

also the fact that u can get mlan addon cards for yamaha digital mixers sounds pretty interesting..
for logic/cubase/dp/live i bet it could offer some great track counts..

any comments to add on midi timing over the firewire? from anyone with experience?

Offline Briggs

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Re: mLAN
« Reply #14 on: September 30, 2015, 08:53:09 PM »
About to try it.....just got done speaking with a friend that said his MDD/OS9/01x/i88x setup was completely stable running cubase 5 ;D