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Voyetra Sequencer & Hardware PC DOS midi Setup

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Did i mention i picked up a Yamaha C1 again? eBay, sold by a GOODWILL in the USA. It's *of coarse* fuc*ed: "..does not power up" etc., and has been in transit for about 2 weeks already.

    The previous one i owned had a smashed screen - something the dick selling it did not mention - but otherwise was working fine on an external CGA monitor. SO, I have the service manual and a decent schematic, I am ready to fail hard at getting this going, should it ever arrive.

    Still have the Floppy boot disk & iOMEGA ZIP disk running combo in storage, so i can get it running right away once the PSU has been rebuilt (it's a Yamaha so the PSU will need to be rebuilt).

    My first thoughts are can i exchange one of the floppy drives for a USB solution? or both? That would be the way forward. 2 Goteks, one for data, one for the OS. Oh yes.

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Getting tired of the noise from the Nixdorf, and the 5" screen i am using is also a PITA to see. SO, decided to revive my old AJP 7321, aka a TIME, LION, ADVENT or Mitac 7321, It's an AMD K7, so i586, single core, with 384MB of ram. Previously was happy running 98se, XP and Mageia 2 on it's internal IDE. It has a DVD rom drive, and a floppy It shipped with an Athlon 1100, but i have put a 1400 in there. Cleaned the fan setup, and it's fine. DOS does cause the fan to run hard, i do not know why, and nobody else seems to have noticed this ever. I suspect there is no CPU management going on, so it runs full tilt the whole time in DOS - suits me fine, but it would be nice if the fan was dynamic, like in Linux and XP etc. I have kept a full set of drivers for both XP and 98se, should the need to go full-bloat appear at some stage.

    OFC it's battery was fu*ked, so i had to get 8 x 18650 batteries with Tabs, and crack open the battery to rebuild it. This took a while, but it's basically 4 pairs of 18650 in parallel - making about 14v. No warnings here, just brute force the battery open with a flat tool, then pay attention to how each pair is connected, and replace them a pair at a time. Watch for stuff hiding under the sticky tape, like temp sensors.

    Replaced the HDD with an ide laptop to SD adaptor https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32963519923.html and was able to use DOS 5.0 Floppies to build a 2GB partition on an old 16GB card, then i SYS'd it to Dos 6.2 from a boot floppy i had, and copied over the required crap from the SD in the Nixdorf, including the full DOS folder, and all my Voyetra VINSTALL stuff. A reboot, and it's all fine, 6.2 Dos, which has MEMMAKER and Smartdrv, both of which will allow better SEQ+.

    I since got another Voyetra VP11, so installed that, and SEQ+ runs fine. It does fail the driver test routine, but appears to SEND midi fine, it can sync to incoming "NO SPP" midi timecode perfectly. It also hangs for a while after loading the driver, changing the MODE of the parallel port in the Bios does not really help reduce this. IRQ is 7, Port is 1, no clashes. Usual story with a pentium [edit after a few weeks - running excellently, no problems whatsoever]

    The real PITA is getting an install of Linux to work. All manner of drama here. There are many linux distros that claim to work on <512mb ram, but getting this piece of crap to boot from an install DVD is hard work. Best IMHO to get a LIVE distro with install options, and use CD media. I have managed to get some traction with Debian 10.10 in the NET INSTALL guise - https://www.debian.org/CD/netinst/ but it is very slow to install. NOTHING else will work, bar an ancient LIVE KDE of Mageia 2 or 3 (torrent these the mirrors are all gone). I am trying for the debian to be somewhat modern. Be aware this DVD drive is very picky indeed. DVD-R works fine, but use WINDOWS to burn the iso, when i did them in k3b in Linux, they all failed to boot at all. The USB ports on the 7321 are not bootable. You need to use floppies or disc. You can use a CD boot that accesses a network install, or a USB disk ofc.

    After the initial BASE install, the display got quite buggy, but the install will continue. Remember this laptop has a poxy S3 graphics chip, with max 32mb of shared memory! Expect drama, and a LONG wait for each of the sections. Remember it has to pull most of the stuff from the web, and then zing it to SD..

    OK, so, with an SD card running, i do not NEED a linux install to move files and so on, but i WANT one anyway, if that makes sense. Would like to run DOOM (prBOOM) on this machine with proper SB sound, and should be able to manage that in Linux. the On-Board AC97 sound WILL NOT work in Dos as an SB if at all, so for games, You are doomed. lol. It will Emulate SB in win98se i think, and i have drivers, so i may install 98se for kicks.

    Anyway, another SEQ+ build works. I will be dumping the Nixdorf, maybe will use it as a Win98/Dos Games thing, with an ISA SB in it - but it will have to be an ISA card that is no longer than a 16bit ISA slot, as there is not room internally for anything else. My SB16 and AWE32 are too long, so this build will have to wait until i can find my IRL SB 2.0 8bit card, wherever that went. Of coarse, i will retain the SD with a running SEQ+ build and the Parallel Interface as a spare system.
    Last edited by playthatbeat; Sun 29-08-2021, 3:55 PM.

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Now the (sort of) bad news.. The MIDI IN on the MPU401 clone card does not work. No idea if this is a physical issue, the PC itself or the card, but it's no use to me, as i need this build to lock to SYNC IN. Using the musicQuest Parallel currently (working perfectly), on the Driver in the driver pack in this thread - SPG installer does not ship with the correct driver for it - will be swapping out for a V22s when i get the time. Shame.

    [edit] There are options in the Bios to switch the ISA slot functions and priority - it's included for the installation of a visual/touch screen style interface, i suspect for self-service vending when combined with a scales and printer perhaps? I have NOT set any such priority, leaving things as they are - maybe things would improve with the MPU401 if i fiddle with these variables? MEANWHILE, a quick install of the V22 resulted in the dreaded lockup on Bar 4! So i am back on the parallel device for now. OFC i forgot the driver in 4.11 for the V22 is broken, so i will switch back using the driver in the 'final pack' or maybe some earlier ones at some stage. I also still have a V22m - where port 2 is MPU401 enabled - i can also try this i guess?
    Last edited by playthatbeat; Tue 19-01-2021, 11:29 AM.

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Voyetra V22 ISA midi interface Breakout lead pinouts - 4 x 5 Pin DIN female from 25pin Dsub female:

    (Plug) [pins on Din] [pin on 25 Dsub]

    (Red1) [-1-4-2-5-3-] \-/ [-NC-17-13-04-NC] (OUTPUT 1)

    (Red2) [-1-4-2-5-3-] \-/ [-NC-18-13-05-NC] (OUTPUT 2)

    (BlueA) [-1-4-2-5-3-] \-/ [-NC-02-NC-15-NC] (INPUT 1)

    (BlueB) [-1-4-2-5-3-] \-/ [-NC-03-NC-16-NC] (INPUT 2)

    25dsub.png midi female.png

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Motherboard manual for this Nixdorf Mini PC is here: https://www.dieboldnixdorf.com/-/med...al_english.pdf

    Tried playing DOOM2 on it today, and ofc it ROCKS. Will do MIDI sound out of the MPU401, but the on board sound is the dreaded CS4299 AC97 crappenfest, so no digital sound in DOS AFAIK, You need windows or Linux. 98se might be an option, allowing games to be played in a DOS window?

    I will be loosing the floppy in this for a GoTEK, as floppies are the biggest PITA ever now - all rotting and drama. Most legacy disks are now out there as .img file anyway.

    Enabling the LEGACY USB support will allow the machine to attempt to boot from a USB stick, but I have not managed it yet - maybe some testing will deliver, but for now, i'm using the SD card on the IDE bus to run Dos6.2.

    On the IDE bus - the cable from the motherboard to the drive is NON STANDARD! the connection on the motherboard is reduced size. The Cable is single device only, but the bios supports 2 devices on each IDE port. You could, in theory, hack on a twin cable and run 2 devices, but i STRONGLY advise asking for a spare IDE cable to suit, as that will allow you to run a second IDE device, and open up doors for you.

    I have backed up & Gzipped my working 4gb SD card .img - It's bootable to Dos 6.2, has a full working install of SPG 4.11 and is set up for MPU401 on IRQ 3, there's also a second partition with DOOM and so on for testing. Email me or hit me up on Twitter if You want it @djmrspring

    So far - i love this little thing.

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    So this Nixdorf Cash Register thing arrived! Very well packed, intact. it's 10.5" x 11" x 5" in size, has 3 fans - 1 in the PSU and 1 either side of the case - silent it aint. Has 256mb of ram, 1.3ghz Celeron, and shipped with a noisy enough hard drive (EIDE) that had a german install of DOS 6.22, and a selection of apps and some games. It has 3.5" floppy 1.44mb drive also, which was a bit hit & miss with my 30yo floppies, so i used a more recent sony drive for the Dos build.

    The BIOS is action-packed, including options for the on-board 3 serial ports, and plenty of crap about PCI this and ISA that. You need to do the usual - kill everything in the Bios, especially the PS2 mouse support, and SAVE it off. The ISA slot appears to have some special settings available for reservation of memory blocks and IRQs, which is interesting. This machine could use a Touch-display that used ISA perhaps? NVM, no need to change anything, leave as stock. Also, The machine is Y2k compatible, so dates are correct.

    First stop was to remove the HDD and replace it with an SD solution. This was a total PITA, as i just could not find anything later than Dos 5.0 on floppy for the install. ended up here: https://winworldpc.com/product/ms-dos/622 and hacking together a set of install floppies by mounting the .img files in Linux, dragging over the contents to the SD built in Dos 5, then using a surviving 6.2 boot floppy i had to boot with SD available, "SYS"-ing a floppy, then copying across the contents for "DISK 1" - with 6 spaces between the "DISK" and the "1" (it needs that exact label) of the UPGRADE version of Dos 6.2, and so on, then upgrading Dos 5 to 6.2. After doing this, EMM386 would not load, so i swapped it out for the one that came with Caldera OpenDos 7.x, and i was able to LOADHIGH and so on, giving 341248 bytes free on start - a new record for me. The install of Voyetra SPG and driver for the MPU401 clone mentioned previously in this thread (Jumper to IRQ3) went smoothly. Starting SPG still has that annoying hang for a minute or so, but once passed, everything is fine. I looped a song for 8 hours at 190bpm and it's still solid!! I noticed that the MIDITEST will fail the second stage if You try it, but it still appears to function fine.

    I really want to use my spare spare V22s in this machine, so i can have 2 x 2 ports - but i have no breakout lead. SO, i have ordered female DIN plugs, and a parallel lead, and i will make a breakout myself. I'll publish the PINOUT FOR VOYETRA V22s here when i have it done & working.

    So, bottom line on this - it WORKS. Only a single ISA slot, but at 1.3ghz, this is the fastest ISA machine i have. BUY NOW.
    Last edited by playthatbeat; Wed 13-01-2021, 12:56 PM.

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Been searching hard for a hardware sequencer that can play MIDI files - .MID Type 0 or whatever, so i can run some complex layering with Arkaos in my videomixes, instead of leaving it to randomness.

    Looks like such a machine does not really exist. So, as usual, Voyetra & a DOS machine comes to the rescue.

    Check this out, the NIXDORF BEETLE/M - A "POS" Computer, that is, a "point of sale" machine, aka a fuc*ing Cash Register!

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Mini-Pc-For...1/312556723616

    Manual is here: https://www.dieboldnixdorf.com/-/med...al_english.pdf

    nixdorf-miniPC.jpg

    Footprint: Width 280 mm Depth (including cable cover) 350 mm Height 137 mm
    Weight: approx. 7 kg
    Input voltage: 100-120 V200- 240 V
    Power consumption: 3A / 5A
    Frequency of system voltage: 50/60 Hz
    Noise Development Acc. to GPSGV: 60 dB(A) or less

    So, basically, this is a 1.2Ghz machine, Parallel port, Floppy Drive, Hard drive, Has 1 x ISA slot, and apparently/optionally 2 PCi slots? It's also useable in the USA & Japan, as well as UK and EU. It also supports a UPS style battery option to smooth out spikes in live situations also.

    The vendor is http://alles4pc.de and he appears to have a shitload of vintage computer gear, and a good selection of industrial machines like this one above.

    I like it's tiny footprint, and industrial heritage, it could be the killer portable sequencer, given that laptops only really support Parallel devices and if You are lucky, Joystick port MIDI via SB emulation. Let's all accept that Laptops with ISA slots are now all in the hands of Youtubers, with blurry GP screens and failing caps, and to go portable with SEQ+, this is looking like a good 'best case'. Sure , You need a PS2 Keyboard and monitor, but hey, such is life.. It has VGA out, so no big deal.

    OK, it's not IDEAL, with only 1 ISA slot, but Theoretically, You should be able to run an ISA Soundblaster in it at the very least, and at best, an ISA Voyetra card and a parallel device side by side? Maybe?

    I am ordering one. < 100euro? Report to follow.
    Attached Files

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Any of You who use Voyetra still may have come across the MEMORY FULL error at some stage. This is when you switch to R (Record) Mode, only to have the sequencer lock up, and the available memory shrink to zero. A hard reset is required.

    This appears to be the early stages of RAM ROT.

    My machine has 512MB of ram so i can run Linux dual-boot with Dos 6.22 (as You do) even though i only need 1mb of ram to run voyetra in Dos 6.22 with things loaded high etc.

    Last week i had a major freeze - i have about 1 a year at most - but on reboot, the bios in my Dell GX1 disabled one of the RAM sticks! I pulled it - a 128MB PC100 stick, and everything returned to normal. No issues since.

    Not much to say here, just that if You have far too much ram, like 512x the amount you need, you are possibly asking for issues to emerge.



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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Manual is online here: https://www.scribd.com/document/2499...us-Gold-Manual

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Found this while cleaning out the shack today, think this is the place for it...

    The obvious questions are:

    * Did anyone ever get a Voyetra t-shirt??
    * Did anyone get a V22 to V24 upgrade kit - and if so, what was in it? especially the documentation!!
    Attached Files

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    I have been picking up anything using parallel port or ISA recently, and it does appear there was a 'fad' of having 2 cloned ports out on devices for a while.. So, there was no deception intended, it really was supposed to be a selling point that you had 2 ports doing the same thing :/ annoying..

    Meanwhile, i continue to use my Seq+ and v24/v22 combo in dos 6.22 every week, and it never skips a beat. got to love that!

    recently been slaving it all from nTrack - i dump SMPTE to nTrack from the V24s, then use it to run the Seq+, while availing of nTracks audio recording features - i pipe the sound to my o2r using ADAT from the EMU 1212 card, using forced Vista drivers in Windows 7 32bit. It is not possible to run the EMU card (non PCIe) in Windows 64bit Anything, as the Vista drivers will not work without disabling driver certification at every boottime.

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  • supernova777
    replied
    Originally posted by playthatbeat View Post
    @supernova777 - Yes, 100% agree there - all solid thinking.. Sadly the Music Quest i found is just a gimmick, and not really 2 port, which is a shame.
    im in the same boat exactly with my MQX-32M, i thought i would have seperate midi outputs but i dont think it works..
    it might work in cakewalk 3/4/5 for DOS tho.. but i think its the same as you described here, the ports are the same and not unique when used with Voyetra Sequencer Plus. (because of the driver.. or they decided to not allow it to boost the sales of their own voyetra cards)

    they made their own cards the only cards that have both Secondary (sapi) + Primary (Vapi) so that made the voyetra hardware indispensible to those of us trying to get more unique channels + ports out from the box...

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    Aha... so, it looks like Toshiba flogged the crap out of this range.. the 3200 is SUCH a winrar, even today, that is has a dedicated community: http://omolini.steptail.com/t3200sx/ and it's clear that the way forward is the 3200SX - this has a fantastical 386sx processor - which will run in 32bit mode for Windows 98se, but without a maths co-pro from what i member.. Stock machine was 1mb of ram, and the best bit - it will run IDE hard drives, which means you can run a CF card/IDE chinese wonderwin in it, or even an SD card to IDE adaptor!!! The 2 IDE expansion slots are still there, so overall, this beast can pwn the Legandary Yamaha C1, as long as you have a pair of V24s.. Look, in fairness, you can stuff it with a pair of V22, or a musicquest clone and an ISA soundblaster and win.. Personally, i think this laddie, with a Roland SCC-1 and a v22s, or maybe an SB 2.0 (so can has wolfenstein or Sword of Destiny) would be the desert-island PC. Always have the option of windows 98se in there too if You want to play at that..

    Now then. Where can has T3200/SX?

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    This is the fuc*er You want for gigging - OK, so the GP screen will eventually blow up in your face, killing you, and the hard drive is likely NOT IDE, but i don't care, i want one. Now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hrJgjmAPzmE

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  • playthatbeat
    replied
    So next friday we take the SEQ+, E4, M1000, Quazar, TR909, TT303 & SC88 out to play live. All will be mixed with snapshots on an 01v, then shoved through an Ultramiser Pro.

    Also going to run Arkaos for the visuals with midi triggers i appended to all the .SNG files for the tracks we are to do.

    Arkaos is so crap (it's an ancient version) that it only works in OMNI ON mode, so using my licence of Bohm's Midi Translator Pro to only allow NOTE ON NOTE OFF and a single controller through. This creates logjam for the visuals, as no 2 events of the same nature can be filtered at the same instant by MTP. Most annoying, leading to some fairly smart note-lengths and start times for the visuals. BUT, the result is very good, for what it is

    I was asked this week why i don't just use nTrack to play the sequences (exported from Seq+ as .MID and imported to nTrack) with one of the many cheap multiport Midi interfaces on the pile.. The answer: for the same reason i want to run the hardware live as it was in 1992.

    Ideally, if this was to become a 'thing' (it will not, i assure you) i'd be using that software version of the Emulator - the Emulator X, on a laptop, and using nTrack and some modern multiport thing on another, and bringing a single rackbag. I'd probably sample the 909 as well, as all the subtle changes to the instruments on it i had noted for each track are pointless once you start layering pads and piano stabs on top.. Once again, overkill, but all part of this stupid MUST BE AS WAS IN 1992 crap.

    I'll record the set, of coarse, and try to get as much video and timelapse as i can, and we will see if it's been worth all this messing...

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