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BillB
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SW1000 as module? new
      #974041 - 05/03/12 12:07 AM
Hello all, I'm kind of hoping the title will attract Martin W's interest....

I have an ageing WinXP PC from IntaAudio (circa 2006). I am upgrading its guts to a modern-spec Win7/64bit beast. The only significant loss from this, is that there are no 64-bit drivers for the SW1000XG PCI card it currently contains.
Rather than lose all those XG sounds in one fell swoop, I am wondering if there is any way to house or connect the card externally, basically using MIDI in and Audio out. Two possible choices:

1) might it be possible (if fiddly) to sort out the PCI card edge connector and supply suitable voltages to it (-12,+12,+5/+3.3)? Should the card operate in principle (via MIDI commands), or does it absolutely require interaction with a motherboard?

2) find a small PC which can take a PCI card. It would have to be quick to boot and ideally not need a monitor/keyboard/updating etc - more like a server than a PC. Maybe something like this -
http://www.morgancomputers.co.uk/product_detail/12679/Dell-Optiplex-GX620- SFF-Intel-P4-2-8Ghz-1GB-40GB-XP-Home/ It might be possible to install an OS like Freenas just to make it a dumb SW1000 card holder...

I am aware that the Yamaha MU100 is an SW1000 in a module, so that's always an option. But I don't like throwing away functional gear on principle.

Any thoughts would be welcome.

Edited by BillB (05/03/12 12:09 AM)


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974268 - 05/03/12 09:08 PM
Hi BillB!

Yes, your post title did intrigue me, but I suspect you’d have to put in quite a bit of work to turn the SW1000XG into a standalone module, and accessing all the voice editing functions could be a nightmare without software.

Sorting out a cheap and elderly PCI slot PC just to run it also seems overkill IMO

I’m afraid it might be time to reture your Swonky after a long and happy life - mine is currently sitting in a cardboard box

Remember also that while Yamaha's MU100 may have a similar MIDI spec to the SW1k, it also has built-in controls on its front panel to access all the nitty-gritty inside - they are more different than you might at first suspect!

Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: Martin Walker]
      #974298 - 05/03/12 10:51 PM
Hi Martin, thanks for the reply.

Quote:

accessing all the voice editing functions could be a nightmare without software




I was hoping to use software like XG Wizard, or maybe SoundQuest, running on the 'new' PC, and that it would still be able to access and edit the card via external MIDI in/out, rather than as a direct internal MIDI port. Is that wrong, or just less convenient than the original built-in-XG concept?

Even if I had an MU100, I doubt I would want to set up voices etc from the front panel without software.

On a separate point, is there a way on this forum to be notified of replies to threads by email? If there is, I haven't found the button yet!


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fingers109



Joined: 23/04/07
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974310 - 06/03/12 12:11 AM
Just a thought, it'll probably take to much memory or processor but...

Set up a virtual machine running xp with driver for the sw1000 and some virtual midi ports...

Anyone tried something like this??
It might work...


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IvanSC



Joined: 08/03/05
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974655 - 08/03/12 12:27 AM
A gentle reminder, Martin - still mobos out there with legacy pci slots in.

And my mate Bernie is happily running his SW1000 card still under XP AND Win7.

--------------------
Me? But I`m such a loveable old bugger!


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974671 - 08/03/12 06:27 AM
I almost certainly have the wrong end of this stick here but I think I am doing something similar but in reverse?

I have Pianoteq 64 on a W7 PC which runs out of a 2496. I also have a bog S 3G P4 with 2496 and I can link the P4 MIDI out to the W7 card. The W7 PC feeds S/PDIF back to P4 and so to anyone playing a kb'd on the old XP machine it seems that they are playing 64bit Pianoteq on a P4 clunker!

In your case Bill, the old card could surely run in Reaper and be similarly linked? You would then just need a dinky keyboard and mouse plus a small monitor to set things up?

Lastly. No you can't get SoS to email you back (promised one day IIRC!) but if you tick the "Favoutites" box that does much the same thing. The bugger of it is you have to remember to tick it every )(^^%%y time!

Dave.


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: ef37a]
      #974685 - 08/03/12 09:30 AM
Dave, thanks for the illustration. Yes, that does sound the same but in reverse. My new W7/64bit would be the DAW master, with maybe a lowly PC as a dumb host to the SW1000. I am looking to use the SW1000 as a source of 16 MIDI XG channels, not as an audio interface, so it seems likely that MIDI in, audio out should work. You mention Reaper, but I don't think I would need any software on the host PC, as long as the SW1000 will repsond to MIDI in messages with sounds at audio out.

If anybody has any other thoughts on a low cost, low power host for the SW1000 PCI card (maybe not a PC at all?), do please let on. I have an old PC that would do the job, but it seems a bit much to boot a large PC just to get XG MIDI sounds...

Thanks of the tip on Favourites, I found that in my forum control panel yesterday - seems to be working OK.


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
Posts: 6693
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974696 - 08/03/12 10:06 AM
You are welcome Bill.
I don't know about host software? I run a 2496 so that has to "output" via something AFAIK. Never had a "sound module" card, do they come up on the Bay? If so I might get one because I have a pretty sprightly Asus build, 2x3G 4G ram running XP Pro in the living room and that backs up to the wall behind which is my "studio". There is already a hole in't wall with 6 CAT5E FTPs coming in!

Re the old pc. You could have it well out of the way. MIDI will go 5mtrs easily (I have run it 22mtrs on UTP!) VGA even more and you could use a 15 quid PCWorld wireless keyboard and mouse and just bung them in a drawer when done with!

Dave.


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: ef37a]
      #974705 - 08/03/12 10:44 AM
Thanks Dave - all food for thought...
I have a kind of strategy forming:-
1) before removing the SW1000 from its current PC, test MIDI in and audio out (treat existing PC as a big module)
2) on an old PC that doesn't really matter anymore, try starting it without a CPU installed, no keyboard, no mouse, no VGA - a zombie PC... Will it supply power to the PCI bus and happily sit there, or will it be busy beeping and then shut down? If it doesn't need to boot into Windows, that would be much quicker - turn it on, ready to go - maybe.
3) if 2 works, consider getting the little PC I mentioned in my first post as a small zombie PC, to supply power only to the SW1000.

Any brighter ideas for hosting a PCI card still welcome.


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: IvanSC]
      #974756 - 08/03/12 01:58 PM
Quote IvanSC:

A gentle reminder, Martin - still mobos out there with legacy pci slots in.

And my mate Bernie is happily running his SW1000 card still under XP AND Win7.




Hi Ivan!

Indeed there are (and I for one would be lost without them ), but as mentioned above the SW1000XG doesn't have 64-bit drivers, and since most modern PCs come with at least 4GB of RAM they are likely to be running Windows 7 64-bit.

Also, since all you need to run a Swonky is a PC sufficient for its software editor, even the feeblest old PC with 1GB of RAM (or probably even less) would do the job, generating so little heat that you could remove all the noisy cooling fans.


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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Ross Wilson
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Joined: 12/08/03
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974763 - 08/03/12 02:32 PM
Hi, I had the same issue 3 years ago and used a 5V adaptor to mount my SW1000 on a new mother board. Well when I say I, actually DARC did it for me....

here is the post that gives the details
http://www.soundonsound.com/forum/showflat.php?Cat=&Number=661902& page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1#661902

It still works fine today (although I did find that XGEdit caused it to crash, so I moved to XGPad with no issues)


Ross


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: Ross Wilson]
      #974777 - 08/03/12 03:54 PM
Ross , thanks for that - do I understand correctly that you have built a PC with appropriate MOBO / PCI voltages around your SW1000?

Martin, do you know whether a PC comprising only PSU and MOBO, without CPU/RAM/Graphics/HDD, would boot up and supply power to a PCI card? Or would it complain and fall over? And is it feasible to consider using the SW1000 via MIDI in / Audio out, rather than its intended use as a Windows audio device with driver?


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974830 - 08/03/12 09:25 PM
Hello again

Peering into the inside of my newly-received IntaAudio i5 W7/64bit, I spied the spare PCI slot next to the firewire board, and it occurred to me that the answer might be staring me in the face. If the new machine (with Asus P8H67 mobo) can supply power to the SW1000, even if it can't run it as an audio device (due to lack of 64-bit driver), I may still be able to control the SW1000 via external MIDI in and obtain a signal via SW1000 Audio out.

It will be at least weekend before I can try this, maybe longer, but I'll report back in due course.


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
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Loc: northampton uk
Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974860 - 09/03/12 07:21 AM
Some hope here Bill?

http://www.xg-central.com/xgc-software.php

http://www.tomshardware.co.uk/forum/257013-10-sw1000xg-windows-compatibili ty

Then AFAIK virtually nothing happens on a MOBO unless you have drivers, certainly for PCI kit. There was for instance a big SNAFU with usb not being switched on to usb 2.0 when Service Pack 2 came out? I got caught up in that with a PCI usb 2 card. The computer reported no valid drivers but Msoft said none were needed, built into XP. Catch 22!

Best of luck.
Dave.


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974966 - 09/03/12 07:26 PM
OK, one line of inquiry is gone. Within my WinXP PC, I connected a keyboard to SW1000 MIDI in and monitored SW1000 audio out. No sound. I then ran MIDI-OX and configured the SW1000 MIDI in to connect to the SW1000 Synth. It sounds. So you clearly need the SW1000 to be functioning as a MIDI/Audio device, with a connection in software, before it will make any sound. So that only leaves the possibility of running it in a viable 32-bit (XP/W7) environment with driver.

Think I will close it here. Unless perchance I find myself really missing XG (in which case various modules are a possibility) I will leave this topic with Martin's (and indeed Dave's from IntaAudio) words echoing: "time to move on..."


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Martin WalkerModerator
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #974999 - 09/03/12 10:03 PM
It's a shame, but you're probably right - put your swonky in a glass case and gaze longingly at it, remembering all those days of MIDI joy that it gave you


Martin

--------------------
YewTreeMagic


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ef37a



Joined: 29/05/06
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #975006 - 09/03/12 11:04 PM
"time to move on" ? Well maybe but.
We preserve nice old cars. Ancient musical instruments fetch 6 figures (and there is some evidence that many sound no better in fact than good modern ones!).

The X1000 card seems to command a big following for its sounds and sound quality so would it be so very bad to keep a few going?

But if you really are going to ditch it Bill I still have two good 32bit XP machines here, how much?

Dave.


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: ef37a]
      #975013 - 10/03/12 12:18 AM
Dave
Quote:

so would it be so very bad to keep a few going?



Not at all.

As a result of putting a new MOBO into an older case plus getting another older PC off my daughter, I'll have two WinXP MOBOs and one case, so I can certainly find one machine to put it in. The bigger question for me is whether I would want a mostly redundant PC in a small (boxroom) studio and whether I would boot it to get access to the SW1000. Quite possibly not, so if you want to PM me with your email address, I'll give you first call.

Thank you all for the comments and suggestions.


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ef37a



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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #975034 - 10/03/12 05:26 AM
Sorry Bill,
Bit confused here! I thought you said that you had a spare PCI slot in your new MOBO and you were going to try the card in it?

The links I sent suggest that this can work with some 64 bit W7 systems.

Dave.


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: ef37a]
      #975052 - 10/03/12 11:03 AM
Dave

The idea was to see if the card would respond to MIDI input if supplied power from a spare PCI slot. It doesn't do this, even in a PC with working drivers, unless you link MIDI in to the synth in software. So there is no point checking it in a 64-bit setup *unless* the drivers work and it installs as an audio/midi device. By every account I have seen, including the links you sent, this is not the case. Maybe I missed it - if you can point to something specific, I'll take another look.

thanks

Bill


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Stratt



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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #975103 - 10/03/12 04:36 PM
I faced exactly this dilemma when I added my third Sonic Core Scope card into my XP/Wolfdale based dedicated music PC, thus evicting my SW1000XG card.

I used to have a DB50XG daughterboard that I turned into a midi module by building a psu with +-12v and +5v and a midi interface. This worked really well for about 10 years until recently when it inexplicably stopped working. I new that the SW needs to use the OS to route midi traffic to the synths, so a simple module conversion was out of the question.

I have a second Windows 7-64/i7 PC that I use for general Internet stuff (time-wasting) with a KVM switch on one of my two displays to switch between music production and time-wasting, and I couldn't bear to lose the SW so I dual booted the second PC with XP and use Midi-OX with a dual USB midi interface on the second PC to route midi traffic from two ports on my music PC to the two synths on the SW. (and breathe)

Audio is routed back from the SW to the music PC so I can record SW sounds to audio tracks. I can still use my Control Freak to do filter swells/LFO modulation etc on the XG sounds so I'm happy.

Stratt

--------------------
ICT Manager at Royal & Derngate, Northampton


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: Stratt]
      #975122 - 10/03/12 07:57 PM
Stratt

Thanks, that's interesting. What you did with the DB50XG is what I was hoping would be possible with the SW1000, but as you say, it doesn't work without routeing in software. It's also interesting that you wanted to hang onto 32 channels of XG! I think I would settle for 16 from the SW1000 MIDI input, given that there are so many other sound sources these days.

Cheers

Bill


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Mixedup
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Re: SW1000 as module? new [Re: BillB]
      #981344 - 10/04/12 02:45 PM
I wasn't able to run my SW1KXG with my Win 7 64 system either. I've relegated it to an old machine that can be wheeled out whenever I want to use it or any legacy software. I have a KVM box that allows me to switch between the machines and use the same keyboard, monitor and mouse. It's actually not the SW1KXG itself that I use; it's the PLG 150AN daughterboard, which is nice. I could also run that in a Kenton Plugstation, but I've now sold that. I installed it all for the buyer (last summer) having not used it for ages. It took me back and made me realise what it was I liked about that card. It's so intuitive and easy to edit the sounds. I reckon I'll eventually get a CS6x or a Motif of some sort to run the daughterboards and retire the SW1KXG permanently though. Or maybe just by an AN1x and get rid of the lot. But it you want to keep it, it can't be hard to get a cheap as chips second hand old computer and dedicate that to the SW1KXG, and link it to your system via MIDI and audio...


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BillB
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Re: SW1000 as module? [Re: Mixedup]
      #981349 - 10/04/12 03:34 PM
Yes, it's not going in the recycling bin anytime soon, I'll keep my options open for a while. As for the PLG150-AN, I totally understand. I hve an AN1X and love the sounds it makes. Don't much like the interface though, so have bought a Behringer BCR2000 with a view to making a super-controller for the AN1X. Still placing the boxes and starting to wire up the bedroom studio, so the mega-synth is a while off yet.

Last time I looked at the SOS adverts - last night - there was a Yamaha AN1X and an AN200 (desktop module - PLG150-AN in a knobby box) up for sale... Go on, you know you want to.


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