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Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

For fans of synths, pianos or keyboard instruments of any sort.

Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby merlyn » Tue Dec 31, 2019 2:12 pm

I have the keyboard from the title of this post. It had some problems so my intuition was to look for a factory reset.

After some messing about it seemed to be bricked, but I brought it back from the dead by flashing the firmware. Unfortunately it now thinks it is a Photon 25 not an X25 -- the built in audio interface doesn't work.

The firmware was for a 25, so I was wondering if anyone has the firmware for the X25 to get the audio working again.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby BillB » Tue Dec 31, 2019 4:01 pm

Hi Merlyn

You are the second person to ask for this on the SOS forum, so I am making the link public. I understand that it is really hard to find, so hopefully this makes things a little easier.

https://www.2btech.co.uk/download/Alesi ... _v1_04.zip

Extract the Zip, read the readme and see if that will do what you want. It should also resolve the issues of a non-functioning USB interface on the X25.

Good luck!

Bill
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby merlyn » Wed Jan 01, 2020 3:57 pm

Thanks Bill!

That worked and my X25 is fully functional again. I've uploaded all the X25 files to Google Drive :

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1CKgR2 ... YOd_2Dsucy

The pdf describing controller recalibration has a warning about certain button presses that wipe the firmware.

For anyone who has an X25 -- if it's working there is no need to update the firmware. The fix is only to be used if your X25 isn't working, or appears dead.

On Linux flashing the firmware was straightforward using dfu-util.

On Windows the procedure described in the readme requires XP. In other words something to be avoided unless you absolutely have to.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby Jules70 » Tue Mar 10, 2020 11:48 pm

That controller dome is looking back at me like HAL from 2001 A Space Odyssey right now...I'm totally lost. I bought a used x25 Photon from a reputable seller on Reverb. Everything worked great with midi and power adapter. Then I tried the usb option and like everyone else running windows 10 I could not get the driver or usb to be recognized. So I downloaded the programs provided in the link above by you friendly guys. Read the instructions and during the diagnostics mode step got it to read "Usb erased" as it mentioned then none of the following steps would work. Thing appeared dead. I can't power it up by power adapter anymore or batteries. The only thing it does now with USB connection is show the message Photo x25 by Alesis on it's lcd display screen." I'm out $90 and Axyz dome party time unless I figure this out. Any ideas?
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby merlyn » Thu Mar 12, 2020 6:57 am

Hi Jules70.

Inside the usb fix zip file there are five files. The .bin one is the firmware. Now you have to get the firmware from your computer to the X25.

The .sys and .INF are driver files so you can connect the X25 in dfu (device firmware update) mode. The .exe is a utility to flash the X25's firmware. These are for Windows XP. You have a few options :

Use Windows XP : If you have access to an XP box you can follow the instructions in the read me as is.

Use Windows 10 : I'm not that familiar with the details of Windows 10. Is there an XP compatibility mode? Or you could try an XP virtual machine. Or find a dfu utility for Windows 10.

Use Linux : This is what I did using the utility dfu-util through the command line. You could make a bootable USB stick with Linux on it and use that.

Use a Mac : Since OS X is Unix based I would think it has dfu-util.

It sounds a bit complicated -- actually it's pretty straightforward once you get the right software.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby Jules70 » Thu Mar 12, 2020 7:34 am

Hi Merlyn, while connected via usb only, I tried to run DFUTEST EXE in my windows 10 using compatibility mode of Windows XP. And I consistently get "No DFU devices found." Have even tried using older compatibility modes like Windows 7 ect. I'll go with your other suggestions and try with a friend who has a MAC or something running Linux and dfu-util. Big Thanks.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby merlyn » Thu Mar 12, 2020 9:45 am

Jules70 wrote:And I consistently get "No DFU devices found."

I think that means you don't have a dfu driver. If you go to device manager the X25 should show up as a dfu device, or with a reference to dfu mode. If it doesn't you need a dfu driver.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby hapciu » Wed Apr 15, 2020 9:44 pm

Hi guys!
I happen to have a dead Photon25 (not the X version) on my desk that I want to use with W7. :headbang:
I understand the procedure for updating the firmware is to be done in XP but prior to that, I can't erase the actual firmware which is 1.3 either by the two octave buttons nor by global+octave down.. v1.3 remains lit whatever combination I press. Can someone please help me with this? I don't want to throw it to trash, yet. :(
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby Yuri.ko » Thu May 21, 2020 3:59 pm

i have the same problem with the Alesis photon 25, but i can't find the firmware for this model, does anyone have it? pls send help
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby Eddy Deegan » Fri May 22, 2020 12:09 pm

Yuri.ko wrote:i have the same problem with the Alesis photon 25, but i can't find the firmware for this model, does anyone have it? pls send help

Have you registered it with Alesis and checked the downloads they provide? I can't see if it's in there as I don't have any of their current hardware (though thinking about it I do have an old Alesis Midiverb 4, hehe) and you have to register and login first to see what's available.

https://www.alesis.com/account/software-instructions/

If you have and it's not there then I'd try contacting them directly via a support ticket.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby BillB » Fri May 22, 2020 1:45 pm

The MIDI in/out will work regardless, so don't forget that you can get a £5-10 MIDI-USB (ebay/amazon) interface which will be satisfactory for the purpose of plugging into a PC (class compliant, so no drivers) and transmitting notes + CCs. They are rarely good enough for Sysex, but you don't need that here.

If you can afford it, it is worth going for something better that can expand with you a little e.g. this
https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... Stock/3EZR

I bought one of these a few years ago (different Chinese brand, identical kit) and, although I have larger and more sophisticated MIDI interfaces, this has proved to be completely reliable and actually deals with Sysex better than my more expensive interfaces. Plus it can act as a stand-alone 4-way thru box and 2-way merger. I just bought another one as they are on offer (£30 B-stock) and my first has been so useful.

Obviously you would also need two MIDI cables to connect your Photon to this box - or maybe only one, if all you are doing is playing the Photon.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby BillB » Fri Jun 12, 2020 10:28 pm

BillB wrote:If you can afford it, it is worth going for something better that can expand with you a little e.g. this
https://www.gear4music.com/Recording-an ... Stock/3EZR
.

Just popping back here to add a note of caution. I just got around to testing this SubZero 4x4 and it is all over the place. MIDI is being corrupted when in standalone mode. I have not looked at a HEX message readout , but my trusty old Studiomaster MIDI Analyser is showing some very strange results, and simple note data is not passing through intact. I’ll take it up with Gear4Music .
Also the G4M website now points out that the B-Stock units have a design error - it means a labelling error. The MIDI Ins are marked as Outs and vice-versa. Don’t recall seeing that notice when I ordered... Not a major problem as long as you don’t take it at face value like I did, until I compared it to my older MIDIBOX unit, then realised the labelling error.

Altogether not a great start. I’ll confirm if a replacement fixes the MIDI issues.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby BillB » Sat Jun 13, 2020 12:20 pm

Back again. The SubZero 4x4 was fine, it was my MIDI input source that was dodgy (specifically Beatstep via dodgy USB cable into HT USB-MIDI converter). Changed the USB cable and the 4x4 is working working fine, apart from the reversed MIDI in-out labels.
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby MonkeyBoyBen » Sun Jun 21, 2020 2:25 am

merlyn wrote:Hi Jules70.

Inside the usb fix zip file there are five files. The .bin one is the firmware. Now you have to get the firmware from your computer to the X25.

The .sys and .INF are driver files so you can connect the X25 in dfu (device firmware update) mode. The .exe is a utility to flash the X25's firmware. These are for Windows XP. You have a few options :

Use Windows XP : If you have access to an XP box you can follow the instructions in the read me as is.

Use Windows 10 : I'm not that familiar with the details of Windows 10. Is there an XP compatibility mode? Or you could try an XP virtual machine. Or find a dfu utility for Windows 10.

Use Linux : This is what I did using the utility dfu-util through the command line. You could make a bootable USB stick with Linux on it and use that.

Use a Mac : Since OS X is Unix based I would think it has dfu-util.

It sounds a bit complicated -- actually it's pretty straightforward once you get the right software.

Hi merlyn,

I'm having trouble updating the Photon X25 firmware; I couldn't see the device at all on Win 10 for some reason even in XP SP2 or SP3 compatability mode, and as such couldn't use the DFUTest.exe file.

So I'm now trying on Ubuntu Mate x32 (figured it was an x64 issue), but this isn't seeing the Photon either. And when I run dfu-util to update, it comes back with the following:

dfu-util: Invalid DFU suffix signature
dfu-util: A valid DFU suffix will be required in a future dfu-util release!!!
dfu-util: No DFU capable USB device available

But I've got the device working through Qsynth and VMPK, so the machine is obviously working. I just want to use it on my Windows 10 machine, as that's where my DAW is, but it won't recognise it at all.

Any thoughts?
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Re: Alesis Photon X25 firmware?

Postby merlyn » Sun Jun 21, 2020 7:43 pm

Before you install the new firmware you have to delete the old firmware. There are instructions how to do this in the readme in the usbfix zip file. If your X25 is working it has firmware. If the lights come on it has firmware. When you delete the firmware the lights don't come on.

This is why dfu-util doesn't recognise a dfu device -- while the X25 is working it is not in dfu mode.

When you delete the firmware the X25 will seem broken -- it isn't, it's in dfu mode waiting for new firmware.
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