Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

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JoeAtari
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Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby JoeAtari » Sat Feb 10, 2018 4:25 pm

I was fortunate to finally find an SMP II for my Falcon/CAF. Unfortunately it is not showing up under the devices yet. I am suspicious that it may be the centronics/printer cable, so I'll keep trying different cables, but I'm just checking to see if I am missing something.

I have SMP2_19.DRV in the MROS folder.
When I start CAF, the SMP II reboots and displays "SMP 24 2.0 1 92" Beeps three times, displays 00.00.00.00 in the SMPTE display.

I start a new midi track, and the output selections are ATARI MROS SAMPLER DSP

The four midi outs for SMP 24 are gray and cannot be selected.

Is there anything besides the SMP2_.DRV that needs to be enabled? I read the SMP 24 manual, but I don't have access to an SMP II Manual.

Thanks!
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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby JoeAtari » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:37 pm

It seems that the four "SMP 24" MIDI outputs came to life after toggling the synchronization settings in CAF. Now to see if an "A-B" switch will work so that I can have my printer and the SMP II attached all of the time without switching cables.

Now I have six MIDI outs if I still use my Midiman Mini Macman on the Lanport (I don't think I'll need it anymore!). I only have two synths hooked up now, but you know how these things tend to grow :D
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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby dbsys » Sat Feb 10, 2018 5:45 pm

The driver you are using does not seem to be the latest version.

I am using the one I posted here:
viewtopic.php?f=15&t=32809&start=75#p338654

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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby Saturnin51 » Tue Feb 13, 2018 8:28 pm

The firmware for the SMP24 must be 1.6. I don't know firmware 2.0 ! The manual (here http://atarimusic.exxoshost.co.uk/index ... Itemid=361) speak about the 1.6 only. The firmware is updated by replacing the eprom of the SMP24.

My CAF driver is SMP24.DRV size 9075.

A switch SMP24-Printer seems to be not operative. I try a mecanic one, the printer runs OK but not the SMP24.
Falcon 030-14 Mo - FDI Steinberg -Soundpool Analog 8 - SMP24 - Cubase Audio Falcon 2.06 dongle - SC55 - SG64 - Yamaha CBX-T3

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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby Foxie » Tue Feb 13, 2018 11:19 pm

JoeAtari, it would be interesting to know if you have any luck with setting up a printer switch box. Use a mechanical one of course! I can't understand why Saturnin51's switch box didn't work. In theory, if you switch all 10 lines it will be exactly the same as replugging the cable. But it's possible some switchboxes might be cheap and only switch the strobe+busy lines - in which case it definitely won't work with the SMP24/II.

You do have to watch out with cable length on the printer port. You want to keep it as short as you possibly can, below 3 metres. If you go over that, exactly what happens depends on the cable characteristics speed of the machine and luck. All sorts of weird results could occur!

Do you use the SMPTE I/O feature of the SMPII? Or the two MIDI inputs? I'm working on cloning the Friend Chip MM1 8-output MIDI interface device for the Atari, which should work in Cubase and CAF. I was thinking of adding support for the SMPII protocol also to gain access to the two MIDI inputs, but it looks tricky. Latest progress is visible in this thread http://www.atari-forum.com/viewtopic.ph ... &start=100

Do you get the "black screen" problem if you connect your Macintosh interface to the Falcon before Cubase has started? I heard about that in the documentation, but not owning a Falcon I've never been able to test it. I suppose the Macintosh interface would also function on the MegaSTE and TT.

What's weird is that it seems nobody wrote drivers for those rackmount 8 I/O Macintosh MIDI expanders that were popular in the late 90s? I can't see any reason why it wouldn't work on the Falcon/TT/MegaSTE. But then again the performance of those devices aren't very good when outputting dense MIDI events.

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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby ranix » Wed Feb 14, 2018 7:38 am

I read your post very carefully, and by the way you worded certain things I think you may need to rename SMP2_.DRV to SMP24.DRV

This file should be in the MROS folder

It sounds to me like Saturnin51 might be onto something too, though. And Foxie is certainly more knowledgeable than I am in this area.

edit: oh, you got it working! Awesome!

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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby Saturnin51 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:11 am

About the switch I checked the internal connection. It seems all the pins are wired. I use cable less than 3m and I invert the cable between the SMP24 and the printer, unsuccessfully.
SPM24 must be running before launching Cubase. Two devices MIDI IN are plugged and three expander on MIDI OUT. And more the Atari MIDI are usable for another device. Needed if you want edit the patches of your expander.
Falcon 030-14 Mo - FDI Steinberg -Soundpool Analog 8 - SMP24 - Cubase Audio Falcon 2.06 dongle - SC55 - SG64 - Yamaha CBX-T3

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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby JoeAtari » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:22 pm

Sorry it took so long, but I have finally tested the SMP II with a mechanical A/B switch box. The box I used is generic and says "data transfer switch" on the front. I used a straight through 25 pin serial cable from the Falcon parallel port to the box, and standard parallel printer cables going from the box to the SMP II and the printer. Everything works as normal, although I have only tested MIDI output on the SMP II. The box looks like this:
13521.jpg


Regarding the Midiman Macman boxes, yes I have the black screen if I turn on the falcon with the box plugged to the LAN port. In order to use the Macman you must load Cubase first and then plug the box to the LAN port on the Falcon (you also need the driver active in your MROS folder). I also tried a serial A/B switch box so that I wouldn't have to continually unplug and re-plug the cable, but that experiment failed. Perhaps not all the lines are connected straight through on that serial box designed for the old Macs.

I posted about it in my blog here: http://www.falconproductions.us/blog/al ... h-box.html

My blog post about the Macman is here: http://www.falconproductions.us/blog/mi ... -mini.html
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Saturnin51
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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby Saturnin51 » Mon Mar 05, 2018 1:42 pm

Here the model of my mechanical switch box.
Falcon 030-14 Mo - FDI Steinberg -Soundpool Analog 8 - SMP24 - Cubase Audio Falcon 2.06 dongle - SC55 - SG64 - Yamaha CBX-T3

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Re: Steinberg SMP II Operation with Falcon CAF

Postby Foxie » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:20 pm

JoeAtari wrote:Regarding the Midiman Macman boxes, yes I have the black screen if I turn on the falcon with the box plugged to the LAN port. In order to use the Macman you must load Cubase first and then plug the box to the LAN port on the Falcon (you also need the driver active in your MROS folder). I also tried a serial A/B switch box so that I wouldn't have to continually unplug and re-plug the cable, but that experiment failed. Perhaps not all the lines are connected straight through on that serial box designed for the old Macs.


I wonder if the black screen problem also affects the MegaSTE and TT? They have a software switch to enable/disable the LAN port, so depending which state it powers up in it may not have the problem.

I've got an idea what causes the problem, though without a Falcon I can't confirm it. The Macman generates a constant 1MHz clock signal on the handshaking input pin. The Atari can be configured to cause an interrupt whenever the handshaking pin changes state. So if TOS enables the interrupt, it will lock up because it can't handle interrupts at 1MHz. One solution is to patch TOS to fix that problem.

If you feel like doing some experimental modding, then it might be worth breaking the connection to the handshaking input pin (pin 2 on the mini DIN). This will stop the clock reaching the Atari, and should stop the black screen problem. There is one potential problem though. Cubase may be relying on this clock to generate MIDI data, in which case breaking the connection will stop the Macman from working. Unlike the Mac, the Atari has another means of generating a suitable clock. If Cubase uses that method, then pin 2 is unnecessary.

AFAIK, the performance of the Macman interface should be fine - unless Steinberg made a serious mistake in their software. The problematic Macintosh interfaces are those 8/10 input+output rack mount devices like those made by Opcode, Emagic and MOTU. The Mac's modem/printer port simply doesn't have the bandwidth required to address that many ins and outs.

If you don't mind doing a little soldering on your Falcon, it's even possible to get another MIDI output with no components needed. The MODEM.DRV (Export) driver should in theory work on the Falcon - but because it uses the MFP chip which is not connected to any external connectors on the Falcon, you can't access the MIDI output. I haven't tried this, so if you do the mod make sure it can be reversed! You need to cut the trace leading to pin 13 of the 74LS06 (U11). Then directly solder a wire onto pin 13, and solder the other end to pin 9 of the MFP. You can then get an additional MIDI output on the MIDI output socket, replacing the existing MIDI thru function. You need to be careful when cutting the trace to pin 13 - there are three connections to pin 13, and it's important those three traces remain connected to each other after doing the cut. I'm not sure at which point on the board they join. If you're lucky, they'll join well away from U11. If you're unlucky, they will all connect to pin 13 of U11 and you'll need to cut all traces and install a jumper wire to join the traces together while keeping them disconnected from pin 13. Where you might run into trouble is with the MODEM.DRV resetting the DSP unexpectedly. You might be able to avoid this by only using a particular one of the three MIDI outputs that MODEM.DRV provides to Cubase. If not, MODEM.DRV will need patching (should be fairly simple). You can test this before doing the mod by running MODEM.DRV, routing MIDI to it and seeing if the DSP continues to work.

I can't remember if you commented on any of the threads where I talk about designing a new MIDI expander for the Atari? Here's one of them: viewtopic.php?f=111&t=33275
Initially, I'll be using the Friend Chip MM1 driver for Cubase - which has been confirmed to work with the Falcon. I think it will also work on the CT60 - if not, I can patch it easily.
The objective is to create something that's a bit cheaper than an old Soundpool device, not to mention much more easy to get hold of. AFAIK, the only other eight-output MIDI expander on the Atari is the Friend Chip MM1 - which is about as rare as they get.


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