Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

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Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Foxie » Sun Mar 25, 2018 5:10 pm

Since I'm working on reverse-engineering MROS drivers, I'd like to know if there are any differences between Cubase 3 and Cubase Audio. Unfortunately I don't own a Falcon - so I have no way of testing.

Ultimately I want to create a new driver, which of course must be compatible with Cubase Audio too. I've started looking at the Soundpool MO4 driver, and it has some noticeable differences compared to older drivers. I don't know if those differences are critical to Cubase Audio compatibility.

I know there are some hardware-induced compatibility issues with some devices, for example Midex won't work on the Falcon without modification. That's not what I'm asking about - I'm interested only whether the driver API itself is compatible. A good way of testing it would be the SMP24/II driver. The printer port hardware is identical between the ST and Falcon, so in theory the Cubase 3 SMP24/II driver should work in Cubase Audio. Unless there are API incompatibilities between the two versions of Cubase - requiring a special version of the driver for Cubase Audio.

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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Atarieterno » Sun Mar 25, 2018 8:31 pm

Cubase Score is part of Cubase Audio (it is the same MIDI program to which the audio functions are obviously added). Cubase v3 has some differences with Cubase Score.
I have all three programs and I use their respective dongles and software (although the Cubase v3 dongle works for Cubase Score and vice versa).
A simple comparison of the drivers tells us that for example "Export.DRV" is exactly the same for the three versions (it occupies 2.88 kby), also Foster, LAN for MidiMAN, Unitor and TimeLock; but there are others with specific versions (Midex Falcon) and new versions like SMP (SMP2, SMP3 and SMP4) that do work with backward compatibility. The striking thing is that Cubase v3 has a folder with specific drivers for the TT and they are Midex and SMP.
If there are common drivers, it may indicate that the operation with these auxiliary devices is not very different between the different computers, except Midex and SMP that include synchronisms.
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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Atari74user » Sun Mar 25, 2018 9:43 pm

Hi Foxie, specific to the SoundPool MO4, this does work with the Atari ST, Cubase 3.1 for example and the MO_44 driver, as I have been using it with that combination for years. It does also work with the Falcon and CAF, as I am now using it with that combination, which is testified by SoundPool's website, and apparently is enhanced for the Falcon, not sure how. However perhaps they simply meant that the MIDEX had to be 'enhanced / hacked' to work with the Falcon, and perhaps at the time of writing the SMPII did not have drivers that worked with CAF. The latter I am speculating as I don't recall this. Or, the MO4 may have been released prior to the SMPII, however I always thought that it was released later. Nevertheless, note they state the MO4 works with all MROS versions: http://atari.soundpool.de/mo4_id.htm
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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Foxie » Mon Mar 26, 2018 5:48 pm

Atarieterno wrote:A simple comparison of the drivers tells us that for example "Export.DRV" is exactly the same for the three versions (it occupies 2.88 kby), also Foster, LAN for MidiMAN, Unitor and TimeLock; but there are others with specific versions (Midex Falcon) and new versions like SMP (SMP2, SMP3 and SMP4) that do work with backward compatibility. The striking thing is that Cubase v3 has a folder with specific drivers for the TT and they are Midex and SMP.
If there are common drivers, it may indicate that the operation with these auxiliary devices is not very different between the different computers, except Midex and SMP that include synchronisms.


Thanks! Any idea how the various versions of the SMP driver differ? The only thing I can think of which might have changed for the TT version is the use of delay loops.

Atari74user wrote:It does also work with the Falcon and CAF, as I am now using it with that combination, which is testified by SoundPool's website, and apparently is enhanced for the Falcon, not sure how. However perhaps they simply meant that the MIDEX had to be 'enhanced / hacked' to work with the Falcon, and perhaps at the time of writing the SMPII did not have drivers that worked with CAF.


That seems a bit strange to me too. I vaguely remember reading something which said the MO4 was designed to replace the Midex, which didn't work on the Falcon at the time. Being an output-only device, it's not a terribly good replacement.

I think the MO4 might have been released around 1995, that's when the driver is dated. Internally, it uses a large CPLD which is probably more of a mid 90s technology. The Friend Chip MM1 which was released 3 years earlier is much more low-tech.

It's a little bit strange that there are so few multiple-output MIDI expanders for the ST. I think the Friend Chip MM1 was the largest ever made, with 8 outputs. This might be because Cubase on an 8MHz machine is just too slow to drive more than one MIDI port. Do you know of any other devices offering more than 4 outputs?

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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Atari74user » Mon Mar 26, 2018 6:58 pm

Yeah, I had a quick look last night, and if recall the MO4 was circa 94/95 and the SMP II circa '93 from what I could gather. To be honest, I find the MO4 a touch more solid than the SMP II, so in that respect it's a good device, it's a little less picky on account of the driver I would imagine, even though it is only MIDI out as you say. However I think we have the devices covered in various threads:

Unitor(s)
Log 3
Export
Steinberg MIDEX / MIDEX+
Steinberg MIDI-3
Steinberg SMP24
Steinberg SMPII
Friendchip MM1
SoundPool MO4
MACMAN interfaces for those TOS machines with the lanport (forgot those)
Geerdes StarPort (forgot that too, but as I have learned, a clone of the Friendchip MM1 for Geerdes products only)

These pretty much appear to be the heavyweights covered, and there were a few which could connect to the serial port, one which I have which I got with Breakthru V2 Plus sequencer package which essentially was a MIDI Xtra, one output from the serial port. There were a few more too, there was another one made and sold I think through Keychange that offered 3 MIDI outs, and then the DIY hacks, as per here: http://atari4ever.free.fr/. MM1 offered the most MIDI outs for sure. There may have been more on the German market?
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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Foxie » Mon Mar 26, 2018 11:09 pm

Atari74user wrote:Unitor(s)
Log 3
Export
Steinberg MIDEX / MIDEX+
Steinberg MIDI-3
Steinberg SMP24
Steinberg SMPII
Friendchip MM1
SoundPool MO4
MACMAN interfaces for those TOS machines with the lanport (forgot those)
Geerdes StarPort (forgot that too, but as I have learned, a clone of the Friendchip MM1 for Geerdes products only)


There's this strange picture I've found, showing the SMPII and an unidentified IBM card:
https://recording.de/attachments/smp-ii-jpg.12467/

Did Steinberg make an Atari-compatible printer port card for the IBM, so you could use the SMPII on the IBM?

I think the StarPort is probably identical to the MM1, the MM1 even has a few DIP switches. As far as I can tell, the DIP switches allow you to daisy-chain multiple MM1s or StarPorts. I heard that the Geerdes sequencer allows you to daisy-chain four StarPorts - providing up to 32 MIDI outs! The Cubase driver doesn't support daisy-chaining at all, but it could be easily modified to do so. It's a shame they're so rare, there's no point even trying because I doubt there are even four MM1s still in use worldwide.


Atari74user wrote:These pretty much appear to be the heavyweights covered, and there were a few which could connect to the serial port, one which I have which I got with Breakthru V2 Plus sequencer package which essentially was a MIDI Xtra, one output from the serial port.


I love that sequencer, such a well-designed interface. Much easier than Cubase. The only reason I don't use it more often is because it can't support time signature changes. It also has no graphical controller editor. Breakthru is also the only sequencer I've tried which runs under MINT.

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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Miguel » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:41 pm

Yes Steinberg made a ISA card so you could use the SMPII on an IBM and I think their MIDI 3 interface could also be configured to work on an IBM.

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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Atari74user » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:29 pm

I love that sequencer, such a well-designed interface. Much easier than Cubase. The only reason I don't use it more often is because it can't support time signature changes. It also has no graphical controller editor. Breakthru is also the only sequencer I've tried which runs under MINT.


Me too, it was my first bought sequencer, after acquiring a copy Hybrid Arts EZ Tracks from my school music room. I really liked the Gajits software, Breakthru was indeed beautiful, and still very underrated.

Yes Steinberg made a ISA card so you could use the SMPII on an IBM and I think their MIDI 3 interface could also be configured to work on an IBM.


That's pretty cool!
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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Foxie » Thu Mar 29, 2018 3:43 pm

Miguel wrote:Yes Steinberg made a ISA card so you could use the SMPII on an IBM


How strange. They could have made an adapter that goes between the IBM printer port and the SMPII instead. Although I can see some advantage to having a dedicated card, at least you can leave your printer connected.

I can't imagine the SMPII would have been a popular choice for IBM users. There were several large MIDI expanders available, like the MOTU units. Much more flexible than the SMPII.

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Re: Do Cubase 3 drivers work with Cubase Audio?

Postby Miguel » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:40 pm

Well the Cubase dongle had to be connected to the PC's printer port and I assume that the PC MIDI 3 could be connected to that just like a printer or whatever but as I recall ISA based MIDI interfaces were quite common back then even for single MIDI I/O (Steinberg made one of those too) but with the SMPII it seems more like Steinberg might have been trying to kill two birds with one stone as the ISA card would allow them to extend the life of the SMPII, possibly get rid of old stock as well as facilitate a smooth transition over to the PC for their customers.....you have to bear in mind that switching platforms wasn't exactly cheap back then so Steinberg tried to soften the blow so people would make the switch and continue to pay for new versions of Cubase.....I mean you kind of have to bear in mind that there was a time when it made more sense to just hook up an ADAT recorder to your old Atari rather than buy a new computer for audio recording.


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