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 Forum index » Instruments and Equipment » OSX as a music workstation
Making a MOTU Midi interface work with a Powerbook G3
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ggm1960



Joined: Oct 05, 2007
Posts: 37
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

PostPosted: Sat Nov 10, 2007 9:54 pm    Post subject: Making a MOTU Midi interface work with a Powerbook G3 Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Is it or has it ever been possible to make a powerbook G3 lombard work with a MOTU Midi Timepiece II or XT Express.

I have these MOTU interfaces, a Compu-Cable mini Geo serial adapter, and the Lombard Powerbook G3 running OS 9.2.2

It don't work.
Can it work? How?
What would need to be changed to make it work?

Thanks for any help please!!
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dewdrop_world



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PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 1:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

What driver are you using?

Without the driver, the MOTU is a fancy looking paperweight Smile

You might have to contact MOTU support for the driver, since they might not have the driver on the website anymore.

James

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ggm1960



Joined: Oct 05, 2007
Posts: 37
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2007 8:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Yes I'm using the OS 9 drivers/programs from MOTU webpage:

>>FreeMIDI 1.48/USB MIDI InstallerThis is the FreeMIDI installer for Mac OS9. This install contains drivers and consoles for all MOTU MIDI interfaces, serial and USB.

>>ClockWorks 1.07 Console OnlyClockWorks console for all MOTU interfaces for the Mac

>>Express MTP Console(compatible with MIDI Timepiece I, II or AV serial and requires FreeMIDI)

Using the FreeMidi program the computer locks up when I try to look at the iDock serial port(s) with the MOTU Midi unit on. If the MOTU unit is off it looks for identifiable units and then comes back saying something like, "no devices found" without locking up.
(iDock ports are the mini-geo's USB->serial ports installed with the CD that came with that device)

The other programs aren't going to do anything until I've identified a MOTU midi unit with the FreeMidi program.
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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ggm1960 wrote:
Yes I'm using the OS 9 drivers/programs from MOTU webpage:

>>FreeMIDI 1.48/USB MIDI InstallerThis is the FreeMIDI installer for Mac OS9. This install contains drivers and consoles for all MOTU MIDI interfaces, serial and USB.

>>ClockWorks 1.07 Console OnlyClockWorks console for all MOTU interfaces for the Mac

>>Express MTP Console(compatible with MIDI Timepiece I, II or AV serial and requires FreeMIDI)

Using the FreeMidi program the computer locks up when I try to look at the iDock serial port(s) with the MOTU Midi unit on. If the MOTU unit is off it looks for identifiable units and then comes back saying something like, "no devices found" without locking up.
(iDock ports are the mini-geo's USB->serial ports installed with the CD that came with that device)

The other programs aren't going to do anything until I've identified a MOTU midi unit with the FreeMidi program.


You must be using some kind of adaptor to get from USB to the serial that the MTP wants. Which is it, and is it possibly the problem?

The MTPII wants Apple serial if I remember (I owned one, so I remember well). How did you set up the serial interface? They have characteristics to talk to things, I seem to remember that there is a multi-meg setting that works. It has been years since I used OS9.

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ggm1960



Joined: Oct 05, 2007
Posts: 37
Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2007 8:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

The interface I'm trying to use between the MOTU units and the Lombard Powerbook G3 (333Mhz running OS9.2.2) is a Compu-Cable Mini Geo USB to serial adapter ( http://www.tomatochip.com/servlet/ProductView?command=cp&supplierID=473&commodityID=2631 ). Compu-Cable is now known as AddLogix ( http://www.addlogix.com/ ) and the latest drivers for the device are on their site.
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ggm1960



Joined: Oct 05, 2007
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Location: Cedar Rapids, IA

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Ok I can post the final word on this matter. For the record because these posts come up in google and yahoo searches. I hope it may be helpful for someone else. Idea
This is not new information but it's damn difficult to get all these pieces of information collected into one place! Because MOTU is apparently the only manufacturer left (and their prices reflect it!) making MIDI 8x8 interface units this info is relevant for anyone needing an 8 channel MIDI interface.

Pre-USB MOTU midi 8x8 interfaces are great units and can be had cheap. The oldest ones (MIDI Timepiece and MIDI Timepiece II) are designed for Mac serial port computers exclusively. Later units such as the MIDI Timepiece AV and MIDI Express XT were also designed with PC in mind and include a PC parallel port. These units were a great option for desktop PCs up until recently when parallel ports are no longer included on PCs.
In general, the higher priced interfaces could be programmed and operated as stand-alone units (MTP II, MTP AV) while the lower priced models (XT Express) required connection to a computer for setup.

Mac serial ports followed the RS422 spec for asynchronous data transfer (similar to RS232 but with a higher voltage swing). On later Macs the ports are also known as "Geoports" and include an additional 5V line for powering external devices but are backwards compatible. The ports were primarily designed for connecting modems and printers.

In late 1999/early 2000 Mac stopped producing computers with the serial ports and went to USB exclusively. This timeframe coincided with the higher speed Power PC G3 models (the blue and whites) and in the laptop world the cutoff point was the Powerbook G3 Lombard model.

At this point new Mac users either had to scrap their MOTU interfaces, buy new USB models or somehow add serial ports to the newer Macs. GeeThree ( http://www.geethree.com/stealth/index.html ) came up with a solution for G3 desktop owners with the introduction of the Stealth Port, an add on card that plugged into the computer's modem slot and emulated the "old fashioned" serial ports.

This however still leaves laptop owners out in the cold. There are several USB to serial port devices available but most won't work for MIDI devices. MIDI requires an additional timing signal known as "external clock". The Keyspan USA-28X ( http://www.keyspan.com/products/usa28xg/homepage.spml ) includes this signal and will work with MIDI interfaces. It's important to note that the USA-28X model should not be confused with the original USA-28 model that does not include the external clock.

Finally, about the Mac operating systems. Mac dropped direct serial port support in OS X, however, some serial port functionality can be had in "classic mode" but reportedly not for MIDI devices. To operate serial MIDI units properly you need to be using no later than OS 9.2.2 .

Additional information and/or corrections are, of course, welcome.
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Blue Hell
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 4:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

ggm1960 wrote:
Ok I can post the final word on this matter.


One can never know Wink thanks though for finishing this neatly !

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EdisonRex
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote  Mark this post and the followings unread

Thanks, for that post. The facts are basically as I remember them since I had a G3 and took it from OS9 to OSX (and then mothballed it as inadequate to the task). I had a Stealth Port in that machine. Sadly, the Stealth range did not make it to the Mac Pros.
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Garret: It's so retro.
EGM: What does retro mean to you?
Parker: Like, old and outdated.


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