Not too long ago my last SCSI CD-ROM drive failed. I still have a number of Kurzweil CDROM discs with useful sample libraries on them that I’ve been unable to read as a result – they were made prior to the 3.61 update that added ISO-9660 support.
Marc Halbruegge wrote a fantastic program, KCDRead.exe, that lets you read these older CDROMs and dump the files to a folder on a Win 95/NT/2000 machine. Sadly it didn’t work on XP or newer 32- or 64-bit Windows releases…until now.
In newer Windows, there is a SCSI PassThrough Interface (SPTI) that replaces the old ASPI interface. Someone wrote an ASPI-to-SPTI converter called FrogASPI that runs in usermode and requires no kernel module or driver.
I’ve owned my Kurzweil K2500SWx since shortly after it was released in the summer of 1998. It’s always been my primary controller keyboard for the studio, usually sitting between the monitor and the computer keyboard tray. When I lived in Japan for two years, it was the only synth to come with me; the rest went into deep storage or were loaned to friends. I find its VAST architecture very flexible, and it’s still nice to have a hardware sampler, even if it’s limited to 16-bit 48kHz.
Waynemanor Studios 2.0, circa May 2010.
So it’s no surprise that it’s had a few mishaps over the years. And while Sweetwater graciously offers “lifetime free technical support,” there’s the hassle of shipping the unit across an international border, and the scarcity of parts to deal with.
This holiday weekend I fixed 4 nagging problems: a digital jitter, a failed front-panel button, failed aftertouch and a fading front-panel display. Here’s how, since it took me a while to research and maybe you’ll need to do it yourself someday.
the worst part of my recent holiday trip to san francisco was bringing back a horrible cough/cold. (coffee connection, i blame you!)
the best part of having laryngitis is using my freakishly affected voice to record some Don LaFontaine-style fake movie trailers. i’m accepting trailer text via twitter #trailergytis or @wohali, and via comments on this form. assuming i still have the ailment when i get your message, i’ll record up a new one. state if you have any preference for the backing track, too.
picked up an Elka Rhapsody 610 61-key string synthesizer for a bit more than I would have liked on CL over the weekend. seeing the unit in person, it became clear that most of the damage was physical, and that it’d probably been some teenager’s keyboard or a badly treated gigging unit. half of the slider caps were missing (with the stem sheared off at the control panel), the piano output didn’t work, the sliders worked backwards (bass sliders controlling the treble and vice versa), 60Hz hum, etc.
got the unit on the new basement workbench as an inaugural challenge. found the schematic online and buzzed things out. problems found:
physical damage to unit cracked 3 capacitors on the piano/clav filter board, preventing the piano output from making its way to the sliders and output. replacing with modern equivalents restored the piano sound.
someone not very skilled in soldering “went at” the cancel board and mixed up a lot of wires. easily fixed, though rather than replace the entire wiring harness i just reattached the wires and added some tape/shrink tubing.
the card edge connector for the wiring harness/fader panel is cracked in half. tried the classic “2 zip ties” solution to hold it together but i think i’m going to have to replace the connector entirely.
toronto’s supremetronics/home hardware on college just west of spadina had slider caps that fit, even if they’re in stark white.
it felt good to get this thing repaired in just a couple of hours, and with only about $1 CAD in parts.
plans before i decide if i’m reselling the device:
replace hard wired power cord with IEC power socket, with integral fuse/fuse puller. ($2.50 CAD in parts)
replace proprietary volume pedal connection with standard 1/4″ TRS jack, suitable for use with 10-kilohm volume pedal ($3 CAD in parts)
fix remaining physical damage (snapped plastic standoffs for cancel board, slider faders, ink scratched into front panel where former impromptu teenage rebel marked his favourite slider settings – probably about $10 CAD in parts and epoxy)
possibly fashion replacement legs out of welded metal tubing, plates and threaded rod (unknown cost, guessing $10-20 CAD)
if you readers out there particularly want to buy a rhapsody 610 for that jarre-TD-vangelis sound, comment here with your real email address and i’ll be in touch. have yet to decide if i want to sell; it sure sounds nice through a phaser pedal or a spring reverb.
I had a terrible scare tonight. None of my Digital Performer (my DAW) projects from before I moved to my new Mac would open. It suddenly felt like I’d lost 5+ years worth of musical experimentation.
After panicing a bit, I did a whole lot of research, and came up with this process. It’s slow, but it works. And it’s a thing for today since no one else has ever written it all up in one place before.
Go to the Terminal and change directories to your project, for example: cd Waynemanor/DP\ Projects/Barracuda\ Project/ (If use of a UNIX command prompt and escaping spaces are new to you, you may want to read through a tutorial first.)
Use ls to find the files that are your project files. In this case, I have two: Barracuda and dys4ik 2006-02-28.
Install the Apple OSX Developer Tools if you don’t already have them.
Use the following command: SetFile -t PERF -c MOUP <project-file-name>substituting each project name in turn.
You’re not done. Your audio files may also be corrupted. Try loading the project into DP. Still problems? Getting a Resource file was not found (-193) error? Your DPII’s resource fork got lost, probably because you copied to a non-Mac system and back. Try these steps. Some guesswork may be required.
Download, install and run SoundHack.
Use File > Open Any (cmd-A) to open your first sound file from the Audio Files directory.
Use Hack > Header change (cmd-H) to assign the correct sample rate, number of channels and encoding. Most DP projects have single channel. You just have to know what the sample rate is (usually 44.1 or 48) and how many bits deep it is (8, 16, 24, 32 are most common). Press Save Info
Select File > Save a copy (cmd-S). Be sure to set the same bit depth here as you used in the file’s header, or SoundHack will do a conversion! Save a copy somewhere else, like your desktop. Be sure to save as the same name as the original file to prevent confusion later.
Navigate to where you saved the file and double-click to open in your favourite sound program. This could be QuickTime, AudioFinder, DSP-Quattro, or even DP itself. Play to make sure it sounds right. If not, you got the sample rate or number of bits wrong. Go back to SoundHack and try again.
Painstakingly repeat this for each of your sound files. This could take a while.
In the DP project folder, move your Audio Files folder aside. Place all of the newly patched files into a new folder called Audio Files.
Try re-opening the project in DP. You should be able to pick up where you left off.
Too many computer crashes tonight caused this to get posted very late.
After Mr. Neilathotep made the suggestion, it had to come out. Here’s a short interpretation of The Rainbow Connection on banjo, double bass and analogue synthesized flute. This really was done in an hour, though computer crashes had me screwing around with getting the damn thing out of my DAW for about 3 more hours. :/