Connecting the Equinox to a PC

GeneralMusic Forum - From the WK series to the GEM S2/S2 Turbo/S3/S3 Turbo, Equinox and Genesys. It all goes here.

Moderators: Derek, parametric, Saul

User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Connecting the Equinox to a PC

Unread post by Gray » Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:56 am

Hi everybody.
I am all new to these forums but I am looking forward to spending some quality time in here.
I am 24 years old, from Denmark (so please bear with me poor english) and I am very interested in all synths. :)

To my question:
Do any of you have any experience with connecting the GEM Equinox to your computer? And especially through the Equinox's "computer port"?

The reason I am askng you this is that I have an Equinox76 and I am currently trying to connect via the "computer port" to my PC's COM port.
I have the correct cable and I have GEM's driver - but unfortunately it is a Windows98 driver and I am running Windows XP.
GEM hasn't produced any newer driver than this. :(
So I am afraid that the driver doesn't work properly. I have installed the driver and I still can't use the COM port to send/recieve MIDI signals.

Any idea what I could do to get it to work? Anyone know if there exist a Windows XP driver so that I can use the "Computer Port -> COM port connection" as GEM has suggested?
Or any other thoughts/experiences? :roll:
User avatar
Saul
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 10249
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:00 am
Contact:
Ireland

Unread post by Saul » Fri Feb 13, 2004 3:39 am

Hi Gray. A big welcome to the forum, I hope you will find it of some use :)

Can you tell me what spec your PC is? cpu, memory etc?
Saul
Site Admin
Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!
Review Yamahamusicians.com on Trustpilot
Sign up to the Newsletter
Follow us on Twitter @YamahaMusicians
Follow Us On Facebook
Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC.

Seagull S6 Original/Harley Benton CLA-15MCE/Ashbury AG-160/Roland FA-07/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Amplitube 3.0/Apple iMac 27"/GarageBand 10.0.3/Logic Pro X/Cubase AI 9/Absynth 5/Ableton Live 9/KRK Rokit RP5 G3 Monitors
User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Unread post by Gray » Fri Feb 13, 2004 12:17 pm

saul wrote:Can you tell me what spec your PC is? cpu, memory etc?
Sure. :)
It is a 2 Ghz Pentium4 Abit machine with 512 MB of memory. I have a (not too proud to say it) SB Audigy sound card.
I am running Windows XP and Linux but I hope to get it all to work under XP as I have Cakewalk Sonar for 2000/XP.

As a side note, I am pretty sure that I could just buy a £25/$45 cable and connect my synth to the Audigy's game port, but I would rather not have to do that. First of all I think that these cables are too expensive and second of all I am a bit stubborn and like to get things to work the way they should. :wink:
User avatar
Saul
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 10249
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:00 am
Contact:
Ireland

Unread post by Saul » Sat Feb 14, 2004 4:26 pm

Well first off, there's nothing wrong with the Audigy, I use one :)

The problem is, as you discovered, there is no driver for windows 2000/XP. So the only option if you absolutly wanted to use the computer port connection would be to use Win98SE.

Personally I would simply install Virtual PC and then put a Win98 install onto it and go fom there. OR...partition the hard drive and put 98 on the second partition.

Neither is an ideal solution and it's probably a heck of alot easier to just buy a cable for the Audigy. Here in the UK you can get them from around £9-14 depending on where you look.

It's a shame that General Music show so little support for their instruments. Someone at the company HQ needs a very large kick in the ass! :)
Saul
Site Admin
Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!
Review Yamahamusicians.com on Trustpilot
Sign up to the Newsletter
Follow us on Twitter @YamahaMusicians
Follow Us On Facebook
Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC.

Seagull S6 Original/Harley Benton CLA-15MCE/Ashbury AG-160/Roland FA-07/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Amplitube 3.0/Apple iMac 27"/GarageBand 10.0.3/Logic Pro X/Cubase AI 9/Absynth 5/Ableton Live 9/KRK Rokit RP5 G3 Monitors
User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Unread post by Gray » Sat Feb 14, 2004 9:01 pm

saul wrote:Well first off, there's nothing wrong with the Audigy, I use one :)
Glad to hear that! :)
saul wrote:Neither is an ideal solution and it's probably a heck of alot easier to just buy a cable for the Audigy. Here in the UK you can get them from around £9-14 depending on where you look.
I think that you're right. It is probably the easiest soultion after all. I have found a cable here in Denmark at about £19, which seem to be the cheapest here, so I think that I'll buy that.
saul wrote:It's a shame that General Music show so little support for their instruments. Someone at the company HQ needs a very large kick in the ass! :)
Yes! I totally agree.
Especially the Equinox seem to be very little supported which I don't understand. It is a great synth workstation and with a little more support a LOT of people would have bought it.
And I mean: How much work does it take from the company to upgrade the synths's OS or to upgrade the Windows drivers? The techs must have used 1000's of hours developing the synth in the first place. Then why not use a couple of hours now and then to upgrade the software and fix a couple of bugs?

Anyways thanks for the advice, Saul! :)
User avatar
Saul
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 10249
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:00 am
Contact:
Ireland

Unread post by Saul » Sun Feb 15, 2004 12:36 am

I was actually going to buy an Equinox a few weeks back but held off because i'd heard so many stories about bugs in the operating system and problems with the floppy drive.?

I'd still consider one at the right price and may yet end up with one :)
Saul
Site Admin
Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!
Review Yamahamusicians.com on Trustpilot
Sign up to the Newsletter
Follow us on Twitter @YamahaMusicians
Follow Us On Facebook
Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC.

Seagull S6 Original/Harley Benton CLA-15MCE/Ashbury AG-160/Roland FA-07/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Amplitube 3.0/Apple iMac 27"/GarageBand 10.0.3/Logic Pro X/Cubase AI 9/Absynth 5/Ableton Live 9/KRK Rokit RP5 G3 Monitors
User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Unread post by Gray » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:01 am

saul wrote:I was actually going to buy an Equinox a few weeks back but held off because i'd heard so many stories about bugs in the operating system and problems with the floppy drive.?
I use my equinox for a couple of hours each day and I have discovered a few bugs in the operating system. Two times I have even experienced the OS to "lock up" so I had to reboot. But this was during programming and not during play so I am not afraid to perform on stage with it.
I have however never had trouble with the floppy drive.
If you see one at the right price I would recommend it (depending on what you would use it for). :)

I have ordered a synth->computer MIDI-cable at my favorite shop now by the way, so I hope to be hooked up to the computer in a couple of days. :wink:
User avatar
Saul
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 10249
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:00 am
Contact:
Ireland

Unread post by Saul » Mon Feb 16, 2004 2:34 am

Yeah i heard it was mostly just during programing and i'm not too into that at the moment, no time really.

I'll keep my eyes open. Just been offered a GEM S2 Turbo. Always wanted one but not so sure now, may go for something newer.
Saul
Site Admin
Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!
Review Yamahamusicians.com on Trustpilot
Sign up to the Newsletter
Follow us on Twitter @YamahaMusicians
Follow Us On Facebook
Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC.

Seagull S6 Original/Harley Benton CLA-15MCE/Ashbury AG-160/Roland FA-07/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Amplitube 3.0/Apple iMac 27"/GarageBand 10.0.3/Logic Pro X/Cubase AI 9/Absynth 5/Ableton Live 9/KRK Rokit RP5 G3 Monitors
User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Unread post by Gray » Wed Feb 18, 2004 1:45 am

Ok, Saul and guys/gals.
I have now tried connecting my Equinox to my computer with a standard MIDI cable (2xMIDI -> game port), but I am having some problems getting MIDI signals through. Actually I haven't gotten a single signal either way.
I think that it is a computer setup problem, but any advice/ideas are apreciated.

What I have done:
- Checked that the actual game port was correctly plugged in to the Audigy card. I am pretty sure that I got it right.
- Updated the Audigy drivers from Creative (just to be on the safe side).
- Tried switching the MIDI cables (out->in, in->out) in case I got it wrong.
- Selected SB Audigy MIDI-IO [9000] in the Windows MIDI-settings (control panel).
- Tried selecting different MIDI ports and channels on the synthesizer.
- Tried switching General MIDI off on the synthesizer.

What am I missing?
I have tried connecting other keyboards to computers before, but it is a long time ago and it was another synthesizer and Windows95 (I think). So I have probably forgotten something really basic.


P.S.: Saul, you say that you use an Audigy card too. Do you have a MIDI keyboard connected with that? And in that case, do you remember how you did the settings in Windows to get it to work?
User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Unread post by Gray » Wed Feb 18, 2004 2:09 am

Ok, tried the motherboard MIDI port instead of the Audigy MIDI port. Now I suddenly get a signal from my synthesizer to the computer. Odd. Well I guess that I'll just use that instead.
Any ideas why I can't use the Audigy MIDI/game port?
User avatar
Saul
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 10249
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:00 am
Contact:
Ireland

Unread post by Saul » Wed Feb 18, 2004 9:13 am

Well, I just connected the thing and it worked. Didn't have to do anything. Does the Audigy show up in Sonar ?

Only time i used to get any problems was if a Joystick was connected at the same time.
Saul
Site Admin
Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!
Review Yamahamusicians.com on Trustpilot
Sign up to the Newsletter
Follow us on Twitter @YamahaMusicians
Follow Us On Facebook
Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC.

Seagull S6 Original/Harley Benton CLA-15MCE/Ashbury AG-160/Roland FA-07/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Amplitube 3.0/Apple iMac 27"/GarageBand 10.0.3/Logic Pro X/Cubase AI 9/Absynth 5/Ableton Live 9/KRK Rokit RP5 G3 Monitors
User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Unread post by Gray » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:21 pm

saul wrote:Well, I just connected the thing and it worked. Didn't have to do anything. Does the Audigy show up in Sonar ?
Funny.
Yes, the Audigy shows up in Sonar. It is listed as "SB Audigy MIDI-IO". But when I chose that and connect to the port, nothing happens.
But I guess that I'll just use the built in Roland MPU-401 port instead. There should be no difference, right? I mean it is just MIDI-signals...
User avatar
Saul
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 10249
Joined: Sun Feb 01, 2004 1:00 am
Contact:
Ireland

Unread post by Saul » Wed Feb 18, 2004 6:27 pm

Absolutly, there will be no difference. So as long as you have a working port, that's all that really matters :)
Saul
Site Admin
Subscribe To Our YouTube Channel!
Review Yamahamusicians.com on Trustpilot
Sign up to the Newsletter
Follow us on Twitter @YamahaMusicians
Follow Us On Facebook
Dowina Acoustic Guitars: Dowina Cabernet DC
Dowina Chardonnay GAC DS - Dowina Rustica GAC.

Seagull S6 Original/Harley Benton CLA-15MCE/Ashbury AG-160/Roland FA-07/Pianoteq 6 Pro/Amplitube 3.0/Apple iMac 27"/GarageBand 10.0.3/Logic Pro X/Cubase AI 9/Absynth 5/Ableton Live 9/KRK Rokit RP5 G3 Monitors
User avatar
nuada
Member
Member
Posts: 19
Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2004 1:00 am

Equinox, computer, programming

Unread post by nuada » Sun Feb 22, 2004 6:39 am

Greetings.
Thanks for the link to my home page. I appreciate your response. I found the link to this forum because sometimes I follow the links on my hit counter just to see who my audience is.

Anyway...

DO NOT bother hooking your Equinox (EQ) up to a computer through the computer port. Spend the $50.00 for a midi interface and two short cords. It won't break your piggy bank, I am sure.

The first and MOST important thing to remember with the EQ, and what makes it very complicated, is that it is TWO, yes, TWO synthesizers in one. This confuses most people and has solved many problems I have been asked over the years by users. One is the sequencer engine the other is a sepreate synth engine. The EQ was the first of it's kind! Poor marketing, etc. brought it to it's knees. The operating system is just as stable as anything I have ever used. DO NOT FORGET that the EQ is essentially a computer. Computers, no matter how good they are, crash. It is a VERY powerful machine. Far ahead of it's time.

The Korg Karma, Motif, Triton, Yamaha, etc. cloned the EQ. And I must add - poorly at that. The EQ is such a powerful machine that either people complain about it because they don't understand it or people who don't like to "delve" into their synths are totally lost and futher confused when they try to discover the wonderful treasures that lay inside. It has a ton if presets but not a synth for those who just work with presets or want to twiddle a few knobs. It's much more than that and will overwhelm or disappoint most mild users. But it is actually very user friendly. Well thought and laid out.

The EQ never got the respect and honor that it deserved. Tony Anthony did an amazing job designing it. He started sending people to my site to answer their questions (see below). I think he was discouraged because he knew he designed one of the most amazing syths to ever hit the mainstream market and it wasn't well received. Shame.

Many, many years ago I had the first and only web-site that was dedicated to the EQ. All I was getting were complaints by the users (see the last paragraph) and I got tired of people who simply DID NOT READ THE MANUAL. READ - READ - READ the manual!!! Work through the manual. It is well written as far as.. for instance Roland products are concerned. I was just a user too. If they were that unhappy because they couldn't read or problem solve then they needed to get rid of it.
And like T. Anthony, I became weary of people's questions where if they had only read the manual, they would know. Plus I was climbing the musical ladder and had less and less time to help people out. Business... etc. I am sure all of you can relate.

The EQ hooked up to an external MIDI device, like a computer sequencer is a very formidable force indeed! It can get very complicated... remember you dealing with two synths in one unit with an internal sequencer to boot.
A little known fact that I found out by talking with the designer was that the EQ was designed to control other MIDI instruments too! Ahead of its time then. Much like the Sequential Circuits' synths which first introduced a computer port which evolved into MIDI.

An Italian site has captured all my Q & A from the few years my site was up. I tell how to hook your EQ up to your computer and run it through MIDI. So hunt it down and download all the text and weed through it. I think they may even have my pre-sequencer performance set up (see below)

But in a nutshell when using external MIDI it is easier to understand if...
The Sequencer engine is on port 2 (there are two ports) when you use the sequencer with the OTHER synth engine. It does this automatically when you are just using the EQ on it's own. It was the only synth at the time that allowed you to play the seq and another syth on top of that! Wow! Heavy stuff back then! And that wasn't but just several years ago.

I recommend that you set each of the 16 channels in all the engines to ch1 to ch1, ch2 to ch2, ch3 to ch3 etc. Otherwise, until you become comfortable with the machine you will literally drive your self nuts.
As a beginner, to controlling your EQ I recommend that you only attach MIDI in and out to the #1 ports only.

The second largest problem people had was getting their EQ into a loop between your computer and the EQ. Which often crashes the machine. That is because MIDI data is coming in, going back to the EQ, into the computer with the added data and after a second all the data clogs your MIDI stream and boom... you crash. No fault of the EQ - which most people who don't understand MIDI would blame the EQ as being unstable. It is a clogged MIDI stream between what? If you said TWO synths and then the computer... give yourself an A+.
So make sure that data coming in from your EQ is not being sent back out to form this loop. Or/and make sure your EQ setting are all properly set. There are a lot of settings. READ your computer sequencer's manual or get a firm understanding of MIDI. Preferably both. So keep an eye on your MIDI thru in your computer sequencer. Remember, already your dealing with two synths and ANOTHER sequencer. That is TWO sequencers connected if you have it hooked up to a computer seq. Heavy stuff... huh?
Make sure all of your MIDI settings in the main MIDI menu are set properly.

I also recommend that you create a BLANK performance. This has all your settings. PLUS don't forget to set all your EQ channels to their equals... ch1 to ch1, ch2 to ch2 etc.
Save it. You will use it all of the time. Both in the EQ alone or hooked up to your computer.

Set the local = off in the main MIDI menu to help avoid the loop problem as listed above. Otherwise the notes will double which you may not hear, depending on the song and then again if the sound hasn't released when you played more keys and it locks up. Why?
If you said because the MIDI stream gets over loaded in a mega-loop go the head of the class!

Like any computer, save your data. If things seem too wierd then perform a system reset.

My last recommendation is patience. Think things out. Plan. Don't get mad at the machine. It is working fine unless you screwed it up with sending odd or unwanted MIDI data. Try to understand it. Think... what is going on? Take a break, drink a cup of coffee and take the time to ponder. It will come to you. As I said, the EQ is a very complex machine though it seems simple on the surface. You have to PAY for all that power somehow! You wanted a powerful machine... you purchased the EQ. Now understand it. That takes time. Something many people seem short of. But it will pay off in the long run.

I have used the EQ on two U.S. tours. And used them live for several years. Yes, I have had to have it fixed twice but this was normal wear and even though I use a power conditioner you still suffer brown outs in certain locations, etc which stresses everything.

The floppy has never been a problem for me and I have never heard that it has had a problem. I do have a ZIP drive hooked up (fast loading) plus hooked up to my live performance laptop for FAST loads.

And of course you can't beat it's sound and pad capability!!!

Good Luck,
Yours,
Nuada
www.nuada-music.com
User avatar
Gray
Global Moderator
Global Moderator
Posts: 47
Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2004 1:00 am

Unread post by Gray » Sun Feb 22, 2004 12:47 pm

Wow! :D
Right now I am amazed at two things:
1 - Nuada dropped by the forums! It is great to hear from such a talented synthesizer musician.
2 - That was really good advice on the equinox! I learned something there and the tips and tricks made me want to work even more with the synth.

Thank you so much for your long and informative post.
Post Reply

Return to “GeneralMusic Forum - GEM S2, S3, WK, Equinox and Genesys”