Release 4.0.2 Notes

May 1. 1997


Data Interchange Compatibility


Real time data (e.g. sequences, sound files, timbres, etc.) may be freely interchanged between release 4.02 and and earlier releases.  These data structures have not been changed in any way.


There are, however, some incompatibilities between the old MONITOR and the new Real Time Software and vice-versa that will make it difficult, although not impossible, to intermingle the Monitor and RTP versions.  In particular, the new Monitor supports two optical disk drives, and supports a much greater diversity of SCSI addresses for optical storage.  Earlier utilities and Real Time Software will not recognize the new settings.


If there is an urgent reason to intermingle new and old software, using an earlier version of CONFIGUR may be your best work-around.  Please let us know right away if there is some problem with the new software that can only be alleviated by reverting to an earlier release.


What's in Release 4.02


4.02 contains a number of bug fixes, plus a host of new storage-related features.  It also adds MIDI Time Code capability to the Real Time Software


Additions to the Operating System and Utilities;


                                           Improved SCSI error recover for media errors and other drive problems

                                           Support for removeable media hard drives as W0: and W1:

                                           Support for a greater range of Optical devices, Hard Drives supported as Opticals.

                                           New Optical Utilities for copying optical media.

                                           Expansion to 8.191 Gb's of storage for W0: and W1:

                                           Improvements to FORMCOPY and CONFIGUR

                                           Better support of higher BAUD rates in NEDStartup

                                           Monitor enhancements with the CAT command, and better Mb settings.



Changes to the Real Time Software


                                           Improved startup defaults for the G - Page

                                           Improved startup defaults for the Q - Page Audio Event Editor panel

                                           Improved operation of the MIDI button

                                           Support for MIDI Time Code output from the sequencer

                                           Bug fixes to the MIDI Song Position Pointer

                                           Bug fixes in the MIDI Sync, for both input and output sync

                                           Support for up to 256 optical volumes


Changes to the Macintosh  Software


                                           Keyless Editview, Autoconform, MIDInet

                                           PowerPC Native NEDStartup







  NEDStartup is undergoing some new development at this time. It will come in both 68K and PPC formats.


Improvements have been made to the way NEDStartup handles the overwhelming beeps that occasionaly emit from the Synclavier, and audio dropouts while scrubbing on the Q and L pages has been improved.

Also fixed was a problem with XON/OFF handling that showed up on some PowerPC Macintoshes with System 7.5.3 and beyond.


38,400 BAUD is now recommended on all platforms.




  CAT SE  - This command option was added to see file and catalog lengths in sectors at all times.  The default is megabytes for directories and devices over 1 megabyte in size.


EJECT, SPIN, SLEEP commans were added to control removable media hard disks. See the section "Using Removable Drives with the Synclavier"


Sizes can be expresses in Megabytes with the CREATE command, and with the SAVE and RELACE commands.




  In responce to user requests we enhanced the MONITOR to allow greater control over the showing of catalog and file lengths in SECTORS v's. MEGABYTES.  Versions of the MONITOR prior to release 4.01 always showed file lengths in sectors.  The default is now Megabytes.  The CAT SE command (SE = sectors) directs the monitor to show all file lengths in sectors.

eg;  CAT SE,  or CAT X  SE,  or  CAT SE SN (show SEctors, Sort by Name) etc. etc.




   We simplified creating large subcatalogs by allowing an 'm' for megabytes. eg;

CRE MYSUBCAT,10m   or CRE MYSUBCAT,1.5m  creates subcats 10 megabytes and 1.5mb respectively.


SLEEP, SPIN, EJECT for use with removable media


   SLEEP  W0  or SLE W1 causes named drive to spin down


   SPIN  W0  or SPI W1 causes named drive to spin up


   EJECT W0  or EJE W1 causes named drive to eject media



Utility Program Bug Fixes


   The annoying "screen cleared after copy" bug has been fixed in FORMCOPY


   A bug in SHUFFLE that would cause lost storage when dealing with subcatalogs larger than 200 Mb has been fixed.


   CONFIGUR has simplifeied settings for 'optical storage'


   Fully flexible "Optical" SCSI addressing


   Support of two optical devices in CONFIGUR (for use with the new OPCOPY)



SCSI Error Recovery Improvements


  To address a long-standing weakness in the Synclavier's SCSI implementation, we added a low level error recovery to the SCSI drivers.


      Our goal in improving the SCSI error recovery was to reduce the occurences of long and extended blasts of system beeps which occured,  for example,  when the RTP was started with a missing W1.  We were not able to eliminate all occurences of the beeping, but you should notice significant improvement.


      SCSI error handling was added to FORMCOPY.  If a SCSI error occurs using FORMCOPY, the user is prompted to continue with the rest of the files or quit.  If the user wishes to continue, FORMCOPY reminds the user that some files were skipped due to disk errors.


      We verified the SCSI error recovery that is used in the OPCOPY optical disk copy utility (newly released; see below).  Disk errors encountered by OPCOPY are logged to the W0:COPYLOG output file.


      Finally, SCSI error recovery to the RTP was added, to fix the crash and bleeping when recalling a bad sound file. This includes recall, audition, audition via D-to-D, and constuction of the sound file list.  Error recovery was also added to sequence store and recall software.




Using Removable Hard Drives with the Synclavier


      Release 4.02 offers new support for removable media hard drives.  Modern hard drives such as the IoMega JAZ drive and drives made by Tahiti and Syquest are better supported by the system in release 4.02.


      Additionally, any hard drive, either removable or fixed, may be used as an N.E.D. "optical" drive.  The Tahiti-IV (double sided magneto optical; 1.3 gigabytes each side) and the IoMega JAZ drives are well-suited for use as an "optical" drive.  Larger Winchester hard drives (up to 8 gigabytes) may also be used in this manner.


      Removable drives used as W0: or W1: are automatically sensed by the MONITOR.  An EJECT command (EJECT W0 or EJECT W1) has been added to the MONITOR to provide preliminary management of removable media drives.  The SLEEP W0 or SLEEP W1 command can be used to spin-down a hard drive; the corresponding SPIN W0 and SPIN W1 are also available.


      Either or both W0 and W1 may be removable.  Additionally, multiple removable drives can be concatenated on either W0 or W1 to provide for yet increased capacity, although this technique is not recommended due to the numerous possibilities for inserting the wrong media in the wrong drive at the wrong time with resulting data loss.


      The system limitation for W0 and W1 has been increased to 8.191 gigabytes each.  This area of the software needs additional testing, so please use it with caution until further notice or you have satisfied yourself as to it's integrity.


Using a Removable W1 with the Real Time Software


      Control over removable media was added to the "B" page of the real time software.  If a removable media W1 drive is connected to the system, an "EJECT W1" or a "MOUNT W1" button will appear on the upper right side of the screen.  This button is used to eject the media from W1, or to inform the software that a new media has been inserted.


      This mechanism should provide greater opportunities for improved sound file management.  The most apparent limitation of this technique at the current time is that the entire sound file list must be reconstructed by scanning the disk whenever the media is changed.  Unfortunately, W0 must be rescanned even when just the media in W1 is changed!  We can perhaps address this limitation in a later release of the software if there is sufficient interest in removable media devices.

      Additionally, it might be possible to improve the entire sound file list process by storing some pre-computed information on disk.  Please let us know what your interest in this area is.



New CONFIGUR Options for "Optical" drives


      Release 4.02 includes an enhanced CONFIGUR program that simplifies installation of multiple SCSI devices.  The default SCSI addresses associated with W1 have been changed to more easily match most people's configuration.  Additionally, the DELETE key may be used to quickly remove a device from the configuration list once the cursor is properly positioned in the device column.


      The new CONFIGUR utility also allows the placing of SCSI "optical" drives at any SCSI address (any board, any target).  Of course, SCSI ID 6 is used by the ABLE computer itself, and SCSI ID 7 is used by the Macintosh, so, only SCSI Id's 0-5 are truly available for Winchester and "optical" drives.  If a DTD is present in the system, then it will opcopy SCSI ID 3.


      Additionally, the new CONFIGUR provides for the listing of two "optical" drives in the system configuration.  This capability is used in conjunction with the OPCOPY utility described below.  The two "optical" drives are called, somewhat confusingly, "O0" and "O1", as in "O"-Zero and "O"-One.  "O1" may only be accessed by OPCOPY at the current time, and is not available for use by the Real Time Software.



Using A Hard Drive as an "Optical"


      Release 4.02 allows the use of any Winchester hard drive (either removable or fixed media) as an N.E.D. "optical" drive.  The N.E.D. "optical" format allows for indexing of sound files by category.  The N.E.D. "Winchester" format allows for easy access to each file, but has no indexing capabilities and subcatalogs must, of course, be manually created.



Expanded Optical Disk .INDEX Capacity


      To address the needs of customer sites with a large number of optical disk media in use, the software was modified to support two .INDEX subcatalogs for the storage of "Optical" disk index files.  These subcatalogs are named ".INDEX" and ".INDEX1".


      If you are using more than 128 Optical disk media, you have likely experienced the problem of not enough room for more entries in the .INDEX subcatalog.


      The .INDEX1 subcatalog is not automatically created during the software installation process.  This subcatalog must be manually created from the MONITOR, for example by the command:


                  CRE .INDEX1, large 1.0


      An alternative mechanism that will work well for some users it to rename .INDEX to be .INDEX1, and create a new empty subcatalog called .INDEX.  This automatically moves all of the existing .INDEX files into .INDEX1.


      Occasionally, you  might have to manually move a particular .INDEX file from .INDEX to .INDEX1 to keep the files relatively in balance between the two directories.  The software will create all new .INDEX files in the .INDEX directory, but existing files in .INDEX1 will be kept there even if the associated optical disk is modified (e.g. "updated").



Newly Released Optical Utilities: OPVOLUME, OPUPDATE, OPCOPY, OPLIST


      Release 4.02 includes a freshly tweaked set of Optical Disk Utilities.  These utilities have been enhanced to support both Optical-Zero and Optical-One.   They also support the use of standard SCSI hard drives as an "Optical" device.  These utilities are automatically installed in the .SYSTEM folder during installation.  To run one of the utilities, just type the name of that utility into the MONITOR as if you were activating FORMCOPY.






These utilities include:


OPVOLUME         Prints out information about each "optical" drive and the name of the media that is in the drive.


Optical Volume ID Utility - 1 March 1997


Utility to print out name of Optical Volume in O0: and O1:


Optical Zero: "O0:"  iomega  jaz 1GB

   Volume Name:    COPY3B

   Serial Number:  00004

   Megabytes used: 387  (39% full)  Megabytes available: 600


Optical One:  "O1:"  MaxoptixT3-1304

   Could not read volume header:

      S$SenseKey =  00008  Media is Blank

      C#Status   =  00000  Good Catalog Status




OPUPDATE        Constructs or updates the .INDEX file for an "optical" volume.  OPUPDATE provides for choosing between Optical-Zero and Optical-One, and shows the name of the volume in the drive before proceeding.


Optical Index File Update Utility - 1 April 1997


Utility to update Optical Volume Index File.



   Press <RETURN> to construct or update the .INDEX file

                  for the Optical Volume shown below.


   Press <SPACE> to select a different Optical Drive

   Press <BREAK> or Q to quit


Optical One : "O1:"  MaxoptixT3-1304

   Volume Name:    COPY3B

   Serial Number:     255

   Megabytes used: 145  (30% full)  Megabytes available: 335


OPLIST                  Uses a .INDEX file to present a list of all the files and their categories on an optical volume.  The output of this utility may be captured to a Macintosh text file for use by other data base or searching programs.


Optical Disk Listing Utility  version of 1 April 1997


Enter name of index file or <RETURN> to quit: copy3b

Display File List [Y(es) or N(o)]? Yes

Display Category List [Y(es) or N(o)]? Yes

Display all file information [Y(es) or N(o)]? Yes

Send output to printer [Y(es) or N(o)]? No


Volume Name:    COPY3B


Creation Date:  18-OCT-90

Creation Time:  09:23:00 PM

Caption:        Sound Ideas Sound Effects Library


No. Files:      132

No. Categories: 42


A list of all the files and captions will be printed...


OPCOPY               OPCOPY is a general purpose optical media copy utility that can be used to duplicate optical media, or to combine two (or more) optical media onto 1.  It should be particularly useful for distributing sound libraries within a mutli-site facility, and for simplifying the process of upgrading from the older 12" WORM technology to new devices.


                                    OPCOPY creates a log of all file activity in the file W0:COPYLOG so that unattended copying operations can be reviewed.



                                    While OPCOPY does not allow the operator to select individual files to be copied, when copying to a non-blank media it does let you specify which file to start with.   This lets a copy operation be resumed in the case of a disk error or other interruption.


Optical Disk Copy Utility - 1 April 1997



Instructions for OPCOPY:


   1) Information on both optical volumes is shown below

   2) press <RETURN> to copy all files as shown

   3) press <SPACE> or <i> to interchange source and destination drives

   4) Press <BREAK> or Q to quit


FROM: Optical Zero: "O0:"  iomega  jaz 1GB

   Volume Name:    CJMEDIA

   Serial Number:       0

   Megabytes used:    387   (39% full)   for    130 files


TO:   Optical One : "O1:"

   Could not read volume header:

      S$SenseKey =     -2  Selection Failed; The Drive is

                           off or not connected

      C#Status   =      0  Good Catalog Status



   DESTINATION Drive is not ready; see specific error  message above




Bug Fixes and Enhancements to the Real Time Software


Miscellaneous RTP changes and bug fixes:


                  - We defaulted the Recorder screen to show 3 tracks upon startup;

                  - We defaulted the Events panel to show a track in every column on startup;

                  - We fixed inconsistent lighting of the "MIDI" button;

                  - The MIDI Song Position Pointer message should be correct in all cases.


Changes to the MIDI Button


      We received several bug reports pointing out inconsistencies in the operation of the MIDI button.  In particular, changing to MIDI IN SYNC or MIDI AUX SYNC while SMPTE Sync was active did not work from the button panel.  Additionally, the Sync Panel screen would not update in some cases.


      To address these bugs and to provide compatibility with the MIDI Time Code implementation, we changed how MIDI IN SYNC and MIDI AUX SYNC are activated from the button panel.  The old button combination was to hold the EXTERNAL SYNC button and press the MIDI button.  The new button combination is to hold the MIDI button and press the External Sync button.  This new button combination is compatible with how SMPTE is turned on or off, as well has how MIDI Time Code output is turned on and off.


      The Sync Panel sync setting should update correctly in all cases now.


      As is described in a later section on MIDI Time Code, the MIDI Sync Output can now be activated and directed from the button panel as well as from the "J" screen.


MIDI Song Position Pointer bug fixes


      There were several long-standing bugs in earlier releases that caused incorrect MIDI Song Position Pointer messages to be created.  Firstly, the MIDI Song Position Pointer message was virtually always wrong when locating more than 1 minute into the sequence.  The most common bug report of this problem was that the MIDI Song Position Pointer message was wrong after bar 32.


      Additionally, there were several bugs that showed up when creating MIDI Sync output while chasing SMPTE time code.


      The bugs have been fixed and this area has been tested quite thoroughly.  However, we still have some testing to do with sequences containing meter maps, so please let us know if you experience any difficulty.



MIDI Time Code


      An implementation of MIDI time code has been added to the Real Time Software.  This feature allows the Real Time Software to create MIDI Time Code output both when operating as a master and when syncing to SMPTE or VITC code.


Using MIDI Time Code


MIDI Time Code can be activated from either the J screen ("MIDI Routing Display") or from the button panel.  Here's the new layout of the J screen:



Activating MIDI Time Code Output from the J Screen


      A new field to the J screen that provides for specifying either standard MIDI Clock/MIDI Song Position Pointer type synchronization, or for the creation of MIDI Time Code.  The "Type" field specifies CLK for standard MIDI clock synchronization, or TC for MIDI Time Code.  The field can be accessed either by arrow keys or the mouse and is changed with the space bar.


      The other fields operate as before.



Activating MIDI Time Code Output and MIDI Sync Output from the Button Panel


      The MIDI and SMPTE buttons are used to activate or deactivate MIDI Time Code Output or MIDI Sync Output from the button panel.  Press and hold the MIDI button, and then press the SMPTE button.  The current MIDI sync format (either MIDI Clock or MIDI Time Code) will be displayed allong with which MIDI output is selected, or the word OFF if no output is selected.  Continue holding the MIDI button and press the SMPTE button again to change between MIDI Clock synchronization and MIDI Time Code synchronization.



      The MIDI button can be released once the desired synchronization type is selected.


      The knob is used to specify which MIDI output will contain the MIDI Clock or MIDI Time Code bytes.  When the MIDI Synchronization format is displayed in the window, the External Sync button can be used to select which MTC frame style is desired.


Here are some sample window displays:






MIDI Time code and the SMPTE Offset


      The SMPTE Offset field that is entered from the SMPTE button (or, of course, from the Audio Event Editor Sync Panel) is fully incorporated into the MIDI Time Code signal.  The SMPTE Offset that is dialed in represents the precise MIDI Time Code time of the first click of the sequence.


      The frame-style and frame-speed of the MIDI Time Code signal is also controlled by the SMPTE settings entered from the button panel or from one of several screen locations.  29.97 FPS Drop Frame, 30 Frame, 25 Frame, 24 Frame, and NTSC 30 Frame codes are supported.


Viewing the current MIDI Time Code time


      The current out-going MIDI Time Code value can be shown in the lower display window as if it were incoming SMPTE timecode.  The display is toggled between showing measures:beats and the MIDI Time Code by pressing the SMPTE button once MIDI Time Code output has been enabled.


      The MIDI Time Code display is updated while playing, during fast-forward and rewind, and after locating.


MIDI Time Code while Scrubbing


      The software emits MIDI Time Code "full-frame" messages while scrubbing audio from EditView in the "full sequence" scrubbing mode.  When scrubbing a single cue, MIDI Time Code is not created.






We want your input on which areas of software are in greatest need of development.


Email SES with your ideas.