MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

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Atarieterno
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MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby Atarieterno » Mon Apr 09, 2018 12:39 am

The Atari users who are musicians know the majority of devices that expand the number of MIDI IN and OUT ports of our faithful Atari, there are many and different (MO4, Unitor-2, Export, Midex / Midex +, SMP-24 / SMP- II, etc.) with various capacities and other add-ons (synchronisms, dongles ...), all designed specifically for Atari. These devices usually have two aspects in common: they are difficult to find currently and their price is expensive.

Today we will talk about two devices that were not built for Atari but can be used perfectly with our TT (also with Mega STe and Falcon or C-Lab), are connected to the LAN port (8-pin miniDIN) and Cubase has a driver for use them: they are the MacMan and the miniMacMan (both of the brand "MidiMan").
These devices were manufactured for the Macintosh, then: what are they of interest to Atari? The answer has two main factors: they work very well taking advantage of the speed of the LAN port and they are sold very cheap in the present (between 15 and 25 € approximately).

MidiMan (etiqueta ampliada).jpg


The MacMan has 3 MIDI-OUT and 1 MIDI-IN. It also has a THRU port (in miniDIN format) and can use optional 9v external power (not required with Atari). Three colored LEDs report its operation and the IN or OUT data transmission. Its 9-pin miniDIN port is compatible with the 8-pin cable connector and the Atari LAN port.
The MiniMacMan is a reduced version: it only has 1 MIDI-OUT and 1 MIDI-IN, it does not support external power supply and it does not have THRU. It has three colored leds and its small size makes it ideal for any desk, giving a great use to the LAN port of our Atari.

miniMacMan en el TT.jpg


MacMan y miniMacMan comparados.jpg


I have attached a link to the driver for Cubase and the manuals for the two MidiMan devices (obviously designed for Macintosh).

MacMan LAN en Cubase.jpg


MacMan input en Cubase.jpg


If you find a device without the 8-pin miniDIN cable, you can buy cheap on Amazon with a length of 1 meter.

Cable miniDIN 8 pines.jpg


So you can search for these devices and buy them without making a lot of noise: as Mac users find out, they will label it "very rare" and they will give you a price of € 100!

http://www.mediafire.com/file/m8knepirh ... MacMan.rar
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Foxie
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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby Foxie » Tue Apr 10, 2018 3:30 am

Atarieterno wrote:These devices usually have two aspects in common: they are difficult to find currently and their price is expensive.


This is what I'm hoping to address with my MIDI expander project. What sort of prices have you seen for something like the MO4?


Atarieterno wrote:The MacMan has 3 MIDI-OUT and 1 MIDI-IN.


Do you know anything about how the MIDI outs are implemented? Do all three outputs convey the same data?

The Cubase driver definitely can't independently address the outputs, but if the protocol for switching the outputs is known I could easily add that feature. Sadly the MacMan only runs at 31.25k, it would be pretty slow at driving more than one output.


It's also theoretically possible to use some other MIDI expanders on the Atari. Some synthesisers have a "to host" port which is an 8 pin mini DIN. You can connect this to any Atari with the right cable. The MODEM.DRV can be used to drive 16 channels to it. It would also be easy to make a new driver which can address 32/64/80 channels (supported by SC8850 etc.) Most of these synthesisers will allow you to drive the MIDI out socket independently.

You might be able to connect a MOTU, emagic, opcode MIDI expander to the MegaSTE/TT/Falcon with the right driver. Unfortunately those companies never documented the protocol.

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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby Atarieterno » Tue Apr 10, 2018 9:09 am

I have been using these devices for a short time, but what I have tried answers your question: yes, it transmits the same information through the 3 outputs.
Regarding the MO4: as few appear for sale, I paid € 100 for mine.
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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby Foxie » Tue Apr 10, 2018 5:44 pm

Atarieterno wrote:I have been using these devices for a short time, but what I have tried answers your question: yes, it transmits the same information through the 3 outputs.
Regarding the MO4: as few appear for sale, I paid € 100 for mine.


I'm hoping to keep my MIDI expander project as cheap as possible, but € 100 is a pretty good deal. Although parts are cheap, by the time you add a case cables and PCB the price goes up a lot. Of course the MO4 only has four outs and no inputs, but it's probably acceptable for many small studios.

I wouldn't worry about the price of Macmans increasing in the future. They're quite simple to build. Here's a schematic published by Hinton Instruments:

midiface.gif


The top three sections can be removed since the Atari has only one LAN port.

If you only want a single MIDI out and no input, you can just use one diode and one resistor. You need a modified driver, let me know if anyone is interested. I'll do the mod and draw a schematic.

You could also potentially use a C-Lab export or modem to MIDI cable on the extra modem ports of the MegaSTE/TT/Falcon. A new driver is required. In all, a MegaSTE or TT can have three extra full speed MIDI outs with nothing more than diodes. I don't own a MegaSTE or TT, so if someone is interested you'll need to help me test a driver. I can use the LAN port driver as the basis with some minor adjustments.
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Atarieterno
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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby Atarieterno » Tue Apr 10, 2018 10:44 pm

Foxie wrote: I don't own a MegaSTE or TT, so if someone is interested you'll need to help me test a driver. I can use the LAN port driver as the basis with some minor adjustments.


I can test what you need with my TT.
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dbsys
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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby dbsys » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:57 am



I downloaded the file several times, but it seems to be broken. I cannot unpack it. I get an error message.

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Atarieterno
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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby Atarieterno » Fri Apr 20, 2018 10:23 am

dbsys wrote:


I downloaded the file several times, but it seems to be broken. I cannot unpack it. I get an error message.



It works perfectly with WinRAR v5.5.
Check the version of your decompressor.
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dbsys
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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby dbsys » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:05 pm

Atarieterno wrote:
dbsys wrote:


I downloaded the file several times, but it seems to be broken. I cannot unpack it. I get an error message.



It works perfectly with WinRAR v5.5.
Check the version of your decompressor.


OK. Will try. Thanks!

dbsys
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Re: MacMan and miniMacMan for Atari with Cubase.

Postby dbsys » Fri Apr 20, 2018 9:12 pm

Atarieterno wrote:It works perfectly with WinRAR v5.5.
Check the version of your decompressor.


It also works with 7-ZIP version 16.02.

Thanks for the files!


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