Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Sometimes life takes a unexpected turn.

Unfortunately I have some non-AmigaOne X1000 news which will have a hopefully temporary effect on this blog.

Personally we have had some bad news - my wife has been diagnosed with cancer and it has turned our world upside down recently.

I still enjoy my AmigaOne X1000 and I will continue this blog when I have time to do so, but as I hope you can appreciate, it will slow down now while I am totally focused on my wife's cancer surgery, treatments and supporting her recovery over the coming months.

Thanks for your patience, and I am really sorry in advance that the updates will slow down. I wanted you all to know why it is happening - it is not because of a lack of interest in the Amiga scene. I still enjoy it more than ever!

Saturday, 11 August 2012

UADE Plugin for TuneNet on X1000

I am very excited today because there has finally been a release of a UADE (Unix Amiga Delitracker Emulator) and a UADE TuneNet plugin!

It is called uade.lha and is available on OS4Depot.net. I believe UADE port and the TuneNet plugin were ported to X1000 by Fredrik Wikstrom. Thank you very much for this plugin - you made my day!

Up until now I have had to use a very old version of Delitracker on the X1000 to play Amiga custom modules. It needed a lot of configuration to get it working properly and still isn't perfect, as detailed in my previous blog entry here!

UADE is command line based player and I have been hopefully waiting for a TuneNet UADE plugin to make it much nicer to use! And now it is here!

It means that I can finally play most of the Amiga custom formats using TuneNet's UADE plugin now, as shown below!

It has an installer which installs UADE into the folder of your choice, and adds a UADE: assign to that location in your s:user-startup file (I picked Sys:utilities/UADE):

 It then also prompts if you want it to install the TuneNet plugin, which it will do for you as well when you supply the correct TuneNet folder location!

When this is done and you run TuneNet you can go into the settings menu option and select the Plugins tab to verify it is running, as shown below:

I have all the TuneNet plugins installed that are available on OS4Depot.net. It is well worth installing them to get TFMX, SID tune, OGG, FLAC, WMA and other audio format support within TuneNet.

After verifying the plugin for UADE in TuneNet, I then tried out quite a few module formats - a few still don't play, like SMUS and a few other strange ones (Eg. OLD DW format - newer DW files are ok), but now most of the Amiga custom modules can be played in TuneNet using the UADE plugin!

It plays well in the background and I haven't noticed any audio breakup issues that I noticed in the older version of UADE, so very good news!

I have not worked out how to play custom module subsongs manually in TuneNet yet - the next subsong options { and } in the menus don't work and there are no buttons to click for subsongs in the GUI.. It seems the plugin in TuneNet simply plays each subsong in sequence automatically.

So there is still some room for improvement with the UADE plugin but I am very happy that the plugin works and I can now play nearly all my various music formats in TuneNet on the X1000!

Wednesday, 8 August 2012

MIDI using Edirol USB and MIDI Keyboard on the X1000

Today I wanted to take a quick look at playing back MIDI music on real MIDI hardware on the X1000.

For those who don't know what MIDI is, this wikipedia entry will help get you up to speed!

Back in the early 1990's I used to use a MIDI Yamaha PSS-51 keyboard connected to a MIDI device using the parallel port of my Amiga 2000. I then used a MIDI sequencer called Sequencer One, a free program on an Amiga Format coverdisk. It worked really well and I enjoyed playing with it to make songs and playback midi songs using my Amiga!

Fast forward to 2010, and I bought a Edirol UM-1X USB MIDI device for my Macbook Pro to connect my original Yamaha PSS-51 Midi keyboard to a modern day sequencer called Reason 4 (now I use Reason 5).

With the recent purchase of the AmigaOne X1000, it got me thinking about whether I could set up the X1000 to use the UM-1X USB MIDI device and keyboard with a AmigaOS4 MIDI sequencer.

It turns out I could, as shown below!

To do this set up I needed to download some files from OS4Depot. They are:

CamD.lha             (camd.library ported to AmigaOS4)
CamDTools.lha    (some useful utilities for seeing what is happening real-time with MIDI)
CamDPlay.lha      (a MIDI file player that support the CAMD library)
USBMidi.lha        (USB support drivers for USB MIDI devices such as the Edirol UM-1X)
Horny-base.lha    (Base package for Horny - extract first)
Horny.lha             (Midi Sequencer - extract into the horny-base.lha extracted folder)

CamD.lha, USBMidi.lha should be extracted to RAM, as they both have an installer, as shown below:

These two installers are very simple and self explanatory - they work correctly without issues on the X1000.

The other files should be extracted where you want them - I chose sys:utilities/ to keep everything together. I put the CamDTools and CamDPlay in the same place to keep it neat.

There is a switch on the USB Edirol UM-1X MIDI device to disable the Advanced Driver. This needs to be disabled for the device to be recognised on the X1000.

When I connected the Edirol USB device to the X1000 it was picked up automatically with the correct name and can now be used!

Initially I used CAMDPlay and MidiActive utilities in the CamdTools folder. CamDPlay plays back MIDI files via the USB MIDI device to the MIDI keyboard. MidiActive shows what is being output to the MIDI device in real time. I used this tool to confirm the output was working as expected.

So my first test was playing back Axel-F via CamDPlay and it worked perfectly, as shown below (click to expand):

Having proven that it worked well, I moved on to extract the HornyOS4 Midi Sequencer archives. As mentioned earlier make sure that you have the two archives installed to the same place to see the icons correctly in the GUI. When I ran HornyOS4 I was quite surprised - it is very nice and modern and it reminds me a bit of Apple's Garageband software for the Mac. I have imported an Axel-F MIDI song into HornyOS4 as shown below (click to expand):

It occured to me while writing this that demonstrating MIDI playback on the X1000 with screenshots only is pretty pointless so I have taken a video of the playback using my X1000 running the HornyOS4 MIDI sequencer so you can watch it and hear it for yourself here!

I used a Panasonic Camera's video function for this recording so the audio quality is not as good as it could be if I had a line in, but hopefully you get the idea!

I was very pleased to have my Edirol USB and Yamaha MIDI keyboard setup working on the AmigaOne X1000 and look forward to playing around with it some more in the future - I know there are other AmigaOS MIDI sequencers to try out too!