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MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Discussion of issues related to MOTU's Sysex Editor/Librarian program.

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MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby rwconsultancy » Fri Jan 01, 2016 6:32 am

Hi,

First of all, let me hold up my hand as a fully-paid-up member of the Luddite Tendency - it's 2016 and I've only just made the move from PPC to Intel! Even so, I haven't jumped all that far, just as far as Snow Leopard, so that I can still run a range old, but perfectly functional, PPC programs. One of these is Unisyn (latest version, 2.1.1).

Unisyn is running in its new home, but I can't say that it's running happily. I'm getting endless MIDI errors, mostly 'deviant data (unexpected status byte)', whenever I try to communicate with my synths. I'm going through a MOTU Express XT and the hardware side of things, apart from the Mac, hasn't changed.

I've tried re-setting the XT, trashing the Unisyn preferences and setup files, and even installing Midiquest in order to do a comparison. Midiquest runs fine, which leads me to think that there's nothing inherently wrong with the hardware.

I could of course admit defeat and just buy Midiquest, but that's definitely a last resort. Does anyone have any helpful hints or comments that might get Unisyn up and running?

Many thanks.
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Re: MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby carrythebanner » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:05 pm

I admire your tenacity, but it sounds like it's time to spring for a MidiQuest license.

Looks like you've already tried all of the reasonable troubleshooting ideas. Any further troubleshooting would likely be "throw it at the wall and see if it sticks" suggestions — different MIDI ports, different MIDI interfaces, trying every different setting on the MIDI interface whether or not it has any apparent relation to the problem, etc.
"I don't see any method at all, sir."
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Re: MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby stubbsonic » Tue Jan 26, 2016 1:57 pm

Wouldn't hurt to reach out to MOTU support. I suspect they might have some basic troubleshooting suggestions that might get you back in action.

Good luck.
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, OS 10.10.5, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, (also an old sawtooth G4 with a UAD-1 for legacy apps).

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Re: MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby rwconsultancy » Tue Feb 02, 2016 3:17 pm

I'll give MOTU a try - I've found them very helpful in the past but was sort of assuming that no-one there will even remember Unisyn, let alone have any experience with it! But yes, worth a go.

The only thing that's putting me off getting Midiquest is the pain that I anticipate in trying to move all my patches from one format to the other!
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Re: MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby rwconsultancy » Mon Oct 30, 2017 2:11 pm

Well, after ignoring the problem for eighteen months I finally solved it! I'm posting this in case it's useful to anyone else.

It was MIDI interference that was to blame. I've got a Nord Modular, which generates a blizzard of sysex on its control channel even when it's sitting there doing nothing. With the Nord turned on, even though it's connected to its own dedicated MIDI interface, then Unisyn was really unhappy, but as soon as I turned it off then suddenly all of the problems disappeared. I hadn't noticed this before because all of the hardware generally turns on at once.

I then did a bit more experimenting. It seems that Unisyn is very sensitive to any other MIDI conversations that are going on in the background; even having Clockworks running is enough to throw it off. But as long as the lines are kept clear then Unisyn seems to be, once again, pretty reliable.

I'm celebrating with a cup of tea even as we speak! :)
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Re: MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby stubbsonic » Mon Oct 30, 2017 8:58 pm

Nice! Thanks for following up with your troubleshooting. Might help someone else.

Glad you got it sorted.
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, OS 10.10.5, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, (also an old sawtooth G4 with a UAD-1 for legacy apps).

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Re: MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby cuttime » Mon Oct 30, 2017 11:15 pm

Yes, thanks. I still have Unisyn on a Snow Leopard external drive. Luddite me.
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Re: MIDI problems with Unisyn and Snow Leopard

Postby stubbsonic » Tue Oct 31, 2017 9:16 am

FWIW, I just saw that MIDI Quest was just released for iOS, but it's raw batter on the inside (a baking metaphor).

Bad reviews, requires 2GB RAM (that's as far as I got). Profiles are available as IAPs, but I couldn't open the store to see what they were charging for each profile. So that's a wait-and-see option.

Glad to see you are still making Unisyn work for you.
RMBP (2.6 i7), FF800, OS 10.10.5, DP8, Kontakt, Reaktor, K2661S, K2500RS, iPad4, (also an old sawtooth G4 with a UAD-1 for legacy apps).

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