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Andromeda A6 OS Update Project Keyboard Synthesizers
Old 27th July 2014
  #31
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Rusty_OHara's Avatar
 

Awesome update.

Quote:
Originally Posted by J# Minor View Post
- Discovered how the OS update checksum works. I can now package a new update, should one ever be produced.
I think I should pm you begging for help...
Old 27th July 2014
  #32
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McHale's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by J# Minor View Post
I am not a lawyer, but my understanding is that it is legal to reverse-engineer software.
FYI, it is perfectly legal to reverse engineer, seek outside help, publish the source, etc. as long as no profit is made (while the patents/copyrights are still valid) and there is no loss of profits as a result of your work. After the patents/copyrights are no longer valid, you can do whatever you want for profit.

I know from previous experience and dealt with a tech company MUCH larger than Alesis.

GO NUTS.

-Mc
Old 27th July 2014
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty_OHara View Post
Awesome update.



I think I should pm you begging for help...
I'll beg by proxy too!

Anyway to get that octa thing rolling
Old 27th July 2014
  #34
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oldgearguy's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rusty_OHara View Post
Awesome update.



I think I should pm you begging for help...
Rusty - check your email - I figured out the Octatrack checksum issue.
Old 27th July 2014
  #35
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Juno6's Avatar
 

Great news! You´re a brave man.

Mine doesn´t seem to have bugs, except for a strange graphic bug on the envelopes, that it solves by going to another page and going back to the env. It only happend 4 or 5 times in 7 years, so my A6 is bug free.

On the wish list, there´s a feature that was planned, but never implemented, that is a lag processor on the PROCESS section. I don´t know how it was going to work, but I guess it´d be something like the tracking generator... you select an input, you set a time, maybe a curve and a mod section (to modulate the time). To use that lagged output I guess it should appear as a mod source on the mod matrix.

Regarding the processor speed... it´s not a big problem to me, except modulating osc pitch with a big modulation range, or things like that. As the processor cannot be replaced, what about a special monophonic mode in which a single voice uses all the processor´s resources?

Good luck!
Old 27th July 2014
  #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J# Minor View Post
I definitely don't have the expertise to make any hardware changes. As for A6 CPU replacement in general, my guess is that it would be next to impossible.
Alesis A6 Andromeda, Now where did that come from? - Page 7 - Vintage Synth Explorer Forums

On this topic, here's an interesting read.

And good luck.
Old 28th July 2014
  #37
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by J# Minor View Post
Another popular one is poly AT response over MIDI. There's a pretty good bug/wish list over at over at electro-music.
Oh, man! I owned an Andromeda from day 1 until a few years ago. I would have paid someone $1000 just to fix this one "bug" alone. Good luck with this project!
Old 28th July 2014
  #38
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OurDarkness's Avatar
 

Nice to hear that an individual is devoting time to work on this. You have my respect and support!!
Old 28th July 2014
  #39
Hello J#,

I wish you a good luck and a lot of patience with the project, you'll need it

I started something similar with Waldorf Q a few years ago:

https://www.gearslutz.com/board/elect...ldorf-q-q.html

I didn't have any specific goal with this - I was just curious to see what's possible. So, I didn't go much further because I decided that it would be much wiser to spend time on making my own music, exploring Digital Signal Processing and developing my own synthesizer than trying to decipher what some machine code written by someone else is trying to do. But I will probably return to it somewhere in the future when I won't have anything else to do.

A few notes about your project:

While it is OK to reverse engineer the OS for you private use, I am very suspicious about the distribution of the modified version. Alesis probably doesn't make any profit from Andromeda anymore but still - risking a court battle ... well, I don't know.

Furthermore, most users will expect that you do all this for free because "it is on the Internet". I know that from my experience with various hobby projects I made during the last 20 years. Of course, I would be more than happy to be proved wrong in this case.

And how many users are actually ready to upgrade their synthesizers to the new version? I know that I wouldn't risk upgrading any of my two A6s because I didn't experience any serious bugs to justify the upgrade - maybe there were one or two freezing due to corrupt patch in the last 6 years and that's, more or less, all trouble I had, knock knock on the wood ...
Old 28th July 2014
  #40
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
There are a few minor bugs, like the 52% square wave etc. But I'm mostly excited about the possibility of adding a couple a features.

Panning for individual voices in the voice mixer being a big one.

I'm not sure if it's possible but it would be amazing!
Old 28th July 2014
  #41
I want to get rid of the bloody decimals and ridiculously fine increments. When I wanna set an exact value it takes a lot of time to get close, and then use the cursor buttons to get it just right. Especially if your knobs are dusty like mine, jumping all over the place.

Panning would be a godsend, a proper stereo analogue polysynth. Tired of tracking one oscillator at a time and time correcting things for hours. Don't know if that can be solved with an OS upgrade though. Can it?

Also, I'd love to be able to map the unison detune to the mod wheel. Don't think I can modulate that at all. Or maybe I'm just being stupid.
Old 28th July 2014
  #42
Here for the gear
 

Very interested in following up on this as well!

I've got an Andromeda which I think is amazing, and it really needs more support.
Can't believe that Alesis just doesn't care about the Andromeda anymore.
Old 28th July 2014
  #43
Gear Addict
 
J# Minor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by oldgearguy View Post
Rusty - check your email - I figured out the Octatrack checksum issue.
Awesome. Was it pretty simple?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dalshim View Post
Fantastic read! I would love to talk A6 with Jeff Platt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Juno6 View Post
On the wish list, there´s a feature that was planned, but never implemented, that is a lag processor on the PROCESS section. ... what about a special monophonic mode in which a single voice uses all the processor´s resources?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post
There are a few minor bugs, like the 52% square wave etc. But I'm mostly excited about the possibility of adding a couple a features.
Quote:
Originally Posted by trapezius View Post
I want to get rid of the bloody decimals and ridiculously fine increments. ... Panning would be a godsend, a proper stereo analogue polysynth. ... I'd love to be able to map the unison detune to the mod wheel.
All good ideas and worth investigating. There is a bug/wish-list thread over at electro-music with a bunch of additional items too.

If the project advances to the point where it looks like I actually will be able to accomplish something, I will spin up a bug tracker to collect all of the issues and feature requests in one place and track their status.
Old 28th July 2014
  #44
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J# Minor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by McHale View Post
FYI, it is perfectly legal to reverse engineer, seek outside help, publish the source, etc. as long as no profit is made ... and there is no loss of profits as a result of your work.
Quote:
Originally Posted by HrastProgrammer View Post
most users will expect that you do all this for free
After some thought, I have decided to not charge money for the OS updates. If anything is ever released from this project, I intend to make it available to all A6 owners free of charge.

Because my understanding of the current software will take some time to mature, only very limited changes will be possible at first. Any major improvements necessarily would have to come later, building on the knowledge gained from the small changes. It doesn’t seem right to charge people for minor updates, and I would prefer to release early and often. So that argues against charging money.

Also, taking no profit from this work would, I think, be best to encourage a positive relationship with Alesis. It emphases the fact that my only intent is to improve the A6 experience for myself and other owners.

Quote:
Originally Posted by HrastProgrammer View Post
I am very suspicious about the distribution of the modified version. Alesis probably doesn't make any profit from Andromeda anymore but still - risking a court battle ... well, I don't know.
I agree with you 100%. That's why I'll speak to a lawyer before releasing anything. Plus, I hope to make eventual contact with Alesis and develop a rapport with the appropriate people there. If I can discover their concerns and make efforts to alleviate them, then perhaps I can avoid failure due to legal concerns.
Old 28th July 2014
  #45
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
I think a donation button is in order though.
Old 28th July 2014
  #46
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Quote:
Originally Posted by J# Minor View Post
Fantastic read! I would love to talk A6 with Jeff Platt.
Maybe try to contact him here: Pan Tilt Motion Control for camera head virtual sets

Seeing how enthusiast he was about the A6, he'd probably be happy to share some of his spare time to go technical with you.
Old 28th July 2014
  #47
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sunny pedaal's Avatar
 

really looking forward to all knowledge obtained by your investigations.
thanks !
Old 28th July 2014
  #48
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post
I think a donation button is in order though.
No. Absolutely not, until we see some tangible real world results.
Old 28th July 2014
  #49
Gear Addict
 
J# Minor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Naugo View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post
I think a donation button is in order though.
No. Absolutely not, until we see some tangible real world results.
I agree. Last thing I want is to reach the point where I have to give up, then also have to give back a bunch of donations. Plus, there's really nothing that requires money at the moment. I do appreciate the thought, but I would prefer to wait until there is real software before we talk about anything like that.
Old 30th July 2014
  #50
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Rufuss Sewell's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naugo View Post
No. Absolutely not, until we see some tangible real world results.
I'm referring to once an update is released.
Old 30th July 2014
  #51
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If you are still looking for Dave Bryce, he should be easy to find on this forum, as "Dave Bryce." He's a regular and maybe a mod over there.

Good luck.
Old 30th July 2014
  #52
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ionian's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Naugo View Post
No. Absolutely not, until we see some tangible real world results.
You could have phrased that a little nicer though. You come off sounding just a hair above people who want things free on the internet.

Edit: Ahhh...I just realized, you're Myrok Rolles. Oh, Ok. Carry on - I don't expect you to have a good attitude anytime soon.
Old 30th July 2014
  #53
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ionian View Post
You could have phrased that a little nicer though. You come off sounding just a hair above people who want things free on the internet.

Edit: Ahhh...I just realized, you're Myrok Rolles. Oh, Ok. Carry on - I don't expect you to have a good attitude anytime soon.
Trying to prevent people from losing money on an OS update that may never come = having a bad attitude?


I could have said it a little nicer? Sure, but I also could have said it a little meaner...I don't think anything I said was unreasonable or "not nice enough". But that's open to interpretation, maybe I'm just not nice enough for you.

Too many people get scammed on things like this on the internet all the time, I'm doing my part to try and make sure that doesn't happen to anyone on this forum. If doing so makes you think I have a bad attitude, then you can think I'm the grinch or scrooge and that's fine with me.

What did I do to make you hold such a grudge, anyway? I don't even know who you are, can't remember ever discussing anything with you, what did I say to piss you off so much?
Old 30th July 2014
  #54
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Naugo's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rufuss Sewell View Post
I'm referring to once an update is released.
That's totally reasonable, but perhaps you should have said that.

It seemed like you were suggesting a donation option to help the developer during development, which could easily wind up tanking and never becoming a reality.
Old 30th July 2014
  #55
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J# Minor's Avatar
 

I think everyone here is just trying to help. I appreciate both suggestions and was not offended by either.
Old 31st July 2014
  #56
Here for the gear
 

Anoher pasionate Andy User here keen to see and hear more!

Not too sure about implementing too many new software fixes in the update (see below) but if you could stabilize the the buggy knobs and screen jumping around when programming that would be great!

Every andy thread I mention scds ipad editior which is like an software update in a way (electro-music.com :: View topic - Andromeda editor for iPad) as it allows you to program this beast without the screen jumping and get some programming bliss but for now its only one way connection and cannot dump patches to the ipad for bi directional patch tweaking etc . However it allows for more stable fine tunning and programming which shows of the potential and sonic scope of this amazing synth!!!

Any chance you could implement a software fix to set the levels of the pre and post mixer levels to avoid the distortion as i always found this a pain to fine tune. Maybee im lazy but is doesnt take much to distort and its always so fidely trying to set minuscule setting amounts etc. If you could tweek the maximum levels so they dont distort then this would be amazing!

Pwm fix?

Great to see passionate people with determination and know how willing to push things forward - this synth is very underrated because of the software i believe and this update could be a game changer and give users many more decades of programming bliss and infinite future sonic explorations for hundreds of users !!

all the best - keep in touch
Old 1st August 2014
  #57
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I've had several A6s (still have 3) and none ever had "buggy knobs" or "screen jumping"... If you are having that it is most likely just some dirty pots that need cleaning...

The biggest upgrade for me would be PolyAT support. Then it would really put the A6 in CS80 or Chroma territory.

Easier Pro-One/SH-101 style step entry of notes for the sequencer by just entering the notes without pressing any buttons would be great too.
Old 1st August 2014
  #58
Gear Addict
 
J# Minor's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowderdoof View Post
Pwm fix?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougt View Post
The biggest upgrade for me would be PolyAT support.
These two definitely seem like the most requested updates. I'm still very, very far from being able to give any real yay/nay on what can be done, but I'll keep those in mind while spelunking through the bytes. Just guessing here, but I would bet that the PWM fix would be quite a bit easier to do than a full poly-AT implementation.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowderdoof View Post
if you could stabilize the the buggy knobs and screen jumping around when programming that would be great!
Quote:
Originally Posted by dougt View Post
If you are having that it is most likely just some dirty pots that need cleaning...
If this is really a widespread problem, perhaps some sort of optional control smoothing algorithm? Who knows, there might even be one already in there.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowderdoof View Post
Every andy thread I mention scds ipad editior which is like an software update in a way (electro-music.com :: View topic - Andromeda editor for iPad)
Yep, looks pretty interesting. I like the lemur-ish UI mockup shown in one of the replies. BTW, if scd has any trouble interfacing with the A6, then one goal of the OS project could be to enable better interoperability with external editors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by chowderdoof View Post
If you could tweek the maximum levels so they dont distort then this would be amazing!
Maybe a setting somewhere so each person could configure their own maximum levels?

Quote:
Originally Posted by dougt View Post
Easier Pro-One/SH-101 style step entry of notes for the sequencer by just entering the notes without pressing any buttons would be great too.
Good idea. I think that's one corner of the A6 where people don't tread quite as often. There's definitely some room for usability improvements.
Old 1st August 2014
  #59
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marino's Avatar
Hey J# - I had the jumpy screen problem on my A6 (which sadly, is gone by now), and I 'solved' it by cranking every pot all the way 10 or 12 times about once a month. Once I started the 'treatment' (almost a religious ritual!) the problem disappeared completely. Other people relate of reseating the ribbon cables connections... So it's hardly a software problem.

To me, the main problem with programming the Andromeda was the lack of calibration on FM. It was impossible to create in-tune FM sounds like I used to do on my Matrix-12, for example. Using anything more than a very tiny amount of FM immediately created crazy sidebands, which could only be used for noisy sound effects or percussion, not for anything which needed to be in tune.
I don't know about a possible fix for this issue.... I suspect that it would require a hardware mod too, but perhaps it's worth to investigate.

Another omission that irritated me a lot is the lack of choice for high/low/last/first-note priority in mono sounds. To me, it seems an obvious feature to include in an analog synth, and I was disappointed to find that all mono sounds were permanently in last-note priority IIRC.

I seem to remember of some instability in multi mode too, where stored multis changed some of their settings... but I'm sure that current owners could give you more precise info on this and other details.

I miss my A6 despite its quirks, and your corageous effort could give me the drive to get one again some day.
Old 1st August 2014
  #60
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marino's Avatar
Almost forgot... I seem to remember that at the Electromusic A6 forum, someone tried to compile a list of known unresolved bugs. Regardless, that forum is worth an in-depth visit, as many Andy users used to report problems there.
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