Lyrics & Knowledge Personal Pages Record Shop Auction Links Radio & Media Kids Membership Help
The Mudcat Cafemuddy

Post to this Thread - Sort Descending - Printer Friendly - Home


HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)

pavane 02 Jun 04 - 11:41 AM
JohnInKansas 02 Jun 04 - 05:36 PM
pavane 03 Jun 04 - 03:36 AM
JohnInKansas 03 Jun 04 - 07:04 AM
pavane 03 Jun 04 - 11:41 AM
pavane 07 Jun 04 - 05:52 AM
GUEST,scotsongs@aol.com 28 Jun 04 - 09:55 AM
pavane 28 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM
pavane 28 Jun 04 - 12:57 PM
GUEST,Dr Keys 24 Sep 04 - 10:58 AM
GUEST,jhune 28 Oct 04 - 06:50 AM
Brakn 28 Oct 04 - 07:06 AM
The Fooles Troupe 28 Oct 04 - 07:12 AM
pavane 28 Oct 04 - 11:04 AM
Dave Bryant 28 Oct 04 - 11:41 AM
GUEST,Rob syme 15 May 07 - 04:25 AM
GUEST,backseatelvis 06 Sep 08 - 01:58 AM
Bernard 06 Sep 08 - 05:01 AM
pavane 09 Sep 08 - 02:20 AM
pavane 10 Sep 08 - 01:40 AM
GUEST 12 Jan 09 - 01:13 AM
GUEST 12 Jan 09 - 01:18 AM
pavane 12 Jan 09 - 06:37 AM
GUEST 30 Jan 09 - 09:53 PM
GUEST,peter cook 30 Dec 09 - 12:05 PM
GUEST,Mark S. 22 Sep 11 - 05:53 PM
GUEST,Duffy 06 Dec 16 - 06:52 PM
Share Thread
more
Lyrics & Knowledge Search [Advanced]
DT  Forum
Sort (Forum) by:relevance date
DT Lyrics:



Subject: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 11:41 AM

Mrs Pavane uses a Roland SD35 MIDI file player at her gigs.
Today, this failed, with disk drive errors.

We have taken it to Roland (in Swansea, luckily) for repair, but there is a chance that this will not be possible, as it can only use a Double Density (720k) drive, now difficult to obtain.

SO - does anyone know where I could obtain a spare player? or a suitable alternative.

Also, is there a site on the web anywhere that I could post a WANTED
advert?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 02 Jun 04 - 05:36 PM

pavane -

My Google search (mainly because I was curious what an SD35 is) showed a few places that claim to have "hard to find drives" for "legacy Roland" machines, but nearly all that I found were US or Canadian based. Nearly all have a "no-warranty" disclaimer for such hardware, indicating it's likely to be "salvage grade."

As an example - NOT A RECOMMENDATION - Trycho has a banner at their site stating:

"WE ARE ONE OF THE LARGEST SUPPLIERS OF HARD TO FIND LOW-DENSITY (DD) BLANK DISKS FOR OLDER SEQUENCER MACHINES. WE ALSO HAVE HARD TO FIND REPLACEMENT DRIVES FOR OLDER ENSONIQ, ALESIS, KORG, AND ROLAND MACHINES
GIVE US A CALL OR EMAIL! 1-800-543-8988 (U.S and Canada) trycho@trycho.com"

(Check out their (NO) Warranty disclaimer at the bottom of the page.)

I found a couple of SD35 units for sale at about $800 (US) and a few more at auction sites (eBay etc) showing as low as $325, but these may be just "current bid" prices - I didn't check to see whether they were near closing.

If you're considering a (Roland) replacement, you might get some help from the listing at Roland sounds. "This section includes commonly available new and second hand synthesizers, samplers, sound modules and master controller keyboards."
(Note that I found this page a lot easier to read after a "Copy" and "Edit ? Paste Special ? unformated text" in Word.)

The "rolandus.com" company page is unable to find the SD35 using their search engine, and I can't even identify a category of currently listed Roland products that looks like it.

If the SD35 truly can't use an HD floppy drive, it would imply that the driver is in a BIOS chip of some sort, and it would seem they should have a "flash" to allow use of a more available floppy - but no luck there.

I did find a couple of "support chat" groups where people complained about the SD35 being finicky about disk quality, and 2D disks are likely to be subject to some aging, since hardly anyone makes them any more and they're likely to be "old." A simple machine like this might report the same error for a bad disk as for a bad disk drive. One fellow in particular noted that his Mac could detect and skip bad clusters on the disk, but his SD35 "requires a perfect disk" and he was having problems getting them "perfect enough." (posted about a year ago.) His "analysis" was a little "newby" and somewhat suspect; but if your machine can read some disks but not others, you might suspect problems with the disks rather than with the drive.

There are archaic techniques for isolating bad clusters that format doesn't detect (by writing "dummy" information in them) that might be used to see if this is a problem, but since you have to do it individually for each disk it's not very practical for actual use.

Repair and maintenance of floppy drives used to be fairly common, but is probably a "lost art" for most maintenance people now. With 5.25 floppies, you could get "cleaning disks" but with the small floppies you usually have to open the floppy drive case and use a Q-tip with a drop of alcohol to swab the heads (gently, of course). Be sure the cotton tip doesn't leave strands behind. It is important to get any "loose crud" in the whole machine (inside the drive case) cleaned out, but the stuff that sticks tightly enough to resist a gentle blast of air probably won't hurt anything, unless it's where inserting/removing the disk might shake it loose. Non-functional surfaces can be wiped with the alcohol dampened swab.

People used to try to adjust tracking of the floppy drive heads, but this requires software (and skill) not easily obtainable now. I can't recommend that you start bending the head arms to try to do this. If the SD35 can format its own floppy, you might try formatting in the SD35 and then see if your computer can use the disk without reformat. If it can, the head tracking is "good enough" although you may want to format disks in the SD35 instead of in the PC before recording for best readout.

The SD35 gets pretty good ratings in the few descriptions I could find. I'm puzzled by the difficulty of finding even a category of similar machines in current stuff at Roland.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 03:36 AM

I didn't find much of use on the web when I did a search.
(There was one which was sold for only 60 Euros last year!)

The unit has occasionally reported disk errors in the past, but now it is failing on every disk, although reading part of them, enough to start playing the file and then stopping. So it MAY just be cleaning that is required.


Notes:
We only live 5 miles from the Roland UK offices, and dropped it in yesterday.

Roland confirmed that the controller chip could only handle 720k drives, and maybe only specific models at that. They didn't think it would be able to run an HD drive, even in DD mode, as the controller wouldn't recognise it.

Roland discontinued this unit several years ago, and do not market an alternative. It was basically the same technology as their MIDI keyboards, with sound module and floppy disk, but without the keyboard itself. Although technically very good, it wasn't understood by most singers. For example, they didn't realise that you could put a whole set (up to an hour or more) on one disk, in the right order, and therefore complained about a lot of disk changing being necessary.

I suppose there wasn't enough demand, and most singers seem to use MiniDisk nowadays. The advantage of using MIDI is that you can change the key or mute a single voice 'on the fly', even mid-tune. My wife is an Alto, which means that she rarely sings a song in the original key.

We did try an Italian unit last year, which has a HD or flash card (not sure which), and can hold many more songs, but although it worked, the sound quality was awful when compared with the Sound Canvas module (We had them side by side to compare). And it didn't have a MIDI out, so we couldn't just use it for the storage.

If Roland can't fix the problem, then we may resort to some of the posibilities mentioned above. It CAN format disks, I think, but unformatted DD disks are even rarer than formatted ones.

In the long term, I want to try driving the sound module directly from a laptop, via USB or Firewire interface to MIDI in, thus bypassing the floppy drive.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 07:04 AM

pavane -

Even if a disk has been formatted, it can always be reformatted. Of course, when you reformat a disk, all the data on the disk is erased.

In order to read a disk accurately, the read head has to center on the tracks on the disk, and occasionally the arm that "reads" the disk gets misaligned slightly relative to the positioning mechanism. With a "standard" format, the track isn't quite under the head, and errors can result.

The disk itself is just a uniform coating of magnetic material. At least for a floppy drive, there are no "built in" tracks, so formatting, or reformatting, puts the tracks where the device that does the format thinks they should be.

If you re-format the disk in the machine that's going to read it the track (or at least the track markers) will be written so that it's aligned with the head, and sometimes you get a better read - even if the data is written with another drive that tracks a little differently. (Of course the best track alignment happens when the same device does both the read and the write on the disk.)

"Track drift" used to be something of a problem even on Hard Drives. The original track location, established by the format of the disk, could not be "corrected" without reformatting - and of course erasing all the data. If the alignment of the heads "drifted" the disk became unreliable. Any new "data bits" would align with the new head locations, but the track markers eventually might be somewhere else. Gibsons "SpinRite" program solved the problem for hard drives, by permitting a rewrite of the format markers without moving the data. Since a "new" write of the track markers would automatically be wherever the heads were, the disk was "saved" without resorting to a reformat and then restoring everything.

The problem doesn't seem to appear in newer Hard Drives, possibly because the track-to-track spacing has become so small that the makers have had to eliminate the problem to make them work at all.

Track alignment was always a problem with floppy disks, but was seldom noticed simply because most floppies were usually read by the same drive that wrote them. Exchanging data via floppy "sneaker net" between machines, though, could result in lots of read failures, especially with a little "age" on the drives. I can recall "mapping" the machines in the office to track which ones could/couldn't read floppies made by which other ones. To get stuff from machine A to machine B, you might have to go to machine C, which could read A's floppy, and rewrite the data on C so that B could read it, since B could read C but not A - etc.

Of course there are lots of other things that can go wrong with a floppy drive too, and Roland is in the best postition to tell you what can be done with your unit.

Assuming that you'd like to stick with the MIDI format, your least painful option might be to just get an up to date keyboard and put a dust cover over the keys. Quite a few of them that I've seen (without doing any real investigation) seem to have memory - floppy or card types - and MIDI in and MIDI out ports.

Most of the computer based MIDI setups let you change the "sample set" so I would suppose it might be remotely possible that you could put the Roland set on the Italian unit and get something closer to the sound you want(?).

The most "sophisticated" MIDI playback systems I've seen recently have been in a couple of church organs, so you might find something more like your present unit at one of the organ makers. Baldwin and Allen come to mind, but I haven't looked to see if either has anything like your present unit.

The PC solution does seem to have a lot to offer, if you can set it up to match your performance needs.

John


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 03 Jun 04 - 11:41 AM

John,
Thanks for your trouble and suggestions.

1. I am aware of reformatting, and the problems which can occur between different drives. When I get the drive back, I will see if I can format a disk. The position at the moment is that it will not properly read ANY disk. Roland have now quoted ($200) for a repair, as they are able to obtain a drive, but it will take 3 weeks. Seems pricey, but what can we do?

2. We do have a good Yamaha MIDI keyboard (at least, my son does) which we can use in an emergency. But Dawne does not want to lug it to gigs if possible, she already has enough kit to carry.

In the next few days, we are going to try to capture the output from the Keyboard, via MIDI out port to the SD35, and onto CD. We will use that until the drive is fixed.

The Italian unit is not actually MIDI, it imports into its own format.
Don't know if it has downloadable sounds, as we didn't check for that.
(We like the Sound Canvas sounds.)

The problem with the laptop solution is that one person who tried has reported buffer overrun problems - the SD35 couldn't keep up with the PC. That maybe due to the USB-MIDI interface that he used, but I don't know.

I HAVE seen a Sound Canvas card for the PC advertised , but it was expensive.

Neil


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 07 Jun 04 - 05:52 AM

All is not totally lost.

The player WILL read a SINGLE file on a disk, provided that it is the only file on the disk, and there has never been more than one file on that disk.

This does tend to indicate to me that the problem is head alignment which gets progressively worse across the disk - is that likely?

If so, is there anyone who could undertake re-alignment?

We have spent the whole weekend copying tracks (one at a time!) to a hard drive, and then onto CD, so Mrs Pavane has been able to fulfil her engagements.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,scotsongs@aol.com
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 09:55 AM

Both my trusty (until now!) SD-35's are exhibiting classic "about to fail" disk drive faults. ROLAND tell me they CAN order new replacement drives for the units. They better have - as they've taken my money and promised delivery. I have used these units three/four nights aweek for ten years and apart from keyswitches failing (they're really flimsy but they give good warning)the units have kept me in good work. I too tried the Itialian job. The GM sound source misses (of course0 the expanded sounds on GS I usually use BUT the MAIN problem with it was a distinct lack of COMPLETELY reliable key action - sometimes meaning multiple (often lots)of stabs to start songs. Occassionally toital hang-ups. Harldy professional - never mind the sound (though I believe there is a GS version out now) Bet it has the same hardware faults/build spec.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:53 PM

Hi,
No, Roland COULDN'T get us a drive. However, I am in touch with someone in South Africa who can supply factory reconditioned drives, but only on an exchange basis. Cheaper than Roland, too

Let me know if you want to try them out.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 28 Jun 04 - 12:57 PM

By the way, we have now got hold of another SD35, so the panic is over for the moment. Mind you, if anyone has one to sell, we would still be interested.

I am glad to hear that we are not the ONLY ones still using MIDI for gigs. Ours is also in use several times a week.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,Dr Keys
Date: 24 Sep 04 - 10:58 AM

Hi there,
I had a similar problem with the Alesis Datadisk a few years ago.
I bought one off the internet and the drive was broken.
Luckily I had bought this as a spare m/c.
I was so incensed by this state of affairs I had a look at the broken drive which was a Sony circa 1994 and bought a job lot of 2nd hand sony drives from a PC reseller specifying that they had to be dble density and from older pc's.
tested all individually with the Datadisk, and most of them worked fine.
Still have 2 or 3 left, if you want to try a couple , or can send digital foto's so you can inspect the connection and jumper arrangements.
Contact me at home thro
www.a-maze-duo.com

hope this helps


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,jhune
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 06:50 AM

convert your high density floppy disk to double density,
so u can use it in your midi player.
    by blocking the hole on the right side of your hd diskette.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: Brakn
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 07:06 AM

I use a Yamaha MDF2 disc reader(which is also obselete) along with a Boss Dr. Synth. You can pick them fairly regularly on eBay.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: The Fooles Troupe
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 07:12 AM

GUEST,jhune has an idea,

but why would an old DD drive even try to recognise a HD disk - it shouldn't even have the sensors to differentiate. Back in the TRS80 days & even before those days, one could always use a higher density disk in a lower density drive without any worries.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 11:04 AM

jhune, it was the DRIVE which was broken. I have plenty of DD disks. And by the way, the hole is in the HD disks, not DD. These have different magnetic characteristics and MAY not work properly in all DD drives. It apparently needs a stronger field to write than DD disks, and not all DD drives can provide it

The Roland controller will only work with a specific model of drive which is no longer available.

I DO have an address of someone who can recondition the drives, but I have also bought a coulpe of second-hand SD35's now, so problem solved.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: Dave Bryant
Date: 28 Oct 04 - 11:41 AM

It's the disk drive not the media itself that has to be 720k. The existing drive seems to be on the blink. It's a pity but I recently chucked out an old system unit with a 720k drive in it.

Mind you I still have a 5.25 floppy reader in my current PC - I recently used it to convert a whole load of WORDSTAR documents into WORD ones on a 1.4m floppy for a friend.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,Rob syme
Date: 15 May 07 - 04:25 AM

Can anyone help me?
Just purchased a roland sd 35 sound canvas and it works great on most of my purchased midi files, but my own creations leave a "sur" display and the unit is unresponsive nor plays anything. Any ideas?


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,backseatelvis
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 01:58 AM

hi folks,
i have a near new sd35 here in australia. if you want it pls email king.kong@telstra.com
rgs
j


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: Bernard
Date: 06 Sep 08 - 05:01 AM

Just to throw an extra spanner in the works... there is no reason why an HD drive shouldn't work in your Roland, but it would function as a 720.

It will not recognise HD floppies, but should read and write 720s okay. The only problem would occur when writing to disks that aren't blank, because HD 'tracks' are narrower than 720 tracks. This problem would only be apparent, though, if you tried to then read the floppy with a 'real' 720 drive, because there would be two lots of information per 'track'.

You would get 'general failures' if you tried to use an HD floppy without the hole blanked off, though.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 09 Sep 08 - 02:20 AM

Hi again.
I have a lot of experience with the SD35

(We are still using them. Yes, backseatelvis, I would be interested in purchasing another one in good condition. Also any Double Density 720k disks. Note that HD Disks formatted at 720 do NOT work)

It is NOT possible to connect ANY floppy drive, I am told it expects a specific model. Neither will HDD drives work as far as Roland knows.

Rob, If your own files do not work, it is probable that they exceed the number of tracks allowed in format 1. Limit for the SD35 is 16 MUSIC tracks, though other tracks with just control or text information do not count. If you want more, you have to create them as format 0. If your sequencer cannot handle format 0 (unlikely) there are conversion programs available.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 10 Sep 08 - 01:40 AM

backseatelvis
My mail to your email address is being bounced.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:13 AM

Hi, I have one if you still need. Im in Australia but happy to send it over. Cheers Sarah sassy_elmo_@hotmail.com.au email me!


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 01:18 AM

Currently on e-bay - starting Bid .99c

Roland Midi Player SD-35


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: pavane
Date: 12 Jan 09 - 06:37 AM

Thanks for your help, but I think I have found an alternative.

I have written some software for the PC which can now play MIDI files through a USB port, to my spare SD35 (bypassing the floppy drive).
If that dies, I also have an SC88 which will work the same way.

The PC has several advantages over the Sd35, I can carry all the files in the hard drive and search for them.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST
Date: 30 Jan 09 - 09:53 PM

Re listed if anyone needs one!

http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&ssPageName=STRK:MESELX:IT&item=330303438686


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,peter cook
Date: 30 Dec 09 - 12:05 PM

make sure you have the floppy disc with only one hole in it ,if not tape-up the left one on both sides. also try format the disc


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,Mark S.
Date: 22 Sep 11 - 05:53 PM

Saw the issue with the SD-35 and the "sur" message but did not see any responses. Have read through the manual but could not find definition of this message. Same problem as above, records tracks with the unit however creations done on different Roland product do not play.


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate

Subject: RE: HELP - problem with MIDI player (SD35)
From: GUEST,Duffy
Date: 06 Dec 16 - 06:52 PM

My SD-35 midi player will not light up, plug it in and nothing happens. Any help? Email    ptrunzo1@rochester.rr.com Thank you


Post - Top - Home - Printer Friendly - Translate
  Share Thread:
More...

Reply to Thread
Subject:  Help
From:
Preview   Automatic Linebreaks   Make a link ("blue clicky")


Mudcat time: 19 February 11:11 PM EST

[ Home ]

All original material is copyright © 1998 by the Mudcat Café Music Foundation, Inc. All photos, music, images, etc. are copyright © by their rightful owners. Every effort is taken to attribute appropriate copyright to images, content, music, etc. We are not a copyright resource.