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#150158 - 02/10/12 01:42 AM [Off-Topic] For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7297
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
My venerable Ensoniq VFX-SD may finally be giving up the ghost. I'm in a songwriting frenzy right now, and I'm getting loads of funky stuff happening with this thing - primarily related to banging and pounding on the keys. I do know that there's an issue with the main PCBs with this axe. Ensoniq used a huge edge connector between two long rather cantilevered PCBs inside the case. I actually found some pictures of this awhile back and posted somewhere here in PG forums.

I love the keyfeel on this keyboard. I really don't want to give up on it, but I can't take the time to repair it at present either.

-Scott

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#150159 - 02/10/12 08:25 AM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: rockstar_not]
Mac Offline
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Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Describe the fault you are experiencing *exactly* as well as you can, step-by-step and let's take it from there.


--Mac
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#150160 - 02/10/12 09:15 AM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: Mac]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7297
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
A. upon slightly energetic playing, any one of the following occurs:

the LED panel will either blank out, with one segment of one of the characters looking as if it's receiving all the energy intended for either the whole character or the whole panel

The LED panel will blank totally

The VFX SD will report any one of a couple of keyboard error numbers (I still have the manual and should be able to look these up)

B. This ALWAYS occurs with the failure: midi data is interrupted and 'locked' causing a need to cut the end-to-end audio function of the DAW software, shut down DAW software, shut down audio interface, repower audio interface, relaunch DAW.

I've set the VFX aside for now. I'm down to my M-Audio Oxygen 49, which has the keyfeel of a 10$ garage sale Casio.

I WILL be opening up the VFX to look for mechanically related items - no errors from it when not playing, display is fine, etc. So IMO, I've got some chips that need re-seating, connectors to reseat, etc.

-Scott

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#150161 - 02/10/12 12:41 PM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: rockstar_not]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4167
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
The issue with mine (A VFX that was NOT the sd model) was the keyboard freezing, and that was resolved by hard soldering 14 wire jumpers between the 2 "half motherboards". Your fix may be something similar. My VFXsd that I bought at a pawn shop has never worked. Maybe we could Frankenstein them into one good one....
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Why does the Department of DEFENSE want a weapon with first strike capability? Wouldn't that be the Department of Offense?

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#150162 - 02/10/12 12:42 PM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: eddie1261]
eddie1261 Online   content
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Registered: 04/08/11
Posts: 4167
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
And I know of exactly ONE place to get these fixed, that place being in PA, near Philly.
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Why does the Department of DEFENSE want a weapon with first strike capability? Wouldn't that be the Department of Offense?

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#150163 - 02/10/12 02:45 PM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: eddie1261]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7297
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Quote:

The issue with mine (A VFX that was NOT the sd model) was the keyboard freezing, and that was resolved by hard soldering 14 wire jumpers between the 2 "half motherboards". Your fix may be something similar. My VFXsd that I bought at a pawn shop has never worked. Maybe we could Frankenstein them into one good one....




I had that repair done years ago and perhaps it's failed. It has been over 15 years since I had mine fixed the first time. If that's it, it's definitely user serviceable, though tedious.

-Scott

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#150164 - 02/10/12 04:09 PM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: rockstar_not]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
Scott,

From the reported symptoms I suspect power supply problems, either dried out electrolytic capacitors or possibly a three-terminal regulator is going out or from years of heat has simply desoldered its ground pin.

Inspect the underside of the board under all or any three-terminal regs and resolder if it looks flaky, check the voltages of each and if the DC voltage isn't spot on the voltage for that partigular reg, replace it.

A quick way to determine if electrolytics have dried out is to heat that area of the board and the caps with a hair dryer (NOT a heat gun, hair dryer on high is enough) and then fire the thing up and see if you have better operation. If you do, shotgun those eleclectrolytics with appropriate value and voltage for each one.


--Mac
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PGmusic FAQs, Tutorials and Updates! click here

You must be Audiominds.
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#150165 - 02/10/12 07:11 PM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: Mac]
rockstar_not Offline
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Registered: 01/14/02
Posts: 7297
Loc: Colorado Springs, CO, USA
Thanks - this won't happen for at least a month, but I will bookmark this thread for future reference.

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#150166 - 02/11/12 02:41 AM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: rockstar_not]
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 6470
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
This sounds like a similar problem I had with my old Kurzweil K1000. I bought it new in 1987. I started losing sound from random keys and the display was going wonky. I bought a new keyboard and gave that one to a friend who used it as a sound module and controled it from another old keyboard. Finally one day he opened it up and played with a big ribbon cable inside and some of the keys came back. He finally cludged a regular old PC IDE cable and fitted it and it worked.

I just discovered something similar with my 2001 Mercedes CLK430 that I just bought. It has a partial digital readout in the instrument cluster. The pixels are known to go out with that dash as the cars get older. Merecedes wants $900 for a new cluster. Over on the MBZ forum there's a guy who posted nice pics of how to fix it and it involves a similar small ribbon cable with two clips on each end that power the display but those clips are not quite strong enough to make a good solid connection. He took a very small screw and drilled a equally small hole in the board right next to the connector where there's no soldered parts. The screw head gives just enough pressure against the middle of the connector along with the two clips at the ends to insure a good connection and problem solved, the pixels light right up. I mention this because the dealer I bought the car from had to fix my dash as part of the deal and they use a guy who charges $350 and this fix takes maybe an hour and costs what, 5c for the screw? Circuit boards are remarkably simple to fix in some cases. Btw, the instrument binnicle pops right out with two wire hooks that anybody can make.

Mac, you're an opportunist you should check this out. If I wasn't so busy doing taxes I might start a little side business. You have any idea how many Mercedes there are around here?

Bob
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#150167 - 02/11/12 09:17 AM [Off-Topic] Re: For Eddie and anyone else with a 23 year old Ensoniq [Re: jazzmammal]
Mac Offline
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Registered: 05/29/00
Posts: 38502
Loc: Chesapeake, Virginia USA
I have indeed had a few keyboards pass over my testbench where a ribbon cable failure of some kind was the culprit. Most times a cleaning of contacts or a simple blanket replacement of said cable is the cure. In the case of the mentioned Ensoniq, desoldering the cable pins and hard soldering the ribbon cable from board to board is the preferred method that lasts. In the case of this particular Ensoniq, it was stated that the ribbon cable had already been hard-soldered at a previous time. If that is still holding up, and no other ribbon cables have failed, the power supply would be the next logical area of investigation for this kind of fault. The good news is that the problem is most likely to be caused by one or the other, going by the number of them I've worked on, which isn't a statistically significant amount, really. The older keyboards are actually built like tanks in comparison to some of the newer ones in this regard, the technology of that era tends to lend itself more favorably to less expensive repairs like the ones mentioned as versus the need for proprietary parts replacement, that't the good news.


--Mac
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PG Music News
User Tip - Slowing Down and Looping Audio in Band-in-a-Box®

Forum user DeaconBlues09 created a video tutorial to help answer a fellow forum user's question:
Using the Audio Chord Wizard to tempo map, slow down, and learn the notes of an audio track - video link http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=R09Lf3bHjhQ

Forum thread: http://www.pgmusic.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=467504

Thanks for sharing!

#TBT - Band-in-a-Box® 2006 for Windows Ear Training Fun!

With the release of Band-in-a-Box® 2006 for Windows we added two great games for ear training: Pitch Invasion and Music Replay!

Pitch Invasion helps to develop perfect pitch as you shoot down "alien" notes invading from above (you hear the note sound, and click on the on-screen piano/MIDI or QWERTY keyboard to shoot them down).

Music Replay develops your pitch, rhythm, and melody recognition by replaying what the program plays, in note, rhythm, or melodic modes.

These games can still be accessed with newer versions of the program - in Band-in-a-Box® 2018 you'll find these by accessing the Practice Window or Ear Training Window, both located in the Window drop-down menu. The Practice Window can also be accessed using the Practice button within the main Band-in-a-Box screen (don't see it? CTRL+T to change the view).

Learn all about the features released with Version 2006 here.

Video: Exporting Audio Files in Band-in-a-Box® 2018

Our latest video, Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows - Exporting Audio Files Tutorial walks you through the different options to export your Band-in-a-Box® songs and song tracks from Band-in-a-Box® as an audio file (WAV, MP3, etc.)!

http://www.pgmusic.com/?vid=_Px958TmzhA

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 for Windows Build 516 Update Available!

Band-in-a-Box 2018 for Windows customer can download the latest free patch update here: http://www.pgmusic.com/support_windowsupdates.htm#516

Summary of changes:
Improved: More RealTracks have HiQ transcriptions. Fixed Bass AmericanaSlow16thsByron bad chords.
Improved: The Audio Drivers dialog for WAS devices now shows Bit Depth in the device description.
Improved: WAS audio driver performance has been Improved when using 44.1 kHz sample rate.
Improved: Windows Audio Session error messages contain more specific information.
Updated: Misc. updates to StylePicker database, memos, manuals, help files.
Fixed: "BBW.LST not found" errors when using the Hybrid Style maker dialog.
Fixed: "mono" was being ignored when rendering a batch of songs to audio files.
Fixed: "normalize individual tracks" was only working for MIDI tracks.
Fixed: "One file per track" was being ignored when rendering a batch of songs to audio files.
Fixed: Access violation on bootup if using a Roland audio interface (ASIO) that is not connected.
Fixed: Adjusting Melody or Soloist tracks to fit a new number of choruses was not undo-able.
Fixed: An access violation error might occur in the RealTracks Picker if quickly scrolling and double-clicking to hear demos.
Fixed: Changing a track name using the StylePicker mixer controls might open a hidden popup window.
Fixed: Changing the number of choruses was not undo-able.
Fixed: Clicking on the far left of the Guitar window would cause a "!!!!!" flash message to show.
Fixed: If adjusting the number of choruses in your song, choosing Cancel is ignored when asked, "OK to adjust Melody track to fit new # of choruses?".
Fixed: JazzBebopDannyBrushes sometimes out of sync.
Fixed: Panning the audio track did not work.
Fixed: Some Amplitube presets/styles/demos pointed to a preset which wasn't available in some installs.
Fixed: Some typos and omissions in RealDrums Picker.
Fixed: The [.STY] button in the Hybrid Style maker dialog.
Fixed: The [Get Patch/Drum Kit Info] button in the MIDI drivers dialog would not find the synthesizer documentation.
Fixed: The About dialog was not showing the Fretlight Ready logo.
Fixed: The Audio Chord Wizard would always run in English.
Fixed: The busy mouse cursor might remain after analyzing audio with the Audio Chord Wizard.
Fixed: The PDF driver installer could not be launched from Band-in-a-Box.
Fixed: The Plugins window would be too small when using plugins that have a small GUI.
Fixed: Using a Coyote DXi synthesizer (eg CoyoteWT or ForteDXi) might cause crackling/buzzing noise during playback.
Fixed: Using a multi speaker layout (eg. 4 speakers surround sound) instead of stereo might cause failure to connect to audio hardware with error -9996. This only happened when using WAS as audio driver type.
Fixed: Video rendering would fail if saved using Japanese characters in file name.
Fixed: When saving a Hybrid style for the first time, the File Save dialog should start in the Styles directory.

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Amazing Band-in-a-Box User Comments!

Great program with lots of support through the publisher and after-market. Use it for teaching, practicing, and gigging.
-Andrew L.

I just got my 6th film placement on a song recorded entirely in Band-in-a-Box. You guys rock!
-Terry Fernihough (Band-in-a-Box Endorsing Artist!)

I love this program. I have only had it for around a month but it has made things a lot easier for me. I no longer have to scour the internet for backing tracks. I just plug in the chords I want to use, find the style I want and done. Saving me so much time and being able to transpose into different keys is awesome too.
As the days go on I will be delving deeper into what it can do, importing some of my backing tracks into Abelton 9 to play with and writing some songs.
Best money I have spent on something in while.
-Peter S.

I started using Band-in-a-Box around 1990. It was the DOS version naturally and I used one of those old portable computers with dual floppy drives and a built in 9" monochrome display. I connected midi cables to a great sounding Yamaha keyboard and played my music using midi tracks. I did a demo for a university music class that was a lot of fun. Wow, it is almost unimaginable to see where this product has elevated to today. I have upgraded many times over the past 28 years but each time I am even more amazed. Thank you PG Music for being such a major part of my love for music all of these years!!!
-Dwayne G.

Incredible Software. Great for ignorance and experts and for anyone who wants to deal with music. If you do not have a hobby and want to have one "band in a box" is the best choice. Simple, but if you want to be an expert on it, you need to make an effort to master it perfectly for perfect use. The only disadvantage is if you do not want to become a musician, and use it, you will become a perfect musician. Therefore, be cautious. It's not a toy.
-Ilija B.

I’ve been using it for about the same time (20 years). I’m a trumpet player and just really want some backing on lead sheets. With the Real Styles - it sounds fantastic! Takes just minutes to input chord changes and find the right style. There is so much you can do and I love having the Soloist features to really add color.
-Mike B.

Read even more great feedback here.

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 Danish Edition for Windows® is Here!

http://www.bandinabox.com/bb.php?os=win&lang=da

Band-in-a-Box® 2018 til Windows er klar!

Vi har haft travlt, og har tilføjet mere end 50 nye funktioner og en fantastisk samling af nyt indhold, bl. a. RealTracks, MIDI SuperTracks, Instrumental Studies, Loops, Artist Performances, Amplitube presets og dertil hørende stilarter, 12-tonearter RealTracks og Hi-Q Guitar Notation! Vi har tilføjet 202 nye RealTracks, hvilket er det dobbelte af de 101, vi ofte tidligere har udgivet! Vi introducerer Video RealTracks (40 i genrerne Country, Pop, and Jazz), som fungerer helt som RealTracks, men også har videoer af musikerne, mens de spiller! Vi har også lavet en ny Xtra Styles PAK 4 med 160 nye Xtra Stilarters. (Xtra stilarter er stilarter baseret på tidligere udgivne RealTracks). Der er mere end 200 nye RealStyles baseret på vores nye RealTracks bl.a. Americana, Klezmer, Top-40, Jazz stryger pads, Vokal (ooh og aah), Ny Crooner "Shout" BigBand stilart og meget mere! Vi har en Bonus 49-PAK med 40 ekstra ikke tidligere udgivne RealTracks foruden de 202 ovenfor nævnte, så alt i alt er der 242 nye RealTracks til rådighed! Bonus 49-PAK indeholder også Video RealTracks sæt 1 og 2, 32 nye MIDI SuperTracks, 108 nye Instrumental Studies, 52 Loops og 8 Artist Performances.

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