1 2 Previous Next 21 Replies Latest reply: Jun 30, 2006 6:36 AM by Paul D. Mathias
Till Erb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hi all,
I know it is probably not the exact right forum to post my issue, but it is the most relating one: I just return from Frankfurt Messe, where I tried to get an answer regarding Mlan driver development. Supposedly there were one gentleman called Craig Linster who would be the only one to help me with my issue. Unfortunately he was not around at the stand and I had go on to met my other appointments.
As the ones who are using M-Lan might know, at the current driver stage it is not possible to configure M-Lan devises to be wordclock master in an Mac based recording set-up ( It is possible on PC). As discussed at the forums at <<http://www.01xray.com/forums/index.php?Cat=7>> Apple supposedly lost interest in further support of PPC code, as they focus on Intel. This leaves an whole community of M-Lan user with an half working set-up with the urgent need of any comment from Apple regarding this issue. So if any of the readers of this post know how to contact this gentleman Craig Linster ( Supposedly the Audio guy for the developer community) or have any other helpful comment, please let us know!
Thanks in advance!

iMac G5   Mac OS X (10.4.5)   Yamaha 01x/i88x
  • 1. Re: mlan driver
    michaelhuisman Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    I'm not so sure your information is correct...

    Please see Yamaha's post on the 01xray forums. There is an interesting thread going on over there about this. Seems to indicate some vendor cross-finger pointing, that we as customers don't need to see, but considering the mLAN drivers have not been udpated since 10.3.7, it's about time!

    I hope they get this fixed ASAP!

    Here is the link and text:

    http://www.01xray.com/forums/showflat.php?Cat=7&Board=01X_Macintosh&Number=24791 4&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=&fpart=1

    Future mLAN Driver releases
    We realize that many people have been posting questions regarding mLAN and driver development and waiting for Yamaha to respond. We wanted to take this chance to give you all a detailed update on many things that Yamaha has been working on and give you as much information as we can. There are many changes that are happening on both the PC and MAC side of the OS and we have been doing a considerable amount of development on many fronts.

    First, next week we will release a new version of the mLAN driver that is compatible with Windows XP Professional X64 edition. Although it appears that the Vista release has been delayed, we wanted to make sure that mLAN was compatible with future OS releases so this 64-bit driver release is an important one from that point of view.

    Second, in May we plan to release a version of the mLAN driver for the PC that addresses the Latency Offset issue. The engineers spent a significant amount of time to make sure that they completely understood the issue and have decided on the best technical path to solve this. We are announcing this planned release significantly in advance of the actual release date because we have confidence will solve the issues that people have raised.

    All of the investigative work that went into the latency offset issue on the PC is well understood on the MAC side as well. As those of you who are familiar with Apple policies know, we cannot comment on any future Apple releases as this is against Apple’s corporate policy. Yamaha and Apple engineers are continuing to cooperate on core mLAN capabilities. Work is currently in progress on future mLAN development and the same issues discussed above are being addressed. The fact that Apple is committing resources to supporting the mLAN platform can only be viewed positive. We wish we could be more specific on releases as we have been on the PC side, but as you understand we cannot.

    Finally we are going to let you know about a product that will be released at Frankfurt Messe. The GO46 is a peer -to -peer (non mLAN) Firewire I/O. .

    Whenever Yamaha releases a non-mLAN product, people always question why it does not support mLAN. Typically it is a decision based on price and target market. None of our lower cost keyboards include mLAN functionality. Yamaha supports a wide range of digital interface technologies including SPDIF, ADAT, USB, Ethernet and mLAN. We select the appropriate digital interface technology for the market needs of the target customer. If you look at the marketplace, the vast majority of Firewire audio devices currently sold are simple peer-to-peer I/O devices. For many customers, a simple peer-to-peer I/O fits their needs perfectly and they have no need or interest in advanced networking capabilities.

    We are working on several new products that will be released in the not so distant future that are mLAN compatible and we will continue to develop a variety of products for different customers with different needs. Here is a quote from an article from the 1394 Trade Association that discusses 1394 in general and Yamaha’s position on the future of 1394 products specifically.

    "Yamaha helped to develop and has supported 1394 audio and MIDI standards for more than 10 years. We believe FireWire is one of the best methods for transporting audio," said Athan Billias, marketing director for technology products at Yamaha Corporation of America. "We have seen the first wave of simple FireWire audio I/O products, but there is the potential for different devices targeted to specific market needs. For example, we see the need for simple peer-to-peer devices, network-capable devices such as Yamaha's mLAN products, and for devices that take advantage of aggregation in the OS." He added that at the Frankfurt Music Messe, Yamaha would introduce the GO46, the company’s first peer-to-peer mobile FireWire audio/MIDI interface, which can be powered via the 6-pin FireWire cable.

    g5.quad, g5 2.20 and PB 17"   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • 2. Re: mlan driver
    Till Erb Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the post. It was one of the reasons for my try to speak about it to someone in person at the Apple stand. It took Yamaha several month to come up with this statement, so I thought it would be an good opportunity for Apple too, to show at least some respect to their customers, even if it is just a statement that they know about these issues and that they are working on it.
    May be if this threat will have some more posts it will help, so be welcome to add your comment!
  • 3. Re: mlan driver
    michaelhuisman Level 1 Level 1 (60 points)
    ok. I see what you wanted to do...

    this is a weird situation actually. Yamaha chose to take the architectural high road and let OSX handle the base mLAN transport stuff, and thereby tied the evolution and quality levels of how their stuff works to another vendor... MOTU, for example didn't do this. Yamaha said, "we're true CoreAudio, the others aren't". Okay, thank you, but what did it really buy them as a vendor, or me/us as a customer? I had to upgrade to a Quad just to get extra CPUs to "absorb" the CPU spiking going on. The Yamaha developed bits, the Graphic Patchbay and Auto-Connector are clearly kludged as well... OK, they work... sort of...

    My tradeoffs looked like this:

    I wanted off of my analog desk.
    I have a Motif ES8 that I wanted to get audio out of in a digital form.
    Some kind of remote controller for Logic seemed like a good idea, but was not required for now.
    I needed to have decent inputs, and more than 8.

    I went for an i88x (sounds gorgeous), mLAN16E interface for the ES8, and to bring some old external synths in, a Behringer ADA8000.

    Enter problem #1, created by Yamaha... you can't route individual outputs of out mLan gear on Mac like you can on WinTel. Bizarre. The above list of gear are all I/Os, not mixers... there's a max of 32 mLAN inputs, and I had 34. What's the prob with 34? the LAST two channels of the mLAN interface for the Motif ES8 carry the stereo pair (the most used), so I had to tell the graphic patchbay that all 16 channels were in use even though they weren't.

    Although I was pulling my hair out, one thing was certain, this setup sounded BETTER than my MOTO 828, the clock coming from the Mac was not a bad thing (while connected to the mac).

    I had to add an 01/X at a cost of about 1200 euros to get an mLAN mixer inbetween the mLAN network and the mac so that I could mix/route thru that thing, then bring it into the Mac.

    Worthwhile, yeah probably, bigger remote, straightforward, nice effects to use during tracking (compression for example). Amazingly, the 01/X doesn't have balanced outputs for monitoring, and the mic pres aren't in the same league as the i88x.

    Then came the the CPU spiking issue which was blowing existing projects out of the water with overloads while they didn't overload with the MOTU stuff... I took a chance and got Apple to get me one of the first quads, and it has enough headroom that there has been perhaps only 2 instances where one of the CPU spikes has happened on a CPU that Logic was using at the same time as such that things overloaded...

    So, it all works...

    My workaround costs? the quad, the 01X, and probably a week of work.

    Oh yeah, still need a decent PCIe fireware card, my external firewire drives aren't usable yet...

    Bottom line, it works... on my quad. The dual G5 is sitting on my network, and can be used as a node...

    My PB17", which I wanted to use live with the ES8 and just a single firewire/mLAN cable between the PB and the Motif, well I've not even tried it because of the CPU spiking.

    There's not a universal binary from Yamaha for the auto-connector and/or the graphic patchbay. I'm not sure why they haven't done this, assuming that Apple included their bits that support mLAN in OSX on Intel, it should be pretty easy for Yammy to compile targetted to OSX on Intel. Even the drivers that they released back for 10.3.7 (yep, these are current), as is, would take some advantage of the new Intel hardware and proc power. Releasing it however could perhaps expose that there's not actually been much of anything done... Dunno... it's an interesting choice...

    What's the CPU spiking prob and why is this probably Apple's thing to solve? The CPU spikes are paired with a bunch of context switches, and it seems like it's stuff that Apple changed with the intro of 10.4... I think that this is something that Apple should fix ASAP, it can't be that hard, but is probably zero on their priority list. Infuriating how the existing mLAN users with significant investments in Apple and mLAN get to choke with the new Apogee interface being touted as "developed together with...". Or are these guys going to looking for drivers when 10.6 comes out and have nowhere to turn to too? Dunno.

    Am I disappointed in BOTH vendors???

    Oh yeah... definitely!

    Can they solve this?

    Sure, Apple, get your bits to behave on 10.4 and higher. Yamaha, put real resources on this.

    Oh yeah, and TALK... Finger pointing doesn't help... Solve it, come out with a combined statement... Yamaha's statement reads as if Apple is MSFT (who I used to work for)... What's up with that???

    End of day, my stuff works, ok, I paid for Logic 7.2 and simply cannot understand why my flagship quad isn't utilized as it should... the yamaha bits are a UI and usage nightmare, but a few clicks here and there and it works, for now...

    This could have been love... it's just necessary participants if things stay as they are...


    g5 quad, g5 2x2.0, PB 17"   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • 4. Re: mlan driver
    T7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    The poor mLAN support, the transition to Intel, the integrated Intel graphics on the new Intel Mini..Just a few of the reasons my next machine will be a PC dual booting Kubuntu Linux, and XP. I've been a staunch Mac user for years, but their recent direction is beggining to p!ss me off. Granted I plan to hang on to my PowerPC Mac Mini.

    N/A Mac OS X (10.4.5)
  • 5. Re: mlan driver
    T7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    ...Congratulations Apple, you've made a switcher(tm) out of me!

    N/A   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • 6. Re: mlan driver
    blueintheface Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Yes, but you obviously don't need to run pro app's for audio or video.

    And providing you're happy using the Terminal to do anything more than rudimentary, then Linux is great, and when they have the new graphics compositing in place, Windows will look even more pointless. I'm doing Linux for other things - but not audio.

    I've been with the Mac forever (System 6). Apple have had a hand in kick-starting so many major technology innovations over the years, from the GUI to USB, FireWire and plug 'n' play. It's a shame that mLAN now seems to be getting the attention of HyperCard or OpenDoc - technologies that only became successful almost a decade after Apple had dumped them. mLAN has so much potential, but the pro-audio crowd are fractured - between those that can get by without such potential, and those that can afford huge sums for more proprietary technology that actually delivers on its promise.

    I bought into mLAN because of its incredible potential - which it has yet to deliver on. Like the possibility of a low-latency multi-channel audio/MIDI network comprising multiple computers as well as mLAN instruments and interfaces. And configurations being transparently saved within the host application which so far only Steinberg (Apple's competitor) has bothered to implement.

    I'm waiting for the next update (I've been waiting 6 months already) and, when it does come, if it doesn't finally deliver at least stable, lower-cpu usage, then I'm confident I won't be the only one bailing out.

  • 7. Re: mlan driver
    T7 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Blah, blah, blah.

    N/A   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • 8. Re: mlan driver
    ElmerJFudd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've decided to post here simply to express here that it is imperative Apple deliver an update to their operating system addressing the needs of their Mac/mLAN users. Specifically, (1) sync from a device other than the Mac, (2) no more CPU bursts, (3) and no more random offset.

    Apple has consistently pushed their user base (including Mac musicians) to adopt new technology without blinking an eye. As Mac users we appreciate their efforts to offer us the "latest and greatest" and, more often than not, we quietly adapt even though it requires redundant purchases.

    The replacement of ADB with USB required us to purchase new MIDI interfaces (I still don't own a USB interface as nice as my old MOTU MIDI Express). The replacement of OS9 with OSX forced us to purchase new versions of our audio software and plug-ins (thanks eMagic for making Logic 5.5 for OSX a free download for those that purchased 5.5 for OS9, our Cubase counter parts were not so lucky with SX). The switch to Intel is requiring us to purchase Universal Binary versions of software we already own and wait for new drivers for our hardware.

    I accept much of this as progress and will not whine too loudly, but this line of thought returns me to the focus of this thread... Apple, what are you doing to support your user base that has specifically bought into the notion of Audio/MIDI networking on the OSX operating system? We have purchased fast macs to deal with the CPU requirements, we have purchased hardware with mLAN I/O, we have upgraded to Logic Pro 7, upgraded to OSX Panther and to Tiger for this... please fix the issues that still exist with mLAN on OSX that are Apple's responsibility (including the promise to support both intel and PPC). This includes (1) being able to sync from a device other than the Mac, (2) no more CPU bursts, (3) and no more random offset.
  • 9. Re: mlan driver
    Jeffason Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)
    hear this..its true advice from experience...

    I used to have a Presonus Fire-something. It was the first mlan capable audio input device.

    Tons of problems, etc. When it worked, it was great. luckily I unloaded it on ebay. I also went through two USB audio devices. MOTU 828mkii was the most glorious experience compared to what I had gone through. Everything just works.

    I once was told that if you have problems from the beginning with a piece of gear, you will always have problems with a piece of gear. How true was this advice...

    Waiting for something to be fixed is worthless. I feel very sorry for all the mac users who were caught by yamaha's mlan. I am one of you. Its true sympathy.

    I am not a yamaha hater. I had an ES6 but definitely did NOT go the mlan route. My buddy on a PC is having a great time with 01x and ES8. Even tho it sounds great ( for example, with mlan16e, the analog output board, i88x and an ES you can have something like 18 analog outputs from a single keyboard! ) it just does not work on a mac well.

    The best I can say is to repeat advice once given to me, If a piece of gear gives you trouble from the beginning, it will always give you trouble. I believe that is why 30 day return policies exist.

  • 10. Re: mlan driver
    ElmerJFudd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Don't be misled by my post as far as progress is concerned. We are currently using mLAN B/S400 devices (as opposed to the mLAN A/S200 devices like your Presonus Firestation was). On Mac OSX Yamaha and Apple have agreed to work on two necessary components for the technology separately. Apple doing the streaming driver and necessary core audio/MIDI implementation and Yamaha writing the applications (autoconnector, graphic patchbay, studio manager, etc.). The state of affairs today is dramatically different than it was during the initial run of Presonus Firestations, Apogee AD-8000, Kurzweil KSP8, etc.

    1. S400 devices have the necessary speed and bandwidth to do what mLAN promises.

    2. mLAN from about OSX.3.7 - X.4.5 is quite stable with Logic Pro 7 and better on CPU than previous releases. We would like to see CPU improved, and CPU spikes resolved (this is far more of an issue on G4s than G5s - dual G5s have enough head room to work effectively. As stated above, Quad G5s have enough headroom to do just about anything).

    3. mLAN sounds great. The low jitter in an mLAN network has audibly better sound than many hardware/driver combinations from other manufacturers.

    4. The release of innovative devices like the 01X and i88x (well priced heavily featured products) as well option mLAN I/O on Yamaha's entire pro mixing line and the Motif ES is more than enough of an incentive to build an mLAN network.

    5. We now have Graphic Patchbay software which allows us to develop all the routing in our studios with the mouse, save those set-ups, and recall the files. It is perhaps the most desirable aspect of mLAN. Gone are the days of climbing behind a rack to run all sorts of cables and physically patch I/O. This is indeed where the industry needs to go.

    Anyway, I mention some of these things here to highlight why the mLAN community has grown so quickly and feels so passionately about this technology. Please visit us at http://www.mpsn.com/ and http://www.01xray.com (which has become the place for information on mLAN).

    Now, back to the focus of this thread:
    Apple, we need you to spend some R&D time on an update that addresses our issues with your technology. This includes (1) being able to sync from a device other than the Mac, (2) no more CPU bursts, (3) and no more random offset.

    Dual 2.0 G5 / PCI / 4 RAM slots   Mac OS X (10.4.5)   Logic Pro 7.2, 01X, i88x, mLAN
  • 11. Re: mlan driver
    ademusic Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just want to add my voice to the requests for timely mLAN support. It is ironic that Yamaha made the bold decision to hsve mLAN be a part of OSX, surrendering control of driver development and release to Apple, only to find that this has resulted in an mLAN community of Mac users who have been in limbo for months and months. This is the result of Yamaha being both gagged by their NDA with Apple - and having had no software produced to solve the significant limitations and inefficiencies of mLAN on the Mac.

    According to Yamaha, this NDA with Apple prevents Yamaha from making statements which could indicate to the public when OS updates are coming and what might be in those updates.
    This situation has created a lot of bad feeling in the Mac/mLAN community. Silence on the matter of development, especially when the technology has been implemented so poorly on the Mac, inevitably fuels dissent and conspiracy theories. Yamaha assure mLANers that their engineers are working with Apple but are limited in terms of stating specific delivery dates. With such an unreasonable amount of time having already elapsed, it is only specifics which will allay fears.

    If Yamaha cannot comment, then the mLAN community have only one source of information - and that's Apple. Yamaha tell us that development is underway - but cannot tell us when we are likely to see the fruits of that work. mLAN on the Mac lags seriously behind the PC. Apple, is this the intended benefit for a major manufacturer like Yamaha who places their development in your hands?

    In fairness, it must be said that the PC users have been subjected to frustrating delays which are, obviously not the fault of Apple. Yamaha must bare some responsibility for the slow and shabby support - and the interminable silence on that platform.

    When all's said and done, there is a community of mLAN/Mac users who bought into the whole idea because Apple were directly involved - and that equated to best possible integration. mLAN users now need to have Apple fill in the gaps that the NDA produces. We need to hear that this equipment will not fall to pieces before the support arrives. We need to hear Apple's take on mLAN development and to hear whether there is likely to be progress within the next 6 months- because Yamaha cannot tell us.


    G4 Dual 1ghz   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  

    G4 Dual 1ghz   Mac OS X (10.4.5)  
  • 12. Re: mlan driver
    Jeffason Level 1 Level 1 (40 points)

    I shall simply share my views with the numerated list of points you addressed.

    1. I realize my Firestation was a first generation mlan device. Does that mean I was not allowed a working audio device? I dont think so.

    2. Stability? After 3 years of consumer beta testing, I'd hope it was stable. Dual G5 needed for something like 24 maximum channels of audio input? You gotta be kidding me...

    3. If the jitter is so great, why do you need the ability to sync externally?

    4 +5. i88x, very cheap! But I think its to makeup for the fact you will need to buy a Dual G5 to get it to work well. Additionally, with these massive software sampler libraries, advanced software synths, logic's environment, "normal" firewire audio interfaces with internal routing mixers, etc the trend has been to go a Virtual Studio, thereby greatly reducing the amount of cables.

    I've posted/been to all the keyfax forums. Once you "free" yourself from mlan, you realize you have time to spend doing other things. Like here I am still talking about mLan troubles and I even sold my interfaces a couple years ago. :D\

    It is my speculation that Apple hasn't spent much time perfecting mLan because there is no real incentive, and perhaps they feel the technology is not the best.

  • 13. Re: mlan driver
    ElmerJFudd Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Jeffason, you've misinterpreted the purpose of my post if you think it was intended to belittle your experiences with the Firestation. My point was that the 01X, i88x, and/or any of Yamaha's high end mixers are really nice products that work well with mLAN. It is clearly in a new stage. That is all. Furthermore, the post was meant to express why the mLAN community is so interested in progress on Apple's end.

    I will however address your pointed comments where necessary.

    1. No, who could possibly suggest that you don't deserve a working audio device? Not sure why you came to that conclusion.

    2. Agreed, the last time we saw CPU improved for mLAN B/Mac users was in X.3.7. It needs improving, no doubt.

    3. The jitter is very low. You misunderstand why it would be desirable to have other devices be the wordclock master. Right now Mac users are forced to have the computer be master. But if you own a high quality mLAN card like the MY16mLAN in a high end mixer like the DM1000, you would obviously want the DM1000 to be wordclock master, not the Mac.

    4. The i88x is cheap because it was a slow seller at the original price point. Besides the fact that the device is a few years old and Yamaha's competitors have been releasing competing preamp boxes for half the price of what Yamaha wanted for the i88x.

    Your speculation about Apple investing time in other technologies is obviously more than speculation. We can see that from their new partnership with Apogee in their ENSEMBLE. The OSX integration is very nice. They introduced it at NAMM this year and it has been a part of the LogicPro Road Show for a few weeks. http://www.apogeedigital.com/products/ensemble.php

    Anyway, the mLAN community is not satisfied with what is being done to improve our situation and a few of us came here to voice that. That's all, Jeff. No offense to you intended.
  • 14. Re: mlan driver
    zibba Level 2 Level 2 (255 points)
    bump. 1st of May. New drivers this month.
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