MATRIXSYNTH: Opcode Studio 5 LX

Friday, July 18, 2008

Opcode Studio 5 LX

images via Mark via this thread (note this is for sale): "The OpcodeStudio 5LX is a Macintosh MIDI interface. Bitd, this was a monster. It has twice the computing power of a Mac Plus , 256KB of RAM for internal patch storage, 15 MIDI inputs and 15 MIDI outputs. It has two foot switch inputs, a foot pedal input that also accepts logarithmic CV, SMPTE in and out, and an input to sync to audio.

Apparently, some people have been able to get it to work as an interface with OS X. Please take a look on the web. It can also be configured as an extremely powerful stand-alone patchbay/filter with any Mac that can run OS 9, 8, or 7. It can filter, merge, re-channel, split by note and velocity, re-assign and modify control values, etc. It can route MIDI data from any combination of inputs and internal programs to any output. These patches can then be recalled via program change.

This unit has been upgraded to the latest ROM, and includes the original ROM chips, original box, software discs, and all the manuals. It is in excellent cosmetic condition. I'm the original owner, and it worked perfectly the last time I used it, but I have no way to test it now.

Questions and comments welcome.

Email: mark (at) primatesynthesis (dot) com"


  1. Hmm. I'd be curious about how anyone actually got one of these things to work with an OSX box, unless it's an old one. Not only do you have the problem of obtaining a driver that will work with CoreMIDI, there's also the matter that most OSX-capable boxes don't have RS232, and those USB-to-RS232 boxes don't support external clocking. If there was a way to get it to work, that would be great, but it seems like an awful lot of trouble.

  2. If your Mac has a working serial port, the system software will see the interface without any other special drivers. Opcode stuff runs under OMS on the old MacOS. Mac serial is actually not RS232, it is RS422 - which is similar but uses twisted pairs for differential transmission/reception. There are various after-market cards which can offer a "real" Mac serial interface, they are cheap and work really well. I much prefer using serial for MIDI exclusively so it doesn't compete with other USB devices like dongles, drives, keyboard, mouse, etc. It's fast and tight.

    I have indeed used my Opcode Studio4 in OS X with no problems. The only trouble with 5lx is that it has a powerful patch librarian, which there is probably no current Mac software for. So if you want to use it as a patch librarian, it might need to be in standalone mode. But for basic MIDI I/O it should work fine in OS X. Studio5lx IMO is the best MIDI interface ever.

  3. Hank Juszkiewicz should eat the corn out of my shit.

  4. Yet another reason to hate Gibson for absorbing and then destroying Opcode.

    While we're at it, let's also remember they did the same to Oberheim. Evil, thy name is Gibson.

  5. I concur with the comments about Gibson, they seem like fucking vultures. And they don't even *use* the technology they buy these companies for... It's not only a matter of "not as good as they used to be", they just instantly run these companies into the ground and forget it ever happened. We're lucky that David Z was able to buy Max/MSP back from them.

    Gibson supposedly bought Opcode because they (Opcode) invented the first USB MIDI interface, and Gibson wanted to have it. Within a year or two Opcode was dead and every other company out there makes their own USB MIDI gear anyway. What a waste.

  6. Hi

    please tell to a knoobie: what is the purpose of a MIDI interface? a friend has a Opcode Studio 4 and want to give it to me, but I don't know what is for to use it with my synth {I own 5 hardware synths}.
    Thx for your answer :)



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