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Author Topic: MusicQuest 8Port/SE parallel (Jun 1996) MIDI Interface win3.1/95 pc-only  (Read 6928 times)

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Online chrisNova777

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https://fccid.io/FUS FCC id was filed on 1996-06-27


MusicQuest 8Port SE
trying to find manufacturing date
i believe this is from fall/winter 1995

but it may predate that aswell

driver version 1.5 is dated July 17, 1996
originally for windows 3.1 & windows95

driver: http://web.archive.org/web/19980212062017/http://www.opcode.com/downloads/pc_hardware/

The MIDIEngine 8Port/SE is the premier MIDI interface for all IBM compatible notebook, laptop, and desktop computers. The 8Port/SE offers eight independent MIDI ports to drive 128 channels, full patchbay operation when not used with a computer, and complete SMPTE support for multi-track tape and audio/video applications.

Distinctive Features

For all notebook, laptop, desktop, and tower PCs
8 independent MIDI ports, 128 channels in and out
High performance nonmultiplexed multi-port operation
Data compression and FIFO buffers on all ports
Parallel printer port connection for easy hook up and transport
Full SMPTE support--syncs to and generates all formats
Adjustable freewheel for bullet-proof synchronization
Automatic SMPTE in regeneration to SMPTE out
Patchbay operation independent of computer
Powerful matrix-based MIDI routing and filtering
Eight user programs specify unique MIDI processing for different equipment configurations
Front panel or computer selection of user programs
Footswitch/trigger input
Windows Patchbay software for 8Port/SE setup and control
Multi-client Windows driver is included
Attractive single space 19" rack enclosure
Music Quest design quality assurance
Any IBM compatible with a parallel printer port
MIDI compatible instrument(s)
Standard MIDI cables to connect instruments
Audio cables with 1/4" phone plugs for SMPTE
Music software
MIDI Interface
The 8Port/SE's eight independent MIDI ports provide 128 MIDI channels on both input and output, with true nonmultiplexed, multi-port operation. All inputs and outputs employ MIDI data compression to further enhance throughput, and use deep FIFO buffers to avoid data loss. All ports also include MIDI message processing features (see Patchbay Operation below) and front panel LEDs to monitor MIDI activity. Using the included DB-25 M/F cable, the 8Port/SE may be connected to a standard parallel printer port of any IBM compatible, including notebook, laptop, desktop, and tower models. The printer port connection allows easy transport and hookup of the 8Port/SE to different computers; special printer port capabilities are not required.
SMPTE Synchronization
The 8Port/SE fully supports syncing to and generation of all SMPTE formats. Adjustable dropout protection--"freewheel"--insures truly flawless sync, even with marginal or corrupted time code. Incoming time code is automatically regenerated--not merely duplicated--to SMPTE OUT so damaged sync tracks may be easily re-striped. Sync connections are made to 1/4" phone jacks, typically connected with simple audio cables directly to a tape deck. A front panel LED provides visual feedback of SMPTE activity. SMPTE striping and SMPTE-to-MTC conversion are effective from the computer or in patchbay mode. MIDI Time Code messages may be transmitted to the computer and/or to selected MIDI output(s).

Patchbay Operation
The 8Port/SE functions as a MIDI patchbay and SMPTE processor even when not used with a computer. The 8 x 8 configuration allows routing or merging of any MIDI input(s) to any MIDI output(s), with powerful message filtering, channel filtering, and channel change functions for each MIDI input/output combination. Eight custom user programs, specifying unique MIDI processing for different equipment setups, are stored in nonvolatile memory and easily selected with a front panel push-button switch.

Software Compatibility
The 8Port/SE Windows driver supports all Windows multimedia programs.

Multi-Client Windows Driver
The 8Port/SE includes a multi-client Windows driver for use with all Windows multimedia applications. The driver allows multiple Windows programs to simultaneously access the 8Port/SE for MIDI input, output, and SMPTE sync. Both standard and 386 enhanced modes are supported.

Windows Patchbay Software
The included Windows Patchbay program allows the user to program, retrieve, and save 8Port/SE user programs; dynamically change MIDI routing and filter settings; and stripe and verify SMPTE tapes

« Last Edit: October 09, 2018, 07:21:11 AM by chrisNova777 »

Online chrisNova777

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Re: MusicQuest 8Port SE parallel MIDI Interface (Sep 1995) win3.1/95
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2016, 10:40:30 AM »
further info from the readme

MIDIEngine 8Port/SE Notes
July 17, 1996
Driver version 1.5
:                           I M P O R T A N T !
: This file provides information not included in the 8Port/SE User's Manual.
: You may find here information which solves a problem you are experiencing
: or which you may later encounter.
: That section addresses several specific issues relevant to proper
: operation of the printer port in some computers.

: Automated Driver, Patchbay, and Utilities Installation Using the Setup Application
: Manually Installing the Windows Driver under Windows 3.1
: Manually Installing the Windows Driver under Windows 95
: Resolving Windows 95 Printing/Midi problems
: Viewing and Editing Windows' SYSTEM.INI File
: Making Connections and Applying Power to the 8Port/SE
: 8PSEDIAG Diagnostic Program
: Special Printer Port Notes
:     Beware Other Printer Port Drivers
:     Disable the LEX01.386 driver
:     Disable Printer Port Arbitration on Some IBM Corp. Computers
:     Micro Channel and Similar Printer Ports
:     "Inverted" Printer Port IRQs
: 8FIXPORT Program
: 8Port/SE Sysex Commands
: Obtaining Technical Support

Automated Driver, Patchbay, and Utilities Installation Using the Setup Application

The 8Port/SE now includes a software application that makes installation of the driver,
Patchbay program, and Utilities quick and easy. To use this new feature, follow these steps:

1. Insert the driver diskette in the A: or B: drive, as appropriate for your system.

2. In Windows 3.1:  from the Program Manager "File" menu, choose "Run..."
    In Windows 95:  click on the START button, then choose the "Run" menu item.

3. In the dialog box that appears, type  A:\setup  or  B:\setup (depending on your drive name).

4. Hit ENTER or click OKAY. The installer will then guide you through the installation process.
When you have finished, the 8Port/SE driver, Patchbay program, and Utilities will have been
installed for you. Enjoy using your 8Port/SE!

Manually Installing the Windows Driver under Windows 3.1
(without using the "Setup" application)

1. Start Windows.

2. Insert this disk into drive A: or B:.

3. From the Program Manager, open the Control Panel and click on the
Drivers Icon.

4. Click on the Add... button and select 'Unlisted or Updated Driver'
from the list of drivers. Click on OK.

5. Type the name of the drive that contains the disk with the ME8PSE
driver. This is the same disk as in step 2 above. Click on OK. Windows
will copy the necessary files.

6. A driver setup dialog will appear. Select the desired printer port
and IRQ to which you will connect the 8Port/SE MIDI interface. IRQ 7 is
the correct interrupt number for most installations.

7. Click on OK to close the setup dialog. Windows will indicate that it
will restart to complete the installation of the driver. Click on
'Restart Now'.

Manually Installing the Windows Driver under Windows 95
(without using the "Setup" application)

1. After launching Windows 95, click on the Start button and select
Settings/Control Panel. The Start button is located in the lower left corner
by default.

2. Locate and double click on the Control Panel icon ADD New Hardware.

3. You are now in the Windows 95 Hardware Wizard. Click the 'Next'
button to continue to the next screen.

4. In the Add New Hardware Wizard, Windows will ask if you wish to
do an auto search. Click NO, then the 'Next' button to continue installation.

5. You are now presented with a list of Device types to install.
Scroll down and select 'Sound, video and game controllers.'

6. Once you have selected Sound, video and game controllers, click on
the 'Next' button.

7.  In the Add New Hardware Wizard, scroll down the Manufacturers list
and select Music Quest.

8. Once you have selected Music Quest, click on the 'Have Disk' button.

9. Windows 95 will now ask you where the Install disk is located. If you
know the correct path to the driver, type it in. Otherwise you can click
on the Browse button and it will function the same as Windows 3.1.

10. In the Select Device dialog, select the driver for your interface.

11. With the driver selected, click on the 'OK' button. A progress Dialog
will appear, showing you what is to be installed on your hard drive.

12. The Install Wizard is complete. Click the 'Finish' button.

13. The Wizard now allows you to configure your interface.  Please
consult your Music Quest manual for interface configuration instructions.
When you have completed the interface's setup, click the OK button.

14. A System Settings Change dialog will appear, asking if you wish
to Restart your computer. You must click Yes for the changes to take effect.

Resolving Windows 95 Printing/Midi problems

By default, Windows 95 checks the status of a Printer. This may cause problems with
Printing/Midi operations. If you are experiencing these kinds of problems please try the

1. After launching Win95, click on the Start button and select Settings/Control Panels.
By default the Start button is located in the lower left corner.

2. Locate and double click on the control panel Printers.

3. Locate and double click on your Printer.

4. The new window that opens should be that of your Printer. Locate the menu item labeled Printer.

5. Click on the Menu and select the item Properties.

6. In the Properties window, click on the Details tab.

7. Locate and single click on the button Port Settings. This button is located in the lower right
corner of the window.

8. In the Configure LPT Port you should see a setting labeled "Check port state before printing".
Try unchecking this option so that it is off.

9. Click OK repeatedly to close out all the previous dialog boxes.

10. Once done, restart Windows 95.

Viewing and Editing Windows' SYSTEM.INI File

Some sections below reference the SYSTEM.INI file. If you need to
examine this file or make changes to it, you should follow the steps
given below. Since the integrity of this file is crucial to proper
Windows operation, you must exercise great care in making changes.

(In the following, be careful not to confuse the SYSTEM.INI file with
the \WINDOWS\SYSTEM subdirectory).

1. Start Windows File Manager.

2. Change to the \WINDOWS subdirectory.

3. Copy the file SYSTEM.INI to a new file called SYSTEM.MQB. This
creates a backup copy of SYSTEM.INI in case changes made to the original
file lead to improper Windows operation.

4. Exit File Manager.

5. Start Windows Notepad, and open the file SYSTEM.INI in the \WINDOWS

6. Using Notepad, examine the file and make necessary changes, if any.

7. If you made changes, save the file using Notepad's File | Save

8. Exit Notepad, then exit Windows.

9. Restart Windows and check that the system operates according to the
changes you made to SYSTEM.INI.

If there are problems with Windows operation which did not occur prior
to changing SYSTEM.INI, you may want to revert to the original
SYSTEM.INI file by copying the SYSTEM.MQB file back to SYSTEM.INI, using
the reverse of the procedure outlined in steps 1-4.

Making Connections and Applying Power to the 8Port/SE

IMPORTANT!: As with any electronic device, you should be very careful in
connecting the 8Port/SE to other equipment and to a power source.
Failure to connect your equipment properly may result in damage to the
8Port/SE and/or connected equipment. Such damage is not covered by the

You should NEVER make printer port connections when power is applied to
any system component.

8PSEDIAG Diagnostic Program

>>>>>>>> Function

The 8PSEDIAG program is one of the 8Port/SE utilites that is installed when you run
the Setup application (see above under "Automated Driver, Patchbay, and Utilities Installation
Using the Setup Application"). 8PSEDIAG allows you to quickly check basic 8Port/SE operation. 8PSEDIAG cannot examine your entire system, so even if 8PSEDIAG works as expected, there is no guarantee that everything is going to work correctly. However, the program is quite useful in helping to pinpoint a problem, as follows:

1. If the 8Port/SE DOES NOT function correctly with 8PSEDIAG, then there is
probably a problem with the setup of your printer port or with the connection
of the 8Port/SE to your printer port.

2. If the 8Port/SE DOES function correctly with 8PSEDIAG, but you have
problems running Windows applications, then this is a good indication
that there is a problem with your Windows setup (e.g., other drivers
using the same IRQ as your printer port).

>>>>>>>> Running 8PSEDIAG

8PSEDIAG must be run from DOS. To run 8PSEDIAG, move to the directory in which it
resides using the DOS CD command, and type from the DOS prompt:


and then press the ENTER key.

Special Printer Port Notes

The 8Port/SE will work properly with all "IBM-compatible" printer ports.
However, there is wide variation in the design and quality of printer
ports, and some require special attention. Be sure to read the
MIDIEngine 8Port/SE User's Manual for details.

>>>>>>>> Beware Other Printer Port Drivers

Some drivers for printer ports may disturb operation of the 8Port/SE or
its drivers. These printer port drivers may configure the printer port
in a manner which is inappropriate for the 8Port/SE. Symptoms of resulting
problems are wide ranging--from bad MIDI timing to no MIDI operation at all.
Such problems have been encountered with:
      - older drivers for HP's LaserJet 4L and some DeskJet models
      - network drivers accessing a printer port connected network device
      - some print cache programs which supply their own printer drivers
        or replace Print Manager
If you have difficulty using the 8Port/SE and have special printer port
drivers similar to the above, you should either replace those drivers
with their Microsoft equivalents or disable them when you're using the
8Port/SE. Consult the driver provider for details.

>>>>>>>> Disable the LEX01.386 Driver

If your SYSTEM.INI file has an entry


you may need to disable it, since this driver can interfere with the
8Port/SE's Windows driver. To do this, edit the SYSTEM.INI file as
previously described, and put a semicolon (;) at the start of the line.
The line would then appear as:


>>>>>>>> Disable Printer Port Arbitration on Some IBM Corp. Computers

Some computers manufactured by IBM Corporation provide a feature
referred to as "Printer Port Arbitration." PS/2 models 56 and 57 and
some ThinkPads are specifically known to have this feature, and other
models as well. Using the computer's setup program, you must disable
printer port arbitration or it will conflict with the 8Port/SE's usage
of the printer port.

>>>>>>>> Micro Channel and Similar Printer Ports

Some computers made by IBM Corp. and a few other companies have a
printer port that causes IRQs to be lost under certain circumstances. In
this case, you may find that playback and/or record stops abruptly or
proceeds in a decidedly herky-jerky manner with "bunched" notes. IBM
Micro Channel computers, early IBM ThinkPads, some IBM Value Point
models, the FlexNote computer, some Tandy computers and a few others
have this style of printer port.

If you suspect you have this type of printer port, refer to the 8FIXPORT
program described in the next section.

>>>>>>>> "Inverted" Printer Port IRQs

Although a very rare condition, a few printer ports use an "inverted"
IRQ signal. This condition is normally only found on printer ports of
older design. In this case, you may find that 8PSEDIAG shows an IRQ
problem, that MIDI playback or record stops abruptly and will not
resume, or that your software doesn't recognize the interface. (There
are other possible causes for these problems as well).

The 8Port/SE has a provision for handling the inverted IRQ problem.
However, you should first consider all other possibilities for a
solution as this condition is rarely encountered.

If you believe your printer port has this problem, refer to the 8FIXPORT
program described in the next section.

8FIXPORT Program

>>>>>>>> Function

The 8FIXPORT program is another of the 8Port/SE utilites that is installed when you run
the Setup application (see above under "Automated Driver, Patchbay, and Utilities Installation
Using the Setup Application"). 8FIXPORT is used to cause the 8Port/SE to take special
action in support of certain problematical printer ports. As of this writing, this program can remedy the problems posed by (1) Micro Channel and similar printer ports, and (2) Inverted printer port IRQs, as described in the previous section.

>>>>>>>> Running 8FIXPORT

8FIXPORT must be run from DOS. To run 8FIXPORT, move to the directory in
which it resides using the DOS CD command, and type from the DOS prompt:


and then press the ENTER key.

First, select the printer port number you are using for the 8Port/SE.
Tell the program whether your printer port is normal or a Micro
Channel style port. Then tell it whether the port has normal or inverted
IRQs. These settings are retained in the 8Port/SE, so you need not run
the program again unless you choose the wrong settings.

The 8Port/SE ships from the factory this way.


8Port/SE Sysex Commands

Some users may wish to control the 8Port/SE's many features via system
exclusive messages. For details, consult the file SYSEX.TXT included
on this diskette.

Obtaining Technical Support

Before contacting us for technical support, please thoroughly read the
rest of this file and the 8Port/SE User's Manual for possible solutions. The vast
majority of problems relating to 8Port/SE usage are covered in this material.

>>>>>>>> Try to Isolate the Problem to the 8Port/SE

To the extent possible, try to isolate the problem you are experiencing
to the 8Port/SE. In some circumstances, this can be difficult, so don't
hesitate to contact us if you are uncertain. Still, we receive a huge
number of technical support inquiries which actually turn out be be
related to setup of music software. We are happy to help in finding a
solution in any case, but of course software-related problems will be
resolved most quickly by referring to software user manuals or by
contacting the software developer.

>>>>>>>> Contact Us Directly

We strongly recommend that you contact us directly, instead of your
dealer, for technical support for the 8Port/SE. Computer and music
stores generally stock a very wide variety of products and cannot
possibly be expert in the use and setup of all products in all
situations. Further, we feel it is our duty to you to provide advice in
proper usage of our products, and of course no one can know more about a
given product than its manufacturer. The vast majority of problems users
have are merely setup problems, and we should be able to help you make
corrections quickly. Even if you are technically inclined and feel
certain that the 8Port/SE is defective, you should contact us first
before returning the unit to the dealer. The 8Port/SE is tested twice at
the factory, and, as nearly all the products that are returned to us are
actually good, obtaining a replacement unit from your dealer will
usually not solve anything and typically only result in more time and
trouble on your part before a problem is resolved.

>>>>>>>> Be Succinct in Describing the Problem

Most problems users experience in their MIDI setup have occurred to
other users as well, and as a result, we typically have heard about
these and know their solution. Therefore, when you contact us, please
first quickly describe the problem you are having, and let us determine
what other information is required. We will usually be able to describe
a solution with just a minimum of information from you.

Online chrisNova777

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Opcode hardware is not compatible with Windows 98, Windows ME, or Windows
Microsoft changed the configuration of those programs, and our drivers
will not interface.
There is a workaround for Windows 98, Ill attach it here.
Microsoft Windows 98
Microsoft Windows 98 Second Edition

IMPORTANT: This article contains information about editing the registry.
Before you edit the registry, make sure you understand how to restore it if
a problem occurs. For information about how to do this, view the "Restoring
the Registry" Help topic in Regedit.exe or the "Restoring a Registry Key"
Help topic in Regedt32.exe.

When you attach a device to the serial port on your computer and run the Add
New Hardware tool in Control Panel, the device may not be detected.

WARNING: Using Registry Editor incorrectly can cause serious problems that
may require you to reinstall your operating system. Microsoft cannot
guarantee that problems resulting from the incorrect use of Registry Editor
can be solved. Use Registry Editor at your own risk.

For information about how to edit the registry, view the "Changing Keys and
Values" Help topic in Registry Editor (Regedit.exe) or the "Add and Delete
Information in the Registry" and "Edit Registry Data" Help topics in
Regedt32.exe. Note that you should back up the registry before you edit it.
If you are running Windows NT or Windows 2000, you should also update your
Emergency Repair Disk (ERD).

To work around this issue, disable Advanced Power Management (APM) for the
serial port. To disable APM for serial devices, change the data value of the
EnablePowerManagement binary value in the following registry key from 01 00
00 00 to 00 00 00 00:


Here is a fix an end-user submitted to make the Windows 95 drivers work with Windows 98, 98se, and ME:

Click on START. then click on Run
Type in Regedit and click OK.
(Registry editor opens up the system registry)
Go to HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\VxD\VCOMM
Change the setting so it reads:

This may allow the Windows 95 drivers to work in newer operating systems, however this does NOT work in Windows NT, 2000, or XP.

Online chrisNova777

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apparently the 8port/SE is only compatible with  windows 95! +(presumably windows 3.x)

The only fly in the ointment is that some older hardware and software is no longer being actively sold and supported, and if you still use an elderly soundcard or MIDI interface, or a software application that is more than several years old, you may have an insurmountable problem if you find a conflict after upgrading. One brought to my attention recently is the Opcode 8Port/SE MIDI interface (which is now discontinued). Sadly its Patchbay utility has some problems running in Windows 98; although Opcode do suggest a workaround, the fact remains that in cases like these there is little likelihood of Windows 98 versions of discontinued software ever being written. This could be an important consideration that is worth checking before installing Windows 98 -- after all, the last thing you want is to have to spend yet more money replacing other PC hardware and software.  http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=3700.0

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if you want to use an Opcode 8Port/SE use driver version 1.62 and enable "backwards compatibility" in the driver properties - versions 1.50 + 1.60 dont work with sound diver 3.0

quick note re: logic / sounddiver on win9x

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he 8PortSE is a MIDI interface designed for Windows that uses parallel port for communication with the computer.  It is a versatile MIDI Patchbay/SMPTE sync device that supports 8 MIDI Ports (both In and Out).

It is renowned for low jitter and low latency and through the extraordinary work of developers such as Earth Vega Connection, drivers are available that work for all versions of windows up to Windows 10.  Not bad for a device that was originally designed for DOS and Windows 3.1.

Below are all drivers I have been able to find for this device, going back to the original floppy that shipped with the unit, through Windows NT, XP, 7 and 10, as well as the original manual.

The latest driver is a recertification of the Windows 7 driver created by Earth Vega Connection, and was undertaken as a community project through https://www.gearslutz.com/board/music-computers/950166-8port-se-earthvega-directmusic-driver-revival.html

We have not been able to find the manual or drivers on the web through either the original manufacturer (Music Quest, who was acquired by Opcode, who was subsequently acquired by Gibson), and we provide those manuals and drivers here as a service to users who still wish to use this device. If you are the copyright holder of any of the material available from this page, please contact us, to either formally grant permission for us to provide these materials, or let us know where you are hosting the original files so that we can replace the download with a link to your page.

We thank Earth Vega Connection for permission to recertify their driver and make it available to the public. To obtain the recertified driver, a small fee is payable to offset the costs incurred in purchasing the certificate, and this driver may be ordered here in the near future.

All other drivers and manuals are provided free of charge

http://godlike.com.au/fileadmin/godlike/hardware/8portse/8Port162a.zip (dead link)
http://godlike.com.au/fileadmin/godlike/hardware/8portse/8portnt.zip (dead link)
http://godlike.com.au/fileadmin/godlike/hardware/8portse/Dos3196.zip (dead link)


Mike Vangen

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Re: MusicQuest 8Port/SE parallel (Jun 1996) MIDI Interface win3.1/95 pc-only
« Reply #6 on: September 16, 2018, 07:43:26 PM »
I bought an 8port se and cant get it to work.
I have the settings i used back in 96 through 99 before selling it but its still not working.
it didn't come with a cable so i'm wondering if that's the problem.
I have C modem DB25M port cable m/f.
Does anyone have more info on the proper cable to use?

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Re: MusicQuest 8Port/SE parallel (Jun 1996) MIDI Interface win3.1/95 pc-only
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2018, 11:25:06 AM »
should be any db25 cable that is able to connect it properly to a parallel port
check the manual

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some users are trying to get this item to work in windows 8.1 + windows 7
see this thread