Integra 7 Hardware Review

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Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby adriangin » 19:02, 24 October 2016

Hey guys,
I've done a hardware review of the Integra 7 as well as downloaded the contents of the 4GB SD Card for you. Guess what?! It contains all the SRX Waveform data!

ROM: 384MB + 780MB on SD Card
RAM: 256MB (Waveform & Effects) + 8MB for CPU
USB Host Ports: 2 (1 for Memory, 1 for Wireless LAN)
USB Device Ports: 2 (1 for MIDI/Audio, 1 for ??? )

https://adriangin.wordpress.com/2016/10 ... re-review/

Enjoy
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby lol » 09:34, 25 October 2016

Hello and congrats! I hope you like the sounds in this synth. Thank you for this hardware review, it's so interesting to have a dev/engineer point of view on this!

Roland is not a very kind user friendly firm, they try to become one, at product launch they usually make a lot of promises, but hardly follow up passed legal obligations... It's the same for all their products, they are never fully developed, because the only purpose of selling them is to make more money and income for the greedy shareholders of its board.

So that's very sad for the users, who all inevitably conceive mixed feelings about the brand Roland and their products : we quite necessarily have Roland gears in our sets, we hate the brand for what it is, and we end up disliking the particular aspects of their products they never developed or bug proofed properly...

They appeared to care about this in the recent years, because they nearly crushed during the 2008 recession, but new shareholders have taken it back to business as usual. Right now they are surfing the wave they tried to set as the "new cool Roland", and their effort is to turn to emerging markets to take the money where it is, this is why they design less ambitious and more affordable low quality mainstream products. But this wave will break as inevitably as the interest of these new markets, when they will too realize the brand is just a half ass, unable to deliver promises and very quick to abandon after sales product development when the money line is reached.

There doesn't seem to be a solution to this, unless you're ready to develop a tool to allow for converting custom samples into the SRX format. I see a first step to this, if you copy and rename one of the SRX on the SD card, can you see it on the Integra's interface, can you load it? If yes, it means more data could be loaded. Then, it would take to figure it out what how the samples are compressed in there. We know the architecture of the synth, all we would need is the format of the expansion data.

If you have the skills to investigate about this (I personally have none in this field, but maybe other users would?), maybe you could come up with a software solution to convert user samples into SRX expansion format. And then I'm certain many of us would be happy to even pay some to be able to use it, if you decided to make some with this work. In the past, various such third party software, or even hardware expansion boards, have been used in many synths, it wouldn't be unseen.

Anyway, the Roland development plan the way it is purely driven by the financial profit, despite all they can market to say they're cool and planing on the long term, is bound to crash and collapse in this world, because more and more people can actually make sense of technical data, and realize what a scam some of their so called premium or flagship devices are in reality : mean budget pieces of crap they don't even consider fit to fix or bring to their potential for the patient people who actually bought them with their hard earned money. The Integra-7 is kind of an exception to this list of half baked goods, it was designed at the worst time of the crisis to serve as a life jacket for a company that was drowning. That's why they put so much of their tech in it at the time. It worked, they sold many of them, and business went back as usual as they swapped their board entirely via a management buyout maneuver to trump bankruptcy.

Do you think they could have followed up and give this device a nice after sales life, as a symbol of their renaissance? Nope they certainly didn't, they let it down, as they always did.

The only exception to this let down/public disappointment policy, is when the marketers indicate there would be a surge in sales if a firmware would unleash the hardware potential of a device. Last time it happened was with the Boss (Roland) RC-505 looper, when they released a firmware 2 years after initial launch, multiplying by 6 the DSP treatment ability of the thing (...), and they only did it because the very narrow beatboxers community had found consensus to reject the product unless they did it right.

See, we will not see tomorrow an update to the Integra-7, it is now in the limbos at Roland, past and gone for good, and this is why you will as well conceive hate for this crooked entrepreneurship of theirs soon enough, as well as the rest of their users in the entire world...
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby adriangin » 14:56, 25 October 2016

Yea, too optimisitc for a 'Audio Sample Expansion' eh?

I can extract the expansion data from the SD Card containing the SRX partials / waveforms.

But what and how would you work it?
We also need the patch information to use these 'partials'.
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby LA Keys » 19:50, 25 October 2016

adriangin wrote:I can extract the expansion data from the SD Card containing the SRX partials / waveforms.

But what and how would you work it?
We also need the patch information to use these 'partials'.


The big challenge here is to find the format of the waves. You don't really need the patch infos. If you're able to store a PCM wave with the correct format and attached informations (wave number and name) you can then access it via a patch that you create or edit. We can already edit patches via the Roland or k_take editor, this is not a problem.

I'm pretty sure that it's just about the same as the original SRX format. I don't see why Roland would have gone into the trouble or changing that. Your calculations about the size of the file(s) stored on the card also suggest that. This being said, that doesn't solve the problem in any ways because no one beside Roland knows how the waves are stored on the SRX card :(

This reminds me that a while ago I thought that this would be cool to be able to make my own SRX card with the waves I'm really using since this would eliminate the very long waiting time required to load a file from the CF card on the Fantom X.

Hummm, now just thinking: Is that possible that user's waves are the same format? This was impossible to test with an (hardware) SRX card, but much easier to try on the Integra SD Card. I guess I should have a look at the file strored in th SD card...


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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby adriangin » 20:36, 25 October 2016

What are the load times for the CF on the XR?
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby LA Keys » 20:58, 25 October 2016

adriangin wrote:What are the load times for the CF on the XR?


It really depends of how much samples (how big) you need to load. Worst are multi-samples. I personally found that anything usable for me will take between 5 and 15 minutes. This is just way too much, which is why many gave up on this. Loading a full SRX card converted into samples, if possible, would certainly take much longer than this...

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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby LA Keys » 21:04, 25 October 2016

In my case I gave up on using samples with the Fantom X, but what's interesting to me is that if we have a way to save our own sample on the SD card then I'm thinking that I could create and edit the samples on the Fantom X, which work fine, then save it on the SD card of the Integra. This would bypass the need of sampling directly from the Integra.

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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby bluesplayer » 23:19, 25 October 2016

Actually be interesting first to see how large an SD card could be installed not give load/access errors and have it still, correctly,address the SRX sample data.

Then see if an XV-5080/Fantom XR user sample set could then be installed on the SD card and at least be read. Then we might be able to use external editor to create PATCHES - or some variation on that theme to allow user samples for user patches
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby PauloF » 03:24, 26 October 2016

LA Keys wrote:
adriangin wrote:What are the load times for the CF on the XR?


It really depends of how much samples (how big) you need to load. Worst are multi-samples. I personally found that anything usable for me will take between 5 and 15 minutes. This is just way too much, which is why many gave up on this. Loading a full SRX card converted into samples, if possible, would certainly take much longer than this...

LA


Did anyone managed to see the file/data format on the SD card?
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby LA Keys » 06:06, 26 October 2016

PauloF wrote:Did anyone managed to see the file/data format on the SD card?


I'm looking at it right now...

- There's a single files with the BIN extension. size= 4.0Gb, quite a big chunk to investigate

- There's some data at offset 0x00400000. that's before dtata start position 0x00B7D7D0 mentioned by adriangin.Not much there. There's a mention of DOS 5.0 and FAT32 format. At least this is a know territory :)

- Nothing important until 0x00B76E00: Mention of SDIF format (that could be very useful!) and date of 2012/07/03

- As mentioned by adriangin data really start at 0x00B77400
- Data end at 0x30ADE7A4. Probably in line with adriangin mention of 700-800 Mb of data.
- The end of the file is 0xEEEFFFF8

Not much for now but I'll try to compare the structure with something well known. To be honest I have limited time to do this and low expectation, but who knows, maybe I'll find something.

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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby adriangin » 08:48, 26 October 2016

I should also mention that the bin file you are looking at IS the ISO of the SD Card, not the file found in the SD Card.

The FAT32 SD Card showed an empty 3.82GB card with no files on it.
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby PauloF » 13:12, 26 October 2016

adriangin wrote:I should also mention that the bin file you are looking at IS the ISO of the SD Card, not the file found in the SD Card.

The FAT32 SD Card showed an empty 3.82GB card with no files on it.


Meaning... no content?

This should be the actual 4 slots ?
That makes sense...
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby adriangin » 16:51, 26 October 2016

PauloF wrote:
adriangin wrote:I should also mention that the bin file you are looking at IS the ISO of the SD Card, not the file found in the SD Card.

The FAT32 SD Card showed an empty 3.82GB card with no files on it.


Meaning... no content?

This should be the actual 4 slots ?
That makes sense...


The content does not show up on the FAT32 system. As there is 256MB is RAM and each SRX is 64MB, we can assume that the 256MB is dedicated to the expansion slot system.

The SD Card holds around 780MB worth of data, but it is not in the FAT32 FS.
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby skinmechanic » 20:41, 8 November 2016

The question I'm asking is can the 4 slots be extended so can you for instance install an 8gb SD Card and increase the 256mb to 512mb so there is enough room for everything else for instance ? 8 expansion slots?
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Re: Integra 7 Hardware Review

Postby LA Keys » 23:12, 8 November 2016

skinmechanic wrote:The question I'm asking is can the 4 slots be extended so can you for instance install an 8gb SD Card and increase the 256mb to 512mb so there is enough room for everything else for instance ? 8 expansion slots?


You don't need to increase the size of the SD card since there's 'only' 780MB of data on the SD card (see OP).
Then you certainly need to increase the onboard RAM in order to have 8 slots. This is 'technically' possible but require adding/replacing components on the pcboard...

The 'firmware' is where you will hit a wall... This would be a HUGE challenge for anyone but Roland to modify the original firmware to accomodate new features.

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