So I recently came across a situation in which it became clear that I was
going to be able to run either Windows XP or Linux FC2 on my old Dell
Dimension workstation (it having been relegated to second PC status with
my acquisition of a work-supplied Shuttle XPC 3.2GHz P4 a couple of months
ago), but not both — I could not get FC2 to properly install a boot
loader if Windows was installed first, and Windows wouldn’t install if FC2
was installed first.
I decided that one OS was enough, and settled on Fedora Core 2 (I actually
began with Fedora Core 3, but backpedalled when it became clear that I
would not be able to get *any* audio applications compiled and running
under FC3, but that’s another story).
Then I remembered that I would not be able to run Recycle, MESA or
Millenium to dump samples to my Akai S2000 with if I was running Linux
(not that i really use the ole S2000 much anymore anyway, but it was the
principle of the thing), and had a brief moment of panic before I decided
I would give VMWare a whirl.
My friend Paul had mentioned to me recently that VMWare seemed to have
exemplary device pass-through capabilities, so I thought to myself: “self,
I wonder if I can get SCSI sample dump running under Windows XP while it’s
running under VMWare emulation?”
I downloaded a demo copy of VMWare, and proceeded to install it, then
Windows XP, then after a brief confusing period trying to get bridged
networking mode working, got the network running under NAT and all seemed to be
I thought that it might be a good idea to get VMWare configured such that
it’s audio output would work with artsd, which is the resident sound
system server under KDE, and a flip of the google later, I found
vmwaredsp and quickly had
VMWare piping the Windows XP audio out to the artsd daemon.
Then, I wondered how I would get VMWare to recognize the Akai sampler as a
valid SCSI device, so I probed /var/log/messages where I found that Linux
was recognizing the sampler as a generic SCSI device at /dev/sg0. I then
went through the VMWare config settings, and added a new generic SCSI
hardware device to my Windows XP virtual machine at, where else, /dev/sg0.
After a quick chmod to allow read and write access to all users for that
device, I fired up my Windows XP virtual machine, and lo and behold, it
came up in the “Found New Hardware Wizard” complete with accurate vendor
Realizing that while this was a good sign, it still meant absolutely
nothing in terms of securing my goal, I proceeded to install the ASPI
layer for Windows XP, and then Recycle 1.7, and rebooted.
With fingers crossed, I fired up Recycle and asked it to look for the S2000.
It found the sampler! I then loaded up the Windows startup sound, chopped
it, saved the MIDI file to the desktop, and arrived at the moment of
Would it send to the sampler?
I clicked the lightning bolt icon and watched in amazement as it sent all
7 slices of the Windows startup sound to the S2000. It worked! How cool is
that? Subsequent tests with MESA and Millenium cemented the conclusion.
Windows XP run under VMWare absolutely supports SCSI sample dump to Akai
Not only that, VMWare is fast as hell. I benchmarked it with SiSoft
Sandra, and found that as far as the CPU was concerned, Windows XP running
under VMWare on my 1.2GHz Celeron Tualatin was about as fast as a 1GHz P3.
Not too shabby.