Project QuickSilver

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by Daniël Oosterhuis, Feb 9, 2016.

  1. Daniël Oosterhuis macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #1
    So, my first PowerMac G4 machine, the 800MHz SP QuickSilver, is going to be my next project.
    I always loved the G4 and G3 Mac designs, and the QuickSilver is no exception. I also love PowerPC hardware, it really has its own characteristic, even if they aren't supported anymore.
    Now, my vintage computer collecting is just for fun, but I really want to use my collection as well, instead of it collecting dust on a shelve. I was thinking about photo editing, but since I'll be getting a MDD tomorrow that most likely has more processing power, I scrapped the idea and will see if I can get the MDD up for that task. That left me thinking for a bit, but then I got it: This will be my audio editing PC.

    -The task: Audio editing
    I edit audio for videos, livestream radio broadcasts (prerecorded shows and little jingles), and audio capturing from physical formats (tape and vinyl). Such tasks do not require massive processing power, and I'm pretty sure the QuickSilver will do it just fine. The software of choice would be a mix of Audacity and Garageband. Audacity recently quit PPC support, but Audacity's current version suits my needs and then some, for many years to come. It can export to 192KHz/24-bit lossless at most, which is more than plenty. The old version of Garageband is still plenty useful as well.

    -Hardware upgrades
    Since I plan to upgrade the MDD's GPU to a Radeon 9600 or 9800, the QS will receive the MDD's GPU if it's a 64MB card. It's still better than the QS' 32MB card, which is kind of sluggish under Leopard, which is the OS I want to run. It'll receive a SATA card and most likely will get a 500GB or even 1TB drive, whatever I can get my hands on. It will not need much space, as most audio will be offloaded to my music drive which is external. Still, being able to archive some of the audio on the QS' hard drive would be nice. RAM is currently at 1.25GB (2x 1GB 1x 256MB), which will probably see a small upgrade to max out the RAM, as soon as I find a 512MB PC133 stick for cheap, like at the thrift. It has no priority. Most importantly is the audio part. It will need a sound card, specifically one that has 24-bit recording capabilities. Just for editing and archiving sake, I want to be able to capture vinyl, tape, and microphone recordings in 24-bit/96KHz. I might get a soundcard, I might get an entire module, whatever comes along the way most affordable.

    -Case restoration and repairs
    The case has some scratching and scuffs, as seen in these pictures (not the front though), but I think I can camouflage it at the least by giving it a good polish job. I will also remove the handles in order to clean out the nicotine dust stuck behind them. The rest of the case will also be cleaned out. I will need to replace the big 120mm case fan, as it had a cracked fanblade. I might also look for more silent fans to replace the others, because I don't want it to be audible on microphone recordings. Quite silent would be good enough, I suppose.

    I can't wait to use it for this feature, along with the MDD for photo editing!
    P_20160208_194540.jpg
    P_20160208_194554.jpg P_20160208_194614.jpg
     
  2. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2011
    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #2
    My own Quicksilver is heavily modified. If you need any help, just ask!
     
  3. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #3
    Do you happen to know of any good soundcards that work with the QS? I don't really know whether I can just grab a 24-bit capable PCI card and put it into the Mac, am guessing you cannot not just do that though.
     
  4. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Aug 31, 2011
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    #4
    That's one area I can't really help with unfortunately.

    I've never had need for a soundcard in a Mac so it's entirely unfamiliar territory for me. Most of my experience on Macs (or even computers in general) is in graphic design and not video/audio.
     
  5. Orizence macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2014
    #5
    Apple has never really cheaped out on there audio interfaces in their professional desktops. When paired with a decent amp, the burr-brown dac in my g5 sounds pretty sweet to my ears. I haven't recorded to many things on my g5 but I recorded some pretty decent tracks while digitizing my records using the line in, and it's more than sufficient for my needs. It might not be useful in your case as you need to different work than I do, but those are just my 2 cents
     
  6. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #6
    In another one of my threads, someone responded that the M-Audio cards work in Macintosh computers. Looks like the M-Audio Revolution 5.1 would be perfect, it does what I want, and, the recommended specifications for Macintosh computers is exactly a 800MHz SP QuickSilver with atleast 512MB of RAM. Which means this computer is very suited for that card. Unfortunately, I'm having real bad luck finding that card on either Marktplaats or eBay (internationally), so I guess I'll have to look into other cards that could work in this setup.
     
  7. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #7
    PCI sound cards tend to be expensive on eBay in UK - often going more than the Mac they're intended for. It's a shame that particular G4 doesn't have a sound input as OSX Core Audio is one of the Macs strong points and can record natively upto 24bit, 96khz.
    I'd recommend getting a USB sound interface which you could always use on another machine - don't get one of those $1 ones though - they actually work and are great value but only offer 1 channel input.
     
  8. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #8
    How about the Terratec Phase 22? I can pick one up for €15 excluding shipping (around €22 with shipping), it has Mac and Core Audio & Core MIDI support and records at 24-bit/96KHz. Sounds like a good card to me.
     
  9. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
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    #9
    Bargain! And it's got MIDI too - I'd go for it :)
     
  10. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #10
    I've bought it, ended up spending €18,50 on it including shipping (I got it shipped as a mailbox package, just a bit cheaper), so that'll be the soundcard!
    So, what I still need is a hard drive, a 512MB RAM module, a new 120mm fan, and the GPU from the MDD I just got.
    The MDD will be upgraded to a Radeon 9600 or 9800 variant, whatever works and is most affordable (it's going to be better than the built in graphics anyway). The QS' 32MB ATI card is going to make way for the MDD's 64MB NVIDIA GeForce MX card. It's just a bit stronger, which is nice when using Leopard, and it still allows me to use the Studio Display I got with the MDD. The MDD will be used for photo editing, and thus I want to use it with my 1080p LG IPS panel, which leaves the Studio Display as the perfect monitor for the QuickSilver.
     
  11. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #11
    So I got the Terratec card today, guess what? The Terratec CD has no Mac drivers. There's a folder for it, but it's empty. Finding it online is impossible, and it doesn't just work by plugging it in. Damnit! I mailed Terratec, hoping I can still get 10.4/10.5 drivers, but their FTP server didn't have it so I fear the worst... Guess I could still put it in a PC, but that's just nasty :(
     
  12. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #12
    Damn!
    You might have luck emailing them - I had good experience with Novation hunting down drivers they'd long taken offline.
    You could post on the Mac OS9 Lives forum - it's almost certain that if someone has an OS9 disk, there might be early OSX drivers there too.
    http://macos9lives.com/smforum/
     
  13. eyoungren macrumors P6

    eyoungren

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    Location:
    Phoenix • 85037
    #13
    The Internet Wayback Machine was no help this time. Any support links were broken. I know, I looked through 2003 to 2006.
     
  14. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #14
    The real insult to injury here is that the German manual it came with actually says the Mac OS X driver is on the disk, in that empty folder. How the heck did they not notice they were delivering incomplete discs with their high-end products?
     
  15. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #15
    Could you make an ISO of the DVD and upload it somewhere? I'm curious about something...
     
  16. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Jun 17, 2014
    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #16
    I know it's a long shot but put this into Terminal to show hidden files:

    defaults write com.apple.finder AppleShowAllFiles TRUE
    killall Finder

    Just on the off chance there is something in that empty folder.
     
  17. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #17
    Didn't help, there just isn't anything in the folder. Same for the Phase 28 Mac driver folder, empty. Plus, the booklet describes the Terratec Control Panel for both Mac and PC, yet this time, there is only a PC folder in the control panel folder. I'll try to make a very precise ISO rip of the disc in the hopes that that can recover files that all my computers can't read normally, but I fear it's just an empty folder.
     
  18. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #18
    As I too have a Quicksilver (precise future use and modifications currently undecided) I read this with interest. Then looked on a local site here and saw there's a Terratec Phase 22 priced at €50 which (initially at least) certainly makes €15 look like a real bargain.
    Fwiw, here are the specs posted by the seller:
    CARACTÉRISTIQUES TECHNIQUES
    Utilisation Musique
    Interface PCI
    Lecture audio 24 bits / 192 KHz
    Enregistrement audio 24 bits / 96 kHz
    Compatibilité ASIO ASIO 2.0
    NORMES AUDIO SUPPORTÉES
    Pass through DTS® / Dolby® Digital
    CONFIGURATION MINIMUM
    Système d'exploitation Microsoft® Windows XP, 2000, ME, 98SE et MacOS X
    Pilotes Windows : ASIO 2.0, GigaStudio, MME, DirectSound et WMD
    Pilotes MacOs X : Core Audio et Core MIDI
    Supporte : Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP, MacOS X


    Note that 'Pilotes' = drivers, and would seem to imply that (at least for the French market) the package contained separate software drivers for Mac and Windows.
    If you'd like me to pose specicific questions to the seller, I'd be pleased to help.
     
  19. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #19
    Could you ask him if he could copy the Mac drivers off of his disc and share it?
     
  20. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

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    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #20
    Sure, I'll contact him and get his thoughts on this.
     
  21. Daniël Oosterhuis thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Daniël Oosterhuis

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2016
    Location:
    Black Mesa Research Facility
    #21
    I dug a little deeper into that FTP server, and I actually found, in a really weird location, the Phase 22 folder. I was relieved, until I hit the pkg.pax file... and it gave me a 404 error. Dammit. I might try calling them tomorrow, but I think they're German and my German sucks. Hope they speak English, and I can get a quick answer, I don't want to jack up my phone bill by calling Germany...
     
  22. Dronecatcher macrumors 68000

    Dronecatcher

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    Location:
    Lincolnshire, UK
    #22
    That's so frustrating - every other driver in there is accessible - hope you have some luck speaking to them.
     
  23. 128keaton macrumors 68020

    128keaton

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2013
    #23
    whats the URL to the folder?
     
  24. CooperBox macrumors 6502a

    CooperBox

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    France - between Ricard & Absinthe
    #25
    Now several days since I e-mailed the seller here with the respective queries. He's not yet replied. Fingers crossed.......
     

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