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VirDIS® (Virtual Disk Image Server)

for Roland, Korg, AKAI, Yamaha, etc. Digital Audio Recorders/Samplers

Testimonials

"Can't tell you how awesome it was to export my .wav files to an ISO {file} and burn it with the 48x on the PC. A real time-saver!"

- Nick Morabito, Los Angeles, CA

"VirDIS totally rocks.  A must-have tool if you're a serious 2480 user.  It nicely bridges the gap between the 2480 and PC.  Track Exports/WAV Imports no longer require wasting expensive CD-Rs and the task is handled more quickly.  With VirDIS I can easily copy 2480 project data to/from my PC hard disk.  On the PC project data can be written to DVD for permanent storage.  VirDIS streamlines my operation and is a great time saver to boot."

- Frank Cupal, F&S Productions, Houston, TX

"VirDIS would have to be one of the most innovative third party interfaces developed for the Roland VS-2480HD on the retail market today.  ....  As a VirDIS user, I can say that VirDIS is something I now use with confidence, and rely upon daily for every recording made on the Roland VS-2480 including cross-platform projects. .... I recommend this product to all VS-2480HD users wanting an efficient method of storage to PC HDD (including DVD-R backup) and VS-2480 Track (.WAV) transfer."

- Paul Webber, Winyard Productions, Melbourne, Australia

What it is

VirDIS is much more than just a Project/File backup utility for your recorder's WAV, etc. files.  It is an eminently usable interactive SCSI device emulation solution working in conjunction with your recorder.  It is tuned for 'live' i.e. real-time audio playback - never misses a beat!  It is faster than both a 'real' SCSI Hard Disk or SCSI CD-R - and takes the place of either or both at the same time.

Leveraged upon the large code library of the VirtualSCSI line of emulation products Virtual Disk Image Server provides a simple way to emulate on a PC certain obsolete or hard-to-find SCSI storage device-types (like Hard Disk, CD-R, etc.) used by members of the audio recording engineer community and others.  VirDIS is really easy to use - it simply takes the place of a Hard Drive and/or a CD-R device.  Your PC supplies the 'virtual' media for both in the form of files (PC disk space).  You just plug in the VirDIS Target board, install the software, cable up to the audio recorder and go!

Block diagram of connections between Target machine running VirtualSCSI and various Initiators and between Target machine and the kinds of Target data objects that can be used by the VirtualSCSI application, e.g. Hard Disks (FC, IDE or SCSI), Target system RAM and now either locate or remote file images for Target data storage.

How it works

Four software modules and, of course, ASC's Target Bus Adapter upon which they run, create the illusion of a 'real' SCSI device. The top level GUI (Graphical User Interface) takes the user's inputs and sends them down to the underlying system modules. The topmost of these creates the actual device-emulation environment.  The next layer is the SCSI target command Library, which executes SCSI Target functions. At the bottom is the complex Kernel Mode Driver, which interacts with the Target Bus Adapter hardware and SCSI bus.

Using a simple graphical interface combined with a VirDIS SCSI Target Bus Adapter the user creates/selects a filename to use which will be a block-for-block representation of the selected SCSI device-type.  After setting a SCSI ID and setting (for new files) a desired device-size (limited only by Target PC storage) the user simply presses a button to load and start the device emulation.  Another button allows the 'ejection' of the disk-image file and load or mount another.

One key advantage of VirDIS is that these emulation files (disk-images) can be stored, re-used, compressed and sent via the web to customers, collaborators, etc.  Audio operations like Track Export/WAV Import, HD Backup, etc. can be performed directly on these disk-image files rather than using 'real' device.  And not only easier but much faster!

Burning through CD stacks to backup your hard drive is now a distant memory!!  Backups are now managed beautifully on your PC.

Device-types

Currently, there are two supported device-types with a third and possibly others anticipated in the near future.  The two emulated types are CD-R and Hard Disk.  The next device-type will be DVD-R with others possibly added later.  Users of audio recording equipment such as the Roland VS2480 may cable up to the PC on which VirDIS is hosted and select the devices and configuration that the equipment will detect on the SCSI bus.  The user selects the type of device to emulate by clicking on the appropriate control in the top-most window.

Supported Recorder/Sampler devices:

Hard Disk & CD-R
 - All Roland VS recorders with SCSI connectors
 - AKAI S5000
 - AKAI S6000

Hard Disk only (current list)
- KORG D-16
- KORG D-8
- YAMAHA A3000
 (others being added)

Background

VirDIS sits atop a tried and true set of SCSI Target Mode system modules that have close to 12 years of history behind them.  Since 1996, following a long history of SCSI Host Adapter development and production, Advanced Storage Concepts has specialized in the development of SCSI Target Mode tools for DOS and later for Windows.  VirtualSCSI has mainly been marketed as a advanced tool for system developers seeking to 'virtualize' SCSI hardware peripherals like disks, tapes, scanners, optical disks, etc.  Initially concentrating on the base functionality by building a library of SCSI Target function calls which in turn communicate with one of the most complex kernel-mode drivers in the world, ASC subsequently developed source code for a limited set of device-type emulations beginning with Hard Disk.

It is upon these software components and ASC's line of SCSI Target adapters that new graphical user interface of the VirDIS rests.  New methods of inter-module communication were developed in order to display 'live' or quasi real-time information that percolates up from (and down to) the SCSI Target adapter via the driver and library modules.

Features:

  •  NEW VirDIS-2 website now online!! 

  • LATEST! Version 2.3 is now released:  essentially 2.2.15 with much improved menus, docs access, etc.

  •  NEW! VirDIS Hardware board IS available NOW in the newer PCI Express format.

  •  NEW! Support for the KORG D-16 (HD only for now) is done and will be included in the imminent (Honest!) new release.

  •  NEW! Hard Drive emulation works on USB Flash Drives. 

  •  Dual Recorder recording and playback (requires 2nd ASC Target card).

  •  Direct-to-PC (via VirDIS) 16-channel audio recording/playback.

  •  CD Mastering (Disc-At-Once) - create CD Audio masters on your PC from the recorder's output.

  •  Read/Write activity indicators - see what is happening to your v-Drives!
  •  Support for BIN-CUE (CD Masters) audio file-pairs - both generation and importing!
  •  Direct-to-PC (via VirDIS) 16-channel audio recording/playback

  •  Opening and emulating ISO files initially created/generated by 3rd party SW tools.

  •  Total 'inside-PC' operations i.e. simultaneous vHD and vCD-R operation.

  •  Unrestricted (except by PC capacity) HD storage size
  •  Virtual i.e. physical-device-less implementation of SCSI storage devices at the push of a button.
  •  Flexible storage or transmission of emulation disk-image files over the web or via email.
  •  Disk-image files (particularly the ISO files) can be later opened/edited with 3rd party tools.
  •  Simple to use - no programming involved.
  •  Custom SCSI cable lengths up to 6 meters (19 ft.) available (6 ft. std.).
  •  Graphical setup of SCSI emulation parameters.

Upcoming NEW features:

  •  Support for Yamaha and AKAI samplers coming soon.

  •  Effects card 'Plug-In' functions support: 2011.

  •  Track-At-Once option for CD Mastering:  2011.

  •  Support for Vista Operating System (in progress).

  •  Support for laptops (2011).

  •  DVD emulation (future).

3rd Party tools:

For use with VirDIS (HD emulation only) the VS Wave Export utility will allow VirDIS users to open *.HDD file and access/extract the embedded WAV files: http://www.thegoodlibrary.com/VSWaveExport.html.  This allows recording engineers to make projects and use the vastly increased space of a 'virtual' Hard Drive rather than being limited to the CD size, ~700MBs.  For other 3rd party tools and utilities see our recommended sites.

TroubleShooting:

For installation assistance with VirDIS on an interactive basis download Download details: Windows Live Messenger 8.1.

System Requirements:

  •  IBM PC-compatible running Windows NT4.0 or above (XP recommended/Vista support to be announced).
  •  Single open, 32-bit, +5Volt-only PCI, short slot. This slot will have a single keyway at the far side (i.e. away from the PCI brackets) of the slot (see for slot/keyway location).
  •  A VirDIS SCSI Target adapter board (included with VirDIS).
  •  A disk (any kind - local or networked) with sufficient space for storing the user's multiple disk-image file requirements.
  •  A SCSI cable with a SCSI HD50 connector on the VirDIS Target adapter end and a DB25 connector on the audio recorder end. (Available from ASC or certain computer stores.)

Current version:  2.3 (Help and Doc improvements);  next version (3.0) - released after VirDIS-2 available

Where to get it:    eBay (search term:  'VirDIS') or with CC direct from ASC.

Inquiries:    mailto: VirDIS info

Payment options:  PayPal, all major credit cards, wire transfer, money order, check

Shipping:  UPS, US Mail - anywhere in the world


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Last modified: 30-Jun-2009
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