Burn AKAI format Sample CDs (SCD / AKAiSO) from images on a Mac – works with EMU, ROLAND, KURTZWEIL, etc. too!

Hey,

So perhaps you’ve figured out that AKAI, EMU, ROLAND, KURTZWEIL sample CD images can’t be read on a Mac, can’t be mounted on a Mac, and can’t be burned on a Mac with the usual included utilities like diskutil or hdiutil,  But you’d still like be able to burn your sampler’s CD images without the hassle of emulating a PC to use raw CD burning software.

If you want to save some cash on buying programs to do this for you, Macports or Homebrew really come in handy.   Use either one to install a UNIX utility called ‘cdrdao‘ by opening a Terminal window and invoking the command:

brew install cdrdao

(homebrew), or

sudo port install cdrdao

(macports)

Then, once cdrdao is installed, change it to the directory of your Akai CD image.  If you’re using a .bin/.cue file image you can burn your CD simply by using the following command:

cdrdao write image_name.cue

Where “image_name” is obviously replaced with the name of your image file.  Also, the .bin and .cue files have to be in the same location.

If you’re using a .iso file, it’s not that much more difficult.  Just create a .toc file by typing:

nano image_name.toc

Once in the Nano text editor, enter the following text:

CD_ROM


TRACK MODE1
DATAFILE “image_name.iso”

 Making sure to preserve the quotes in the example – they’re necessary for the .toc file – but again, replacing “image_name” with the name of your Akai disk image.

Hit CTRL-X to exit, and hit ‘Y’ for yes to save, and then type:

cdrdao write image_name.toc

For an iso file, you may need to add the –driver generic-mmc-raw option, by typing:

cdrdao write –driver generic-mmc-raw image_name.toc

But I would recommend you try burning your CD without it at first.  Then try it if you get an “ERROR: Drive does not accept any cue sheet variant” response.

If you’re having trouble getting these commands to work, you may want to check to make sure your CD-R drive is ready by typing:

cdrdao scanbus

If you wish to use a different drive than the one automatically mapped by cdrdao, or other features, check out the cdrdao manual page, or type ‘man cdrdao‘ at your terminal prompt.

An additional tip:  You can use diskutil (GUI) to eject your disk even if it is not showing up in the finder (as Akai SCDs don’t show up anywhere in the finder since they can’t be mounted by the Mac file system).

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Using Toast to burn Sampler-format CDs:

Note — If you want to go the pay software route, you CAN use Toast.   It’s DEFINITELY easy, but I don’t think it’s as fun 😉  Here’s how:

1) Open Toast and go to disc copy

2) De-select ‘fit-to-DVD video compression’

3) Choose image file you want to burn

Toast will prompt you saying that it doesn’t know what format the image file is.  I’m guessing you’re certain you want to burn the disc, so choose “continue”

4) use ‘0’ for both pre and post gap, and ‘2048’ for sector size

5) Hit the ominous red button in the bottom left hand of the window

Jolly burning!

An easy how-to install guide for Gnumeric on a mac.

Gnumeric is a great program for those wishing to migrate from MS Excel but desiring the same functionality and user interface.  It’s free, easy to use, and even has some improvements with regards to statistical computation.  Unfortunately it doesn’t support pivot tables yet, but they’re likely to be included in future updates. 


Download and install GCC:

https://github.com/kennethreitz/osx-gcc-installer

Install the macports installer package:

https://github.com/kennethreitz/osx-gcc-installer

Run the macports self-update command by opening a terminal window and typing:

sudo port -v self update

Then in the terminal type:

sudo port -v install gnumeric

Now download and install the gnumeric wrapper from here:

http://maururu.net/2007/gnumeric-wrapper-for-mac-os-x/

Drag the icon to your applications folder, keep it in your dock, etc.  it should act like a normal Apple program with the exception that it opens the X11 interpreter and the menu for the program is inside the window instead of at the top of the screen.  

Happy spreadsheeting!

Using BinChunker to convert .BIN/.CUE CD/DVD images to .ISO on a Mac

Binchunker is a great command-line utility for converting .bin and .cue format cd-rom backups to .iso format for easy mounting / burning.  It also has a .raw and .wav conversion functions for use with video and audio disk images.

I’ve primarily been using it for converting video and sample CD (.VCD and SCD) images I’ve downloaded off the web, using the -r (.RAW) and -w (.WAV) flags for video and audio conversion.

Installing binchunker on a mac —

This post assumes you have homebrew installed.  Find out how to install it here:

http://mxcl.github.com/homebrew/

Once homebrew is installed, type:

brew -v install chunk

The ‘-v’ is optional, it gives you more feedback about the compile process.

Then to use binchunker, type:

bchunk -v infile.bin infile.cue outfile

the ‘.iso’ extension will automatically be appended to your ‘outfile’ name.

For reference, the bchunk executable is installed in this path:

/usr/local/Cellar/bchunk/(version#)/bin

Happy chunking!