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Main :: Variax Guitars / Bass / Workbench



Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by stratis1 on 2010-08-29 01:03:45

When will a program for the Variax Workbench be available that is compatable with Windows 7?  I needed one yesterday!!

Thanks,

Stratis1



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-08-29 01:33:38

Hi

I'm successfully using Windows 7 64 bit with Variax Workbench 1.58 and my POD X3 Live as the interface.  This also works under Windows 7 Professional 32 bit for me.  Whether running 64 bit or 32 bit Windows 7 Java 5 32 bit is required.

I would expect a new version of Workbench to be available around the beginning of October to coincide with the general release of the new JTV series guitars.  This is not based on anything official other than the statements from Rich Renken (JTV Product Manager) that the new JTV guitars will all be supplied with Variax WorkBench and a USB interface that will be compatible with al current operating systems (by which he meant Windows and Mac OS's.  I assume therefore that the new version of Workbench will be backwardly compatible with existing series 1 Variax guitars.

As I'm applying intelligent guesswork, I may be wrong on some or all of this and I'm willing for anyone who knows different with 100% certainty to correct me.

Regards

Nick



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by amx05462 on 2010-08-31 15:17:50

im one  of  many that are  hoping  your  right  nick 



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-09-01 15:18:57

I'm also one of many that hopes I'm right LOL



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by benttop on 2010-09-19 20:38:16

The thing is, if I was thinking about one of the new Variaxes, and I saw that an older one is no longer supported, that would seal the deal for me - no sale.  Line 6 needs to announce their long term strategy to make sure potential buyers see that long term support is part of what you're buying in to. 

Meanwhile, it sure would be nice to be able to adjust my Variax.



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by stratis1 on 2010-09-20 00:50:08

Couldn't have said it any better Steve. And I concur with your last statement.

Stratis1



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-09-20 01:33:35

It currently is possible to use Variax WorkBench 1.58 under Windows 7.  I am doing so right now under Windows 7 64 bit.   For the 64 bit version of Windows Vista and Windows 7 there is not currently a driver for the USB Variax WorkBench interface, but an XT live or X3 live works perfectly well under 64 bit Windows.

i'm not 100% sure but I think it's probably possible to successfully install the 32 bit driver software for the USB interface under Windows 7 32 bit.

From what I know having followed the JTV Variax forum from day one, the new Variax is going to be backwardly compatible with the older interfaces, the guitar models although they've been re-done for the JTV series are the same as the original series Variax's, the new JTV guitars will all be supplied with Variax Workbench and the USB interface which will work with all current Windows and  Mac operating systems available at the time of release.  The version of Workbench supplied will almost certainly be backwardly compatible with older models OR you will be able to run JTV Workbench software alongside the older Workbench software.  the problem with 64 bit Windows and the USB Workbench interface is the lack of drivers for the interface. This will be overcome when the new JTV becomes available and because the physical connections via the VDI cable remain the same with existing Variax's and the new JTV, the USB interface (which probably hasn't changed in its design) will almost certainly support the older guitars.

regards

Nick



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by stratis1 on 2010-09-20 02:11:28

Nick,

OK........so what are the necessary steps?

Windows 7, 64 bit, Pod X3 Pro.

Thanks,

Stratis1



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by johnpicton on 2010-09-20 05:55:33

The only real issue is to make sure that you have v5 of JAVA installed and make sure that you install the 32 bit version - it will co-exist with later versions of Java.

As long as your X3 Pro can see your Variax (which it should), then you can run Workbench.

You can find V5 of JAVA here.

https://cds.sun.com/is-bin/INTERSHOP.enfinity/WFS/CDS-CDS_Developer-Site/en_US/-/USD/ViewProductDetail-Start?ProductRef=jre-1.5.0_22-oth-JPR@CDS-CDS_Developer



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by benttop on 2010-09-20 20:42:22

nickmattocks wrote:

For the 64 bit version of Windows Vista and Windows 7 there is not currently a driver for the USB Variax WorkBench interface, but an XT live or X3 live works perfectly well under 64 bit Windows.

I don't have XT Live or X3 Live.  I have a Variax and the Workbench with its USB device. Are you saying I should install the drivers for one of those other products I don't have, in order to get my Workbench USB device to work?



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by johnpicton on 2010-09-20 23:50:25

i'm sorry, the point is IF you have an interface for the Variax other than the workbench USB interface (EG an XT live or an X3 Live or Pro) you can use that as the interface for workbench. The issue is with the driver for the workbench USB interface, if that is all you have then you will experience the problem. I wish it were different.



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by benttop on 2010-09-21 19:04:12

I see.  So my Variax is so much firewood until Line 6 builds a driver for the latest Windows.  That isn't the way to win new customers for sure. In fact, I have been interested in the new guitars - maybe not so much now.

Having an instrument held hostage by the computer upgrade cycle is certainly not something I had considered when I bought my original Variax. Windows 7 absolutely is not the last version of Windows.  I know some day my son or daughter will have my Fender Strat, and they'll be able to play it just like I did.  I have my doubts they'll be able to get the Variax to even work.

It seems to me this is a giant problem for Line-6 with this product.  Guitars normally last 50-100 years. Yet I have a five year old Variax that I cannot adjust.  I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't made a bunch of changes that I want to reverse just before my computer crashed and I upgraded to Windows 7.  Dang...



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by johnpicton on 2010-09-21 23:41:35

I completely agree. After all this time Line6 should have a driver for Windows 7 for the Workbench USB interface. I was just pointing out that as it stands at the moment there isn't one. For different reasons I have a dual boot system at home, so for things that don't work under Windows 7 I boot into my XP partition, might be something you could consider (if you have your original XP discs). That doesn't mean I think it is OK that Line6 haven't released a driver for Windows 7 - they should.



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by Nick_Mattocks on 2010-09-22 00:37:02

benttop wrote:

I see.  So my Variax is so much firewood until Line 6 builds a driver for the latest Windows.  That isn't the way to win new customers for sure. In fact, I have been interested in the new guitars - maybe not so much now.

Having an instrument held hostage by the computer upgrade cycle is certainly not something I had considered when I bought my original Variax. Windows 7 absolutely is not the last version of Windows.  I know some day my son or daughter will have my Fender Strat, and they'll be able to play it just like I did.  I have my doubts they'll be able to get the Variax to even work.

It seems to me this is a giant problem for Line-6 with this product.  Guitars normally last 50-100 years. Yet I have a five year old Variax that I cannot adjust.  I wouldn't mind so much if I hadn't made a bunch of changes that I want to reverse just before my computer crashed and I upgraded to Windows 7.  Dang...

I don't see why your Variax is 'firewood' at all sorry.  The guitar should still work OK as it is.  I hear what you say about wanting to reset the guitar back to defaults.  You will need to connect to a computer obviously to do this. There haven't been any firmware updates for quite a while.  Admittedly you can't currently connect to Workbench to tweak tunings or models, but you can do some of these things directly on the guitar.  It should not really be too long now to have to wait for an updated version of Variax WorkBench and the appropriate Windows 7 64 bit USB driver.  I believe we will see the driver appear for download when the new JTV is officially launched.

If you are running Windows 7 Professional, you can of course use Windows XP Professional inside a Virtual PC in what Microsoft are calling XP Mode.  The VPC gives you access to the host machine's USB ports, the XP SP3 machine image is a free download and is there to make older programs and hardware compatible inside Windows 7.  Unfortunately XP Mode is only available in Windows 7 Pro and Ultimate versions, so if you are using Home premium, you cannot access this feature, but you can easily upgrade to Windows 7 (for a fee) if you want to.

It would have been good if a 64 bit driver was already available for the Variax Workbench USB interface, but currently it is not, so your choices come down to using either a POD XT Live, POD X3 Live, borrowing an older XP machine for ten minutes or trying a Virtual PC type solution (VM Ware is another alternative to VPC).  Another alternative is to use a second hard drive in your PC and create a dual boot system with XP on one of the drives.  As you have already installed Windows 7, a standard dual boot under Windows isn't possible as the older OS needs to be in place first, but you can manually switch the primary boot drive in your machine's BIOS or by physical means

I hear what you say about the differences in longevity between the Variax you have and more traditional guitars.  What Line 6 have done is to allow you access to lots of different guitar models for the price of one guitar and even though the current Variax technology is over eight or so years old now it is still streets ahead of the competition.  When anyone buys a Variax or an FX box these days they are buying something that is more than half a computer and as we all know (look up Moore's Law) computer technology is always on the increase so we tend to keep our computers about five years in general before replacing them.  I'm afraid that the march of technological progress isn't going to stop and that at some point, support for legacy products will.  We're not there yet though with the older Variaxes.  I bet that Variax Workbench isn't the only piece of hardware that doesn't work for you under Windows 7 64 bit.  If we want or need proper backward compatibility, we are all going to have to retain an older computer system to enable that to happen.

Regards

Nick.



Re: Variax Workbench for Windows 7?
by ReverendLove on 2010-10-14 05:05:12

I had the same problem. Then I installed a virtual XP 32 machine vie VMWare Player. I installed the drivers and Workbench for the USB-interface there with no problems. Take care that you have to install Java 1.5. to make it work. Now I can tweak on Workbench via virtual XP and can hear and record the resulting Sound with my Windows 7 64bit host.

Best is VMWare Player is free and it works on Windows 7 home premium - no extra costs. And VMWare has more options than the MS virtual machine software.

This is an acceptable workaround until new drivers are out.




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