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ATPM 6.03
March 2000



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Segments: Slices From the Macintosh Life

by Colin Mansfield and Lisa Haller of Save OMS,

No Valentines From Nashville

A Post-NAMM Report on the Save OMS/SOS Vision Campaign

“In a plot that would be more at home in a John Grisham novel than the music industry, Gibson Guitars looks set to kill off all Opcode products.”—The Mix UK, March 2000.

Cyberspace (14 February 2000)—Supporters of OMS and Opcode’s Vision attended the NAMM 2000 show in Los Angeles February 4–6. Many wore Save OMS buttons; some also wore SOS Vision buttons, including employees of major companies and distributors, users, and a number of well-known musicians. Many people at NAMM were concerned about the future of OMS. Among developers there was significant interest in ensuring OMS continues to work with Apple’s recently announced OS X for Macintosh. The vast majority of companies in the music industry are using OMS in some way or another. According to informed industry sources at the show, many, including Yamaha and Digidesign, are very worried about the future development of OMS and Vision.

Henry Juszkiewicz, CEO, Gibson Musical Instruments, met with at least one distributor and one major manufacturer at the show to discuss the future of Opcode products. But reportedly there was no change in Gibson’s position—no announcements were made about either OMS or Vision, leaving the question of future development unanswered.

At the same time, Gibson turned away a large number of distributors, companies, reporters and users who wanted to meet with Juszkiewicz. Many industry people were left wondering what was going on, especially with OMS, but also with Vision.

“Although Opcode have traditionally majored on Mac software, they do have PC software and have produced hardware for the PC. This could all be in jeopardy.”—The Mix UK, March 2000.

On February 1, articles appeared in the online editions of MacWorld UK, MacWEEK, and AudioMIDI. The story also has been reported in the March issue of The Mix (UK), several times on MacInTouch and updates on the situation have been included in MacCentral’s “Musical Macs” column. Editorial letters have been published in Keyboard and other music magazines around the world (twelve to date), and the story has been translated for distribution in seven languages.

In the first 24 hours after news stories began appearing, the OMS petition gained more than 200 user signatures. Since 1 February , nearly 600 people have signed the petition, bringing the grand total to 3,628 signatures, including 174 developer signatures. The amount of developer support is ironic, given Gibson’s interest in promoting GMICS as an industry standard. By the company’s actions, it is ignoring not only a strongly supported current industry standard—OMS—but also it is affecting the very developers who would support GMICS.

Petition supporters represent organizations and individuals as diverse as NBC, Red Hat Software, Blue Oyster Cult, GVOX, Digidesign, Emagic and the Glasgow City Council Education Committee, along with countless universities, a multitude of music, video and production studio representatives, musician Larry Fast (Synergy, Peter Gabriel) and Craig Anderton, technology editor for EQ magazine, contributor to Keyboard and author of Home Recording for Musicians. Signatures are coming in from all over the world—Japan, France, Spain, the United States, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, Denmark, etc.

David Leishman, whose weekly “Musical Macs” column appears online at MacCentral, has reported that Gypsy Carns, head of customer support at Gibson—and by extension, Opcode—is committed to getting the patches that are missing from the Opcode site back up.

Supporters of OMS and Vision will be attending MusikMesse in Frankfurt next month. None of this would be possible without the continued support and assistance from the musicians and composers who use Vision and OMS. Special thanks to the F.O.E.s, Christopher C., Danny D., Gunnar E., DBL, Fred M. (for the “bug” reports), Christian McC., Davor P., Dave S. (a survivor), Ward van G., Jochen W.—and the countless others whose voices have been instrumental in keeping this issue alive.

Contributing Editor’s Note: One piece of good news came out of the NAMM show. Doug Wyatt, the original developer of OMS has been hired by Apple. Whether this means that Apple is interested in acquiring OMS, or in developing their own compatible MIDI standard, it demonstrates Apple’s commitment to the music community, and gives us all hope for a favorable Send your Segments submissions to

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