Accept no substitute for the Yamaha UX16

While you can play Drummania on the Playstation 2 using the PS controller, it's probably a lot more fun if you have an electric drum kit. I just happen to have a drum kit that's compatible with Konami?s game. Drummania supports three drum kits in the DTX series made by Yamaha. Unfortunately, the DTX Express that I own only sends output using MIDI and the Playstation 2 doesn't have a MIDI in port. So to hook up your PS2 to the drumset, you need a USB to MIDI adapter. The instruction booklet that comes with the Drummania game specifically recommends the Yamaha UX16 (my friend Imperator tells me that all the arcade Bemani games uses Yamaha hardware, so he wouldn't be surprised if all the home games use Yamaha too.)

I went to Steve's Music Store yesterday to buy the UX16 but they did not have it in stock so the guy there tried to convince me to buy this other brand that was in stock. Knowing the way USB works, I hesitated: On a Windows computer, when the USB device is connected, it announces it's presence and Windows will ask itwhat kind of device it is, and if it has never seen this device before, it will download the drivers to make the USB device work right off of the device itself. You may have noticed that if you pop your PS2 DVD into your computer, you can't play the game on there; the PS2 uses a different machine code than the Intel architecture.Similarly, you can't run a Windows program on your PS2. In particular, you can't run driver code designed for Windows. I suspect that on the Drummania DVD itself, Konami burned Playstation 2 drivers for the UX16. I bought the thing this guy was selling anyway because he said I could return it if it didn't work.

It didn't work. The USB adapter her sold to me is "bus-powered", meaning that the device gets its electricty from the USB cable (i.e. you don't need a seperate power plug to plug in), and the little green "I'm on" light on the device didn't even turn on when I plugged it into the PS2. Whether this is because the PS2 was unable to detect the device (and USB devices can only draw power once they're detected) or whether it's because the PS2 just doesn't supply power via its USB port (i.e. PS2's USB ports are not standard compliant), I don't know. I'd like to say I knew this was gonna happen, but closer to the truth would be "I had reasons to suspect this would happen". I have to now trek back to Steve's Music Store and return the thing, order the Yamaha UX16, go home, wait a few days, and then come back, and actually get the damn thing. And I don't like going out these days, 'cause it's cold. And I've sort of locked myself in to a time limit, 'cause the guy said Steves usually doesn't do returns, but it'll make a special exception in my case. I have "one or two" days to return my current device, and from past experience, when you ask them to order something for you, you have to make a deposit, and you have to come back and buy it within like 30 days.

I don't really like Steve's policies, though they aren't technically "unfair" or "consumer gouging" in any sense. I just have to deal with Steve's, 'cause they seem to be the music store in Montreal.

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