Roland MT-32

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Roland MT-32

Postposted on Fri May 16, 2014 9:40 pm

There was an MT-32 emulator in the works for Dosbox (I think ScummVM absorbed it?), does anybody know how far along it is?

I can find the real unit on ebay for $100, but that's an awful lot for something that only a few games supported.


On a side note, could I use a Roland Sound Canvas with Dosbox?
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:30 pm

Hz so good wrote:There was an MT-32 emulator in the works for Dosbox (I think ScummVM absorbed it?), does anybody know how far along it is?

No idea, but that's not necessarily a great idea. Since you can redirect MIDI from Dosbox to any external device, there are a million better things that sound better than the MT-32. If I'm thinking right, then one could obtain the MT-32 sample set and use it in the Windows MIDI device.

Hz so good wrote:On a side note, could I use a Roland Sound Canvas with Dosbox?

You mean using the physical card? If you can get it running in your Windows host, you can do as described above. In theory, it should sound the same.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:12 pm

Have you tried MUNT? Also (IIRC) there's a guy who made an MT-32 soundfont set for DOSbox. Can't seem to find it at the moment but I remember downloading it back in 2012.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:21 pm

I reroute DOSBox MIDI to VirtualMIDISynth on the rare occasion I feel like playing a DOS game with MIDI. I also use it for general MIDI playback, which doesn't happen very often anymore.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:31 pm

jihadjoe wrote:Have you tried MUNT? Also (IIRC) there's a guy who made an MT-32 soundfont set for DOSbox. Can't seem to find it at the moment but I remember downloading it back in 2012.




IIRC, the MUNT project got rolled into SCUMMVM. I've tried the MUNT implementation for DOSBOX before, but the emulation left a bit to be desired. It was obvious that with certain Sierra Online titles that the emulation was off.

*EDIT* Just dawned on me that SC2 used the GUS, not MT-32, so I removed that statement.

morphine wrote:If I'm thinking right, then one could obtain the MT-32 sample set and use it in the Windows MIDI device.


I've got the sound banks for it, but since it used LA-synth, not everything emulates properly. Even less so with older titles that relied on the bugs in the early MT-32 models. I *think* the LACP-1/CM-64 came close, but still had issues with some soundtracks.
Last edited by Hz so good on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:40 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:37 pm

The main reason I was wanting to try it was more for nostalgia. I remember being a kid and reading the sierra catalogs that used come in the game boxes, and wishing I could afford the $400 MT-32 they were selling. I had a crap original Adlib soundcard at the time, and most games back then supported only PC Speaker, Amiga sound chips, Adlib, and MT-32 only. No General MIDI or anything.


Just for grins, I'd love to see how a Adlib gold sounds compared to the OPL2/3 in the good old Soundblasters. (There was a HUGE difference in the Yamaha OPL chip in the Sega Genesis vs the ones in the SB lineup(SBPro/SB16/SBAWE32 vintage)

derFunkenstein wrote:I reroute DOSBox MIDI to VirtualMIDISynth on the rare occasion I feel like playing a DOS game with MIDI. I also use it for general MIDI playback, which doesn't happen very often anymore.


Can I use custom soundbanks with that? The best GM card I had at the time was a knock-off SoundmanWAVE, and the little 2MB GM bank sounded *terrible*
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:57 pm

In that case, you can try to do what I did back in the day when I used a hardware GUS - they had this MT-32 emulator that worked pretty darn well. So you can fire up Dosbox with a GUS, set up the MT-32 emu, and presto. In fact, I have to try that myself one of these days.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:07 pm

morphine wrote:In that case, you can try to do what I did back in the day when I used a hardware GUS - they had this MT-32 emulator that worked pretty darn well. So you can fire up Dosbox with a GUS, set up the MT-32 emu, and presto. In fact, I have to try that myself one of these days.



You can do that? COOL!!! Will I need to use the original (hard to find) MT-32 LA banks, or does the GUS use it's own patches for it?


On a side note, I had high hopes for GUS back in the day. It was the closest we got to MOD level music back then, what with devs being able to upload their custom soundbanks to it.

The AWE32/64 did that in theory but in practice it sucked hard. Especially with the 32MB or larger soundbanks floating around out there.


EDIT - Would one of the newer soundcards today (ASUS Sonar or whatever Creatives newest offering is) connect to a Roland SoundCanvas module?
Last edited by Hz so good on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:13 pm

Hz so good wrote:You can do that? COOL!!! Will I need to use the original (hard to find) MT-32 LA banks, or does the GUS use it's own patches for it?

IIRC the GUS had its own patch banks. I think you could hack them though, but it's been like... 17-18 years :) The software you're looking for is "Megaem".

Gravis Ultrasound fansite

Back in the day I ran both an SB-16 and a GUS, so I didn't run into the SB emulation issues ;) Managing IRQs and DMA channels, however... sigh.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:19 pm

morphine wrote:
Hz so good wrote:You can do that? COOL!!! Will I need to use the original (hard to find) MT-32 LA banks, or does the GUS use it's own patches for it?

IIRC the GUS had its own patch banks. I think you could hack them though, but it's been like... 17-18 years :) The software you're looking for is "Megaem".

Gravis Ultrasound fansite

Back in the day I ran both an SB-16 and a GUS, so I didn't run into the SB emulation issues ;) Managing IRQs and DMA channels, however... sigh.



I remember that well. The SBEmu TSR just destroyed sub 640KB memory. I dunno how Logitech did it, but their SB Emulation didn't need any TSRs. It worked OK as a SB16 clone, but the GM was a joke, and would hang on one note during certain game soundtracks (TIE Fighter intro, stands out in my mind as one example)
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:23 pm

Hz so good wrote:I remember that well. The SBEmu TSR just destroyed sub 640KB memory.

I'm sorry that you sucked so bad at managing memory ;)

I take it you never got deep into upper memory, loading order, the B000-B7FF block, etc?
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:24 pm

morphine wrote:
Hz so good wrote:There was an MT-32 emulator in the works for Dosbox (I think ScummVM absorbed it?), does anybody know how far along it is?

No idea, but that's not necessarily a great idea. Since you can redirect MIDI from Dosbox to any external device, there are a million better things that sound better than the MT-32. If I'm thinking right, then one could obtain the MT-32 sample set and use it in the Windows MIDI device.

Hz so good wrote:On a side note, could I use a Roland Sound Canvas with Dosbox?

You mean using the physical card? If you can get it running in your Windows host, you can do as described above. In theory, it should sound the same.



I was thinking more about the external module. I *think* the SoundCanvas cards were available as either full-length ISA boards, or just the SB16 GS daughterboard (SSC1?)
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:26 pm

morphine wrote:
Hz so good wrote:I remember that well. The SBEmu TSR just destroyed sub 640KB memory.

I'm sorry that you sucked so bad at managing memory ;)

I take it you never got deep into upper memory, loading order, the B000-B7FF block, etc?



I was just a kid teaching myself computers, DOS, and how extended/expanded memory managers worked. I was just tickled I managed to free up 620KB, and learned how to use VOODOO to play Ultima 7. :P

Heck, I remember being excited that some games used RealSound to make the PC Speaker make more than beeps and bloops.

But I really did have to teach myself. My folks bought me an original IBM PC, and nobody knew who to use it, so they handed me the manual and said "Here. Get to it."
Last edited by Hz so good on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:29 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:27 pm

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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:34 pm

If I may be a little arrogant, I sometimes helped out a friend's PC shop, and was routinely tasked with freeing up the 640KB block because nobody in a many-mile radius could do it as precisely. Sometimes they came in saying "but I used Memmaker!"

In all honesty, though, it was more about using that extra monochrome video RAM block, loading order and picking the right drivers than anything else. Managed to have almost all of those 640KB free with soundcard, CD-ROM, mouse and Smartdisk enabled. IIRC the Oak cd-rom driver was the smallest, and I think the mouse driver I used was from Unisys. A lot of trial-and-error went into coming up with the exact formula.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:35 pm

morphine wrote:They made a bunch of them: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_Sound_Canvas



Yeah, but if you look at the PC part list, it's ISA boards and daughterboards, like I said.

Lower down though, CM-500 is more what I'm thinking about. External box that does MT-32 and GS sounds.

They also have apparently released a Virtual synth called VSC-MP1, that does GM1 and 2, and GS. I wonder what it would take to get that working with DOSBox?

*EDIT* can you just install that as a driver, then select it in the Windows Sound System tab?
Last edited by Hz so good on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:42 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:39 pm

morphine wrote:If I may be a little arrogant, I sometimes helped out a friend's PC shop, and was routinely tasked with freeing up the 640KB block because nobody in a many-mile radius could do it as precisely. Sometimes they came in saying "but I used Memmaker!"

In all honesty, though, it was more about using that extra monochrome video RAM block, loading order and picking the right drivers than anything else. Managed to have almost all of those 640KB free with soundcard, CD-ROM, mouse and Smartdisk enabled. IIRC the Oak cd-rom driver was the smallest, and I think the mouse driver I used was from Unisys. A lot of trial-and-error went into coming up with the exact formula.



Memmaker? Why, back in my day we used EMM386 and HIMEM.sys and we liked it! And we also had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow. :P

When games started using DOS/4G extenders, life got sooo much easier. Damn sight better than VOODOO, too. That one made you jump through a few hoops to get U7/U7:BG working.

I don't miss having to keep track of multiple bootdisks for individual games.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:43 pm

Hz so good wrote:Memmaker? Why, back in my day we used EMM386 and HIMEM.sys and we liked it! And we also had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow. :P

Memmaker *is* the joke. It was a DOS program that tried its best to get you as much free lower RAM as it could. And people tried it, but it often was a case of "close, but no cigar".

Hz so good wrote:I don't miss having to keep track of multiple bootdisks for individual games.

Man, you never heard of config/autoexec multiple boot configurations? :o I feel for you, brother.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:48 pm

morphine wrote:
Hz so good wrote:Memmaker? Why, back in my day we used EMM386 and HIMEM.sys and we liked it! And we also had to walk to school uphill both ways in the snow. :P

Memmaker *is* the joke. It was a DOS program that tried its best to get you as much free lower RAM as it could. And people tried it, but it often was a case of "close, but no cigar".

Hz so good wrote:I don't miss having to keep track of multiple bootdisks for individual games.

Man, you never heard of config/autoexec multiple boot configurations? :o I feel for you, brother.



Dude, I was 10. I was doing good just to not hose my computer up (or, failing that, teaching myself how to fix it).

I think I need to get off your lawn. ;)
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:57 pm

:lol:

Relax, I'm just poking fun. At the time most stuff was black magic to me.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:29 pm

morphine wrote::lol:

Relax, I'm just poking fun. At the time most stuff was black magic to me.



Naw, I'm chill. :)

I just remember feeling so badass because my 8086 had 640KB RAM, TWO 5-1/4 floppy drives, and EGA graphics with 16 WHOLE COLORS! No swapping between a DOS3.x disk and a game disk for this guy! :P

I made every mistake under the sun (even deleting the MBR and DOS6.X folder off my first HDD. 20 whole MBs!!!), but all those goofs enabled me to teach A+, Net+, NT4, and Netware 3x-5x courses in the past, so they were all worth it.

For the last 15 years, I would design, build, maintain (and occasionally break) very large networks. And get to monkey around in major telcos Central Offices (CLEC). The chassis's I would install/config/provision cost $10K by themselves. Each of the 24 Line cards would cost anywhere between $1500 and $8000 dollars (and SPF+s were $500, fer crissakes!). All that stuff, and how the fiber SONETs work, the different timing stratum, etc, is ALL black magic, but incredibly badass black magic. Reminded me that for all the knowledge I have, there's soooo much more out there to learn.

tl:dr version - It's all good in the hood. I ain't worked up. :P
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Sat Jul 05, 2014 3:22 pm

Pardon my late participation, but I don't think MT-32 sound banks can handle games with MT-32 sysex. It seems software emulation like Munt can do it better in that regards, and IIRC the latest version of MT-32 ROM dump Munt uses is difficult to discern from a real MT-32.

As for Sound Canvas, well, it's true that Roland Virtual Sound Canvas doesn't sound as good as the real hardware, but I've switched to Sound Font. Certain Sound Font combo like SGM, Drums! by Slavo, and Bellatrix Orchestra sounds better than a real LAPC IMO.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Sun Jul 06, 2014 1:20 pm

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Pardon my late participation, but I don't think MT-32 sound banks can handle games with MT-32 sysex. It seems software emulation like Munt can do it better in that regards, and IIRC the latest version of MT-32 ROM dump Munt uses is difficult to discern from a real MT-32.

As for Sound Canvas, well, it's true that Roland Virtual Sound Canvas doesn't sound as good as the real hardware, but I've switched to Sound Font. Certain Sound Font combo like SGM, Drums! by Slavo, and Bellatrix Orchestra sounds better than a real LAPC IMO.



I was wondering about the sysex, since some of the original Sierra Online adventure games relied on the bugs found in the original MT-32, and sound odd on the newer rev (non-headphone jack one). I think they also used it to display messages on the LCD, but that won't do me any good, since I lack the actual hardware.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 10:41 am

Hz so good wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Pardon my late participation, but I don't think MT-32 sound banks can handle games with MT-32 sysex. It seems software emulation like Munt can do it better in that regards, and IIRC the latest version of MT-32 ROM dump Munt uses is difficult to discern from a real MT-32.

As for Sound Canvas, well, it's true that Roland Virtual Sound Canvas doesn't sound as good as the real hardware, but I've switched to Sound Font. Certain Sound Font combo like SGM, Drums! by Slavo, and Bellatrix Orchestra sounds better than a real LAPC IMO.



I was wondering about the sysex, since some of the original Sierra Online adventure games relied on the bugs found in the original MT-32, and sound odd on the newer rev (non-headphone jack one). I think they also used it to display messages on the LCD, but that won't do me any good, since I lack the actual hardware.

Well I've never experience such bugs with Munt. Even Ultima Underworld - which is said to be picky (regarding to whether it's MT-32 or CM-32L) - sounds flawlessly with Munt.
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Re: Roland MT-32

Postposted on Fri Jul 11, 2014 11:23 am

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
Hz so good wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Pardon my late participation, but I don't think MT-32 sound banks can handle games with MT-32 sysex. It seems software emulation like Munt can do it better in that regards, and IIRC the latest version of MT-32 ROM dump Munt uses is difficult to discern from a real MT-32.

As for Sound Canvas, well, it's true that Roland Virtual Sound Canvas doesn't sound as good as the real hardware, but I've switched to Sound Font. Certain Sound Font combo like SGM, Drums! by Slavo, and Bellatrix Orchestra sounds better than a real LAPC IMO.



I was wondering about the sysex, since some of the original Sierra Online adventure games relied on the bugs found in the original MT-32, and sound odd on the newer rev (non-headphone jack one). I think they also used it to display messages on the LCD, but that won't do me any good, since I lack the actual hardware.

Well I've never experience such bugs with Munt. Even Ultima Underworld - which is said to be picky (regarding to whether it's MT-32 or CM-32L) - sounds flawlessly with Munt.



I got it working great with the MUNT standalone driver, and ROMS for MT-32 and CM-32L. Works like a champ. Listening to the old Sierra games with Munt reminds me of why I'd drool over the Roland equipment Sierra used to sell in their Catalog.

I still need to tinker with some of the soundfonts in BASSMIDI, though. The steel drums in Monkey Island 2 sound like bongos. Very odd.
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