First post, by canadacow
Just a quick status update to let everyone know that I haven't quit the project. Monday I spoke with Roland's General Counsel (after I spoke with Mike Kent). Anyway, Jun Yamato insisted that they had a copyright on the MT-32 sounds. And even if they didn't, some of the sounds on the MT-32 were in use on the SC-55 and the Sound Canvas's PCM ROM is undisputably copyrighted. Roland was completely unwilling to negotiate any sort of letter or statement to the fact that it had lost the copyright on most of the MT-32 sounds. I told Jun that I would get back with him regarding the duplication of sounds from the MT-32 to the SC-55. The comparision was actually pretty easy to do, as the Microsoft Synthesizer is a full SC-55 emulator (complete with its original ROM). Using Microsoft DirectProducer, I extracted all the SC-55 ROM samples and compared them to the MT-32's samples. To Jun's credit, there was one match (and only one match). Apparently they reused the timbale sound on the Sound Canvas. Does this mean the whole MT-32 sound set is copyrighted? Well, to make an allegorical comparision, Shakespeare's play Romeo and Juliet is in the public domain but any of the movie versions are not. As such, I would still argue that the remaining 53 sounds are in the public domain. Furthermore, my use of the final sound would be considered fair use since such a little of the whole copyrighted work of the SC-55 is being used. Since sending an email stating the previous information, I have not heard anything from Jun. I'm hoping I can get legal counsel from the Electronic Frontier Foundation on how to continue with the emulator development.
As for the emulator itself... the rewrite is nearly complete. The recoding proved very successful in optimization. Infact, with MMX and floating point SIMD instructions enabled, the emulator now uses onlt marginally more CPU power than DosBox does on its own. (I was quite impressed with myself.) I have yet to release it because its droping partials. In this rewrite, I've forced it to handle partial allocation in the same manner the MT-32 is supposed to (taking into account channel partial prioritization). Unfortunately, I haven't gotten that quite right yet, and as such its dropping partials and notes all over the place for some songs. When I get that fixed I'll be posting a new verison.