Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-6-09 @ 12:21

Saotome Ranma wrote:
SuperDeadite wrote:Regarding the CM-500, it was my first module ever. Found it in Hardoff for 2,000yen.
If you can get one cheap enough, it's a great starter module, but for today's prices, it's limitations
make it a hard recommendation imo.


WTF??? Which HARDOFF???? I'll be there right now if I've known it!!!

BTW, the cheapest thing I got is a CM-300, costing me 2160 yen (around 20 USD) with tax.... the thing is completely tested in a very nice condition!


Lol, this was like 6 years ago now. Was in the junk section.
My most recent pickup from them was my Akai SG01k for 5,000.
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby MusicallyInspired » 2017-6-09 @ 12:47

ENjoy the CM-500. It is indeed a fun machine. I prefer a real MT-32 to the CM-64 portion of the CM-500 because of that annoying vibrato issue, but if you've got nothing else it's definitely a great buy. Congrats!
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby Kodai » 2017-6-15 @ 02:42

Wow, SuperDeadite! You really helped me learn the basics of my MU-2000. I got it a few years ago and watching you use it in your (with lots of rewinding and pausing) vids was the only way I could figure it out. This past year I've watched your newer vids to help me better understand my UW-500. Thanks for the info!
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-6-15 @ 11:09

Kodai wrote:Wow, SuperDeadite! You really helped me learn the basics of my MU-2000. I got it a few years ago and watching you use it in your (with lots of rewinding and pausing) vids was the only way I could figure it out. This past year I've watched your newer vids to help me better understand my UW-500. Thanks for the info!


I've lurked here for awhile now. While I have my old DOS favorites, Japanese computers is where MIDI really shines imo. The community of English speaking Japanese computer MIDI fans is maybe a dozen people or so. Always love to discuss different modules, but I have almost no-one to talk to about them lol.

Getting back on topic, it's really hard to determine an exact number of games on X68K that use the 32P.
As a lot of early FM only games were later fan patched to add MIDI to them. And there is a never ending sea of doujin
games to explore. With over 20 years of disk-based fan magazines to go through, I could find something new everyday if I had the free time...
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby Kodai » 2017-6-16 @ 02:11

Well if fan patches added MIDI, that would explain why I'm confused on X68k games that use the 32P. It seems to me that there are more 32P featured games than what others have seen. I guess that some must be post release patched, and that has confused me.

All I know is I like me some 32P instruments in my shooters, lol.
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby Saotome Ranma » 2017-6-16 @ 12:20

SuperDeadite wrote:
Kodai wrote:Wow, SuperDeadite! You really helped me learn the basics of my MU-2000. I got it a few years ago and watching you use it in your (with lots of rewinding and pausing) vids was the only way I could figure it out. This past year I've watched your newer vids to help me better understand my UW-500. Thanks for the info!


I've lurked here for awhile now. While I have my old DOS favorites, Japanese computers is where MIDI really shines imo. The community of English speaking Japanese computer MIDI fans is maybe a dozen people or so. Always love to discuss different modules, but I have almost no-one to talk to about them lol.

Getting back on topic, it's really hard to determine an exact number of games on X68K that use the 32P.
As a lot of early FM only games were later fan patched to add MIDI to them. And there is a never ending sea of doujin
games to explore. With over 20 years of disk-based fan magazines to go through, I could find something new everyday if I had the free time...


I'm living in Japan too, and I got some interests on Japanese Special PCs especially the PC-98 series and those games on it, so If it is possible, we could meet each other here in Tokyo some day! :happy: :happy: :happy:
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-6-16 @ 16:05

I'm nowhere near Tokyo I'm afraid. Still, let me know if you need anything. Been here almost 11 years now. XD
PC-98's main strong point is that it's the most affordable of the JP PCs, but game wise I find it meh. The X68000 is supreme, though the hardware costs are high.
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-6-16 @ 17:56

The PC-98 is the least English friendly of the big three late non-IBM PC compatible 16/32 bit PCs (X68000, PC-98xx and FM Towns). Still, there are a lot of PC-88xx ports of games that are English-accessible (they had an English-language port).
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-6-17 @ 10:57

I'd actually say the FM Towns is the most difficult. People tend to think it's simple because of the Marty console and the auto-boot cd-rom games, but once you move past that, it's a huge mess of hardware that doesn't make any sense. For example, when you format an HDD, it actually saves format data in SRAM. So when the battery goes, you have to reformat, unless you are quick enough to install a dual holder for swapping. Installing TownsOS is a mind-numbing process even if you can read Japanese. Old Towns used RGBS, but later on switched to RGBHV and removed the 15khz support.

Illusion City (floppy disk game) actually requires you to boot TownsOS off CD (does not work off of HDD), run an "installer program" that then copies data off the TownsCD to the game floppies themselves, then and only then will it boot. Some games will refuse to boot if they don't find a keyboard or formatted blank floppy. And most of those weird games will give you no error message, just won't boot. Some games will only run on 2mb or 4mb of RAM, anymore = crash on boot. Lol it's a complete mess for a small selection of very pricey games.

Still I own 3 of them. :)
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby Great Hierophant » 2017-6-17 @ 17:38

Bizarre by IBM PC standards to be sure. However, when you design a computer around an optical drive or other non-writeable storage, you may expect some curious design choices. On the other hand, bootable CD discs did not come to the PC for years after the FM Towns.
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby Firstrun70 » 2017-10-19 @ 09:22

Any mp3 recordings with the vibrato bug and without vibrato bug?
Anybody have a links? or mp3 files? or CM-500 + any other MT-32 compatible synthesizer to record these files?
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby jesolo » 2017-10-19 @ 09:35

Firstrun70 wrote:Any mp3 recordings with the vibrato bug and without vibrato bug?
Anybody have a links? or mp3 files? or CM-500 + any other MT-32 compatible synthesizer to record these files?

Check out the video that Phil made. There is a section where he touches on the faster vibrato issue of the CM-500.
http://www.philscomputerlab.com/ultimat ... orial.html
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby Firstrun70 » 2017-10-19 @ 09:48

Thank you
2:38:58 - 2:41:42

Does anybody have a list with game names and scene names with noticable vibrato bug ?
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-20 @ 06:36

SuperDeadite wrote:I'd actually say the FM Towns is the most difficult. People tend to think it's simple because of the Marty console and the auto-boot cd-rom games, but once you move past that, it's a huge mess of hardware that doesn't make any sense. For example, when you format an HDD, it actually saves format data in SRAM. So when the battery goes, you have to reformat, unless you are quick enough to install a dual holder for swapping. Installing TownsOS is a mind-numbing process even if you can read Japanese. Old Towns used RGBS, but later on switched to RGBHV and removed the 15khz support.

Illusion City (floppy disk game) actually requires you to boot TownsOS off CD (does not work off of HDD), run an "installer program" that then copies data off the TownsCD to the game floppies themselves, then and only then will it boot. Some games will refuse to boot if they don't find a keyboard or formatted blank floppy. And most of those weird games will give you no error message, just won't boot. Some games will only run on 2mb or 4mb of RAM, anymore = crash on boot. Lol it's a complete mess for a small selection of very pricey games.

Still I own 3 of them. :)


Owning a not-so-small collection of FM Towns hard- and software myself, I can't really agree on that. For games, it's not that different to a PC. Some games must be started from TownsOS, some must be installed to HDD, but most run from disc directly. Even for the PC, there are floppy disk games that must be installed to a new set of floppys first (e.g. Silent Service II). Nothing unexceptional, really. Most quirks of those games are quite normal for games from Japan in general and not specific to the FM Towns. Japanese simply do things different. ;)

Besides, the selection of FM Towns games is neither small nor expensive. Well, unless you are after Ultima or the LucasArts games. But these are not cheap for the PC either.
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-10-20 @ 11:23

The selection is quite poor imo.
You can probably count the number of good Towns exclusive games on one hand.
Maybe a dozen total if you include doujin games.
Price wise?
Wing Commander 2 and Lemmings 2 are $300 games on Towns. LOL.
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby derSammler » 2017-10-20 @ 11:39

SuperDeadite wrote:You can probably count the number of good Towns exclusive games on one hand.

Let's see: Exclusive remakes of Ultima 1 - 6, Zak McKracken 256-color, Wing Cammander 1 with exclusive features; and we have exceeded one hand already. ;) Not sure if you are aware that there are 2000+ games for FM Towns.

SuperDeadite wrote:Wing Commander 2 and Lemmings 2 are $300 games on Towns. LOL.

Because sellers on ebay asking for that price? Show me sold copies for that price; they probably don't exist. I own lots of games incl. the very sought-after Ultima 6 and did not pay more than 100 bucks for any of them. In most cases, much much less.
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Re: Roland CM-500 = MT-32 + SC55?

Postby SuperDeadite » 2017-10-20 @ 13:46

2000 games yes, but 80% of them are adult ADV style games, most of which are PC-98 ports.
Fujitsu was so desperate to get popular software on the thing that they had their own series
of licensed DOS ports from abroad.

Ebay? I have lived in Japan for over 12 years. I don't even have an ebay account. I have been trying
to get a Lemmings 2 for almost 7 years now and have basically given up at this point.

Yes some Towns games have exclusive graphics and features, but it really isn't enough for most people to justify
the hardware costs.

How many true exclusive games are there? It's a rather short list.
Look, I currently own 3 machines and about 50 games. I like the system, but for someone wanting to get into
Japanese computers, it is not the place to start.
Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, Dreamblaster X2
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