VOGONS


Reply 40 of 53, by DOSUserDude

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thecrankyhermit wrote:

Depends on what "you" consider an "authentic" or "optimized" or "meant to be played" experience.

Trying to minimize subjectivity. Sometimes this is easy. It's well known that Sierra's pre-GM titles were composed for MT-32, so MT-32 is how they're "meant to be played," regardless of if I think they're better with later GM patches, or if I'm nostalgic for Adlib mode. DOTT is more complicated, but most people seem to say that MT-32 is how the music is "meant to be played." I've sort of accepted that, but I wonder why MT-32 support had to be patched in later if that's true.

If the game was composed on an early Roland SC-55 (remember..3 composers..did all three use Roland SC 55s? early/late?) but with the CM32L/LAPC-I in mind for maximum reproducability of intended music+soundFX (demonstrated by the fact that there are extra FX etc with a CM32L/LAPC-I etc) then clearly it was "meant to be played" (using composing platform+maximum reproducability criteria) on a CM32L/LAPC-I - not an MT-32.

Because GM had been standardized and increased its market share presence over the years the game developed and by the time it was released, GM support was also provided at release time.

Like Great Hierophant indicated, it wasnt "patched in later" - They clearly developed it for both CDROM/floppy release (floppy originally at the start, then as the development extended, added voice for CDROM). They then shipped simultaneously.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Day_of_the_Tentacle

However, when they shipped the floppy version, at least originally, they shipped it without the actual Roland/GM drivers (though the configuration setup support listed them as options - selecting them resulted in errors at runtime).

So arguably, if you have the original floppy version, but without the extra floppy with the actual drivers and FX data, then arguably it was "meant to be played" with an SB/Adlib, since that is the only device supported without the extra disk (drivers+FX).

If you have the floppy version but with the extra disk (Roland/GM drivers+FX) then arguably, it is "meant to be played" on a CM32L/LAPC-I with/without a SB, depending on if you have one.

So for my purposes, what are the reasons one might prefer CM-32L sound effects over the Sound Blaster ones? I can think of a few objective reasons to prefer the SB ones - they came first, which is a point in favor of authenticity, they're more numerous, they're made specifically for DOTT, and you need SB mode to hear voices in the CD-ROM version. Why prefer the CM-32L sounds? If they're just things like "because I want to hear them" or "I want to use my CM-32L," and not things like "some sounds are CM-32L exclusive," then it's still my understanding that MT-32+SB is the optimal experience.

They SB FX didnt come first certainly not the voice. Arguably, they came second, relative to the development cycle (started floppy only, CDROM support added later, assuming SB FX=voice+FX).

Again as stated above, CM32L/LAPCI-I (with or without SB) is the "optimal" experience, since an MT-32 (or any GM device in GM mode) cannot play any of the exta soundFX that are only available on a CM32L/LAPC-I/CM64 etc.

If it was composed on a Roland SC 55 (3 different composers mind you), it would seem that GM would be preferred, especially for the floppy version or without a SB. But if configured for Roland with a CM32L/LAPC-I..you get those extra FX that you dont get with GM or MT-32.

But you do get those extra FX with MIDI+SB, right? Just different versions of the FX.

But you don't get them. At all. MT-32 can't play them. GM Can't play them. Only CM32L/LACPC-I/CM64 can.

Did i mention the "it doesnt sound right because that isnt how I remember it" bias preference?

No need. It's irrelevant to what I mean by "meant to be played."

Your choice. Simply pointing out one of the common "meant to be played" criteria often mentioned.

Corrected drivers that allow combinations of audio devices that werent allowed or were limited then? is that "meant to be played"?

I take that on a case by case. For instance, I like how it's now possible to play Monkey Island 2 with MT-32 with Adlib sounds. Technically not "meant to be played," but you're getting the best of both worlds, each world an authentic one on its own, and they don't clash or offend when combined. An example of an enhanced game I don't care for would be Wasteland. The added music is too somber for the rather goofy tone, and it's just an unending loop of tracks that have nothing to do with the area you're in. The game just wasn't meant to have music, and the attempt to shoehorn it in doesn't fit.

I also like that its now possible to combine hardware support in ways that weren't intended/supported at the time. But again, as you yourself admit, it violates "meant to be played" by your own criteria.

NewRisingSun/tikalat and others have created all sorts of modified/fixed drivers for all sorts of games that I use - DOSBox of course supports them - Does SCUMMVM?

Same could be said of using a modern MIDI/MPU-401 device that didn't exist at the time a game with MIDI/MPU-401 support was released.

I wouldn't put it in a separate category at all. The game makes use of and outputs extra soundFX on a LAPC-I/CM32L (especially meaningful on the floppy version which has little to no SB FX). That can't be denied.

That's good information, which I didn't know, and does make a case for CM-32L's relevancy. But what about the CD-ROM version? Does it have extra FX compared to that? And why play the floppy version of DOTT when the CD-ROM version is available? Not a rhetorical question - I recently asked that question (to myself) about Loom, and found some very good, factual reasons.

Since they were released simultaneously, perhaps playing it both ways is called for? I myself have that very same consideration: "for game XX, when both floppy and CDROM versions are available, which version should I obtain/play?" And yes, Loom is a good example of why the floppy version might/would be preferred to the CDROM version. But again, maybe play it both ways?

SCUMMVM has plenty of limitations and drawbacks (in addition to some useful functionality) as noted here and elsewhere. To my mind the limitations outweigh the benefits, but I use it for testing purposes etc. Their focus is on adding more and more games and "improved and corrected gameplay" -providing maximized original experience accuracy seems very low on their priority list. The audio infrastructrure and development is exceedingly poor, especially in terms of replicating the original audio options and configurability which then directly affects the output.

Ok, but what are these limitations? Everyone poops on ScummVM, but I haven't seen any good reasons that would affect a significant number of games from the perspective of optimization. How is DOTT affected? You bring up MUNT integration issues, but acknowledge this is a tiny issue, and it's easily overcome by using MUNT separately which you'd have to do anyway with DOSBox. You bring up Lure of the Temptress lacking MT-32 support, but the compatibility notes say this, and this doesn't affect DOTT, or any game that isn't Lure of the Tempress.

The compatibilty notes for SCUMMVM say many things:

https://www.scummvm.org/compatibility/

By the their own admission, most games are "good" in terms of compatbility, maybe 1/3 are "excellent", and minority are "untested", and one bugged. How many games? And how many games does DOSBox support? For me, I much prefer the greater platform (and of course game) accuracy and flexibility, not to mention app quantity, that DOSBox provides.

And again, this isn't a rhetorical question. If I'm playing my games wrong by using ScummVM, I'd like to know. But I need to know HOW this is wrong - it's not enough just to tell me it has limitations and drawbacks.

Play your games how you want based upon your criteria. Considering they have "re-engineered" all the game engines and fix "script errors" etc, and have limited original hardware support, I prefer the "more authentic" and far wider game/hardware support of DOSBox.

See Above. Depends on what you mean by "fine" - totally subjective.

"Fine" means "MT-32 + SB in DOTT sound the same whether you're playing on DOSBox or ScummVM." Correct or not?

Yes, MT32+SB (not that SCUMMVM has that as a directly configurable SB/digital playback option as you noted) should sound mostly the same (there are sample resolution options etc). However, again, CM32L/LAPC-I would be the preferred option, especially with the floppy version, and with/without the SB voice support disabled (in either version) due to the "extra" soundFX.

I would not suggest that the LAPC-I/CM32L/etc (or even the MT32 in special reprogammability mode) are "sound blaster substitutes" but rather have additional capabilities which may be exploited by some games,

I'm just talking about DOTT and CM-32L sound effects. I know there are games that use CM-32L sounds for things that SB can't do, and even more games (including DOTT) that use MT-32 programming to do things that SB can't do. But those aren't what I'm talking about.

Playing it with a CM32L/LAPC-I (emulated or real) is preferred on any platform assuming the platform supports outputting the extra soundFX.

This is true of all other games that have specialized LAPC-I/CM32L soundFX and SCUMMVM as well

Not all of them. LSL5's CM-32L effects definitely work in ScummVM, at least as of version 1.8.

That's good to "hear". I did some additional testing of 1.8.0 (I hadn't tested SCUMMVM's MT32/MIDI support in a while) and recorded the MIDI output of DOTT in SCUMMVM+MUNT in addition to watching the MUNT console messages, and indeed, it (SCUMMVM) is sending all the necessary MIDI/SYSEX data to play the extra soundFX on a CM32L/LAPCI-I/etc. I also used only CM32L ROMs with the built-in MT-32 support in SCUMMVM 1.8.0 and filtered out the digital playback and heard the same.

So SCUMMVM as of 1.8.0 does have some support (both internal and external) for the playback of CM32L/LAPC-I sounds for some games - again, good to "hear", and a good advancement for SCUMMVM.

Ultimately, you should play the games how you want with your own preferences and criteria - I know I do, and why, as I stated before.

Reply 41 of 53, by thecrankyhermit

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So arguably, if you have the original floppy version, but without the extra floppy with the actual drivers and FX data, then arguably it was "meant to be played" with an SB/Adlib, since that is the only device supported without the extra disk (drivers+FX).
If you have the floppy version but with the extra disk (Roland/GM drivers+FX) then arguably, it is "meant to be played" on a CM32L/LAPC-I with/without a SB, depending on if you have one.

This argument doesn't make sense to me. My definition of "meant to be played" is only concerned with the developer's intentions. For those intents, you have access to every patch, every version, and every piece of hardware. If you have the original floppy version, it's still "meant to be played" with the CM-32L extra effects, so go get the patch.

That said, if the CD-ROM version was developed concurrently, then that raises into question that any floppy only configuration is "meant to be played" at all.

But you don't get them. At all. MT-32 can't play them. GM Can't play them. Only CM32L/LACPC-I/CM64 can.

But I think that only applies to the floppy version. With the CD-ROM version, the SB can play their replacement FX. And as far as I know, the replacement FX are superior and comprehensive.

NewRisingSun/tikalat and others have created all sorts of modified/fixed drivers for all sorts of games that I use - DOSBox of course supports them - Does SCUMMVM?

Sometimes ScummVM supports the same functionality that those modifies drivers do. Sometimes it does things that no driver available can do.

Since they were released simultaneously, perhaps playing it both ways is called for?

I'd need a good reason. Time and mental capacity are limited.

Loom has THREE versions that I'd consider worthy of playing, each with mutually exclusive benefits. The EGA version is the only one that has the original intended aesthetic and totally unabridged script, the FM Towns version combines a mostly abridged script with redbook music and VGA graphics, and the PC CD has decent voice acting and fully upgraded VGA graphics.

But why play DOTT without voices and SB FX? I still know of no version or configuration of DOTT that gives me anything that playing the CD-ROM version with MT-32+SB does not. Floppy version configured to CM-32L possibly gives you a better sense of what the early development was like, but as far as I know the CD-ROM version with SB+Roland is a straightforward and comprehensive upgrade.

By the their own admission, most games are "good" in terms of compatbility, maybe 1/3 are "excellent", and minority are "untested", and one bugged. How many games? And how many games does DOSBox support? For me, I much prefer the greater platform (and of course game) accuracy and flexibility, not to mention app quantity, that DOSBox provides.

But this isn't an either-or situation. There's no reason that one has to "prefer" DOSBox or ScummVM for everything. Why not, for instance, use ScummVM for the optimally supported games, and DOSBox for everything else? That's more or less what I do, and I use DOSBox constantly, and ScummVM situationally. DOTT is an apparent such situation, and the fact that DOSBox supports thousands of games that aren't DOTT is irrelevant to that situation. Accuracy and flexibility might be relevant, but I need specific examples to know.

And the majority of "good" games there have no known issues with the DOS versions, which is usually the version you'd want to be playing. Frankly, I'm not sure what the difference between "good" and "excellent" is. There are "excellent" games with bigger non-DOS platform issues than what some "good" games have.

Play your games how you want based upon your criteria. Considering they have "re-engineered" all the game engines and fix "script errors" etc, and have limited original hardware support,

Got to have all the facts about all the options before I can say what best fits my criteria. And when there are multiple facts that seem to clash, I've got to know which facts are correct, or otherwise know what facts I'm missing so I can reconcile. That's why I'm asking so many questions. And what do you mean by "limited original hardware support?" Lure's lack of MT-32 support is known, but what you said sounds more general than that.

(not that SCUMMVM has that as a directly configurable SB/digital playback option as you noted)

Huh? SB digital playback is automatic. There's no option *not* to use it.

However, again, CM32L/LAPC-I would be the preferred option, especially with the floppy version, and with/without the SB voice support disabled (in either version) due to the "extra" soundFX.

Do you mean especially with the floppy version, or exclusively with the floppy version? I thought that the CM-32L FX did not work at all with SB support enabled in the CD-ROM version.

Last edited by thecrankyhermit on 2016-04-25, 17:54. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 42 of 53, by PhilsComputerLab

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On thing I like about ScummVM is the "mixed Adlib mode". With Monkey Island 2, when played with the MT-32 option, many sounds are absent in the game. These sounds do play with an Adlib or Sound Blaster.

However Monkey Island doesn't support dual sound cards, so it''s one or the other. ScummVM solves this by being able to play both.

For DOS there are now patches available though, talkie version included, which is pretty cool.

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Reply 43 of 53, by Great Hierophant

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thecrankyhermit wrote:

Loom has THREE versions that I'd consider worthy of playing, each with mutually exclusive benefits. The EGA version is the only one that has the original intended aesthetic and totally unabridged script, the FM Towns version combines a mostly abridged script with redbook music and VGA graphics, and the PC CD has decent voice acting and fully upgraded VGA graphics.

The FM Towns version has an unabridged script, its the PC CD that has the abridged script because they could only fit so many minutes of speech on the redbook audio track.

I believe that if you bought the floppy version, CM-32L/LAPC-I was the way it was meant to be played. You may not have been able to play it in that way on the day you bought it if you had to wait for the patch disk. On the other hand, if you had a modem and could dial into a BBS, you could probably have found it there. In that case, your wait would only be measured in hours instead of days 😀

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Reply 45 of 53, by Spikey

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I posted this on the mostly unused 'new QuestStudios' forums, but since it applies more here, I'll add it, regarding Larry 5 and the CM-32L:

NewRisingSun and I have been investigating Leisure Suit Larry 5. (I then go on to explain about the CM, which I have omitted here.)

Ironically, the MT-32 driver for the game stops some of the sound effects being heard while playing, so most will have never heard them (outside of the couple of laughs). This can be worked around by extracting the patch bank from the game and playing the MIDI files outside of the game (provided the patch bank has been sent, of course).

Provided is a list of the game tracks and the sound effects used/notes which trigger them:
- Dream Theme
Wind Chimes (D7)
- Michelle Milken (Parts 1 and 2)
Wind Chimes (D7)
- Shill Building
Wind Chimes (D7)
- Gettin' Some Air
Laughing (A#4), Wind Chimes (D7)
- K-RAP Radio (Part 1)
Scratches/Car-Pass (E7), Laughing (A#4)
- Gym Dandy Gymnastics Center (Salsa This)
Laughing (A#4)

Much more than we originally thought! I will eventually have recordings of these. To be honest, there's not many I like, I guess the chimes are probably the best used/least jarring. Guess I'm just not used to hearing them in the context of the music..

Reply 46 of 53, by PhilsComputerLab

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Spikey wrote:

I posted this on the mostly unused 'new QuestStudios' forums,

Wait what?

Phoenix has risen from the ashes? Got more info please?

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Reply 48 of 53, by PhilsComputerLab

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Kaminari wrote:

Ah I know that site.

I listened to the first few tunes, I think the second one was The Heart of China and it sounds quite off compared to a real Roland MT-32. I stopped right there 😐

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Reply 49 of 53, by Great Hierophant

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Spikey wrote:

I posted this on the mostly unused 'new QuestStudios' forums, but since it applies more here, I'll add it, regarding Larry 5 and the CM-32L:

I'm not sure I was aware that the Archive set up a forum, I cannot find a link to it.

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Reply 50 of 53, by Spikey

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It's under 'QuestStudios Archive -> Message Board':
https://www.midimusicadventures.com/phpbb/viewforum.php?f=3

I listened to the first few tunes, I think the second one was The Heart of China and it sounds quite off compared to a real Roland MT-32. I stopped right there 😐

What does this mean? The Heart of China page you're referring to I believe is the enhanced soundtrack, so of course, it should differ from 'vanilla' MT-32 sound..

Reply 51 of 53, by Dimitris1980

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Returning to the first page of this topic and because recently i added to my collection a Roland CM64 i can say that Lure of the Temptress is really great. Yes, with my MT32 (old one) there are weird sounds but with the CM64 the game becomes lot better. From the start with the fire sound and the door that you close and then you lock. After the escape, at the town there are sounds of dogs, birds and water. It's unbelievable that all these details were not known even at computer magazines of this era.

I would like to ask what extra effects has Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis with the Roland CM64 or CM32L.

Reply 52 of 53, by SuperDeadite

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If you want to hear your CM64 used to its full potential, you are going to have to look at Japan only systems. Sharp X68000 especially.
For example:
https://youtu.be/Z4jq3ql8etY

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Reply 53 of 53, by Jo22

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I second this. The CM64 really is CM32P+CM32L..
The PCM part was more popular in Japan, I recall.
Extra effects could be added by inserting special cards, even.
However, I have little experience with these.

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