DOSBOX & MIDI (SC-55) Questions/Comments

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DOSBOX & MIDI (SC-55) Questions/Comments

Postby gamerk2 » 2017-11-26 @ 06:25

After spending about eight hours, I finally got DOSBOX to play nice with Roland Sound Canvas VA, which I'm using to output MIDI SC-55 audio. I had to find out a few things along the way I was kind of shocked no one seemed to have encountered before (either that, or my google-fu failed miserably). I just want to post here to see if anyone else has run into the same thing, or if my setup is still incorrect, even if it's "working".

So first off: I'm using the latest ykhwong branch rather then the latest SVN. It's last build was 2015 I think, but I'm too lazy to upgrade to the latest SVN and replace all my per-game .conf files one at a time. Maybe that's part of the problem, or maybe it's the solution.

Anyway, here's the setup:

1: Install/run loopMIDI (or equivalent program) to create a MIDI Loopback driver.
2: Install/run Roland Sound Canvas VA (using SAVIHost) and point to loopMIDI's output port.
3: Configure game to use Sound Canvas 55 audio samples (General MIDI also works in a pinch)
4: Set DOSBOX to point to the correct midiconfig (0 in my case)

At this point, you'd expect audio output out of Sound Canvas VA. Nope. After doing some digging, no data is being sent from loopMIDI. I spent hours on this part before I figured out what was wrong.

After doing some thinking, I realized the game (and I tried several) is going to try and output whatever it's configured to, whether or not it actually works. And the MIDI loopback should send back to Sound Canvas VA whatever it sees, whether or not it's configured correctly. So if no data is being transmitted, the problem must be with the output out of DOSBOX before it gets to loopMIDI.

After toying with settings, I found the "magic" one that needs to be switched for SC55 audio to get sent to Sound Canvas VA from DOSBOX:

mpu401=uart (was defaulted to mpu401=intelligent)

As I understand it, Intelligent mode adds a bunch of bells and whistles, setting the setting to uart just tells DOSBOX "Send out the audio as is".

I guess my questions are basically:
A: Is my configuration correct/up to date (The SC55 audio output now works, so I guess I'm set up properly now?)
B: How has no one else run into this problem before?

Sorry for the rambling; just kind of wondering how I couldn't find a solution to my issues via google a lot faster then it took me to figure it out on my own. Guess I assumed everything would be as painless as getting MUNT up and running for MT-32 emulation.
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Re: DOSBOX & MIDI (SC-55) Questions/Comments

Postby Dominus » 2017-11-26 @ 08:31

Just a heads up, don’t use Daum. It is broken in several places andif you run into problems no one will help you.
(In this case it is unlikely to be a Daum issue)
I‘d always try all midi options but it’s good you mention it.
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Re: DOSBOX & MIDI (SC-55) Questions/Comments

Postby Osprey » 2017-11-26 @ 19:40

I've seen people run into a uart/intelligent mode issue before. Maybe it's not the bigger problem that you expect it to be because few people have Roland Sound Canvas VA. I use a BASS MIDI driver (an alternate method to VST) and an SC-55 soundfont and I don't think that I've had to ever had to switch DOSBox's MIDI mode from intelligent to uart.
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