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First post, by JamieLinux

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Preface: Long time lurker first time poster. I wanted to say thank you to Vogons for the many years of helping me keep my dosbox in shape and being able to retro game to the fullest extent. As someone that loved the old hardware, had 2 Roland MT-32's before they died I have always been a fan of using the best possible audio experience when playing any game. Alas there is not many tutorials on how to make The Roland Sound Canvas VA work in OSX, there is one guide on here that kinda touches the base of it but does not actually go in depth on how to make it work.

Things you will need before you begin

OSX Mojave, or Cantalina
Note: Earlier versions of osx may work however you won't be able to change to any emulated sound canvas device.

Roland Sound Canvas.
You can get this from the Roland Website: https://www.roland.com/us/products/rc_sound_canvas_va/. I suggest signing up for the cloud, as you can try the VST plugin, and if you want a lifetime key it is $69.00 instead of $125.00 off the website.

AU Lab
You can downloaded this from iTunes Digital Masters https://www.apple.com/itunes/mastered-for-itunes/.

Latest version of DOSBox.

The Guide:

First off you will want to Download and install the latest version of dosbox, once done you will want to configure the dosbox preferences :

You can do this by holding option pressing go in finder : It will be under Library> Preferences called "Dosbox<version number>.pref .

Using your favorite text editor:
Scroll the document until you reach the [midi] section. Then change your Midi section to mirror what is here, I personally make my own little note to tell me which midi device is which so if I need to change to another midi config, I know which device is witch.

mpu401=intelligent
mididevice=coremidi
#midiconfig 0: Sound Canvas VA : #midiconfig 1:MT-32 emulation
midiconfig=0

Save and done here.. You may also want to set your screen config and so forth while you are editing this.

Next step

You will need to open Midi Config. It is under Launchpad > Other > Midi Config. Once opened you need to click window and then Midi Studio. From here another window will open and you will see A Midi Sudio Window and IAC Bus 1 , open that up and click device online. For Prt you can click the + sign and attach a new port or Not Personally I attach a new port as it seems to cause less headaches, and rename it to Sound Canvas VA. You can now close that window.

From the Midi Window you can click new external device or press CMD E , this will open up a new windows. Give your device a name a brand and a model number . Personally I used:

  • Device Name: Roland Sound Canvas VA
    Manufacture: Roland
    Model: SC-xxx

You however can call it anything you want. Now you will see a ton of options under it.
Properties: Channels 1-16 make sure you select all 16 channels they change color when you select them and if you hit them again they de select when you first open the panel they are un checked. Make sure Midi Beat clock and Time code are both checked.

You will do identically the same thing for Receives as you have for Transmits. (this is pretty much a virtual SC box. ), Features you can select GM.
Next tab PORTS : Just make sure to pick the port you configured in the first step. Once done give it a cool icon and click apply you can now close both windows.

Give your self a pat on the back you are almost there.

Now Launch Au Lab,
New Stereo config. Audio input device None. Output settings built in output or wherever you need to send the audio. Then click Create document.
Once your new document is open click edit add new audio unit instrument . Midi input source will be the port you configured. Instrument will be Roland then sound canvas va. Click ok.

From here you will see the Sound Canvas VA and your 2 rows one is an output one is the Sound Canvas VA. Click on the one that says instrument make sure it has the yellow box around it, then click edit on the top row, then edit selected group. You will see a box that says edit thru parms click that. Up top you will see your configured Bus where we made your virtual device and active channels, only chanel 1 is selected , you will want to make sure you drag from 1 to 16 and it will turn them all on, then controllers should already be configured and enabled for you. hit the red x then click ok. Now you are back where you started with the untiled document and the Sound Canvas Plugin window that says Roland.

Roland Instrument window click options, system menu and pick which sound canvas you want to emulate, and then click reset. You will see it has changed.
( I would recommend saving your config here and also your untitled config unless you want to recreate this every time you load up Au Lab.)

There you have it, now load up dosbox run your fav game ( I would recommend going into the games installer and changing the sound to General MIDI and or Sound Canvas.

Games that sound better with this plug in : Disworld Sound Canvas sounds better then the MT 32 Variant, Ultima Underworld 1 sounds amazing as well.
Leisure Suit Larry 5.

For MT-32 games I would recommend using a real MT-32 and or MUNT as the Sound Canvas MT -32 emulation is just default MT-32 map as it lacks the programmable banks, if you want to play with that you will ned to download the scc-1 disk and copy it to your dosbox game install folder and then change the use the exe to set the Roland SC to MT32 mode, as the software unit lacks the hardware buttons.

Hope you all found this helpful.

PS: The VMU on the Roland PLUGIN won't show any moving parts however you will see the green VU lines move on AU labs.
If for any reason you do not get any audio: go back to edit selected group with the Sound Canvas selected and change the thru parms to any midi device , sometimes au labs well is au labs. If then you still do not get any audio I would edit your dosbox config midi port until you hear audio.