Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

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Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby wildweasel » 2008-8-01 @ 01:50

I've got a complete Roland MT-32 kit with an MPU-401 interface card here, currently buried in a 486 that essentially has no business even trying to run the games I want to run on it (only four megs of RAM? can't even handle Strike Commander). Now, after hearing something to the effect that DOSBox can directly interface with a real Roland MT-32 somehow, I wanted to try to get my rig working on my Dell XPS 600.

Except that the interface card is ISA. I don't have any ISA slots on my motherboard.

How would I go about hooking a Roland MT-32 up to my modern system? I currently have a Creative Sound Blaster X-Fi card installed; it's supposed to have MIDI In support but I have no idea how to confirm this.
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-01 @ 03:01

IIRC there is USB MIDI interface to use external MIDI devices (including MT-32) on modern system. I think we had such discussion few months ago, but I don't remember what thread it was. All I remember is that dh4rm4 uses such USB MIDI interface to use his MT-32 for games running in DOSBOX (running on modern system without ISA slot).

By the way, shouldn't PC hardware discussion be done in this forum? And while we're at it, am I the only one who think that "Marvin" is not a very descriptive name? I think "PC hardware" is a better name but maybe it's just me.
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby crash. » 2008-8-01 @ 07:21

I think that the name of this forum is intended to be consistent with the themes of this wonderful site (VOGONS). I suppose that it could be renamed to "Old PC Hardware", but that isn't very interesting IMHO.

Please see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marvin_the ... id_Android

For that matter, you might want to look up:

Vogon:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vogon

Milliways:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milliways#Milliway.27s

Deep Thought
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Minor_char ... ep_Thought

I personally use my MT-32 attached to a gameport MIDI adapter, which works fine if your sound card or motherboard happens to have a gameport. Gameport MIDI cables are currently available on eBay for $12. A USB MIDI adapter costs about the same, but I would assume will only work if you are running Windows. I think if you have to run a game in DOS or Windows98 DOS mode, you may be out of luck with the USB device.

There seem to be a lot of X-Fi models, so you'll have to take a look at yours to see if it has the DB15 gameport interface.

Cheers!
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby Qbix » 2008-8-01 @ 07:29

I got an usb-midi adaptor and that works with dosbox under linux as well with an mt32.
However mine was (a lot )more expensive then $12. (I might have been ripped off ;) )
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby crash. » 2008-8-01 @ 07:37

Yours could also be a lot better than the USB adapter on eBay for $12.50. I think I paid more like $60-80 for the one I got for my brother's computer. The Gameport MIDI adapter is much simpler though, and shouldn't require drivers or circuitry, so it is harder to mess that up.
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman » 2008-8-01 @ 10:35


Oh.



crash. wrote:I personally use my MT-32 attached to a gameport MIDI adapter, which works fine if your sound card or motherboard happens to have a gameport. Gameport MIDI cables are currently available on eBay for $12. A USB MIDI adapter costs about the same, but I would assume will only work if you are running Windows. I think if you have to run a game in DOS or Windows98 DOS mode, you may be out of luck with the USB device.

Would an external MIDI device work in DOS, given that the sound card (the one with gameport adapter) is PCI?
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby Malik » 2008-8-01 @ 15:51

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:By the way, shouldn't PC hardware discussion be done in this forum? And while we're at it, am I the only one who think that "Marvin" is not a very descriptive name? I think "PC hardware" is a better name but maybe it's just me.


I agree. Marvin seems to be out of place for a pure Dos machine topic. Whereas the thread PC is reserved for EMULATION of old pcs and hardwares???
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby wildweasel » 2008-8-01 @ 18:25

At this point I'm probably going to have to resort to using the USB MIDI adapter, for the main reason being that my X-Fi card does not have a gameport on it, and while I have a gameport card lying around in my dad's old hardware stash, it too is an ISA card, so I'm back to square one on that.

As for USB MIDI adapters and where to buy them...are they seriously $60-80? I really don't have that kind of money right now, being out of a job at the moment...
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby Qbix » 2008-8-01 @ 19:22

Malik wrote:
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:By the way, shouldn't PC hardware discussion be done in this forum? And while we're at it, am I the only one who think that "Marvin" is not a very descriptive name? I think "PC hardware" is a better name but maybe it's just me.


I agree. Marvin seems to be out of place for a pure Dos machine topic. Whereas the thread PC is reserved for EMULATION of old pcs and hardwares???


You will get used it ;)
For more things related to this board setup, please use the Milliways board.
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby crash. » 2008-8-01 @ 20:15

Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:Would an external MIDI device work in DOS, given that the sound card (the one with gameport adapter) is PCI?


It should work if the PCI card has DOS drivers or some equivalent. Aureal Vortex2 have DOS drivers, as to many of the later Sound Blaster PCI cards and I'm sure other brands as well.

The Yamaha onboard sound on one motherboard I used has a DOS configuration program that activates the card, but I don't think it is actually a driver that takes up memory. There are some other Yamaha models including a PCI YMF724 that seems to indicate is has legacy hardware support without drivers.

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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby crash. » 2008-8-01 @ 20:31

wildweasel wrote:At this point I'm probably going to have to resort to using the USB MIDI adapter, for the main reason being that my X-Fi card does not have a gameport on it. As for USB MIDI adapters and where to buy them...are they seriously $60-80? I really don't have that kind of money right now, being out of a job at the moment...


Some Sound Blasters do have the gameport header on the card, so they would only require that you get the gameport cable and port/plate. Are there any pin header blocks sticking out of your card? Which specific model do you have?

There are actually USB MIDI adapters on eBay from $4 and up. You may not want to try recording a studio album using one of these, but for gaming on an MT-32, it will probably work just fine.

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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby wildweasel » 2008-8-01 @ 22:28

crash. wrote:Some Sound Blasters do have the gameport header on the card, so they would only require that you get the gameport cable and port/plate. Are there any pin header blocks sticking out of your card? Which specific model do you have?

My X-Fi (not sure of the exact model - it came pre-installed on my Dell computer) does not actually have any gameport support at all. I thought it had a gameport on it, but it actually has one extra row of pins (making three rows instead of the Gameport-standard two rows), I assume for some Creative proprietary hardware.

There are actually USB MIDI adapters on eBay from $4 and up. You may not want to try recording a studio album using one of these, but for gaming on an MT-32, it will probably work just fine.

Cheers!

Hey, as long as it works, I'm happy. I'll go search for one there then...would be nice to take a break from my futile search for Pinball World.
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby Thrillo » 2008-8-02 @ 15:27

I use a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz; I don't even use the sound portion, only the gameport. It's in my system solely so that I can use my MT-32 in Dosbox.
The advantage to using this over a USB midi adaptor is that a gameport also allows you to use old joysticks, like the CH Flightstick, so you can get an even more authentic feel with Dosbox.
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Re: Real Roland MT-32 on a Modern System?

Postby wildweasel » 2008-8-02 @ 17:30

Thrillo wrote:I use a Turtle Beach Santa Cruz; I don't even use the sound portion, only the gameport. It's in my system solely so that I can use my MT-32 in Dosbox.
The advantage to using this over a USB midi adaptor is that a gameport also allows you to use old joysticks, like the CH Flightstick, so you can get an even more authentic feel with Dosbox.

Wow, and those are even cheaper than the USB MIDIs I'm seeing on ebay...do you have any idea if the Microsoft force feedback controllers work through that? They're sitting on a shelf here and I'm a bit disappointed that I can't use them.
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