Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby Dominus » 2016-3-06 @ 21:27

Wow, great!
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-3-07 @ 01:33

That's excellent, thank you!
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby gdjacobs » 2016-3-07 @ 01:40

PhilsComputerLab wrote:That's excellent, thank you!


No problem. Let me know how you fair with it!
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-3-07 @ 01:48

Yea I got to get myself a Pi first :)
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby gdjacobs » 2016-3-07 @ 02:35

Might as well get a Pi 3 at this point. The Pi 2 hasn't had a price cut yet. If history is an indication, it'll be a few months before that happens.

Either way, I think the image should be fine on a Cortex A53. Using the A7 code generator and targeting VFP4 and NEON should work, although I obviously haven't tested it yet.
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby gdjacobs » 2016-3-10 @ 23:55

Got a working GPIO driven LCD for SYSEX messages.
viewtopic.php?f=29&t=46899&p=483478#p483478
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IMG_20160310_180737.jpg
See you later, Detective Bonds!
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Pi 2 and dual row LCD on my entertainment rack
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby keropi » 2016-3-11 @ 00:36

^ nice!!!
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby gdjacobs » 2016-3-11 @ 01:02

Thanks. Next step is an intelligent mode MPU401. Difficult to do on my discretionary budget. Prices these days are enough to stand my hair on end. With either the MPU-401AT or MPU-IPC-T + BOB combos running in excess of $300 online, HardMPU looks like what I'll be looking at by default.
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby stamasd » 2016-3-11 @ 09:56

...or one of keropi's MusicQuest clones, if he gets around to making more of them (I grabbed one when they were hot LOL).
I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby Kamerat » 2016-3-11 @ 11:02

Very nice gdjacobs! :cool:
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby keropi » 2016-3-11 @ 11:47

stamasd wrote:...or one of keropi's MusicQuest clones, if he gets around to making more of them (I grabbed one when they were hot LOL).


I'll just leave these '80s mcus here :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby stamasd » 2016-3-11 @ 12:04

keropi wrote:
stamasd wrote:...or one of keropi's MusicQuest clones, if he gets around to making more of them (I grabbed one when they were hot LOL).


I'll just leave these '80s mcus here :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:


You were wondering if there's a market for these. Well there you go.
With your modern clones (or HardMPU), and an external MT32 emulator box using modern hardware we can bypass the vintage used market altogether.

(edit) Hmm now I wonder if I can interface a RPi zero to the ISA bus and make it run SoftMPU... Yes I know it uses 3.3V logic, but that's not something that can't be overcome with some level translators (such as http://www.ti.com/product/sn74alvc164245 ).
I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby keenerb » 2016-3-11 @ 13:26

Fascinating project. I personally tried using an old windows laptop as an external midi device a few years back when I had massive issues with mt32emu (or was it timidity?) in linux. Building a little MT-32 clone with a raspberry pi sounds like precisely what I had hoped to achieve back then!
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-3-11 @ 13:34

This project has moved away a little from my original idea of using an old notebook :lol:

I'm wondering if anyone is willing and able to work on a Windows front-end of some sort? Basically a program that easily configures everything and let's you switch between Munt and VirtualMidiSynth.
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby keropi » 2016-3-11 @ 13:45

I think it moved to the best direction since a pi is so small and full of wonder :D
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby gdjacobs » 2016-3-11 @ 15:42

keropi wrote:I think it moved to the best direction since a pi is so small and full of wonder :D


They've got a marketing issue. Big pies are better than small pies, but small pis are better than big pis. Maybe they should rename them a Raspberry Tart?

In that case, small is fine because: [1] you can always eat more and [2] having them bite sized is so convenient!
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby PhilsComputerLab » 2016-3-11 @ 16:16

keropi wrote:I think it moved to the best direction since a pi is so small and full of wonder :D


The thing that got me to use a notebook for this project is that I have, over the years, accumulated quite a few notebooks that are just lying around doing nothing.

I like when old devices get a purpose again. Sure the Pi is cheap and all of that, but it's another device that people buy and the cycle continues.

I'm wondering if the Windows version can also be optimized so it runs on netbooks or other slow notebooks.
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby Dominus » 2016-3-11 @ 16:23

My feeling is that a Windows version just has way too much overhead (Windows itself) to be very useful.
A pi is great for that, because it is mostly "plug and play" once you have it setup. Imagine how long you have to wait for a Windows to boot up just for that compared to a pi :)
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby gdjacobs » 2016-3-11 @ 16:43

I know using a netbook on the Linux side, it was a similar problem of forcing the compiler to generate code for the SSE registers. This might be required on the Windows side (and could certainly be done), but I haven't tested it.

FWIW, on my Atom N270 based netbook using the following parameters achieved the performance I desired with Munt.

Code: Select all
CCFLAGS="-Ofast -march=pentium -msse3 -mmmx -mssse3 -msse2 -mfpmath=sse"
CXXFLAGS="-Ofast -march=pentium -msse3 -mmmx -mssse3 -msse2 -mfpmath=sse"
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Re: Roland MT-32, CM-32L + General MIDI for $50 Building a MIDI box

Postby stamasd » 2016-3-11 @ 16:55

I keep thinking about it. I wonder if a RPi has enough oomph to emulate both the MPU-401 (HardMPU-like) and the MT32 on the same board. That would go a long way toward simplifying the hardware needed.

Or if not the RPi then maybe one of the Allwinner boards we were talking about in the other thread.
I/O, I/O,
It's off to disk I go,
With a bit and a byte
And a read and a write,
I/O, I/O
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