Getting the Roland MT-32 working on my windows 98 PC

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Getting the Roland MT-32 working on my windows 98 PC

Postby ramunegaming » 2018-4-22 @ 00:25

A few months ago I found a Roland Mt-32 on eBay for a reasonable price and decided to buy it. However I've not yet been able to get it to work, currently I'm in the zone of I'm inexperienced with old pcs so I'm probably doing something wrong. I, however, did try the retrobattlestations reddit with no luck. Because of this, I'm close to just calling it broken but hopefully, we can get this magnificent bit of kit working.

My kit:

* 1 x Roland MT-32
* 1 x Soundblaster AWE64 Value
* Windows 98 SE rig
* 2 x RCA cables one to connect the Roland to my pc and one to speakers
* 1 x MIDI cable to connect from pc midi out to Roland In

How it's wired:

- I have the soundblasters MIDI output going to the Roland's MIDI IN port
- I then the audio output from the Roland (RCA) going to my Soundblasters LINE IN port
- And lastly, I have an RCA coming out of the LINE OUT on the Soundblaster going to my boombox for speakers.

As for software wise, I'm just going to say I have the Soundblaster AWE64 Value drivers install (from their own disc) because then we can go through the whole process step by step.

I guess this leaves me with two questions then. How do I setup the Roland via software in; windows or/and DOS? Have I wired the device up correctly to the Soundblaster/PC.
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Re: Getting the Roland MT-32 working on my windows 98 PC

Postby ramunegaming » 2018-4-23 @ 18:31

Going to bump this once just because I think I posted at a bad time and it got burried.
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Re: Getting the Roland MT-32 working on my windows 98 PC

Postby Baoran » 2018-4-23 @ 21:23

What games you have tried? Games that use general midi should output some music at least if address is correct and games that directly support MT-32 you often need SoftMPU to emulate intelligent mode when using joystick port of AWE64.
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Re: Getting the Roland MT-32 working on my windows 98 PC

Postby the Goat » 2018-4-24 @ 13:42

Do you see any action on the MT-32 LCD display? I suggest testing with a game that sends a custom message to the MT-32 display when the game initializes (ie. Space Quest III displays "INSERT BUCKAZOID")

I suggest connecting the MT-32 output directly to your amplifier/boombox while you are debugging its operation. Once that works, you can revert to your correct setup and try getting the SoundBlaster's line-in/mixer to work.

Also, make sure the MT-32 volume knob is turned all the way up (rotated clockwise).
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Re: Getting the Roland MT-32 working on my windows 98 PC

Postby fitzpatr » 2018-4-24 @ 15:05

So there are a bunch of possibilities. I'll go ahead and write how it should be set up.

Hardware:
AWE64 installed in ISA slot. MIDI/Gameport cable connected to the Gameport (joystick) on the sound card. The MIDI OUT connector in the cable is connected to the MIDI IN on the MT-32. The MT-32 is plugged into the wall using the correct adapter. Sound, as suggested above, should be connected to the speakers /amplifier independently from the test of the computer of now.

Software:
The AWE64 is installed such that in DOS, AWEUTIL is active in the background. You should see AWEUTIL in your AUTOEXEC. BAT. This is required to route the MIDI signals from 330h to the Gameport. Your SET BLASTER should include "P330". Depending on the game you're testing, you may need to install SoftMPU. This is needed for earlier games which require an intelligent MIDI interface rather than the UART one provided by the Sound Blaster. A good game to test with is Monkey Island because it does not need SoftMPU. The game must be configured to use MT-32; the method varies from game to game, by using either a SETUP program or a Command Line flag.
List of games needing Intelligent mode MIDI. https://github.com/bjt42/softmpu/wiki/Compatible-Intelligent-Mode-Games
MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
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