Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

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Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

Postby Hamby » 2019-5-15 @ 21:26

I have found a lot of stuff on emulating an MT-32, mostly Munt...

But I just got my MT-32, and my windows 7 machine doesn't have a midi/joysick port, and I have work to do on what will be my Win98 machine (it has an awe32 at present). And I don't yet have a USB/MIDI cable.

I've connected my MT-32 to the midi/joystick port on my linux machine.

The MT-32 comes on, the led display shows the channels and vol...
I have midi-out from the joystick port connected to midi-in on the MT32 and vice versa (using a joystick/midi to midi cable)
I've tested it with Timidity, Jack and DOSBox... no audio from it.
in DOSBox, tried playing SpaceQuest V... no "insert buckazoid" message either.

Can anybody give me any guidance? I thought it would be kind of cool to use it with Linux before hooking it up to my Win98 machine. And I really don't want to go to the trouble of installing Win98, and associated software before playing with my new toy :(
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Re: Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

Postby Tiido » 2019-5-15 @ 21:41

You'll have to explicitly configure the software to use the MIDI port of the sound card. I'm not sure how you go about doing it in Linux though. There should be MIDI output settings in the software somewhere or perhaps the OS itself.
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Re: Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

Postby Hamby » 2019-5-15 @ 22:44

Tiido wrote:You'll have to explicitly configure the software to use the MIDI port of the sound card. I'm not sure how you go about doing it in Linux though. There should be MIDI output settings in the software somewhere or perhaps the OS itself.


Okay, I got the MT-32 working with DBGL/DOSBox... I set the config to 24:0 and tried playing Space Quest III... saw the "Insert Buckazoid" message on the MT-32... no sound. Couldn't get sound no matter what I did.
So I unplugged the MT-32 from the line in jack of the sound card and plugged it into the aux in of a bluetooth speaker I have for my phone...

Success!

So I dunno what the deal is with that line-in.

Also, haven't been able to get it to work with ScummVM, because I can't set that "24:0" config.
Still working on it...
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Re: Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

Postby Deunan » 2019-5-16 @ 09:31

This was years ago but I tried to get ScummVM use my CM-64 (it's MT-32 + CM-32P with no LCD or keys). It worked, sort of, but I was using Creative USB-to-midi dongle and it's a nice, low-latency one that's too fast for MT-32 SysEx packets. SQ3 intro music had wrong notes/sounds for example.

DosBox has the same issue, and mostly it can't be fully fixed with slowing down the emulated CPU (because at that point the game suffers) but you can fix it with the 'delaysysex' option.

I tried to convince ScummVM devs to add such option but long story short I was told to get lost and/or buy a "proper" dongle that works. I actually have another one, some cheap Chinese stuff, but it doesn't fix this problem (I think it makes it worse by not passing the long SysEx packets fully to the MT) and also is slow, you can actually hear that in some MIDI files that key-on many instruments at once.
Maybe you'll have more luck using a sound card MIDI output but I just wanted you to know. Also, sorry, I no longer have the ScummVM config file that I've used but AFAIR it was rather simple to redirect the MIDI output from Windows mapper to the dongle. I belive it worked in the drop-down GUI? Just note that you have to disable any MT-32 emulation for this to work. This worked for general MIDI on CM-300 as well.
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Re: Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

Postby Hamby » 2019-5-16 @ 10:55

Deunan wrote:This was years ago but I tried to get ScummVM use my CM-64 (it's MT-32 + CM-32P with no LCD or keys). It worked, sort of, but I was using Creative USB-to-midi dongle and it's a nice, low-latency one that's too fast for MT-32 SysEx packets. SQ3 intro music had wrong notes/sounds for example.

DosBox has the same issue, and mostly it can't be fully fixed with slowing down the emulated CPU (because at that point the game suffers) but you can fix it with the 'delaysysex' option.

I tried to convince ScummVM devs to add such option but long story short I was told to get lost and/or buy a "proper" dongle that works. I actually have another one, some cheap Chinese stuff, but it doesn't fix this problem (I think it makes it worse by not passing the long SysEx packets fully to the MT) and also is slow, you can actually hear that in some MIDI files that key-on many instruments at once.
Maybe you'll have more luck using a sound card MIDI output but I just wanted you to know. Also, sorry, I no longer have the ScummVM config file that I've used but AFAIR it was rather simple to redirect the MIDI output from Windows mapper to the dongle. I belive it worked in the drop-down GUI? Just note that you have to disable any MT-32 emulation for this to work. This worked for general MIDI on CM-300 as well.



Thanks for the info!
I finally got it working with ScummVM, too... and even sort-of working with some midi composition software (still working on that)
I had to edit the ScummVM ini file to add "alsa_port=24:0" and then I had to tell it to use the Ensoniq1371 device for midi output.
I haven't noticed any delay issues, yet, but I haven't tested extensively.

I just wish I knew why my line-in on my audio card wasn't working.
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Re: Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

Postby Deunan » 2019-5-16 @ 11:19

Watch SQ3 intro until the game starts. If there are no weird sounding notes, you're in luck.
As for line-in, some cards and mobos require proper drivers (not just the MS default ones) to detect the input being used. Then the input itself must be enabled and un-muted in the Windows mixer config. I sort of remember similar issue years back when I was playing with SDR - I had to first add and then enable the input. And then there's separate setting for letting it be a recording source (though you don't need that here). It wasn't obvious how to do all that. Right click here, left click there, is that the right mixer window or not, etc.
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Re: Using an actual MT-32 with Linux PC

Postby lavadrop » 2019-6-07 @ 19:52

Deunan wrote:I just wish I knew why my line-in on my audio card wasn't working.


You have to activate the loopback, unmute line-in and raise the volume. Pavucontrol is shit, just use alsamixer on your terminal.

Change to your audio device using F6, move right until you reach loopback and turn it on using up/down arrow keys. Move left to line, press "m" to unmute and using the up/down arrow keys raise the value. I have it set to 50-ish. There's also a booster on the right if your line-in is too weak.
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