Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-1-30 @ 22:41

OK I made a crappy mobile phone video - don't judge I am not Phil's Computer Lab :D

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NEFDwXp-H8

You can see the S1 connected to the wavetable header and the X3M / MT-32 to the DB9 midi-out port via a midi-thru box.
Wing Commander does run really fast even with L1 disabled on my 233mmx system but even with that speed it does not freeze at the fireworks scene at the intro.
Not much to say, it just works LOL
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby Cadderlik » 2018-1-31 @ 00:00

Great sound
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby anderswk » 2018-1-31 @ 10:00

Awesome progress :happy:
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby Cadderlik » 2018-2-01 @ 09:33

While waiting for MPU clone card I've made a short movie - testing mu Roland MT32 with midi interface UM-One mk2

Game Police Quest 2 in DosBox

https://youtu.be/dP3E9BPQYm0
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby phunqe » 2018-2-02 @ 19:51

Keropi, awesome work.

Question, what is your plan for the next batch? I am number two on the list, so I could get one now, but I won't be using it for a while anyway so it doesn't feel fair. I would be up for switching and be put on place 11 for the next batch.

Cheers.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-2-02 @ 21:00

nice vid Cadderlik

@phunge
the plan is to make more very soon, but this very soon might be 2 months or it might be 5 I don't know what life will bring us!
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby phunqe » 2018-2-03 @ 09:13

Ok, I'll wait. You can exchange me with 11.

It would be gathering dust for a few months now anyway, so better someone else gets one :)
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby Fanatik » 2018-2-05 @ 23:07

Put me on the list too.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby TrekkiesUnite118 » 2018-2-06 @ 07:17

Keropi, would you at all be interested in doing a Microchannel version of this card? I ask because a few of us had been been discussing in other threads the idea of cloning existing Microchannel sound cards due to how rare they are. Turns out the schematics and technical info for the Roland MPU-IMC popped up and it's rather similar to it's ISA Counterpart, the MPU-IPC-T. Sorry if it's off topic for this thread, but I'm not able to send PMs yet apparently.

The vcfed thread where this was being discussed is here:
http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.p ... ound-cards

MPU-IMC specs:
https://www.retrotronics.org/vcf/Roland ... ervice.pdf

MCA specs:
http://www.nj7p.org/Computers/IBM%20PC/work/PS2_HI.pdf
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby DigitalBrains » 2018-2-06 @ 09:38

TrekkiesUnite118 wrote:Keropi, would you at all be interested in doing a Microchannel version of this card?


I agree with the people in the vcfed thread who think that a HardMPU MCA version would be easier to realize. Why do you prefer a Music Quest version of this? It seems more difficult because you can't easily make changes to the firmware, what is the profit you expect to offset the costs of this extra difficulty?
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-2-06 @ 10:50

There is no plans for an MCA version (or interest from my part to do this - never had a MCA pc or even saw one in person).

I will share my thoughts - and please don't take it as any kind of promotion or sidetracking because it isn't.
Personally if I would make something for MCA machines I'd focus my efforts on doing some sort of MCA->ISA bridge. MIDI/MPUs are just the icing of the cake, for many it would be far more useful to have a SoundBlaster in the machine instead of a MPU. If I was to chose either midi or SB I'd take the SB.
Having said that I know nothing of MCA or even if a bridge can be easily realised but judging from the amiga bridgeboards (zorro to ISA/PCI and even VLB for some graphics cards) I'd say it's possible. That would be the ultimate solution IMHO that would open a whole new world of upgrades to these machines.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby DigitalBrains » 2018-2-06 @ 11:37

I think the interest in an MPU-401 compatible largely stems from the simplicity of the project. From what I've seen, the MPU-401 interface seems like a really basic method to couple two x86 I/O-ports to a microcontroller, paired with a simple IRQ. It's almost the blinking LED equivalent of an ISA card :happy:. No DMA, no memory, etcetera. Some simple synchronization that can be done in 7400-series logic.

So it seems easily doable, unlike a full bridge.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-2-06 @ 11:47

UART MPU-401 might be possible with 74series logic but good luck implementing the Roland features with such a design

Anyways please discuss these MCA stuff on it's own thread since there is one, I want to keep this one about this specific MQ project, thanks.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby TrekkiesUnite118 » 2018-2-06 @ 14:50

DigitalBrains wrote:
TrekkiesUnite118 wrote:Keropi, would you at all be interested in doing a Microchannel version of this card?


I agree with the people in the vcfed thread who think that a HardMPU MCA version would be easier to realize. Why do you prefer a Music Quest version of this? It seems more difficult because you can't easily make changes to the firmware, what is the profit you expect to offset the costs of this extra difficulty?


I had no preference to one or the other, was just reaching out to anyone with some expertise on the matter.

And thanks for the response Keropi.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby dpl » 2018-2-08 @ 19:38

It's been a while but so worth the wait... just look at these beautiful units that came in today.

Thank you very much Keropi! I'll be giving these lil' guys a go next weekend, I can't wait to see/hear them in action. :-)

Fast shipping, very well packaged, nice anti-static bags, good build quality and good looking cables...

I'll be posting more pictures as I install them into my testing rig and let you know if everything works well as expected.

Image
Image
Image
Image
Image
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-2-08 @ 20:05

Very nice pics, always good to hear someone is satisfied (so far - and I am 100% sure that you will also enjoy using them dpl!)
Thanks again!
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby GaryH » 2018-2-11 @ 11:41

Just added myself to the list #70

Whoa! - didn't realise the list was so long now?
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby dpl » 2018-2-11 @ 13:28

I've installed the MQ card today together with a Creative Labs SoundBlaster AWE64 PnP (model CT4500) and managed to get them working together nicely.
To get them to play together, I just needed to reconfigure the SB AWE64 to a different port as it also defaults at port 330 obviously, so I relocated it at 300.

After that, the MQ diagnostics utility had no problems finding or testing the card. Then I quickly ran Prince of Persia with it on an MT-32 and Doom configured to use a SoundCanvas... so far, that's all working fine. Digitized sounds play through the SB AWE64, music through the MQ/MT-32.

I still have to test some other games with it that are known to 'hang' or 'glitch' on a regular MPU-401 and I'm planning on sticking my DB50XG onto the MQ card.

But, all in all, I'm very happy so far. :-)
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-2-11 @ 14:02

Glad to hear your report dpl , don't worry you won't have any problems with "mpu demanding" games :)

The only things one should pay attention are:

a. stick to the Port330 and IRQ2 setting: that is the "roland standard" and several old games expect an MPU to be in those resources and offer no configuration options
b. pay attention to the midi port, just like dpl did with his AWE64 change the soundcard's port to 300 or completely disable it if possible
c. IRQ2 which is normally not an issue on xt/286/386/486 systems but becomes one in pentium systems even if it's not immediately apparent and many games work OK -some more demaning ones might complain but that depends on the system used.
In this case the problem is ACPI that is hardwired to IRQ9 (so IRQ2 as well). In those systems disabling ACPI on the BIOS and fall back to APM power management does the trick (and it's not a bad idea either since ACPI back then was often more trouble than good). Keep in mind that PentiumII systems and above might not offer an ACPI DISABLE option, in that case one needs to use a different IRQ.

The above apply to all MPU cards out there no matter the iteration, it's just how resources/things work... :dead:
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby Cadderlik » 2018-2-12 @ 10:18

My card still in transit to Poland ...I hope i gate it today/tomorrow:)

What MQ diagnostics utility should I install? Do you have any link?
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