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 jheronimus » 2018-11-02 @ 20:52

Huh, feeling kind of embarassed — right after I've recommended the card, I've decided to put it into a new 386DX33 build, and run a Wing Commander test.

This is what I get.

Now I know for a fact that both the card and MT-32 are working, but for some reason on this system they produce real mess instead of proper music. What am I doing wrong?
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-11-02 @ 20:57

IRQ or address conflict? a bad cable? It seems to me that half the notes are missing or something
I assume the exact same card+mt32+cable work OK in another system? did you try another game? can you try in another isa slot (corrosion reasons perhaps?)
Last edited by keropi on 2018-11-02 @ 20:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-02 @ 20:57

Check to make sure that you don't have any conflicts on there between the card and any other components that are installed and change them if necessary. If you have a network card that uses port 330h, change it to another one, such as 280h, check for IRQ conflicts as well. Remember: the Sound blaster cards's MPU401 uses port 330h for the MIDI portion and sometimes IRQ 2/9.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby jheronimus » 2018-11-02 @ 21:26

It seems to me that half the notes are missing or something


Yes, and the one that are playing sound wrong, too.

I assume the exact same card+mt32+cable work OK in another system?


Yes, they did

can you try in another isa slot


I already did

If you have a network card that uses port 330h, change it to another one, such as 280h, check for IRQ conflicts as well


I actually had a 3COM installed, but I removed it.

Remember: the Sound blaster cards's MPU401 uses port 330h for the MIDI portion and sometimes IRQ 2/9.


I have an SB Pro 2, so I don't think it has MPU401

check for IRQ conflicts as well


Here's msd.exe IRQ section. I don't think I have any conflicts?

Image

Gonna test Silpheed soon.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-02 @ 21:31

No conflicts there in the IRQ area. What is Second 8259A? Is it for the Music Quest MPU-401 card, or am I wrong?
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-11-02 @ 21:55

that's normal for AT systems to have a 2nd 8259A there... jheronimus can you try with port 300 and IRQ5 for example? just to rule out resources
maybe also have bios back at stock settings? some isa timings wrong?
have you tried another game? maybe game files are corrupted? some driver affecting the system?
can you do a visual inspection on the card? maybe some debris sorts an IC leg or something?
we will find it and resolve it don't worry - just looking for stuff you can do there locally :)
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby jheronimus » 2018-11-02 @ 22:36

Okay, so I've noticed something weird about this chip. It's kind of impossible to catch this on camera, but this is what I have:

Image

The legs of the smaller chip are soldered somewhat weird. Looks something like this.
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Here is the overall view of the card (both pictures are clickable):

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

Postby keropi » 2018-11-02 @ 22:46

that is normal for this version of the card, it is a fix like the resistor at the back in relation to the wavetable header stability, it does nothing for the classic mpu part...
does this happen only on Wing Commander? did you by any chance try another game on the same system?

btw, I will gladly exchange this card for a new one if you feel it will help - don't think it twice!
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby jheronimus » 2018-11-02 @ 22:53

keropi wrote:that is normal for this version of the card, it is a fix like the resistor at the back in relation to the wavetable header stability, it does nothing for the classic mpu part...
does this happen only on Wing Commander? did you by any chance try another game on the same system?

btw, I will gladly exchange this card for a new one if you feel it will help - don't think it twice!


I've tried Silpheed — same result.

I've also plugged this into a different 386 system (don't have anything else at hand right now), but with same SB Pro2/VGA card/multi I/O — same result.

I've also reset the motherboard BIOS. I'm trying the IRQ5/330 combination, but I'll have to figure out how to free up IRQ5 (it's occupied by LPT right now). BTW, with an actual IRQ conflict the card simply doesn't work. The mqsetup says that the MIDI interface was not found, and Wing Commander can't initialise the game.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-11-03 @ 00:17

ah, so it seems to be a hardware failure. I will send you a new card, will PM you shortly.
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-11-17 @ 17:31

just an update on jheronimus 's card - it was indeed a hardware failure (that I will determine once I receive his card) and the replacement works fine as expected :)
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby jheronimus » 2018-11-17 @ 20:46

Yes, thanks a lot for your support, keropi!
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-11-17 @ 23:30

don't mention it, support will always be given to people that supported the project :)
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby appiah4 » 2018-11-19 @ 04:58

You are doing this community and hobby a great service man. I wish I could afford your stuff :lol: Keep up the good work!
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-11-21 @ 14:52

I am calling this composition "Attack of the DreamBlasters" LOL LOL LOL

Image

Basically 50% of my test setup (buran replaced x3m) , the other 50% is roland stuff - just what I use to make sure cards work before shipping :cool:
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby badmojo » 2018-11-23 @ 11:12

Amazing! This hobby has changed a lot in the last 5 years thanks to these awesome hobbyist projects.
If it's broke, then fix it!
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby Tiremaster400 » 2018-11-29 @ 17:06

So what is the best way to use this to avoid the hanging note bug? I have been using an SC-55 with Soft MPU with various SB16's using the line in on the SB16. If I have this card, do I just do the line in into the SB16 and there will be no hanging note bug or do I need a mixer to pipe the SC-55 and SB16 together to the speakers?
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-11-29 @ 17:28

You can hook up the Sound Blaster 16 output to the SC-55 input and hook up the speakers to the SC-55 output. You won't get hanging note bugs whatsoever. They only occur if your sound card is the following model and DSP version according to this list: Hanging note bug - Vogons Wiki
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby keropi » 2018-11-29 @ 17:59

if you have the hanging note bug and it's an issue for you then using the MPU to drive the SC-55 will fix this, routing the sound either to SB16 or external mixer or through sc-55 will have no impact on hanging notes, the bug exists when using the SB16's mpu not it's sound mixer. bjwil1991 provided all the info on it :)
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Re: Music Quest MPU clone cards, anyone interested in them?

Postby Tiremaster400 » 2018-11-29 @ 18:13

All right, I have a better understanding of it now. I'll try this when my two new MPU's arrive. Thank you. :)
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