HardMPU, anyone?

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

Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby the Goat » 2018-2-08 @ 15:42

matze79 wrote:Whats the difference beetween HardMPU and Music Quest ?

Both to the Same Job right ? :)


Yes, but radically different approaches to solving the problem.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby DigitalBrains » 2018-2-08 @ 15:58

I can think of a practical difference.

The HardMPU, like SoftMPU, has a provision to slow down SysEx traffic for old model Roland MT-32s. Using this, you can just use your old model MT-32 with games that send the data too quickly. This quick data would work fine with newer MT-32's, but old ones would get overrun and possibily have wrong patches for the instruments used in the game.

On the other hand, I think it is unlikely there would be anything that the original MusicQuest card could do but the new one could not, since they are so much the same. Ergo, the knowledge that has been gained about the excellent compatibility of the Music Quest card over the past decades applies directly to the clone Music Quest card.

SoftMPU and HardMPU are much newer beasts. They haven't proven themselves over as long a time as the Music Quest card has. But I haven't seen any reports of incompatibilities. By the way, the HardMPU is the only card I have, so I can't compare, but I did notice something. When I play Monkey Island 1 on my 386DX-40, I need to switch off the Turbo switch, or the sound is all wrong. I haven't looked further into it, I presume it's a problem of Monkey Island that also occurs on other hardware, but that is purely an assumption.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-2-08 @ 16:12

According to VogonsWiki, The Secret of Monkey Island (Roland MT-32) doesn't list the speed on there. Maybe because it requires at most a 386 SX-33 or equivalent. http://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/Lis ... tive_games NHL Hockey 95 does the same thing as well (Exc. Checksum error), but when I use the cache controlling programs that I made using the MS-DOS debug program, the MT-32 plays nicely with NHL Hockey 95.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2018-2-08 @ 16:18

DigitalBrains wrote:When I play Monkey Island 1 on my 386DX-40, I need to switch off the Turbo switch, or the sound is all wrong. I haven't looked further into it, I presume it's a problem of Monkey Island that also occurs on other hardware, but that is purely an assumption.

That is interesting... I test cards in a Pentium 90 machine and Monkey Island is one of the test games. But on the other hand, I seem to remember having to slow down my K6-3 machine to play Monkey Island. I'll have to look into this one some more.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2018-2-08 @ 16:37

TrekkiesUnite118 wrote:If you need people to help test I'm sure volunteers could be found, myself included.

I'd rather blow up my own machine. I'll have to keep an eye out for a decently priced Model 70 or something.

I have also toyed with the idea of making a HardMPU for S100 machines. Of course, that is even more niche than MCA and doesn't have the benefit of existing software. But it might be fun anyway.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby DigitalBrains » 2018-2-08 @ 16:46

bjwil1991 wrote:According to VogonsWiki, The Secret of Monkey Island (Roland MT-32) doesn't list the speed on there. Maybe because it requires at most a 386 SX-33 or equivalent. http://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/Lis ... tive_games NHL Hockey 95 does the same thing as well (Exc. Checksum error), but when I use the cache controlling programs that I made using the MS-DOS debug program, the MT-32 plays nicely with NHL Hockey 95.


I'm not sure I understand what you mean, but in that list, the entry for The Secret of Monkey Island (1990) says: "Garbled MT-32 music with fast CPUs". That corresponds to my experience. FWIW, I get the impression that especially instrument selection is problematic, subsequently playing back the notes with the wrong instrument.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby keropi » 2018-2-08 @ 17:45

Well a 386DX is not a fast cpu for MI , I just think it's a specific system quirk.
I am also using MI for quick testing, it just runs OK even on my 233mmx setup without any slowdown needed. The SB/AdLib drivers do need slowdown IIRC else they crap out - remember there was a driver update for 486 cpus.

A K6-3 isn't really suitable for testing, I would put the MAX system to use any kind of MPU (Roland or whatever iteration of it) to pentium-mmx. Sure you can use it with faster machines but even with a versatile p1 build you'll need to use cache disable utilities or other tricks for "badly" written games - and they are LOTS. It's not the hardware that doesn't work, it's the software and it's kind of expectable since the games that require the so called "intelligent mode" are 286/386 games.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-2-08 @ 18:07

https://web.archive.org/web/20070616123 ... key-1.html is the link. The one in the VogonsWiki redirects to starwars.com nowadays.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby keropi » 2018-2-08 @ 19:10

this is the patch that adds the mt-32 driver and music to the game, not a speed-fixing one
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby ab0tj » 2018-2-08 @ 22:00

On the subject of an MCA bus board, after some reading I'm not sure how useful it would really be. The main issue being IRQ 9 is used by the hard drive controller in the PS/2 systems, and some games are hardcoded to use IRQ 2/9.
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Re: HardMPU, anyone?

Postby TrekkiesUnite118 » 2018-2-09 @ 02:51

ab0tj wrote:On the subject of an MCA bus board, after some reading I'm not sure how useful it would really be. The main issue being IRQ 9 is used by the hard drive controller in the PS/2 systems, and some games are hardcoded to use IRQ 2/9.


Honestly even if it was no better or worse than the original Roland MPU-IMC I think most people would be happy. And I think the IRQ9 issue only applies to SCSI/IDE drives, and even then it's not exact:

http://ibmfiles.com/pages/mpuimc.htm
http://ps-2.kev009.com/ohlandl/sound/Ro ... U-IMC.html
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