midi music

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

midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-9-25 @ 21:52

hi all

I was wondering what would best midi device for dos/windows gaming that would work with most games and work with soundblaster 16

I heard of roland mt-32, roland sound canvas

but that all I know of lol

just wondering what would best option, if decide to go down that route
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Re: midi music

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-9-25 @ 22:12

viewtopic.php?f=46&t=48322

You have many options depending on your interests and price bracket. Costs can vary from approximately $50 to many hundreds for a comprehensive stack of MIDI gear.
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Re: midi music

Postby Shponglefan » 2017-9-25 @ 22:30

Roland SC-55 is your best bet for the broadest MIDI compatibility for the early to mid 90's era games. Or an MT-32 if there are specific games it covers (particularly older Sierra games).
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-9-25 @ 22:40

what kinda different between sound would different model be like and at moment, price range seem a bit expensive at moment but research and see what everyone says to help narrow search
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Re: midi music

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-9-25 @ 22:49

Again, you can build a credible solution with a spare PC, USB MIDI adapter, and a free set of programs to do the MIDI emulation. Price is variable depending on what your objectives are. Even if you want to begin collecting real synth hardware, you can go the emulation route and add pieces as you find them.

It's worth noting that SB16 cards have drawbacks as a MIDI interface.
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-9-25 @ 22:53

what drawbacks sb16 have with midi and was thinking of using emulation to see if it worth getting real hardware etc
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Re: midi music

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-9-26 @ 00:36

Some have DSP glitches which corrupt the MIDI stream (to a greater or lesser extent).
http://www.vogonswiki.com/index.php/Hanging_note_bug
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-9-26 @ 12:41

dont think mine is affected as never as any issues with the games it says it affects
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Re: midi music

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-9-26 @ 14:21

Oh, I was thinking you haven't been using MIDI yet. You won't notice the problem unless you play MIDI and digital sound effects together.

Anyway, I just wanted you to be aware.
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-9-27 @ 17:54

ok well I played doom, doom 2, hocus pocus and duke 3d and had no issues with sound
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Re: midi music

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-9-28 @ 02:53

You've got a MIDI daughterboard or external synth module? Cool, didn't know that.
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-9-28 @ 10:22

my sound card is Sound Blaster 16 CT2830
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Re: midi music

Postby jheronimus » 2017-9-28 @ 11:24

Your card has DSP v 4.12 — it's silk-screened on the chip in the bottom right corner of the empty socket. At least it is in this photo.

As far as I understand, right now you only have an SB16. That means that games you've played used SB16's PCM capabilities for digital sound and SB16's OPL3 chip/FM synthesizer for music. Not MIDI. This is why you don't have issues right now.

There are basically five main ways to connect MIDI stuff:

1) daughterboards to your SB16's Waveblaster header. This is what it looks like. These are cards like Dreamblaster X2, Roland SCB-55 and many more.
2) external GM modules like Roland SC-55/MT-32 or Yamaha MU-80 to your SB16's Gameport. This is what it looks like.
3) through a dedicated MPU controller like this.
4) you can also use dedicated ISA MIDI cards like Roland SCC-1/LAPC-I, Yamaha SW60XG and Turtle Beach Maui. They get MIDI instructions by themselves (and not through SB16) and simply feed audio output to your SB16 line-in port using a common audio jack cable.
5) finally, you can use two sound cards. Your SB16 will be used for digital sounds and OPL3 music (when needed), your second card can be almost any SB16 clone not made by Creative or ESS. The clone card is used only to control MIDI stuff using approaches 1 and 2. This is a more tricky approach as more hardware in DOS systems usually mean more conflict resources.

With your current card you should get hanging note bugs in scenarios 1 and 2, but not 3, 4 or 5. That means, when you play Doom with MIDI music, at some point you will hear a single stuck high note playing the whole time in the background of the soundtrack and it will be pretty noticeable.

P.S.: there are also cards with integrated MIDI capablities — SoundBlaster 16 AWE32/AWE64, Gravis Ultrasound and many more.
P.P.S.: you can find almost a lot of samples on YouTube and SoundCloud where people have recorded game music playing on any particular device. Doom's E1M1 is a track that you can find playing on almost any device imagineable.
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-9-28 @ 15:30

ok the is not my sb16 i own, just a pic i found on net but can open up in pc case have proper look etc

out of all hose options which is lease hassle
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Re: midi music

Postby gerwin » 2017-9-28 @ 15:51

Robhalfordfan wrote:ok the is not my sb16 i own, just a pic i found on net but can open up in pc case have proper look

Why do the effort and actually look? Just post a few oneliners without real info again. :lol:
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Re: midi music

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-9-28 @ 22:09

Robhalfordfan wrote:ok the is not my sb16 i own, just a pic i found on net but can open up in pc case have proper look etc

out of all hose options which is lease hassle


Emulation is the cheapest way to go and the easiest to piece together.
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-10-03 @ 11:21

Is there a way to emulate it for now on a real dos pc rather than dosbox as I like use real hardware as much as possible

And my sb16 in diagnosis says the in picture and looks like my card has the hanging note bug
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Re: midi music

Postby gdjacobs » 2017-10-03 @ 19:09

It's not really possible to emulate a complex synthesizer within a DOS session. MIDI synth is memory and processor intensive (relative to the limits of a typical TSR). It might be possible to do so on a powerful enough Win98 machine for games that don't need to boot straight to DOS. Also, in this case the only emulation is of the MIDI module. You can use a real DOS PC connected to the emulator via MIDI.
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Re: midi music

Postby Robhalfordfan » 2017-10-04 @ 09:48

so I can midi box and output to speaker and use sotware like softmpu, then would that work
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Re: midi music

Postby skitters » 2017-10-05 @ 03:24

Robhalfordfan wrote:so I can midi box and output to speaker and use sotware like softmpu, then would that work

You can output sound from the midi unit either directly to speakers or to the line in on the sound card.
Either way, you also need the midi cable connecting the midi port (joystick port) on the sound card to the midi in on the midi unit.

With your particular card, you'll probably get that hanging note bug.

Check Phil's video here, where he shows how to hook up an MT-32 to an AWE64
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPBSO02BUhc
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