DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-16 @ 17:03

Wow Scali, thanks this is really great !
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby appiah4 » 2018-1-16 @ 18:12

Wouldn't it in theory be possible to use wavetable daughterboards and/or MPU-401 devices in a similar fashion?
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby Scali » 2018-1-16 @ 19:36

appiah4 wrote:Wouldn't it in theory be possible to use wavetable daughterboards and/or MPU-401 devices in a similar fashion?


Not as-is. The Dream chip used on this device has a parallel MIDI interface. Wavetable is serial (basically standard MIDI, with a different connector). So you'd need to add a UART between the LPT and the MIDI device, to clock out the incoming bytes at the correct speed for MIDI (and with the correct start and stop bits).
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-16 @ 19:40

Scali wrote:Not as-is. The Dream chip used on this device has a parallel MIDI interface. Wavetable is serial (basically standard MIDI, with a different connector). So you'd need to add a UART between the LPT and the MIDI device, to clock out the incoming bytes at the correct speed for MIDI (and with the correct start and stop bits).


Yeah that could be done, but does it make sense ?
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby Scali » 2018-1-16 @ 21:02

dreamblaster wrote:Yeah that could be done, but does it make sense ?


I guess you'd basically end up with MPU401-over-LPT.
Which is more or less what the DreamBlaster S2P does, except in this case you would need to add the synth yourself.
Not sure what the target would be exactly. Systems that have parallel ports, but no (free) ISA slots or USB for a regular MIDI interface?
In fact, I'm not sure if USB MIDI can be used from DOS at all?
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby appiah4 » 2018-1-16 @ 21:38

Yeah, basically MIDI for MS-DOS laptops.
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby keropi » 2018-1-16 @ 23:00

can't you already have that with softMPU's serial function and a module that has serial port like the SC55-mk2 or MU-80 for example?
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby Scali » 2018-1-17 @ 10:28

keropi wrote:can't you already have that with softMPU's serial function and a module that has serial port like the SC55-mk2 or MU-80 for example?


Yes, but the 'serial port' bit is rather limiting. A standard MIDI output and/or wavetable header would allow you to use any MIDI device.
Even a Yamaha FB-01, for IBM Music Feature Card compatibility! :)
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby appiah4 » 2018-1-17 @ 12:03

Also, the serial port competes with many other peripherals that could be useful for gaming whereas the LPT is basically redundant and always available.
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby Scali » 2018-1-17 @ 12:15

appiah4 wrote:Also, the serial port competes with many other peripherals that could be useful for gaming whereas the LPT is basically redundant and always available.


Also, I previously described a way to connect up to 256 ports to a single LPT.
If you put two 8-bit latches on there, you can use one for address and one for data. A single line on the LPT selects between the two latches you write to.
You now effectively have an 8-bit address bus. With some address decoding logic, you can select between a number of chips/ports on the same device.
This should easily allow to combine an OPL3, CMS, Tandy and MPU401 on the same board.
Last edited by Scali on 2018-1-17 @ 12:18, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby bjt » 2018-1-17 @ 16:17

This is really cool, nice one :cool:

Unfortunately, many/most GM-supporting games run in protected mode via DOS4GW or similar, and the port-trapping technique used by SoftMPU won't work with those.
SoftMPU was originally aimed at intelligent-mode MT-32 games which are all real mode.

Virtualising ports transparently in PM is possible, though. More info here: http://www.os2museum.com/wp/any-soundsc ... fans-here/

Plenty there for someone with lots of spare time to get their teeth into!!
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-19 @ 13:18

This is really cool. It can be used to give old laptops midi capabilities (and good sounding ones!). The sounds can be played through the speaker with the "Wave speaker driver" whereas this device would handle the midi music. Not necessary to have both CVX4 and S2P attached at the same time :) Looking forward to using this to play for example SimCity on W3.11 with music :P
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby Scali » 2018-1-19 @ 13:21

bjt wrote:Unfortunately, many/most GM-supporting games run in protected mode via DOS4GW or similar, and the port-trapping technique used by SoftMPU won't work with those.
SoftMPU was originally aimed at intelligent-mode MT-32 games which are all real mode.

Virtualising ports transparently in PM is possible, though. More info here: http://www.os2museum.com/wp/any-soundsc ... fans-here/

Plenty there for someone with lots of spare time to get their teeth into!!


Now that you mention it... I believe that the GUS software also does this. I always used to play DOOM with Sound Canvas via MegaEm, so that implies that MegaEm works under DOS Extenders. I'm pretty sure that SBOS does as well.
So it might be worthwhile to check how they handled things. I don't think the GUS has any special hardware for redirecting port writes (it has a MPU-401 UART), and MegaEm requires EMM386 to be loaded if I recall correctly.
In which case, they are probably just doing a way of port virtualizing that works in both real and 386 mode.
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-19 @ 17:23

appiah4 wrote:Yeah, basically MIDI for MS-DOS laptops.

you prefer this on lpt port or serial port ?
Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, MIDI PCB's, and video converters
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby chartreuse » 2018-1-20 @ 05:44

dreamblaster wrote:
appiah4 wrote:Yeah, basically MIDI for MS-DOS laptops.

you prefer this on lpt port or serial port ?


The LPT port has the advantage that it can work with games running with serial multiplayer since many laptops only have one serial port on them.
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-20 @ 09:28

chartreuse wrote:
dreamblaster wrote:
appiah4 wrote:Yeah, basically MIDI for MS-DOS laptops.

you prefer this on lpt port or serial port ?


The LPT port has the advantage that it can work with games running with serial multiplayer since many laptops only have one serial port on them.


well ok, then how about a MIDILPT project ? this sounds fun to do.
I suppose this should be midi out only,
how do you see it, only 1x MIDI out DIN connector
or 1x MIDI out DIN connector + Waveblaster header
or 2x MIDI out DIN connector ?
Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, MIDI PCB's, and video converters
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby appiah4 » 2018-1-20 @ 15:50

dreamblaster wrote:well ok, then how about a MIDILPT project ? this sounds fun to do.
I suppose this should be midi out only,
how do you see it, only 1x MIDI out DIN connector
or 1x MIDI out DIN connector + Waveblaster header
or 2x MIDI out DIN connector ?


1x midi anda 1x waveblaster iş beste imo
1989:A500R6|+512K/RTC|ACA500+|HxC/df1:|C1084S
1992:HIPPO-VL+|DX2ODPR66|8M|GD5428|CT2290
1995:PCI597-1|P133|32M|Trio64|Voodoo1|CT3980/2M|DreamS2
1998:S1573S|K6-2/400|64M|RagePro|Voodoo2/SLI|CT4500/32M
2001:GA-6OXT|PIII-1200|512M|GF3Ti200|MX300
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-1-20 @ 19:08

ok
will see what I can make
Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, MIDI PCB's, and video converters
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Re: DreamBlaster S2P : Small form factor General MIDI on parallel port

Postby jaZz_KCS » 2018-1-21 @ 10:50

How's the S2P prototype doing / performing so far? This would be a marvelous addition.
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