VOGONS


First post, by boxpressed

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I recently discovered that some Sierra MPC games for Windows 3.1 that run off CD-ROM have support for the Turtle Beach MultiSound Classic sound card's MIDI.

A generic Sierra "Game Manual" (https://www.mocagh.org/sierra/sierra-manual-alt5.pdf) mentions the sound cards that can take advantage of a game's "Extended-Level MIDI." ("Base-Level" is for FM synth cards like Sound Blaster.)

sierramanual.JPG
Filename
sierramanual.JPG
File size
78.96 KiB
Views
310 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

And when installing Space Quest IV (MPC version off CD-ROM), I did get that option:

PepROo6l.jpg

So far, I have discovered that Space Quest IV and King's Quest V, both CD-ROM MPC versions, have this "Extended-Level MIDI" option.

Does anyone know of any other titles with the "Extended-Level MIDI" setup option?

Reply 1 of 11, by boxpressed

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Just following up on my own question: King's Quest VI (MPC version) also has a base/extended level MIDI option in setup. However, the game manual no longer references the MultiSound or any product other than those made by Roland. The game still works and sounds great using only the MultiSound (digital speech and MIDI).

IMG_8575.jpg
Filename
IMG_8575.jpg
File size
1.57 MiB
Views
283 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

Reply 2 of 11, by boxpressed

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Laura Bow 2: The Dagger of Amon Ra just arrived, and I can confirm that it also works with the Turtle Beach MultiSound.

IMG_8582.jpg
Filename
IMG_8582.jpg
File size
1.91 MiB
Views
259 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

Reply 3 of 11, by Spikey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Regarding Base vs Extended, it's nothing special. Base refers (roughly) to Adlib/FM, and Extended (roughly) to Sound Canvas.

You will still get better MIDI performance in all these games by playing the DOS version and a Sound Canvas (plus the tikalat patches if you have them installed).

Reply 4 of 11, by boxpressed

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Spikey wrote on 2020-02-03, 03:26:

Regarding Base vs Extended, it's nothing special. Base refers (roughly) to Adlib/FM, and Extended (roughly) to Sound Canvas.

You will still get better MIDI performance in all these games by playing the DOS version and a Sound Canvas (plus the tikalat patches if you have them installed).

Interesting. So using the same SCC-1, I'll get better MIDI music from the DOS version vs. the "Extended MIDI" Windows 3.1 MPC version? Why is that?

Reply 5 of 11, by Falcosoft

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
boxpressed wrote on 2020-02-03, 04:57:

Interesting. So using the same SCC-1, I'll get better MIDI music from the DOS version vs. the "Extended MIDI" Windows 3.1 MPC version? Why is that?

Actually both Basic and Extended means reduced channel usage compared to Full GM /GS compatible 16 channels. Basic uses only 4 channels (13-16) and Extended uses only 10 channels (1-10). GM compatible hardware can use both Basic and Extended and also could use the 3rd Full 16-channel option if the games had one (but apparently not).

mm2.jpg
Filename
mm2.jpg
File size
116.87 KiB
Views
199 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

If the DOS versions use full 16 channel MIDI that could sound better on your card.
Also besides reduced/more optimal channel usage neither Basic nor Extended has any special property that makes them more appropriate for FM or Roland or Turtle Beach gear. E. g. SB 16 or any other OPL3 FM synth can use not only Extended but also Full 16 channel setup. The installation program of SB 16 actually really creates all the above 3 (Basic , Extended, Full) Midi mapper entries.

mm1.jpg
Filename
mm1.jpg
File size
27.43 KiB
Views
199 views
File license
CC-BY-4.0

Basic/Extended is only really useful for OPL2 and MT-32 compatible synths. GM/GS compatible and even not GM compatible but 16-channel capable synths have no reason to use either Basic or Extended setup.

More info about this Basic/Extended MIDI idea of MS :
Re: Falcosoft Soundfont Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi

Also contrary what you believe the above games have no special support for your Turtle Beach MultiSound Classic sound card's MIDI. They use your card just like any other cards that have an installed Midi driver under Windows. It depends on the Midi mapper settings if your gear sounds good or bad.
These games use the standardized Windows MM API and Windows Midi Mapper that are both hardware agnostic from the perspective of the application.

Website, Facebook, Youtube
Falcosoft Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi topic

Reply 6 of 11, by boxpressed

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Falcosoft wrote on 2020-02-03, 06:30:
Basic/Extended is only really useful for OPL2 and MT-32 compatible synths. GM/GS compatible and even not GM compatible but 1 […]
Show full quote

Basic/Extended is only really useful for OPL2 and MT-32 compatible synths. GM/GS compatible and even not GM compatible but 16-channel capable synths have no reason to use either Basic or Extended setup.

More info about this Basic/Extended MIDI idea of MS :
Re: Falcosoft Soundfont Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi

Also contrary what you believe the above games have no special support for your Turtle Beach MultiSound Classic sound card's MIDI. They use your card just like any other cards that have an installed Midi driver under Windows. It depends on the Midi mapper settings if your gear sounds good or bad.
These games use the standardized Windows MM API and Windows Midi Mapper that are both hardware agnostic from the perspective of the application.

Thanks for such an informative response, Falcosoft. It hadn't occurred to me that Basic/Extended MIDI were inferior alternatives to GM. When you install the Multisound, the only preset in MIDI Mapper available is the MultiSound (no basic or extended), and all 16 channels are marked active. Does this mean that the Multisound is using all 16 channels?

I understand what you are saying about the hardware agnostic MIDI. But the game is still using the Proteus 1/XR to synthesize MIDI, correct? Which would produce different music than, say, an SCC-1? I thought this was interesting because so few games would work the MultiSound, even in this agnostic manner.

Reply 7 of 11, by Falcosoft

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
boxpressed wrote on 2020-02-03, 13:56:

Thanks for such an informative response, Falcosoft. It hadn't occurred to me that Basic/Extended MIDI were inferior alternatives to GM. When you install the Multisound, the only preset in MIDI Mapper available is the MultiSound (no basic or extended), and all 16 channels are marked active. Does this mean that the Multisound is using all 16 channels?

Most likely yes when you use sequencer software or Media player etc. But the above games will only use Channels 13-16 or Channels 1-10 depending on your selection (Base or Extended setup). But if full 16-channel mapping is selected in Midi mapper then Base setup will sound bad since Base is using channel 16 as drum channel and in Full usually channel 10 is the Drum channel. Extended will work with full setup since there is no such problem (both use channel 10 as drum channel). If out of curiosity you would like to test how Base setup will sound on your card you should define a new Midi mapper entry (and also select it as default ) where channel 16 is redirected to channel 10 of your hardware. Of course the above written only holds when your synth really uses channel 10 as drum channel (GM default).

boxpressed wrote on 2020-02-03, 13:56:

I understand what you are saying about the hardware agnostic MIDI. But the game is still using the Proteus 1/XR to synthesize MIDI, correct? Which would produce different music than, say, an SCC-1? I thought this was interesting because so few games would work the MultiSound, even in this agnostic manner.

The games use the settings you defined/selected in Midi mapper. If the selected setting refers only to your Multisound card as output on every channel then yes. BTW on Windows 3.1 it is possible to define maps that use different devices on different channels.

Website, Facebook, Youtube
Falcosoft Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi topic

Reply 8 of 11, by boxpressed

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Falcosoft wrote on 2020-02-03, 16:40:

Most likely yes when you use sequencer software or Media player etc. But the above games will only use Channels 13-16 or Channels 1-10 depending on your selection (Base or Extended setup). But if full 16-channel mapping is selected in Midi mapper then Base setup will sound bad since Base is using channel 16 as drum channel and in Full usually channel 10 is the Drum channel. Extended will work with full setup since there is no such problem (both use channel 10 as drum channel). If out of curiosity you would like to test how Base setup will sound on your card you should define a new Midi mapper entry (and also select it as default ) where channel 16 is redirected to channel 10 of your hardware. Of course the above written only holds when your synth really uses channel 10 as drum channel (GM default).

Thanks again -- I will explore all your suggestions as I try to learn more about MIDI!

Reply 9 of 11, by Spikey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Sierra games don't ever use channels 11-16 in DOS mode, although the tikalat patches I mentioned above add that functionality to allow music and SFX to not fight each other for 'channel room'. Some Dynamix games could be different. In theory Extended MIDI should just be the same for Sierra games as the way the DOS games are set up, channel 1-10 (since they don't use the later chans), although see the patches comment yet again.

I'm not 100% on Sierra Windows games, since it's been an age since I loaded one, but I believe Windows versions add other bugs to MIDI. There's some issue with note cutoff or something where notes at the end of a track don't play correctly. Again, I'll have to boot one up to verify. The one in my mind is QFG4's battle victory theme.

The general advice for Sierra games, regarding sound and music, is that they are always better in the DOS executable. The only one with pros and well as cons is KQ6, with the closeup portraits. All other games have only cons to using the Windows versions, IIRC.

Reply 10 of 11, by Spikey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I also just noticed this, but SQ4 and LB2 are both MT-32 soundtrack games, as well! Only KQ6 from your pictures is a SC-55 game. Both of those games sound vastly superior in MT-32, IMHO.

Reply 11 of 11, by Jo22

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Dare to Dream also supported MIDI.. Though it was generic MIDI only, no GM, I believe.
https://www.mobygames.com/game-group/dare-to-dream-episodes

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//