VOGONS


MT-32 wavetable daughterboard exist

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First post, by Paar

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Check this video: https://www.clous.cz/jamicon-spacestation-386/

The owner of the computer uses generic ISA card with a DIY waveblaster daughterboard which seeems to be fully compatible with MT-32 standard and sounds excellent. It's even compatible with Legend of Kyrandia 1, which needs intelligent MIDI mode. Would be nice to see what the board really looks like!

Reply 1 of 28, by gdjacobs

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Kyrandia doesn't use much in the way of custom instruments. SoftMPU and a Roland compatible wavetable card with MT-32 emulation will sound decently close to the real thing. Not saying that's what's going on as I'm not as knowledgeable as Hierophant or NewRisingSun, but Kyrandia isn't the high bar that many other titles are.

I still like the PC in a keyboard thing, though.

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Reply 2 of 28, by Thermalwrong

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If you run his site through google translate, he's connecting an MT-32 & SC-55 off camera to the Aztech soundcard. I'm fairly certain, there isn't an MT-32 daughterboard just yet, until we have a Pi CM-4 and Munt performing that task 😉

Nice to see Clous mentioned on here 😀 His videos of old laptops and old PCs are pretty enjoyable and I think his site has the most info on old laptops currently on the active Internet.

Reply 3 of 28, by Paar

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Well I'm sure he's not using real MT-32 or SC-55 module and it really is ISA card with a daughterboard only. He's showing the back of the computer and you can see it's directly connected to the speaker out jack of the card, there is no other connection.
But it is possible it's just some other General MIDI wavetable board using MT-32 emulation. Either way, it sounds great and even produces sound effects nicely.

Reply 4 of 28, by Srandista

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Thermalwrong wrote on 2020-12-28, 01:51:

If you run his site through google translate, he's connecting an MT-32 & SC-55 off camera to the Aztech soundcard.

Trust me, Paar really doesn't need to use Google translate on that site 😉 Also, Clous wrote on that site, that you can connect MT-32 or SC-55 to sound card in that PC, not that he's connected those devices there.

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Reply 5 of 28, by Salient

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Paar wrote on 2020-12-27, 20:27:

... a DIY waveblaster daughterboard which seeems to be fully compatible with MT-32 ...

See: http://members.home.nl/c.kersten/

It says "And just today two more, very special new boards arrived from the same source: LAPC on a MIDI daughterboard! It must have been especially difficult sourcing those chips....
Haven't had time to test them yet, but I will do so very soon. I already put them on my flatbed scanner, so photos are coming too!"

Might as well be that board?

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(Always) looking for: Any Wavetable daughterboard, MIDI Module (GM/GS/XG)

Reply 6 of 28, by Paar

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Yeah, this could be the same thing. I know for sure it's just plain ISA sound card with MIDI daughterboard only but I have no idea how it looks like or how it works. I just know (thanks to the video) that compatibility is great and that it sounds excellent. Wish I knew more about this product!

Reply 7 of 28, by gdjacobs

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Paar wrote on 2020-12-30, 19:06:

Yeah, this could be the same thing. I know for sure it's just plain ISA sound card with MIDI daughterboard only but I have no idea how it looks like or how it works. I just know (thanks to the video) that compatibility is great and that it sounds excellent. Wish I knew more about this product!

I'm suspecting it's SoftMPU with a Roland based, Crystal based, or similar daughter card (featuring an MT-32 mode).

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Reply 8 of 28, by Paar

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Well, I have checked again the video and he is using SoftMPU. Makes sense since Legend of Kyrandia doesn't work with UART mode. Nice to see it works great with 386 SX25. Is MT-32 emulation on GM cards capable of producing proper sound effects?

Reply 9 of 28, by gdjacobs

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Paar wrote on 2020-12-30, 20:39:

Well, I have checked again the video and he is using SoftMPU. Makes sense since Legend of Kyrandia doesn't work with UART mode. Nice to see it works great with 386 SX25. Is MT-32 emulation on GM cards capable of producing proper sound effects?

Not completely, although it can be okay when titles stick to the default instruments.

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Reply 10 of 28, by Srandista

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gdjacobs wrote on 2020-12-31, 06:08:

Not completely, although it can be okay when titles stick to the default instruments.

Which is unfortunately (for this use case) quite uncommon.

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Reply 11 of 28, by CHiLL72

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Salient wrote on 2020-12-28, 17:13:
See: http://members.home.nl/c.kersten/ […]
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Paar wrote on 2020-12-27, 20:27:

... a DIY waveblaster daughterboard which seeems to be fully compatible with MT-32 ...

See: http://members.home.nl/c.kersten/

It says "And just today two more, very special new boards arrived from the same source: LAPC on a MIDI daughterboard! It must have been especially difficult sourcing those chips....
Haven't had time to test them yet, but I will do so very soon. I already put them on my flatbed scanner, so photos are coming too!"

Might as well be that board?

It might be. I have two of these boards, which are slightly different from one another. Here are two (partially obscured) photos for you. These boards were created by a fellow VOGONS member.

LA32 - 1.jpg
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LA32 - 1.jpg
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531.02 KiB
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522 views
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Fair use/fair dealing exception
LA32 - 2.jpg
Filename
LA32 - 2.jpg
File size
530.51 KiB
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522 views
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Waveblaster MIDI boards: https://waveblaster.nl - online now!

Reply 12 of 28, by Paar

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Those boards look awesome. Nice to see the real thing. Too bad it's partially obscured but I guess it's either to protect the design or to avoid possible legal issues. Thanks for the photos! I hope more of these beauties will get publicly available someday.

Could you be more specific how those boards work and how is the compatibility?

Reply 13 of 28, by gdjacobs

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CHiLL72 wrote on 2021-01-03, 21:06:
It might be. I have two of these boards, which are slightly different from one another. Here are two (partially obscured) photos […]
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Salient wrote on 2020-12-28, 17:13:
See: http://members.home.nl/c.kersten/ […]
Show full quote
Paar wrote on 2020-12-27, 20:27:

... a DIY waveblaster daughterboard which seeems to be fully compatible with MT-32 ...

See: http://members.home.nl/c.kersten/

It says "And just today two more, very special new boards arrived from the same source: LAPC on a MIDI daughterboard! It must have been especially difficult sourcing those chips....
Haven't had time to test them yet, but I will do so very soon. I already put them on my flatbed scanner, so photos are coming too!"

Might as well be that board?

It might be. I have two of these boards, which are slightly different from one another. Here are two (partially obscured) photos for you. These boards were created by a fellow VOGONS member.

LA32 - 1.jpg
LA32 - 2.jpg

What sorcery is this? Has someone been digging around the Roland graveyard in the dark of night to unleash this creature on us?

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 14 of 28, by Paar

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I guess it's something similar to McCake but with FPGA and real chips. I have no idea how hard is to source those parts and hope no functional MT-32 has been hurt in the process! 😁

Last edited by Paar on 2021-01-05, 09:18. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 15 of 28, by root42

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Howly cow. Thos LA32 Devboards look lovely! Amazing stuff! And yeah, I hope no MT32 had to be gutted for that! No functioning at least... I guess in the end an FPGA solution which doesn't need the LA32 IC would be best and give very good compatibility.

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Reply 16 of 28, by keropi

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noone in their right mind woult gut a mt-32 to make it a daughterboard, rest assured
the roland chips used in computer modules we love are not unique to them so chance are something "junk" and "unusable" was the donor. 😉

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Reply 17 of 28, by root42

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Yeah, they were used in keyboards as well I guess. However I also think it's not viable to build many of these, as donors are probably quite rare still.

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Reply 19 of 28, by BloodyCactus

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its funny to see those old intel embedded mcs-96 / 8095 cpus.

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