VOGONS


First post, by Tom Lewandowski

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Thanks to some wonderful folks, I've recently acquired a new 8-bit PC MIDI card along with a Dreamblaster X2 daughterboard to go with it. I've installed these in a new (old) Pentium PC which I've restored to use as my primary music composing computer. Thanks to Leo Dallas, I've been able to get back into MIDI composition, full speed. The PC MIDI card has been a God-send since I no longer had my old Roland MPU-IPC's interfaces to use with a Roland MT-32. I also use a Roland SC-D70 Sound Module and Yamaha keyboard controller. I use the DOS-based "Sequencer Plus Gold" (SpG) almost exclusively for recording, sequencing, arranging, etc. my music as it supports multiple MIDI interfaces.

But I'm having a problem accessing the Dreamblaster X2, which I currently have attached to the Feature connector on the PC MIDI card. I can't find any information on what I/O address the daughterboard is accessed. I'm using the PC MIDI card's defaults (330 / IRQ 2) to output via its MIDI port. The MIDI port drivers used in SpG (VAPI and SAPI drivers) require a memory address line option to find a MIDI device in order to use it. For instance, VAPIMPU /addr:320, tells SpG that my first MIDI interface (a RAP 10's MIDI port) where it is, and SAPIMPU /addr:330 identifies the PC MIDI card's MIDI port. I now need an I/O address to identify where the DreamBlaster X2 is in order to access it in SpG.....

Though I do have Win98SE installed on the machine, I use all the music software primarily as DOS-only.

But I can't find any reference to what the Feature Connector port I/O address on the PC MIDI card would be? Can anyone help me determine this? If someone's familiar with Sequencer Plus Gold and which particular VAPI or SAPI driver is best suited for use with the X2, that would be great, too.

Thanks for any help you can provide.

Tom

Reply 1 of 5, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Hey Tom!
glad you enjoy the cards 😀
I have no experience with the software you mention but I can tell you about the OUT ports 😀

PCMIDI is a 16-channel interface so everything is accessed from port330 in your case
hardware-wise the midi-out signal gets multiplied and sent to:
a. wavetable header
b. dedicated midi-out connector
c. DB9 connector

so all synths connected to any of these ports receive the same exact data.
It is like the MPU-401AT in that regard or the dual-OUT jacks of the older roland 401 cards , it's just port duplication and not separate ports with different addresses

PCMIDI is not like the Music Quest MQX-32m interface for example that is 32channels and essentially 2xMPU interfaces glued together , you can replicate it with 2xPCMIDI cards assuming the software supports multiple targets.

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site buy+info
🎧 WIP Orpheus soundcard site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 2 of 5, by Tom Lewandowski

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Thanks! I seem to have just figured this out and have created a work-a-round. I have an extra Sound Blaster 16 card installed in the computer that's just collecting dust, but it also has a FEATURE CONNECTOR and is setup at an I/O address I'm currently not using .... so this solves my problem and leaves the PC MIDI CARD dedicated to the MT-32. Sequencer Plus Gold supports up to 8 MIDI interfaces/MIDI ports, but I need to use only four. And I only need one INTELLIGENT-mode interface (the PC MIDI Card) for use with the MT-32, so I can use my own custom patch banks. (Though I may pick up another PC MIDI card in the future if I decide to keep my Roland CM-500 and add it to my ensemble.)

By the by, to be honest, I wasn't really expecting much from the Dreamblaster X2 but find I'm really surprised and amazed with some of its sounds! Quite a few excellent quality timbres that are further enhanced by it's onboard reverb/chorus affects ability. Kudus on this tiny blockbuster!

Reply 3 of 5, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

nice to see this got figured out 😀

the X2 is indeed very capable and the good thing is that the soundbanks are updateable - there is always work done on them , slow but steady!
the download section of the X2 has some more tools and even a high quality piano bank: http://serdaco.com/downloads/X2/?dir=

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site buy+info
🎧 WIP Orpheus soundcard site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 4 of 5, by Spikey

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Hey Tom,

Wonderful to "see" you in the DOS community, it's been far too long. Ari Stone has just returned to the QS forums, and posted a few things, so it's been a nostalgic time.
If you feel like replying here, it'd be more than welcome: https://www.midimusicadventures.com/phpbb/vie … php?f=4&t=17836

Glad you're returning to composing and glad you have a retro setup you enjoy. Hopefully it inspires you!
(Wouldn't be the worst thing if it inspired you to come back to Sierra soundtracks, either, should you want to. 😉 )

Hope you and Dianne are healthy with all the virus over there.

Reply 5 of 5, by Tom Lewandowski

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hey, thanks! I'll never forget how my wife and I resisted 'Win3.1' and then, 'Win95'. We were hard-core DOS hanger-ons until we absolutely had to pay our dues to Microsoft. Thirty years later, it's like going home again. 😀 DOS RULES!

I do check in to the QuestStudios archive, from time to time, but haven't yet become active....pretty soon. I got sort of burned out with trying to keep my online and offline lives simultaneously on tract. I'm actually amazed that almost all (if not all) of the old QuestStudios.com files are still being kept up! It's great!