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First post, by DonnaNCarolina

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Miracle Piano Teaching System, circa 1991. It has a keyboard attached with a MIDI/USB cable and the installation seems to think it is communicating. The program teaches you to play the piano thru a series of lessons. I did have a laptop that I ran the program from, it was Windows 95 (I think). I recently recycled the laptop (wish I hadn't but it didn't power up).

I am trying to run it on a Windows 10 computer, 64-bit operating system. The program starts and shows the initial logo and a followup screen. It then shows a stopwatch and gets stuck. When I monitor it under the Task Manager, when the initial screens start, it runs about 30% of the CPU. When it hits the stopwatch screen, the Task Manager shows it to be using less than 1% CPU. It just seems to hang at that point.

I've tried modifying CORE, CYCLES and CTL-PF8 to increase frames. Also checked that all files are not marked as read-only. Nothing seems to help.

Any suggestions appreciated.

Reply 1 of 9, by Jo22

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Hi, sorry for the late reply! I wish you a happy new year!

I'm speaking under correction, but I think DOSBox only has MIDI-out for now in order to support MT-32 and other MIDI modules.
In order to fully use a keyboard, you'll need a MIDI-in support, as well.

Edit: You may have more luck using PCem or 86Box with Windows 98SE installed inside.
Or Qemu, which also supports a Sound Blaster 16. Not sure though, if Qemu supports MPU-401 emulation.
If not, just use any emulator/virtualizer that either has MIDI support for native DOS or can run a
32-Bit Windows that has the ability to emulate MIDI support for DOS applications.

"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//

Reply 2 of 9, by DonnaNCarolina

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Thanks! I’d pretty much given up. I did buy a cheap laptop running Windows 7 in 32-bit mode but didn’t get any farther. Guess it’s good I haven’t packed up everything to head for EBay! I’m not a PC person so I’ll go do some research on your recommendations.

I appreciate your taking the time to respond! Will let you know if I get anywhere with your recommendations.

Reply 3 of 9, by Jo22

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You're welcome! 😀

Note that Windows XP (x86) was the last release to support MPU-401 and sofware-synthesizers (via DirectMusic/DirectX) out-of box.
Windows Vista and later simplified MIDI support. To change your default MIDI device, an extra utility like Vista MIDI Picker might be needed.
That being said, I have rarely used DOS software on Windows NT (I assume it's a DOS program since it is from 91)..

If you're looking for a new old machine, probably any computer with a soundcard that has got a 15pin game port might be useful
Providing MPU-401 support in real DOS or Windows 98SE is not as tricky as trying to get Sound Blaster sound working.
It doesn't matter if the card is connected via ISA or PCI, aslong as it is visible for/detected by the PC or laptop.
A MPU-401 type MIDI interface (UART mode) is comparable to a serial port (COMx).

Edit: Another thing that comes to mind - Some USB-MIDI cables I have seen had a confusing labeling.
They sayd "MIDI IN" and "MIDI Out", when they really meant to say TO MIDI IN and TO MIDI OUT.
Switching the cables worked for me back then. Also, better cables have built-in opto couplers..

"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//

Reply 4 of 9, by DonnaNCarolina

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Thanks again. I had read about the non-intuitive IN/OUT thing earlier, maybe in this forum. I found a site that explained how to install BASSMIDI so will try that first. Just sort of stumbling around!

Reply 5 of 9, by Jo22

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Good luck! 😀

Also have a look at SoftMPU. It "emulates" a fully functional MPU-401 including the Intelligent Mode.
It works fine for everything in DOS, except Protected-Mode games.

Even better, SoftMPU also supports serial ports.
There used to be a hack, I remember, which allowed to change any simple rs232 serial port to MIDI-compatible baud rate.
It involved changing a crystal, I recall.

Alternatively, there's HardMPU project.

That being said, better check if these also support receiving data from a MIDI device already,
since I never tried this so far with a keyboard before (sorry).

"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//

Reply 6 of 9, by judkei

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I was able to install the DOS version of Miracle Piano on a laptop running Windows 7. The program runs fine EXCEPT there is no sound. I use DOSbox .74 and the DBGL front end to run the program.The computer has a built-in sound card and does not have any serial ports. I am connected to a Yamaha NP-12 keyboard and have verified the MIDI connection works fine with modern MIDI windows software. Any suggestions as to how to fix the sound problem.

Reply 7 of 9, by Jo22

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Hi, may I ask you if you did check the DOSBox config file already ? 😀
Sometimes, the MIDI device is configured wrongly.
You need either default or Win32 and you need to specify which device numer you like to use.

In DOSBox, you can check the current config by typing: mixer /listmidi

Attachments

  • listmidi.gif
    Filename
    listmidi.gif
    File size
    9.51 KiB
    Views
    876 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • midi.gif
    Filename
    midi.gif
    File size
    31.55 KiB
    Views
    876 views
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

"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//

Reply 8 of 9, by BravoSierra

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I have a working installation of the Miracle Piano Teaching System running on an old DOS Compaq PC, a soundblaster and a Yamaha Clavinova.
It's fun to use it with my grand children, but unfortunately would one of the parts of that puzzle fail, I would not be able to reinstal it. Have tried to install it on a windows laptop but I could never connect the midi cable to a USB port,
Also, once I've try to connect another midi cable, and it did not work. So I believe that not every midi cables are the same, although they look similar. so for some reason it's only working with my original midi cable.
Best chance,
Benoit

Reply 9 of 9, by chrisost

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I just started down this rabbit hole, too.

The DOS Miracle program has two ways to connect to the keyboard:

  1. Through a serial port using the (proprietary) serial to MIDI cable that came with the keyboard
  2. Through the PS/1 MIDI port

Using a USB to MIDI converter could work, if the emulator running the Miracle program emulated the PS/1 MIDI port. Unfortunately this isn't supported by DosBox - it only supports MPU-401 (which is a different hardware interface).

Theoretically, a USB to serial adapter would work if used with the original serial cable. There seem to be folks that have done this successfully. I don't have that cable to try, though there is a purported pinout for it.

I don't have the Windows Miracle program (though would love to get my hands on it!) to know if it would work with an emulated MPU-401 and a USB to MIDI cable.

I'd also be interested to find documentation for the PS/1 MIDI hardware to see if it's possible to add support for that to DosBox (and so get the DOS version working).