Xeen and Roland synths

Emulation of old PCs, PC hardware, or PC peripherals.

Re: Xeen and Roland synths

Postby clueless1 » 2019-2-01 @ 18:24

Does MM3 work with the MT-32 Old? I haven't done any troubleshooting, but the last time I fired this game up and set it to MT-32 I wasn't getting any sound (the LCD display indicated sounds were playing, but nothing was heard). I have it set to 330 while my GM daughtercard uses 300. Every other game I've tried works normally on the MT-32.
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Re: Xeen and Roland synths

Postby citrixscu » 2019-2-01 @ 23:58

This thread is amazing. MM3-5 are my all time, nostalgic top games. I played each in the 90s with FM synth and then a SCB-55 daughterboard on an SB16 back then. I still play each game every year or so, even 30 years later, though this time through DOSBox with Roland SC-VA for music. I've always been fascinated by the musical score, so it's so cool that people are contributing to this, especially @lordskylark for the work and research performed. Much appreciated.
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Re: Xeen and Roland synths

Postby lordskylark » 2019-2-02 @ 18:51

clueless1 wrote:Does MM3 work with the MT-32 Old? I haven't done any troubleshooting, but the last time I fired this game up and set it to MT-32 I wasn't getting any sound (the LCD display indicated sounds were playing, but nothing was heard). I have it set to 330 while my GM daughtercard uses 300. Every other game I've tried works normally on the MT-32.



Does MM3 have buffer overflow errors with MT-32 old? I can test it later to see if my MT-32 new actually plays the music while the game is playing though.


There are no unique sounds for the music for MM3~5 or anything that specifically required anything but MT-32 (except for the chime effect in the temple music that is only in the final game version - CM-32L). Therefore, I purchased an MT-32 new for recording the tracks on my youtube channel. (I didn't want the possible clipping of the CM-32L, and I didn't want the noise from the MT-32 old).

But I did not record anything while the actual game was playing. The MT-32 tracks I recorded for my youtube channel were recorded from the ORIGINAL midi files BEFORE they were made into the .M file format. (For MM3 and PE all of the velocities were altered to 127 in the final game / MM4~5 retain the original velocities). The only exceptions were 50% of the PE music (cannot locate the original composer -- might be Rob Wallace (he did NOT save anything so no way to check) -- or the original midi files) & the final Sci-Fi Tracks from MM5 (not by Tim Tully or Greg Alper -- I even contacted the programmers and no can recall who did it). For the tracks I did not have the midi files for, I captured the midi data with DOSBox (which I did long before I had an actual MT-32) and then later played back those captured midi files. And I recorded each channel completely independently and then mixed them together to prevent all polysynth loss.
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Re: Xeen and Roland synths

Postby clueless1 » 2019-2-03 @ 18:47

lordskylark wrote:
clueless1 wrote:Does MM3 work with the MT-32 Old? I haven't done any troubleshooting, but the last time I fired this game up and set it to MT-32 I wasn't getting any sound (the LCD display indicated sounds were playing, but nothing was heard). I have it set to 330 while my GM daughtercard uses 300. Every other game I've tried works normally on the MT-32.



Does MM3 have buffer overflow errors with MT-32 old? I can test it later to see if my MT-32 new actually plays the music while the game is playing though.

I did some more testing and determined that MT-32 old works fine as long as I don't select "Roland & Blaster". If I just select "Roland LAPC-1", music works and sound effects are played through the MT-32. If I select "Sound Blaster" than I get FM music and sound effects.
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Re: Xeen and Roland synths

Postby lordskylark » 2019-4-10 @ 17:51

So I received a "soundblaster 16" CT2230.

There is no specific option in Clouds/Darkside Xeen to use "soundblaster 16" (though WORLD of Xeen allows an option for Soundblaster 16 to be used only as the speech device). The Clouds of Xeen demo makes a specific mention about the demo not yet being compatible for OPL3. The best option seems to be using the regular "Sound Blaster" setting when using soundblaster 16 (choosing the "Adlib" setting sounds identical to the "Soundblaster" option to me).

So, I wonder then if the FM version of the music was mixed configured specifically for either regular "Sound Blaster" and/or "Sound Blaster Pro".

If it was for "Sound Blaster Pro", I would think it would be for 1.0 (Dual OPL2) rather than the 2.0 (Single OPL3) version.
Is there anyone who could do a comparison on how the music sounds with an authentic Sound Blaster Pro 1.0 vs. 2.0?

P.S.
Here is my recent recording of "Clouds of Xeen" done with the CT2230:
single video - https://youtu.be/XOuoVyV33vo
playlist - https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... EnYbYxrwrR
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Re: Xeen and Roland synths

Postby lordskylark » 2019-8-17 @ 08:03

Some updates:

--Tim Tully (with his friends) is the primary composer for MM3~5 and Planet's Edge. (see below for what equipment he used)
--George Sanger did ONLY the introduction theme for MM3 and Planet's Edge.
--Rob Wallace maybe did one track for MM3 and 50% of the tracks for Planet's Edge (music which should have been for the Genesis version of King's Bounty). There are no records yet of his commissions.
--Takeshi Abo did a few tracks in MM5, which were apparently for MT-32.

The original Might and Magic III comission from New World Computing to Tim Tully states:
"Each work of music shall consist of a maximum of eight, monophonic tracks, each usable by one of the instrumental timbres found in the Roland MT-32 synthesizer."

The original Might and Magic IV comission states:
"Standard MIDI Files, voiced for the Roland MT-32 synthesizer. The MIDI files will consist of no more than eight tracks apiece. Each track will be monophonic, such that no more than one note plays at any one time."

In Tim's letter to Jon van Caneghem (1992-03-06) regarding Might and Magic IV, Tim states:
"I've begun on a theme for Xeen, having gotten a blow-by-blow of the opening from Mark [Caldwell]. I hope to have something solid this week. I'll do this piece for a full-bore (shudder) MT32 as we discussed. "

Might and Magic V commission (November 1992)
"Standard MIDI Files, voiced for the Roland MT-32 synthesizer... . The MIDI files will consist of no more than eight tracks apiece. Each track will be monophonic, such that no more than one note plays at any one time. ... (Also) will produce any number of these pieces more fully, specifically to take full advantage of the capabilities of the Roland SCC-1 Sound Card."

NOTE: Only the introduction theme for MM4 & MM5 have unique Canvas versions composed directly by Tim. All of the other Canvas versions were made by the sound programmer(s) from Tim's original versions by simply patching in alternate instruments.

However, after Might and Magic III & Planet's Edge were finished (but before working on MM4&5), Tim Tully sent a demo tape to other companies to get work. In an accompanying letter Tim writes:
"Bear in mind that these were specifically produced to accommodate eight monophonic tracks, per the client’s understanding of the hardware in his installed base. All the tunes on the tape are played on a CM-32L."

There is also a note in 1992-07-06 of Tim shipping "Sound Canvas to NWC". There is no model mentioned.

So Tim composed the music either on an MT-32 of a CM-32L. But maybe the instrument is actually an CM-32L. But because the patches were the same, it probably was not important.

In the final version of Might and Magic 3, the "temple" theme does have the "chime" instrument that is only in the CM-32L. However, in the original version of "temple" sent by Tim to NWC, the "chime" instrument is not present. This leads me to believe that someone else on the design team added it. So this doesn't narrow it down.

In one of the original midi files for one of the Might and Magic 5 tracks, there is channel for "horses" -- which must be the CM-32L horse sound effect. However, this channel is entirely blank. However, this leads me to wonder if Tim had CM-32L, but deleted the horse channel (perhaps because that sound is not on an MT-32).

When George Sanger was commissioned for MM3 & PE, it states:
"We need a one (1) minute theme that will be orchestrated for use with the ADLIB and LAPC-1 boards."

I know for certain that George had an MT-32. I don't know about anything else. The midi file itself is configured for MT-32/CM-32L patches. Since both are basically the same sound (except for some extra instruments) it's difficult to know. No instruments are included that are unique to the CM-32L.
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