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First post, by Soupdragon

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At the moment I have my Roland boxes connected to my windows PC via a Roland USB to MIDI adapter and they work well with dosbox. But I want to try connecting my MT-32 to my 486 pc via a SB16 with a joystick to midi cable. I have ordered a cable from ebay and I am waiting for it to arrive. I understand this method wont give me intelligent mode MIDI to the Roland box. Does anyone have a list of games that require intelligent mode or sound better with one?

Thanks

Reply 1 of 19, by Great Hierophant

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Intelligent MPU-401 does not make games sound better or worse, it allows games work with midi devices like the MT-32, otherwise they do not work with them at all. You can find many Intelligent MPU-401 games listed in this thread : MPU-401 Intelligent mode

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog

Reply 2 of 19, by Paddan1000

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Some games I know about that won't work with the gameport of a Soundblaster 16 are:

Eric the Unready
Gateway
Martian Memorandum
Simon the Sorcerer
Spellcasting 101
Waxworks
Wing Commander

Intelligent mode is only relevant for the MT-32. All games with GM support work without it. Then there is also the issue with whether a game prefers an old or a new MT-32.

Reply 5 of 19, by AdamP

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Paddan1000 wrote:

Some games I know about that won't work with the gameport of a Soundblaster 16 are:

Simon the Sorcerer

I assume that doesn't apply to the Windows version?

Reply 6 of 19, by Great Hierophant

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Here is a list compiled from this forum, it is probably not complete :

A-10 Tank Killer
Codename : Iceman
Companions Of Xanth 
Conquests of Camelot
Curse of Enchantia
David Wolf
Ecargxus 
Eric the Unready 
Gateway
Gateway II
Hero's Quest/Quest for Glory I
Hired Guns
Hoyle's Official Book of Games Volume I
Hoyle's Official Book of Games Volume II
Innocent until Caught
It Came from the Desert
King's Quest I : Quest for the Crown
Kings Quest IV
Laser Squad
Leisure Suit Larry 2
Leisure Suit Larry 3
Linewars II
Martian Memorandum
Mixed Up Mother Goose
Police Quest II
Princess Maker
Princess Maker 2
Sabre Team
Shadoworlds
Silpheed
Simon the Sorcerer
Sorcerian
Space Quest III
Spellcasting 101
Spellcasting 201
Spellcasting 301
Superhero League of Hoboken
The Colonel's Bequest
Thexder II
TimeQuest 
Waxworks
Wing Commander 
Wing Commander II 
Wonderland
Zeliard

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog

Reply 7 of 19, by dr.zeissler

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If I only have a 286 and no slot left, there is no way of softmpu or any other tool to get the mt32 working on that machine.

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Reply 8 of 19, by Scali

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Great Hierophant wrote:

Intelligent MPU-401 does not make games sound better or worse, it allows games work with midi devices like the MT-32, otherwise they do not work with them at all.

That is not quite correct.
An original MPU-401 has its own CPU and simple MIDI sequencer functionality onboard.
Intelligent mode allows software to offload some of the MIDI processing and timing from the main CPU to the MPU-401, allowing for lower CPU load and higher accuracy.
The communication with external MIDI devices such as an MT-32 is no different, regardless of the mode used. So anything you can do with an MT-32 (or any other device) in intelligent mode, you can also do in dumb mode.
Which is also why a program like SoftMPU can work: the actual MIDI interface still operates in 'dumb' mode, because that's the only thing it understands. The 'Intelligent' part is just emulated between CPU and MIDI interface.

In practice there is a close link between intelligent mode and the MT-32, since the MT-32 was the first MIDI module, and the MPU-401 was the first MIDI interface for PCs. They were often used together, and many early games would use the intelligent mode.
When clones arrived with their own MIDI interfaces, they only supported 'dumb' mode, to reduce cost (so the onboard CPU and sequencer functionality were dropped). As a result, many later games no longer used intelligent mode (also because faster CPUs made it less important).

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Reply 9 of 19, by dr.zeissler

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Thx scali. I think I change my setup on my A2000/286-8.
I'll take out the lan-card and put a mpu401i card in it.

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Reply 10 of 19, by appiah4

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On PC you could always go with SoftMPU as long as it's a 386+ I would think..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 11 of 19, by Jo22

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Exactly my thoughts. If the Bridgeboard has a socketed 286, maybe one of these MakeIt!486 upgrades could be installed onto it.
In theory, a serial port might be possible to use in order to connect to the MT-32. Provided that both the baud rate and the signaling levels are compatible with it, of course (I don't know what the Amiga supports).
If that isn't the case, some other MIDI module with RS232 interface might be able to work as a bridge for the purpose of translatiing to traditional- MIDI.

"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 12 of 19, by dr.zeissler

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My ESS SC1630 already has a native midi interface which I am routing fromm 300 to 330 in order to make no conflict with the network-card.
But there is no intelligent-mode on this and softmpu does require 386+ so the old titles that will work with a 286/8 do not work because
they mostly require intelligent mode.
I will not modify the A2286/8 it will be like it is...I only update/change the ISA-Cards.

Retro-Gamer 😀PowerMac 6100-66/Houdini 486/66 - G4 Cube 450/Rage128pro OS9.0.1 - Macintosh LC/Apple IIe Card OS6.0.8 - Acorn A4000 Archimedes - Unisys CWD 486/66 + Aztech Washington

Reply 13 of 19, by Jo22

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dr.zeissler wrote:

I will not modify the A2286/8 it will be like it is...I only update/change the ISA-Cards.

I see. Looking at some photos, it sadly wouldn't be possible, anyway.
For some reason, the designers decided it was a good idea to place the daughterboard directlly atop the 80286 and
the socket for the (hot) numeric processor (optional).. 😢

"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 14 of 19, by walterg74

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Hey folks, quick question on this.

I see one game that is listed as requiring intelligent mode is Space Quest III.

I have only tried this so far with dosbox and a Rolan UM-One cable to the MT-32

The music did come out perfectly, so what’s the deal? Does it break elsewhere, or does the UM-One cable incorporate the intelligent mode part in it too?

Reply 15 of 19, by Jo22

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walterg74 wrote:
Hey folks, quick question on this. […]
Show full quote

Hey folks, quick question on this.

I see one game that is listed as requiring intelligent mode is Space Quest III.

I have only tried this so far with dosbox and a Rolan UM-One cable to the MT-32

The music did come out perfectly, so what’s the deal? Does it break elsewhere, or does the UM-One cable incorporate the intelligent mode part in it too?

Hi, DOSBox itself does emulate a "full" MPU-401 with both intelligent mode and UART mode (dumb mode).
Hence, it will work with any physical connection. Be it an USB-MIDI cable or an old SoundBlaster with a MIDI cable on its gameport.
But on a real 486 PC, for example, you'll need a fully MPU-401 compatible MIDI card, such as the Roland MPU-401, MusicQuest or HardMPU card.
Or a software solution. Like the SoundBlaster patch (SOUND BLASTER MIDI PORT UTILITY) for older Sierra games or SoftMPU/EMM386. Or DOSBox on DOS with HX Extender.

"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 16 of 19, by walterg74

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Jo22 wrote on 2019-10-18, 06:28:
Hi, DOSBox itself does emulate a "full" MPU-401 with both intelligent mode and UART mode (dumb mode). Hence, it will work with a […]
Show full quote
walterg74 wrote:
Hey folks, quick question on this. […]
Show full quote

Hey folks, quick question on this.

I see one game that is listed as requiring intelligent mode is Space Quest III.

I have only tried this so far with dosbox and a Rolan UM-One cable to the MT-32

The music did come out perfectly, so what’s the deal? Does it break elsewhere, or does the UM-One cable incorporate the intelligent mode part in it too?

Hi, DOSBox itself does emulate a "full" MPU-401 with both intelligent mode and UART mode (dumb mode).
Hence, it will work with any physical connection. Be it an USB-MIDI cable or an old SoundBlaster with a MIDI cable on its gameport.
But on a real 486 PC, for example, you'll need a fully MPU-401 compatible MIDI card, such as the Roland MPU-401, MusicQuest or HardMPU card.
Or a software solution. Like the SoundBlaster patch (SOUND BLASTER MIDI PORT UTILITY) for older Sierra games or SoftMPU/EMM386. Or DOSBox on DOS with HX Extender.

What does the sierra patch actually do? (Technically)

Reply 17 of 19, by Jo22

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walterg74 wrote on 2020-09-11, 03:30:
Jo22 wrote on 2019-10-18, 06:28:
Hi, DOSBox itself does emulate a "full" MPU-401 with both intelligent mode and UART mode (dumb mode). Hence, it will work with a […]
Show full quote
walterg74 wrote:
Hey folks, quick question on this. […]
Show full quote

Hey folks, quick question on this.

I see one game that is listed as requiring intelligent mode is Space Quest III.

I have only tried this so far with dosbox and a Rolan UM-One cable to the MT-32

The music did come out perfectly, so what’s the deal? Does it break elsewhere, or does the UM-One cable incorporate the intelligent mode part in it too?

Hi, DOSBox itself does emulate a "full" MPU-401 with both intelligent mode and UART mode (dumb mode).
Hence, it will work with any physical connection. Be it an USB-MIDI cable or an old SoundBlaster with a MIDI cable on its gameport.
But on a real 486 PC, for example, you'll need a fully MPU-401 compatible MIDI card, such as the Roland MPU-401, MusicQuest or HardMPU card.
Or a software solution. Like the SoundBlaster patch (SOUND BLASTER MIDI PORT UTILITY) for older Sierra games or SoftMPU/EMM386. Or DOSBox on DOS with HX Extender.

What does the sierra patch actually do? (Technically)

Hi Walterg74! 🙂 It uses the Sound-Blaster "MPU" instead of the MPU-401.
The original 8-bit Sound Blasters had no MPU-401 yet, but a simple MIDI interface.
This interface was based on the Sound Blaster "DSP" (the SB processor/microcontroller) and is now commonly known as "SB-MIDI".
SB-MIDI is very simple, uses no IRQ/DMA, and was meant to interface a user's keyboard (piano) with the PC. For making music or entering notes in music sheets. However, since it is based on software running in the SB DSP, it is available in all classic Sound Blasters from Creative. Including the SB16/32/AWE32/AWE64.

Edit: Several edits. Typos fixed.

"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 18 of 19, by walterg74

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Jo22 wrote on 2020-09-11, 11:06:
Hi Walterg74! 🙂 It uses the Sound-Blaster "MPU" instead of the MPU-401. The original 8-bit Sound Blasters had no MPU-401 yet, bu […]
Show full quote
walterg74 wrote on 2020-09-11, 03:30:
Jo22 wrote on 2019-10-18, 06:28:
Hi, DOSBox itself does emulate a "full" MPU-401 with both intelligent mode and UART mode (dumb mode). Hence, it will work with a […]
Show full quote

Hi, DOSBox itself does emulate a "full" MPU-401 with both intelligent mode and UART mode (dumb mode).
Hence, it will work with any physical connection. Be it an USB-MIDI cable or an old SoundBlaster with a MIDI cable on its gameport.
But on a real 486 PC, for example, you'll need a fully MPU-401 compatible MIDI card, such as the Roland MPU-401, MusicQuest or HardMPU card.
Or a software solution. Like the SoundBlaster patch (SOUND BLASTER MIDI PORT UTILITY) for older Sierra games or SoftMPU/EMM386. Or DOSBox on DOS with HX Extender.

What does the sierra patch actually do? (Technically)

Hi Walterg74! 🙂 It uses the Sound-Blaster "MPU" instead of the MPU-401.
The original 8-bit Sound Blasters had no MPU-401 yet, but a simple MIDI interface.
This interface was based on the Sound Blaster "DSP" (the SB processor/microcontroller) and is now commonly known as "SB-MIDI".
SB-MIDI is very simple, uses no IRQ/DMA, and was meant to interface a user's keyboard (piano) with the PC. For making music or entering notes in music sheets. However, since it is based on software running in the SB DSP, it is available in all classic Sound Blasters from Creative. Including the SB16/32/AWE32/AWE64.

Edit: Several edits. Typos fixed.

Thanks for the Reply!

Ok, but does that mean it rewrites their code to stop using intelligent mode? And if this was done previosuly in theory to offload the cpu, does this mean that a patched game on an older machine (286, 386?) will have issues..?

Reply 19 of 19, by Cloudschatze

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Beyond just the three or four bytes of buffering per MPU track that may reduce busy/wait output cycling (where most of the applicable games utilize just a single MPU track besides), a majority of the games "requiring" intelligent-mode MPU compatibility don't actually leverage the MPU feature set in a way that offloads work from the host CPU. As such, and per my experience, there doesn't seem to be any meaningful performance implication with drivers either converted or re-written to provide UART-only playback.