Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

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Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-08 @ 07:15

After searching high and low, I'm actually really surprised at the lack of information on what the basic setup is supposed to be. I haven't seen anyone do it the same way as another person.

I have the simplest setup possible: Modern PC, DOSBox, SC-55mkII, and RCA cables to a speaker. I'll smoothen things out when I can get it playing correctly at all.

So far, Duke Nukem 3D will play, and initially it sounds normal - however, after about 10 seconds, everything begins to sound horrible, off key, seriously ear splitting sharps and flats. It's seriously unbearable. I have it configured to Sound Canvas.

Dark Forces 'imuse' (sound config utility) is set to General MIDI. It will usually freeze / crash DOSBox when 'test music' is selected, but it did work once, and had the same awful sharps and flats as Duke.

I've tried setting mpu401 to both uart and intelligent, no change. I've been people talking about using midi drivers, is that something I'm supposed to be doing? I'd be happy to follow any kind of guide if anyone has one, right now so far the trouble has just been finding what I'm supposed to be doing to begin with, more than fixing these problems per se.

Thanks for any help.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby CrossBow777 » 2018-11-08 @ 17:48

First off...how do you have the SC-55 connected to the computer?

Once you have the SC-55 talking properly with your computer, then in DOSBox you have to run the "Mixer /Listmidi command to see the list of available midi devices that DOSBox is able to see. Not the number to the left of the Midi device that should correspond to your SC-55. In my case I use the Roland UMOne MK II Midi adapter to talk to my sound modules. It shows up in my /listmidi as device 2 UMONE.

Once you have that number, you need to edit the line related to the Midi device to use in the DOSBOX configuration ini file. I can't recall exactly where it is listed or the terminology, but just search the file for "Midi" and you should find the section in no time. So yeah, you edit the line for the midi device to match the number you found listed within DOSBox I previously mentioned.

Once you save it and restart DOSBox, DOSBox should then know to use the midi interface as the default midi device and make it available to games. The Midi device will still be active using IO port 330 in most cases.

I actually covered this in more detail in this video here at the 24:11 time mark. I'm using a different module but the basic steps to get one working are essentially the same for most Windows setups.

https://youtu.be/pnHB3RqvHls?t=1451
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-08 @ 22:49

Ok, first, the Lego Fallingwater and MT-200 combo is seriously cool. Just had to say that.

Second, thanks for the reply!

* Connection in: Standard single-USB to dual-MIDI, made by VicTsing (http://a.co/d/8ryIJiX). I ordered the Roland UM-ONE-MK2 version just to see if that's all the issue was. It'll arrive on Monday. Cable "IN" is connected to SC-55 "OUT", and visa versa.
* Connection out: RCA to speakers (just for now, because it's ideal for troubleshooting).
* DOSBox: * Mixer /Listmidi shows two new connections for the SC-55, one [3] labeled "USB2.0-MIDI" and one [4] labeled "MIDIOUT2 (USB2.0-MIDI)". The latter, set with 'midiconfig 4', produces results.

Only difference I noticed in your video was that you're using "delaysysex" after midiconfig. I believe you also said it wasn't really needed.

Might just be the cable, but if it's not, I'm not really sure what else to try. Maybe just MIDI out directly from Windows to further isolate the problem. Definitely open to suggestions.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby CrossBow777 » 2018-11-09 @ 06:12

Well..the Midi IN on the cable goes into the Aux Midi IN on my MT-200 in the video, but for most modules that would be the Midi IN itself. The Midi out wouldn't be needed at all unless you are needing to run the Midi from the module to another module etc? I would try the Midiconfig to use device 3 instead and see how that works.

As for the Delaysysex, that is primarily for my MT-32 that I have connected off my MT-200's Midi out that is configured for Midi-Thru. That way I can switch easily between the two modules on the fly if needed.

And thank you for the kind comment on the Falling Water Lego! I actually was just wanting to focus on the MT-200 playing the midi files but needed something to keep a person eyes interested that wasn't too busy but also mainly to hide the cables behind the module LOL!
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-09 @ 14:55

Definitely. I don’t have any of the architecture sets yet but they’re definitely on the wishlist.

Two questions:
1. Do I need drivers?
2. Is there some alternate mode I can or should try on the sc-55? I know there are some weird things you can do with button combinations and rebooting it in specific ways.

I’ve tried every combination of midiconfig and cable switching (there are only 4 possible combinations if you think about it) - the one I specified was the only one to produce sound. It mostly works at first, just goes wonky before long. So I think at least the cables are plugged into the right things. I took the “IN” cable entirely out of the “OUT” port last night to simplify matters, since the sc-55 is sending sound OUT via RCA anyway, not MIDI. Still worked the same (and still listed both usb entries in dosbox, oddly).

Tried to see about playing midi out of windows as well but that also seems like a huge headache.

I guess I’ll wait for the Roland cable. Amazon reviews had some reporting hit and miss success depending on application, so that’s great news and I think could really be the issue.

Cheers, will keep this updated.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby CrossBow777 » 2018-11-09 @ 20:27

Yes I had heard that using the other Midi to USB cables could cause issues, so I decided to not take any chances and hence why I went straight for the Roland UMOne.

Drivers aren't needed if you are using Windows 10. I just plugged it in and it worked. But I believe drivers are needed for the Roland adapters for win 7 - Win 8.1.

To get my modules working from Windows isn't that difficult, but you need to use the Coolsoft midi mapper tool so that you can force Windows to use the USB adapter. You used to be able to select this on earlier versions of Windows. But I think starting with 8.1 it was taken out and only defaults to the built in Windows GS sound bank. Okay for most stuff, but it is a very substandard 2mb ROM bank of low quality. But using the Coolsoft utility you can select the default midi out in windows to the adapter and then use standard media player or whatever you wish to playback, create, edit your Mid files.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-10 @ 01:48

Awesome. Yes to Windows 10, and I'll wait on the cable before sinking any more hours into it. If it just works then I won't need to mess with Coolsoft.

Thanks! Updates Monday.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby CrossBow777 » 2018-11-12 @ 05:45

You will still need to use the coolsoft software to force windows to you the USB - Midi adapter for .mid files. By default it will still use the built in GS bank they've had since like...what XP..or earlier? So you still need the midi mapper tool to force windows off that and to use your Roland adapter.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-12 @ 21:07

Cool. Will do. Shouldn't matter for DOSBox though, right?
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby Dominus » 2018-11-12 @ 22:22

yes,shouldn't matter for Dosbox as you can list the midi devices and set the appropriate.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-14 @ 01:05

Roland cable didn't change anything. :( I'm not sure what else to try. Maybe there's some kind of high-level reset; I know some people have removed / replaced the battery to troubleshoot issues.

Anyone know exactly what position the switch in the back should be? I have MIDI, RS232C-2, RS232C-1, and RS422.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-14 @ 01:28

That did it! It just needed a factory reset. I might still be hearing some hanging notes but it's subtle enough that I'm not certain. The off-key crap is definitely gone.

Now I need to figure out how to get it to play through Windows's default selected speakers. As it stands, I've got regular sound coming out of whatever Windows has selected, and I've got the SC-55 coming out of a pair of speakers I plugged directly into the back (via RCA). Anyone already done this? DOSBox, Windows 10.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2018-11-14 @ 03:01

Does your system have a sound card or motherboard sound with a line-in jack? If so, use an RCA to stereo miniplug cable to connect the synth to the line-in, then use the manager program for the sound driver to make sure line-in is not muted.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-14 @ 05:27

What's up ripsaw8080; thanks for the reply.

Yes, the motherboard *does* have a a line-in, however, the amount of power and cables going in and around that area truly make it useless. The noise and static is migraine-inducing. I think USB is going to have to be the way to go. Surely there's a way to have the SC-55mkII send the sound right back to Windows through USB, and from there both music and sound come out of whatever Windows sound device is selected?

(on a side note, holy shit this thing is so awesome, I cannot believe I waited this long to get it, and I am on cloud 9.)
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2018-11-14 @ 05:46

I have a Serdaco interface with which I can use several MIDI daughterboards, including an SCB-55 that is like an SC-55mkII with no front panel, and the line-in solution works nicely with that. Maybe it'd be a good idea to deal with the situation around your audio jacks, anyway. ;)
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-14 @ 05:54

I agree, and line-in was the first thing I tried - it does work, but the back of my PC is doing and powering so much that it (4k multidisplay / HDMI + displayport + virtual reality + roomscale sensors + more), it looks like something from a Borg Cube, and the static doesn't go down until I start unplugging all the cables. I have a pretty intense setup. That said, I've hassled with it so much at this point that I don't think that line-in will function in its current state. Probably the next step would be getting a discrete sound card or at least very thick, power-protected audio cable. I'm sure there's a way to configure it with what's already plugged in, so I'll pursue that first.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby CrossBow777 » 2018-11-15 @ 21:03

I thought you had attempted a factory reset before?

Well the Line-in issue is a problem and it is because of that, that I have ALWAYS used a discrete sound card in my computers. Ever since I bought my first Adlib in 1989 (Sadly I don't have it anymore) to the SBZr I have in my PC now. I never seem to have any floor noise issues this way.
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Re: Finally got my SC-55mkII. How on Earth do I get it to play well with DOSBox?

Postby veggies » 2018-11-17 @ 06:56

Indeed - I will probably do that at some point, though for now it seems an RCA to USB audio interface has done the trick very nicely. It has some really serious white noise, but I've found I can set its volume to 6 and turn up the SC-55, and it's basically inaudible. All in all works like a charm.
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