Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby DonnaNCarolina » 2018-11-13 @ 01:15

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.
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Re: Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-06 @ 08:29

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.
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Re: Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby DonnaNCarolina » 2019-1-06 @ 13:07

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.
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Re: Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-06 @ 19:57

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..
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Re: Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby DonnaNCarolina » 2019-1-06 @ 23:40

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!
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Re: Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby Jo22 » 2019-1-07 @ 01:38

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).
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Re: Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby judkei » 2019-4-17 @ 21:37

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.
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Re: Trying to get Miracle Piano to run ...

Postby Jo22 » 2019-4-18 @ 00:18

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
listmidi.gif (9.51 KiB) Viewed 243 times
midi.gif
"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
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