Getting MT32/Canvas/... music on old IBM PC through Emulation

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Getting MT32/Canvas/... music on old IBM PC through Emulation

Postby red_avatar » 2019-1-04 @ 09:15

I've been tweaking and tuning my old trio of IBM PCs for the best retro DOS gaming experience and I read that software like Falcosoft can emulate external MIDI devices using a Windows PC to run the software.

To make sure I'm not making any mistakes, is the following correct:

- I can use my old laptop running Windows Vista to run Falcosoft player

- I need a USB-to-MIDI device like this to connect to my laptop:
https://www.amazon.de/Roland-UM-ONE-mk2 ... s=USB+midi

But would a cheaper one like this work just as well?
https://www.amazon.de/TIE-professionell ... s=USB+midi

- I need a cable that converts gameport on the SBAWE64 to MIDI jacks - no idea where to find this locally but Aliexpress seem to sell some.

- I need F-F midi to connect the USB/MIDI to the Gameport/MIDI:
https://www.amazon.de/Hosa-GMD108-MIDI- ... i++coupler

- I need a M-M 3.5 audio jack cable to connect the headphone port to the LINE-IN port on my SBAWE64.

Is this all correct and does anyone have any remarks on this idea? I did consider getting the actual hardware but there's so many standards that this seems by the far the easiest and cheapest way.
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Re: Getting MT32/Canvas/... music on old IBM PC through Emulation

Postby Scali » 2019-1-04 @ 11:03

red_avatar wrote:I've been tweaking and tuning my old trio of IBM PCs for the best retro DOS gaming experience and I read that software like Falcosoft can emulate external MIDI devices using a Windows PC to run the software.


More or less. The basis for MT-32 emulation is the MUNT emulator. For Sound Canvas, Roland has a (commercial) emulator available. However, since Sound Canvas supports the General Midi standard, most synthesizers can be used to approximate the Sound Canvas, including Windows' built-in software wavetable synthesizer.
Falcosoft's MIDI player can be used as an 'in-between', to route sound from the MIDI input of your PC to the synthesizer of your choice, and it can also help you to configure the synthesizer.

red_avatar wrote:- I can use my old laptop running Windows Vista to run Falcosoft player


Assuming the Falcosoft player runs on Vista, yes.

red_avatar wrote:- I need a USB-to-MIDI device like this to connect to my laptop:
https://www.amazon.de/Roland-UM-ONE-mk2 ... s=USB+midi

But would a cheaper one like this work just as well?
https://www.amazon.de/TIE-professionell ... s=USB+midi


In theory, any USB MIDI device would work. In practice, you get what you pay for, so the cheap brandless stuff may cause some problems.
Roland is one of the brands that originally developed the MIDI standard, they have always been a safe bet.
That TIE interface seems to look decent enough though, so I don't expect problems with it.

red_avatar wrote:- I need a cable that converts gameport on the SBAWE64 to MIDI jacks - no idea where to find this locally but Aliexpress seem to sell some.


Yes, something like this:
Image

They still seem to be available as new from various sources. They are also very simple to make if you are handy with a soldering iron.

red_avatar wrote:- I need F-F midi to connect the USB/MIDI to the Gameport/MIDI:
https://www.amazon.de/Hosa-GMD108-MIDI- ... i++coupler


Given the USB MIDI devices you listed, yes, since they have male connectors only (intended to plug directly into another MIDI device).
However, there are also other types of USB MIDI devices, such as this one:
Image

In that case the male connectors of the gameport->MIDI cable could plug directly into the USB MIDI interface.
You only need to connect the MIDI out of the gameport->MIDI cable to the MIDI in of the USB MIDI interface though (games generally only use one-way communication with the MT-32 or Sound Canvas, and afaik DOSBox and SoftMPU do not even emulate the MIDI in part at all).

red_avatar wrote:- I need a M-M 3.5 audio jack cable to connect the headphone port to the LINE-IN port on my SBAWE64.


Yes.

red_avatar wrote:Is this all correct and does anyone have any remarks on this idea? I did consider getting the actual hardware but there's so many standards that this seems by the far the easiest and cheapest way.


I think you have everything covered.
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Re: Getting MT32/Canvas/... music on old IBM PC through Emulation

Postby red_avatar » 2019-1-04 @ 13:35

Thanks for your reply. I think I'll go with a MIDI F-F coupler since it seems cheaper than one of those MIDI-USB devices. Now I just have to find a gameport adapter and I'm set - I'd rather not do any soldering since I'd like to make this looks as clean as possible.
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Re: Getting MT32/Canvas/... music on old IBM PC through Emulation

Postby red_avatar » 2019-1-04 @ 14:00


Yeah both from China - I was hoping for something more expedient :) but Maldavia is the closest I could find so I just resigned to having to wait a few weeks and got it off Aliexpress.

Still, been using MUNT with DOSBOX for over a year now and it's such a big improvement for so many games that its worth the wait. €34 in total to get much improved emulation.
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Re: Getting MT32/Canvas/... music on old IBM PC through Emulation

Postby Falcosoft » 2019-1-04 @ 19:46

Assuming the Falcosoft player runs on Vista, yes

FSMP supports anything from Win9x to Win10. It is actually tested by me on Win98SE/WinXP/Vista/7/8/10 moreover Wine. Here's a video about the ultimate Midi emulator project featuring FSMP made by Phil that very much resembles the one you are trying to achieve:
https://youtu.be/vSk9S1bkRS8
And another one using a mini PC instead of a tablet:
https://youtu.be/BQ759oY5EKg
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Re: Getting MT32/Canvas/... music on old IBM PC through Emulation

Postby red_avatar » 2019-1-07 @ 08:23

Falcosoft wrote:
Assuming the Falcosoft player runs on Vista, yes

FSMP supports anything from Win9x to Win10. It is actually tested by me on Win98SE/WinXP/Vista/7/8/10 moreover Wine. Here's a video about the ultimate Midi emulator project featuring FSMP made by Phil that very much resembles the one you are trying to achieve:
https://youtu.be/vSk9S1bkRS8
And another one using a mini PC instead of a tablet:
https://youtu.be/BQ759oY5EKg

Thank you for the great software :) Looks like it will be a lot of fun to use.
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