VOGONS


First post, by Fancy_Cat

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OK, I'm considering buying an MT-32, or CM-32L, or similiar, but I can't seem to find decent information on the web about how to HOOK UP one. I have an IBM 300GL I've converted over to a pure DOS system (which is nice, because it's fast enough to run the most demanding DOS game I can throw at it, and yet still has a pair of ISA slots), with what I'm pretty sure is an ESS soundcard in it... To connect the MT-32, am I going to have to purchase a seperate MPU-401 interface, or can I just connect it to the ESS's gameport with a Midi-to-gameport cable?

Also, any info you could offer on if I need to add things to my CONFIG.SYS or AUTOEXEC.BAT would be helpful too. I just need to know how much effort I'm gonna need to put into this before I start buying things.

Reply 1 of 16, by 5u3

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Fancy_Cat wrote:

To connect the MT-32, am I going to have to purchase a seperate MPU-401 interface, or can I just connect it to the ESS's gameport with a Midi-to-gameport cable?

Possibly the cable will be enough. We can tell you for sure if you post the exact manufacturer/model of your ESS sound card.

Reply 2 of 16, by Fancy_Cat

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Well much to my surprise, after running HWINFO, it would seem to be an actual Creative Labs Sound Blaster Pro (CT1335). Unless of course HWINFO is wrong and there's other detection software you could recommend. So.. yeah, hopefully that's a good thing for my project here.

Reply 3 of 16, by 5u3

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Probably HWinfo is fooled by the SB Pro emulation of your ESS card (which is, basically, a good thing).
I'm afraid the only way to find out the model is to open the case and have a look at the card. A photo could help as well.

Reply 4 of 16, by Fancy_Cat

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OK, after pulling the machine apart and taking a good look at the card it would appear to be a... Crystal Semiconductor S-16WP1/L. Well, I had assumed it was an ESS because that's what the spec sheet for a IBM 300GL I looked at said, and it's a mostly stock system...

Reply 5 of 16, by keropi

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first it is an ESS card, then a SB and finally a Crystal based one... don't get me wrong but if you really want some answers you must give the proper info. A photo would be great!
and get a CM-32L if you can. Offers the same as MT-32 but with added sfx that are only availabe in the LAPC-I (some games use them, like Ultima Underworld 1, it uses the footsteps sfx)
as for config.sys/autoexec.bat you only need what your card uses to initilize it's MPU-401 port... nothing exrta

🎵 PCMIDI mpu
🎧 Orpheus soundcard
Action Rewind
MegaCard
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 6 of 16, by Fancy_Cat

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Sorry about the confusing... but yes, it's definately a Crystal one. Unless the labeling all over the card is wrong (and I looked up a photo of one online, it's the same card.)

One of these:

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Reply 8 of 16, by Fancy_Cat

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Sorry, here's a picture of my actual card this time... Looks to me like it says Crystal CS4237B.

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Reply 9 of 16, by 5u3

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Hehe... this stays gripping 'till the end. 🤣

It's an IBM OEM card (P/N 33L1555). The onboard Crystal chip should have a MPU401 compatible interface, but I can't say if it works on your card (the empty socket and the missing waveblaster connector are not a good sign). Also you'll most probably need a driver to activate the interface under DOS.

Maybe it's not worth bothering with that card.

Reply 10 of 16, by Fancy_Cat

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Ahh.. well, that's not exactly encouraging news. 😒

On the positive side, I found a good price on a MT-32 on eBay, so... I'll let you know if it works. If I HAVE to I'll just get a USB-To-Midi cable and use DOSBOX on my desktop system. Oh well.

Any better compatible cards you might recommend for my DOS system? Would a Sound Blaster 16, for example, be a good choice?

Reply 11 of 16, by keropi

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AFAIK the SB16 mpu401 interface will work OK with the MT32... a good choise is always the non-pnp CT-1740 SB16 model...
I am sure someone have tested the mpu-401 port and will reply here 😀
And you can always look for real Roland MPU401 cards: the MPU-401AT, MPU IPC-T , Roland SuperMPU ... even the RAP-10 or SCC-1 cards by them have a fully functional mpu onboard (I do not cound LAPC-I because if you get one there is no need for the MT-32)

look for their pics here: http://www.dearhoney.idv.tw/Museum/midi-4.php and here: http://www.dearhoney.idv.tw/Museum/midi-2.php

Last edited by keropi on 2009-02-20, 06:48. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 12 of 16, by Great Hierophant

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keropi wrote:

AFAIK the SB16 mpu401 interface will work OK with the MT32... a good choise is always the non-pnp CT-1740 SB16 model...
I am sure someone have tested the mpu-401 port and will reply here 😀
And you can always look for real Roland MPU401 cards: the MPU-401AT, MPU IPC-T , Roland SuperMPU ... even the RAP-10 or SCC-1 cards by them have a fully functional mpu onboard (I do not cound LAPC-I because if you get one there is no need for the MT-32)

Unless the DSP version of that CT-1740, CT-1750 or CT-1770 is 4.05, he will suffer from the hanging notes midi bug. Also, this midi interface does not support the intelligent mode of the MPU-401 port. Neither does the RAP-10AT and the Super MPU is known to lose notes in MPU-401 mode because of the lag time it takes to switch to the mode.

Reply 13 of 16, by keropi

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really? RAP-10 and Super MPU are problematic eh? I had no idea! thanks for the update!
I do have a RAP10 and never actually bothered to install it... just got it because it was a Roland card 😅
So the best way to connect an external module IMHO would stlill be the SCC-1 card... you get an MPU401 and a 4MB HD wavetable synth 😁

Reply 15 of 16, by Amigaz

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Great Hierophant wrote:
keropi wrote:

AFAIK the SB16 mpu401 interface will work OK with the MT32... a good choise is always the non-pnp CT-1740 SB16 model...
I am sure someone have tested the mpu-401 port and will reply here 😀
And you can always look for real Roland MPU401 cards: the MPU-401AT, MPU IPC-T , Roland SuperMPU ... even the RAP-10 or SCC-1 cards by them have a fully functional mpu onboard (I do not cound LAPC-I because if you get one there is no need for the MT-32)

Unless the DSP version of that CT-1740, CT-1750 or CT-1770 is 4.05, he will suffer from the hanging notes midi bug. Also, this midi interface does not support the intelligent mode of the MPU-401 port. Neither does the RAP-10AT and the Super MPU is known to lose notes in MPU-401 mode because of the lag time it takes to switch to the mode.

This might explain why some games sound wrong on my PC where I have the Roland Super MPU card in (issue is described on Quest Studios forum)

My retro computer stuff: https://lychee.jjserver.net/#16136303902327

Reply 16 of 16, by dnewhous

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Was there a command to adjust the polyphony in MS-DOS? The Soundblaster 16 manual online indicates that there are some MIDI settings but none are a polyphony setting.

Daniel L Newhouse