VOGONS


Roland MT-200

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Reply 80 of 95, by ido

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I'm sorry to bump an old thread but I recently bought an MT-200 and want to share some details.
The unit was in good condition and as soon I got it I checked the firmware version. A bit disappointed to find a 0.92 meanwhile all the other units in this thread have at least 1.x version.

I bought as memorabilia and as midi jukebox with the floppy, after I found some working floppy disks.

I have the knowledge to flash a bios chip as described in the thread (assuming I can find a compatible motherboard, these days I only use notebooks) but I lack in soldering so probably I will never update my unit to 2.01

Regarding how the MT-200 works, I noticed that if I put the beat at maximum, after few seconds the machine crashes, and with some midi files I get an error "memory is full" when I try to play it.

Not particular happy with my purchase (the AC adapter I received with the unit was only 0.5A that I replaced with a 2A as the MT-200 requires at least 1.2A) but is still a great piece.
If I want to pursue midi playback from my PC I will probably look at the MT-90U, the most recent unit of the MT series (I think) that comes also with USB input.

Thanks to CrossBow777 for all your YT videos (I watched all) and Ozzuneoj for the bios/upgrade information.

Reply 81 of 95, by CrossBow777

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Well, since I made those videos I found out that there are in fact two variants of the MT-200 but I don't know of a way to tell them apart. It would seem that very early ones only have half of the onboard ram as well. Mine has all of those spots filled on the mainboard. But..the firmware is in a socket so you don't have to de-solder it to replace it. One thing I have noticed that is a limitation on the MT-200 (All versions) is that the highest tempo they support is 250bpm. But there are some pretty cool GS files that are designed for the SC-55 but actually use a higher tempo count. As a result those files play too slowly.

I also have an MT-90s. But honestly its internal rom bank of samples isn't as good as the MT-200. The MT-90 series does have 64voice poly which is really nice and it doesn't suffer from the tempo limitation I mentioned above. But I still use my MT-200 for midiplayback and GM DOS game music 90% of the time.

BTW... the MT-90s can also be converted to use a GoTEK and it is even easier because it doesn't require any changes to the jumpers at all. If you order the same drive PN that I have linked in the GoTEK video description it will arrive ready to pop into an MT-90. Point being, I would go for the MT-90s and then think about installing a GoTEK into later if you want USB storage. Now the MT-90u also has the ability to playback MP3s...but does anyone really care about that from a Midi module device?

Also, there was an MT-200 on ShopGoodwill that just sold for a paltry $46 plus shipping. Not sure which variant or what FW was on it, but still a good price for one, especially if it ended up being a later version like the 2 I've had before.

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Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-300, MT-90S, MT-90U, SD-20

Reply 82 of 95, by cyclone3d

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Sold at Shopgoodwill?

So it was probably more like $46 + $46 shipping. The shipping they charge is outrageous.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 83 of 95, by CrossBow777

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Well for me the shipping would have been about $10 but as I've already got one I didn't bid on it but I did watch it to see what it ended up going for.

I got my MT-90s for $45 shipped off reverb over the summer so there are good deals out there to be found. But again I mainly got the Mt-90 specifically to check it out and see how hard it would be to GoTEK it.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-300, MT-90S, MT-90U, SD-20

Reply 84 of 95, by cyclone3d

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Maybe Goodwill stopped using the shipping service they were using before then. I ordered something from them a few years ago and the shipping was utterly insane.

I've already got a bunch of Roland modules so it wouldn't have mattered to me in any case.

The one I had been using in my kids' room is an MT-300s. Really nice unit as it has built in stereo speakers.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header

Reply 85 of 95, by CrossBow777

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All the stuff I've received from Goodwill has been shipped via UPS. And honestly, they have packed the stuff excellent! As in, it appears they were prepping it for a HALO drop and there are plenty of good deals to be found from there. My second MT-200 was from SGW and was about $45 shipped as well I believe? And I picked up my MT-32 from SGW for about $70 shipped. They were bare bone modules with no docs or accessories but for the pricing I still feel I came out ahead in the end.

The MT-200 pairs nicely with the MT-32 as well and I'm pretty much covered as far as Midi sountrack games go from the late 80s and through the 90s.

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Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-300, MT-90S, MT-90U, SD-20

Reply 86 of 95, by ATONESIR

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Necro Bump incoming!

Just got an old MT-200 thrown in with a Roland digital piano (3800) that I was offered. All original receipts , cables, power cords, midi and audio cables and also with all the "case candy" and boxes of floppies (that I cannot read). Receipt shows over $3300 in 1994 for the package!

First thing I did was replace the non-functioning disk with the gotek after seeing the great ITC videos. It plays files through the piano speaker and also lets me play along, but there are some issues:

  • I cannot access the diagnostic menu with the keypresses. It just boots. Not sure if by replacing the drive I spooked it somehow into just booting -- perhaps replace the old drive then try to get into the menu?
  • Often it reaches the 'Volume system information' folder on the first partition and locks up. Do we need that folder?
  • When a song is playing, I cannot stop, rewind, or essentially do anything. Even when the song is over I cant select another song, but the buttons DO work because that is how the song gets started...
  • I can play along with the midi file, and even turn on/off parts to isolate sounds (tracks)
  • Obviously I have no idea about firmware, etc since I cannot do a factory reset
  • My unit has all BLACK buttons - there are no color buttons for SONG, PLAY and REC, etc
  • I am reading all about RAM and this stuff after I already had it open to replace the drive, so I guess I will take some photos next time I am in there
  • I do recall seeing the orange-ringed battery and thinking there is no way that thing is still pumping. Solder to replace?
  • Has someone done a video of RAM addition and firmware upgrade/flashing, etc? That would be helpful to get eyes on a quick video with links to useful tools
  • Please share links to parts that will work for all these upgrades and also the firmware files, etc. I was thinking of using my Arduino or RasPi to do the flashing.

Thanks again for this thread and thank you ITC for the great videos. I hope to get my unit up to snuff soon.

Reply 87 of 95, by CrossBow777

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I've not heard of the diagnostic menu not being able to be brought up. Far as I know the key presses for bringing it up work on all variants of the MT-200 and like similar on the MT-120 and other models?

You should be able to stop, rewind, etc when a midi file is playing. I'm able to without issue on my GoTEK MT-200. So that doesn't sound normal at all.
The battery is a soldered in tabbed battery. What I did with mine, was to de-solder it and install a standard coin cell battery holder to make that much easier in the future.

The firmware IC is socketed so you only need to get an eprom of the correct type and flash it to change it out. Far as I know the Firmware I posted is still the newest found but no real idea on what changes or differences it has vs older. I thought I had attached the FW file to this thread already? If not, I have it and can email it you. Although I don't have an eprom programmer so I sent the file to someone I knew could do it and had the write eproms on hand to do it. They only charged me a small fee for the shipping and to cover the cost of the chips. I had two of them made up at the time and installed them into other MT-200 units.

g883j7-2.png
Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-300, MT-90S, MT-90U, SD-20

Reply 89 of 95, by ATONESIR

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@CrossBow777 --- After a couple of hours of playing with the MT-200 ( Model MT-200BK5, Serial#ZE60405 with all black buttons) , here are my results:

CAN
-Access .mid files on usb/Gotek (copied them across 5 or 6 "disks" to test)
-Record original midi from connected piano and then play it back
-Turn off/on "tracks" during playback
-Change instruments of individual tracks during playback
-"Chain play" midi files across a single "disk"

CANNOT
-Access the diagnostic menu for factory reset
-Use any transport controls during playback
-Use the device once the unit attempts to read a non-midi file (like the system volume information folder). The unit needs to be power-cycled to become responsive again

I think at this point my next steps will be:
1-flash with most recent firmware in this thread (using arduino or RasPi --- if anyone has helpful details, please pass them along)
2-install battery holder and fresh battery (unless someone wants to purchase the item in stock condition, I have multiple devices that I can use for my midi use-cases)
3-finding some way to get all the old info from the floppies, since this was used by a piano teacher and there could be some helpful content in there.

Reply 90 of 95, by CrossBow777

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I've not manage to locate the original disks that came with the MT-200 as strangely they do NOT appear to have been archived that I can find. The FW that was loaded on mine is a later version known for the MT-200 but also seems more generic as it just says Sequencer Sound Module when it boots up and doesn't specifically list MT-200 etc on the boot up screen as I know the earlier FW revisions did.

I sent you an email reply regarding the System Volume Information stuff. That is a Windows8 and Windows10 thing that causes lots of issues with my flash devices. You have to delete the file from the disk partitions. It is a hidden file by default so you have to change your folder settings to show hidden files and NOT hide known extension. Good practice to this anyway if you are familiar with PCs as it makes finding stuff for me easier when I can see everything.

The battery is only needed to retain the date/time on the module as the module does not retain any settings or configuration that I've found between power cycles. What I have found is that some midi files will configure the module in a certain way that will carry from Midi to Midi during playback if the Midi files do not initiate a GS/GM reset command before playback. Quite a few of the Sierra game rips in Midi format do not have the resets in them that I've found and can really produce some odd results.

I've never seen the MT-200 with just all black buttons but it makes me wonder if that is an older or newer revision. Since you can't directly access the diagnostics, you haven't a way to know what FW revision you actually have loaded unless that is displayed on the LCD when you first power on the module? Aside from that, the only other thing to do would be to compare the guts on the inside and see if the FW chip is marked with the FW revision on it?

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Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-300, MT-90S, MT-90U, SD-20

Reply 91 of 95, by Ozzuneoj

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With regard to system volume information being created on external drives:
https://superuser.com/questions/1199823/how-t … -windows-10-for

Disable it! You don't want your modern OS dumping indexing files onto untouched vintage floppy disks when you access them with a USB floppy drive.

Now for some blitting from the back buffer.

Reply 92 of 95, by Niezgodka

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I kind of thinking. Mt200 sounds different then mt32 (I tried it on Monkey Island). Wouldn't be possible to change roms in mt200 to change instruments and be 100% compatible with mt32/Lapci sound?

Reply 93 of 95, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Niezgodka wrote on 2022-09-03, 19:38:

I kind of thinking. Mt200 sounds different then mt32 (I tried it on Monkey Island). Wouldn't be possible to change roms in mt200 to change instruments and be 100% compatible with mt32/Lapci sound?

They are two completely different pieces of MIDI hardware, with nothing in common. The MT-200 and MT-32 are not related, except by brand and product designation, so there is no ROM foolery you can try to make one into the other.

Reply 94 of 95, by Baleog

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The MT-200 is in the same family as the SC-55 which do have a MT-32 emulation mode (not great emulation but still). If this functionality is still left in the roms for the MT-200 then maaaybe it could be activated? On the SC-55 you enable it by starting the unit and holding down the left instrument button. I do not know what the equivalent button would be on the MT-200. Does anybody know if it can be enabled by Sysex on the SC-55?

Edit. I had a look in the rom that was previously posted and the MT32-init message that is displayed on a SC-55 is missing. So unfortunately that functionality seems to be removed in the MT 200.

Reply 95 of 95, by CrossBow777

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Baleog wrote on 2022-09-04, 09:16:

The MT-200 is in the same family as the SC-55 which do have a MT-32 emulation mode (not great emulation but still). If this functionality is still left in the roms for the MT-200 then maaaybe it could be activated? On the SC-55 you enable it by starting the unit and holding down the left instrument button. I do not know what the equivalent button would be on the MT-200. Does anybody know if it can be enabled by Sysex on the SC-55?

Edit. I had a look in the rom that was previously posted and the MT32-init message that is displayed on a SC-55 is missing. So unfortunately that functionality seems to be removed in the MT 200.

Nope it is there as I can play monkey island and it sounds fairly correct. There isn't a key press method I know of to switch to MT32 mode. Instead I do it the same way I did it back in the day with my SCB-55 wavetable add on card.

I use playmid and a special midi file that sends the midi messages to switch it to mt-32 mode. And then I have to run playmid again with a reset like command to bring it back out of that mode. But it can be done. Just do a search online for MT32 / Gen Midi and you should find references to it. I think the files for it came originally with my SCB-55 back in the day.

I apologize I don't remember the exact command right now because I actually created batch files to make it easier and quicker but if I can remember, I will look later tonight as I was still able to use the commands in DosBOX. But I haven't in a long time now since I also own an MT-32 that is connected up as well.

Yeap, I have an old midi file labeled as MT32EMUL.mid that placed the SCB-55 and my MT-200 into MT32 emulation mode. Pretty sure it just switches the banking to variant 127 which is the MT32 banks. When I need to reset them back to GM/GS modes I use a different midi file labeled as GS_Reset.mid to bring the modules back to normal mode. Again, I'm pretty sure I found these files and the playmid program from Roland support back in the day and have held onto them ever since. There is also a midi file I have to remap the MT32 itself to be more GM instrument mapped although it doesn't sound that great as to be expected.

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Midi Modules: MT-32 (OLD), MT-200, MT-300, MT-90S, MT-90U, SD-20