VOGONS


Reply 20 of 43, by Montgomery

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To give some color to this thread here is my desktop:

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The system is running Yamaha S-YXG100 Plus (with 4MB samples), Roland VSC-88H3 and Casio SW-10 along with the hardware Yamaha YMF715 (integrated to the Intel Atlanta 440LX motherboard):

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Even the YMF715 has its own softsynth part so now I can choose from 4 (actually 3 and a half, due to the double Yamahas) powerful synthesizers without a dedicated soundcard. 😀
There is of course the FM for torture and a PC-Speaker MIDI driver exists for Windows 3.1 which works with Win95 too. Check out: https://remember.the-aero.org/speaker/index.htm (midextdr.exe)
So I could possibly have 7 different MIDI outputs (with external included) on a single PC.

Reply 21 of 43, by M-HT

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In case someone is interested, here are sysex and control change messages recognized by the softsynth:

System exclusive:
F0 7E 7F 09 01 F7 - GM system on
F0 41 10 42 12 40 00 7F 00 41 F7 - does the same as GM system on
F0 44 0E 03 1x F7 - Set polyphony (x:0 = 24; x:1 = 32; x:2 = 48; x:3 = 64)
F0 44 0E 03 2x F7 - Effect change (x:0 = Effect OFF; x:1 = Reverb 1; x:2 = Reverb 2)
F0 44 0E 03 4x F7 - Set some parameter - values=0-10 (x:0-A)

Control change:
1 - Modulation Wheel or Lever
6 - Data Entry MSB
7 - Channel Volume
10 - Pan
11 - Expression Controller
38 - LSB for Control 6 (Data Entry)
64 - Damper Pedal on/off (Sustain)
66 - Sostenuto On/Off
67 - Soft Pedal On/Off
98 - Non-Registered Parameter Number (NRPN) - LSB
99 - Non-Registered Parameter Number (NRPN) - MSB
100 - Registered Parameter Number (RPN) - LSB
101 - Registered Parameter Number (RPN) - MSB
120 - All Sound Off
121 - Reset All Controllers
123 - All Notes Off

Registered Parameter Number (RPN):
MSB:0 LSB:0 - Pitch Bend Sensitivity
MSB:0 LSB:1 - Channel Fine Tuning
MSB:0 LSB:2 - Channel Coarse Tuning

Reply 22 of 43, by DevanWolf

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Other than GZ-50M, there is an extremely rare WP-150. It's a PCMCIA card version of the GZ-50M. Man, it's really hard to find in online store!
wp-150.jpg
And someone here is saying something sounding like GZ-70SP, yet there is a GZ-70SP which is Japan only exclusive. (Might want to import it) It lacks the reverb/effect section though.
gz-70sp.jpg
If I can get the Casio LD-80, and I did get my hands on using it as a limited General MIDI synthesizer (rather than stand-alone drum setup). It is also based on DREAM sound.

Last edited by DevanWolf on 2018-11-07, 04:48. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 23 of 43, by DevanWolf

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How do I properly rip the instrument sounds from the ROMSXGM.BIN file? I tried importing raw using various audio formats but still don't sound right. What is the correct audio format!?

Last edited by DevanWolf on 2018-11-07, 04:50. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 24 of 43, by gdjacobs

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appiah4 wrote:

Not sure I follow; the SC-88 has an MT-32 emulation mode no? Is it bad or does it just not work with games at all? Or is it just absent in the VSC?

Some titles, like IJFA, use the default instrument set. Others upload custom instruments via SYSEX messages.

A MT32 mapping can work for the first type but not the second. If you run Munt, you can use both types. Also, you can pipe a midi input (by sound card or usb) to Munt allowing MIDI synth from vintage hardware just like an external module.

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Reply 25 of 43, by yawetaG

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DevanWolf wrote:
And someone here is saying something sounding like GZ-70SP, yet there is a GZ-70SP which is Japan only exclusive. (Might want to […]
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And someone here is saying something sounding like GZ-70SP, yet there is a GZ-70SP which is Japan only exclusive. (Might want to import it) It lacks the reverb/effect section though.
gz-70sp.jpg

Actually, as you can see on the image, it has a digital (likely hardware) adjustable echo function. The mic input is because it was meant for karaoke, either by playing MIDI songs directly from a PC or through special software for downloading songs from the web using a subscription service. The lower polyphony (32 on GZ-50M, 24 on GZ-70SP) might be explained by that karaoke function taking up voices.

See here: https://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/960827/casio.htm

This site has pictures of the internals: http://nostalgiapassion.blog28.fc2.com/blog-entry-711.html

Reply 26 of 43, by yawetaG

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Montgomery wrote:

I would like to be able to install it without the LANA software (which is nonfunctional on a non-japanese Windows)

It is also non-functional because it depended on a long-gone internet server from which the MIDI songs were downloaded, similar to Yamaha's MidRadio service - you'd pay a small amount (a few hundred yen) per song, after which you could download and play the song (and sing along using the karaoke function).

Reply 27 of 43, by DevanWolf

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yawetaG wrote:
Actually, as you can see on the image, it has a digital (likely hardware) adjustable echo function. The mic input is because it […]
Show full quote
DevanWolf wrote:
And someone here is saying something sounding like GZ-70SP, yet there is a GZ-70SP which is Japan only exclusive. (Might want to […]
Show full quote

And someone here is saying something sounding like GZ-70SP, yet there is a GZ-70SP which is Japan only exclusive. (Might want to import it) It lacks the reverb/effect section though.
gz-70sp.jpg

Actually, as you can see on the image, it has a digital (likely hardware) adjustable echo function. The mic input is because it was meant for karaoke, either by playing MIDI songs directly from a PC or through special software for downloading songs from the web using a subscription service. The lower polyphony (32 on GZ-50M, 24 on GZ-70SP) might be explained by that karaoke function taking up voices.

See here: https://pc.watch.impress.co.jp/docs/article/960827/casio.htm

This site has pictures of the internals: http://nostalgiapassion.blog28.fc2.com/blog-entry-711.html

Just realized there was a GZ-30M which could be the same sound source as GZ-70SP and there is a WG-130 daughterboard (which can also fit on an NS5R) which both are also Japan exclusive as well

Like I said, I need to know the correct audio data format the samples in ROMSXGM.BIN is.

Reply 28 of 43, by DevanWolf

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appiah4 wrote:

I've listened to some recording of this Synth for some classic Doom songs and I must say I am quite fond of it, it compares fairly well with my Diamond MX300's Aureal soundbank and S-YXG50. I only recently discovered the VSC-88H software synth through Vogons so I can't really compare to that, but I really hope to do a comparison between the four of them over the weekend.

Make sure Win32s is installed and it may work.

Reply 30 of 43, by appiah4

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Montgomery wrote:

OK guys, I was impatient so I solved the problem myself. 😀

I had to fumble around the Windows, System and Inf directories for a couple of turns (installs, uninstalls, reboots) but in the end managed to find all the necessary files for the installation of the standalone softsynth. (Thank you RichB93 for directing me to oemsetup.inf!) If any one of you are interested I attached the installer below. Since it installs via oemsetup.inf you have to start "add new hardware wizard" choose "sound video and game controllers" and select the "have a disk" option.

Good luck and have nice music!

Can this be used in MS-DOS prompt windows?

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Reply 31 of 43, by matze79

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RichB93 wrote:
ZEKROM67 wrote:

Wait, it works with Win 3.1? Didn't know that though. And yes, the SW-10 is fully 32 bit IMO so that probably explains why the VLSG.VXD driver wasn't working.

Nice discovery you got there though, can't wait to try this out in either DOSBox or VMWare. And if possible, I could try it out in Win 3.0 as well.

appiah4 wrote:

My understanding is that it installs but fails to work?

Correct, it doesn't work - I just found it very odd that the setup DLL and OEMSETUP.INF approach are both 16-bit, so I wonder if perhaps an older version exists out there somewhere (may not even be called SW-10!) that does support 16-bit.

Does it work with win32S installed ?

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Reply 32 of 43, by yawetaG

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For the earlier version of the SW-10 softsynth, I'll have to check whether it's included with the Lana Karaoke program on my GZ-70SP's CD-ROM. The version at the download link in the first post is 1.03, while the software on my CD-ROM is identified as version 1.0 in the documentation.

BTW, interesting tidbit from the Lana Online manual: the Acoustic Laboratory of Waseda University and one Prof. Dr. Yoshio Yamasaki are credited in the "Project Staff" paragraph. That might suggest some of the technology in the software originated at that university.

Edit: Some more digging has turned up the following on the GZ-series:

- GZ-30M has no MIDI IN port, it needs to be connected to a computer via serial connection to work. It only has a power connector and power switch, MIDI source switch (with only PC1, PC2, and MAC choices), TO HOST connector, volume slider, and headphones OUT. Despite sharing the basic hardware with the GZ-70SP it has the full 32 voices of polyphony (and so does the WG-130 wavetable daughter board).

- The latter really implies the 8 missing voices are taken up by something else on the GZ-70SP. My take is that the situation is similar to that of Yamaha's MU10 and that the voices are used for at least the line IN connections, which would account for at least 3 of the 8 missing voices (1x for mono MIC IN, 2x for stereo line IN).

- The WG-130 daughter board has room on the PCB for a DSP chip and associated ROM.
- So the GZ-30/70/WG-130 family lacks the integrated effects because they are supposed to be used with separate effect chips (implemented as a separate digital echo on the 70).

- Except for effects, the MIDI implementation chart is 100% the same as for the GZ-50M.
- However, the sound set is different. Comparing the GZ-70SP sounds set to that of the GZ-50M, the following use different instrument names: Organ 16 & 17, Guitar 24/25/27/29, Bass 32/33/34, Ensemble 52 (maybe only name) & 52, Synth-lead 80/81/82/83/84/85, all of Synth-pad except first one, Synth-sfx 96/101/103, Ethnic 108, Percussion 112/117/118. On top of that, the GZ-70SP uses 2 voices for certain sounds, while no difference between number of voices used is shown in the GZ-50M service manual.
- Furthermore, they have a total of 8 drum sets versus a single one on the GZ-50M, covering notes E1-E6 instead of B1-C6. The standard drum set is different.

- GZ-30M, GZ-70SP, WG-130 all use a suspiciously named Casio chip GM16000N-C40, which is still available today and which very well may contain the instrument data, if "GM" stands for "General MIDI"... So if anyone wants to build a modern wavetable daughter board, they could maybe try that chip...
- The chips are also supposedly shared with Casio's home keyboards of the day...so if you want Casio General MIDI, you could also pick up a Casio home keyboard that has MIDI IN.

- There is a full size 61-key MIDI keyboard called the GZ-500, supposedly based on the GZ-50M, which was apparently also sold outside Japan. The service manual can be found here: http://www.warningwillrobinson.com.au/manuals … ce%20manual.pdf. This one is actually interesting in that it comes at a time Casio was pretty much getting out of the more professional keyboard market.

Edit 2: Managed to find the old Faith (maker of Lana etc.) website via the wayback machine. So:

DevanWolf wrote:
Other than GZ-50M, there is an extremely rare WP-150. It's a PCMCIA card version of the GZ-50M. Man, it's really hard to find in […]
Show full quote

Other than GZ-50M, there is an extremely rare WP-150. It's a PCMCIA card version of the GZ-50M. Man, it's really hard to find in online store!
wp-150.jpg
And someone here is saying something sounding like GZ-70SP, yet there is a GZ-70SP which is Japan only exclusive. (Might want to import it) It lacks the reverb/effect section though.
gz-70sp.jpg

These might have been sold not only under the Casio name, but also directly by Faith. See https://web.archive.org/web/20000118094513/ht … com/cmmutn2.htm

CASIO Sunday Music Multi SZ-75W Communication karaoke LANA is also a high-end model bundled. GM GM sound speaker GZ-70SP CD CD-R […]
Show full quote

CASIO Sunday Music Multi SZ-75W
Communication karaoke LANA is also a high-end model bundled.
GM GM sound speaker GZ-70SP
CD CD-ROM "LANA City (Communication software" LANA Online city ", Fiath Serial MIDI Driver", "NIFTY-Manager")
作 Works · Arrangement software "MUTONE · J"
コ ン ピ ュ ー タ Computer cable (RS-232C compatible)
変 換 Conversion connector (D-Sub 9 pin ⇔ D-Sub 25 pin)
AC AC adapter AD-5JL other
Manufacturer's suggested retail price ¥ 32,000 (excluding tax)

CASIO Multi DE Sunday Music Multi SZ-130W
A bargain package in which communication karaoke LANA is also bundled!
GM GM daughter board WG-130
CD CD-ROM "LANA City (Communication software" LANA Online city ", Fiath Serial MIDI Driver", "NIFTY-Manager")
作 Works · Arrangement software "MUTONE · J"
コ ン ピ ュ ー タ Computer cable (RS-232C compatible), etc.
Manufacturer's suggested retail price ¥ 19,000 (excluding tax)

CASIO Card DE Sunday Music SZ-150W
GM GM PC Card WP-150
作 Works · Arrangement software "MUTONE · J"
PC PC card driver
イ ン タ ー フ ェ イ ス Interface box, etc.
Manufacturer's suggested retail price ¥ 30,000 (excluding tax)

Unfortunately, it seems the Mutone software is NEC PC-9800-exclusive.

They also had a product called Faith Music Station, which apparently includes a proprietary MIDI player: https://web.archive.org/web/19991105140027/ht … ara/get_fms.htm Unfortunately the link is dead...

Hmmm...Faith seems to have started as a company selling a MIDI sequencer, but then got onto the early 2000s audio streaming boom (think RealPlayer etc.).
Lana Online was co-developed with Casio, and the technology behind it later evolved into something called WebAudio, which looks interesting:
https://web.archive.org/web/20001206210400/ht … webaudio.ne.jp/
A new to me softsynth: FX-77, sold as WebSynth D-77: https://web.archive.org/web/20010501090958fw_ … .jp/websyn.html has some specs.
There's an update program available on this page: https://web.archive.org/web/20001213224000/ht … pport/fx_77.htm, but I haven't been able to find a download link for the actual synth yet. It was included with certain Onkyo products...

Translated JP Wikipedia page: https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=aut … wiki%2FWebSynth
Youtube video of FX-77: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5-yGeF9TyA

Reply 33 of 43, by ZEKROM67

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Hey guys, so I'm finally back after quite a while. It's pretty amazing that there are some new info discovered about the SW-10 and its relatives. I'm planning to play with this obscure synth once again, and try to discover some new stuff as I go.

Also, for those interested, I will be uploading videos of the SW-10 playing back known Windows MIDIs (Canyon, Passport, etc.) since there seems to be no videos relating to these.
Canyon and Passport is actually up on YouTube now, go check it out if you like.
Canyon: https://youtu.be/jFRjz-oYKnY
Passport: https://youtu.be/YDPOND6YU_g

Also big thanks to those people who took their time in looking up for info about this softsynth!

matze79 wrote on 2019-04-21, 05:30:
RichB93 wrote:
ZEKROM67 wrote:

Wait, it works with Win 3.1? Didn't know that though. And yes, the SW-10 is fully 32 bit IMO so that probably explains why the VLSG.VXD driver wasn't working.

Nice discovery you got there though, can't wait to try this out in either DOSBox or VMWare. And if possible, I could try it out in Win 3.0 as well.

appiah4 wrote:

My understanding is that it installs but fails to work?

Correct, it doesn't work - I just found it very odd that the setup DLL and OEMSETUP.INF approach are both 16-bit, so I wonder if perhaps an older version exists out there somewhere (may not even be called SW-10!) that does support 16-bit.

Does it work with win32S installed ?

I really doubt if it'll work with Win32S because from what I've read Win32s is only for running specific Win32 applications, and not drivers. If only there was a way to run 32bit VxDs under 3.1...

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Reply 35 of 43, by midiphile

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M-HT wrote on 2022-03-30, 12:59:

I decompiled the VLSG.VXD driver and identified what I could.

With that I created a Linux ALSA driver (and some other tools).

The sources are on GitHub.

Excellent work! Loving the simplicity of your tools. Really convenient to use and from my brief initial testing it sounds just like it's supposed to.

Only tried it on x86_64, but I assume it would compile for ARM too and make a nice addition for the RPi based MIDI module emulators?

Reply 36 of 43, by appiah4

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I was going to ask for an ARM/Raspberry port as well.. Also, any ideas about the legality of this?

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Reply 37 of 43, by Babasha

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M-HT wrote on 2022-03-30, 12:59:

I decompiled the VLSG.VXD driver and identified what I could.

With that I created a Linux ALSA driver (and some other tools).

The sources are on GitHub.

Is VLSG.DLL compatible only with modern systems? Not Win32S, no hope for midi-synth player for Win3.x?

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Reply 38 of 43, by M-HT

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midiphile wrote on 2022-03-31, 15:24:

Only tried it on x86_64, but I assume it would compile for ARM too and make a nice addition for the RPi based MIDI module emulators?

Yes, it works on ARM - I made a release for the Pandora handheld. It should also work on other architectures.

Babasha wrote on 2022-03-31, 19:14:

Is VLSG.DLL compatible only with modern systems? Not Win32S, no hope for midi-synth player for Win3.x?

The DLL has no dependencies and doesn't use any Windows API so it probably work on Win32S except for one possible problem - in the headers I declared the OS version as Windows 2000, I don't know if that's just informative or it's actually checked.
You could also compile the decompiled version - it probably also works in 16-bits.
The DLL alone is not enough - you need to feed MIDI data to it and play the PCM output.