FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

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FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-09 @ 19:07

https://soundcloud.com/himemsys36/sets/ ... land-mt-32

Six Seventeen MS-DOS games that support all three formats:

1942: The Pacific Air War
Betrayal at Krondor
Heroes of Might & Magic II
Pacific Strike
Realms of Arkania: Star Trail
Strike Commander

edit: added Under a Killing Moon
edit: adding Tie Fighter floppy version
edit: added Transport Tycoon
edit: added Dune II, Lands of Lore, and Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Fathers
edit: added Prince of Persia 2 and SimCity 2000
edit: added Anvil of Dawn, Space Quest 5 and Space Quest 6

Spent the past 9 WAY too many hrs getting this done. :dead: As far as I know, it's the biggest comparison of its type. All songs recorded direct from real DOS with an Audician 32 Plus (Yamaha OPL3 FM), Roland MT-32 old, and Dreamblaster X2 with GUD 1.04 soundbank. I'd be surprised if there weren't editing mistakes in there somewhere. Just let me know if you find any and I'll try and fix them.

I've exhausted my game collection and desire for this project. Enjoy. LOL.
Last edited by clueless1 on 2019-3-23 @ 21:17, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby dreamblaster » 2019-3-10 @ 00:34

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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-16 @ 17:05

I added the Smith Shop music from Realms of Arkania. As I play through the game, I'll record and add more tracks that I find enjoyable.

I couldn't get Dune II to play correctly on the MT-32, so I haven't added this game yet. The notes get stuck and the whole thing sounds horrible. I've listened to other recordings of this game on MT-32 and it's not right. I've tried slowing the computer down to 386 speeds, no difference. Also tried applying the 1.07 patch with no difference. I'm using an MT-32 old and a Midiman MPU-401 interface card. Anyone know of any compatibility issues with either of these in Dune II?
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby Staticblast » 2019-3-19 @ 19:13

clueless1 wrote:I added the Smith Shop music from Realms of Arkania. As I play through the game, I'll record and add more tracks that I find enjoyable.

I couldn't get Dune II to play correctly on the MT-32, so I haven't added this game yet. The notes get stuck and the whole thing sounds horrible. I've listened to other recordings of this game on MT-32 and it's not right. I've tried slowing the computer down to 386 speeds, no difference. Also tried applying the 1.07 patch with no difference. I'm using an MT-32 old and a Midiman MPU-401 interface card. Anyone know of any compatibility issues with either of these in Dune II?

Can't say that I do. I've had it playing just fine with my MT-32 Old (though that was via SoftMPU through a Sound Blaster Gameport), and I don't think there are any issues with the Midiman either. Maybe there are muddled settings on the MT-32? Try powering it off, then switch it on just before launching Dune II. If that doesn't work, maybe a Factory Reset on the MT-32?

The only other thing I can think of is that maybe the MM-401's intelligent mode is conflicting with Dune 2? This thread details some issues with it at times, which can apparently be fixed by running SoftMPU in conjunction with it. Worth a try, maybe?
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby CrossBow777 » 2019-3-19 @ 20:20

clueless1 wrote:I couldn't get Dune II to play correctly on the MT-32, so I haven't added this game yet. The notes get stuck and the whole thing sounds horrible. I've listened to other recordings of this game on MT-32 and it's not right. I've tried slowing the computer down to 386 speeds, no difference. Also tried applying the 1.07 patch with no difference. I'm using an MT-32 old and a Midiman MPU-401 interface card. Anyone know of any compatibility issues with either of these in Dune II?


Feel free to use the comparison of the intro I posted in your other thread if you need for your comparisons since this game gives you trouble.
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-19 @ 22:14

I think my issue was operator error*. I have not confirmed yet, but my suspicion is that I forgot to change the MPU-401 port of the general midi device away from 330. My DreamBlaster typically occupies port 300 while the MT-32 uses 330. But there are games that don't let you change the port of the GM device, so when I record GM music for these games, I have to turn the MT-32 off and put the DreamBlaster back on port 330. Mostly likely this port conflict was happening when I was testing Dune II. ._.

*confirmed operator error. :-/

Funny how it works fine when you set things up properly.
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-19 @ 23:37

Added two songs from Lands of Lore:

Northland Forest (first outdoor area)
Cimmeria (Scotia's castle prior to final battle)
The Cimmeria song is one of the better General MIDI songs I've ever heard. I'm pretty disappointed in the MT-32 renditions, they seemed an afterthought in this game.

Also added the intro to Dune II. The DreamBlaster X2 does a pretty good job here, but I think the MT-32 wins out.
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-23 @ 21:20

This project is DONE. I've got seventeen games and 81 tracks uploaded to SoundCloud (see first post for link). Hopefully this is useful/interesting/entertaining to some of you. I had a blast doing this for the past couple of weeks, but I'm now burned out and finished. :) Back to gaming!
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby Artigkar » 2019-3-25 @ 01:50

clueless1 wrote:This project is DONE. I've got seventeen games and 81 tracks uploaded to SoundCloud (see first post for link). Hopefully this is useful/interesting/entertaining to some of you. I had a blast doing this for the past couple of weeks, but I'm now burned out and finished. :) Back to gaming!


Nice work! There are some games here I did not even know had MT-32 support like Anvil of Dawn for example. Its always interesting to hear different versions of game soundtracks like this and compare them.
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-25 @ 09:47

Artigkar wrote:
clueless1 wrote:This project is DONE. I've got seventeen games and 81 tracks uploaded to SoundCloud (see first post for link). Hopefully this is useful/interesting/entertaining to some of you. I had a blast doing this for the past couple of weeks, but I'm now burned out and finished. :) Back to gaming!


Nice work! There are some games here I did not even know had MT-32 support like Anvil of Dawn for example. Its always interesting to hear different versions of game soundtracks like this and compare them.

Thanks, man. I appreciate the feedback. If I remember correctly, in Anvil of Dawn's setup program when you set it to MT-32, the built-in sound test fails, which at first tricked me into thinking it didn't really support that format. But if you just leave it set to MT-32 and go into the game, it works. The only reason I tried that was the fact that there were YT videos of that game playing on the MT-32. :)
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby Baoran » 2019-3-25 @ 10:01

How different SC-55 would be compared to these general midi samples? That is the only thing this left me wondering about.
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-25 @ 11:11

Baoran wrote:How different SC-55 would be compared to these general midi samples? That is the only thing this left me wondering about.

Someone needs to do an SC-55 vs DreamBlaster X2 GUD 1.04 comparison. Seems like Phil might have a video or someone uploaded some samples on SoundCloud that might fit the bill? You could manually search SC-55 versions of the songs I did on YT...
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby zarkon » 2019-3-25 @ 19:21

clueless1 wrote:
Artigkar wrote:
clueless1 wrote:This project is DONE. I've got seventeen games and 81 tracks uploaded to SoundCloud (see first post for link). Hopefully this is useful/interesting/entertaining to some of you. I had a blast doing this for the past couple of weeks, but I'm now burned out and finished. :) Back to gaming!


Nice work! There are some games here I did not even know had MT-32 support like Anvil of Dawn for example. Its always interesting to hear different versions of game soundtracks like this and compare them.

Thanks, man. I appreciate the feedback. If I remember correctly, in Anvil of Dawn's setup program when you set it to MT-32, the built-in sound test fails, which at first tricked me into thinking it didn't really support that format. But if you just leave it set to MT-32 and go into the game, it works. The only reason I tried that was the fact that there were YT videos of that game playing on the MT-32. :)


The compatibility wiki suggests it doesn't actually support the MT-32 correctly:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_M ... uter_games

Entry says it plays on channels that the MT32 doesn't have, which I guess suggests it's just pushing through general midi?
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-3-25 @ 22:28

zarkon wrote:The compatibility wiki suggests it doesn't actually support the MT-32 correctly:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_M ... uter_games

Entry says it plays on channels that the MT32 doesn't have, which I guess suggests it's just pushing through general midi?

Interesting, that explains the spotty quality. Thanks for finding that!
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby clueless1 » 2019-5-25 @ 11:05

It's been about 2.5 months and over 1600 listens on this playlist. Here's some fun stats about song popularity:
-Tie Fighter is the most popular song with 114 total listens, followed by the menu music of Betrayal at Krondor, with 100 listens.
-SQ5 is much more popular than SQ6, 73 listens to 48.
-out of the 5 Realms of Arkania songs, the Travel music is by far the most popular.
-1942: The Pacific Air War music wins the flight sim wars, beating out Strike Commander and Pacific Strike music handily.
-the most popular GM song was Betrayal at Krondor menu music, followed by Tie Fighter, with a two way tie for 3rd between Under a Killing Moon and 1942:PAW.
-the most popular MT-32 song is from Tie Fighter, followed by Betrayal at Krondor Menu and Under a Killing Moon.
-the most popular OPL songs are from Anvil of Dawn, Tie Fighter, and 1942:PAW.
-the least popular GM songs are the credits song from Realms of Arkania, followed by both Lands of Lore songs.
-the least popular MT-32 songs are the Realms of Arkania Status Screen song, Pacific Strike Intro, and Realms of Arkania Travel music.
-the least popular OPL songs are both Pacific Strike songs, Realms of Arkania Travel song, and Lands of Lore Forest.
-the song with the biggest disparity between MT-32 and GM listens: Realms of Arkania Travel music, with 13 MT-32 listens and 24 GM listens.
-Overall, MT-32 songs were played more than GM songs: 534 listens vs 501 listens
-Songs that are more popular under GM than MT-32, sorted by listens:
Betrayal at Krondor Menu
Dune II
Strike Commander Menu
Realms of Arkania Travel Screen
Strike Commander Flight
Pacific Strike Flight
Pacific Strike Intro
Realms of Arkania Status Screen
-Songs that are more popular under MT-32 than GM, sorted by listens:
Tie Fighter
Under a Killing Moon
1942:PAW
SQ5
Heroes of Might and Magic II
Betrayal at Krondor Start
Anvil of Dawn
SC2000 Credits
Transport Tycoon
Prince of Persia
SQ6
SC2000 Disaster
both Gabriel Knight songs
Realms of Arkania Intro and Smith Shop
both Lands of Lores
Realms of Arkania Credits
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Re: FM vs MT-32 vs General MIDI DOS Game Music Comparo

Postby foil_fresh » 2019-5-27 @ 00:50

clueless1 wrote:It's been about 2.5 months and over 1600 listens on this playlist. Here's some fun stats about song popularity:
-Tie Fighter is the most popular song with 114 total listens, followed by the menu music of Betrayal at Krondor, with 100 listens.
-SQ5 is much more popular than SQ6, 73 listens to 48.
-out of the 5 Realms of Arkania songs, the Travel music is by far the most popular.
-1942: The Pacific Air War music wins the flight sim wars, beating out Strike Commander and Pacific Strike music handily.
-the most popular GM song was Betrayal at Krondor menu music, followed by Tie Fighter, with a two way tie for 3rd between Under a Killing Moon and 1942:PAW.
-the most popular MT-32 song is from Tie Fighter, followed by Betrayal at Krondor Menu and Under a Killing Moon.
-the most popular OPL songs are from Anvil of Dawn, Tie Fighter, and 1942:PAW.
-the least popular GM songs are the credits song from Realms of Arkania, followed by both Lands of Lore songs.
-the least popular MT-32 songs are the Realms of Arkania Status Screen song, Pacific Strike Intro, and Realms of Arkania Travel music.
-the least popular OPL songs are both Pacific Strike songs, Realms of Arkania Travel song, and Lands of Lore Forest.
-the song with the biggest disparity between MT-32 and GM listens: Realms of Arkania Travel music, with 13 MT-32 listens and 24 GM listens.
-Overall, MT-32 songs were played more than GM songs: 534 listens vs 501 listens
-Songs that are more popular under GM than MT-32, sorted by listens:
Betrayal at Krondor Menu
Dune II
Strike Commander Menu
Realms of Arkania Travel Screen
Strike Commander Flight
Pacific Strike Flight
Pacific Strike Intro
Realms of Arkania Status Screen
-Songs that are more popular under MT-32 than GM, sorted by listens:
Tie Fighter
Under a Killing Moon
1942:PAW
SQ5
Heroes of Might and Magic II
Betrayal at Krondor Start
Anvil of Dawn
SC2000 Credits
Transport Tycoon
Prince of Persia
SQ6
SC2000 Disaster
both Gabriel Knight songs
Realms of Arkania Intro and Smith Shop
both Lands of Lores
Realms of Arkania Credits


nice work DJ clueless1.
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