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Reply 880 of 924, by red_avatar

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keropi wrote on 2022-04-21, 17:36:
^ indeed, just add manually the MPU-401 device and you'll get the option to select it for midi playback windows come already wit […]
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^ indeed, just add manually the MPU-401 device and you'll get the option to select it for midi playback
windows come already with a MPU-401 driver
X2GS works fine via USB under win10, use something like Tom's MIDI Player to easily select output devices

edit:
unless you are using the CSMPU device for the WT header, you better enable it via the eeprom tool and then windows will install the CS mpu driver

I'm mostly faffing about but here's what I have done so far:
- I can "disable" (= mute) the synth music in Windows but the card will still output to the MT-32 or SC55 = full control over which device plays
- I can play MIDI files for GM, GS and MT-32 perfectly according to which device I have turned on - it sounds amazing
- I installed the original Roland drivers over the ones Windows 95 suggested - seems to be working just fine. I can always replace them with the default Windows ones

On Windows 10 I got the X2GS working perfectly (was fun to use in DOSBOX) - that's what I did yesterday 😀 but I really got MUNT if I want to go that way on a modern PC. I think it will do just fine in my Pentium II for now. I'll get Unisound sorted to work the way you suggested to be able to pick the device based on the port. It should sort itself out or I can just mute the WT sound in Unisound using the /VF0 option. I didn't realize it would output both at once so that's really not big a deal then. I was worried the WT would stop MIDI signal from being sent out over the gameport.

EDIT: okay it's clear that just for the MPU 401 alone this card is worth it - listening to old MIDIs I downloaded almost 25 years ago and many sound incredibly outputting to the SC55. At the time I thought they sounded mediocre on my SB Live but it seems the SC55 is a better pick. I also got it to play MT-32 MIDIs perfectly including the display message that pops up (Space Quest 3 in this case). I'll be having a lot of instrumental fun with this.

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Reply 881 of 924, by Kahenraz

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The SC-55 is amazing and the X2GS is pretty darn close. Orpheus is quite an excellent little card. Expensive, but I have no complaints as to its capabilities whatsoever.

I only wish I could afford to buy more than one. 😀

Reply 882 of 924, by red_avatar

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-04-21, 21:00:

The SC-55 is amazing and the X2GS is pretty darn close. Orpheus is quite an excellent little card. Expensive, but I have no complaints as to its capabilities whatsoever.

I only wish I could afford to buy more than one. 😀

I've been comparing the X2GS and SC-55 (easy to do since they play both at the same time and I can just mute one or the other to compare). It is indeed very similar but there's some very clear differences in certain areas of well known game songs. If you want to use it as a SC-55 it's definitely not all there but if you just want something close and aren't too picky, it's a good option.

HOWEVER. If you buy this just to have SC-55 support, you can find second hand ones for about the price of a X2GS or even less if you're patient. Basically, I'd only recommend the X2GS to those that really intend to use the sound banks to get custom instruments, people who want Waveblaster support or those who want something similar to SC-55 and another sound bank on top of that (switching is pretty easy using the MIDI files).

I'm contemplating hooking up a micro USB cable that slots into a 3D printed bracket at the back of the PC so I can use an USB extension cable to connect the X2GS to my main PC without having to open the Windows 98 PC case.

I guess it's still true that you can't load files to it under Windows 98?

Retro game fanatic.
IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 883 of 924, by Falcosoft

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red_avatar wrote on 2022-04-22, 11:37:
I've been comparing the X2GS and SC-55 (easy to do since they play both at the same time and I can just mute one or the other to […]
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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-04-21, 21:00:

The SC-55 is amazing and the X2GS is pretty darn close. Orpheus is quite an excellent little card. Expensive, but I have no complaints as to its capabilities whatsoever.

I only wish I could afford to buy more than one. 😀

I've been comparing the X2GS and SC-55 (easy to do since they play both at the same time and I can just mute one or the other to compare). It is indeed very similar but there's some very clear differences in certain areas of well known game songs. If you want to use it as a SC-55 it's definitely not all there but if you just want something close and aren't too picky, it's a good option.

HOWEVER. If you buy this just to have SC-55 support, you can find second hand ones for about the price of a X2GS or even less if you're patient. Basically, I'd only recommend the X2GS to those that really intend to use the sound banks to get custom instruments, people who want Waveblaster support or those who want something similar to SC-55 and another sound bank on top of that (switching is pretty easy using the MIDI files).

I'm contemplating hooking up a micro USB cable that slots into a 3D printed bracket at the back of the PC so I can use an USB extension cable to connect the X2GS to my main PC without having to open the Windows 98 PC case.

I guess it's still true that you can't load files to it under Windows 98?

Hi,
1. The biggest advantage of X2(GS) over an SC-55 is the maximum voice polyphony. The XG(GS) can have more than double simultaneous active voices than an SC-55. Although this can be rarely detected in case of DOS games but it is very noticeable when playing standard Midi files. Even in case of some DOS games the restricted voice polyphony of SC-55 can cause some problems. Listen to this Warcraft 2 recording and notice that the bell sound is clearly cut at the beginning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ndCckv-lww
You can also test this with your own gear:
download/file.php?id=25153

Also just for fun you can also test Everquest theme, it absolutely destroys SC-55 but perfectly enjoyable on X2(GS).
download/file.php?id=129152

2. Win98 has no class compliant USB Midi driver that can work with your X2GS so not only file upload is impossible but you cannot use it as an USB Midi device at all under Win98.

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Reply 884 of 924, by red_avatar

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Falcosoft wrote on 2022-04-22, 12:49:
Hi, 1. The biggest advantage of X2(GS) over an SC-55 is the maximum voice polyphony. The XG(GS) can have more than double simult […]
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red_avatar wrote on 2022-04-22, 11:37:
I've been comparing the X2GS and SC-55 (easy to do since they play both at the same time and I can just mute one or the other to […]
Show full quote
Kahenraz wrote on 2022-04-21, 21:00:

The SC-55 is amazing and the X2GS is pretty darn close. Orpheus is quite an excellent little card. Expensive, but I have no complaints as to its capabilities whatsoever.

I only wish I could afford to buy more than one. 😀

I've been comparing the X2GS and SC-55 (easy to do since they play both at the same time and I can just mute one or the other to compare). It is indeed very similar but there's some very clear differences in certain areas of well known game songs. If you want to use it as a SC-55 it's definitely not all there but if you just want something close and aren't too picky, it's a good option.

HOWEVER. If you buy this just to have SC-55 support, you can find second hand ones for about the price of a X2GS or even less if you're patient. Basically, I'd only recommend the X2GS to those that really intend to use the sound banks to get custom instruments, people who want Waveblaster support or those who want something similar to SC-55 and another sound bank on top of that (switching is pretty easy using the MIDI files).

I'm contemplating hooking up a micro USB cable that slots into a 3D printed bracket at the back of the PC so I can use an USB extension cable to connect the X2GS to my main PC without having to open the Windows 98 PC case.

I guess it's still true that you can't load files to it under Windows 98?

Hi,
1. The biggest advantage of X2(GS) over an SC-55 is the maximum voice polyphony. The XG(GS) can have more than double simultaneous active voices than an SC-55. Although this can be rarely detected in case of DOS games but it is very noticeable when playing standard Midi files. Even in case of some DOS games the restricted voice polyphony of SC-55 can cause some problems. Listen to this Warcraft 2 recording and notice that the bell sound is clearly cut at the beginning:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ndCckv-lww
You can also test this with your own gear:
download/file.php?id=25153

Also just for fun you can also test Everquest theme, it absolutely destroys SC-55 but perfectly enjoyable on X2(GS).
download/file.php?id=129152

2. Win98 has no class compliant USB Midi driver that can work with your X2GS so not only file upload is impossible but you cannot use it as an USB Midi device at all under Win98.

That's good to know - I'll be curious to compare the two sound-wise and pay attention to the difference. I noticed in Doom that there's a very noticeable difference where there is a whistle-like sound at the menu screen. I wonder if that's actually caused by the extra voices or just a difference in instruments:

https://youtu.be/5Zht_r96ulk?t=512
vs
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bihG8PvUEAY (SC55)

The rest of Doom's music sounds very similar by ear.

I feared about 2. - I'll have to indeed just add a long USB extension cord to my main PC instead and "flash" the card this way. I assume having it hooked up on the WT header won't cause issues? (with the PC turned off of course)

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IBM PS1 386SX25 - 4MB
IBM Aptiva 486SX33 - 8MB - 2GB CF - SB16
IBM PC350 P233MMX - 64MB - 32GB SSD - AWE64 - Voodoo2
PIII600 - 320MB - 480GB SSD - SB Live! - GF4 Ti 4200
i5-2500k - 3GB - SB Audigy 2 - HD 4870

Reply 885 of 924, by Kahenraz

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Doom is old enough that the polyphony isn't an issue. One surprise where it does matter is Warcraft II, which sounds best on the SC-55 but requires the polyphony of the SC-88. This is a good candidate for the X2GS.

Reply 886 of 924, by keropi

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red_avatar wrote on 1970-01-20, 02:30:

[...]
I feared about 2. - I'll have to indeed just add a long USB extension cord to my main PC instead and "flash" the card this way. I assume having it hooked up on the WT header won't cause issues? (with the PC turned off of course)

The X2GS is built with such protections that will not cause issues when used like that
Still there is not much gain to be had, it's not like there are many banks that can be used

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus , Action Rewind , Megacard and MK8330 soundcard website

Reply 887 of 924, by darry

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keropi wrote on 2022-04-22, 20:31:
red_avatar wrote on 1970-01-20, 02:30:

[...]
I feared about 2. - I'll have to indeed just add a long USB extension cord to my main PC instead and "flash" the card this way. I assume having it hooked up on the WT header won't cause issues? (with the PC turned off of course)

The X2GS is built with such protections that will not cause issues when used like that
Still there is not much gain to be had, it's not like there are many banks that can be used

I received contradicting information about doing this with an X2 (non GS), though not from Dreamblaster himself.

Question regarding DreamBlaster X2 and simultaneous USB and waveblaster connection

Do you know whether that info was inaccurate or whether the X2GS design differs from that of the X2 in way that makes different in this respect ?

Reply 888 of 924, by keropi

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If the pcb is a new one and has X2E written on it then it has these protections. All X2GS have the X2E pcb.

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus , Action Rewind , Megacard and MK8330 soundcard website

Reply 889 of 924, by red_avatar

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I have been testing thoroughly in Windows 98 and encountered no real issues. I did notice I had to use UNISOUND before running Windows 98 for CD music to work (this was not the case for my SB32).

EDIT: I rewrote this enter post after some thorough testing. Basically, I couldn't find a way to mute the wavetable in certain games but this seems to be linked to the games somehow bypassing some of the volume settings.

For example: both on my SB16 CT2230 & Orpheus, I could adjust the volume using SB16SET.EXE (for the SB16) and UNISOUND (for both) and games would mostly respond well to this. HOWEVER, disabling the Wavetable would fail on both - I could only set volume to zero but not stop the sound from outputting . Some games would completely ignore the volume settings, however - Sam & Max for example - so even with volume set to zero, you'd get dual output from your SC55 and your WT card (X2GS in my case) which is, of course, not good. An add annoyance is that you cannot adjust the volume at ALL - not for wave, not for synth so these games are extra loud.

I think the only solution I have for my particular issue, is to use two sound cards and to use UNISOUND to swap between them. This will be fun to test ...

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Reply 890 of 924, by IcySon55

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A giant thank you for being awesome @keropi
It just arrived along with the goodies! Can't wait to take it for a test drive~

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Reply 891 of 924, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The X2GS is great for listening to old video game music and playing games because of it's 81-voice polyphony and HQ soundbank, which makes it perfect for retro gaming builds with these "new soundcards". Those of us on modern systems with no soundcard rely on the VSTis, but what really baffles me about the Roland Sound Canvas VA is that they capped the polyphony at 64 to match their old hardware, when their previous VSTi Sound Canvas offerings had 128, as did competing soft-synth products from Yamaha. Right now, I'm listening to MIDIs from QuestStudios and they do jump above the polyphony of the classic Roland products, often going into the 80s-100's, so I'm using the old VSC-MP1 VSTi and S-YXG50, which can do 128. In the near future, I'm gonna round up a Roland SD-50 and hunt down a Yamaha MU2000EX with some PLG boards, to get the ultimate MIDI experience.

Reply 892 of 924, by Shreddoc

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-04-26, 22:00:

The X2GS is great for listening to old video game music and playing games because of it's 81-voice polyphony and HQ soundbank, which makes it perfect for retro gaming builds with these "new soundcards". Those of us on modern systems with no soundcard rely on the VSTis, but what really baffles me about the Roland Sound Canvas VA is that they capped the polyphony at 64 to match their old hardware, when their previous VSTi Sound Canvas offerings had 128, as did competing soft-synth products from Yamaha. Right now, I'm listening to MIDIs from QuestStudios and they do jump above the polyphony of the classic Roland products, often going into the 80s-100's, so I'm using the old VSC-MP1 VSTi and S-YXG50, which can do 128. In the near future, I'm gonna round up a Roland SD-50 and hunt down a Yamaha MU2000EX with some PLG boards, to get the ultimate MIDI experience.

Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to split tracks between them, and thereby stack/double the polyphony.

And if they're not - they should. 😁
(just for fun!)

Reply 894 of 924, by Falcosoft

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-04-27, 04:52:

I've heard that it's possible, but I haven't found a way to do it.

I have just written a soon to be released special/fake VSTi plugin for FSMP (WinMM Multiport VSTi) that can do this among others:

@Edit: A test version can be downloaded from here:
https://falcosoft.hu/midiplayer_61_test.zip
More Info:
Re: Falcosoft Soundfont Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi

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Reply 895 of 924, by stef80

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IcySon55 wrote on 2022-04-26, 21:23:

A giant thank you for being awesome @keropi
It just arrived along with the goodies! Can't wait to take it for a test drive~
_20220426_172219.JPG

Wow, I didn't notice Zilog Z80 until now 😀. Legendary 8-bit micro on best ISA card? Sort of retro-in-retro.
EDIT: Not Z80 after all (it's Z8), but still interesting.

Reply 896 of 924, by voodoo5_6k

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Shreddoc wrote on 2022-04-27, 01:07:
Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to s […]
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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-04-26, 22:00:

The X2GS is great for listening to old video game music and playing games because of it's 81-voice polyphony and HQ soundbank, which makes it perfect for retro gaming builds with these "new soundcards". Those of us on modern systems with no soundcard rely on the VSTis, but what really baffles me about the Roland Sound Canvas VA is that they capped the polyphony at 64 to match their old hardware, when their previous VSTi Sound Canvas offerings had 128, as did competing soft-synth products from Yamaha. Right now, I'm listening to MIDIs from QuestStudios and they do jump above the polyphony of the classic Roland products, often going into the 80s-100's, so I'm using the old VSC-MP1 VSTi and S-YXG50, which can do 128. In the near future, I'm gonna round up a Roland SD-50 and hunt down a Yamaha MU2000EX with some PLG boards, to get the ultimate MIDI experience.

Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to split tracks between them, and thereby stack/double the polyphony.

And if they're not - they should. 😁
(just for fun!)

How about this? 😉

Split-channel MIDI setup: CM-32L cluster (64 voice polyphony) & SC-55 cluster (48 voice polyphony)

END OF LINE.

Reply 897 of 924, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Shreddoc wrote on 2022-04-27, 01:07:
Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to s […]
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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-04-26, 22:00:

The X2GS is great for listening to old video game music and playing games because of it's 81-voice polyphony and HQ soundbank, which makes it perfect for retro gaming builds with these "new soundcards". Those of us on modern systems with no soundcard rely on the VSTis, but what really baffles me about the Roland Sound Canvas VA is that they capped the polyphony at 64 to match their old hardware, when their previous VSTi Sound Canvas offerings had 128, as did competing soft-synth products from Yamaha. Right now, I'm listening to MIDIs from QuestStudios and they do jump above the polyphony of the classic Roland products, often going into the 80s-100's, so I'm using the old VSC-MP1 VSTi and S-YXG50, which can do 128. In the near future, I'm gonna round up a Roland SD-50 and hunt down a Yamaha MU2000EX with some PLG boards, to get the ultimate MIDI experience.

Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to split tracks between them, and thereby stack/double the polyphony.

And if they're not - they should. 😁
(just for fun!)

The Yamaha modules with PLG boards apparently work that way. I am not entirely sure what is what there, but it is my understanding that the PLG boards are essentially add-on MIDI mini-modules of their own and the board is referenced in special playback mode as a separate module. So, you can add in three of the XG-synth boards and get an extra 96 in your available polyphony to use with half-as-much added channels for additional XG instruments.

Reply 898 of 924, by Shreddoc

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voodoo5_6k wrote on 2022-04-27, 10:29:
Shreddoc wrote on 2022-04-27, 01:07:
Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to s […]
Show full quote
RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-04-26, 22:00:

The X2GS is great for listening to old video game music and playing games because of it's 81-voice polyphony and HQ soundbank, which makes it perfect for retro gaming builds with these "new soundcards". Those of us on modern systems with no soundcard rely on the VSTis, but what really baffles me about the Roland Sound Canvas VA is that they capped the polyphony at 64 to match their old hardware, when their previous VSTi Sound Canvas offerings had 128, as did competing soft-synth products from Yamaha. Right now, I'm listening to MIDIs from QuestStudios and they do jump above the polyphony of the classic Roland products, often going into the 80s-100's, so I'm using the old VSC-MP1 VSTi and S-YXG50, which can do 128. In the near future, I'm gonna round up a Roland SD-50 and hunt down a Yamaha MU2000EX with some PLG boards, to get the ultimate MIDI experience.

Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to split tracks between them, and thereby stack/double the polyphony.

And if they're not - they should. 😁
(just for fun!)

How about this? 😉

Split-channel MIDI setup: CM-32L cluster (64 voice polyphony) & SC-55 cluster (48 voice polyphony)

Touché! Cool stuff. Good idea about the channel filtering - simple and effective.

RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-04-27, 11:05:
Shreddoc wrote on 2022-04-27, 01:07:
Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to s […]
Show full quote
RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-04-26, 22:00:

The X2GS is great for listening to old video game music and playing games because of it's 81-voice polyphony and HQ soundbank, which makes it perfect for retro gaming builds with these "new soundcards". Those of us on modern systems with no soundcard rely on the VSTis, but what really baffles me about the Roland Sound Canvas VA is that they capped the polyphony at 64 to match their old hardware, when their previous VSTi Sound Canvas offerings had 128, as did competing soft-synth products from Yamaha. Right now, I'm listening to MIDIs from QuestStudios and they do jump above the polyphony of the classic Roland products, often going into the 80s-100's, so I'm using the old VSC-MP1 VSTi and S-YXG50, which can do 128. In the near future, I'm gonna round up a Roland SD-50 and hunt down a Yamaha MU2000EX with some PLG boards, to get the ultimate MIDI experience.

Your post made think: Wonder if anyone's running two hardware Sound Canvas's, with a clever (presumably software-based) way to split tracks between them, and thereby stack/double the polyphony.

And if they're not - they should. 😁
(just for fun!)

The Yamaha modules with PLG boards apparently work that way. I am not entirely sure what is what there, but it is my understanding that the PLG boards are essentially add-on MIDI mini-modules of their own and the board is referenced in special playback mode as a separate module. So, you can add in three of the XG-synth boards and get an extra 96 in your available polyphony to use with half-as-much added channels for additional XG instruments.

Interesting. Standalone synths as expansion boards, overseen by the main controller. One (trivial) implication of that setup, I suppose, is that the added polyphony only applies to the added board; it can't be assigned to others within the system.

As opposed to the abovementioned (and excessive!, but ehhhh, whadaya gonnado) literal doubling up of modules, and it's attendant 2x everything-and-anything. But, special input/processing dependent.

The old "CPU multi-core / multi-threading" philosophy! We've reached max capacity of one Unit, so let's glue two together & call it a double. 😁

Reply 899 of 924, by voodoo5_6k

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Shreddoc wrote on 2022-04-27, 11:37:

Touché! Cool stuff. Good idea about the channel filtering - simple and effective.

Thanks 😀 Although the credit goes to @Cloudschatze, I just built upon his posts.

END OF LINE.