VOGONS


First post, by Axatax

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I think some games composed for GM (presumably an SC-55) tend to sound better on an MT-32.

Two games that come to mind, are Duke Nukem 3D and Quest for Glory IV . What I mean by this, is selecting GM in the games setup, and then running it with an MT-32. If you have both devices, try this out and let me know what you think...

Reply 1 of 19, by Axatax

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Axatax wrote on 2021-01-04, 06:05:

I think some games composed for GM (presumably an SC-55) tend to sound better on an MT-32.

Two games that come to mind, are Duke Nukem 3D and Quest for Glory IV . What I mean by this, is selecting GM in the games setup, and then running it with an MT-32. If you have both devices, try this out and let me know what you think...

Obviously completely subjective... And I would even put Doom (original) in this category as a game that sounds better on an MT-32 when selecting GM.

Reply 3 of 19, by Pierre32

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Axatax wrote on 2021-01-04, 06:10:
Axatax wrote on 2021-01-04, 06:05:

I think some games composed for GM (presumably an SC-55) tend to sound better on an MT-32.

Two games that come to mind, are Duke Nukem 3D and Quest for Glory IV . What I mean by this, is selecting GM in the games setup, and then running it with an MT-32. If you have both devices, try this out and let me know what you think...

Obviously completely subjective... And I would even put Doom (original) in this category as a game that sounds better on an MT-32 when selecting GM.

Well this is extremely controversial, and I need to go and find out for myself!

Reply 4 of 19, by Tiido

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Many games put bass on the first channel and by default, MT32 etc. do not listen to that channel. There's certainly some setup needed prior to such a stunt, channels can be remapped with sysexes, and I imagine game specific things would be necessary too to get most out of it.

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Reply 5 of 19, by Pierre32

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Are you doing this to change the default channels, OP?

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles … ceive-channels/

Use the following procedure to change the default receive channels of the MT-32 from channels 2-9 and 10 to channels 1-8 and 10:

1) While holding down MASTER VOLUME, press PART 5.

2) Press PART 1.

Reply 6 of 19, by Axatax

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Pierre32 wrote on 2021-01-04, 22:09:

Are you doing this to change the default channels, OP?

https://www.sweetwater.com/sweetcare/articles … ceive-channels/

Use the following procedure to change the default receive channels of the MT-32 from channels 2-9 and 10 to channels 1-8 and 10:

1) While holding down MASTER VOLUME, press PART 5.

2) Press PART 1.

No, I'm not doing anything other than switching between the analog output on either sound module.

Reply 8 of 19, by Spikey

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I can tell you that no Sierra GM game will sound better on a MT-32 than the SC-55. And with what you're describing, using the GM driver, many times this will make it even worse (incompatible instruments, not enough polyphony, etc).
To even do this for Sierra games you'd need to load a good GM patch bank for the MT-32, and I don't know of any, though one could certainly be made I guess. The Sierra one itself would not work for this purpose, as it doesn't have various GM instruments (eg Pan Flute).

The only game I would even consider doing this for would be King's Quest 6, and you can play that game with the MT-32 driver fine.

For Quest for Glory 4, I agree, you would actually get potentially better results with the GM driver than the MT-32 driver, using a MT-32. But the SC-55 sound would blow it out of the water. There's simply too many problems that would arise, assuming you used the Sierra GM SysEx (wrong instruments, polyphony dropouts, etc). You'd also lose all the MT-32 sound effects, one of the few reasons to play with an MT-32.

Reply 9 of 19, by CrossBow777

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I've played around a bit with this using the old Roland utility to patch the Mt-32 to GM compatible mode. It does work and in some cases can sound pretty cool, but I've yet to hear it sound overall 'better' than an actual GS module does.

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

Reply 11 of 19, by lordskylark

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Some of it probably depends on if it was quick convert from GM to MT-32, or whether or not the original composer themselves (or good sound programmer) optimized the soundtrack to sound good on multiple soundcards or flat out composed it almost from scratch for more than one from the ground up.

Reply 12 of 19, by Shreddoc

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In music generally : songs still sound good if you assign parts to Different Instruments. Especially if you personally love those Different Instruments.

That's because the music theory, the 'rules and conventions' under which almost all western music is written, is the thing which makes a composition "work" to our ears.

The specific /instruments/ that are assigned to the composition absolutely can be changed, and it will still be the same coherent piece of music which adheres to all the same rules in the same ways.

To put yourself in the composer's shoes and say, "well I believe *I* know better than the original composer, and believe if I changed this instrument or that, and took that one out entirely, and so on and so forth.... then I end up with something even better-sounding", then that is perfectly valid, for you.

It's the same as somebody obsessed by Hammond Organs might say "well, I far prefer Black Sabbath's music when all of the guitars are instead changed into Hammond Organs", and yes, for a person who loves Hammond Organs to Excess, then that undoubtedly would be true, for them.

But I believe a certain respect is also necessary, recognising that the decisions made by the original composer are part of what defines that composer's work, and once you start mucking around with that, then you are not "making that person's work better" in any objective sense.

Rather, you have forked (in programming terms) off into your own microcosm.

Reply 13 of 19, by Axatax

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Shreddoc wrote on 2021-01-12, 03:48:

To put yourself in the composer's shoes and say, "well I believe *I* know better than the original composer, and believe if I changed this instrument or that, and took that one out entirely, and so on and so forth.... then I end up with something even better-sounding", then that is perfectly valid, for you.

That makes me sound really arrogant and that's not where I'm trying to come from. I'm saying, try to switch back and forth between these two devices and report a preference. I have no agenda WRT an MT-32 vs an SC-55. 😀 Intuitively, an SC-55 should sound better with music composed for that device. I don't think that's always the case, however, at least with the selection of software I've mentioned.

Reply 14 of 19, by Shreddoc

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Axatax wrote on 2021-01-15, 02:42:
Shreddoc wrote on 2021-01-12, 03:48:

To put yourself in the composer's shoes and say, "well I believe *I* know better than the original composer, and believe if I changed this instrument or that, and took that one out entirely, and so on and so forth.... then I end up with something even better-sounding", then that is perfectly valid, for you.

That makes me sound really arrogant and that's not where I'm trying to come from. I'm saying, try to switch back and forth between these two devices and report a preference. I have no agenda WRT an MT-32 vs an SC-55. 😀 Intuitively, an SC-55 should sound better with music composed for that device. I don't think that's always the case, however, at least with the selection of software I've mentioned.

I didn't intend to make it seem like those words were actually coming out of your mouth. 😀 Merely exaggerating for effect to try to get my point across, and being my usual overly-verbose self. I do get where you're coming from.

Reply 15 of 19, by BardBun

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Tiido wrote on 2021-01-04, 12:35:

Many games put bass on the first channel and by default, MT32 etc. do not listen to that channel. There's certainly some setup needed prior to such a stunt, channels can be remapped with sysexes, and I imagine game specific things would be necessary too to get most out of it.

Most games and Windows 3.1 (3.11) do that automatically even if they have only "General Midi" as music option.
Usually along the lines of "Src Chan 1" "Dest Chan 2", for 2-9 and 10.

That is, if you have the drivers properly installed.

MUNT also has an option that allows the use of 1-8 and 10 instead of 2-9 & 10.

Though even the channel adjustment doesn't help with midi-music that hasn't been adjusted for Roland MT-32 or similar midi-devices.
Most of the time half or some of the instruments will not play at all as they seem to be on the unused channels 9 & 11-16.
Is there a workaround for those scenarios, too?

Reply 16 of 19, by Falcosoft

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BardBun wrote on 2021-01-22, 14:41:

...
Most of the time half or some of the instruments will not play at all as they seem to be on the unused channels 9 & 11-16.
Is there a workaround for those scenarios, too?

With Munt VSTi's dual synth you can get full 16 channel GM playback. GM compatible instruments and drum set are also integrated:
http://falcosoft.hu/softwares.html#munt_vsti

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Reply 17 of 19, by BardBun

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Falcosoft wrote on 2021-01-22, 23:09:
With Munt VSTi's dual synth you can get full 16 channel GM playback. GM compatible instruments and drum set are also integrated: […]
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BardBun wrote on 2021-01-22, 14:41:

...
Most of the time half or some of the instruments will not play at all as they seem to be on the unused channels 9 & 11-16.
Is there a workaround for those scenarios, too?

With Munt VSTi's dual synth you can get full 16 channel GM playback. GM compatible instruments and drum set are also integrated:
http://falcosoft.hu/softwares.html#munt_vsti
muntvsti1.jpg

Thanks, that helped a lot and it's fairly accurate even if not 100%! (like 90-95% of the Instuments sound correct, but that's close enough for me)

Just wish there'd be a way to have that set as a proper Midi-Device to be used on Windows 10 as default. (with this: https://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/midimapper )
That programme allows to set the Roland MT-32 / MUNT as default, but only in its 2-9 + 10 Channel mode (or if you start it up as 1-8 + 9) and all instruments sound wrong there.
(funny how Windows 3.1/3.11 get all the instruments to sound correctly, but Windows 10 fails at it)

If there'd be a way to make that Midi Player with the "Roland MT-32 VSTi" Plugin work as Midi-Device, that would be absolutely amazing.
But it's just a Midi-Player unfortunately.

Here is an example of a track from the game Dink Smallwood:

Filename
Dink Smallwood - Meadow.mp3
File size
4.13 MiB
Downloads
12 downloads
File license
Public domain
Last edited by BardBun on 2021-02-16, 08:02. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 19 of 19, by Falcosoft

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BardBun wrote on 2021-02-16, 07:32:

...If there'd be a way to make that Midi Player with the "Roland MT-32 VSTi" Plugin work as Midi-Device, that would be absolutely amazing.
But it's just a Midi-Player unfortunately.

I use Munt VSTi with my Midi Player as a quasi system Midi Out device. Since Midi Player also has Midi-In support you only need a virtual Midi cable Like LoopMidi. With Coolsoft Midi Mapper you can set the LoopMidi port as default Midi Out and then select the same LoppMidi port in Device Settings dialog of Midi Player as Midi In port. You can also auto start Midi Player directly to system tray by checking the option 'Auto start with Windows (system tray)' in the Main menu.
If you also use Configuration presets this way you can have a very versatile default system level Midi Out port since Midi Player also supports soundfonts and other VSTi instruments like SC-VA or S-YXG50. You can also set other normal Midi Out devices as output in presets thus using Midi Player simply as a router.
You can change between presets by using hotkeys or even SysEx messages.

More info in Midi Player's topic:
Re: Falcosoft Soundfont Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi

And also a video from Phil that can help how to use presets/SysEx messages (instead of real DOS retro PC you can also use DosBox on the same modern PC) :
https://youtu.be/zRyPjvbDkvg?t=726

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