VOGONS


First post, by dnewhous

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The Edirol SD-20 did? The demo on Youtube sounds like the theme to Space Quest.

I see the Roland SC-8820 is the better unit and the Roland equivalent to the SD-20. But it looks like a Japanese only issue?

Daniel L Newhouse

Reply 1 of 17, by Retroit

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dnewhous wrote on 2021-02-27, 22:16:

The Edirol SD-20 did? The demo on Youtube sounds like the theme to Space Quest.

I see the Roland SC-8820 is the better unit and the Roland equivalent to the SD-20. But it looks like a Japanese only issue?

Hello,
Did you have a chance to compare them? My Edirol SD-20 Studio Canvas not jet arrived, saw it hard to tell something. I will compare it with SC-88VL when I got my package.

Reply 2 of 17, by CrossBow777

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I have an Edirol SD-20 and it does not have any demo songs on it. I got my SD-20 directly from Japan as they are cheaper and more plentiful over seas than here in the States.

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

Reply 3 of 17, by Spikey

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The 8820/50 came with a CD that had demos on it. It's also a much better module than the SD-20, which is frankly pretty awful (unless mine was bad or something).

If all you're talking about is demo songs, almost every computer synth ever has those.

Reply 4 of 17, by midiphile

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Spikey wrote on 2021-04-20, 08:53:

[...] SD-20, which is frankly pretty awful (unless mine was bad or something).

You're absolutely right. As can be heard in this comparison video, the SD-20 could be mistaken for an early Casio module with the reverb set to 129. I'd love to hear how the SD-20 came to be and passed through Roland's high quality regime. I was one of the suckers who bought the SD-20 back when it was new, expecting a modern USB powered SC-88ST-like module. At the time Roland still made entry-level E-series keyboards with superior SC-55 sounds, so why they ditched the classic patches for these flimsy sounds in a dedicated module is a mystery. There seem to be a pattern with later Roland MIDI devices bearing the GM2 logo and not advertising SC maps. I had a similar disappointing experience with the MT-90u.

Reply 5 of 17, by Retroit

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midiphile wrote on 2021-04-20, 23:48:
Spikey wrote on 2021-04-20, 08:53:

[...] SD-20, which is frankly pretty awful (unless mine was bad or something).

You're absolutely right. As can be heard in this comparison video, the SD-20 could be mistaken for an early Casio module with the reverb set to 129. I'd love to hear how the SD-20 came to be and passed through Roland's high quality regime. I was one of the suckers who bought the SD-20 back when it was new, expecting a modern USB powered SC-88ST-like module. At the time Roland still made entry-level E-series keyboards with superior SC-55 sounds, so why they ditched the classic patches for these flimsy sounds in a dedicated module is a mystery. There seem to be a pattern with later Roland MIDI devices bearing the GM2 logo and not advertising SC maps. I had a similar disappointing experience with the MT-90u.

As I know, MT-90u is development of MT-90s. Could you share your experience with them? I got MT-90s just for fun in low price. Also I found on the YT demon video with them and it sounds not bad.

Reply 6 of 17, by midiphile

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Retroit wrote on 2021-04-21, 09:32:

As I know, MT-90u is development of MT-90s. Could you share your experience with them? I got MT-90s just for fun in low price. Also I found on the YT demon video with them and it sounds not bad.

I think the 90s and 90u have different generations of the sound source. While they're nowhere as bad as the SD-20, the disappointment was with the rather costly 90u. The 90s is indeed a far more reasonable purchase these days. Maybe people are dumping them thinking they were obsoleted by the 90u? I'll get the both of them out of storage in the coming days and do a side by side comparison. Here are some key details from the rather brief spec page in the manuals:

Model   Year  Tones  Polyphony  Standards
----- ---- ----- --------- -------------
MT-90s 2000 369 64 GM2/GS
MT-90u 2008 348 128 GM2/GS/XG lite

Reply 7 of 17, by Retroit

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midiphile wrote on 2021-04-21, 12:44:
I think the 90s and 90u have different generations of the sound source. While they're nowhere as bad as the SD-20, the disappoin […]
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Retroit wrote on 2021-04-21, 09:32:

As I know, MT-90u is development of MT-90s. Could you share your experience with them? I got MT-90s just for fun in low price. Also I found on the YT demo video with them and it sounds not bad.

I think the 90s and 90u have different generations of the sound source. While they're nowhere as bad as the SD-20, the disappointment was with the rather costly 90u. The 90s is indeed a far more reasonable purchase these days. Maybe people are dumping them thinking they were obsoleted by the 90u? I'll get the both of them out of storage in the coming days and do a side by side comparison. Here are some key details from the rather brief spec page in the manuals:

Model   Year  Tones  Polyphony  Standards
----- ---- ----- --------- -------------
MT-90s 2000 369 64 GM2/GS
MT-90u 2008 348 128 GM2/GS/XG lite

Saw, waiting on your video comperation of them. I thought that MT-90u is better then MT-90s. But your table shows other things.

Reply 8 of 17, by yawetaG

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Retroit wrote on 2021-04-21, 14:20:
midiphile wrote on 2021-04-21, 12:44:
I think the 90s and 90u have different generations of the sound source. While they're nowhere as bad as the SD-20, the disappoin […]
Show full quote
Retroit wrote on 2021-04-21, 09:32:

As I know, MT-90u is development of MT-90s. Could you share your experience with them? I got MT-90s just for fun in low price. Also I found on the YT demo video with them and it sounds not bad.

I think the 90s and 90u have different generations of the sound source. While they're nowhere as bad as the SD-20, the disappointment was with the rather costly 90u. The 90s is indeed a far more reasonable purchase these days. Maybe people are dumping them thinking they were obsoleted by the 90u? I'll get the both of them out of storage in the coming days and do a side by side comparison. Here are some key details from the rather brief spec page in the manuals:

Model   Year  Tones  Polyphony  Standards
----- ---- ----- --------- -------------
MT-90s 2000 369 64 GM2/GS
MT-90u 2008 348 128 GM2/GS/XG lite

Saw, waiting on your video comperation of them. I thought that MT-90u is better then MT-90s. But your table shows other things.

Less tones does not necessarily mean something is worse, of course.

Reply 9 of 17, by CrossBow777

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I have an MT-90s and I personally think it is much worse than my SD-20 is on the quality of the samples it contains. Also, I'm pretty sure Duke 3D doesn't sound like that on my SD-20. It is possible that they had that thing configured to some crazy levels before recording it. But yeah, I was NOT impressed with my 90s at all and use it strictly as a midi player in my work lab upstairs. Thankfully my 90s only cost me about $45 shipped back when I got it.

For most games of the era that have a GS option in their selection, I will use the MT-200 for those. But I do listen to quite a few other things on the SD-20 as well. The SD-20 is missing some instruments in the GS banks though as some songs played on it will be missing an instrument that does play on the MT-200. I can't recall which instruments right off hand but there are a few and I found that kinda surprising. The SD-20 has more polyphony and voices compared to my MT-200 so I know it wasn't an issue of voices getting cut off.

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

Reply 10 of 17, by Retroit

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Tones, Polyphony and Standards make impact on way how result sound will be generated. For me its not comparetion of something is better or worst. I compare all modules only from side of music esthetic and how they could sound on real instruments. As I'm not a professional musician but with musician school I consider them from point as I can hear from professional recordings on CD/DVD or type 😀 . For games its important and was already discussed here on Vogons in many threads. All people have different filings and understanding how music should sound and this is ok me. But many forget to use some objective creates that couldn't be subjective opinion. And this require a more complex and may be scientific approach to determinate with sound module is best. I know that many claim that the best sound module is that in which music was created. It could be accepted as starting point or as etalone to hear a difference with other sound modules. Such things happen as one modules as old, other a newer with other DAC bit resolution, processing DSPs and etc.

Reply 11 of 17, by Retroit

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CrossBow777 wrote on 2021-04-21, 21:55:

I have an MT-90s and I personally think it is much worse than my SD-20 is on the quality of the samples it contains. Also, I'm pretty sure Duke 3D doesn't sound like that on my SD-20. It is possible that they had that thing configured to some crazy levels before recording it. But yeah, I was NOT impressed with my 90s at all and use it strictly as a midi player in my work lab upstairs. Thankfully my 90s only cost me about $45 shipped back when I got it.

For most games of the era that have a GS option in their selection, I will use the MT-200 for those. But I do listen to quite a few other things on the SD-20 as well. The SD-20 is missing some instruments in the GS banks though as some songs played on it will be missing an instrument that does play on the MT-200. I can't recall which instruments right off hand but there are a few and I found that kinda surprising. The SD-20 has more polyphony and voices compared to my MT-200 so I know it wasn't an issue of voices getting cut off.

I'll be glad to here this difference when I got all packages with MT-90s and SD-20, MT-120, SC-D70. I already made a quick cooperation of Yamaha MU-2000EX, MU-90, SC-88VL, Korg NX5R/NS5R, MT-100, MT-32 . And have to say different music require its own module. Also I red in the Korg OM that this module can be programed by 256 user custom sound and able to show graphics message on display as it can do MT-32 (only text message) and SC-8850 (as image). Saw I curios is it possible to make a copy of extra instruments/effects from CM-32L/CM-64 and add them as patch to the Korg, for exemple, as modified SoftMPU that can intercept requests to the MT-32/CM64 and replace them with messages for Korg.

Reply 12 of 17, by CrossBow777

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I suspect the video that was posted with the SD-20 for Duke3D didn't have the SD-20 set to GS mode. I noticed that the test music option in the setup, but seem to generate a GS reset because the SD-20 will show what mode it is using on the front of it. When it gets the correct reset message, it will change to the correct mode automatically.

But yes, the SD-20 does sound like that when left in GM mode but having a Sound Canvas selected as the playback device. In GS mode it doesn't have as much reverb.

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

Reply 13 of 17, by midiphile

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Retroit wrote on 2021-04-21, 14:20:

Saw, waiting on your video comperation of them. I thought that MT-90u is better then MT-90s. But your table shows other things.

Uploaded the MT 90s vs MT-90U comparison: https://youtu.be/l6JpRC3YbM8
The SC-55mkII is used as a reference, as this was the target for Roland's own GS branded SMF catalogue. I included some game music, diverse ROM demos from other devices, and Roland SMF clips. See list and timestamp links in the video description. If you want Roland GS to sound like the SC-55 then the 90s is closest. Particularly the Roland SMFs are of interest as these really exploits GS, mimicking the actual songs to the point that it triggers YouTube's Content ID for the SC-55 renditions. The MT 90U diverges from Roland's own benchmark for GS sound. The 90U's redeeming factor is the XG lite support. XG on Roland and GS on Yamaha comparisons are on my todo list.

CrossBow777 wrote on 2021-04-22, 04:13:

I suspect the video that was posted with the SD-20 for Duke3D didn't have the SD-20 set to GS mode.

Salient's video included SD-20 renditions in both GM2 and GS mode.

Reply 14 of 17, by Retroit

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midiphile wrote on 2021-04-23, 00:33:
Uploaded the MT 90s vs MT-90U comparison: https://youtu.be/l6JpRC3YbM8 The SC-55mkII is used as a reference, as this was the tar […]
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Retroit wrote on 2021-04-21, 14:20:

Saw, waiting on your video comperation of them. I thought that MT-90u is better then MT-90s. But your table shows other things.

Uploaded the MT 90s vs MT-90U comparison: https://youtu.be/l6JpRC3YbM8
The SC-55mkII is used as a reference, as this was the target for Roland's own GS branded SMF catalogue. I included some game music, diverse ROM demos from other devices, and Roland SMF clips. See list and timestamp links in the video description. If you want Roland GS to sound like the SC-55 then the 90s is closest. Particularly the Roland SMFs are of interest as these really exploits GS, mimicking the actual songs to the point that it triggers YouTube's Content ID for the SC-55 renditions. The MT 90U diverges from Roland's own benchmark for GS sound. The 90U's redeeming factor is the XG lite support. XG on Roland and GS on Yamaha comparisons are on my todo list.

CrossBow777 wrote on 2021-04-22, 04:13:

I suspect the video that was posted with the SD-20 for Duke3D didn't have the SD-20 set to GS mode.

Salient's video included SD-20 renditions in both GM2 and GS mode.

Thank you for the grate comparation! More comments after full listening.

Reply 17 of 17, by Retroit

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I got my Roland SC-8820 and tested them with different maps that it support. I used SFX.mid file to check it compatibility with MT-32, CM-32L and CM-64. And could say that SFX sounds sound very similar as may difference is in polyphony capabilities : some can only play 28 notes at ones (MT-32 & CM-32L, CM-64 and 64 as SC-8820). It look like I can left only one sound module to use, but not sure as not jet tested them with real games. I made such conclusions after investigating OM for this sound modules. Any thought about this?