VOGONS


First post, by imi

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

So I've finally got some stuff up and running yesterday and played around with the Roland MT-32 and enjoyed it quite a bit, things seemed to be working fine.
playing from my 386 and PCMIDI intelligent MPU card.

but then I compared my recording of Simon the Sorcerer with others on youtube and it sounds... quite different so to say, not bad at all, don't get me wrong, just very different.
on all recordings I found on youtube there is a very prominent "synth organ(?)" like sound that seems to be more of a piano-ish sound on mine, the result is that mine seems to sound a lot clearer, you can make out a lot more of the other instruments compared to the other recordings because they don't get drowned out as much.
you can listen to what it sounds like on mine here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ghMedhRzuqY

now I'm confused though as to what it's actually supposed to sound like and why it's different?
it's not like all the instruments are wrong, it still sounds "correct" either way imho.

edit: oh yeah, forgot to mention it's an "old" MT-32 but the later revision.

Reply 1 of 10, by dr_st

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
imi wrote on 2021-03-14, 11:50:

now I'm confused though as to what it's actually supposed to sound like and why it's different?
it's not like all the instruments are wrong, it still sounds "correct" either way imho.

Can you provide an example of one such recording where it sounds different?

https://cloakedthargoid.wordpress.com/ - Random content on hardware, software, games and toys

Reply 2 of 10, by imi

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

for example: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dTMDxzzVT8
though it seems to be like that on any other video too, hence why I think mine is "wrong"?

I've also uploaded a short snippet of the forest theme, this one sounds a lot more alike to other recordings on youtube, though the synth remains a bit less dominant in mine (which I actually prefer)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ev6Nmv_XTSo
for example the percussion is very clear on my recording while it's kinda being drowned out on others.

Reply 3 of 10, by yawetaG

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have read that the youtube compression algorithm can somewhat change how music sounds (equalizer issues...). I've noticed myself that certain songs have much more bass on Youtube than when I play them through my stereo directly from the CD, even when they come from official channels on Youtube. It's one of the reasons that services like SoundCloud exist.

It could also be that the other recordings are not very good.

Reply 5 of 10, by yawetaG

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I see the MT32 has a reverb effect build in. Maybe that's enabled on the Youtube videos (kinda sounds like it), and not on yours?

Apparently first and second generation modules behave differently with regards to a bug that involves that effect:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_MT-32#Digital_overflow

Reply 6 of 10, by Hezus

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

This is my recording:
https://youtu.be/n_7-4D0urW8

Yours seems to be a little more 'flat' if that is the right term. Mine was recorded on an MT100, which is a new revision MT32. I've got an old revision MT32 too, but it's in storage atm, so I can't compare it. Maybe it's the reverb as suggested above?

Maybe your pc midi card is somehow causing this issue? Try it with a mpu401 compatible soundcard and see if that changes the output on the MT32. You might want to load SoftMPU too.

Edit: check the mt32 settings, maybe you've accidentally disabled some features.

Visit my YT Channel!

Reply 7 of 10, by imi

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

thanks!
I have no idea what it was, but I just tried again today and it seems to play "correctly" now, maybe all the testing I did before somehow "accidentally" sent a midi command to the MT32 that changed instruments? I switched around a lot of stuff while testing, also switching midi devices while songs were playing in other games... as in I was programming my patchbay while something was playing, so probably turning MIDI on and off during playback, that's done now and from here on out everything will be done through the mixer, so this should hopefully not happen again ^^

Reply 8 of 10, by mothergoose729

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
imi wrote on 2021-03-17, 14:56:

thanks!
I have no idea what it was, but I just tried again today and it seems to play "correctly" now, maybe all the testing I did before somehow "accidentally" sent a midi command to the MT32 that changed instruments? I switched around a lot of stuff while testing, also switching midi devices while songs were playing in other games... as in I was programming my patchbay while something was playing, so probably turning MIDI on and off during playback, that's done now and from here on out everything will be done through the mixer, so this should hopefully not happen again ^^

If the "change instrument" command is missed you can get the wrong instrument for a while until the next change instrument instruction is sent. Usually you get grand piano or something instead of what the sound actually requires. Maybe you might have been fussing with it at the time? That would definitely explain it.

Reply 9 of 10, by CrossBow777

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I just installed my copy of Simon (CD Talk version) and on my old MT-32, I get the organ sound that is more full and rich like the other examples.

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

Reply 10 of 10, by imi

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

I think it's definitely connected with messing about with MIDI while it was turned on and receiving a signal.

I had a very similar issue last time... I played around with some other modules and then went and tried Beyond a Steel Sky and the sound effects were playing as instruments on GM so I switched on the MT-32 assuming that would play actual sound effects but it sounded very similar, so I went and restarted the game and soundeffects were playing fine, I assume in that case there were some sysex commands the MT-32 was missing out on when the game starts.

so yeah, messing with MIDI while stuff is turned on (or not turned on) is a bad idea ^^
I'll probably put the MT-32 on it's own seperate channel anyways as I pretty much will just use it from one machine.