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Reply 100 of 124, by dreamblaster

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TheWeekendSlice wrote on 2021-08-16, 10:28:

If I hook up an X2GS to a Windows 10 machine via USB, does the sound from the X2GS get sent via USB to the software that would use it? Or do I need to hook up the line out of the X2GS to the line in of the soundcard in the computer?

the X2GS will be controlled by midi over USB.
The audio is available at the lineout, so you'd probably had to wire the line out of X2GS to the line in of your computer.

TheWeekendSlice wrote on 2021-08-16, 10:28:

Second question, how does one configure the X2GS to work with DOSbox, for example with the GOG games that run in DOSbox? I'm a complete DOSbox noob.

You can use X2GS with dosbox, you just need to define the X2GS as win32 midi device :
see dosbox config, midi parameters : https://www.dosbox.com/wiki/Dosbox.conf#.5Bmidi.5D

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 101 of 124, by RetroGamer4Ever

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I'd love to have digital audio output over the USB connection, but that's gonna likely require a product revision and best left for the successor product, though Dream says the hardware supports it. Switching to USB-C would also be great, as miniUSB has issues - hence why it was replaced with microUSB and later, USB-C - and it's far easier to get a good USB-C to USB-A cable - they sell them everywhere now - than a miniUSB one.

Reply 102 of 124, by Gmlb256

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-08-16, 14:37:

I'd love to have digital audio output over the USB connection, but that's gonna likely require a product revision and best left for the successor product, though Dream says the hardware supports it. Switching to USB-C would also be great, as miniUSB has issues - hence why it was replaced with microUSB and later, USB-C - and it's far easier to get a good USB-C to USB-A cable - they sell them everywhere now - than a miniUSB one.

Finding miniUSB to USB-A cables is not that difficult especially online.

Reply 103 of 124, by appiah4

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-08-16, 14:37:

I'd love to have digital audio output over the USB connection, but that's gonna likely require a product revision and best left for the successor product, though Dream says the hardware supports it. Switching to USB-C would also be great, as miniUSB has issues - hence why it was replaced with microUSB and later, USB-C - and it's far easier to get a good USB-C to USB-A cable - they sell them everywhere now - than a miniUSB one.

X2GS does not have USB Audio Device functionality, I believe the only product Serdaco has that does this is X3MA (and I love it).

Mini USB is cheaper, easier to solder, and has a much better physical grip.

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Reply 105 of 124, by OSkar000

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I'm planning to get one for a computer that should be used mostly for Dos and Windows 3.11 and games from that era.

The only soundcard I have with a wavetable connector at the moment is a Soundblaster 16 Vibra CT2260 and thats probably not one of the better cards to use with X2GS.

Any suggestions what to look for? I don't need the ultimate unicorn soundcard, but something with good sound quality and compability. It doesn't have to be a Creative card.

Reply 106 of 124, by igna78

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I suggest ess1868 chipset based card .. good opl3 synthesis, no hanging notes bug, great soundblaster compatibility, cheap 😉

Last edited by igna78 on 2021-09-01, 08:33. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 107 of 124, by 1541

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In terms of "sound quality and compability" I'd suggest a soundcard with an ES1868F chipset

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=fWOdIuRO5fI

Edit: Igna78 was faster

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Reply 110 of 124, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Rawit wrote on 2021-08-26, 10:14:

Can this be switched to MT32 mode like the SCB-55? Any plans to do a masked ROM GS bank only version of this?

At one point, DREAM had their own version of an X2GS hardware equivalent - I believe it's the same product that got them in trouble - that had implemented an MT-32 mode and sounds, but I don't think this one has that and there's been no mention of it. A GS-only version would be something I would buy, but I can't see that happening, because the product would be limited in scope without GM bank functionality for general use and it would probably edge close to the line of being a "musical instrument" product in Roland's eyes, which was expressly forbidden by the licensing agreement. Another issue is slapping together a GS soundbank of a larger size and scope that does not have the game music compatibility issues of the last generation of Roland GS hardware, which was intended for musicians and not so much game music playback.

Reply 111 of 124, by dreamblaster

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X2GS review and demo by James Mackenzie : "DreamBlaster X2GS. A New MIDI Challenger?"
https://youtu.be/5Zht_r96ulk

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 113 of 124, by 640K!enough

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valnar wrote on 2021-09-24, 00:30:

Can any owners confirm this sounds the same as an original Roland SCD-15?

The actual sound hardware is officially the SCB-55; SCD-15 is an SCB-55 + software package. With that out of the way, the simple answer is no.

The more detailed answer is that they are not based on the same sound bank, and X2GS wasn't meant to sound exactly the same as the SCB-55 or SC-55. This is based on a licensed 16 MiB Dream/Roland bank, which, at best, is a distant cousin to banks used in the SC-55 generation of hardware. This has been discussed to no end over the decades, and the answer is similar to "does the SC-88 sound the same as the SC-55?". Directly comparing SCB-55 and X2GS, some significant differences are:

  • Differences in volume balance between instruments.
  • Percussion banks sound quite different (X2GS has 15 drum sets + SFX set, SCB-55 has 9 sets + SFX set).
  • X2GS has some instruments that are not present on the SCB-55.
  • Synths, pads and leads are quite different between the two.
  • Instruments that used more than one voice on the SCB-55 do not sound quite the same on X2GS.
  • Default effect levels seem to be quite different.

This isn't to say that one is clearly "better" than the other; they are just different. As a non-musician, sometimes I prefer the sound of the older Roland hardware, but other times, the X2GS gives a more pleasant, fuller sound specifically because of the differences mentioned above, as well as the fact that it has some instruments and greater polyphony that the SC-55 generation lacks.

Last edited by 640K!enough on 2021-09-24, 17:59. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 114 of 124, by RetroGamer4Ever

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valnar wrote on 2021-09-24, 00:30:

Can any owners confirm this sounds the same as an original Roland SCD-15?

The general consensus is that it sounds as good as one could hope for, from a non-Roland synth offering, and that it is ideal for game use. It does not use the same samples as the old Roland daughterboard, so it can't sound "the same" as the old daughterboard did, as Roland changes their samples from time to time, such as they often do with the guitar sounds. The sound is said to be closer to the SC-88, which is obviously newer than the old daughterboard.

Reply 116 of 124, by badmojo

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I find the bass to be much stronger on the X2GS and by default the reverb is much stronger too - I recently cut the reverb in half because it was too much for my retro 2.1 speakers and it sounds more like a SC55 to my ears now. I'm not even close to an expert but I've owned both an SC55 and an SCC-1, and I prefer the X2GS. Similar sound but a bit more "lively", or something.

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Reply 117 of 124, by valnar

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badmojo wrote on 2021-09-25, 07:11:

I find the bass to be much stronger on the X2GS and by default the reverb is much stronger too - I recently cut the reverb in half because it was too much for my retro 2.1 speakers and it sounds more like a SC55 to my ears now. I'm not even close to an expert but I've owned both an SC55 and an SCC-1, and I prefer the X2GS. Similar sound but a bit more "lively", or something.

For someone who just plays games, what's the best way to tweak the reverb on bootup, or before playing a game?

Reply 118 of 124, by badmojo

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Not sure about what's best but I used the provided tools to dial back the amp output and reduce the reverb as global settings. There's a whole lot of GS resettable options that I haven't investigated yet but I just play games too, so I don't want to be messing around with stuff on the fly.

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