VOGONS


Reply 120 of 191, by holaplaneta

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badmojo wrote on 2021-09-25, 12:56:

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.

This is great to know! Is there any way to do this within DOS?
and if not: Can you configure it in Windows and "save the profile" so it behaves the same once you reboot in DOS mode and run a game?

thanks

Reply 121 of 191, by badmojo

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There are some things you can configure in DOS via GS reset commands but I haven't explored that yet - the software I showed above is provided by Dreamblaster and lets you configure the X2GS by connecting it to a modern PC (via USB) and loading new settings. These are permanent changes so yes it will behave the same when you boot into DOS.

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Reply 123 of 191, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Here's a potential off-shoot product for you to have fun with. Adapting the X2GS design into an MSX cartridge, similar to this product: https://www.8bits4ever.net/product-page/msx-blaster-opl4

That would sell to the MSX retro gamer crowd and go perfectly with the new MSXVR retro MSX PC hardware that is coming out soon, as the first Roland Sound Canvas synths were used primarily with MSX PCs and their games. People are already using the MT-32pi with the MSX hardware, so a GS/Sound Canvas option makes sense for the MSX market to use.

Reply 124 of 191, by SuperDeadite

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-10-25, 13:59:

Here's a potential off-shoot product for you to have fun with. Adapting the X2GS design into an MSX cartridge, similar to this product: https://www.8bits4ever.net/product-page/msx-blaster-opl4

That would sell to the MSX retro gamer crowd and go perfectly with the new MSXVR retro MSX PC hardware that is coming out soon, as the first Roland Sound Canvas synths were used primarily with MSX PCs and their games. People are already using the MT-32pi with the MSX hardware, so a GS/Sound Canvas option makes sense for the MSX market to use.

Not really sure where you get your info from, but MSX crowd is mostly FM/sample based. Traditional MSX music computers all use OPM. The Euro demoscene was mostly MSX-AUDIO (OPL and ADPCM) or MSX-MUSIC (OPLL). These days OPL4 is the new king, and it can play standard GM by its internal GM sample bank or its opl3 fm. Most of us MSX freaks are more into expanding our synth chips. My dream cart would be 2xOki ADPCM chips.

Honestly speaking there are only like 4 MSX games that use actual MIDI. I think you are confused with X68000, but that uses standard external MIDI, so its dead simple to use dreamblaster with them as is.

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2

Reply 125 of 191, by leonk

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dreamblaster wrote on 2021-07-25, 08:36:

Licensing wise, X2GS needs to be considered as different product,
licensing restrictions prohibit field updating of X2 to X2GS.

"field updating". Then is it fair to say that it's possible to create a service where customers send you their X2, and if they cover the licensing fee and return shipping, you will be able to upgrade a previously sold X2 to X2GS?

Reply 126 of 191, by RetroGamer4Ever

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leonk wrote on 2021-12-09, 18:45:
dreamblaster wrote on 2021-07-25, 08:36:

Licensing wise, X2GS needs to be considered as different product,
licensing restrictions prohibit field updating of X2 to X2GS.

"field updating". Then is it fair to say that it's possible to create a service where customers send you their X2, and if they cover the licensing fee and return shipping, you will be able to upgrade a previously sold X2 to X2GS?

Possible, yes. The flash memory can be loaded with the Roland GS bank, at least that's what I gather from reading the tech specs and SDK/tool info. But it's a lot of work and a PITA for Mr. Dreamblaster, because he has to do the work , keep records, pay more money, etc. to do such a thing and Roland might not even permit it anyway. If I were him, I'd just discontinue the X2 and only offer the X2GS, if the sales of the X2 aren't substantial anymore, which they likely aren't.

Reply 127 of 191, by leonk

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-12-10, 13:00:

Possible, yes. The flash memory can be loaded with the Roland GS bank, at least that's what I gather from reading the tech specs and SDK/tool info. But it's a lot of work and a PITA for Mr. Dreamblaster, because he has to do the work , keep records, pay more money, etc. to do such a thing and Roland might not even permit it anyway. If I were him, I'd just discontinue the X2 and only offer the X2GS, if the sales of the X2 aren't substantial anymore, which they likely aren't.

I don't see why Roland will have a problem with that; if the hardware is identical, he's maintaining encryption and security of the data, by wiping the old X2 banks/firmware, he's returning it to the same condition as a new PCB coming from the fab and loading it with GS firmware. Of course, the better solution is to sell the update software to X2 owners, but I'm not sure the device has a unique serial number which the patch utility can be locked to hence why it will need to be shipped back.

FWIW, this is not a new problem. The Yamaha MU1000/2000 later in life got licensed Roland GS support (upgrading them to EX models) The EX firmware updates are found on Yamaha's website to this day and anyone with an MU1000/2000 can add Roland GS support for free with a simple download.

Reply 128 of 191, by appiah4

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To be honest, I don't see the point. Even with the Roland GS sample set it doesn't sound exactly like a Sound Canvas, so why bother? GUD and Buran soundfonts for the X2 sound way better to me than the GS samples do, but to each their own I guess..

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 129 of 191, by leonk

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-12-10, 13:29:

To be honest, I don't see the point. Even with the Roland GS sample set it doesn't sound exactly like a Sound Canvas, so why bother? GUD and Buran soundfonts for the X2 sound way better to me than the GS samples do, but to each their own I guess..

Going back through this thread, there were some unhappy customers; I was trying to come up with a solution to satisfy those early adopters that made Serdashop the success that it has become.

Reply 130 of 191, by RetroGamer4Ever

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midiphile wrote on 2021-04-26, 11:10:

Exciting! Does this board expose the same MIDI controllable effects as a Dream 5000's stock firmware? It appears to provide GS compliance far beyond just the sound bank.

Yes, it has full GS SysEx implementation, from what I read on the firmware information, though I didn't compare them line-for-line. The 5716 is simply a high-powered deluxe version of the low-end 5000 chip in the X2GS and they would (most likely) sound identical to a casual listener, if using the same GS soundbank and you pushed the same Roland GS MIDI files through them, using a GS-compliant MIDI player. The 5716 is what you'd use if you wanted to offer a successor to the last generation of SoundCanvas/StudioCanvas modules, which Mr. Dreamblaster is certainly not looking to do at this time or perhaps, ever. The only company I know of that might ever do such a thing is MIDIPLUS, which makes the Mini Engine USB MIDI modules, intended for portable use, though also suitable for desktop use. They haven't shown any signs of offering a Roland GS licensed product, but they use the same chips that Dreamblaster does.

Reply 131 of 191, by dreamblaster

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-12-10, 13:00:
leonk wrote on 2021-12-09, 18:45:
dreamblaster wrote on 2021-07-25, 08:36:

Licensing wise, X2GS needs to be considered as different product,
licensing restrictions prohibit field updating of X2 to X2GS.

"field updating". Then is it fair to say that it's possible to create a service where customers send you their X2, and if they cover the licensing fee and return shipping, you will be able to upgrade a previously sold X2 to X2GS?

Possible, yes. The flash memory can be loaded with the Roland GS bank, at least that's what I gather from reading the tech specs and SDK/tool info. But it's a lot of work and a PITA for Mr. Dreamblaster, because he has to do the work , keep records, pay more money, etc. to do such a thing and Roland might not even permit it anyway. If I were him, I'd just discontinue the X2 and only offer the X2GS, if the sales of the X2 aren't substantial anymore, which they likely aren't.

Hello,
I honor the license. I will not elaborate on details about the GS bank, the agreement and its implementation in X2GS.
It should be considered a different product, and no updating or conversion is possible.
X2 keeps existing for the few people that use it in\as musical instruments, as this is also not allowed for X2GS.
For gaming i recommend X2GS now, but X2 with buran bank does a damn fine job too.

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 132 of 191, by dreamblaster

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-10-25, 13:59:

Here's a potential off-shoot product for you to have fun with. Adapting the X2GS design into an MSX cartridge, similar to this product: https://www.8bits4ever.net/product-page/msx-blaster-opl4

That would sell to the MSX retro gamer crowd and go perfectly with the new MSXVR retro MSX PC hardware that is coming out soon, as the first Roland Sound Canvas synths were used primarily with MSX PCs and their games. People are already using the MT-32pi with the MSX hardware, so a GS/Sound Canvas option makes sense for the MSX market to use.

I don't have MSX myself, do you have one ?
Provided the X2GS could fit in a cartridge, a 3d printed cartridge could be made with a waveblaster header inside.
it would be flexible to add S2, X2GS, E-Wave, McFly in it
any MSX developers here ?
also... damn -- where do they still get OPL4 chips ?

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 133 of 191, by dreamblaster

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About making sense on MSX...
if it has not been done before, it sure makes a nice retro challenge, to show off on the platform :
for example have a look at this : Amstrad CPC with X2GS : https://youtu.be/zATfSDlGLWw (audio starts at 2:11)

platforms that are 'born' with midi, of course, can make better use, also in games
like on atari ST : https://youtu.be/2n-MxoTx9K0
he also measured the latency...

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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 134 of 191, by mihai

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I have an X2 and it sounds very nice to my ears. It has Buran / GUD and unofficial GS Hummtaro banks. I have McCake as well which became the main midi module I am using, with Patch93 / Masterpiece soundfonts and MT-32 emulation. I am quite happy with this setup.

For a new buyer I would recommend X2GS, as the Roland banks are amazing for retro gaming. Not the absolute best IMHO, but the sound is very balanced, very well rounded and the end result is very pleasing, it just sounds right.

Reply 135 of 191, by RetroGamer4Ever

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OPL4 chips can be found, if you know where to look. The Asians yank chips from e-waste shipments all the time to sell them and there are still caches of unused chips sprinkled throughout the electronics industry.

scientific-solutions.com has a small supply of the old Yamaha OPL3/OPL4 goods, enough to do a limited run of a project or two.

Reply 136 of 191, by SuperDeadite

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I'm probably the biggest MSX freak here, and while the idea of a wave-blaster cartridge is cool, this would be a complicated project. You would need to build a complete MIDI intetface into the cartridge itself. Most of the good ones have their own Z80 inside to do all the MIDI processing work. Memory is also a bit complicated as you would need to support external memory mappers or file size would be quite limited.

A good option would be to clone the easy to build "MIDI Interface 2" and add waveblaster header. Most MSX MIDI players already support it. You might need to add external power connecter though as MSX spec is 300mA max per cartridge.
https://snowcrysta.booth.pm/items/3298813

Another option would be to contact SuperSoniqs and see if you could add a header to MIDI-PAC2. This would give people actual game support. (OPLL to MIDI translater).

There are only about 5 MSX games with actual MIDI support. And most of them require a TurboR...

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2

Reply 137 of 191, by mbarszcz

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Is there a way to make the X2GS use your presets on startup? I know that it boots up using the GS bank, but it seems that it also boots up using all the defaults effects/EQ/gain/swap settings.

It seems that none of my presets are applied unless I run USERBANK.MID and then go back to the GS bank using X2GSBANK.MID.

Reply 138 of 191, by RetroGamer4Ever

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mbarszcz wrote on 2021-12-11, 23:23:

Is there a way to make the X2GS use your presets on startup? I know that it boots up using the GS bank, but it seems that it also boots up using all the defaults effects/EQ/gain/swap settings.

It seems that none of my presets are applied unless I run USERBANK.MID and then go back to the GS bank using X2GSBANK.MID.

You could make a batch file and use that, whenever you start up the OS.

Reply 139 of 191, by Jackal1983

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Ok, so I bought this wonderful piece of equipment as well as the X2BOX, so I have a question:
Can I use a USB to MIDI adaptor like this:
https://www.amazon.com/Roland-UM-ONE-MK2-MIDI … 9466762&sr=8-29

And a DB15 to Midi break out adaptor: https://m.media-amazon.com/images/I/712z64qtK … _AC_SL1000_.jpg

to connect the board to the MPU401 interface of a sound card?