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Reply 140 of 224, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-14, 19:51:
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 l […]
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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?

https://www.serdashop.com/CHiLLandPhilAdapter

That is what you'd use. Pop the X2GS on the Waveblaster header and off you go. The X2BOX is to use the X2GS as it's own little MIDI box and is a different thing from what you laid out in your post.

Reply 141 of 224, by Jackal1983

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-12-14, 20:35:
Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-14, 19:51:
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 l […]
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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?

https://www.serdashop.com/CHiLLandPhilAdapter

That is what you'd use. Pop the X2GS on the Waveblaster header and off you go. The X2BOX is to use the X2GS as it's own little MIDI box and is a different thing from what you laid out in your post.

My biggest problems with that adaptor is
1. I'm not cool with exposed circuit boards outside my computer. It strikes me as an ESD risk and I have crappy luck regarding that. There might be files out there for a 3d printed enclosure for it but I doubt it'll fit the adaptor and the X2GS board. Oh, and I don't have a 3-D printer 🤣.
2. I move my stuff around a lot and something hanging off the back like that is begging for a problem: I'm bit of a klutz.

So for me an active USB to MIDI adaptor like the Roland one I linked (plus whatever couplers I'd need) and a DB15 to DIN breakout of some sort would be a better option. That and I really don't want to wait another month or so.
FWIW, this all assumes the onboard audio of my board (Asus CUSI-FX) meets my compatibility requirements (CMI-8738 SX). If not (which is very possible) I have a Terretec ESS Solo-1 card that just needs the header soldered on or a Turtle Beach Montego 1 (AU8820 chip, so only A3D 1.0, but that's not a big deal for me). The main reason I'm going to try to make the onboard chip work is because I only have 2 PCI slots. One is for my Voodoo 3 3000, so having the other slot free would allow me to use a Voodoo 1 in the other slot, for maximal Glide compatibility. CPU is a 1.2 GHZ C3 Nehemiah.

All that said, If someone could point me towards a 3D printed enclosure for the Chill and Phil adaptor that will fit the X2GS and a recommendation for who to use to have it printed (I'm in a fairly rural area of the SE US, so I'd be ordering it online) I might consider it.

Reply 142 of 224, by Shreddoc

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Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-14, 21:17:

I'm not cool with exposed circuit boards outside my computer.

It's a fair point. These are hobbyist items and require the user to (have and use) the expertise to avoid any potential problems.

For example, as I noticed recently, the DB15 board can potentially have a live exposed pin or two (at 5v DC) e.g. when used with a MIDI-to-USB cable. Not a fault (I assume!), just the nature of what is connected. And the user needs to understand and mitigate for possibilities like these, make sure no dangers result e.g. shorting on other items or interference.

There is no consumer-coddling "CE tick" or safety certification with this hobbyist class of item, I assume, so they have to be treated accordingly.

Reply 143 of 224, by appiah4

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Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-14, 19:51:
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 l […]
Show full quote

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?

Yes. Although as an alternative to the second part you could just buy a DB-15 from Serdashop.

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

Reply 144 of 224, by Jackal1983

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-12-15, 06:51:
Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-14, 19:51:
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 l […]
Show full quote

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?

Yes. Although as an alternative to the second part you could just buy a DB-15 from Serdashop.

OK, I'll probably just buy the break out cable I showed. It's in the US (less wait time) and after shipping and VAT its probably the same price. Buy a couple of Male to Male DIN couplers and it'd be good.

Reply 146 of 224, by mbarszcz

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-12-11, 23:40:
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.

Is that really the way it is intended to work? All that work fussing around editing presets offline (where you can't even hear what you're tweaking), flashing them, and then the X2GS starts up with all its default settings anyway? Surely that's not right.

Reply 147 of 224, by RetroGamer4Ever

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It's basically a USB MIDI dongle, with no onboard software to manage/control things, so you have to use an external control method to configure everything. I suppose it's possible to override the "default" via firmware reprogramming, but I have no idea how that works with this particular chip, and know that you can do some firmware stuff via USB and control USB MIDI functions through the debug interface of the chip.

Reply 148 of 224, by MadLynx

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2021-12-23, 09:00:

I suppose it's possible to override the "default" via firmware reprogramming, but I have no idea how that works with this particular chip

Look here: Re: X2GS : Waveblaster board with dual soundbank support, official Dream/Roland licensed GS bank
Or just read the X2GS manual from Serdashop, it's same for X2 and X2GS http://serdaco.com/downloads/X2/?dir=

Reply 149 of 224, by mkarcher

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Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-14, 19:51:
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 l […]
Show full quote

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?

No, that's not how the X2BOX works. The X2BOX is meant to be connected to a USB port of your computer as a USB device, just like the Roland cable you linked. The X2BOX can not work as USB host and interface to the Roland cable.

If you want to run a X2GS synthesizer connected to your 15-pin MIDI port of a sound card (instead of just installing it on the waveblaster header internally), what you need is something like the CHiLL and Phil adapter.

Reply 150 of 224, by appiah4

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mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-23, 10:27:
Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-14, 19:51:
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 l […]
Show full quote

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?

No, that's not how the X2BOX works. The X2BOX is meant to be connected to a USB port of your computer as a USB device, just like the Roland cable you linked. The X2BOX can not work as USB host and interface to the Roland cable.

If you want to run a X2GS synthesizer connected to your 15-pin MIDI port of a sound card (instead of just installing it on the waveblaster header internally), what you need is something like the CHiLL and Phil adapter.

I don't think this is true, doesn't X2BOX have the same functionality as X3MA/B?

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

Reply 151 of 224, by mkarcher

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-12-23, 11:14:
mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-23, 10:27:

No, that's not how the X2BOX works. The X2BOX is meant to be connected to a USB port of your computer as a USB device, just like the Roland cable you linked. The X2BOX can not work as USB host and interface to the Roland cable.

If you want to run a X2GS synthesizer connected to your 15-pin MIDI port of a sound card (instead of just installing it on the waveblaster header internally), what you need is something like the CHiLL and Phil adapter.

I don't think this is true, doesn't X2BOX have the same functionality as X3MA/B?

Not really at all. There is one thing the X2BOX and the X3MA/B have in common: Both can connect to a host computer and receive MIDI data via USB. The X2BOX sends this MIDI data to the waveblaster connector inside the box, so you can plug the X2GS module there. The X3MA/B sends the midi data to the integrated MIDI port (if jumpered as MIDI out) or to the integrated MIDI synthesizer chip. The X3MA doesn't have a waveblaster connector. The X3MA can do a lot more, like digital audio playback and capturing the MIDI output (possibly mixed with the digital output), which is not directly related to MIDI playback. Also the X3MA can send MIDI data from the MIDI connector to the integrated synthesizer chip, so you can connect the X3MA to the 15-pin gameport using the usual adapter cable.

Neither of the X2BOX or X3MA are designed to act like a host computer controlling the Roland cable. appiah4 corrected me. This statement is wrong, at least the X3MA is able to act as a host controller. The suggested setup should work. with the X3MA. New EDIT: dreamblaster explicitly claims that the devices are not working as host, see Re: X2GS : Waveblaster board with dual soundbank support, official Dream/Roland licensed GS bank

Instead, if the hobbyist nature with the missing case of the Chill & Phil module is the main problem for Jakal (I missed page 8 when I wrote the last comment), one could use the usual gameport/MIDI cable to connect a gameport to a sufficiently large CHiLLBOX with the CHiLL 3 adapter board. I didn't check wheter the X2GS requires the CHiLLBOX XL, or the classice CHiLLBOX fits. This won't help Jackal if the X2GS is already in use in the X2BOX, though. If Serdashop had somthing like the USB MIDI Host Module, but for MIDI IN instead of MIDI OUT, you could connect a classic soundcard gameport with a standard cable to the hypothetical USB MIDI IN Host module, and connect that one to the X2BOX.

Last edited by mkarcher on 2022-01-05, 15:32. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 152 of 224, by Jackal1983

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mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-23, 13:29:
Not really at all. There is one thing the X2BOX and the X3MA/B have in common: Both can connect to a host computer and receive M […]
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appiah4 wrote on 2021-12-23, 11:14:
mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-23, 10:27:

No, that's not how the X2BOX works. The X2BOX is meant to be connected to a USB port of your computer as a USB device, just like the Roland cable you linked. The X2BOX can not work as USB host and interface to the Roland cable.

If you want to run a X2GS synthesizer connected to your 15-pin MIDI port of a sound card (instead of just installing it on the waveblaster header internally), what you need is something like the CHiLL and Phil adapter.

I don't think this is true, doesn't X2BOX have the same functionality as X3MA/B?

Not really at all. There is one thing the X2BOX and the X3MA/B have in common: Both can connect to a host computer and receive MIDI data via USB. The X2BOX sends this MIDI data to the waveblaster connector inside the box, so you can plug the X2GS module there. The X3MA/B sends the midi data to the integrated MIDI port (if jumpered as MIDI out) or to the integrated MIDI synthesizer chip. The X3MA doesn't have a waveblaster connector. The X3MA can do a lot more, like digital audio playback and capturing the MIDI output (possibly mixed with the digital output), which is not directly related to MIDI playback. Also the X3MA can send MIDI data from the MIDI connector to the integrated synthesizer chip, so you can connect the X3MA to the 15-pin gameport using the usual adapter cable.

Neither of the X2BOX or X3MA are designed to act like a host computer controlling the Roland cable.

Instead, if the hobbyist nature with the missing case of the Chill & Phil module is the main problem for Jakal (I missed page 8 when I wrote the last comment), one could use the usual gameport/MIDI cable to connect a gameport to a sufficiently large CHiLLBOX with the CHiLL 3 adapter board. I didn't check wheter the X2GS requires the CHiLLBOX XL, or the classice CHiLLBOX fits. This won't help Jackal if the X2GS is already in use in the X2BOX, though. If Serdashop had somthing like the USB MIDI Host Module, but for MIDI IN instead of MIDI OUT, you could connect a classic soundcard gameport with a standard cable to the hypothetical USB MIDI IN Host module, and connect that one to the X2BOX.

It's almost a moot point now for me. I got some time to finally mess around with the CMI-8738 chip in my board (Asus CUSI-FX) and I haven't had much luck in getting it to work in DOS. One game (Blackthorne) doesn't even see the set blaster variables in dos even if I drop the speed down to 533mhz and with branch prediction disabled. I'll try a couple more dos games (prob. DN2, DN3D, Descent, and Fallout) and if it's still a mess, I'll write the chip off. I'll just solder the wavetable header onto my Terratec Solo-1 and call it good (assuming that works, if not, I have a Turtle Beach Montego 1 to fall back on).

Reply 153 of 224, by RetroGamer4Ever

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On that note, someone should round up the wavetable-header capable cards up, get them fitted with headers, and sell them for a tidy profit. It would be a win-win for everyone, since we now have the X2GS, which would be a perfect fit for such cards.

Reply 154 of 224, by appiah4

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mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-23, 13:29:

Neither of the X2BOX or X3MA are designed to act like a host computer controlling the Roland cable.

Ok, the latter part is outright wrong. I have both an X3MA and an X3MB and both can act as a host computer controlling the Roland cable, ie you can connect a DIN-5 or DB-15 MIDI port to it with the Roland cable and it will accept MIDI from the USB port.

It even says so in the product page:

https://www.serdashop.com/X3M

USB MIDI In class compliant

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

Reply 155 of 224, by mkarcher

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-12-24, 08:30:
Ok, the latter part is outright wrong. I have both an X3MA and an X3MB and both can act as a host computer controlling the Rola […]
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mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-23, 13:29:

Neither of the X2BOX or X3MA are designed to act like a host computer controlling the Roland cable.

Ok, the latter part is outright wrong. I have both an X3MA and an X3MB and both can act as a host computer controlling the Roland cable, ie you can connect a DIN-5 or DB-15 MIDI port to it with the Roland cable and it will accept MIDI from the USB port.

It even says so in the product page:

https://www.serdashop.com/X3M

USB MIDI In class compliant

OK, I am going to strike through the claims in my posts, but usually "USB MIDI In class compliant" means, that the thing itself (in this case the X3MA) acts as a MIDI device, controlled by a host computer, and is able to receive data from the 5-pin port and send it to a host computer that has a driver for "MIDI class compliant" devices. Thanks for pointing out that these devices are more versatile.

One thing that confuses me, though: How is that stuff powered? The X3MA doesn't have a power connector, and is designed to take +5V from an external host computer. The same is true for the Roland MIDI cable. So you need a special USB cable for power injection, in a kind of Y configuration. I couldn't find a matching cable (Mini USB "on the go" for the X3MA, USB type A socket for a Roland-type MIDI cable and a third connector for power injection). Can you share the cabling setup you use to enable this capability?

And finally: Why would you use an external MIDI-to-USB adapter? If you have a X3MA, you can directly connect the 5-pin MIDI connection to the MIDI connector of the X3MA (if you jumper it as MIDI IN), and have that MIDI data played back by the integrated synthesizer.

Reply 156 of 224, by Jackal1983

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mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-24, 13:05:
OK, I am going to strike through the claims in my posts, but usually "USB MIDI In class compliant" means, that the thing itself […]
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appiah4 wrote on 2021-12-24, 08:30:
Ok, the latter part is outright wrong. I have both an X3MA and an X3MB and both can act as a host computer controlling the Rola […]
Show full quote
mkarcher wrote on 2021-12-23, 13:29:

Neither of the X2BOX or X3MA are designed to act like a host computer controlling the Roland cable.

Ok, the latter part is outright wrong. I have both an X3MA and an X3MB and both can act as a host computer controlling the Roland cable, ie you can connect a DIN-5 or DB-15 MIDI port to it with the Roland cable and it will accept MIDI from the USB port.

It even says so in the product page:

https://www.serdashop.com/X3M

USB MIDI In class compliant

OK, I am going to strike through the claims in my posts, but usually "USB MIDI In class compliant" means, that the thing itself (in this case the X3MA) acts as a MIDI device, controlled by a host computer, and is able to receive data from the 5-pin port and send it to a host computer that has a driver for "MIDI class compliant" devices. Thanks for pointing out that these devices are more versatile.

One thing that confuses me, though: How is that stuff powered? The X3MA doesn't have a power connector, and is designed to take +5V from an external host computer. The same is true for the Roland MIDI cable. So you need a special USB cable for power injection, in a kind of Y configuration. I couldn't find a matching cable (Mini USB "on the go" for the X3MA, USB type A socket for a Roland-type MIDI cable and a third connector for power injection). Can you share the cabling setup you use to enable this capability?

And finally: Why would you use an external MIDI-to-USB adapter? If you have a X3MA, you can directly connect the 5-pin MIDI connection to the MIDI connector of the X3MA (if you jumper it as MIDI IN), and have that MIDI data played back by the integrated synthesizer.

As far as power is concerned you could use one of these cables:

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Reply 157 of 224, by mkarcher

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Jackal1983 wrote on 2021-12-24, 16:00:

As far as power is concerned you could use one of these cables:

[picture of a cable with 2* USB type A plug on one end, and a mini-B or micro-B plug on the other end]

This cable by itself doesn't fit: You can't connect this cable with the Roland cable shown previously, as they have no matching connector. Furthermore, that cable is not OTG cable, so there is no indication to an OTG capable device that it should enter host mode. What might work if the X3MA supports the host mode:

Reply 158 of 224, by dreamblaster

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Yes correct, please consider, X2GS, X2 and X3M are USB midi DEVICES, so they don't function as USB HOST.

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