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First post, by Shcookius

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I am aware the MIDI standard says that 16 Polyphony is max for one cable.

I have a SC88 VL with two inputs and one output. All three of them are in the back. This unit can potentially get 32 polyphony from two cables right?

Most of the USB to MIDI cables I have seen are one in one out.

2 in 2 out units are available but from weird brands I am hesitant to purchase from.

Is it even possible to get 32 polyphony through one midi interface like that? Will the converter intelligently split the signal in half to go through each cable?

Should I even be worried about this? Are all DOS games under or at 16 Polyphony?

Thanks.

Reply 1 of 7, by Stretch

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I've read it is possible. You have to use a program like cakewalk and set channels 17-32 to the 2nd synth. I don't think DOS games use more than 16 channels.

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Reply 2 of 7, by Falcosoft

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Shcookius wrote on 2021-11-26, 20:18:
I am aware the MIDI standard says that 16 Polyphony is max for one cable. […]
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I am aware the MIDI standard says that 16 Polyphony is max for one cable.

I have a SC88 VL with two inputs and one output. All three of them are in the back. This unit can potentially get 32 polyphony from two cables right?

Most of the USB to MIDI cables I have seen are one in one out.

2 in 2 out units are available but from weird brands I am hesitant to purchase from.

Is it even possible to get 32 polyphony through one midi interface like that? Will the converter intelligently split the signal in half to go through each cable?

Should I even be worried about this? Are all DOS games under or at 16 Polyphony?

Thanks.

Hi,
You read it wrong. There is no such polyphony constraint in Midi specification. What you must have read about in Midi specification is the maximum number of possible Channels.
That is exactly 16 (for one 'cable'). Polyphony depends entirely on the implementation of the synth and even the 1st SC-55 had more than 16 polyphony (24 and 28 for MKII).

AFAIK the SC-88 has 64 voice polyphony. You do not need a 2-cable/32-channel setup to reach this 64 voice polyphony. Actually you can reach 64 voice polyphony using only 1 channel.
With 2-cable/32-channel setup you can only increase the 'multitimbrality' of the synth. That is you can use 32 different instruments simultaneously.

Last edited by Falcosoft on 2021-11-26, 21:21. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 3 of 7, by Shcookius

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Falcosoft wrote on 2021-11-26, 21:05:
Hi, You read it wrong. There is no such polyphony constraint in Midi specification. What you must have read about in Midi specif […]
Show full quote
Shcookius wrote on 2021-11-26, 20:18:
I am aware the MIDI standard says that 16 Polyphony is max for one cable. […]
Show full quote

I am aware the MIDI standard says that 16 Polyphony is max for one cable.

I have a SC88 VL with two inputs and one output. All three of them are in the back. This unit can potentially get 32 polyphony from two cables right?

Most of the USB to MIDI cables I have seen are one in one out.

2 in 2 out units are available but from weird brands I am hesitant to purchase from.

Is it even possible to get 32 polyphony through one midi interface like that? Will the converter intelligently split the signal in half to go through each cable?

Should I even be worried about this? Are all DOS games under or at 16 Polyphony?

Thanks.

Hi,
You read it wrong. There is no such polyphony constraint in Midi specification. What you must have read about in Midi specification is the maximum number of possible Channels.
That is exactly 16 (for one 'cable'). Polyphony depends entirely on the implementation of the synth and even the 1st SC-55 had more than 16 polyphony (24 and 28 for MKII).

AFAIK the SC-88 has 64 voice polyphony. You do not need a 2-cable/32-channel setup to reach this 64 voice polyphony. Actually you can reach 64 voice polyphony using only 1 channel.

Thanks for your help. I think I am going to get an UM-ONE MKII and get the Soundcanvas working first and worry about what does not work later!

Reply 4 of 7, by Pierre32

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As mentioned I don't believe there are any games that use more than 16 channels. The dual banks are more aimed at music creation. Check the manual for the various connection scenarios. http://cdn.roland.com/assets/media/pdf/SC-88_OM.pdf

As a pointless aside, the SC-D70 gives access to both banks over a single USB cable. They appear to the PC as separate MIDI devices (part A and part B). Naturally I had to try this with two instances of DOSBox, each directed to a different bank. It was as dumb as you think. https://youtu.be/YO5Zj5N12Oc

Reply 5 of 7, by Spikey

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For reference the MT-32 only uses 9 channels of data, and most General MIDI games (outside of Japan) don't use all 16 channels. So I doubt there was EVER a non-Japanese game that used more than 16 (unless designed for very specific hardware). Even then, for Japan they're probably extremely rare if they exist.

If you're wanting to play GM games (1991-1995 or so) on your PC, a Sound Canvas and MIDI cable like the one you got will be fine. What's probably more important is that you set the unit in SC-55 mode before playing games, and understanding the unit won't sound exactly like a SC-55 even when in that mode (mostly for synth sounds), as the internal effects and waveforms are slightly different (most GM games were composed for a SC-55 or SC-55mkII). Of course you can just forget such differences and enjoy what you have, it will sound good anyway 😀