VOGONS


Reply 20 of 30, by Shponglefan

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eightbit wrote on 2022-04-21, 01:11:

But, is it even worth the money for the handful of games that use the MT-32? The MT-32 goes for a few hundred now....

IIRC there are hundreds of games with MT-32 support, more than just a handful.

And even for games with both GM and MT-32 support, some may sound better with the MT-32 ( or CM variants). For example I've tried XCOM with various modules and prefer it most with the MT-32.

My YouTube channel (retro game music)

Reply 21 of 30, by eightbit

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Shponglefan wrote on 2022-04-21, 01:49:
eightbit wrote on 2022-04-21, 01:11:

But, is it even worth the money for the handful of games that use the MT-32? The MT-32 goes for a few hundred now....

IIRC there are hundreds of games with MT-32 support, more than just a handful.

And even for games with both GM and MT-32 support, some may sound better with the MT-32 ( or CM variants). For example I've tried XCOM with various modules and prefer it most with the MT-32.

What I mean really are games that *only* support MT-32 and not GM (in which you simply NEED an MT-32 to enjoy the music). I cannot find a list ATM online only showing those specific games, but I am fairly certain it is not in the hundreds.

Reply 22 of 30, by Cloudschatze

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eightbit wrote on 2022-04-21, 02:14:

What I mean really are games that *only* support MT-32 and not GM ... I am fairly certain it is not in the hundreds.

Here's a summary of "Western" PC titles that I put together several years ago, based on a larger and mostly-validated set of data from the MobyGames database, and specific to compositional/playback intent. It's not a complete or perfect representation, but it does illustrate and refute some of the misconceptions regarding MT-32 and General MIDI support.

gmmt.PNG

Reply 23 of 30, by red_avatar

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You can get a Sound Canvas 55 relatively cheap if you're patient. They often come on the market for €50 or less at which price they're well worth the price. The MT-32 is less easy to get. I was patient and managed to buy it for €90 (and my SC55 for €40) and since then I bought a spare SC55 AND also bought a RA-50 which is very similar to the MT-32 and is quite a bit cheaper most of the time.

For a setup I recommend you go to Serdashop and get the DB15MIDI. This will let you output two MIDI signals. You can buy midi cables with two cables into one (for two-way communication I take it) which are perfect for this: you split them off at the end and feed one into the SC-55 and one into the MT-32 (or RA-50). If a game uses MT-32, just mute or turn off the SC-55 and visa versa.

Personally, if you're serious about your games and retro gaming, I'd just save up for them. The experience is just far more authentic - seeing the screen light up with "Insert buckazoid" and being able to quickly change volume right in front of you (I have the two underneath the monitor with a wooden laptop holder - works great) is just so easy.

Also, and this is a big one: IF YOU WANT THE GAME TO SOUND AS THE COMPOSER INTENDED, SC55 AND MT-32 ARE PRETTY MUCH THE ONLY WAY TO DO THIS FOR A GREAT MANY GAMES. Many many games first had their music made this way and then ported to Adlib etc. which is why so many games had Roland support in the first place despite so few people owning Roland devices.

Yesterday I received my Orpheus - this will also negate the use for SOFTMPU which is not compatible with all MT-32 games. I'll sure have a blast testing all this ...

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Reply 24 of 30, by Spikey

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MT-32 is used for a lot more than a "handful of games", more like hundreds. Sierra alone probably had 50 or more.

But you don't need to purchase one in 2022, the MUNT emulator is nearly identical and works great.

Reply 25 of 30, by Shreddoc

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Spikey wrote on 2022-04-21, 13:04:

the MUNT emulator is nearly identical

But better in some ways, e.g. cleaner sound, and ability to change on-demand between different versions of MT-32 and CM-32/64.

I couldn't justify the price of a real one, even 1-2 years ago. So, when I built my own hardware mt32-pi instead, it felt like I was compromising vs getting a real one. NOW however, after a year with the mt32-pi, I can't deny that getting a real MT-32 at this point would be a downgrade. Worse sounding, able to do less, and costing minimum 5x as much. I honestly don't want any of that! Thus I'm happy I got the best solution, for me & my preferences.

Reply 27 of 30, by Shreddoc

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Sunoo wrote on 2022-04-21, 22:35:

But by that argument, why not just throw Dosbox on a modern computer? It can do so much more than a vintage machine! Anything else would be a downgrade.

I never owned a real MT-32 in the 90's, so I don't have any personal nostalgia connection to that physical device and the micro details of it's build and usage, in the way that I do with retro DOS PCs themselves. It's why I qualified my whole argument at the end there with "for me & my preferences".

I'm just trying to illustrate how foregoing out-of-reach real hardware can come with it's own silver linings; as opposed to putting forward my way as The One True Best Solution. Ultimately, choice is king.

Reply 28 of 30, by Shponglefan

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There is really no right or wrong way of doing things when it comes to original h/w versus modern recreations or emulation.

If one is mainly interested in is listening to the MT-32 soundtracks in games, then modern emulators are more than sufficient for that.

The only reason to have the original h/w is for the experience of listening to it through the original h/w. Which on balance isn't all that different than listening to it via emulation.

My YouTube channel (retro game music)

Reply 29 of 30, by AppleSauce

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With the way things are progressing you might not even need a real sc55 soon.

https://github.com/skjelten/emusc

This person is working on a sc55 emulator , I guess it would analogous to munt.

I've tested it in pcem and it sounds surprisingly decent. There's an issue of notes looping and carrying on into the next midi track which is annoying but its getting there.

Don't get me wrong I love my original hardware , but having an emulated sc55 has its perks , like giving more options to people who are interested in dos gaming but don't want to spend a fortune.

Reply 30 of 30, by badmojo

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Cloudschatze wrote on 2022-04-21, 05:52:

Here's a summary of "Western" PC titles that I put together several years ago

Thanks for sharing that, very interesting indeed. Another misconception exposed - the MT-32 was actually very well supported.

Next I'd like to see some statistics around how many times the OP has asked this question 🤣

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