VOGONS


First post, by Kahenraz

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I'm trying to route MPU-401 General MIDI to Window's native MIDI mapper so that I can play DOS games from within Windows using Yamaha's software synthesizer. I found that I can make this work using VDMSound, but it is extremely unstable and can cause the system to hang or sound to not work properly after the game exits.

Is there anything like this VDMSound solution specifically for Windows 9x for MIDI mapping? I know that sound cards such as Aureal and Creative can already do this natively, but I am trying to make it work with an integrated VIA sound card, and there is no such feature provided by the drivers. It's somewhat frustrating because it DOES work with VDMSound. It's just unstable and the system needs to be rebooted after using it, which is super annoying.

I did try removing all of the modules from VDMSound other than the ones needed for MIDI, but this did not improve stability.

Reply 1 of 5, by javispedro1

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Note that this is supposed to work. When you use the normal WDM driver, sbemul.sys is supposed to utilize whatever you select on the MIDI mapper. However, when I try on my T5710, selecting Yamaha's soft synth only results in silence (in DOSMID's MPU output). I suppose there is something broken with the Yamaha synth specifically.

I reproduced the same issue on a VM with the SoundBlaster WDM drivers (which also use sbemul.sys...) . All outputs in the MIDI mapper work correctly from DOS boxes (and the output is directed to the appropiate device), except for the Yamaha soft synth, which results in silence. So I'm quite convinced there is something wrong with the Yamaha synth.

Reply 2 of 5, by Kahenraz

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I can confirm that, when using the WDM drivers, General MIDI is routed to the MIDI mapper and works as expected when the Microsoft GS synthesizer is selected, but not when the Yamaha software synthesizer is selected. However, I'm using the VXD drivers, which does not install the Microsoft GS synthesizer. I think that it is only available for WDM sound devices.

So for the VXD driver, I only have access to the Yamaha synthesizer, which doesn't work, and the VIA FM synthesizer (it maps to a MIDI device), which works for MIDI playback in Media Player, but is also silent in DOS games. I don't know if this is an issue with the FM synthesizer or whether there is no routing for it at all, since the Microsoft GS synthesizer is not available as a reference.

It's interesting that the Yamaha synthesizer doesn't work natively with the WDM driver. It works fine when routed via VDMSound, so it is possible.

I'm using the WDM driver specifically because it provides Adlib-compatible FM synthesis for DOS games from within Windows. It seems like I can only get Adlib or General MIDI, depending on the choice of WDM or VXD drivers, but not both at the same time.

Last edited by Kahenraz on 2022-04-26, 02:22. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 3 of 5, by gerwin

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-04-25, 18:45:

I did try removing all of the modules from VDMSound other than the ones needed for MIDI, but this did not improve stability.

I remember doing this as well a long time ago.
The Vortex windows 9x driver already had a nice option to route its emulated DOS MPU to any available windows Midi Device***, but it dropped notes with TIE Fighter IIRC. So I tried VDM sound as well, and IIRC that worked.
Stripped it to this:

16-10-2000     605 VXDS1.EXE
16-10-2000 605 vdmsboom.exe
04-08-2001 131 identity.map
10-03-2001 605 VXDSINIT.EXE
04-08-2001 5.000 gm2mt.map
04-08-2001 5.004 mt2gm.map
10-03-2001 7.680 vxdsdll.dll
15-12-2002 549 uninstall.bat
16-12-2002 909 install.bat
15-12-2002 49.152 MIDIDevice.dll
15-12-2002 57.344 EmuMPU401.dll
19-10-2002 61.440 VDDLoader.dll
15-12-2002 73.728 MIDIToolkit.dll
03-03-2003 3.584 vxdsload.exe
11-03-2003 10.288 VXDSOUND.VXD
01-05-2003 90.112 VDMConfig.dll
15-01-2008 175 vdms.bat
19-01-2008 7.220 VDMS.INI

***Edit: it may be that the Vortex control panel selection was limited to "Vortex AU8830 Wavetable" and "Vortex AU8830 MPU-401". That is what my old screenshot shows.

Last edited by gerwin on 2022-04-26, 02:30. Edited 1 time in total.

--> ISA Soundcard Overview // Doom MBF 2.04 // SetMul

Reply 4 of 5, by Kahenraz

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I can confirm, as per Microsoft, that the Microsoft GS synthesizer is only available for WDM sound devices.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/topic/can … 33-1cefa017eed4

Note that the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth device is available for use in Windows 98 only when Windows Driver Model (WDM) audio drivers are being used.

gerwin wrote on 2022-04-26, 02:21:

I remember doing this as well a long time ago.
The Vortex windows 9x driver already had a nice option to route its emulated DOS MPU to any available windows Midi Device, but it dropped notes with TIE Fighter IIRC. So I tried VDM sound as well, and IIRC that worked.

Unfortunately, the last available VDMSound alpha release is still unstable on 9x. Otherwise it does work exactly as it should. It seems as though unloading it causes Windows to become unstable.

Reply 5 of 5, by gerwin

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Kahenraz wrote on 2022-04-26, 02:23:

Unfortunately, the last available VDMSound alpha release is still unstable on 9x. Otherwise it does work exactly as it should. It seems as though unloading it causes Windows to become unstable.

My notes say "This is vdm-sound 2.04 with windows 9X loaders. VDMConfig.dll is from version 2.10 which seems to remove the annoying tip-of-the-day system."

--> ISA Soundcard Overview // Doom MBF 2.04 // SetMul