VOGONS


First post, by r00tb33r

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Was looking at the compatibility table on Wikipedia, these things seem to be somewhat problematic between the two major revisions of MT-32 and CM/LAPC-I. Some games work better with old, some with new, and some with other flavors.

Has anyone come up with modifications that would make, say, the new MT-32 for all of those scenarios?

It almost sounds like mt32-pi would ultimately be the better choice as it could theoretically accommodate all of those variations.

Reply 1 of 2, by Spikey

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Most games were designed for the original MT-32 and as such it's your best bet for gaming. However, as with most of these sorts of things, the "problematic" cases wouldn't be noticed by 90+% of users in the actual game.

There's not any games I'm aware of that work "better" with a revised MT-32, except that all games will sound slightly better with it due to a lower noise floor and improved circuitry.

As for the CM-32L, that's essentially a totally different story. If you're looking at a regular MT-32 game, the CM-32L is basically like having a revised MT-32 with no display. Obviously for a game that supports CM-32L FX, then it is different.

For reference, there's basically:
- Two gens of the MT-32 (and an extra 'clean' 32-bit version in the emulation)
- Two gens of the CM-32L

I personally think the software is better to use for the games in 2022, because of what you mentioned, being able to change on the fly. Unless you're playing on old hardware, I don't see a reason to get a Pi.

Reply 2 of 2, by AppleSauce

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r00tb33r wrote on 2022-10-29, 03:24:

Was looking at the compatibility table on Wikipedia, these things seem to be somewhat problematic between the two major revisions of MT-32 and CM/LAPC-I. Some games work better with old, some with new, and some with other flavors.

Has anyone come up with modifications that would make, say, the new MT-32 for all of those scenarios?

It almost sounds like mt32-pi would ultimately be the better choice as it could theoretically accommodate all of those variations.

https://www.philscomputerlab.com/ultimate-rol … 2-tutorial.html

You should check out this video from phil , it goes into pretty heavy detail about the differences between the variants.
I've got both a MT32 old and a CM32L and a roland mpu 105 switchbox to select between them , though it can be quite cumbersome.

Basically as far as I can understand it it boils down to this
Originally the MT32 was released in 1987 , this would be the old model , now from what I can gather some older games were hard coded to exploit specific bugs and timings on the original model.

The new came a while after , maybe 88? And I believe it had a newer microprocessor and a updated control com and this broke compatibility with older titles.
Unfortunately this never got addressed by Roland and its not possible to swap control roms past certain revisions.
This also annoyingly causes issues when using the mt32 old with games specced for the mt32 new since you'll get buffer overflow issues due to timing problems.

In 1989 the CM32L came out which was in some ways cheapened due to being less geared to musicians and more for home entertainment?
Gone was the more rugged metal body , the display and the controls except for the power on switch and volume knob. Instead it was housed in a minimalist plastic body.
However Roland did also put an additional PCM rom into the 32L which contained a series of additional sound effects.
Some later games use these specific sounds though those games would substitute alternative sfx for older MT32 units however it which might not quite sound right.

Later on on Roland released a later revision 32L which was used in the MT32-LN (designed for PC98 notebooks) and also the 32L portion of the cm500 (which was a bunch of units crammed into one body to consolidate things).
The later revision had a faster vibrato due to the cpu being changed yet again however some enterprising vogonites managed to find a way to mod those units to fix the issue by editing the control rom and replacing the crystal.
Fixing the Roland CM-500 Vibrato Bug

As for modifications , other than the 32LN the only thing I think that might potentially modded would be an RA50 which behaves like a mt32 new but has a 32L rom.
Me and a friend had been looking into the possibility of turning one into a 32L buy soldering in an additional rom with the extra pcm samples flashed to it.

Anyways rambling aside you only technically would need a 32 old and a cm32L for dos gaming but it can be expensive and cumbersome to have that kind of setup , so the MT32-PI you mentioned might be your best bet , since you can pick either unit on the fly and its damned more affordable than what I spent on my setup.