VOGONS


First post, by Strahssis

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Hi there,

Recently I acquired a Roland RA-50, which does seem to be internally the same as the Roland MT-32. I would like to play MIDI files on it as I do with my other MIDI modules, but since the RA-50 does not support General MIDI, most of them will not sound very accurate. For now I have manually adapted the instruments in Anvil Studio for each file, but this is quiet time consuming.

Since the MT-32 is and was very popular, I figured there must be an other way. Maybe there is a converter program out there or a MIDI player that can convert the instrument data in real time? Do you guys have any tips for me as I'm new to the RA-50 / MT-32.

I did find a program from Roland, but I can't run it and from what I've read, it only works the other way around: MT-32 to GM. I also found that possibly MIDI-OX can convert the signal in real time, but I can't figure out how to do it, if it is even possible that is. Anyways, thanks in advance for the help. 😀

All the best,

Miko

Mimi: AMD K6-2/266, S3 Trio64, Diamond Monster 3D II, Sound Blaster CT2800, 32MB RAM
Satellite 220CS: Pentium 133, SVGA DSTN, Sound Blaster Pro, 64MB RAM
Contura 420CX: 486DX4 75, VGA TFT, Roland Serial MIDI, 16MB RAM

Reply 1 of 10, by root42

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Have a look here:
https://www.midimusicadventures.com/queststud … urce/utilities/
The GM mapping will never be perfect, as the MT32 has too few channels and other limitations, but it will improve your GM playback.

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Reply 2 of 10, by Falcosoft

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Strahssis wrote on 2023-07-21, 11:11:
Hi there, […]
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Hi there,

Recently I acquired a Roland RA-50, which does seem to be internally the same as the Roland MT-32. I would like to play MIDI files on it as I do with my other MIDI modules, but since the RA-50 does not support General MIDI, most of them will not sound very accurate. For now I have manually adapted the instruments in Anvil Studio for each file, but this is quiet time consuming.

Since the MT-32 is and was very popular, I figured there must be an other way. Maybe there is a converter program out there or a MIDI player that can convert the instrument data in real time? Do you guys have any tips for me as I'm new to the RA-50 / MT-32.

I did find a program from Roland, but I can't run it and from what I've read, it only works the other way around: MT-32 to GM. I also found that possibly MIDI-OX can convert the signal in real time, but I can't figure out how to do it, if it is even possible that is. Anyways, thanks in advance for the help. 😀

All the best,

Miko

Instead of modifying the Midi files you should modify the instrument map on your device. As root42 has written it can cure the problem of bad instruments but cannot cure the problem of missing channels. GM files assume that all channels (1-16) are available and can use them as needed. But MT-32 compatible devices have only 9 parts that are assigned to channels 2-10 by default. The roland supplied MTGM.MID re-assigns the parts to channels 1-8, 10 which is somewhat more GM friendly but cannot cure the missing 7 channels problem. Actually you need 2 MT-32 compatible units to cure this problem. Then you can get something like this from 2 MT-32 units:
https://youtu.be/5_YNNAPPpsA

BTW, you can download my Soundfont Midi player from here:
https://falcosoft.hu/softwares.html#midiplayer
It can help you since it has MT32_GM_Mode.syx included and you can select it as a default reset SysEx. This way you do not have to play MTGM.MID all the time, just select this sysEx file as default reset:
Right click on the "first aid" like Reset button on the right hand side of the player. Then select "Select/Send Custom SysEx" menu item. It opens a dialog where you can select MT32_GM_Mode.syx. Select it and then make sure there is the checkmark next to it (right click context menu). Now you can try to play any GM files.

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Reply 3 of 10, by Strahssis

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Hey, The Soundfont MIDI player worked okay, but the results seem to vary among the MIDI files I play with it. MTGM.MID works perfectly so far. Thanks for the help! 😀

Mimi: AMD K6-2/266, S3 Trio64, Diamond Monster 3D II, Sound Blaster CT2800, 32MB RAM
Satellite 220CS: Pentium 133, SVGA DSTN, Sound Blaster Pro, 64MB RAM
Contura 420CX: 486DX4 75, VGA TFT, Roland Serial MIDI, 16MB RAM

Reply 4 of 10, by Falcosoft

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Strahssis wrote on 2023-07-21, 21:22:

Hey, The Soundfont MIDI player worked okay, but the results seem to vary among the MIDI files I play with it. MTGM.MID works perfectly so far. Thanks for the help! 😀

What do you mean by "the results seem to vary among the MIDI files " ?
Do you mean some GM files do have correct instrument maps and some do not?
If this is the situation then try to increase the Delay between SysEx chunks and Delay after last SysEx chunk values in the Send/Select SysEx dialog. The default values are more for soft synths than real HW devices. Try e.g. 40 ms and 60 ms respectively.
And of course make sure that MT32_GM_Mode.syx is really selected as default reset SysEx. 😀

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Reply 5 of 10, by Strahssis

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Thanks for the advice. I meant that some files were played with the wrong instruments and changing the delay fixed that. The other problem I was running into with some songs is that the octave in some channels is wrong and that some notes are played shorter then they should. They are played very staccato. I did play around with the sustain button, chorus and reverb a bit in the UI and though this did make it better with some files, but the overall sound isn't as spot on as with MTGM.MID + Windows Media Player.

Mimi: AMD K6-2/266, S3 Trio64, Diamond Monster 3D II, Sound Blaster CT2800, 32MB RAM
Satellite 220CS: Pentium 133, SVGA DSTN, Sound Blaster Pro, 64MB RAM
Contura 420CX: 486DX4 75, VGA TFT, Roland Serial MIDI, 16MB RAM

Reply 6 of 10, by Falcosoft

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Strahssis wrote on 2023-07-22, 19:48:

Thanks for the advice. I meant that some files were played with the wrong instruments and changing the delay fixed that. The other problem I was running into with some songs is that the octave in some channels is wrong and that some notes are played shorter then they should. They are played very staccato. I did play around with the sustain button, chorus and reverb a bit in the UI and though this did make it better with some files, but the overall sound isn't as spot on as with MTGM.MID + Windows Media Player.

The octave of Piano 1 is actually wrong in case of Roland's MTGM.MID. Namely it is 1 octave down compared to GM standard piano. My SysEx file actually just fixed this problem ( I tested this with Munt).
Just for curiosity : What is the situation if you select GM_ON.syx option instead of MT32_GM_Mode.syx and play MTGM.MID from FSMP's playlist similar to how you do this with Windows Media Player?
BTW, What kind of PC and Windows version do you use?

@Edit:
I made a test video about the octave bug. I could only test with Munt so I'm curious that your real MT-32 behaves the same or not:
https://youtu.be/D4nz_ecTcRk

First I uploaded MTGM.mid to Munt VSTi and played back the test song that used Piano 1 on channel 1. Then I uploaded MT32_GM_Mode.syx to Munt VSTi and played back the same song. As you can hear it is 1 octace up compared to MTGM.
Then I played the same song on a GM synth (MS GM/GS Soft synth). As you can hear the proper octave is the one used by MT32_GM_Mode.syx.
Can you repeat this test on your unit and tell me if you got the same results or not? Thanks in advance. I have also uploaded the test song here:

Filename
TH16 - A Midsummer Fairy's Dream.zip
File size
29.1 KiB
Downloads
52 downloads
File license
Public domain

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Reply 7 of 10, by Strahssis

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Honestly I haven't noticed that yet. Maybe it is just me, but the octave of Piano 1 seemed fine to me in Windows Media Player after I loaded MTGM.MID.

"What is the situation if you select GM_ON.syx option instead of MT32_GM_Mode.syx and play MTGM.MID from FSMP's playlist similar to how you do this with Windows Media Player?"
--> I tried and I got the exact same result as when I loaded MT32_GM_Mode.syx in FSMP from the start.

"What kind of PC and Windows version do you use?"
--> *ASUS H81M-C
*Intel Core i5-4460
*16GB DDR 3 1600MHz
*ASUS R7 240 4GB GDDR3
*Windows 7 SP1 x64 Home Premium
I connect the Roland RA-50 using a MidiLink Mini or a generic USB-MIDI adapter. Both give the same results in FSMP.

"Can you repeat this test on your unit and tell me if you got the same results or not?"
--> I got the same result as in the YouTube video when performing this test. Actually TH16 - A Midsummer Fairy's Dream.mid sounded good after loading MT32_GM_Mode.syx. There were no staccato notes, wrong octaves, wrong instruments or any other weird glitches.

Mimi: AMD K6-2/266, S3 Trio64, Diamond Monster 3D II, Sound Blaster CT2800, 32MB RAM
Satellite 220CS: Pentium 133, SVGA DSTN, Sound Blaster Pro, 64MB RAM
Contura 420CX: 486DX4 75, VGA TFT, Roland Serial MIDI, 16MB RAM

Reply 8 of 10, by Falcosoft

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Strahssis wrote on 2023-07-23, 13:25:

--> I got the same result as in the YouTube video when performing this test. Actually TH16 - A Midsummer Fairy's Dream.mid sounded good after loading MT32_GM_Mode.syx. There were no staccato notes, wrong octaves, wrong instruments or any other weird glitches.

Thanks for your test. But your result actually confirms what I said above: MTGM's Piano has the wrong octave and MT32_GM_Mode.syx has the right one, not the other way around (and according to your test this is true for hardware devices also not just for emulation).
As for the staccato effect: I have the strong feeling that your device still processses the sent SysEx messages while playback starts. You can try to further increase SysEx delays to test this. Increase the Delay between SysEx chunks to 50 ms and Delay after last SysEx chunk to 200 ms. MTGM.mid pushes the same amount of information to the unit for 18 seconds after all.
You can also try to run MT32_GM_Mode.syx only once in the Select/Send SysEx dialog (just press the Send button after you selected MT32_GM_Mode.syx). Then select GM_On.syx as your Reset option. This should give you the same result as playing MTGM.mid (except the Piano octave fix).

BTW, to confirm for yourself MTGM.mid's Piano octave bug the best method is to press e.g. middle C on FSMP's virtual keyboard when MTMG is loaded. Then switch to a GM device (e.g. MS GS soft synth) and press middle C on FSMP's virtual keyborad again. You should hear the octave difference (bug).

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Reply 9 of 10, by orcish75

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Not exactly what you're looking for, but DosBox-X has a midi record function in it, so you can play games that have MT-32 soundtracks and record them to midi files as you play. Use the Soundfont Midi Player mentioned above to play those midi files back on your MT-32. I've ripped most of the Monkey Island tunes and a few Sierra tunes this way. At least you'll have some genuine MT-32 midi files using this method.

Reply 10 of 10, by TamaMan

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For easy GM/GS MIDI file playback in DOS with a Roland MT-32, the Roland SMF Player 1.25 provides a MT32 "MIDI GM Emulation In-Out Driver, for Roland MT-32 Synthesizers" driver. This is most likely similar/the same than running MTGM.MID but embedded in the driver.