VOGONS


Reply 160 of 231, by RetroGamer4Ever

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Other than a high-end/more expensive version of the X2GS, using a larger higher-quality GS bank and a higher-end SAM5000 DSP, I'm not sure what you'd want. It's possible - albeit expensive and time-consuming for Mr. Dreamblaster - to use one of those higher-end chips to make a replacement desktop MIDI module that does everything the last generation of Sound Canvas/Studio Canvas modules could do. That means the standard MIDI interface, USB 2.0, SPDIF/Optical, and such, with a higher quality of sound than what those modules could do, due to the better chips and larger GS ROM data. As far as I know, none of the GM banks made for the Dream chips are GM2-compliant/compatible, so having a single bank with HQ GS sounds is something desirable for enthusiasts.

Reply 162 of 231, by RetroGamer4Ever

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elcrys wrote on 2022-01-05, 16:19:

What I meant is the exact opposite - more stripped down version of current X2GS, without USB, only 16mbyte read only GS, no line out and no preset editor. Something as simple as former Yucatan Fx.

YFX was intended to be attached to old soundcards with a Waveblaster header, to provide GS sound for retro Windows/DOS gaming use. The X2GS is it's replacement and it has the line out and USB, for use with modern computers and laptops that have no Waveblaster header, while retaining the Waveblaster header to fill the retro PC market space that was held by the YFX, until the old stock of chips ran out. Stripping down the X2GS to make a YFX replacement that already exists in the X2GS makes no sense, because it wouldn't fit anywhere in the Dreamblaster portfolio other than as a backwards, lopsided alternative competitor to the X2GS.

Reply 163 of 231, by Shreddoc

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If the world can have 56 (*not actual number) different kinds of Sound Canvas, then I don't see 2 x incarnations of the X2GS as any particular encumbrance upon the world.

For example, there's no shortage of products which also issue a no-frills 'Lite' version. I hazard a guess that is the sort of sentiment elcrys is coming from.

Of course (business-wise) there would need to be a meaningful price differentiation, else it would be difficult to market.

Reply 164 of 231, by elcrys

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Exactly, lower price is one of the main points for this potential version, apart from smaller size (although I'm not sure if there are any problems in this regard with current X2, maybe it already fits on every sound card with waveblaster header).

Reply 165 of 231, by Shreddoc

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I agree with the sentiment, in the sense that the great-sounding, just-plug-it-in-and-play, licensed GS bank is the main drawcard of the product, and everything else is just extra and won't be used by a (I would guess "significant") % of users.

I see a potential market for people who don't want the extra bits, and would rather have the extra (let's throw a dart at the wall!) ~15 euros staying in own pocket.

But whether or not that is a viable prospect (for example, "the extras" may in fact constitute very little of the cost - meaning there is no real saving to be had, on a Lite version) .... only The Maker knows.

Reply 166 of 231, by appiah4

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That kind of wavetable card was available as the YucatanFX and to be honest the cost/price was not much different from X2GS if at all, so you are probably just better off buying this, it won't get cheaper. And to be honest, as an early adopter YucatanFX owner I can only wish I had waited for the X2GS 🤣 - just get the damn thing, it's awesome.

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Reply 167 of 231, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The X2GS exists because it uses the same parts as the X2, but with a GS soundbank ROM loaded onto the 64MB memory chip. In order for your "possibly cheaper product" to exist, Mr. Dreamblaster would have to source 16MB memory chips - in addition to the 64MB ones he already gets for the X2/X2GS/X3MA/X3MB - and probably use a smaller, different PCB to compensate for the dropping of the connectivity, which are additional costs for him that are not shared with any of his other products. The USB and line-out cost practically nothing to implement, beyond some soldering time, so dropping them wouldn't "make it cheaper" in any real way. The few people who would buy it would be limited to a soundcard with Wavetable header - not many are readily available at this point and many of them weren't good to begin with - or be required to use one of the external Dreamblaster cases that has the dropped connectivity, so the cost of ownership would be similar to the X2/X2GS, if they didn't already have those things.

Reply 168 of 231, by DominatorHDX

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Just starting my 486 oldskool PC build project and so registered on this forum. This is my first post btw 😀

I've purchased the X2GS waveblaster add-on and stuck it to my A-Trend ATC-6631 Yamaha YMF-719E-S sound card and it sound great! If General MIDI is an option in the game sound setup, I choose that. Works fine. But in the sound setup for for example Doom etc. you can also choose "Sound Canvas" and "WaveBlaster" (both with the same port settings). They all work and to me it sounds the same.

Question:Is there in fact a difference between choosing General MIDI, Sound Canvas or WaveBlaster? If so, Which is beter or more compatible? Or perhaps it doesn't matter at all?

Thanx in advance for any answers and looking forward to future reading/posting on this forum!

"We're glad you could play Space Quest IV. As usual, you've been a real pantload!" -Gary Owens, Space Quest IV

Reply 169 of 231, by RetroGamer4Ever

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DOOM music is 100% Corn Flake General MIDI and does not use Roland GS instruments. The same goes for DOOM 2. The selections you see in that setup menu are just to make it "idiot proof" and they are all the same, as far as the game is concerned. Just use whatever GM-compliant MIDI synth (hardware or software) you want and that's all you need to think about.

Reply 170 of 231, by DominatorHDX

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-01-07, 15:00:

DOOM music is 100% Corn Flake General MIDI and does not use Roland GS instruments. The same goes for DOOM 2. The selections you see in that setup menu are just to make it "idiot proof" and they are all the same, as far as the game is concerned. Just use whatever GM-compliant MIDI synth (hardware or software) you want and that's all you need to think about.

OK thanks. If a game can/does use Roland GS instruments and the sound setup has options for General MIDI and Sound Canvas, would it than be better to choose Sound Canvas (which ofcourse is from Roland) or would it still not matter what you choose and choosing General MIDI would sound exactly the same?

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Reply 171 of 231, by RetroGamer4Ever

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DominatorHDX wrote on 2022-01-07, 15:38:
RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-01-07, 15:00:

DOOM music is 100% Corn Flake General MIDI and does not use Roland GS instruments. The same goes for DOOM 2. The selections you see in that setup menu are just to make it "idiot proof" and they are all the same, as far as the game is concerned. Just use whatever GM-compliant MIDI synth (hardware or software) you want and that's all you need to think about.

OK thanks. If a game can/does use Roland GS instruments and the sound setup has options for General MIDI and Sound Canvas, would it than be better to choose Sound Canvas (which ofcourse is from Roland) or would it still not matter what you choose and choosing General MIDI would sound exactly the same?

You need to research which games ACTUALLY use Roland GS MIDI and pick your settings accordingly, based on the hardware you are using. Some games will be GM, but will use Roland SC commands with the SC hardware, for compatibility purposes when that option is selected. Just pick whatever option matches the hardware you have and your experience will be fine almost all of the time. GM music will sound great with the X2GS' Roland GS bank, so there's no need to switch to a GM bank, unless you just want a specific sound offered by whatever bank you load into the 48MB accessible portion of the memory. If I ever get the X2GS, I'll just keep it set to GS and not waste my time with a GM bank.

Reply 172 of 231, by Shreddoc

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RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-01-07, 12:33:

The X2GS exists because it uses the same parts as the X2, but with a GS soundbank ROM loaded onto the 64MB memory chip. In order for your "possibly cheaper product" to exist, Mr. Dreamblaster would have to source 16MB memory chips - in addition to the 64MB ones he already gets for the X2/X2GS/X3MA/X3MB - and probably use a smaller, different PCB to compensate for the dropping of the connectivity, which are additional costs for him that are not shared with any of his other products. The USB and line-out cost practically nothing to implement, beyond some soldering time, so dropping them wouldn't "make it cheaper" in any real way. The few people who would buy it would be limited to a soundcard with Wavetable header - not many are readily available at this point and many of them weren't good to begin with - or be required to use one of the external Dreamblaster cases that has the dropped connectivity, so the cost of ownership would be similar to the X2/X2GS, if they didn't already have those things.

A good portion of serdaco's products are either MIDI modules with (and in many case, based around) waveblaster headers, or supplementary products which provide waveblaster headers. So I don't agree that "limited to a soundcard with a Wavetable header" would be some kind of unusual form for the business. It seems to me that they actually built their business around people with wavetable headers, who wanted to populate them with cool things. Sure they've branched out a bit since, but their inventory is still plenty full of wavetable header -based items.

Nonetheless, it would be unfortunate but understandable if the effort to produce a no-frills version of the X2GS outweighs the demand. I can only speak for my own tiny corner of the demand side, and say that my sole interest in the product is the quality licensed bank, and any extra functions means I'd simply be paying for features that I don't want.

And so, I admire, but I'm not currently buying - my real Sound Canvas does me fine. The second such person to express similar sentiment here in the past 24hrs. Ultimately I'm just giving feedback that I've got 70E here burning a hole in my pocket, that I'd gladly give over to the maker of an X2GS Lite, but that if one is never made, that's fine too. 😀

Reply 173 of 231, by havli

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The idea of "lite" version sounds really good. I might even buy that.
Btw - it would be interesting to know how many people use the X2 (X2GS) connected do their retro audiocard and how many use them as USB attached MIDI device.

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Reply 174 of 231, by SuperDeadite

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havli wrote on 2022-01-08, 13:13:

The idea of "lite" version sounds really good. I might even buy that.
Btw - it would be interesting to know how many people use the X2 (X2GS) connected do their retro audiocard and how many use them as USB attached MIDI device.

I have the original X2, I prefer to keep mine mounted inside Korg NS5R. This makes it very easy to use on all my systems both retro and modern. As I already have plenty of Roland modules, I see no reason to purchase the X2GS. I absolutely love the Buran and GUD sound banks though.

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2

Reply 175 of 231, by fuchal

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Got my X2GS today. The free shipping was very fast. Its plugged into my Vortex 2 and it sounds incredible! A huge improvement over the Vortex softsynth and more pleasant and punchy than the Yamaha I have. I’ve noticed some performance improvements as well from not having to run a software synth.

Reply 176 of 231, by dreamblaster

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Nice demo of X2GS on an Amstrad CPC, by Michael Wessel : https://youtu.be/jTj-EcoIfkQ

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 177 of 231, by digger

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Question for dreamblaster and others here:

After the X2GS, which would be the best sounding General MIDI wavetable board available on Serdashop? I know this question is somewhat subjective, but I'm gathering opinions and recommendations.

As I said a while back, I don't like the legal restrictions of the Roland license, but I'm still in the market for a nice sounding Waveblaster-compatible wavetable board.

Don't take me wrong, I'm not judging anybody who's buying the X2GS anyway. It's a quality product that many people like. It's just not for me. 🙂

I accept that a "second best" option might still not sound as good. That's okay. As long as it sounds decent and touches the nostalgia nerves enough for me.

I can open a separate topic for this, if people prefer. Or maybe some of you can point me in the right direction by posting links to relevant existing topics about good alternatives.

Thanks.

Reply 178 of 231, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The X3MB with Buran sound-bank is highly regarded. Apart from that, there's the X2, which is what the X2GS is built on, just without the GS bank. They are the three most advanced wavetable MIDI products on Serdashop at this time. If you're doing retro gaming on retro hardware, those three products are the only ones currently worth considering, in my opinion. You can also go with the MT-32 emulation products, if applicable to your setup.

Reply 179 of 231, by badmojo

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The little ESS board sounds great and will definitely touch a nostalgia nerve - a cheap option then and now but an authentic 90s experience.

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