VOGONS


First post, by maverick85

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I am debating whether to buy on or the other. I'm looking at some ebay listings for SC-55 but all are available from Japan. Will they work in the UK. They don't come with adaptor. Has anyone imported a sound canvas fromJapan to Europe and how did you power it? any issues?

ASRock 98
Win98SE Desktop
ASRock
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
1 x 512MB 667 MHz DDR2
Soundblaster SB0100 + Altec Lansing ADA885
ATi Radeon X800XT 256MB GDDR3
1 x SATA 120GB HDD
1 x SATA DVD-RW

Reply 2 of 22, by RetroGamer4Ever

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

For newer systems that have no soundcard and older systems that use a soundcard with waveblaster header, the X2GS is the better choice, as it easily matches and exceeds the SC-55. For the ASRock 98 system you show in your post, the best choice would be to ditch the Sound Blaster Live! for a different soundcard, which has a waveblaster header and install the X2GS on it. In order to use the SC-55 in the UK, you will need to find a third-party UK adapter, which isn't hard to get if you look around online.

Reply 3 of 22, by maverick85

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I'm digging the sound of XCOM and system shock on the sc-55 compared to the X2GS. I have an aureal 2 and a YMF744B I can pair the X2GS.

ASRock 98
Win98SE Desktop
ASRock
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
1 x 512MB 667 MHz DDR2
Soundblaster SB0100 + Altec Lansing ADA885
ATi Radeon X800XT 256MB GDDR3
1 x SATA 120GB HDD
1 x SATA DVD-RW

Reply 4 of 22, by RetroGamer4Ever

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-03, 09:03:

I'm digging the sound of XCOM and system shock on the sc-55 compared to the X2GS. I have an aureal 2 and a YMF744B I can pair the X2GS.

Out of the box, the X2GS sounds a bit off to many people who are used to the old Roland modules, but once you tweak the audio output of the chip with the DREAM DSP software, it sounds pretty good, if you have solid speakers.

Reply 5 of 22, by Joseph_Joestar

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-03, 08:40:

Has anyone imported a sound canvas fromJapan to Europe and how did you power it? any issues?

My SC-155 came with a third party adapter which seemed to cause some buzzing.

I replaced it with a PSA-230S which you can buy directly from Boss/Roland today. It's the modern equivalent of the SC-155 adapter made for the European market.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / Audigy1 / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3400+ / Asus K8V-MX / 5900XT / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 6 of 22, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Tree Wyrm wrote on 2022-05-03, 08:55:

SC-55 uses external power supply (9V, center negative). You can use a modern one, like Roland PSB-1U. No issues at all, I use one.
Be aware that SC-88 models use internal power supply.

SC-88VL uses an external PSU as well . Less heat inside the chassis is always a good thing as well.

Reply 7 of 22, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-05-03, 09:08:
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-03, 09:03:

I'm digging the sound of XCOM and system shock on the sc-55 compared to the X2GS. I have an aureal 2 and a YMF744B I can pair the X2GS.

Out of the box, the X2GS sounds a bit off to many people who are used to the old Roland modules, but once you tweak the audio output of the chip with the DREAM DSP software, it sounds pretty good, if you have solid speakers.

Any baseline preset suggestions you could share ? I have an X2GS on the way.

Reply 8 of 22, by dionb

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

Tbh the big question here isn't specifially how the devices sound, but how you want to use them.

An X2GS module connects to a single sound card in a single machine. That means no external wires or figuring out how to get sound from two different devices to your speakers. But of course it also means you are stuck with playback just on that one card in that one PC.

If you don't see yourself ever having more than one PC, or wanting to play with sound cards that may not have a wavetable header, then the X2GS is a much better idea. If you want to get GM sound from different PCs, or want to swap around sound cards, an external module is a far better idea. Of course, you can turn the X2GS into an external module by getting the CHiLLbox enclosure - or going for the X3MB with optional Buran enclosure.

Reply 9 of 22, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Most Roland modules in my experience use external power adapters. I've bought a number of them including an SC-55 from Japan and used generic AC/DC adapters without issues.

The only Roland modules have run across that have internal transformers are the SC-88 and SC-88 Pro. If you're ever looking to get one of those modules, you'll want one for your local AC voltage.

My YouTube channel (retro game music)

Reply 10 of 22, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
dionb wrote on 2022-05-03, 14:39:

Tbh the big question here isn't specifially how the devices sound, but how you want to use them.

An X2GS module connects to a single sound card in a single machine. That means no external wires or figuring out how to get sound from two different devices to your speakers. But of course it also means you are stuck with playback just on that one card in that one PC.

If you don't see yourself ever having more than one PC, or wanting to play with sound cards that may not have a wavetable header, then the X2GS is a much better idea. If you want to get GM sound from different PCs, or want to swap around sound cards, an external module is a far better idea. Of course, you can turn the X2GS into an external module by getting the CHiLLbox enclosure - or going for the X3MB with optional Buran enclosure.

I highly recommend a CHiLLbox (currently have an X2 in mine). In my setup, it is practically noiseless (better than the X2 being mounted on a soundcard in one of my retro PCs).

EDIT : Corrected typo

Last edited by darry on 2022-05-03, 20:55. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 11 of 22, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Shponglefan wrote on 2022-05-03, 14:50:

Most Roland modules in my experience use external power adapters. I've bought a number of them including an SC-55 from Japan and used generic AC/DC adapters without issues.

The only Roland modules have run across that have internal transformers are the SC-88 and SC-88 Pro. If you're ever looking to get one of those modules, you'll want one for your local AC voltage.

The SC-D70 has an internal PSU as well and seems to handle a variety of voltages (including European mains voltage, according to at least one poster). Questions on running/testing a Japanese 100v sound module (Roland SC-D70) on a North American 120V power grid .

Reply 12 of 22, by Shponglefan

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
darry wrote on 2022-05-03, 14:58:

The SC-D70 has an internal PSU as well and seems to handle a variety of voltages (including European mains voltage, according to at least one poster).

Good point, forgot about that one. (Which I should have known since I do own one.) 😄

On that note, the SD-90 also has an internal transformer as well.

Out of curiosity, I just popped the lids on both my SC-D70 and SD-90's to look at the internal power supplies. My SC-D70 is from Japan and listed for 100V, whereas my SD-90 is listed at 117V.

Yet it looks like they have near identical internal PSUs. The difference seems to be a marking on the transformer itself (one is marked "Z0721H z", the other marked "Z0721H H").

My YouTube channel (retro game music)

Reply 13 of 22, by RetroGamer4Ever

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
darry wrote on 2022-05-03, 14:32:
RetroGamer4Ever wrote on 2022-05-03, 09:08:
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-03, 09:03:

I'm digging the sound of XCOM and system shock on the sc-55 compared to the X2GS. I have an aureal 2 and a YMF744B I can pair the X2GS.

Out of the box, the X2GS sounds a bit off to many people who are used to the old Roland modules, but once you tweak the audio output of the chip with the DREAM DSP software, it sounds pretty good, if you have solid speakers.

Any baseline preset suggestions you could share ? I have an X2GS on the way.

I don't know any off the top of my head, but there are other discussions which have detailed information about tuning the levels of the output for the X2/X2GS using the software and downloadable presets.

Reply 14 of 22, by maverick85

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Opted for the xg2s in the end

ASRock 98
Win98SE Desktop
ASRock
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
1 x 512MB 667 MHz DDR2
Soundblaster SB0100 + Altec Lansing ADA885
ATi Radeon X800XT 256MB GDDR3
1 x SATA 120GB HDD
1 x SATA DVD-RW

Reply 15 of 22, by maverick85

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

I've setup the x2gs in my 440bx voodoo3 vortex2 build. Some of the sounds are underwhelming and subdued like the guitar riff at the end of the xcom intro and parts of aoe soundtrack I've tried two separate headphones...

ASRock 98
Win98SE Desktop
ASRock
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
1 x 512MB 667 MHz DDR2
Soundblaster SB0100 + Altec Lansing ADA885
ATi Radeon X800XT 256MB GDDR3
1 x SATA 120GB HDD
1 x SATA DVD-RW

Reply 16 of 22, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-12, 21:24:

I've setup the x2gs in my 440bx voodoo3 vortex2 build. Some of the sounds are underwhelming and subdued like the guitar riff at the end of the xcom intro and parts of aoe soundtrack I've tried two separate headphones...

Was that with the Roland licensed X2GS soundbank, the Buran soundbank (default at power up) or with both ?

I presume that you know how to switch to the Roland licensed soundbank through SYSEX .

By the way, does a GS RESET or GM RESET SYSEX sequence reset to the default soundbank ? (I presume it does not).

Reply 17 of 22, by maverick85

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member
darry wrote on 2022-05-13, 02:29:
Was that with the Roland licensed X2GS soundbank, the Buran soundbank (default at power up) or with both ? […]
Show full quote
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-12, 21:24:

I've setup the x2gs in my 440bx voodoo3 vortex2 build. Some of the sounds are underwhelming and subdued like the guitar riff at the end of the xcom intro and parts of aoe soundtrack I've tried two separate headphones...

Was that with the Roland licensed X2GS soundbank, the Buran soundbank (default at power up) or with both ?

I presume that you know how to switch to the Roland licensed soundbank through SYSEX .

By the way, does a GS RESET or GM RESET SYSEX sequence reset to the default soundbank ? (I presume it does not).

Hi, I don't know how to do that. I've extracted the DOS games from the pc gamer July 2000 (?) cover disc and opened them from inside Windows 98. Before doing that I changed the sounds seeing in multimedia to mpu-401 and choose general midi for music

ASRock 98
Win98SE Desktop
ASRock
Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 3.0GHz
1 x 512MB 667 MHz DDR2
Soundblaster SB0100 + Altec Lansing ADA885
ATi Radeon X800XT 256MB GDDR3
1 x SATA 120GB HDD
1 x SATA DVD-RW

Reply 18 of 22, by darry

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-13, 03:57:
darry wrote on 2022-05-13, 02:29:
Was that with the Roland licensed X2GS soundbank, the Buran soundbank (default at power up) or with both ? […]
Show full quote
maverick85 wrote on 2022-05-12, 21:24:

I've setup the x2gs in my 440bx voodoo3 vortex2 build. Some of the sounds are underwhelming and subdued like the guitar riff at the end of the xcom intro and parts of aoe soundtrack I've tried two separate headphones...

Was that with the Roland licensed X2GS soundbank, the Buran soundbank (default at power up) or with both ?

I presume that you know how to switch to the Roland licensed soundbank through SYSEX .

By the way, does a GS RESET or GM RESET SYSEX sequence reset to the default soundbank ? (I presume it does not).

Hi, I don't know how to do that. I've extracted the DOS games from the pc gamer July 2000 (?) cover disc and opened them from inside Windows 98. Before doing that I changed the sounds seeing in multimedia to mpu-401 and choose general midi for music

Based on https://serdaco.com/downloads/X2/?dir=X2GS_Documentation ,

you need to download either https://serdaco.com/downloads/X2/X2GS_Documen … on/BANKMIDI.zip or https://serdaco.com/downloads/X2/X2GS_Documen … tion%20MIDI.zip and play either X2GSBANK.MID or Dreamblaster X2GS - GS Soundbank.mid (same file content, different file name) on the X2GS to switch it to the Roland licensed GS bank before playing a game if you want to use that GS bank .

Otherwise, the default user bank (Buran) is used . After a power cycle, the X2GS defaults to the default user bank (Buran) once again, so replaying one of those aforementioned MIDI files is required to switch it back to the GS bank, if desired .

The reality is the exact opposite of what I wrote above. The default is the X2GS bank. Thank you to @Falcosoft for pointing this out .

That being said, if you don't like the GS bank for some songs/games, you should try the Buran bank ( just play the appropriate MIDI file to switch banks).

I believe could even try the 16MB Dream Cleanwave
128 bank (which you would need to upload as a replacement for the Buran bank). That is possible on the original X2, and, I surmise also in the X2GS, if I am not mistaken .

Last edited by darry on 2022-05-13, 13:06. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 19 of 22, by Falcosoft

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
darry wrote on 2022-05-13, 04:54:

Otherwise, the default user bank (Buran) is used . After a power cycle, the X2GS defaults to the default user bank (Buran) once again, so replaying one of those aforementioned MIDI files is required to switch it back to the GS bank, if desired .

It's exactly the other way around. DB X2GS's default bank is the Roland bank.
You can change the Roland bank to Buran with a sequence of NRPN messages (not SysEx). The above linked Midi files just do this.
But after a reset/reboot the Roland bank will be the active bank again unless you explicitly close a jumper marked as 'J2' (actually 2 holes in case of the current design) .
BTW it's worth trying the Buran bank since it has higher quality instruments (especially guitars) if you are not a Roland Sound Canvas fan/purist.

Website, Facebook, Youtube
Falcosoft Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi topic