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MT-32 cable options

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First post, by clueless1

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I recently acquired an MT-32 old along with a MIDIMAN MM-401 interface card. I have the Roland power supply brick, but no other cables. I will be using this in my 486 PC with an Audician 32 Plus. Here's what I've gathered I need cable-wise:
MM-401 out to MT-32 in:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MIDI-DB9-Female-to-Du … JgAAOSwmgJY4Cx2
I can't find any other of these with longer cables. 1 foot seems pretty limiting; I'd need to keep the MT-32 very close to the PC. Any other options that would extend this cable length?

MT-32 out to Audician 32 Plus line-in:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-ft-Twin-Male-1-4-6- … h8AAOSwpRRWmB8T
This one seems pretty obvious.

Just want to check myself to make sure I'm not accidentally buying the wrong cable! Thanks in advance, guys.

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Reply 1 of 22, by TheMobRules

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For the DB9 to DIN cable you posted, which of the two DIN connectors is the MIDI OUT that will connect to your MT-32 MIDI IN? If it's the female, you can then just connect that to a regular MIDI cable of your desired length.

If the MIDI OUT is actually the male connector, you will need to add some kind of DIN gender changer in between the DB9-DIN and the regular MIDI cable. I think Phil mentioned those in one of his videos.

The other cable is fine, anyone of those 2 x 1/4 to 3.5mm stereo will do.

Reply 2 of 22, by clueless1

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The DB9 to DIN cable in my link looks like the same one that Phil shows in his MT-32 tutorial when he's talking about the MIDIMAN card. Here's a link right at the time stamp he discusses this:
https://youtu.be/OLvsaJ4h-VY?t=4260
The rectangular 9 pin end should go into the back of the MIDIMAN and is MIDI out. The two round ends go into the MT-32 MIDI-IN ports.

That's how I understood it anyway. 😜

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Reply 3 of 22, by keropi

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Do you need a breakout cable? the pinout is here: MIDIMAN MM-401 breakout cable
You are supposed to connect to it a standard male-male midi cable (they come in various lengths) so it can be quite long. I can make you a breakout cable if you can't do it yourself (or maybe a mm401_db9->midi_male at some specified length if that's what you need).

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Reply 4 of 22, by clueless1

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keropi wrote:

Do you need a breakout cable? the pinout is here: MIDIMAN MM-401 breakout cable
You are supposed to connect to it a standard male-male midi cable (they come in various lengths) so it can be quite long. I can make you a breakout cable if you can't do it yourself (or maybe a mm401_db9->midi_male at some specified length if that's what you need).

I don't know? I thought the cable I linked in my first post would accomplish all I needed. What's different about this breakout cable?

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Reply 5 of 22, by keropi

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Now I see it better... it's weird as one connector is male and the other female. Well in any case you are supposed to use an extra midi cable to connect your MT-32 , the same as the music quest, midiland, steinberg etc they just use the breakout cables to convert the DB9 plug to a midi one, nothing more.

The one on eBay is not certain that it is for a midiman or any other mpu... the male connector is uncommon.

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Reply 6 of 22, by clueless1

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keropi wrote:

Now I see it better... it's weird as one connector is male and the other female. Well in any case you are supposed to use an extra midi cable to connect your MT-32 , the same as the music quest, midiland, steinberg etc they just use the breakout cables to convert the DB9 plug to a midi one, nothing more.

The one on eBay is not certain that it is for a midiman or any other mpu... the male connector is uncommon.

Cool, so do you think that one I linked from ebay would work? Looks like the round male one would go into the MIDI-In on the back of the MT-32. If that works, then it's cheap and close to me, so quick delivery.

Would this work as an extension:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Monoprice-15Ft-Midi-C … r8AAOSwrklVAXtl
one end into the round male plug of that grey cable I linked, the other end into the MT-32 MIDI-In.

edit: I notice that these MIDI DIN connectors are usually labeled IN and OUT. Are they directional? I wonder on that cable I linked in my first post that has one male and one female, is the male end OUT and the female end IN, or does it matter? Sorry for all the questions, I'm trying not to waste money by buying incorrect cables. 😵

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Reply 7 of 22, by TheMobRules

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It may work, but as keropi said the DB9 to DIN cable must have the correct pin mapping for your Midiman card (I guess there is no way to know other than asking the seller). In that case, you would need to determine which of the two DIN connectors is the output that you need to connect to the MT-32 MIDI IN.

On all the MIDI interface cards I've seen (including keropi's MQ clone), the included breakout cable has two female connectors, so I'm unfamiliar with this one.

Reply 8 of 22, by keropi

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Well, like TheMobRules mentions one cannot know if the pinout on the ebay cable is correct. it's basically a lottery at this point.
It is possible they labeled in/out using female/male connectors on the breakout cable but we can't really know... if you just need playback from the mt-32 then connecting MPU-OUT to the MT32-IN port is all you need, if you also need to receive data from the MT-32 (music composing etc) then you also need the MPU-IN connected to the MT32-OUT port. That will complete the circle and make it bi-directional. (for games you don't need to bother with the mpu-in cable at all).

You can take a midi cable like the one on the ebay you linked, cut one end and solder there a DB9 connector using the info from the other thread, then you'll have a working mpu~mt32 connection for playback .

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Reply 9 of 22, by PhilsComputerLab

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Yea best to build it yourself. In the meantime you can get a joystick MIDI cable and use the Audician 32 as MIDI card.

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Reply 10 of 22, by clueless1

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Okay, I actually think I might have some 9 pin serial to DIN cables in my stash at home. I have to look when I get back. If so, then I can give a crack at making my own. Thank you everyone for your help. 😎

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Reply 11 of 22, by gdjacobs

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Test the pre made one first as it may be correct for the Midiman card. Just use a continuity meter to verify the pin mapping.

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Reply 12 of 22, by clueless1

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I made this cable from what I had available to me. The 9-pin male I desoldered from the backplane of a PCI serial card. The 5-pin DIN is from an AT keyboard extension cable. I have the 9-pin end plugged into the back of the MIDIMAN, and the DIN end into the MIDI-In of the MT-32. Unfortunately, either it's not working or I'm doing something wrong in testing. I don't currently have the audio out cables so I'm relying on the MT-32 LCD, watching for it to display text when I load games. It doesn't seem to be working. But in addition to a soldering or wiring mistake, it could be the MIDIMAN card, it could be port config and probably other things I'm not thinking of.

I cut the female end of the keyboard cable off, used a multimeter to trace the cables that belong to pins 1 and 6 (referencing Solarstorm's pinout photo in the other thread), then soldered those to the appropriate pins on the 9-pin end. I soldered the ground wire to one of the leads that originally soldered to the PCI serial card (the far left connection on the top photo). I realize these photos don't reveal much, but it's what I got at the moment.

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I don't do a lot of soldering, so I'm sure I could have messed up in multiple places. If you spot something in these photos, can you point it out to me?

Thanks!

Last edited by clueless1 on 2017-06-23, 16:21. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 13 of 22, by keropi

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can you check with a multimeter and show us which pin connects where? Have you tried soldering the cables on the DB9 the other way around? (pins 1 and 6 , swap them)

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Reply 14 of 22, by clueless1

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Well, the cable seems to be okay. I did continuity tests with the multimeter and everything seems fine, even GND beeps where it's supposed to and not on any pins. Here is a sketch of the pinout I made as I was tracing the wires:

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So Orange tones with pin 6 and Brown tones with pin 1. Red tones with any of the outside metal.

and the inside of each end of the cable:

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No, I have not swapped around pins 1 and 6. I suppose I could. I do notice now that the photos in that pinout thread are of a female DIN, so maybe my male end needs to be reversed?

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Reply 15 of 22, by keropi

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^ this is why I suggested swapping, at least on the DB9 port you should be able to see the pin numbering in very small molded numbers

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Reply 16 of 22, by clueless1

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Because of the way the pins come out of the DB9 port, it's easy to visually trace them. I just swapped orange and brown on pins 1 and 6 and tested for continuity. Next step is to retest on the MT-32. I'll keep you posted 😀 And thank you for your guidance!

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Reply 18 of 22, by clueless1

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keropi wrote:

nice, now let's see if it works 😁

It does! Just tested it. 😎

I'll have to play with the balance in the Audician mixer settings. Even with Line In maxed and the MT-32's knob turned to 100%, the music is much quieter than I'd like. I have to turn the speakers volume knob to about 55% to get the volume that FM has at 40%.

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Reply 19 of 22, by keropi

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Allright! so it was a mirroring issue 😀
Well, now you have to get a stereo mixer 🤣 you'll find that no balance setting between mt32/audician will work for all games 🤣

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