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vintage-sierra.net • View topic - Buying a Roland MT-32
Page 1 of 1

Buying a Roland MT-32

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2007 3:43 am
by scott3107
I'm in the process of getting the gear together to build the ultimate "quest" machine.

I want to included a Sound Blaster 16 and a Roland MT-32. I don't know much about the Roland MT-32 though. There seem to be a fair few on sale on eBay. Will they all work or is there anything special I need to know? What cables do you need to hook them into a PC etc?

Thanks to anyone that can help!

PostPosted: Sun Nov 18, 2007 10:49 am
by MusicallyInspired
Good choices! All you need is a midi to sound card adapter. One end has a plug that goes into the joystick/midi port of your soundcard (plus another cable that comes out of that port so you can still plug your joystick in it at the same time) and the other end has two midi cables (one IN and one OUT). They go for fairly cheap and music stores. Probably computer stores as well. That's all you need.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2007 9:58 am
by scott3107

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2007 3:17 am
by vintagegames

PostPosted: Fri Nov 30, 2007 6:55 am
by Spike

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 3:30 am
by vintagegames
I tend to disagree for several reasons:

1. Although the Wikipedia excerpt mainly targets the differences between both modes from a performance point of view, the main point is there: If you don't have intelligent mode, the software that is using the interface has to do all the work. So talking about an ancient Sierra MT32 driver of a 286, it certianly doesn't fall into the category "with computers becoming more powerful". All things I read and tried suggest that it relies on the hardware to do the work.

Quite a good point, but of course subjective:
2. I have tried the SB approach, and it did not work properly until ... see 3.

The most obvious point:

3. For what reason is there an (inoffocial) SB patch for the MT32 driver available if just the SB alone works already?
http://www.queststudios.com/roland/utilities.html
When I used this, everything worked - at least for Sierra, that is.

But you are of course free to try it anyway. If it doesn't work, the patch is applied very quickly. So you cannot actually buy the wrong hardware.



The only thing that I don't get is why the SysEx messages as such should depend on the interface mode.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 4:42 am
by Spike
I used an AWE32 as my MPU-401 interface on my Pentium 1 (166 MHz) for a long time, in fact, I still use that machine for playing old games.

It produces the SysEx messages and the MT-32 plays back normally.

The unofficial driver is used for making the cards fully compatible. I confess I forgot about that, since it's been a long time since I was into the MIDI side of music (I'm more digital these days). Plus, it's been a long time since I first got my MT-32 and had to think about these things.

But the point being, you can use a Sound Blaster (or really anything) for an MPU-401, and there's no quality difference or any noticeable difference at all. Except on your wallet or patience :)

- Spike

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:40 am
by MusicallyInspired
I have multiple Sound Blaster compatible cards and all of them work just fine with all Sierra games without any patches of any kind without a true MPU-401. Strange.

Of course I use a intelligent-capable MIDI interface card anyway, but it works just fine without.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:54 pm
by scott3107
So what's the conclusion? Can I use a SB16 or SB32 midi interface to run an MT-32?

Cheers!

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:49 am
by Spike

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 5:05 am
by scott3107

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2007 7:01 am
by MusicallyInspired