PCEm and Real MT-32

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serrith
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PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Sat 27 Jun, 2015 6:03 pm

Lo everyone and first a big thank you for this awesome piece of software.
I adored PC gaming when i was little and i still do, but nothing gives me that thrill like a good old pc running dos, and your program allows me to do so without assembling a vintage computer myself. (I have no room for it :( )

Ok i have a weird question. I am a bit of a midi nut and i use a few midi devices to get that authentic sound again :

1.) Roland Sound Canvas 55 MK II
2.) Roland MT-32 (first generation)
3.) Roland Sound Canvas 8850

I was thrilled to notice that any midi playback was directly sent to the roland UM-ONE isb/midi interface. So games using normal General Midi sounded perfectly (sometimes with the use of SOFTMPU).

However, games using an MT-32 all sound wrong, i never receive any sysex message to the device so specific sounds aren't getting programmed and even normal instruments sound completely wrong.
For example, the classic sierra games and others used to send message to the display while programming the device and i cannot see those as well.
So it makes me think anything sysex related does'nt get passed to the device.

Is this normal behaviour at the moment or is it a bug ?
I tried with and without SOFTMPU and with /DELAYSYSEX but nothing seems to work.
Any way to get it to work ?

I use a compiled dynarec build (PCem_v9_rev216) but even the normal latest build exhibits the same problem.

Also, i use an intel I7 920 processor clocked at 3.4Ghz and i struggle to emulate a 486DX4 75 Hz computer, i suppose i'm just not giving it enough juice or should i be able to handle higher speeds ?

many thanks !

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SarahWalker
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by SarahWalker » Sat 27 Jun, 2015 6:38 pm

PCem doesn't currently support sysex messages; I wasn't aware of how they were handled when I wrote the Windows MIDI code, and don't have any hardware to test them with. If you're willing to test a patch, I can attempt to implement it and post a patch here.

For the performance, it depends on what you're running. For most stuff an i7 at 3.4GHz maxing out at DX4/75 sounds about right for the interpreter, I'd expect the recompiler to run somewhat quicker unless you run something that hits one of the problem areas in the current design.

serrith
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Sat 27 Jun, 2015 7:56 pm

Sure i'm willing to test a patch as long as it does not fry my midi modules lol.

I must warn you i have no knowledge how to compile pcem, but i can test it on the actual release and not a dynarec one.

Let me know how you wish to proceed with your test :)

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SarahWalker
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 11:56 am

Okay, I've attached a replacement binary with sysex support. From what testing I can currently do it seems okay, let me know if it works for you.
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pcem_267_w_sysex.zip
(561.06 KiB) Downloaded 98 times

serrith
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 1:01 pm

Ok, give me a few hours, i'm at my parents now. Ill test it tonight.

So the patch introduces sysex signals or should i test other things as well ?

serrith
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 4:47 pm

Ok tried to test it on a clean V9 installation off your website.

I copied all the files/directories from the "roms" directory into my new install so the roms directory is a direct copy of my existing working copy.
The normal PCEM.EXE sees everything fine and i can start the program with all my settings and roms/biosses.

Unfortunately the new "PCEM_SYSEX.EXE" (i copied it into the folder together with the normal PCEM.EXE) cannot see my roms folder and thus cannot select the correct bios/cpu ...

Is there a specific version i am supposed to use and if so where do i get it ?

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SarahWalker
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by SarahWalker » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 5:01 pm

It should just work as normal. What error message do you get? Have you tried deleting pcem.cfg and running again? Was a pclog.txt file generated, and if so can you post the contents here?

serrith
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Sun 28 Jun, 2015 5:39 pm

Ok got it to work, weird enough after a few more tries it suddenly took the correct settings ....

It's working but not completely.
The Sysex message are now transmitted and i can see the custom messages on the lucasarts and sierra games appearing on the LED display of the MT-32
Unfortunately any "programmed sound" that has to be passed to the MT-32 seems to fail. Some custom sounds will display the error chksum failed message on the mt-32 and then it'll play the wrong instrument instead.

You can test it with monkey Island 2 and perhaps the MT-32 emulator MUNT, it uses the same roms from a real MT32 (might have to search for them since they are illegal to distribute) so i suppose it would give you the same error messages. Even one or two "normal" instruments are wrong.
You can compare perhaps with this : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BvRtmr- ... 4CF96F6DE6 this is how it should sound. You'll notice several instruments are wrong through PCEM_SYSEX.
Some games that do not use any custom sounds work perfectly fine, i tried Space Quest III and i didnt really notice anything off. But trying Legend of Kyrandia book 1 i get completely wrong sound effects.
On the first screen of kyrandia 1 (when you are underneath a big tree) you should be able to get up on a root of the tree, once you get up it'll play a custom sound effect. Right now it just blasts out a wrong instrument and not a custom effect.

So it seems audio/instruments are almost ok, but sound effects or programmed sound effects/instruments are completely wrong.
The MT-32 doesnt just use a fixed set of instruments but it also allowed the creators to mix or create new sounds. Old sierra and lucasarts games used those frequently.

Thanks already for the work !!! keep it up :D

serrith
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 2:17 pm

If you want me to test anything else, please let me know :D

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SarahWalker
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by SarahWalker » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 8:36 pm

Try the attached. It increases the maximum length of a sysex command, which seems to fix Legend of Kyrandia.

Quite a few games seem to be running into issues because they expect a full MPU-401, while PCem only emulates it in dumb UART mode, Sound Blaster style. Adding full MPU-401 emulation would be possible, but it's not something I have any immediate plans to do.
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pcem_267_w_sysex_v2.zip
(561.93 KiB) Downloaded 119 times

serrith
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 8:48 pm

Full MPU-401 would be nice to have but isnt that why softmpu was written ?

I'm going to quickly try it out :)

serrith
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Mon 29 Jun, 2015 9:12 pm

You are fantastic.

I tried a few games and everything seems to play back perfectly.
Monkey Island 2 had all the correct instruments and sound effects
Legend of Kyrandia sounded perfect and the custom sound effects eem to work. Even the ocean waves sounds play like they should.
With the use of SOFTMPU you can emulate a full MPU-401 interface and so far it seems to work ok.

I'll test some more games tomorrow, right now i better go to sleep, got to work tomorrow !

Many many many thanks !

serrith
Posts: 18
Joined: Tue 23 Jun, 2015 5:36 am

Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by serrith » Tue 30 Jun, 2015 7:59 am

Does this attachement now mean that this is the "latest" version or is this the base version 9 with a modified base version 9 exe file ?

I can't thank you enough for all the hard work you put into this since i suppose this is not your (paying) job.
What motivated you to make this ?

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SarahWalker
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by SarahWalker » Tue 30 Jun, 2015 4:54 pm

The attachment should be equivalent to rev 268.

My motivation? Probably insanity.

ecksemmess
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by ecksemmess » Wed 01 Jul, 2015 7:07 pm

I'm sure I speak for many when I say that your "insanity" is one of the better things to come along in the emulation scene in many years, Tom. ;) You've single-handedly brought the current state of PC emulation up to something respectable. It's actually been quite something to observe the progress you've been making. I've also got to say that I'm *unreasonably* excited about the new PS/1 and Deskpro models you've just added--in fact, more models from that '86-'91 era had been pretty much top of my wishlist for a while. I'm sure you're doing all of this mostly for your own satisfaction, which is as it should be, but you should know that there are an awful lot of us who can't believe our good luck!

Orchidsworn
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Re: PCEm and Real MT-32

Post by Orchidsworn » Fri 03 Jul, 2015 9:29 pm

ecksemmess wrote:I'm sure I speak for many when I say that your "insanity" is one of the better things to come along in the emulation scene in many years, Tom. ;) You've single-handedly brought the current state of PC emulation up to something respectable. It's actually been quite something to observe the progress you've been making. I've also got to say that I'm *unreasonably* excited about the new PS/1 and Deskpro models you've just added--in fact, more models from that '86-'91 era had been pretty much top of my wishlist for a while. I'm sure you're doing all of this mostly for your own satisfaction, which is as it should be, but you should know that there are an awful lot of us who can't believe our good luck!

I am going love when we get to the point of like 95-99 tech. Only because that period is where it gets really rough for backwards compatibility and Virtualization/Emulation options. Yet I know even some of that early 90s tech can be stretched to play a lot of software from this period. I really just love seeing updates when time goes by without them I start to get worried just can't help myself. I got patience but I have seen way too many promising projects stall and/or die. Thank you for all your work and dedication.

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