Does Planet X3 support the Roland MT-32 et al?

Hiraghm

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May 18, 2019
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I'm about to get Planet X3.
I just got a Roland MT-32 the other day (inspired by 8-Bit Guy and LGR review videos) and I have it hooked up to my PC running Linux, and I *love* it.
I'll sometimes call up Space Quest 3 in DOSBox, just to listen to the music. I'm still learning how to use it.

Will Planet X3 support the Roland MT-32? If it does... where can I get information on writing software that supports it?
I can get (some) information on programming for general midi, but nothing on the specific differences with the MT-32.
 

Speedy

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May 19, 2019
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There's an MT-32 version of the X3 soundtrack, but the game it self does not support the MT-32.
And when you say writing software, what exactly are you referring to? Writing a driver to play back music for it? Because it will function exactly the same as something that plays back General MIDI data, as... well, it's all just MIDI data. GM is just a fancy way of organizing MIDI data, but at the end of the day, a MIDI player will play back any MIDI data you throw at it.
 

Hiraghm

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May 18, 2019
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I keep being told that the MT-32 isn't standard MIDI, but not how it's non-standard.
 

Speedy

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May 19, 2019
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The MT-32 IS standard MIDI. Plain and simple. It does not do anything bizarre for the original MIDI specification, since the original specification doesn't really do more than say "sending X does Y" - send this command, play this note, send these commands as a pair, do something special. It's the same as really any other professional or semi-pro synth, even now. It is, however, not General MIDI compliant, which is a COMPLETELY different ordeal. GM is a later standard from 1991 that narrows down and specifies EXACTLY what those commands need to do and can do. Send these commands as a pair, it will ALWAYS do this and not something unique to this synth. Select this instrument, and it will ALWAYS be a piano - not a synth bass, not a harpsichord, not whatever (every synth sorted sounds differently).

I did two videos specifically on this topic that I really recommend checking out if you're interested - this first one explains all of the basics about MIDI and how General MIDI and co worked:

And this one is specifically an in-depth review of the Roland MT-32, going over everything related to it and how it works:

My other videos, mainly those on the Sound Canvas, talk a little about it as well which might explain some things. But those two should hopefully answer everything you're wondering. Lemme know if there's any other questions :)
 
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May 22, 2019
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I keep being told that the MT-32 isn't standard MIDI, but not how it's non-standard.
The MT-32 *is* Standard MIDI, but it's not "General" MIDI.

"General MIDI" is a specific specification that maps out voice names, controller numbers, and some other things, to make sure that all GM synths work well together.The MT-32 does not meet this specification.

However, the MT-32 is a first-class MIDI device, and it supports most standard MIDI functions. To see specifically what it supports, you can look at the user manual, which lists all of the implemented MIDI messages.

Also, to get a better understanding of MIDI and MIDI programming, you will want to pick up a book on the subject. It's really a simple protocol, but there's a lot to absorb about standard implementations and how things work.
 

Hiraghm

New Member
May 18, 2019
11
0
1
The MT-32 IS standard MIDI. Plain and simple. It does not do anything bizarre for the original MIDI specification, since the original specification doesn't really do more than say "sending X does Y" - send this command, play this note, send these commands as a pair, do something special. It's the same as really any other professional or semi-pro synth, even now. It is, however, not General MIDI compliant, which is a COMPLETELY different ordeal. GM is a later standard from 1991 that narrows down and specifies EXACTLY what those commands need to do and can do. Send these commands as a pair, it will ALWAYS do this and not something unique to this synth. Select this instrument, and it will ALWAYS be a piano - not a synth bass, not a harpsichord, not whatever (every synth sorted sounds differently).

I did two videos specifically on this topic that I really recommend checking out if you're interested - this first one explains all of the basics about MIDI and how General MIDI and co worked:

And this one is specifically an in-depth review of the Roland MT-32, going over everything related to it and how it works:

My other videos, mainly those on the Sound Canvas, talk a little about it as well which might explain some things. But those two should hopefully answer everything you're wondering. Lemme know if there's any other questions :)
Thanks for the info, I'll be sure to watch your videos!
I went looking for an SC-55 for those games/etc not MT-32 compatible (compliant? supportive?). I spotted a PMA-5 on ebay for a very good price, and actually won the auction w/o it going way up. I love it, it sounds great. The MIDI in port is a bit loose, so eventually I'll have to work up the courage to open it up and try tightening it down (or cementing it with hot glue or something if I can't).

I hope to be able to learn how to create some music with the MT-32 / PMA-5, and also to program for them.
 

Hiraghm

New Member
May 18, 2019
11
0
1
The MT-32 *is* Standard MIDI, but it's not "General" MIDI.

"General MIDI" is a specific specification that maps out voice names, controller numbers, and some other things, to make sure that all GM synths work well together.The MT-32 does not meet this specification.

However, the MT-32 is a first-class MIDI device, and it supports most standard MIDI functions. To see specifically what it supports, you can look at the user manual, which lists all of the implemented MIDI messages.

Also, to get a better understanding of MIDI and MIDI programming, you will want to pick up a book on the subject. It's really a simple protocol, but there's a lot to absorb about standard implementations and how things work.
Thanks for the info and advice; I'll start looking for books on the subject on amazon et al!