Ultimate retro MIDI setup

A while ago I got my hands on a Roland SC-55 MIDI module. After some fiddling I got it to work very nicely. That success led me to desire a Roland MT-32. Because although ScummVM let me play a lot of games through the SC-55, this is not the case for DosBox.

After watching some classifieds for MT-32 units that I found a little too expensive, I saw one being offered for a reasonable price and I managed to get my offer accepted. In the meantime I had watched a few YouTube videos about the usage of the unit for retro gaming and I was lucky enough to learn that I wanted an old version for ultimate compatibility. And that’s what I got. A nice old MT-32. One without the headphone jack on the back.

While waiting for the arrival of said unit, I also ordered some adapter cables and more importantly, a cheap 3-channel mixer to accommodate the input from both Roland units as well as the output from the HiFiBerry for Adlib and SoundBlaster sound effects.

What made the anticipation even more eager was the enthusiastic writings from Ken Williams in the leaflet about treating yourself with an Adlib soundcard or Roland module for better music and sounds. A leaflet that came in the box of King’s Quest IV that arrived in the mean time.

Ken Williams writes that you shouldn’t laugh at him

The mixer, a Skytec STM-2211, is a compact black unit that blends in quite nicely with the other sound devices. It offers robust buttons and sliders. It allows me to precisely balance the volume from the music and speech and sound effects. Although, in some cases speech and sound effects still need to be set in the software. Because the output of the MT-32 is less loud than the output from the SC-55, I can set the volume for both devices accordingly. Furthermore, the balance slider let’s me switch intuitively between both units and even mix them together if I want to go crazy.

I think I’ll be very happy playing a lot of old games with this setup. And I even thought I saw that some new adventure games that are made with the Adventure Game Studio (the existence of which I just recently learned about) support MIDI. All that’s left for now is to get my hands on a MIDI interface for the Amiga to play a few of the few games for the system that support MIDI.

The MT-32 displays nice messages in certain games

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