X68000 information sponging

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robivy64
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by robivy64 »

Ed Oscuro wrote:
robivy64 wrote:If you get the Super, I have a ton of blank 5.25 disks and a rig that can write images.
How are you doing for ripping / writing copy protected games like Dracula?
The only copy-protected game I have not been able to write (using xfloppy) is Nemesis '90.

I have ripped copies of my original games saved on my hard drive, and I have made successful backups using those rips.
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robivy64
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by robivy64 »

kamiboy wrote:By the way Robivy, you mentioned getting a CF setup going is harder in the Compact. Care to elaborate on that?
Lots of soldering involved, and you have to eat up an expansion slot.

More info: http://gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=x680 ... f_card_mod
kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

What about just connecting the AztectMonster to the external SCSI port? Is that possible without needing to modify anything but a cable?
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caincan
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by caincan »

yep you cannot have sound with a single "internal" midiboard. you need some Roland expander .

test in emulation thru different output sounds emulations.. you'll feel the difference superiority of midi (when games melodies have support).. some shmups have midi music !..

fmtowns pad is quite correct i figure, yep old msx & other pads are good to go. as streetfighter arrived on these exotic machines, yes some 6buttons pads exist

it's not 100% sure about the 3"1/2 format with usb floppy drives. depends on the computer PC, depends on the floppy drive.. we tested several before succeeding. it was quite unstable.. .. but it was before some people figured tricks !! good to see this :) need to re-test so... i remember years ago only gamesx forum had some support fanatics which begun to be interested in this splendid machine (high end thing even compared to basics atari/amiga). cps1 arcades convertions feel nearly ..arcade !

http://gamesx.com/wiki/doku.php?id=x680 ... []=compact

a scsi external hard drive is not the best option. i bought it installed with the x68k (only gaijin mad enough at a time to get the rare auction good setup that appeared, ~20.000Y ) . from my tests, yes the files are there. but compatibility is low, black screen often occurs.. but as weird it is.. Nemesis90 could run i remember ..

well.. i hope in some years finally someone comes to talk about the special plug behind the x68k unit for "apparently" 3D STEREOSCOPIC glasses .. some games have an option for it.. but i never had found reliable information about this ! :? .. (too, some fmtowns games have a 3D stereoscopic mode (operation wolf, image fight, if my memory not vanished..)

the compact fmtowns has proved once around here is quite total geek too.. it has a direct video input.. so you can plug your x68k :) (the weight/price shipped ... of the original 3freq screen of x68k made me afraid years ago, i used directly Vga support, some ebay RE-seller...had them too (~20$), in vga, nearly all games run ok, 15k benefifs for some Strider/Ghouls n ghosts especially)
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Opethian
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Opethian »

I use an external HDD enclosure and a powermonster II SCSI>CF works wonders!
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my sharp life... dont have a midi setup yet. Would love to nab a CM500 someday heh
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kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

That Expert HD needs some dusting. What kind of cable do you use to connect your external Powermonster II to the back?

Are the external ports standard SCSI, using readily available SCSI cables?
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Opethian
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Opethian »

cables came with the external SCSI drive enclosure.
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kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

After looking a bit into the whole SCSI connector issue it seems to amount to a rather large clumsy mess. Typical 80-90's wild west approach to computer standards, in that everyone just came up with their own way of doing the exact same thing.

Seems there were a whole bunch of different connectors being used all over and of course the AztecMonster comes equipped with one that differs from them all. Well, I am glad I don't have to look into this CF hard drive issue for a good long while yet.

I do however have a better understanding of the midi situation and it seems to me to be too much work and money for what you get. I might just have to settle for the out of the box music capabilities. The fact that said capabilities sounds pretty damn fantastic to begin with helps a lot.

I'll know tomorrow which machine I end up with, this is pretty exciting.

By the way Ed, you talked about owning an MSX. Is it really a worthwhile gaming platform? I know basically nothing about it save its hardware being more or less sub NES as far as game development is involved and it was the primordial pool from which many Konami classics spawned.

Opethian, I might ask you the same about that Sharp X1 you got there.
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Opethian
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Opethian »

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kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

Opethian wrote:SCSI cable is this :
http://www.gamesx.com/hwb/co_ScsiExternalHiDSub.html
Yeah, no way to connect that end to a AztecMonster. It seems to use a connector that looks like a IDE cable, plus it needs power seperately via another connector. I am not sure what connector your CF solution uses, but I am guessing that external SCSI enclosure you have is properly equipped on the inside.
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Fudoh
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Fudoh »

internal/external SCSI adapters are easily available.
kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

Could you post a link to one that converts from the X68000 external SCSI II to whatever the AztecMonster uses? I did a few quick search on ebay today and couldn't find anything that did that.

No knowing the correct terminology does not help either.
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Fudoh
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Fudoh »

just an example: http://www.tmcscsi.com/internalAdapters.shtml chose the HD50F version. If you add this to the Aztec using a standard internal SCSI cable, you basically convert it to an external SCSI device.
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Opethian
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Opethian »

Image

this is the connection on the HDD that was in the enclosure. The Powermonster II has the same pinout so I just swapped them out.
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Fudoh
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Fudoh »

SCSI really isn't rocket science. I loved it on my mid 90s PC systems. The chaining alone makes it genius. And with so many high end SCSI devices still around, fitting one to another or to any old SCSI controller really isn't hard. The cables and adapters for all versions are all still available.
kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

Thanks for the link. I think I understand now. SCSI internal and external ports are built different, but that adapter Fudoh linked should take care of everything. One less thing to worry about.
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Ed Oscuro
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Ed Oscuro »

Fudoh wrote:just an example: http://www.tmcscsi.com/internalAdapters.shtml chose the HD50F version. If you add this to the Aztec using a standard internal SCSI cable, you basically convert it to an external SCSI device.
Awesome, that makes things too easy!
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Ed Oscuro
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Ed Oscuro »

kamiboy wrote:By the way Ed, you talked about owning an MSX. Is it really a worthwhile gaming platform?
MSX has some interesting quirks. I have a "MSX 2+" model, the Sony F1-XDJ which has many good features - it should get you very far. Unfortunately, this still isn't fast enough for some (very rare) games like Undead Line (which is about as CPU-intensive as games get on the platform; there's notable slowdown in many spots when playing on the 2+). Aside from that, the Turbo-R series seems to be overkill for most things. The details of how they refresh RAM blocks on the Turbo R makes me laugh. Kind of an evolutionary dead end really.

Some worthwhile games off the top of my head:
Aleste (also on SMS however, perhaps with slightly more slowdown there?) and Aleste 2 (neat game, need to play it more), a disk game
Space Manbow
Many classics for the "original" specification MSX
Contra and Dracula on the system are silly but kind of favorites; Nemesis games aren't bad though.
Plenty of goodies for Snatcher / Metal Gear fans as well (I don't have any of these), Goemon and Knightmare as well. I think Hi no Tori (based on the old manga) is a proper scrolling shooter-ish or maybe Zelda-ish type game, as opposed to the rather disappointing looking Famicom platformer. I need to check that one out sometime.

Probably tons of important stuff I'm neglecting to mention as well.

For me, so far it's been a system with only a handful of games - but those are enough for me.
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Opethian
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Opethian »

if you get a fast enough MSX (2+ minumum, Turbo-R would be ideal)
all you need is Pleasure Hearts and Kyokugen
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Ed Oscuro
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Ed Oscuro »

Turbo R is not very cost-effective for what I want to play. I suspect this is true of other people as well. You can actually play Pleasure Hearts legally on an emulator. I have heard complaints about blueMSX's responsiveness though.

Those games look impressive - for the MSX. I think the MSX system's strength doesn't lie in games like that, which push too close to its limits, though. Kyokugen looks really too spartan for example, while any speed hitches in either game could be deadly.
kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

Looks like I ended up winning that Compact XVI afterall. 18,500円 seems like a fair price for a unit that comes with the Keyboard. I mean, the keyboard alone goes for 5,000円 regularly and I had to get one eventually, so really, the compact alone only cost me 13,000円.

Now, all that remains to do is to decide whether I want to get a midi setup going or not.

I've been researching these GM modules and I have a few questions.

I know the Roland CM 500 is the ideal unit becuase it has an MT/CM32 built in among other things.

But, how do I put this, it is a rather ugly beige little thing isn't it? I really like the stylings of the SC-55 better, it that regard it is a much better match for the X68000. Of course it is also easier to come by and generally cheaper to boot.

But what exactly does the SC-55's lack of MT/CM32 compatibility translate to?

Say I load a game designed for MT/CM32 up and pick midi from the menu as the X68000 is connected to a SC-55, what will happen?

Will it not work, or, as I imagine, will it play midi only it wont sound as the composer intended?

Is there a list out there that details which games support which devices natively? That would be a great help. I found someone posting such a link in another forum, but the link was broken.

Oh yeah, and what about the SC-88VL? Is it just a neefed up SC-55 or its own thing? Is it backwards compatible with the 55?
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Fudoh
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Fudoh »

Say I load a game designed for MT/CM32 up and pick midi from the menu as the X68000 is connected to a SC-55, what will happen?
some instruments will sound differently or the wrong samples might get played in extreme cases.

In theory you can use any GM/GS module, even a 88 or higher, but the additional sound sets are not supported. The 55 is nice unit. Small, affordable and it can be found over here in Europe as well. You can also use it on PCs with DosBox to play your 90s Dos games with gorgeous sound. The 55 is good entry model. Get it and if you feel like it you can additionally get a MT32 later one. You can chain those, so it's easy to connect both.
eightbitminiboss
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by eightbitminiboss »

Yep, I can second that. I own a SC-55 and a MT-32. They chain really easy and most games sound great. For X68000 stuff you may come across some games that have different instructions for different devices. I know Akumajou Dracula (Castlevania) asks which MIDI device you have and plays the correct instruments accordingly.
kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

I got my eyes on a few 55's and 88VL's. If I see one for a good price I'll jump on it. The regular 88's are bulky beasts but the 88VL's are as small as the 55.

By the way, when using a GM module you get sound effects coming out of the X68000 and midi out of the module. I do however see that the 55 and 88's come equipped with sound input RCA ports on their backs. Am I correct in assuming these are designed to take the ouput of external devices such as the X68000 to mix with the midi output and routed to the sound output RCA's on the back 88 and 55's?
SuperDeadite
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by SuperDeadite »

I'll come out of lurking just to clear stuff up. As Shou stated, when it comes to X68K and MIDI you'll be hard pressed find someone with more experience them me.

First off "GM Modules" doesn't really apply here. Street Fighter II', Super Street Fighter 2, Daimakaimura, Asuka 120% are the only GM compatible games I'm aware of. Dracula has a hidden "GM mode" (push XF1+G on the MIDI select screen), but it's very buggy, and doesn't work right even on my TG100 (pure GM only module).

The majority of X68k games use LA (MT-32) or GS (SC-55) formats. LA and GS hardware is completely different. GS modules like SC-55 are essentially a bunch of rom samples, they can be edited a bit, but that's all. LA however is a real synth, meaning totally new sounds can be created by the programmer. When a GS module (all Sound Canvas units) is set to "MT-32/CM-64" mode, it just remaps the instruments to match up. It does not understand system exclusive commands, and can not create custom sounds like the LA module will. So basically a game like Phalanx (MT-32) will sound ok on an SC-55 as it only uses the basic from the factory preset sounds. However a game like Dracula that uses totally custom patches in LA mode will sound like shit. And while Phalanx will sound ok, it sounds better and more natural on a real LA based device. Short story, play LA based games on a real LA synth.

For LA modules there is the MT-32, CM-32L, CM-64, and CM-500. MT-32 is the core, the 32L adds 33 extra sounds, the 64 is a combination of 32L+32P (pcm based module) in one, and the 500 is a cm-32L and cm-300 (sc-55) in one module. Some games only use the MT-32 base, while others use the extras of the 32L, and a few use the full on 64. So if you run a 64 based game on an MT-32, it will work, but you'll be missing all the extra stuff.

The 500 has a very good CM-64 simulation mode (uses GS hardware to make up for the missing 32P of the real 64). It sounds quite good, but when directly compared the real 64 sounds a lot cleaner. Also the real 64 is the only module which offers the PCM Expansion cards (this is a CM-32P feature). A few games actually use these, and only the real 64 can do this.
Examples:
Gemini Wing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yZq9VIVF6Vg
Choujin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z4jq3ql8etY

So for me, I say get a CM-64. As it will play all LA based games to their fullest and there is no replacement.

Now moving on to GS based games. They were all written of the SC-55, but the 55 is old and noisy. Using a 55 is the "pure" approach, but a later GS synth can be a lot cleaner. I've experimented a lot, and for me the winner is the Yamaha MU2000 EX or MU1000 EX. Both have the same sound hardware, I choose the 2000 as it has some really kickass features like a hardware sequencer (it records and play back midi files in real time totally by itself)

Of course when using a high-end module like the 2000, your result is also depends on your audio gear. On the 1000/2000 the digital TOSLINK audio output should always be used. And the quality of your DAC, amp, and speakers will make a huge difference.

Also be aware for the GM games, the SC-55 kinda sucks imo. The SC-55 technically isn't GM compatible (even though it claims to be), even my cheapo TG100 (only 12bit sound) kicks it's ass when used with Daimakaimura

Summing up:
Budget setup: CM-64 + SC-55
Quality setup: CM-64 and the best GS unit you can afford
Baller setup: CM-64 + MU2000 EX plus high-level audio gear.

The Yamaha has some crazy feature to play with too, but it gets expensive:
X68k SSFII Ken's theme with a a drum plug in board: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jw9yFxzNniU

Finally here's my MIDI Parade vids. All done using 100% real hardware. Note these are LONG vids:
MU2000EX: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZsAQQzuSmpw
CM-64: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhTYhlkJTTI


My MIDI rig:
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kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

Thanks for the explanation, that clears up things a lot.

Unfortunately there is no way I am going to purchase more than one device, so in that regard the CM-500 seems like the best choice, but they are rare and expensive. If I find one cheap I'll snag it, but that is an unlikely scenario.

So it comes down either LA or GS support, what will give me the best experience with most of X68000's quality library?

From your description I know which CM module to go with, but for GS modules you never mentioned the 88VL. It is cheap and easily available, is it a better choice than the 55?

You seem to be a connoisseur of these kinds of hardware, so you look for the best but I am only looking for what will give me the most for the little money I want to spend. I am not going to spend more than ~5,000¥ on said hardware since the midi interface board is already setting me back that much, and that is not even counting proxy comission and shipping.

So which LA or GS?
SuperDeadite
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by SuperDeadite »

The 88 series can be set to "88 Native" or "55 Native" modes. In 55 mode, it will sound pretty much the same as a standard SC-55. In 88 mode, the instrument mapping is different, so most games won't match up right and will sound awful, but sometimes you might get something that sounds cool in a "forced remix" sort of way.

The CM models are expensive on English places, but if you stick to yahoo japan and the like, you can get lucky. The CM-500 was my first module, and I dug it out of my local HardOff for 2,000yen. I've seen TG100s go on yahoo unsold for 100yen, and it's fantastic with Daimakaimura and Street Fighter.

Oh also the CM-500 is notorius for being a very noisy module. This is a hardware fault, as the CM-300 (SC-55) part is a daughter board and has poor shielding. A standalone CM-300 or SC-55 is a lot cleaner and both go for much cheaper then the 500.

As for which set of games you prefer, it's a matter of taste really. IMO, the LA games have aged better as they have a very unique sound, while the GS games sound more like "generic midi" these days. Dracula's LA music option totally kills the GS option to my ears. But Metal Orange EX (GS only) is godly as well.

Best thing to do is watch the 2 midi parade vids I posted. They are long, but it will give you a good idea of what to expect from what games. Then go with whatever games interest you more.

A MIDI setup is something you start with simply, and build up over time. Like any audio setup, everytime you upgrade, it gets better. For someone who doesn't even have the computer yet, may as well just stick to the FM music for awhile until you get bored and are financially ready for the next level.
kamiboy
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by kamiboy »

I want to get either an LA or GS to include in my X68000 shipment since it is going to be a big one anyway. Besides my habit of only playing a game to completion once means that if I play anything via FM I wont have another chance to enjoy it via midi.

I'll have listen to your parade videos and decide.
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robivy64
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by robivy64 »

Congrats on winning the Compact!

Now, get the power supply and motherboard capacitors replaced ASAP!

Special emphasis on the motherboard caps.
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Ed Oscuro
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Re: X68000 information sponging

Post by Ed Oscuro »

What if you've already got a couple MT-32 units lying around? Can you add a CM-32L and CM-32P to get more or less up to CM-64 territory? And is one of these a prerequisite for the other (i.e., buying a CM-32P alone to supplement a MT-32)? I imagine it's noisier to have three units together, but since I still have a couple MT-32s lying around...Additionally, then, what are you using (or would suggest using) to get all these working together with the X68000?
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