MT-32

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MT-32
MT-32.jpg
Developer: Roland
Released: 1987-??-??
Type: External Device
Icon:
Icon - MT-32.png

The Roland MT-32 or Multi-Timbre - 32 sound module was originally marketed to amateur musicians as a budget synthesizer with an original list price of $695. However, Sierra On-Line, wanting to push the limits of multimedia support, took an interest in the Roland MT-32, and decided to utilize the synthesizers potential, even to the point of distributing the MT-32 themselves. This led to the MT-32 becoming popular in the PC gaming market. The MT-32 had a much higher quality sound than the competing AdLib and Sound Blaster cards of the day, especially in regards to percussion and brass instruments. However, the Roland MT-32 was considerably more expensive than other sound devices, so few could afford to experience the richness of it's sound. In 1990, Sierra was selling the Game Blaster for $130, the AdLib for $175 ($245 with AdLib Visual Composer, the Sound Blaster for $240, the LAPC-I for $425, and the MT-32 for $550 ($650 with a MIDI micro channel). Also, unlike the Sound Blaster, the Roland MT-32 didn't have a DAC, so it could not process PCM audio making it terrible for sound effects, and useless for voice.

There were three generations of Roland MT-32s, each one upgraded the synthesizer and fixed problems with the earlier models. The original design used an 80-pin LA32 sound chip and an Intel C8095-90 CPU. It did not have a headphone jack and the line-out plugs were slightly unbalanced. The second version used a 100-pin LA32 sound chip with the same CPU. The third version switched the CPU to an Intel P8098 and added a 1/4" headphone jack.

The capabilities of the MT-32 were re-created in the CM-32L, CM-64, LAPC-I, LAPC-N, and the MT-100.

The Roland MT-32 was made prior to the creation of General MIDI, so it uses a proprietary MIDI structure. The most important difference between MT-32 and GM is the different instrument list.


Instruments

Number

Instrument name

Number

Instrument name

Number

Instrument name

Number

Instrument name

0 Acoustic Piano 1 32 Fantasy 64 Acoustic Bass 1 96 Brass Section 2
1 Acoustic Piano 2 33 Harmo Pan 65 Acoustic Bass 2 97 Vibe 1
2 Acoustic Piano 3 34 Chorale 66 Electric Bass 1 98 Vibe 2
3 Electric Piano 1 35 Glasses 67 Electric Bass 2 99 Synth Mallet
4 Electric Piano 2 36 Soundtrack 68 Slap Bass 1 100 Windbell
5 Electric Piano 3 37 Atmosphere 69 Slap Bass 2 101 Glock
6 Electric Piano 4 38 Warm Bell 70 Fretless 1 102 Tube Bell
7 Honkytonk 39 Funny Vox 71 Fretless 2 103 Xylophone
8 Electric Organ 1 40 Echo Bell 72 Flute 1 104 Marimba
9 Electric Organ 2 41 Ice Rain 73 Flute 2 105 Koto
10 Electric Organ 3 42 Oboe 2001 74 Piccolo 1 106 Sho
11 Electric Organ 4 43 Echo Pan 75 Piccolo 2 107 Shakuhachi
12 Pipe Organ 1 44 Doctor Solo 76 Recorder 108 Whistle 1
13 Pipe Organ 2 45 School Daze 77 Pan Pipes 109 Whistle 2
14 Pipe Organ 3 46 Bellsinger 78 Sax 1 110 Bottleblow
15 Accordion 47 Square Wave 79 Sax 2 111 Breathpipe
16 Harpsichord 1 48 String Section 1 80 Sax 3 112 Timpani
17 Harpsichord 2 49 String Section 2 81 Sax 4 113 Melodic Tom
18 Harpsichord 3 50 String Section 3 82 Clarinet 1 114 Deep Snare
19 Clavinet 1 51 Pizzicato 83 Clarinet 2 115 Electric Percussion 1
20 Clavinet 2 52 Violin 1 84 Oboe 116 Electric Percussion 2
21 Clavinet 3 53 Violin 2 85 English Horn 117 Taiko
22 Celesta 1 54 Cello 1 86 Bassoon 118 Taiko Rim
23 Celesta 2 55 Cello 2 87 Harmonica 119 Cymbal
24 Synth Brass 1 56 Contrabass 88 Trumpet 1 120 Castanets
25 Synth Brass 2 57 Harp 1 89 Trumpet 2 121 Triangle
26 Synth Brass 3 58 Harp 2 90 Trombone 1 122 Orche Hit
27 Synth Brass 4 59 Guitar 1 91 Trombone 2 123 Telephone
28 Synth Bass 1 60 Guitar 2 92 French Horn 1 124 Bird Tweet
29 Synth Bass 2 61 Electric Guitar 1 93 French Horn 2 125 One Note Jam
30 Synth Bass 3 62 Electric Guitar 2 94 Tuba 126 Water Bell
31 Synth Bass 4 63 Sitar 95 Brass Section 1 127 Jungle Tune

Because of these different instrument mappings, games that play General MIDI through the MT-32 will play the wrong instruments. For example the main theme of Ultima Underworld II (DOS) will have its harmonious "cello 2" solo replaced by a cacophonous series of orchestra hits.

Other differences exist, such as the MT-32's support for reprogramming sounds. For this reason, merely translating instrument number values to their closest GM equivalent, or using an MT-32 soundfont, is often not enough to faithfully emulate the MT-32 sound.


Games


Downloads


Image Gallery


Emulation Status

The project MUNT, which is incorporated in ScummVM and in foobar2000's MIDI Component, although unfinished, is the most accurate MT-32 emulator available. However, it requires ROM images from the original MT-32 in order to work.


See Also


Links