Wow, thanks to both of you for the enthusiasm, expertise and willingness to share it!
Spikey wrote: ↑
Tue Jan 17, 2017 1:04 am
Sad what happened with the forums.
I agree and I'd only been aware of it for about two or three years prior to that, but I was enthralled with my discovery. It was a great resource on topics so little known on the Internet.
See, I prefer the Sound Canvases because it's a good balance between the accuracy of the samples to the original SC-55 and an improvement in sound quality/realism. I heard some SD-90 stuff and it was very good in some ways and very bland in others. The problem with a lot of 'slightly realistic' synths such as the SD line is that for playing GM games, they have no punch. You can mix the output outside of the video game to sound much better, but for GM gaming they usually lack pretty badly (because the true capabilities of the synth are not the basic GM synthesis).
That has been my impression, without paying to try the SD line of modules. For me, it's at least wishful thinking.
Thanks for convincing me further. It has been a very pleasant suprise to find that the SC-8850's map does have such a high degree of compatibility while sounding nicely improved (but as you've said, not striving for realism, exactly)
The 8820/50's strength is that it has a very strong GM map, several patches being the same as the SC-55, mainly synth ones but some others. It also has much better patches, but that is another story.
I've been enjoying the default 8850 map and haven't initialized it in GM1 yet, but on your recommendation I'll have to try that soon.
I actually bought a new SC-8850 back about 10 years ago, and have the CD somewhere. It's travelled with me all over the world- both the synth and the CD
I will get an ISO uploaded to my Sierra music site sometime this year, you might need to remind me.
Thanks for the kind offer! ISO format is my preference for posterity, but the disc's contents Andrew suggested is quite generous too.
Something really cool about my beat of a synth, the Roland Integra-7, is that it not only has a XV-5080 inside (which the 8850 was a cut down version of, the XV was an industry leader for a long time), but it has a SC-55 map, which is not advertised or mentioned anywhere I have seen. First time I triggered it (if you have 'Bank Select' set to 0), I was almost jumping out of my skin.
It's very interesting that such a useful feature (as XG-lite is too), is undocumented; I'd think Roland would benefit from that publicity because the SC-55 is the origin for much of the popularity of these synths. Isn't it a bit odd that Bank Select 0 doesn't activate the map already selected through the front buttons/controls? That is how the SC-8850 has been working for me, if I understand it properly.
I don't think the SC-8850's strengths are its realism, more its richness and stripped down nature, compared to the overblown sound of the older SC-55/88. The 8850 sounds a lot more classy and ear-pleasing (more realistic, but not realistic, if you follow). French horns and trumpets in Space Quest 5 are a good example.
Yes, classy is a good way to describe it. I've been listening to a lot of classical music with it lately. Although they're really 88Pro (and yamaha) renditions, any of the files I've found on this blog has been wonderful: http://tirolmusic.blogspot.com/2007/10/ ... sques.html
I'll have to try Space Quest 5 with it too; thanks for the tip.
The MT-32 is still cool after all these years.
And the SC-55- an underestimated module. So many people know the MT-32 but still use random soundfonts for GM gaming. I did away with my original, got a mk II. Much prefer it. It has slightly higher sound quality with the circuitry (kinda like the MT-32's second gen).
I never had the original SC-55, but I assume the SC-33 is close to the SC-55mkII, without its CM-64 map. I also only bought the old generation MT-32, but in my setup I never noticed the undesirable noise that's reported; it's probably just my noisy office and probably some filter in my audio chain. I have yet to try to make a high-quality recording of it, though. Recording the SC-8850, I noticed some interference when using the USB virtual port. Without that cable, and with a MIDI cable instead, the noise disappeared, probably due to MIDI's ground loop solution.
The SC-88Pro map is basically the same as the 8850 one minus some sounds. The drums are occasionally useful but 95% of the time I used the 8850 ones, when that was my "goto" module.
That's good to know. It confirms what I've been seeing in the 8850 manual, while trying to map it for Rosegarden
The polyphony and amount of sounds is why I keep the thing, that and the fact that it sounds like an upgraded SC-55, which is cool in itself.
Yes, I've played a song with around 20 channels in use, and I don't think that's even close to its limits.
Incidentally, I also have a SC-8820 (well, a SC-D70, which is an 8820 + digital sound card in a box). Its sound quality is slightly superior to the 8850, as it has digital outs, and some patches are better (and a couple worse). Roland revised the 8820 before it was released, so it has some upgrades- although as I hinted at, some actually take it a step backwards, or at least different.
I hadn't realized the 8820 had changes other than removals, so maybe I'll have reason to buy another module someday.
As you said, nice to get a conversation going. Shame more people haven't found their way here, although it's nice to have sound module discussion instead of ancient sound card discussion for once.
I agree wholeheartedly, thanks!
andrew603 wrote: ↑
Thu Jan 19, 2017 2:59 pm
I forgot! I made a 7-Zip archive of the contents of the SC-8850 CD-ROM a long time ago. You can access it from https://www.midimusicadventures.com/Slib8850.7z
That archive has: GS Advanced Editor 4.0, GS Picture Book, Old versions of the SC-8850 drivers, and all of the included demo MIDI's.
Hope that's enough to get you started!
Of course it would be! But actually, (I only just now tried it and) the link isn't working for me.
I'll still check this weekend for the real CD and make an ISO of it when I can.
That would be amazing, thanks!
Edit: Also, here's a copy of the 64-Bit driver that I have installed and working on my Windows 10 systems: https://www.midimusicadventures.com/SC- ... Win_x64.7z
Unfortunately, I do not have the full-on installer for it, can't seem to find it right now, though I'm hoping I still have it saved on one of my other PC's. However, that driver SHOULD work... As I said, I exported it from my running Windows 10 system via PowerShell. ('Export-WindowsDriver -Online -Destination C:\DriverExport' exports a copy of all Non-Microsoft drivers installed on your computer.)
I hadn't known powershell could export drivers and I consider myself a computer guru, but I'm a slow adopter and windows 10 is no exception. I used a 3rd-party program for that in the past, but it didn't work real well when last used: https://sourceforge.net/projects/drvback/
Edit 2 - the edit sequel: I'll also just add that I have the following synths, and can offer my opinions/comparisons/impressions as needed for any of the following:
Roland: MT-32 (2 of them), MT-32 with Real World Instruments modification (3 MT-32's total! LOVE IT), CM-64 (a number of the SN-U110 expansion cards), SC-55mk2, SC-88, PMA-5, SC-880 (SC-88 Pro as a Rack-Mount synth with a few extra features), SC-8820, SC-8850, D-550 (Rack-Mount version of the D-50; 2 of them), D-110, XV-5080 (fully loaded with SR-JV80 and SRX expansion cards), Fantom XR (fully loaded with SRX Expansion Cards)
Yamaha: MU128, PSR-530, QY100
I think that's it...
I've been wondering if the Real World Instruments MT-32 modifications interfere with games. As mine seems fine to me and I'm not really using it professionally anyway, if he starts doing them again I doubt I'll choose to upgrade it. On occasion, I've considered buying almost all the devices you mention, even the multiple MT-32s (I wanted to try out overflow assign). But, for now at least, I'm pretty satisfied with my meager three: the MT-32 (old), SC-33, and SC-8850 (which is already much more than I ever thought I'd own; even my first, the MT-32, was out of my reach for a while).
Thanks again, to all of you, for the great discussion and kind offers!