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I apologize if this question has been asked before - a quick search brought up nothing.
I wanted to play Gabriel Knight 1 again (I love that game). I own a Roland CM-32L which is basically a MT32 with additional effects but without a fancy display.
So in Sierra games I use the MT32 driver - which works ans basically every other Sierra game (like King's Quest 6 for example).
Now when the game starts I see that the Sysex-Bank is uploaded into my Roland and everything seems to be all right. But then the Sierra-fanfare is played and it sounds awful.
It uses wrong instruments and even - as far as I can tell with these wrong instruments - completely wrong notes.
The titlescreen tune sounds right because it is a .Wav-file, of course, but the rest is completely off again.
Like in the "Day 1"-sequence the church bell is not a church bell alike instrument but actually some kind of string instrument.
I once had the CD-Version but my CD is badly scratched and I remember it playing the correct MT32 music in DOSBox.
Can somebody help?
Thank you very much!
Post edited April 30, 2010 by Patryn
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First, while the CM-32L is similar in someways, it is not an MT-32. I have a real MT-32 and know how things sound using the unit. While no company took advantage of the MT-32 as effectively as Sierra did during the early days of SCI, the support for the unit was not much more than an afterthought by the time that they shipped the games with their GM driver. Even if you had a real MT-32 and you set the soundDrv to MT32.DRV in the RESOURCE.CFG, the game will sound MUCH better with the GENMIDI.DRV.
Well, it is certainly an option for me to switch to General Midi as it will sound great. I agree thus far.
However, I find the sound of the MT32 or, in my case, the CM-32L to be much more beautiful than the general midi my soundcard produces.
Furthermore, the CM-32L is - internally - the exact same as the MT32 but has 33 additional samples in its wave banks (mostly sound effects). So the CM-32L is technically an MT32 and sounds exactly the same - unless a game uses those effect banks (Ultima Underworld comes to mind).
I played GK1 with it before and I know how it is supposed to sound - which, again, I think sounds better than General Midi.
I thank you for your input and I will play the game with General Midi if I have to but I'm sure it must be something very small.
Does nobody else have the same problem?
All right! I did a bit of experimenting with different DOSBox-settings but nothing worked.
Then I got frusttrated and started doing stupid stuff like copy MT32.DRV files from one Sierra game to another.
I took the one from Gabriel Knight 2 and it works! Now the music sounds like it should.
There is no MT-32 driver with GK2. The 2nd GOG release of GK2 had the MIDNONE.DRV driver (which is the default) deleted when they removed the patch files from the base of the GK2 folder. Rather than replacing it from their GK2 source files they grabbed the driver files from some other game. It often does not work to swap driver files from one game to another. If you used the MT-32 from your GOG GK2, it is hard to tell what game it actually came from.
You are, of course, right, there is no MT32.DRV in Grabriel Knight 2 needed as GK2 doesn't use any MIDI music at all.
My guess is that the drivers are from Phantasmagoria as this still had some MIDI music, if I recall correctly (I'll need to buy that again as well).
And, yes, swapping DRV-files around works rarely but sometimes, when games use the same SCI-version I had some success with switching DACBLAST from one game to another so I thought I'll givbe it a try.
I mentioned the GOG-release of GK2 because I thought, that people who bought GK1 might have bought GK2 as well and so they now where to look.
And, Collector, if you have GK1 and a real MT32, I suggest you try MT32 music. Yes, it's basically the same as the General MIDI music and the Sysex-Bank that gets uploaded into the device probably just sets it to GM but in my ears the music sounds slightly better.
Post edited May 02, 2010 by Patryn
Of course peoples' experience with GM will vary quite widely. It depends not just on the physical hardware, but also on other factors. If your default playback device is set to the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth, the sound will be less than ideal. Anyone with a SoundFont capable card may be using a SoundFont that is lacking. On top of all that, Vista and Win7 users don't have access to changing the default playback device without a registry edit or a 3rd party utility.