Illusion City MIDI soundtrack in MP3

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By sdsnatcher73

Hero (529)

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25-03-2019, 15:32

So I've been playing around with the RCP files that are on the Illusion City game, which are used for playback of the MIDI soundtrack, and I was listening to these songs using Munt and thought I should record the tracks (for myself) and now want to share it with all of you who are interested.

As many of you I never had a FS-A1GT or a Roland MT-32/CM32L for listening to these tracks so listening to them through Munt was my first time to here these. I used openMSX connected to Munt to record the tracks, I used ARMI.COM with the RCP files and the ILLUSION.CM6 file (which is loaded prior to music playback, possibly setting up some instruments or so).

Let me know if you enjoy these tracks!

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By Meits

Scribe (5484)

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25-03-2019, 15:51

CM32L adds parts missing when using the MT32. Illusion City uses instruments that got added in the CM32L. What you do hear with MT32 is 100% correct. You just don't hear everything Wink

By sdsnatcher73

Hero (529)

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25-03-2019, 16:02

Meits wrote:

CM32L adds parts missing when using the MT32. Illusion City uses instruments that got added in the CM32L. What you do hear with MT32 is 100% correct. You just don't hear everything Wink

True, from what I understand the CM32L was targeted at gamers (CM -> Computer Music) and it added only SFX to the core MT-32 capabilities for use in games.

By Parn

Champion (400)

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25-03-2019, 19:51

@sdsnatcher73, thank you for recording and sharing these tracks. They are interesting, but it's clear to me that Micro Cabin just didn't give them the same level of attention the MSX FM soundtrack received. The Illusion City MT-32 soundtrack doesn't sound nearly as good as other MT-32 soundtracks, particularly Japanese ones, or even the OPLL soundtrack for that matter. I feel it was a wasted opportunity.

By sdsnatcher73

Hero (529)

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25-03-2019, 20:09

Parn wrote:

@sdsnatcher73, thank you for recording and sharing these tracks. They are interesting, but it's clear to me that Micro Cabin just didn't give them the same level of attention the MSX FM soundtrack received. The Illusion City MT-32 soundtrack doesn't sound nearly as good as other MT-32 soundtracks, particularly Japanese ones, or even the OPLL soundtrack for that matter. I feel it was a wasted opportunity.

I have to agree on that. The instruments of the MT-32 sound much better, but the overall feel that you get from this soundtrack is that it is lacking. But you also peaked my interest, could you recommend some good Japanese MT-32 soundtracks and/or sites where to get them?

By Meits

Scribe (5484)

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25-03-2019, 23:59

My opinion about Micro Cabin's music in general is that they were the masters of OPLL+PSG and very mediocre with anything else. So yes, that includes other platforms as well.
Have you checked the music of Gazzel's intro? Have a turbo R GT with CM32L (MT32 is accepted) and hold M while booting. It's a farcry from the FM intro.

Still a nice bonus... Goes for Illusion City as well... But imho they shouldn't have used the synths they used... They are (and were) no good...

By PAC

Guardian (5235)

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26-03-2019, 02:00

Thank you for the MP3 files for a more realistic experience. With my Yamaha XG module they don't sound well...

By Meits

Scribe (5484)

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26-03-2019, 02:48

MT32 and its cousins have a way different way of producing sounds. They're not bright samples, more a bit like muffled FM sound. Not really shining in realism. Then add the noise and huge amounts of reverb to it and there's your MT32 sound.
But that's not all. MT32 does not comply to the General MIDI standard. Therefore wrong instruments are being played. But even in the slightest coincident that a piano is played (in both General MIDI and MT32 those are the first instruments) the bad/plastic sound of the MT32 will never match a MIDI device with more modern samples onboard.

MT32 compatible music should only be played on MT32 compatible devices. Even though (some) Roland Sound Canvas modules do have an MT32 mode, this is still not valid. Only the order of instruments is being put in the same order as MT32 while still using Sound Canvas samples.

Iirc there is a big catalogue of MS-DOS games supporting MT32. The music I heard on youtube was very acceptable and so was the sound considering the era it was in and the fact that game music hadn't matured to a professional/realistic level yet. Just nice, fresh (if you were used to adlib) and kinda special.

In Micro Cabin's case: Kudo's for trying and making the game a bit special with it. But seriously, they should've either picked another synth or just skipped the whole idea Running Naked in a Field of Flowers

By sdsnatcher73

Hero (529)

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26-03-2019, 05:27

well the GM standard was of course created after the MT-32 was released. So you can’t fault the device for not supporting it.

I think MicroCabin did not really have any other choice than to support MT-32. That was basically the device that everyone (game developers) were targeting and as such the device that was in people’s homes. Choosing a synth that nobody had would not have made sense.

By Parn

Champion (400)

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26-03-2019, 18:10

@sdsnatcher73: I had a whole bunch of them in my previous Hoot installation, but I needed to format my hard drive and misplaced the backup. Crying But from the top of my mind, Sol-Feace's soundtrack on MT-32 is awesome. There's a full CD soundtrack with OPM, MT-32 and CM-64 versions. Akumajou Dracula and Detana!! TwinBee also sounds great on MT-32. Of course there are great western MT-32 soundtracks as well, like Ultima VI. Indianapolis 500, despite having only one track, knocked my socks off (but that was made by Rob Hubbard!).

@Meits, I think it's not MT-32's fault but Micro Cabin's.

By alexito

Hero (534)

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26-03-2019, 19:38

Thanks for MP3 now I can compare with my Zemmix Neo + MIXR1 (Korean Midi Interface) and my Yamaha TG-300 (GM Synthesizer).

Video

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