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alnyden

Help with Munt

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Since it was mentioned on another forum topic, I wanted to give Munt MT-32 Emulator a try with DosBox.  I might have it working, but I'm just not sure.  I downloaded Munt, installed the drivers and ROM files.  Then, in D-Fend Reloaded, on a per-game basis, I went to the MIDI options and selected MT-32 Synth Emulator as the MIDI device.

I guess my question is, how can I be sure it's working?  I'm not sure I can hear the difference before and after I select MT-32 as the MIDI setting.  Are there any steps I'm missing?  Does anyone know a good tutorial to use?  Thanks for any help!

R

Edited by alnyden

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First of all, I'd ditch D-Fend, you don't need that for anything. You can achieve the same functionality directly through LB. If you're really stuck on using it, that's your prerogative, but I can't offer any support as I haven't used it in years.

Secondly, you're going to need to edit your DOSBox .conf file. You can (and should) create .confs on a per-game basis, but for the time being you can start by editing your base .conf for DOSBox - you can do this through LB or simply by editing the file in Notepad (or preferably Notepad++). Editing the base .conf through Launchbox is a little bit stripped down and doesn't include every field that's in the .conf, so I recommend editing the file directly. It should be located in your Launchbox\DOSBox\ folder and be named dosbox.conf. Before you change anything, load up DOSBox.exe. In the command prompt, type:

mixer /listmidi

If you've installed Munt, you should see 0, followed by a description, and 1, followed by a description. One of these should be named something like Munt MT-32 Emulator. Make note of which number this is.

Now go back to dosbox.conf. Under the [midi] section, you'll see a line that says midiconfig=. By default, it's left blank. Whichever number corresponds to Munt, that's what you need to enter in the midiconfig line, so midiconfig=1 for example.

Now you're good to go as far as setting up DOSBox itself. Understand, however, that all this is doing is setting up DOSBox to be able to use Munt, it's not enabling it within each game. You'll still need to setup the games themselves to use MT-32 audio, just like you would if you wanted to specify Soundblaster or any other audio device. Not all games support MT-32, and not all games that support MT-32 necessarily sound best with it (some were designed specifically with MT-32 sound in mind, and others weren't). I'd recommend starting with some early Sierra games (Police Quest 2, Space Quest 3, etc.) as those are about as clear an example of good MT-32 usage as any - if you've got everything setup right, you'll definitely know one way or the other. Most DOS games come with a separate setup.exe/install.exe/sound.exe/setsound.exe that'll let you choose the audio device (Soundblaster, Ultrasound, MT-32, etc.) so you'll need to use them and set the audio device to MT-32. Launchbox normally does a pretty good job of picking out which .exe to use for this, but you can double-check by editing the library entry, and in the Launcher tab the top .exe should be for the game itself, and the bottom one should be for the setup .exe. You can start it by clicking on the "Configure" option in the right-click menu for a game.

To get across-the-board coverage, I'd also recommend using VirtualMidiSynth for GM audio, as GM basically replaced MT-32 and equivalent devices in later years. VirtualMidiSynth is a soundfont injector, that functions as a midi device just like Munt, so when you have it installed, mixer /listmidi will show devices 0, 1, and 2. For games that you want to use MT-32, midiconfig= will need to be set to the Munt number, and for games that you want to use GM, midiconfig= will need to be set to the VirtualMidiSynth number, and you'll need to configure the game's setup.exe (or whatever) to use MT-32 or GM music. You can set the midiconfig= value on a per-game basis by creating .confs for the games individually - when you edit a game entry in your LB library, in the DOSBox tab there's a field for specifying a custom dosbox.conf and a button for creating one if one isn't specified - you can just click the create button, and then change the midiconfig= value and be good to go.

You have to install a soundfont into VirtualMidiSynth and there are several good ones listed for download on the VirtualMidiSynth site. FluidR3 is a good option, as is OmegaGMGS2 which isn't listed on VirtualMidiSynth's site. Here's a comparison of several different soundfonts:

And here's one specifically for OmegaGMGS2 as it's not in that video:

 

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Thanks!  That was really helpful, and I got it working!  The main step I was missing was running the setup exe.  I was able to use DFend and it's pretty simple.  For those interested, after selecting the game use "edit - Midi" and select the MT-32 Emulator.  Then, "Run Setup" should launch the install.exe where you can select MT-32 as sound device.  If you have Munt running, Tools-Test MIDI Driver will bring up a window and if you see "Midi Input - DOSBOX.EXE" and MIDI Message = Green light then it's working.

It sounds great!  Thanks again Zombeaver.

 

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No problem! :)

One other thing, if you want to try out VirtualMIDISynth for General Midi (and I really recommend that you do), I suggest doing so sooner rather than later, because installing it shuffles the midi device numbers in DOSBox around a bit. I'm not sure if this is an issue for D-Fend, but the numbers shifted around which caused issues for existing .confs that had the device number specified. I ended up having to go back and change some that I'd done previously, with only Munt installed.

In my experience, they were:

(nothing installed)
0 - GS Wavetable (built into Windows)

(just Munt installed)
0 - GS Wavetable
1 - Munt

(Munt and then VirtualMIDISynth installed)
0 - VirtualMIDISynth
1 - GS Wavetable
2 - Munt

Also, several of the soundfonts that are available for download are in sfArk format, which is a compression format specifically for soundfont files - they have to be decompressed before you can use them in VirtualMIDISynth. There's a standalone program that you can use to decompress them, but a simpler option is to just use cloudconvert. You just upload the sfArk file and then download it as an sf2 (which VirtualMIDISynth can then use).

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Yeah I'd rather stick with dfend since it takes care of the confs for you, and I'm used to it. Does this mint/mt-32 stuff apply to every dos game you run with those settings?  Or are just certain games able to take advantage of it?

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26 minutes ago, damageinc86 said:

Yeah I'd rather stick with dfend since it takes care of the confs for you

So does Launchbox. By default it uses whatever you specify in your base .conf, and if you want to create one for an individual game you literally click one button (create .conf) which duplicates the settings in your base .conf, but you can then edit them for that game if you so choose.

26 minutes ago, damageinc86 said:

Does this mint/mt-32 stuff apply to every dos game you run with those settings?  Or are just certain games able to take advantage of it?

As I said, not all games support MT-32; and among those that do, not all of them necessarily sound better with MT-32 audio (though the vast majority do). This is why you really want to use something like VirtualMidiSynth in addition to Munt, because General Midi became the standard and basically replaced MT-32 and other similar devices in later years.

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So just having the mt32 as your soundcard wouldn't necessarily make a game sound any better if it wasn't designed to specifically take advantage of it?  I was hoping it would sort of translate it all to bring your base level sound up to higher quality. I wonder if there's a list of compatible games. I'm betting keen and stuff doesn't take advantage of it lol.

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Think of it like an instrument - you could have the most beautiful violin arrangement in the world, but if you take that same composition and throw it on a banjo it's not necessarily going to sound too good. Now apply that concept to an entire orchestra, which is essentially what the MT-32 is. It has banks of different instruments, arranged in a specific way which MIDI composers could tap into to create the music. At the time, each device had their own arrangements for where each instrument was located, which means you couldn't just take a composition for one device (one orchestra) and throw it onto another, because they were arranged differently. Now, suddenly your piano section has the violin's sheet music and vice versa. This is why you have to specifically choose MT-32, SC-55, or whatever other devices are supported - because the MIDI tracks had to be altered to match the instrument arrangement for each device.

This is where General Midi came in - General Midi is (among other things) a standardization of the instrument numbering which allowed the same compositions to be used across different devices, because the instrument locations were pre-defined, across the board - now the individual instruments (midi device) might be replaced, but the location of each instrument in the orchestra stayed the same (instrument numbering), so the same sheet music (MIDI track) could still be used. This is why you can have one "device" - VirtualMIDISynth - that you plug different soundfonts into, but they all sound right, because they're just replacing one version of specific instruments with a different version of the same instruments; you're replacing a Bösendorfer with a Steinway as opposed to a Bechstein with a Zildjian :P

1 hour ago, damageinc86 said:

So just having the mt32 as your soundcard wouldn't necessarily make a game sound any better if it wasn't designed to specifically take advantage of it?

Generally it's more an issue of, if it wasn't designed for it, it won't support it period. My point about some games that support it not sounding better was just that there are certain games where you can tell they put in support for it, but the compositions themselves aren't necessarily a good fit for the device. Take Descent, for example: Adlib vs SC-55 (different device, but same idea). Obviously it's subjective, but I think the mechanical/artificial sound of the Adlib is a much better fit for the style of music. A lot of early Sierra titles were composed specifically for the MT-32, and you can really tell because they sound phenomenally better on it than with Adlib (the Police Quest 2 intro I linked in the other thread is a great example of this). In most cases where MT-32 is supported though, it'll sound better.

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4 hours ago, Zombeaver said:

No problem! :)

One other thing, if you want to try out VirtualMIDISynth for General Midi (and I really recommend that you do), I suggest doing so sooner rather than later, because installing it shuffles the midi device numbers in DOSBox around a bit. I'm not sure if this is an issue for D-Fend, but the numbers shifted around which caused issues for existing .confs that had the device number specified. I ended up having to go back and change some that I'd done previously, with only Munt installed.

 

Sounds like good advice, it probably would shuffle the MIDI device for D-Fend as well.  I definitely plan on checking that out!

 

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Anyone here know why VirtualMIDISynth won't install on my Win 10 x64 machine? When I double click on the installer, nothing seems to happen. I have downloaded a couple of different versions from its web site and it is the same for each one, ie, nothing. I am running Win 10 x64 1709, if that matters.

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I use 7 so I can't really verify, but it's listed as 10 / 64-bit compatible on the site, so it should work. You might want to make sure that it isn't getting blocked by some type of AV software or something.

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11 minutes ago, Zombeaver said:

I use 7 so I can't really verify, but it's listed as 10 / 64-bit compatible on the site, so it should work. You might want to make sure that it isn't getting blocked by some type of AV software or something.

Yeah, its web site says Win 10 is supported, and I see from the forums there others have gotten it to install. I have turned off all malware/AV software just in case that is the cause, but to no effect. I have left a query on its forum and am hoping the creator of the software can help me out. I continue to try things, and if I figure it out, I'll leave the info here, just in case it helps someone else down the line.

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did you try running it in compatibility mode?

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