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-^CrossBow^-

Roland MT-200: GoTEK floppy emulator config, install, & use

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As some might know by now, I've got an MT-200 that I picked up over a month ago now. Really cool little device from Roland that was originally intended for use in teaching music. But these devices have the ability to play back midi files through built in disk drives that use IBM formatted 3.5 inch disks. They can also be used as sound modules and with modern day computers can still be made to be used with ScummVM and Dosbox for classic gaming. Anyway I was getting frustrated with my disks seeming to work one day and then a week later suddenly given me read errors. So I read up on using one of these cheap Gotek floppy emulators into mine. But information on actually making one work with my MT-200 wasn't to be found. I did find Gotek's pre-configured to work with devices like my Roland MT-200 and its variants on eBay, but at $80 + shipping that seemed crazy to me. So I bought a generic Gotek with the intention of figuring out how to make it work in my Roland MT-200.

 

I was quite successful and it turned out to be MUCH easier than I thought it would be. I did a video last week on the process of which jumpers are needed, the installation, and the software I found to make it all work in my Roland MT-200. I now share this knowledge in my recently released YT video so that you don't have to pay those crazy prices on eBay either and can hopefully find this useful:

 

 

 

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Someone local to me with an MT-200 for sale at $75. I've been tempted by it, and even more so after seeing your success with this.

 

I take it that the MT-200 is basically an MT-32 with the self contained playback added on? As in, it would mean it would work with old sierra games, etc in MT-32 mode?

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Not quite. The MT-200 actually contains the Roland Sound Canvas instrument bank set in it. Basically the MT-200 is an SC-55 with the ability to playback midi files on its own. However, there is the ability to load the MT-200 with an MT-32 emulation mode. The SC-55 has this mode access via key presses on the module. But that isn't possible on the MT-200. So years ago, Roland created a .mid file that can switch the MT-200 into MT-32 emulation mode.

 

However....

 

This will only work and sound sorta correct on .mid files and games that used the default MT-32 sound bank. But the reality is that most of the games during the MT-32 era used custom sound patches as the MT-32 was a true synthesizer that could be custom molded on the sounds. So in a nutshell the MT-200 is not going to work very well for older Sierra games. It will work wonderful for games that used the General Midi standard as an option in their sound card menus. And naturally games that took advantage of the Sound Canvas will also sound excellent on the MT-200. Newer Sierra adventure games starting with I believe SQ4 began to offer the General Midi standard for sound and the reality is that in most cases, the general midi music was usually composed on the SC-55 anyway. So the MT-200 would be accurate to what the composers intended on the newer games that support GM/GS modes.

 

Now, there is actually a similar devices that can playback midi files that is also and MT-32. It is called the MT-100 but didn't use normal floppy disks. Instead it uses what are known as QDisks or quick disk. Similar to Nintendo's diskette format for the Famicone Disk system though not compatible with that of course.

 

BTW here is a very cool Midi file that was recently released being played back by my MT-200 from the actual GoTek drive and recorded directly into my PC:

 

https://drive.google.com/open?id=18l5yu8UCgW44O2PXnbvKnT55Pij1ZVxy

 

It is because of the above that I own both my MT-200 and an actual MT-32 connected together on my PC. Let me know if you have any other questions and I'd be happy to help!

Edited by -^Cro§Bow^-

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Thanks for the detailed explanation! Ok I see I was confusing it with the MT-100. SC-55 internals is probably actually more useful for day to day use, being GM/GS compatible for most midi playback other than Sierra games. :) and starting off with a standard 3.5" drive instead of quickdisk is a plus too.

 

I remember the SC-55, and the 'fake' MT-32 mode, and exactly that it doesn't emulate custom MT-32 patches.

 

$75 is probably a good deal then :) just less interesting info on the lcd screen.

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Yeap and you can't quite change things with the instruments as easily on the fly as you could with the SC-55 itself. But again the MT-200 and its later products based on it, were designed for Teaching music using a midi controller for the most part. The MT stood for Music Tutor and it says as much on the owners manual. So while it does contain all the guts of the SC-55 inside it, it wasn't quite designed to be used in the same way that the SC-55 would have been.

 

But yes for general composition use and the fact it supports GM and GS means you actually have a larger library of games it will work with starting from about '93 on up until the redbook audio took over 100%.

 

The MT-32 is great for the games from about '87 - '92 there abouts and even though it isn't a GM standard synth, there also exists custom patches you can load into MT-32s to remap their instruments to make it more GM compatible with later games that didn't support the MT-32 directly.

 

I do play more games using my MT-200 than my MT-32 I can safely say that.

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