Terry, BFD, MIDI & notebook PC?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by BruceD, Jun 27, 2001.

  1. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Terry,
    I have a Hitachi multimedia notebook (Win95) with a Yamaha OPL3-SAx Sound system ( it appears to have game port support with a joystick icon in the "Control Panel"), but no actual hardware game port. It does have stereo mini-phone plug Line-in and Speaker-out, mono mini-phone plug mic-in, DB9 serial, DB25 parallel, PS2 miniDIN, DB9 external monitor, and USB.
    The "multimedia" icon in the "Control Panel" shows MIDI configuration settings like the following (as well as audio and video device settings):
    MIDI output
    Single instrument (select one)
    MIDI for Yamaha OPL3-SA MPU401
    MIDI for Yamaha OPL3-SA SoftSynth
    MIDI for Yamaha OPL3-SA FM Synthesizer
    If I want to setup/control a Behringer 1100PRO feedback destroyer with it's MIDI control (I already have the Behringer software that allows selection of MIDI input and output devices), will the Midiman PortmanPC/P (parallel port adapter connection) give me all the connections I need?
    www.midiman.net/midiman.htm
    I assume the connection is only DIN-5/In and DIN-5/Out on the Behringer and the Parallel port on the Notebook PC running Windows 95.
    Will I select 1 of the 3 Yamaha devices above for MIDI output? or does the Behringer have to be connected to the parallel port first and be running?
    BruceD
     
  2. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Bruce,
    The best way to attach MIDI to your computer will be through the sound card's joystick port. It seems that your PC probably has the joystick control embedded in the chipset. If you can possibly find a way to attach a joystick adapter to that computer, that is the best way to go. The joystick adapter is the MPU401 (standard PC MIDI in/out port), you can get an adapter for $5. MIDI for Yamaha OPL3-SA MPU401 would be the port for accessing the external device.
    Your plan to use a parallel port MPU-401 adapter is just as good. In your MIDI program to access the FBD you'll have a list of MIDI ports to use and you'll select Midiman PortmanPC/P as the port. Should work fine.
    You should see how complicated my MIDI setup is! [​IMG]
    ------------------
    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
     
  3. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Phillip,
    Thanks for responding.
    Yes, I would like to figure out what the hardware connection for the "joystick" icon in the "control panel" is, but I just don't have a joystick hardware port on the notebook. Any chance I could use the PS2 port (normally for keyboards and mice)? I also have two (2) type II PCMCIA slots and stereo speakers on-board.
    When selecting the "joystick" icon, it says:
    "Your joystick is not connected correctly" and gives me a dialog box to select from "Joystick1 . . . Joystick4"
    When opening the "system" in the "control panel" and selecting the "Device Manager" then selecting "Sound, video, and Game controllers" I have two items listed:
    Yamaha OPL3-SAx GamePort
    Yamaha OPL3-SAx Sound system
    I'm assuming all of this is part of the standard Yamaha OPL3-SAx Sound System that gets shipped with Desktop PCs or notebooks that have on-board sound chips.
    I sure would like to only buy a set of MIDI cables to use my MIDI capable notebook, but I just don't know how to deal with the missing GamePort.
    It appears the $60 Portman PC-P is my only real option. Anybody know of others?
    BruceD
     
  4. Philip Hamm

    Philip Hamm Lead Actor

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    Sorry if this seems painfully obvious (and you've probabyl already tried it) but have you been to the web site for the notebook manufacturer and the sound board manufacturer? Try those and ask how to connect a joystick.
    ------------------
    Philip Hamm
    AIM: PhilBiker
     
  5. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Philip,
    You make a good point, but Hitachi stopped making and supporting notebook PCs in 1999. Even their web-site doesn't work for information (dead-end links).
    This leaves me with no-one to consult or ask questions of, so the reason for some of my questions here.
    Thanks,
    BruceD
     
  6. TerryC

    TerryC Stunt Coordinator

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    Bruce,
    Sounds like you are out of luck. From my undertanding it is very important that the sound cards Joystick port and emulation work under that Midi spec. Many sound cards don't and I'd wager that no sort of "joystick adaptor" will do it.
     
  7. Phil Olson

    Phil Olson Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you have a USB port? I just bought a MIDIMAN 1X1 USB Midi interface, (I had trouble getting my Creative AWE64 to behave). I hooked it up and it worked fine after I installed the drivers.
    I now have a pair of 25' midi cables so that I can control my FBD in the HT with my PC in my office. I think that the 1X1 requires at least Win98, (I am using Win2000), but I am not sure.
    I think that USB is the way to go for most peripherals now. It is much cleaner that inserting boards and trying to get the interupts straightened out, etc.
    Good luck!
    Phil
     
  8. BruceD

    BruceD Screenwriter

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    Phil,
    That's a good idea, but I'm currently running win95, so I'll probably get the PortmanPC-P (parallel port version) and long MIDI cables so I can sit in my listening position with my notebook and tinker with the BFD settings.
    Bruce
     

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