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Playing Game Music without a PC: The Roland SB55

Roland produced a number of SoundCanvas and related products. The SoundCanvas 55 came with an optional device called the SoundBrush 55. This was a floppy based MIDI recorder and player. Musicians could use it to either play back MIDI files or alternatively to record their performances. We will of course use the device to play back video game music without the need of a PC! I will have a look inside this device, which is well over 25 years old and also will hook it up to my SC55 and the MT32.

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Sound Cards On The Printer Port? TNDYLPT and LPTsnd

Today I got a package from fellow retro nerd Matze79, aka Retroianer. He sent me two PCB kits for parallel port sound cards: The TNDLPT and the LPTsnd. The former is Tandy compatible sound device by Serdaco, who sells quite a bit of retro kits, and the latter is a DAC for the printer port by Matze79 himself. The two boards let you add either 3 voice synthesized music or 8 bit PCM playback capability to retro DOS machines. A lot of very old games don’t support SoundBlaster or Adlib cards so these are options for getting better sound with your gaming experience. Also many old laptops of the 386 and 486 era don’t come with builtin sound cards, which is why these devices here are useful as well.

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Let’s Code MS DOS 0x0D: Near and Far and IRQs

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The TNDY SN76489 3 Voice Sound Card

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Let’s Code MS DOS 0x0A: Single Cycle SoundBlaster Playback!

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The LABS BlasterBoard Homebrew Soundcard

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Snark Barker Upgrade: SA1099 GameBlaster

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The “Snark Barker” SoundBlaster Compatible Card

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Soundcard Shootout: Adlib OPL2 vs GameBlaster SAA1099

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Assembling the MUS 1099 GameBlaster Clone – Part 2