The MT-32 VS The Amiga


Rear Admiral
This is a topic caused by a general frustration over "tiny" comments I sometimes see in various places on the internet when discussing Wing Commander's music. Despite the Amiga's version of the Wing Commander music being generally praised I have often seen a simple light hearted and good comment saying "loved the Amiga's music" replied to with a very short, sly, smart ass comment of "then you never played it with the MT-32" - As if any of them have played it with a real MT-32...

I really don't like comments like that that because I don't think it's that clear cut. "I" do have an MT-32... Which I got just to be able to play a game I love in a new light and see the charms it had to offer. I mean it's deeper with me, because I TRULY HATE the DOS FM music in almost every game. Sometimes I can sort of like it on the Sega Genesis, sometimes they did great things there... But Adlib... And Origin supported Adlib long after it died... Their "Sound Blaster" support for Wing Commander Privateer and WingIII ISSSS Adlib, even though I don't believe the Adlib card was supported anymore... They were definitely not utilizing what the Sound Blaster "could" do, and that's the story with most other companies.

I got a SoundBlaster AWE because I read it had MT-32 emulation along with sounding pretty damn good with the wavetable games it supported... Then I got it... Wing Commander didn't work with it, no protected mode games did, which was most games! Having grown up with the Amiga - In the mid to late 90's I was starting to want to see the games I used to play... and besides maybe Nesticle, there were no "well known" emulators... I'm pretty sure at the time most people were recommending Fellow for DOS as the Amiga emulator of choice, not WinUAE. At the time I really did not understand just how different games could be from system to system. Sometimes I'd play these games on DOS that I once played on the Amiga, and yeah, they "sort of" looked the same, some of them... Some of them looked terrible... But all of them sounded terrible!

I found a lot of appreciation for DOS because I did in fact grow up with it, just the later period of it. But having an Amiga and comparing it with what the PC people were doing back then... It still makes no sense why they won... lol... Anyway, while there are a select few people that I've found to REALLY love FM based tunes... They'll fight me to death over how much better an Adlib card is "technically" to an Amiga even... and I can't take them seriously because although I try to have empathy for others there is no part of my soul that can understand anyone that gets enjoyment out of the DOS FM library. Not only do I think the Amiga is better, I utterly HAAATE how terrible FM music sounds to my ears, it's like my ears are being (insert terrible word here). I honestly with all of my heart believe that the PC speaker (when connected to a sound card, not going through the actual internal speaker) sounded better than FM.

I HAAAD to get an MT-32...and it took me awhile to get... This was before this new patch thing came along that allows much of the MT-32 stuff to be used with just the synthesizer itself. I had to get the MT-32 for over a hundred bucks because you just don't see them enough, I had to get the MPU-401 MIDI control unit, also over a hundred bucks and also not seen very often... And then I had to get the IPC-T internal ISA card for the computer, ALSO over a hundred bucks!

I can say without a doubt that it is the pride of my computer collection, and yes, even over the Amiga... I mean I love the Amiga more have no doubt, but the Amiga never cost me that much (even after upgrading it a lot) and it certainly didn't need to be pieced together like that... Plus; well, the Amiga in my mind was always good... The MT-32 turned crap into gold... That was a big leap in terms of DOS hardware. By no means was the MT-32 perfect, it was never meant to be used on a computer, it just sort of turned out a few computer people (Sierra started it) got into designing games with that in mind and it became a computer thing. But in terms of being a musical synthesizer, the musical people never had any respect for the MT-32... Which is wroth noting, but I don't give a damn because it's HEAVEN compared to Adlib!

There were many things pushing me over many years to get an MT-32 despite the cost... But indeed it was my love for Wing Commander that had the last say... After playing the DOS versions and then playing the Amiga version one day; I had enough of that crap! I NEEDED that hardware... and it is my most treasured classic computing device because of how much it meant - to not only make what I thought was terrible sound good, but the actual effort expended to get the device itself is something I'll never forget.

So despite all that, respecting the MT-32 THAT much because of how much better it made Adlib music sound... Well, "I" have the MT-32, and I "still" think the Amiga sounds better. - While I utterly respect anyone that disagrees with that, I do take exception to MT-32 fans thinking it's the "obvious" winner. I said previously I could not understand why anyone would like FM over either the Amiga or MT-32, and those people do exist... But for people who prefer the MT-32 over the Amiga, I can understand that because they are both quality sounding things. People can throw in your face the technicals all they want, how ever many MIDI channels the MT-32 had VS 4-8 PCM channels on the Amiga... To me that's a terrible argument to make because if you can listen to 30 children sing you a song - having them be out of sync, out of tune, not even wanting to be there - ORRR - You could have one person sing you a song WELL... I'd rather have the one person sing well.

The Amiga relied on samples from actual instruments, and even with the limitations of the system talented people crammed way more into it than what seemed technically possible. And beyond realistic stuff, it had it's own unique and good sound when it wanted that. I hear the intro to a game like Agony on the Amiga and I'm blown away at how this computer from 1985 is giving me a better sounding piano than some real pianos! I don't care what the sample rate is, I know when something sounds good and when it sounds like crap. The SNES also had a sampled based sound card, and while some of it is good, honestly a lot of it sounds like it came from a tin can to me, too much echo... So me hearing an SNES and then comparing it to the Amiga, it's like going from mono to stereo to my ears, although the SNES did have stereo, but you know what I'm getting at. On the "rare" occasions the Genesis sounded good, I felt it sounded better than the SNES. But the Amiga sounded better than them all to me. From the big things like an entire games musical score, to just the tiny intro music or just a sound effect... Having the Amiga add on just minimal sound effects in a game like Battletech, which used the PC speaker in DOS - I can't tell you how much extra enjoyment I get out of that.

Not everything sounded realistic with the Amiga, but everything sounded good... and when the people making music did take their time to do those extra samples, it was some sweet stuff. The MT-32, in comparison, for the most part sounds terrific with games. It's not often you think it sounds "bad"... Although it does happen. I do believe the MT-32 gave us more realistic sounding string based instruments, like the violin section when compared to the Amiga. But I have nothing against how strings sound on an Amiga, they sound great most of the time... But the MT-32 REALLY sounds great with those strings. Also with the drums, again, I love how the Amiga makes drums sound, but the MT-32 REALLY makes those drum rhythms sound great.

But it couldn't play a piano to save it's life. Guitars were pretty bad compared to the Amiga and the woodwinds were nothing special on it. I have gone through every instrument on my MT-32 and played them on a keyboard (that's in a video by the way should anyone care enough to ask about it) While there are a lot of gems (including a to DIE FOR Kyoto that I can't understand was not used more often) there are a lot of bad ones on there too... The MT-32 was a strange hybrid that was both sample based AND syntheses based. They call it L.A. Synthesis I believe, a very uncommon thing. The actual attack of the instrument, much like the Amiga, was recorded. However the sustain, the part that lasts the longest in most cases, that was FM actually. It combined the two thinking few would notice as a cost cutting measure... It was done because the MT-32 was "cheap" in terms of musical synthesizers, although quite expensive in terms of computer sound cards. Which is why in the end, regardless of your opinion on if the MT-32 sounds better than the Amiga or not, everyone should really take full stock in how few people had that thing.... While it did sound great, was it worth the price of your actual already too expensive computer when compared to the Amiga? All of that stuff needs to be heavily weighed when forming an opinion on something, it can't just be about the way it sounds, that's certainly important, but it does matter that almost nobody actually experienced Wing Commander on an MT-32 back in the day.

The MT-32 was great in terms of DOS sound devices, but it had issues that truly made the musical press hate that thing. For some reason, despite using attack samples for most instruments, they seemed to have forgotten about the piano... It's the grand daddy of them all, it is the most important instrument to mankind, it is the FIRST question asked about the quality of a musical device. How does the piano sound? The MT-32? Pretty damn bad. And I guess even though designers could input their own stuff into the MT-32, for some reason I have never quite understood, because Roland did not have an actual sample of a piano I guess nobody else could make their own either, or they just never sounded good! The Fat Man did the best "piano" I ever heard for the MT-32 and that was jazz during Wing Commander II. Although it's the best I've heard on that device, it's only impressive because I know it's "supposed" to be a piano, both because of Jazz playing a piano and because the MT-32 actually gives the message of "my piano" when that music starts. - But if that same song was played without those things, still sounds more like an electric keyboard to me.

I was never disappointed in the way the Amiga sounded. Although I love the MT-32 there are things about it that I was disappointed in. But the crux of the story is the simple fact that so many people do still say "but that Amiga music!" when referring to Wing Commander. By now it has to be obvious that it's not simply because they never heard the MT-32. They get it, in fact I got it enough to buy one myself. The Amiga soundtrack to Wing Commander is truly great and special. It's not just impressive in terms of getting all of those MIDI channels crammed into the Amiga, but it actually sounds awesome in its own right. Sierra never really cared about the Amiga, I've seen comments from them in magazines saying how much they LOVE the Amiga, how much they care about it (despite their ports I guess for some games there were more buyers on the Amiga than DOS), but they never showed they cared because they had the most laziest way of porting games to the Amiga. It's a shame... And while the Amiga music to Sierra games does sound better than the FM stuff, it's obvious it does not sound better than the MT-32... Why? Because the lazy bastards just sampled the MT-32 itself for the Amiga! That's like making a copy of a copy, it's not going to compare.

Wing Commander got actual samples of real instruments, it sounds good. So does the MT-32, but I do believe it's ever so more nuanced than people just not having heard the MT-32. The MT-32 is very subtle in spots, like in the opening fanfare before it starts to blow up again. The entire barracks scene is very subtle on the MT-32. It's all very realistic, the Fat Man was not using any instruments that were bad, he knew how to make that thing shine! - and it is the original, which does matter to me... But the Amiga music is still great while being so damn bold! The acoustic bass in that slow section of the fanfare is barely audible on the MT-32 despite having a big sub-woofer for my system. It's "sort of" in the left speaker, but not completely... The barracks music is very "meh" to me, and I just save my game and go on. The Amiga in comparison makes that bass noticeable and puts it all in the left speaker, it's the center piece for that chunk of music and it's background on the MT-32. Some people may not like how the Amiga, for the most part (although it didn't HAVE to be that way) had most sounds in either the left or right speaker completely, most of the time it was not "centered". I understand that... But for me the three dimensions of sound the Amiga always shoved in my ears, I couldn't get enough of it. Anybody here experience ASMR? The Amiga gave that to me as a kid because of that hard panned music. The stuff came from all over the place to your ears! The barracks, a place to save and move on from... Best music from the game in my opinion but I can only say that about the Amiga version.

That was a hell of a long post to state something simple, but that's the way I do it. Yes, I grew up on the machine and it's how I first heard Wing Commander... I loved it then, I love it now... But I recognize not everything on the Amiga sounds better than the MT-32, and I very much love the MT-32... To me they are both great ways to experience music. I prefer both of them over the digitized music George Oldziey did for the Kilrathi Saga, which I also had back then. Perhaps nostalgia bumps it a little in favor of the Amiga for me, which is why I utterly understand people that do think the MT-32 sounds better. I can't fault you for your opinion on what sounds better to your ears... AS LONG as you don't fault me for my ears either. I feel we should all agree they are both kick ass, and just bash the FM stuff together as one big family... Who's with me?!

I wouldn't be surprised if a couple people got super angry because of what I said about FM music... To me it makes no sense, it "has to be" about nostalgia in order to prefer that, because... I'll just never understand, and I did grow up with FM stuff too... There is no game I can say I utterly prefer in FM over the MT-32, the Amiga, or General MIDI. I'm sorry if it offends anyone, I don't wish to start a war on that, I'm just trying to better illustrate my opinons on the MT-32 VS the Amiga by letting others understand the distaste I have for FM.

I'm not the only one who can't stand FM (a whole lot of people agree with me on that one), it's just so hard for me to put myself in anyones shoes when it comes to that. With the MT-32? I do understand it, it's a great device. - But I have heard several people over the years respond to a comment praising the Amiga sound in Wing Commander with a very simple, kind of trollish, certainly arrogant comment of "Try the MT-32 if you think that." - As if any of them actually had that thing, as if their experience with the MT-32 is not utterly based on the emulation of it. As if they know something nobody else knows about... I mean not everyone knows about the MT-32, but I think it's fare to say everyone here does. I sincerely doubt anyone who came into Wing Commander thinking the Amiga version sounded fantastic, having no experience with DOS, I doubt any of them would change their mind on that even if they had the MT-32 right in front of them. - And they both sound a little different in-person VS emulation by the way. Neither one of them have perfect sound emulation if you ask me. - Nostalgia is one thing but it's a statement when the people that did have the Amiga so strongly feel the love for that music.

So this was is just a long and drawn out piece just saying for anyone who thinks it's obvious, is it really? Have you really taken time to play the Amiga version? It's the best port of Wing Commander, and it's also special in a lot of ways. I recommend playing the 16 color version because it's unique VS the CD32 version which really only changes the music, that's not enough in my eyes. The graphics looking so good in 16 colors (try EGA out to truly understand how good the Amiga is - or even just the console ports which had more colors) is an experience all fans of Wing Commander must have. I played it on a slow ass Amiga 500 back in the day and I had no clue it was slow... I can still play it as a matter of fact, because it's a damn good game. I do play the DOS version more often, because it's the overall best experience when all is said and done, but the Amiga is oh so special and deserves to be taken out once in awhile. I understand liking the MT-32 more, but the snide replies to fans of the Amiga music must go, because they're both great. I would hope this long write up from a guy who has both of them physically, who loves both of them, and still loves the Amiga... Because it sounds good and it puts its own spin on the fantastic original. Thanks to all that read. - Really not directed at anyone in particular, I was just inspired to write because that is something I've seen from various places over the years.
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Rear Admiral
- Although, it has just occurred to me that with regards to FM music, it's possible this place might have the largest amount of people who in fact do have a fondness for FM... Given that before Adlib the PC had beeps... And certain games like Wing Commander, although designed for the MT-32, for those who had no experience with the other sounds out there, I really do feel for those that fell in love with FM... I'm not meaning to beat up on FM as much as highlight the greatness of the MT-32 and Amiga in comparison. I'm hoping, for the sake of not being run out of town, that most who may have fell in love with the FM music are able to understand it's probably not the best way to play games "if" you have other options. I mean does anyone emulate using FM these days? It has been a long time since I saw a video of Wing Commander using Adlib.... Anyway, sorry in advance to FM lovers, I try, I just can't get it... Be kind. I do believe the DOS Wing Commander is the overall best version, if that helps...
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Vice Admiral
Well, you have a lot of valid points, but let's not forget that software wavetable was also a thing, making it's way into later games(I'm not sure but I believe wing commander 3 actually featured digitised drums for playback, combined with FM synthesis. I replaced my FM Card for a Gravis Ultrasound, that also had MT32 emulation using a sample set.. I used that card, even expanded the memory to it's maximum, purchased an "extreme" model that added true FM-synthesis and 100% soundblaster compatibility in hardwarem and used the card untill it went obsolete(And then upgraded to a daimond monstersound with added hardware wavetable banks. (At this moment, I'm using halion one, software wavetable, for midi playback)

While the gravis was not the high-end hardware wavetable the roland cards were, it offered game designers the freedom to include samplesets specifically for the game, TIE fighter's deluxe edition from 1996 was with easy the best sounding game ever using the IMUSE interactive music systen. Sadly, Advanced Gravis went the way of the dodo when the design proved unable to work with Microsofts Directsound.

While the Amiga offered fantastic arcade quality sound for the time, I was never that enthousiastic on the playback I heard from the system, at least most games use 8KHZ samples on the system, but the amiga's soundhardware appears to be capable of much, much more.

One game that comes to mind that had a superb adlib soundtrack was Taito's Rambo 3.

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I've always thought of the MT-32 music as being the definitive version not because it's absolutely the best but more because the music was composed on an MT-32 in the first place. So you're hearing the music the same way the composer intended.

Although I love Wing Commander music, I have a tin ear... so what fascinates me the most is the differences I can see between the versions. Plenty of room in the canon for the Amiga music, the FM synth or even the bizarre Sega CD stuff. :) (Heck, I played the game on a 286/12 with just PC speaker originally and still loved it...)


Rear Admiral
(Heck, I played the game on a 286/12 with just PC speaker originally and still loved it...)

I don't think I've ever tried Wing Commander with the PC speaker... Did it offer any music that way or just sound effects? I don't know what it is about that damn speaker but I always get a kick out of it when I do happen to come across a game that used it for music. If Wing Commander used some of the themes with the PC speaker I'll have to give that a go one of these days. I'd probably like it more than Adlib.

In regards to the later wavetable stuff; oh yeah, I was just focusing on the first game with this discussion. It always kind of blew my mind how cutting edge they were when it came to graphics and music and yet their Sound Blaster support in Wing3 and Privateer 2 is nothing more than adlib... In 1994... It sounds awful.... The soundblaster cards were truly capible of a lot more by that point... Of course by that time they were designing the music using a Roland RAP-5 or something else, wavetable stuff. I got myself a SoundBlaster AWE for the wavetable stuff. I was originally hoping that AWE could emulate the MT-32 (features minor support for "some" games) but I was then forced to learn about intelligent and unintelligent sysex commands and all kinds of crap... I bought the AWE to make Wing Commander sound better, found out it didn't really help, then just said screw it, get the MT-32! - The AWE did feature some programs to add effects/reverb, which I was using on Wing Commander before I got the MT-32... It really helped the adlib come out a little more, it gave it some stereo dimension, and when I'm forced to use FM I often use that program to screw with the music. At that point I don't give a damn how the creator intended them to sound, because I don't like myself Adlib... All our stereos feature equalizers, because in the end, it's about us, not what they intended us to hear.

Computer musicians bent on us hearing what they "intended" is what got us the later DOS games which featured ONLY digital audio streamed from CD. When the musicians were in fact still composing on the same Roland device, still using MIDI, but they decided you needed to hear the compressed audio streamed from CD... I really wish Wing Commander IV gave you the choice of music cards, because I've heard games that offer both (Heroes of Might and Magic II defaults to digital but you can switch to MIDI) and if you happen to have a good general MIDI or wavetable card it ends up sounding better on the card than the CD. Their heart was in the right place; people hearing that stuff using a Sound Blaster FM card were not getting a good experience, the digital music was a huge upgrade... But what a slap in the face at the few people who did get good cards...

Back to the later games... Seemed very weird that Origin, of all companies, never tried to upgrade their sound blaster support to the OPL3 chip, not even sure if it had OPL2.... The FM stuff on Wing3 and Priv2 are simply terrible... Of course the Fat Man designed Wing1 and 2 with the MT-32, but he did take his time with the Adlib stuff... He was dependent on that terrible technology, but he reworked the music for Adlib, he tried... George, really great guy from all I've seen of him, but I'm pretty sure the MIDI was not tweaked for other cards. Since they did not support the newer sound blasters (which more people would have had than wavetable) you ended up with that original Adlib junk but without any love put into it...

It was the one place I ended up enjoying my Kilrathi Saga music more than what I grew up with. I did like the digital music of Wing3 in KS because it was so much better than the Sound Blaster I remembered.... But 10 years ago when I got that AWE card... Changed my mind on that, too! Wing3 is some sweet sweet music when played on a wavetable card... I really wish Wing4 offered that as well...


You have to bear in mind the way a lot of later MIDI soundtracks worked back in the day: the composers typically wouldn't write separate versions of their compositions for each possible device. Instead, they would use drivers which would take a generic track and map the chosen instruments to ones suitable for each device from timbre libraries supplied with the drivers. At best, you'd perhaps have two compositions: one usually written for the Sound Canvas which would also be used for other sample based devices, and one used for FM based devices; maybe a dedicated Ultrasound version if you were very lucky. In the worst case scenario, you'd only have one composition that either wouldn't take full advantage of the GM compatible devices, or would sound like ass on the less capable FM devices. That's perhaps why WC3 didn't utilise OPL3 based chips as well as it could have: the soundtrack wasn't written specifically for them and would only have sounded as good as the timbre library being used.

It would have been nice to have hand composed, device specific tracks, but that would have been a hell of a job considering the number of different sound cards/modules available in the mid 90s.
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Vice Admiral
Privateer on an SC-55 Sounds amazing and I really didn't understand how emotional the impact of it would be until I bought an SC-55. There are some good soundfonts out there but they just don't have the same Bass reproduction the actual hardware has. Isn't it possible to connect an MT-32 to an Amiga? I was reading that people had been connecting the MT-32 to other platforms other than PC. Has anyone tried to play Wing Commander on Amiga through an MT-32? and assuming an Amiga can connect to an MT-32, does Wing Commander support playing through it?

Heroes of Might and Magic 2 in Midi on an SC-55 sounds wicked. I've downloaded the Midis recently to check them out. I have Heroes of Might and Magic 1 and 2 kicking around on CD here.
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Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Has anyone tried to play Wing Commander on Amiga through an MT-32? and assuming an Amiga can connect to an MT-32, does Wing Commander support playing through it?
A very limited number of Amiga games do support MT-32 music, but sadly Wing Commander isn't among them (it's all Sierra adventure game ports.) Support WAS planned and spoken of in interviews... but it's not present in the released game.


Vice Admiral
I just got a hold of an MT-32 earlier this week (a real MT-32). Hooked it up to DOSBox via a Roland UM-ONE mk2 USB-MIDI adapter (cheap, but apparently one of the best adapters). And then downloaded WC1 off of GoG to try that out (after configuring it to use the MT-32).

I was surprised to learn that all the audio came out of the MT-32 - music and sound effects - there was no support for any digitized effects played back via a DAC (usually a SoundBlaster) like most Sierra games (which used an MT-32 for music and coupled it with a DAC based card for digitized sound). DIdn't mess around too much - but does it mean all the effects actually come from the MT-32? I know there's some internal memory to upload new instruments and call them up via MIDI. And I know it's why the SC-55 was never that great at MT-32 emulation (because the SC-55 lacked the ability to upload new instruments).

Though for fun I did also try it with my SC-88 Pro (which has internal memory) in CM-64 mode (the CM-64 was a combo CM-32P and CM-32L unit, the latter being an updated MT-32), and while I think the SC-88 Pro does support the necessary SysEx, because internally it uses a different sample rate, the uploaded audio sounds ... squeaky (the MT-32 uses a 32kHz sampling rate, while the SC-88Pro is 44.1kHz).

Of course, I could be talking up my ass here as I haven't had enough time to investigate this more thoroughly. All I know is the MT-32 is loved and hated - loved because it was a cheap(er) synth and thus popular with the DOS crowd. and hated because musicians hated how bad it was (Roland built it to a price, and they ensured it was deliberately not as good as their "pro" offerings so people wouldn't buy an MT-32 over their "real" instruments).. Only its notoriety and popularity forces music sites to admit it exists, but is often prefaced with "It's a lousy synth and you're better served with other units" - it's noisy and otherwise "bad" and we only list it because it was popular.


Vice Admiral
I was surprised to learn that all the audio came out of the MT-32 - music and sound effects - there was no support for any digitized effects played back via a DAC (usually a SoundBlaster) like most Sierra games (which used an MT-32 for music and coupled it with a DAC based card for digitized sound). DIdn't mess around too much - but does it mean all the effects actually come from the MT-32?
There was no digital audio in WC1.. And even WC2 used digital audio only for speech.. And probably for the better, I don't think my sampled weapons would do the gameplay any good.. (On my 386sx I also turned them off for X-wing, since firing the guns or a passing fighter would "freeze" the game...

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
I am now curious whether or not Wing Commander uses any of the extra 'game' sounds from the CM-32... I've always played with an LAPC-I card, so I've never compared to a standard MT-32. (Apparently Ultima VII and Ultima Underworld both took advantage of the extra sounds... makes me very curious!)

Do regular MT-32 users still have the very satisfying THUNK for the mass drivers?


Vice Admiral
From the table -

The Ultima series used the CM-32 extra sounds, while Wing Commander itself was designed for the "old" MT-32 (the headphone jack-less version).

I think the MT-32 would play the mass driver effects very nicely - a lot of sounds are downloaded by WC1 to the MT-32 on startup (this is where the "MT-32" mode of the SC-55 fails - the SC-55 has no memory for user sounds). Like I said, the game's effects are loaded as individual instruments so every time you fire, it plays it as if it was playing an instrument.

Unfortunately, my retro gaming setup needs to be redone, so I can't exactly go and play through WC1 to actually verify.


1st Lieutenant
The first version I saw (briefly) of wing commander was on 286 -16mhz and ega display and pc speaker (no music - probably was disabled by default by my mate), and I wasn'nt overly impressed. But I knew that a VGA and an ADLIB would make that game shine. I saw the pics on the magazines so I knew...

When I got the Amiga version of my humble A500 with 1 mb and 2nd floppy drive, I just a took a look at the number of disks (3!) and prepared myself to be disapointed big time... And guess what?! I loved it - and one of the main points being that wonderful music!
Naturally when I played later on (a few months later) my new A1200 with HD I loved it to bits! - Back then I just wished they would release an AGA version (the graphic chipset of the A1200 and A4000).

I got to see a wing commander bundle for the CD32 and hoped it was AGA, and that would be playable on computer with CD-ROM. But it took a lot of years to get that version and play it on an A4000 (which is dead now). So I got the best original Wing Commander Version period. As for the MT32, never knew anyone who had one, so quite frankly never heard it natively.

I've heard some Youtube Mt-32 games musics, and they sound great, but they just don't have the punch to drive the game as the Amiga in capable hands did.

So if it wasn't for the music, would amiga users remember fondly of wing commander? I seriously doubt that. It's like that piece that everyone says that Star Wars would be a flop without the John Williams score - And yeah I believe it wouldn't be a classic without that.

And it's not the just the hardware in itself or the Mark work - it's both!
Simply just try to watch an amiga replay with the genesis score - it feels underwhelming as hell.
In fact there are times that when the action gets crowded on the Mega-CD version it felt like the amiga 500 performance. With a lacklustre score it gets somewhat shallow or even tedious experience.

That's my opinion anyway - The amiga version although could have some more saving graces on the GFX dept (specially on the cutscenes), had the best sounding score - no matter what MT-32 waving around argument can be made.
So I wholly agree with Shot perspective on this subject.
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Rear Admiral
Very interesting article, and it reminds my quest for the holy grail of Wing Commander music: MT-32.
Now my interest is raised: where can I listen to the Amiga Wing Commander sample?


There is a MT-32 emulator called 'munt' yo can use to try the sound out yourself. I think it makes a hell of a difference to the sound quality. There are a few videos on youtube showing how to get it up and running. You will need the roms though. All I'm going to say is that if you already own an MT-32 you can download the roms with a clear conscience using a quick Google search. If you don't own one, you would be a swashbuckling pirate if you downloaded those roms.

On a side note, when did pirates go from being badasses who killed, pillaged, and plundered wearing peglegs and eye patches to being weedy little nerds downloading Game of Thrones in their mums basement? They aint as hard as they used to be.


Vice Admiral
"Piracy" as a term to mean copyright infringement dates back to the 1600s, so it's not a new term. It's been around for as long as Copyright itself has been around, pretty much.

Anyhow, the easiest way is to use use a DOSBox with MT-32 emulation built in. Mac users are set here since Boxer (DOSBox front end) has it and even offers a nice LCD overlay. Second easiest is using regular DOSBox with Munt emulating a MIDI port. (This is complicated by the fact Windows 8 dropped the MIDI mapper so every app needs to implement their own mapper).

For me, I just hook DOSBox up to the real MIDI port and hook it too a real MT-32. The MT-32 fits nicely beneath the laptop!