External MIDI Modules

In this section is a list with the current external MIDI devices I currently own.

Akai SG01k GM Sound Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Akai S3000
  • ROM size: 8 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 189/9 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1995


Alesis NanoSynth (Boxed)

  • Audio chipset: Alesis
  • ROM size: 8 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 640/9 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Year of introduction: 1997


Anteg EasyMidi EM-100 (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Dream SAM9503
  • ROM size: 4 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 317/17 (GM/GS) *
  • Polyphony: 48 (34 with all effects on)
  • Year of introduction: 1999

* This unit uses the same unofficial “Roland GS” sound ROM as the Turtle Beach Cancun FX daughterboard although the GS logo is nowhere to be seen.


Casio GZ-50M GM Sound Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Hitachi HG51B155FD-1
  • ROM size: 2 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/8 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1998


Creative Midi Blaster MB10 (Boxed)

  • Audio chipset: Creative
  • ROM size: ? MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/1 (GM) *
  • Polyphony: 20 *
  • Year of introduction: 1993

* Because this module has only 20-voice polyphony, it is officially disqualified as a GM device (requires 24 at least)

   


Doepfer GMX-1 General Midi Sound Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Dream SAM8905
  • ROM size: ? MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/6 (GM) *
  • Polyphony: 20 *
  • Year of introduction: 1992

* Because this module has only 20-voice polyphony, it is officially disqualified as a GM device (requires 24 at least)


E-MU Sound Engine Music Module (Unit only) *

  • Audio chipset: E-MU 8805
  • ROM size: 4 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 384/64 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1993

* This module is basically the same as the Creative Wave Blaster (CT1900) but with added reverb and chorus effects.


Hammond GM-1000 Sound Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: V.A.S.E. (Versatile Advanced Sound Engine)
  • ROM size: 8 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 368/9 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1994


Kawai GMega Synthesizer Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Kawai DMS2
  • ROM size: 3 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/7 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1992


Korg Audio Gallery AG-10 AI2 Synthesis Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Ai2
  • ROM size: 4MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/4 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1993


Korg NS5R AI2 Synthesis Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Ai2
  • ROM size: 12 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 1049/31 (GM) *
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Year of introduction: 1997

* This module features an internal waveblaster compatible header, so support for a Yamaha XG board is possible. In fact, the NX5R comes with a Yamaha DB51XG daughterboard by default.


Korg X5DR AI2 Synthesis Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Korg Ai2
  • ROM size: 8 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 430/8 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Year of introduction: 1995

 


Midiplus MiniEngine USB (Boxed)

  • Audio chipset: Dream SAM2635
  • ROM size: 1 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 287/8 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Year of introduction: 2016 (?)


Roland CM-32L LA Sound Module (Boxed)

  • Audio chipset: Roland LA synthesis
  • ROM size: 1 MB (2 x 512kB)
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/1
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1989

* This module is basically a LAPC-I ISA soundcard in a box, e.g. a 2nd generation MT-32 with the extra sound effects.


Roland MT-32 Multi Timbre Sound Module (1st gen., Boxed)

  • Audio chipset: Roland LA synthesis
  • ROM size: 0.5 MB (1 x 512kB)
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/1
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1987


Roland PMA-5 Personal Music Assistant (Unit with leather carrying case)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: ? MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 306/16
  • Polyphony: 28
  • Year of introduction: 1996


Roland RA-50 Realtime Arranger (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland LA synthesis
  • ROM size: 0.5 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/1
  • Polyphony: 32
  • Year of introduction: 1988

* This module has an MT-32 soundmap and can therefore act like a second generation MT-32 which can be useful for DOS games. However, it does not support the “All notes off” command, which can lead to hanging notes in DOS games. This can be overcome with the SoftMPU utility though and there is even a hardware “fix” by cutting a trace and connecting two IC pins on the mainboard.


Roland SC-7  Sound Canvas (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: ? MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/6 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 28
  • Year of introduction: 1992


Roland SC-33 Sound Canvas (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 2 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 226/8 (GM/GS)
  • Polyphony: 28
  • Year of introduction: 1992


Roland SC-55 Sound Canvas (GS standard front, Unit only, ROM version 1.10)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 3 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 317/9 (GM/GS)
  • Polyphony: 24
  • Year of introduction: 1991


Roland SC-55 Sound Canvas (GS front, Unit only, ROM version 1.21)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 3 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 317/9 (GM/GS)
  • Polyphony: 24
  • Year of introduction: 1991


Roland SC-55 Sound Canvas (GM/GS front, Unit only, ROM version 2.00)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 3 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 317/9 (GM/GS)
  • Polyphony: 24
  • Year of introduction: 1991


Roland SC-155 Sound Canvas (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 3 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 317/9 (GM/GS)
  • Polyphony: 24
  • Year of introduction: 1992


Roland SC-88 Pro Sound Canvas (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 20 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 1117/42 (GM/GS) *
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Year of introduction: 1996

* This module is somewhat (unofficially) compatible with the Yamaha XG standard, albeit very limited.


Roland SC-8820 Sound Canvas (Boxed)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 24 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 1608/63 (GM/GM2/GS)
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Year of introduction: 1999

  


Roland SC-8850 Sound Canvas (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 32 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 1640/63 (GM/GM2/GS) *
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Year of introduction: 1999

* This module is somewhat (unofficially) compatible with the Yamaha XG standard, albeit very limited.
Also, the GM/GS compatibility is flawed, which makes it a less interesting choice for using it to play DOS  games and listening to standard GM/GS MIDI files.


Roland SD-50 Mobile Studio Canvas (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 128 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 1125/32 (GM2/GS)
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Year of introduction: 2009


Roland SonicCell Desktop Synthesizer Module (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Roland
  • ROM size: 128 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 896+256/32+9 (GM2)
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Year of introduction: 2007


Tascam Pocketstudio 5 (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: ?
  • ROM size: ? MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 128/5 (GM)
  • Polyphony: 64
  • Year of introduction: 2002


Yamaha MU2000EX Tone Generator (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Yamaha AWM2
  • ROM size: ? MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 1396/58 (GM/GS/XG)
  • Polyphony: 128
  • Year of introduction: 1999


Yamaha TG100 Tone Generator (Unit only)

  • Audio chipset: Yamaha YMW258-F
  • ROM size: 2 MB
  • Instruments/Drumkits: 192/10 (GM) *
  • Polyphony: 28
  • Year of introduction: 1992

* This module uses 12-bit samples instead of 16-bit.