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Author Topic: Roland LAPC-I (LAPC-1) (1988)  (Read 4937 times)

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Offline chrisNova777

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Roland LAPC-I (LAPC-1) (1988)
« on: December 16, 2014, 09:51:20 PM »;wap2

The Roland LAPC-I is a sound card for IBM PC compatible computers produced by Roland Corporation. It basically consists of a MT-32-compatible Roland CM-32L and a MPU-401 unit, integrated onto a single full-length 8-bit ISA card. In addition to normal Roland dealers aimed at musicians, it was distributed in the USA by Sierra On-Line for use with the company's games. The MSRP of the card was around US$425.[1]

Sierra On-Line was instrumental in working with Roland Corporation in introducing high-end sound modules and sound cards in the consumer gaming market in the late 1980s through early 1990s.[2]

It came with no software or accessories, although no specific software was necessary, since the MT-32 appeared as a MIDI peripheral connected to the MPU-401 on MIDI channels 2 through 10. To connect the LAPC-I to other MIDI devices, an MCB-1 module is required.

A model called the LAPC-N was also released for the Japanese NEC PC-98 system. To connect the LAPC-N to other MIDI devices, an MCB-2 module is required.

The card was and is often mistakenly called LAPC-1, but photos of the card's PCB and retail box show a capital letter I rather than a figure 1. Further evidence can be found in the owners manual which mentions the LAPC-I and also MCB-1, clearly showing specific use of I instead of 1.[3] The "I" presumably stands for "IBM PC", and the "N" for NEC.

Roland's Coolest Internal Synth Card
The Roland LAPC-I (Linear Arithmatic Personal Computer IBM or ISA) was an internal expansion card for the ISA bus. The LAPC-I was effectively an MT-32, CM-32L (including its 33 extra sound effects waveforms) and a true MPU-401 MIDI interface all contained on one long ISA card.

Today, the LAPC-I is one of the most sought after gaming synths for retro PC gaming. Of course today the downside is that you must have a PC with a free, full length, 8bit ISA slot available so you will not be using the LAPC-I on any recent computer.

For most purposes, the LAPC-I did not require any specific driver software to function with games that supported it. The LAPC-I showed up as a standard Roland MPU-401 and many games of the period (in particular ones that listed MT-32 support) had built in support for the MPU.

In order to use the LAPC-I with external MIDI equipment required the use of the Roland MCB-1. The MCB-1 was a MIDI breakout box designed specifically for the LAPC-I. It had one MIDI input and two MIDI outputs along with various other inputs for timing purposes.