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(re: Setting up a 486 to play older (late 80’s -> early 90’s) Sierra games, and a question…)
“What is the name of the interface card”
MPU-IPC, MPU-401, anything with “MPU” in it (MPU stands for MIDI Processing Unit).
“does it require software?”
Not for DOS-based computer games; they’ll talk to the card directly. You might need drivers for Windows, but those are included with your Windows distribution. 🙂
Generally, I think it’s pointless to get a seperate MIDI interface card. I’d also advise against an MT-32, because that thing is noisy as hell.
I think the best solutions for perfect old game sound would be either:
1) A LAPC-1; it’s an MT32 on-a-card, including the MIDI interface, OR
2) A Roland SCC-1 (which gives you General MIDI the way it’s supposed to sound, AND also the MIDI interface) PLUS a Roland CM-32L or CM-64.. Those are fully compatible to the MT-32, but have better sound quality.