I've been in touch with the co-creator of the recent point and click adventure game Zniw Adventure. While he and I both established that my services aren't needed for their next game, we have started to become friends through our shared interest in older technology.
That in mind, he also motivated me to try to pick up this blog again, so may as well update with something, even if not terribly interesting to many.
Few people know more than Mac users like myself how crucial software emulation will be in the future, especially for noteworthy older programs and games. However, the gist of this blog is for a readily overlooked aspect that is theoretically possible: virtualized/emulated older musical synthesizers.
Having found a copy of the software, while I was able to set it up, I discovered several huge caveats not only with the software itself, but also with the status of emulating older MIDI-involving programs at all...
1. With only one or two exceptions, the entire S-YXG series consists of MIDI output synthesizers meant for General MIDI playback, not VST's verbatim.
2. For the most part, the entire series is also meant exclusively for Windows 95, 98, and ME.
3. Serious latency issues. This seems to be by design, because even after disabling most forms of DirectSound acceleration, I could only safely get the buffer size down to 2560 samples before glitching happened, at best. Granted, the 100PVL needs more CPU than the rest due to the exclusive sounds being based on the innovative physical modeling synthesis instead of sample playback, but even so, it's a huge CPU hog.
Problems #1 and #2 can be overcome by running a virtual machine of the supported Windows platforms, but therein lies the source of my major frustrations atm....QEmu has terrible performance: couldn't even test fully.
DosBox-X proved more promising as a work in progress: I was able to get mildly adequate performance within the machine with enough testing, but not only does it not support MIDI input for unknown reasons (especially strange because it does support MIDI output!), networking is so limited that you're out of luck streaming the MIDI commands across the network as well because even traditional forms of communication between the guest and host are impossible, at least on a Mac.
VMWare proved the most successful of my tests. Best latency tests were mostly in this virtualization program, and unlike DosBox-X, while it doesn't support MIDI in either unless you have an ancient driver for actual MIDI hardware lying around, it does support full networking, meaning I was able to get by, sans latency, by using Cocko's ReaStream VST (which supports as far back as 98!) Unfortunately, this possibility will only be temporary, since VMWare has made it clear they have no interest in supporting X86 emulation on Apple's new Apple Silicon architecture...
Needless to say, while emulation and virtualization of software has come a long way, especially in the world of gaming, it still needs a lot of work in other resource-heavy departments...
Regardless, that was all I needed to get off my chest. If anyone else wishes to give their input about the matter, feel free to reach out to me about it, especially if you somehow found a way to pull it off better than I did.
Again, Happy Holidays to everyone!