outdated_gamer wrote:He has a point though, very few had the Roland, mostly game devs themselves and a handful of sound enthusiasts. The large majority had the beeper sound which was worse even from ZX sound. This was a general problem of the PC back then, the tech was there but adoptation was slow, it wasn't untill well into the 90s that sound cards like the Sound Blaster finally became mainstream (and of course later on integrated sound chips).
The Roland sound modules might not have been that common but they weren't that rare either. Pretty much every high end gaming PC build from 1992-1996 would have incorporated an SCC-1 or something that could have managed a passable emulation of it, and from 1996 every Windows PC capable of running DirectX had the Roland sounds via the aformentioned GS Wavetable Synth. To my mind, it's thoroughly mainstream.
The MT-32 was less common, but the serial numbers suggest total sales in the high six figures. Quite how many of them were used by PC gamers as opposed to going into home recording studios would be tricky to determine, but given that all but a handful of the most popular synthesizers wouldn't sell more than ten thousand units, I'd be pretty sure it was most of them. And it was very well supported too.
Anyway, pricey though they might have been, thanks to DOSBox you can emulate both of them very well for free these days and I'd thoroughly recommend it.
Interesting poll lead of Commodore machines I must say. Not that I disagree with it.
Yeah, Commodore machines usually had better sound hardware than their immediate rivals and developers did a good job of getting that bit more out of it. They just rather missed out on the FM synthesis and General MIDI eras of music, which is a bit of a shame. I'd think you could bet that if there'd been an attractively priced Commodore machine that had featured either, it'd be very well placed in the poll too.