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.
The Roland LAPC-I Naming Debacle
The LAPC-I is commonly mislabeled as the "LAPC-1". Even Roland themselves has occasionally mislabeled the LAPC-I in its own documentation from time to time. The true name is LAPC-I, that's the letter "i" NOT the number "1". The letter "I" stands for either "ISA" or "IBM". This is evidenced by the naming of the other cards in the LAPC line which were primarily sold only in Japan. For example the LAPC-N was sold in Japan for the NEC PC-98 standard C-Bus expansion bus/slots.
Roland LAPC-I Manuals
We keep all manuals for the Roland LAPC-I, SCC-1 and RAP-10 cards warehoused here at House of Synth. Feel free to grab these files from the pages listed below.