Okay, I finally have the sound on my computer set up the way I want it once again. Compatibility issues solved by ditching the Via chipset and moving to Intel again. That aside... here's what I have:
Santa Cruz w/ SCD-15
MT-32 connected to the Santa Cruz.
The Santa Cruz is also acting as my mixer with the SW1000xg on the Line In jack and the MT-32 on the versa jack (you can set it to be analog out, analog in, or digital out... kinda neat). Tonight I was just testing to make sure that everything was working well (and, well, any excuse to listen to music...). I noticed while listening to the KQ4 intro that during the peak of the fanfare at the beginning of the piece I started to get a lot of crackling and popping in the audio, the display on the MT-32 was also dimming a bit... I want to call it a "flicker" but it wasn't going out completely... just dimming.
The power supply that I use is not from Roland but is a radio shack 9v 800mA model. The standard one is 1.2A, right? But the unit only draws 650mA? I assume that the 650mA is RMS and not peak, so is it possible that I'm underpowering the unit for the louder parts?
The other thing that I'd considered is that the output of the MT-32 is too high for the input on the card and that's the source of the noise, though the SW1000 never causes problems like this.
Right now the MT-32 is powered off and I want to see what you guys think before i power it back on... or is this just some of the MT-32's known distortion and I just don't know enough to recognize it?