SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby ElBrunzy » 2018-11-03 @ 21:21

I was using freedos 1.2 until now and sbvgm kept on crashing, but I was thinking it was normal because it's an experimental work... But since I moved on to msdos7.10 I've yet to see it crash. That's why I realise your piece of soft is solid and allow me to listen to many longer soundtrack when I'm running it on a compliant operating system.

I still believe the soundblaster 1 with opl and saa is the best soundcard to support your software. But about that, I still dont really understand the difference using -gb and -a. In both case it run the soft pretty much the same, is it an order change on preferred chip to run playback ? Allow me to suggest you could clarify that on your documentation of next release. Please keep on writing history, it's my favorite part to read ! :)
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-05 @ 01:25

ElBrunzy wrote:I was using freedos 1.2 until now and sbvgm kept on crashing, but I was thinking it was normal because it's an experimental work... But since I moved on to msdos7.10 I've yet to see it crash. That's why I realise your piece of soft is solid and allow me to listen to many longer soundtrack when I'm running it on a compliant operating system.

I had never tested under FreeDOS; which version of SBVGM were you using at the time?
ElBrunzy wrote:I still believe the soundblaster 1 with opl and saa is the best soundcard to support your software. But about that, I still dont really understand the difference using -gb and -a. In both case it run the soft pretty much the same, is it an order change on preferred chip to run playback ? Allow me to suggest you could clarify that on your documentation of next release. Please keep on writing history, it's my favorite part to read ! :)

The -gb and -a options are for setting the base address for the GameBlaster and Adlib Music card respectively should SBVGM's auto detection fail or if there is hardware that uses non-standard I/O ports on the ISA bus or as a way to speficy the preferred chip to playback (for systems with more than one soundcard that happens to have the same chipsets). I'll think of a way to make that clearer in the next release. Thank you for the suggestion. :happy:
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby ElBrunzy » 2018-11-06 @ 00:21

OPLx wrote:I had never tested under FreeDOS; which version of SBVGM were you using at the time?

Pretty any versions did crashed. But I think you might want to know if I did try the 1.19 80386 version ? Because I only realized you compiled such a version until lately when you bring it to my attention, I'm not sure if I did test it for stability. Now all my computers with soundcard to take advantage of your player are on msdos7.1, would you be more interested into that crash? I could boot from a floppy and test your player if it interest you, I would be glad to help.

OPLx wrote:The -gb and -a options are for setting the base address for the GameBlaster and Adlib Music card respectively should SBVGM's auto detection fail or if there is hardware that uses non-standard I/O ports on the ISA bus or as a way to speficy the preferred chip to playback (for systems with more than one soundcard that happens to have the same chipsets). I'll think of a way to make that clearer in the next release. Thank you for the suggestion. :happy:

Maybe you could put the text when you run sbvgm -h in your documentation and just add the paragraph you wrote? Removing the specific -a&gb example and adding whatever you think might be interesting to know.

I did re-reread your documentation to figure out where I wrongly assumed the behavior of your command switch but found nothing except this interesting bit:
SBVGM.TXT wrote:* To use the C/MS \ Game Blaster option on Sound Blaster 1.0, 1.5, or 2.0,
add '-c' as a command line parameter.

I forgot about the -c switch as using -gb allow to use the opl and the saa of the sb, while using -a only work with music that can be played on the opl. I see that using each three parameters give this detected sound hardware:
Code: Select all
-a  : * OPL3 at 388h
-gb : * Sound Blaster at 220h
      * Creative Music System/Game Blaster at 220h
-c  : * Sound Blaster (C/MS) at 220h

Do you think there is any difference in between using -gb or -c ? To me the result seem the same as they both play saa and opl vgm. I would like if, as -a play only the opll vgm from a directory, -gb would play only the sn76489 and -c play both. As I have some sega master system soundtrack that have both version and there is no way to focus on listening only to the SN76489 version. Well... obviously I could rename the files and use appropriate wildcart, but I suspect it's an overlook that GameBlaster could play opll music is where I'm going at, what do you think?
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-08 @ 22:41

ElBrunzy wrote:
OPLx wrote:I had never tested under FreeDOS; which version of SBVGM were you using at the time?

Pretty any versions did crashed. But I think you might want to know if I did try the 1.19 80386 version ? Because I only realized you compiled such a version until lately when you bring it to my attention, I'm not sure if I did test it for stability. Now all my computers with soundcard to take advantage of your player are on msdos7.1, would you be more interested into that crash? I could boot from a floppy and test your player if it interest you, I would be glad to help.

There might have been a issue with the 386 version in v1.19. The current version is v1.24.

ElBrunzy wrote:
OPLx wrote:The -gb and -a options are for setting the base address for the GameBlaster and Adlib Music card respectively should SBVGM's auto detection fail or if there is hardware that uses non-standard I/O ports on the ISA bus or as a way to speficy the preferred chip to playback (for systems with more than one soundcard that happens to have the same chipsets). I'll think of a way to make that clearer in the next release. Thank you for the suggestion. :happy:

Maybe you could put the text when you run sbvgm -h in your documentation and just add the paragraph you wrote? Removing the specific -a&gb example and adding whatever you think might be interesting to know.

That's not a bad idea; I'll be sure to add these details into the next release.

ElBrunzy wrote:I forgot about the -c switch as using -gb allow to use the opl and the saa of the sb, while using -a only work with music that can be played on the opl. I see that using each three parameters give this detected sound hardware:
Code: Select all
-a  : * OPL3 at 388h
-gb : * Sound Blaster at 220h
      * Creative Music System/Game Blaster at 220h
-c  : * Sound Blaster (C/MS) at 220h

Do you think there is any difference in between using -gb or -c ? To me the result seem the same as they both play saa and opl vgm. I would like if, as -a play only the opll vgm from a directory, -gb would play only the sn76489 and -c play both. As I have some sega master system soundtrack that have both version and there is no way to focus on listening only to the SN76489 version. Well... obviously I could rename the files and use appropriate wildcart, but I suspect it's an overlook that GameBlaster could play opll music is where I'm going at, what do you think?

Well, for a PC with the Sound Blaster 1.x & 2.0 these options don't make sense, but for a PC with an Adlib and actual Game Blaster it does because of the different hardware configuration. I suppose if the same port is used, the program could prefer the one designated by the command line switches. In regards to the suggestion of using the command line switches to only play particular files. This probably could work, but could cause issues for other users who want to keep that behavior. One possible solution that comes to mind is to (perhaps) add a command line option to disable auto detection. So it could be something like SVBGM -d -a file.vgz. I think that could work the way you suggested.
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby ElBrunzy » 2018-11-11 @ 01:19

OPLx wrote:Well, for a PC with the Sound Blaster 1.x & 2.0 these options don't make sense, but for a PC with an Adlib and actual Game Blaster it does because of the different hardware configuration. I suppose if the same port is used, the program could prefer the one designated by the command line switches. In regards to the suggestion of using the command line switches to only play particular files. This probably could work, but could cause issues for other users who want to keep that behavior. One possible solution that comes to mind is to (perhaps) add a command line option to disable auto detection. So it could be something like SVBGM -d -a file.vgz. I think that could work the way you suggested.


Yes you are right, I did not considered that configuration other user might have, how selfish of me :blush: You could also add variant to -C switch to force the opl or saa chip only, I was thinking it might be a simpler solution for you to implement. But I believe that disabling some chip from detection could be a more useful switch for others, in the long run. I found that if I remove the T from the blaster env var then I can use sbvgm -gb to only play SN76489 vgm and -sb or -a to play the opl ones.
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-23 @ 03:00

ElBrunzy wrote:Yes you are right, I did not considered that configuration other user might have, how selfish of me :blush: You could also add variant to -C switch to force the opl or saa chip only, I was thinking it might be a simpler solution for you to implement. But I believe that disabling some chip from detection could be a more useful switch for others, in the long run. I found that if I remove the T from the blaster env var then I can use sbvgm -gb to only play SN76489 vgm and -sb or -a to play the opl ones.

I've added the -C option, please download the most recent version here. Thank you for the suggestion! :happy:
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby ElBrunzy » 2018-11-24 @ 03:38

OPLx wrote:I've added the -C option, please download the most recent version here. Thank you for the suggestion! :happy:

I cannot thank you enough for all the effort you put on your player. I appreciate that I can now listen to saa or opl version of my mixed video game soundtrack. It work in all the way I wanted to, I believe you are a very clever man.

I would like to write a small reminder on how to use it.
Code: Select all
sbvgm 1.25
using soundblaster 1.x/2.0 (set BLASTER=...T1)
---- ---------------------------
-C  : play only SAA1099 files
-c  : play SAA1099 and YM3812 files
-sb : play only YM3812 files


also, thank you for adding usage help in the archive readme. I realise it's more work for you to maintain two documentations, but often I just wanted to look at options and had to boot a dos computer to do so.
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-24 @ 07:41

Is it possible to add the ess-fm clon?
Attachments
ES1938S.pdf
(47.62 KiB) Downloaded 15 times
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-24 @ 16:37

ElBrunzy wrote:I cannot thank you enough for all the effort you put on your player. I appreciate that I can now listen to saa or opl version of my mixed video game soundtrack. It work in all the way I wanted to, I believe you are a very clever man.

Thank you for your kind comments! Your suggestions have helped to improve the program well beyond the experiment that it initially was. :happy:

ElBrunzy wrote:II would like to write a small reminder on how to use it.
Code: Select all
sbvgm 1.25
using soundblaster 1.x/2.0 (set BLASTER=...T1)
---- ---------------------------
-C  : play only SAA1099 files
-c  : play SAA1099 and YM3812 files
-sb : play only YM3812 files


also, thank you for adding usage help in the archive readme. I realise it's more work for you to maintain two documentations, but often I just wanted to look at options and had to boot a dos computer to do so.

That basically sums it up. Generally the -sb option will either be YM3812 or YMF262 depending on the Sound Blaster version. I should have added documentation to the TXT file in the first place! I was originally trying to keep the executable size small, but that changed as more features and support was added. Thank you again for the suggestion!
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-24 @ 16:53

dr.zeissler wrote:Is it possible to add the ess-fm clon?

That looks like that is a PCI based card, but with some level Sound Blaster compatibility. Does SBVGM not work with the card under DOS?

Last year, I had actually briefly looked over the PCI specification and it seems possible to program PCI sound hardware natively under DOS; I just never had the time to try anything. One other caveat is that the PDF doesn’t mention anything about how to program the hardware registers so it would be impossible to add support even if I did end up having the time to attempt to do so. :-(
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-24 @ 20:15

As far as I remember it does not work with the ESS-Solo1 (1938) PCI based card.
The integrated ESFM is the best FM remake on the market. It works everywhere. SB is tricky due to newer chipsets and faster machines, but the FM is working mostly.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-25 @ 07:28

Hopefully the Solo1 and the Solo1E are mostly the same. I am not 100% sure but thy should.
Here are some detailed specs on the Solo1E (1946).

perhaps this can be also usefull? https://github.com/spotify/linux/blob/m ... i/es1938.c
Attachments
DS_1946.PDF
(1.76 MiB) Downloaded 11 times
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-26 @ 00:26

dr.zeissler wrote:Hopefully the Solo1 and the Solo1E are mostly the same. I am not 100% sure but thy should.
Here are some detailed specs on the Solo1E (1946).

perhaps this can be also usefull? https://github.com/spotify/linux/blob/m ... i/es1938.c

They could be the same, but from my experience there's no absolute guarantee. Thank you for the information though! I did look at the datasheets and other information and it seems that there are drivers and such to allow the card to work under DOS. Do you mind telling me what SBVGM outputs when you run the program? Generally something like SBVGM -a file.vgm or SBVGM -sb file.vgm should work. If your Sound Blaster default port is different, it would just be SBVGM -sb240 or whatever port value it is. There is a chance that it's simply a bug in SBVGM; I've never tested with an ESS-based PCI card.
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-27 @ 19:03

It does not work. It finds the -SB220 and tells me that something like "no sound hardware is found".
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-27 @ 23:26

dr.zeissler wrote:It does not work. It finds the -SB220 and tells me that something like "no sound hardware is found".

Thank you for the information. I’m not sure which version you are using, but it seems that the autodetection routine for which FM chip is present is failing. I’m assuming that the sound card works with other software that uses the Sound Blaster so what I can do is add command line option to force either use of the OPL2 or OPL3 chip.
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-28 @ 06:01

The ESFM is not recognized or initialized, the SB(pro) part is found though.
CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby Fox Mulder » 2018-11-28 @ 11:25

Hello. Would somebody be so kind as to provide me with an alternate download link? The website has been dead for some days now, it seems. Thank you.
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-11-28 @ 12:54

CPU: PII 133-333 MOBO: SNI-D981 RAM: 512- FDD: Dualfloppy 3,5"HD/5,25"HD - 3,5"HD - 5,25"DD ISA-Catweasel HDD: 2x40GB - DVD
ISA(3): Audician32-S2Dreamblaster - GusACE PCI(3): Monster3D- Intel NW AGP(1): 3dfx V3-3000
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-28 @ 13:22

dr.zeissler wrote:https://www.flickr.com/photos/94839221@N05/37749408916/in/album-72157687526598300/

Aaaah! I remember now; we were talking about this last year. The VGMs in that the screenshot you kindly provided support the SN76489 chip which is 3 square wave and one noise channel. SBVGM will playback SN76489 data on either actual hardware (like the Tandy 1000) or on the earlier Sound Blaster 1.x & 2.0 series because they support the C/MS option.

Unfortunately the source code and PDFs that you kindly provided don't contain any information about the nature of ESFM in "native" mode. SBVGM currently doesn't have support for SN76489 playback on OPL3. If I ever get time, it is something I could possibly look into, but I currently am not sure how to adequately simulate the SN76489 noise channels on the OPL3; it will likely not sound the same.

From the screenshot it does look like SBVGM works and you should be able to hear VGM playback for VGM data for Zeliard and Cybersphere for example. I hope you are able to use the program for any VGM files that have OPL2 or OPL3 data in them.
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Re: SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

Postby OPLx » 2018-11-28 @ 13:24

Fox Mulder wrote:Hello. Would somebody be so kind as to provide me with an alternate download link? The website has been dead for some days now, it seems. Thank you.

Hello, sorry about the inconvenience. I'm currently getting some DNS issues worked out with my ISP. You can download the most recent version here for the time being: SBVGM125.ZIP
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