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SBVGM (DOS) VGM Player

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Reply 480 of 507, by NHVintage

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Wow, thanks for the fast reply, both of you! 😀

I have no other sound cards, just the EWave daughter waveboard on the sb16's wavetable connector. The SB installation set the midi port to 330, I guess 388h would be the on-board chip? I verified 330h for the wavetable using DOSMIDI.

It would be my luck that all the VGZ files I tried are looking for a chip that the sb16 doesn't have. I can't test again tonight, but I will try your suggestions tomorrow and see if they work and let you know how it goes. Thanks again!

Reply 482 of 507, by NHVintage

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I tried DN3d with the Music device set to Soundblaster (unlike the sound effects there's no subheading to designate a particular model for Music). That worked.

I've tried a few different VGZ's using -opl2220, -opl2388, -opl3220, and -opl3338 and none worked. For kicks I also tried -Cxxx and -sbxxx on both ports, no joy either, all gave the same error.

I had another machine I got to the point of testing today, and it has an ESS audiodrive ES1898 card in it. That one is proving problematic too but in a different way: It'll appear to work if I use the -sbc flag, but no sound comes out. Like the first machine, I played with different VGZ files and different flags and other than -sbc, I get either 'HW can't play VGMs" or, occasionally, 'no HW present'. That machine is a Pentium III 1.1Ghz and I've tried it in DOS and in an MS-DOS window on Win98SE. I also ran the DN3d tests on it without issues.

Reply 483 of 507, by DjLc

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NHVintage wrote on 2023-11-12, 20:39:
SET SOUND=C:\SB16 SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6 SET MIDI=SYNTH:1 MAP:E SET CTCM=C:\CTCM C:\SB16\DIAGNOSE /S C:\SB16\MIXERSET […]
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SET SOUND=C:\SB16
SET BLASTER=A220 I5 D1 H5 P330 T6
SET MIDI=SYNTH:1 MAP:E
SET CTCM=C:\CTCM
C:\SB16\DIAGNOSE /S
C:\SB16\MIXERSET /P /Q
C:\CTCM\CTCU /S
CONFIG.SYS adds:
DEVICE=C:\CTCM\CTCM.EXE

We need more informations: wich VGZ are you trying to play ? Wich model is your SB16 ? (CTxxxx)

Reply 484 of 507, by OPLx

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@NHVintage, if the VGMs you played on your SAAYM worked, then they contain data for either the YM2151 or SAA1099 (or both). Those VGMs won't play on the SB16 since it lacks both of those sound chips. Please do share with us what VGM files you are trying to play; it will help us track down the problem.

Reply 485 of 507, by NHVintage

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Sure, be happy to, and sorry I've been slow responding, I'm quite ill this week. No rush here as its a hobby thing, I am sure I'm just doing something wrong, but I am learning a lot too thanks!

Defcrown.vgz is one that 'plays' - leaving a hanging note I have to boot the machine to fix - on the 486 with the SB16. It just won't work on the P3 with the ESS1898 Audiowave. It says NCR7496: 3579545 Hz while 'playing'.

ZW03EYES.VGZ reports YM2612 (OPN2): 7670453 Hz when it plays using the -sbc flag on the 486 SB16. No sound, but at least no hanging note either. This one I haven't had a chance to try yet on the ESS PIII.

MKTOMB.VGZ just plain won't play on either.

All three are in this dropbox folder:
https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fo/3be8quyx ... 5wqu&dl=0

Let me know if you have an issue getting to them, sometimes Dropbox can be a pain. I do know it's often slow to open. Thanks!

EDIT, added note: Perhaps I need a better audio card, at least on the 486? Would a windows (3.1) VGZ player have any better success? Or a Win98SE player on the PIII? I'd have to find a player to test that, if you have recommendations. I think I got spoiled by happening to choose the SAAYM-equipped 8088 machine as my first VGZ player, but until I can figure out how to connect the expansion chassis to that one, I can't add memory to run a lot of them.

EDIT2: Yes I thought about putting the SAAYM card on the 486, but the SAAYM card is literally the only sound card I have that fits the 8088 machine, and I bought it for that reason 🤣.

Reply 486 of 507, by DjLc

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Defender of the Crown is for Tandy 1000, the SB16 can't play this.
The 2 others VGM are for YM2612 (Genesis), the SB16 can't play thoses too.

The geneis VGM can be played with the texelex SAAYM (with limitations)
For Tandy 1000, you need real hardware (i think i'm not familiar with this system)

Reply 487 of 507, by OPLx

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@NHVintage, no worries about the slow replies; hope you are feeling better.

As DjLc pointed out, the SB16 can't play any of those VGMs. The reason why Tandy 1000 (SN76489) and Sega Genesis/Mega Drive (YM2612 & SN76489) VGMs work on the SAAYM is because the YM2151 and SAA1099 have similar enough features to the YM2612 and SN76489 respectively. SBVGM translates this native VGM data to work on the sound chips in the SAAYM. There is no translation done for the YMF262 (OPL3) chip found in the SB16. The reason why you are able to get sound is that by using -sbc you are telling SBVGM that you have a Sound Blaster 1.5 or 2.0 (with the C/MS chips) and to ignore the auto-detection since it's not possible to detect the presence of the C/MS chips on those.

Reply 488 of 507, by NHVintage

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I see, mostly, except I don't get any sound from them using -sbc. At best it appears to run, but no sound comes out, most of the time (or garbage once on that particular VGZ that locked the SB16 into a hanging note) - I've actually let it run tho no sound is coming out and the file ends in the time I'd expect had there been sound. And on some VGZ files -sbc doesn't do anything at all, it still says the hardware can't play VGM. I guess that some format of VGMs (like the Tandy VGM) don't get translated to SB, and some do?

So I've learned today, bottom line: just because VGM files are the same file type, they're not the same format, the format is specific to the opl3 chip that was in the game's targeted system. And I got lucky that the SAAYM card plays multiple other formats due to the chips on it being similar to or same as those systems. This isn't like, say, MP3's, where they're the same format that can play on anything that has an mp3 player, or more contemporaneously, MIDI files, which while having different Regex additions for different MIDI systems, the basic data is playable by most all of those systems (though perhaps they won't sound as good as on systems the regex is designed for). I forgot this was early days and a lot of 'standards' were, at best, just developing.

I think. If I got that all right. 😁

Reply 489 of 507, by DjLc

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If you want sound with your SB16 you must use vgm from games wich use one of those chips (oh wait it's the same list described in the SBVGM.TXT ...)
- YM3526 (OPL)
- YM3812 (OPL2)
- YMF262 (OPL3)
- Y8950 (MSX-Audio)
- YM2413 (OPLL)
- RP2A03 (NES APU with limited features)

Any other vgm will produce no sound if the real hardware is not present.
-sbc option is only used when you have a real Sound Blaster 1.0, 1.5 or 2.0 with C/MS (SAA1099) chip sockets populated (not empty). You get no sound on your SB16 with this option because there's no SAA1099 chips on it.

Reply 490 of 507, by NHVintage

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Thank you. I'm pretty sure I'm on the same page now. I'm getting back into this after years and while I built my own PC's in the past, that was a while ago. I've been reading on different websites about this and this has been the most straightforward description. Appreciate the help and patience from you all. 😀

Reply 491 of 507, by ElBrunzy

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I just dropped by to see what's going on in the world of SBVGM and when I read about the RP2A03 support on OPL3 my mind was blown away ! I had to try it ! Under my hand right now I have an Orpheus 1 that can mimic and Soundblaster T4 and it works wonder ! Very amazing ! I also ran a comparison run with the SB1.5 and it's SAA1099 and it seem the OPL3 sound more sharp and clear, while it might be an account of the mixer of both card that is quite different, the drum noise frequency seemed a bit higher pitched to me, but it's maybe just an impression.

While I had the SB1.5 running I could not resist to try to play some NES music on the OPL2 pretending being an OPL3 since I dont think it's possible for a player to discriminate the chip and the result was interesting, it seem the drum is replaced by a kind of musical instrument, most of the instruments seemed to work.

Thank you for your continuing support on the player, I see you seem to focus on the OPL4 now, what kind of audio devices do you have in mind that support the chip ? Are you trying to make those Mozart soundcard on ebay explode in price ? 😝

Reply 492 of 507, by OPLx

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ElBrunzy wrote on 2023-12-16, 07:42:

I just dropped by to see what's going on in the world of SBVGM and when I read about the RP2A03 support on OPL3 my mind was blown away ! I had to try it ! Under my hand right now I have an Orpheus 1 that can mimic and Soundblaster T4 and it works wonder ! Very amazing ! I also ran a comparison run with the SB1.5 and it's SAA1099 and it seem the OPL3 sound more sharp and clear, while it might be an account of the mixer of both card that is quite different, the drum noise frequency seemed a bit higher pitched to me, but it's maybe just an impression.

The OPL3 does have a clearer and more robust sound. There are still things unique to the SAA1099 that the OPL3 can't do. The "noise" on the OPL3 is definitely an approximation; the frequencies are hardware limitation (as far as I have found out so far).

ElBrunzy wrote on 2023-12-16, 07:42:

While I had the SB1.5 running I could not resist to try to play some NES music on the OPL2 pretending being an OPL3 since I dont think it's possible for a player to discriminate the chip and the result was interesting, it seem the drum is replaced by a kind of musical instrument, most of the instruments seemed to work.

On the OPL2 it is definitely close. I haven't had much time, but it may be possible to set up two operator FM instruments that can mimic the square wave duty cycles. In my testing the wave forms on the OPL2 make it a bit harder (I did try to add OPL2-based RP2A03 support). Since the OPL3 has a square wave as one of the wave forms to choose from, it was a lot easier to set up FM operator values that are close to the real thing. As far as the RP2A03 noise channel goes, the OPL2 won't be able to do this with two operators.

ElBrunzy wrote on 2023-12-16, 07:42:

Thank you for your continuing support on the player, I see you seem to focus on the OPL4 now, what kind of audio devices do you have in mind that support the chip ? Are you trying to make those Mozart soundcard on ebay explode in price ? 😝

You're quite welcome! The OPL4 has been on my mind for quite a long time actually. Unfortunately there more or less no software that "natively" uses both the FM and PCM at the same time. Most of the OPL4 VGMs require additional memory that the PC-based OPL4 cards don't have, but there were some VGMs that use the built in ROM instruments.

Hopefully SBVGM didn't drive up the prices of the Mozart cards 😅 Thankfully RP2A03 will work with any soundcard with an OPL3 chip; there's nothing on the OPL4's PCM chip that is used.

Reply 493 of 507, by evgs

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I found the bug, confirmed on the dosbox and dosbox-x. Can't test on real hardware yet.
DosBox config:

sbtype = sb16
sbbase = 220
irq = 7
dma = 1
hdma = 5
oplmode = auto
oplemu = *tried various*

SBVGM 1.43, step-by-step:

1. Play 2A03 vgm-file via SBVGM32.EXE
2. Close program (ESC) and try to run any game like Doom or Legend of Kyrandia.
BUG: The Doom will have corrupted "instruments". Kyranidia will produce silence.
3. Run any OPL2 or OPL3-vgm file again, then exit SBVGM32.
4. Run games again -> bug is gone.

Attachments

  • Filename
    2A03VGM.zip
    File size
    7.96 KiB
    Downloads
    10 downloads
    File comment
    test
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 495 of 507, by paatudos

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Cant find much OPL3 files to play with this awesome player. Is this the best place to look for https://vgmrips.net/packs/chip/ymf262 ?
are these basically the files which developers has released ? so there's not easy way to rip or convert from dos games like duke nukem 3d ?

Reply 496 of 507, by Falcosoft

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paatudos wrote on 2024-01-26, 21:39:

Cant find much OPL3 files to play with this awesome player. Is this the best place to look for https://vgmrips.net/packs/chip/ymf262 ?

Yes, I think so.
But you should also check OPL2 games not just OPL3 since more games used OPL2 than OPL3 (Adlib support in games means OPL2) and all OPL3 FM synths are OPL2 compatible.
https://vgmrips.net/packs/chip/ym3812:

paatudos wrote on 2024-01-26, 21:39:

...
are these basically the files which developers has released ? so there's not easy way to rip or convert from dos games like duke nukem 3d ?

No, these are not released by developers but recorded by different individuals (you can see them as "Pack author").
From Duke Nukem 3D you can only rip the original Midi files. Midi files sound differently on different synths (OPL2/3, MT-32, SC-55 etc.) and even sound differently on the same OPL hardware depending on the used instrument banks.
Midi files in DOS/Windows Midi players always sound differently compared to how they sound in original games even on the same OPL hardware since each game engine can program the OPL synth differently and can use unique instruments.
The vgmrips that you can download usually are recorded using the game engines themselves so they are the most faithful representation how the game sounds on the given OPL hardware while playing the game.

Website, Facebook, Youtube
Falcosoft Soundfont Midi Player + Munt VSTi + BassMidi VSTi

Reply 497 of 507, by OPLx

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paatudos wrote on 2024-01-26, 21:39:

Cant find much OPL3 files to play with this awesome player. Is this the best place to look for https://vgmrips.net/packs/chip/ymf262 ?
are these basically the files which developers has released ? so there's not easy way to rip or convert from dos games like duke nukem 3d ?

What Falcosoft wrote is pretty accurate; there aren't that many OPL3 VGMs (from that time) mainly due to the fact that by the time the OPL3 was being used on PCs, other options such as the wavetable based sound cards were becoming more prominent. Since the OPL3 is backwards compatible with the OPL2, many developers just stuck with OPL2 or supported OPL3 via MIDI.

There are likely some OPL3 VGMs on The OPL Archive, but you'll have to search and check.

The OPL3 is actually a pretty versatile chip and I think it is only recently some are tapping into what it can actually do. Zen Challenge - YMF262 OPL3 Original (For an upcoming game) is a great example; the VGM link is in the comments section.

Reply 499 of 507, by Error 0x7CF

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Any chance of ESFM native-mode support now that it's been better documented and people are now making native-esfm tracks in Furnace Tracker?

https://github.com/jwt27/esfm
https://github.com/tildearrow/furnace/blob/ma … ment/fm-esfm.md

https://youtu.be/Ua3DcylkICg
https://youtu.be/WjHTov3Bk2A

I'm not positive (haven't checked, might later) that it can successfully export to VGM, I think ESFM is not covered within the VGM spec... But I hope it can. I just want a hardware method of playing these wicked tunes back.

Old precedes antique.