About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

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About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby DamoclesAlpha » 2017-5-18 @ 16:51

Hi!

I am currently writing a blog post for non-English forum about the PCjr/Tandy emulation in DOSBox. I would like some clarity in the following matters in order to give factually correct information:

- I already know that DOSBox can emulate the additional sound hardware of PCjr and Tandy computers (I am actually using it with Pool of Radiance at the moment). However, the documentation for DOSBox says that with tandy=auto sound setting this emulation is enabled only, when using machine=tandy setting. Is the emulation for PCjr/Tandy sound hardware also automatically enabled when using machine=pcjr with tandy=auto?
- Does tandy=no setting disable the emulation of the additional sound hardware with both machine=pcjr and machine=tandy or only with machine=tandy?
- Supposedly the PCjr enhancements of the cult classic Alley Cat don't work correctly on Tandy computers without unofficial patches. Do these enhancements work on DOSBox with machine=pcjr? If they do, do these enhancements also include the PCjr sounds?

Thank you in advance! :happy:
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby olddos25 » 2017-5-18 @ 18:40

1. I don't know,it doesn't hurt to try!
2. For both,but it is not recommended to disable it,because why would you be emulating the PCjr or the
Tandy 1000 series without the enhanced sound?
3. They should work,but I can't confirm it.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby lightmaster » 2017-5-18 @ 18:49

DamoclesAlpha wrote:Hi!

I am currently writing a blog post for non-English forum about the PCjr/Tandy emulation in DOSBox. I would like some clarity in the following matters in order to give factually correct information:

- I already know that DOSBox can emulate the additional sound hardware of PCjr and Tandy computers (I am actually using it with Pool of Radiance at the moment). However, the documentation for DOSBox says that with tandy=auto sound setting this emulation is enabled only, when using machine=tandy setting. Is the emulation for PCjr/Tandy sound hardware also automatically enabled when using machine=pcjr with tandy=auto?
- Does tandy=no setting disable the emulation of the additional sound hardware with both machine=pcjr and machine=tandy or only with machine=tandy?
- Supposedly the PCjr enhancements of the cult classic Alley Cat don't work correctly on Tandy computers without unofficial patches. Do these enhancements work on DOSBox with machine=pcjr? If they do, do these enhancements also include the PCjr sounds?

Thank you in advance! :happy:

machine=x is only used for video emulation methinks.
Last edited by lightmaster on 2017-5-19 @ 19:48, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby olddos25 » 2017-5-19 @ 18:23

Emmm... He wasn't asking about what the Tandy Graphics Array was.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby lightmaster » 2017-5-19 @ 18:38

Yup, I forgot an example of a game and it's setting.
Next time put something of use too, if not it's just noise.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby olddos25 » 2017-5-19 @ 19:38

Don't you understand the word "I can't confirm it"? Because it looks like you can't.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby lightmaster » 2017-5-19 @ 19:49

Understood, i was confused.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby Qbix » 2017-5-19 @ 19:54

olddos25 wrote:Don't you understand the word "I can't confirm it"? Because it looks like you can't.


Please act civil; some of your other posts are not very friendly either.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby DamoclesAlpha » 2017-5-19 @ 23:09

Thanks to both of you for your replies. I eventually tested different settings with Pool of Radiance by modifying both the DOSBox configuration file and POOL.CFG in the game's folder. It seems that the emulation for PCjr/Tandy sound hardware is enabled for both machine=pcjr and machine=tandy when using the sound setting tandy=auto and disabled when using tandy=off. I actually suspected it would (and should) work like that, but since the documentation mentioned only the Tandy mode when discussing tandy=auto setting, I wanted to confirm the matter.

I also made some other interesting observations when testing different settings:

- While the Tandy sounds in Pool of Radiance work correctly with both machine=pcjr and machine=tandy, the 16 color Tandy graphic mode has weird look on machine=pcjr, although the game boots up and works otherwise without issues. It is possible that the Tandy support in Pool of Radiance is meant specifically for Tandy Corporation's PCjr clones, not for the original PCjr, which could explain this
- On the other hand, switching the graphic mode in Pool of Radiance to CGA allows the game to run on machine=pcjr without graphical issues. Since the graphics and sounds in Pool of Radiance are configured separately, it is possible to combine CGA graphics with Tandy sound mode while running the game with machine=pcjr or machine=tandy. The actual colors in CGA mode look somewhat different with machine=pcjr, but I have heard that the CGA colors in actual PCjr computer do differ from regular IBM compatible, so this may reflect the behavior of genuine PCjr system

P.S. I was using DOSBox SVN r4019 from EmuCR in my tests, so I don't know if 0.74 behaves similarly
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby olddos25 » 2017-5-24 @ 17:24

You're welcome!
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby olddos25 » 2017-5-24 @ 17:25

Qbix wrote:
olddos25 wrote:Don't you understand the word "I can't confirm it"? Because it looks like you can't.


Please act civil; some of your other posts are not very friendly either.

Sorry about that.
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby siddy6581 » 2019-7-25 @ 21:29

DamoclesAlpha wrote:Thanks to both of you for your replies. I eventually tested different settings with Pool of Radiance by modifying both the DOSBox configuration file and POOL.CFG in the game's folder. It seems that the emulation for PCjr/Tandy sound hardware is enabled for both machine=pcjr and machine=tandy when using the sound setting tandy=auto and disabled when using tandy=off. I actually suspected it would (and should) work like that, but since the documentation mentioned only the Tandy mode when discussing tandy=auto setting, I wanted to confirm the matter.

I also made some other interesting observations when testing different settings:

- While the Tandy sounds in Pool of Radiance work correctly with both machine=pcjr and machine=tandy, the 16 color Tandy graphic mode has weird look on machine=pcjr, although the game boots up and works otherwise without issues. It is possible that the Tandy support in Pool of Radiance is meant specifically for Tandy Corporation's PCjr clones, not for the original PCjr, which could explain this
- On the other hand, switching the graphic mode in Pool of Radiance to CGA allows the game to run on machine=pcjr without graphical issues. Since the graphics and sounds in Pool of Radiance are configured separately, it is possible to combine CGA graphics with Tandy sound mode while running the game with machine=pcjr or machine=tandy. The actual colors in CGA mode look somewhat different with machine=pcjr, but I have heard that the CGA colors in actual PCjr computer do differ from regular IBM compatible, so this may reflect the behavior of genuine PCjr system

P.S. I was using DOSBox SVN r4019 from EmuCR in my tests, so I don't know if 0.74 behaves similarly


I know this thread might be dead, but I would love to continue this discussion. I qute recently started to explore the Tandy sund and graphics in Dosbox and testing several games with this feature.
Just as mention earlie Alley Cat with patch works almost as intended. The Tandy sound is there, but the graphic stays the same. In PCjr mode there's slightly differences but no 16 colour scheme or similar.

Does anyone know if PCjr and Tandy computers hade PC-speaker as well as the 4 voice Tandy sound? I've expereince some wierd differences from game to game. Some games seem to combine both in very nice ways, like Budokan, The Cycles (well tandy gives the game a nice drum to the sound, but still) or Silpheed. But other games like Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are horrible with PC speaker on. To some extent i sounds right, like there suppose to be som extra bas sound or something, but in some parts of the game, especially in game music everything just sound all mixed up. Shutting of the PC-speaker helps a lot in games like TMNT.

Has anyone tried any additional set up configurations for the sound - or trying to change any of the PC speaker settings?
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Re: About the PCjr/Tandy sound emulation

Postby Ze_ro » 2019-8-01 @ 01:02

I'm late to the party here, and I've actually never tried to do any of this in DOSBox.... but my understanding was that a good number of games would actually look for some sort of signature in the BIOS ROM to see if you had a Tandy, and would decide whether or not to use the sound/video hardware accordingly. Thus, a setup with machine=svga_s3, tandy=on would fail the "autodetection" and wouldn't use the sound, while machine=tandy, tandy=off would result in games automatically attempting to use non-existent hardware... so tandy=auto is kind of the only sensible option.

Not sure what differences there are when it comes to tandy/pcjr... but I wouldn't be surprised if some games (especially later or poorly coded ones) didn't handly PCjr properly because the graphics/sound hardware was so much more associated with the Tandy series. It surprises me that Alley Cat might be the other way around.

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