Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby Deniz » 2009-12-01 @ 03:17

Hi.
I ran the version of DOSBox you gave me, and set the blaster type to "none" and the oplmode=cms.
It sounded better but the sound effects were still annoying. The damage sound sounds like a high-pitched steel drum, and the Vux laser like a vibrating harpsichord, neither of which I like.

When I disabled MPU-401, no sound was produced. Is that how it's supposed to behave?
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby robertmo » 2009-12-01 @ 09:33

Deniz wrote:When I disabled MPU-401, no sound was produced. Is that how it's supposed to behave?

1. You have to start dosbox first.
2. Do all the mountings (you may type them in [autoexec] section of dosbox.conf so it is done autoamtically when you start dosbox)
3. You have to manualy type in game's file name to run game. If you do it somehow automatically cms won't play (a bug of dosbox)

You also have to start the game with /s:cms swich or disable mpu if you don't use /s:cms swich. (both should sound the same so check both to be sure)
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby Deniz » 2009-12-04 @ 02:58

Oh, interesting...
When I ran Starcon /s:cms from a GUI Frontend for DOSBox, CMS was not working. CMS works now from the command line. (Why does this happen?). Earlier it was playing MIDI sounds when I launched, because CMS was not detected.

Maybe I gotta go try this in DOS on a computer with a working PC speaker and compare the sound...
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby h-a-l-9000 » 2009-12-04 @ 12:40

> (Why does this happen?)

Bug in DOSBox
1+1=10
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripa » 2011-10-03 @ 22:10

Image

I implemented "PIT mode 1" so Star Control PC speaker music works.

I also fixed (some of the) clicking in Bane of the Cosmic forge. It's very late, so I'll post my modifications and a Windows binary tomorrow or soon after.

edit: deleted dead link D:
Last edited by ripa on 2015-8-04 @ 20:35, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby Deniz » 2011-10-03 @ 23:29

Wow, sweet.

Well, the song doesn't sound that different from other renditions I heard with different sound settings.
What would make the most difference is to hear the battle sounds (e.g. earthling missile, vux laser, chenjesu crystal shard...)
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripa » 2011-10-04 @ 16:50

See attached ZIP file for a Windows executable and changed source files. I used svn rv3742 as a base. I didn't bother finding all the libraries, so the binary doesn't support networking, image capturing, etc.

In addition to StarCon, I tested this in Keen 1, Secret Agent, Supaplex, Monkey Island 1, Prince 1, Bane of the Cosmic Forge and Digger, so nothing should be broken.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2011-10-04 @ 17:51

To make the ideas a bit more accessible, here is a diff.

You can hear the digitized intro sound in Perestroika with the patch, although there is a high-pitch tone as well. Wizball doesn't seem to be much better, and has a constant tone that wasn't there before. Can hear the digitized sound in some Cinemaware games where you couldn't before (again with the high-pitch tone throughout), and can hear something during the sound effects in The Three Stooges, but not intelligible.

Hearing something where there was nothing before is nice progress. :)
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby leileilol » 2011-10-04 @ 17:54

I tried Hard Drivin' II, still doesn't have the motor 'buzz' yet.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripa » 2011-10-04 @ 19:04

Thanks for testing! I'll take a look at those games next.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby VileRancour » 2011-10-05 @ 05:03

Star Control *and* Perestroika fixed? Happy days and jubilation! (ok, that's from the wrong SC installment... get my drift though)

Will try some testing later - thanks to the "rip*" username contingent for continued and demonstrated awesomeness ;)
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby robertmo » 2011-10-05 @ 08:17

ripsaw8080 wrote: Wizball doesn't seem to be much better, and has a constant tone that wasn't there before.

wizball's music sounds best with about 460 cycles i think. And that constant tone looks to be the last note being played constantly untill next sfx. Same constant note problem in TV Sports Baseball.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby robertmo » 2011-10-05 @ 13:37

BTW I noticed that Hard Drivin' II and Hard Drivin' have wrong title music in dosbox (it looks like only one instrument is playing out of some more). (Compared with 386 PC)
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripa » 2011-10-09 @ 21:39

Here's another revision. This one fixes Keen 1's sounds like NY00123s patch without breaking Monkey Island or Digger. Hard Drivin 2 motor sound now has a buzz, but it drowns out everything else. I need to investigate that more. A recording of Hard Drivin' 2's motor buzz from a real PC would be helpful.

Also, Hard Drivin 2 intro tune works if you use normal core and not dynamic core - dynamic core seems to change the timing of the port writes that affect the pc speaker.

Perestroika's whine is probably intentional. Games that use pulse width modulation with pc speaker suffer from whine if the carrier frequency is too low. Perestroika's seems to be around 9.5 kHz, which is clearly audible. How audible it is with a real spaker depends on the speaker's frequency response. Theoretically, by setting a lower "pcrate" in dosbox.conf you should be able to eliminate the whine (in this case, 16000 or less should eliminate frequencies above 8KHz). However, I need to implement proper filtering to the pc speaker code in order for that to be effective.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2011-10-09 @ 23:26

Lowering pcrate helps Perestroika a great deal, but with Wizball the "whine" only becomes lower in pitch. Not sure, but I think both are using pulse widths. Would a low-pass filter make sense?

The digitized sound in 3 Stooges is much more audible, but still garbled. Please check out the speaker sound in Battle Bugs (digitized voice in mission briefings) if you get a chance -- not broken by your changes, though.

Very nice work, ripa. It's great to see (and hear) the speaker emulation improvements.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripsaw8080 » 2011-10-10 @ 20:17

The speaker sfx in the EGA version of Battle Chess isn't working; but the VGA version still works. Note that the EGA version only has sfx for battles; the VGA version also has sfx for movement.

Some ancient text-mode intros by the demoscene group Sorcerers have speaker sound that doesn't work. Pouet.net links: Atom, Nope

These cases might be due to unimplemented modes commented upon in the patched source, but thought I'd point them out because they work with official source.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby NY00123 » 2011-10-10 @ 22:00

I should really say thanks for the patch in its current form!
Sound effects appear to be proper in Keen1, Keen4, DN1 and DDave. Digger clone sounds aren't broken either (at least in the very first level).
I have also tested digitized sounds in Ken's Labyrinth (as generated on a PC Speaker) and they seem to work, as on vanilla DOSBox v0.74.

Regarding the high-pitch tone, I do remember hearing that in one random game at least, during a digitized speech actually being outputted from that little speaker (-_-). As hinted here, there may not be any specific "genuine" behavior regarding the tone (e.g. if you hear one or not).
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby robertmo » 2011-10-11 @ 11:17

hard_drivin_2_title.mp3
from a 286 pc. On a 386 the music is faster.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby ripa » 2011-10-12 @ 21:30

Lowering pcrate helps Perestroika a great deal, but with Wizball the "whine" only becomes lower in pitch. Not sure, but I think both are using pulse widths. Would a low-pass filter make sense?

A better low-pass filter would work. I'll try implementing this at some point.

The digitized sound in 3 Stooges is much more audible, but still garbled. Please check out the speaker sound in Battle Bugs (digitized voice in mission briefings) if you get a chance -- not broken by your changes, though.

The speaker sfx in the EGA version of Battle Chess isn't working; but the VGA version still works. Note that the EGA version only has sfx for battles; the VGA version also has sfx for movement.

Some ancient text-mode intros by the demoscene group Sorcerers have speaker sound that doesn't work. Pouet.net links: Atom, Nope

These cases might be due to unimplemented modes commented upon in the patched source, but thought I'd point them out because they work with official source.

I'll put them in my backlog.

hard_drivin_2_title.mp3
from a 286 pc. On a 386 the music is faster.

Thanks! Could you record the driving sound too? If possible, have the microphone a bit further away to prevent clipping.
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Re: Want to use PC Speaker and not Sound Blaster in StarControl 1

Postby robertmo » 2011-10-13 @ 09:12

I have noticed there are also some silent engine sounds when you are not driving (before you click the mouse to start driving): check the silent_loud file.
I wonder is it a game bug that the motor sound is so silent when not driving?
Although when you click the mouse to start and are not driving there is a loud engine too even when not moving so maybe the silent one is something we shouldn't hear.
Also there are some silent sounds when in the menu when selecting tracks/gears (so this could confirm we shouldn't hear it too).

BTW I am not using a microphone but i am touching one of pcspeaker's wire (actually the screw used to connect the wire to the speaker) with a minijack tip connected to "line in" in my modern computer. So the quality should be very good.
I just silented the recording volume in the mixer to get rid of the clipping. (it is set to almost zero (16 tapps of up arrow from the minimum (the slider moved up by two pixels only) )
When recording the silent_loud file i set the volume slider to max so that the silent sounds are recorded too.
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