VOGONS


First post, by Clardake

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Hello.

I've recently bought a Sound Blaster Pro 1 (CT1330) and I tested it on my retro computer.

Unfortunately, I noticed there are notable sound problems on Prince of Persia I & II. Voices and other digital sounds work fine, but not the MIDI music. So I concluded the sound card is broken as I've tested two Sound Blaster Pro 2 previously, CT1600 and CT1690, and they worked perfectly on the same computer and games.

To give a final conclusion, I've tested other games (Flashback, The Lion King, Nesticle and Massage emulators) and guess what? The sound works normally, even with my Sound Blaster Pro 1 (CT1330)! Then, I checked the settings on setup.exe for Prince of Persia II (the original Prince of Persia doesn't have a such tool) and I couldn't find any misconfiguration. Sound card is set at port 220 IRQ 7 DMA 1 for Prince of Persia II (the correct settings). I disabled the LPT port to avoid any hardware conflict.

So, why my Sound Blaster Pro 1 produces bad sound on Prince of Persia 1/2 and correct sound on other games, whereas I don't encountered that issue on my two Sound Blaster Pro 2 (all games work perfectly) ?

Thank you in advance for your answers.

Reply 1 of 6, by Great Hierophant

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Welcome to the forums!

Neither Sound Blaster Pro can output MIDI music on its own, it outputs FM music.

The problem most likely is that the Pro 1's FM chips are much more speed sensitive than the Pro 2's FM chip. Some games do not account for the delays required to access the FM chips of the SB Pro 1 (or SB or Adlib) when run in faster systems. Others do. Try slowing your system down and see if that helps. Disable cache, turn off the turbo, increase the ISA latency time, use Moslo, etc.

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog

Reply 3 of 6, by Malik

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Prince of Persia seems to exhibit weird problems with Sound Blaster cards in faster systems. I have noticed the fx voices not being played in my SB16 in my PII based system. At another time, I noticed the game couldn't detect the presence of the SB card and defaulted to using the PC Speaker in another Pentium 1 based system, iirc.

5476332566_7480a12517_t.jpgSB Dos Drivers

Reply 4 of 6, by Clardake

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Hello.

Thank you for the replies 😀

Great Hierophant is right

Great Hierophant wrote:

The problem most likely is that the Pro 1's FM chips are much more speed sensitive than the Pro 2's FM chip

I initially tested my SBP1 (CT1330) on my current "retro" computer: Pentium III 550 MHz processor and i440BX motherboard. Although my SBP2's (CT1600 and CT1690) work properly on that system, the same computer is really too fast for a SBP1 (CT1330): then, I tested the SBP1 on a much slower system (i486 DX2/66) and the problem disappeared on all games, including Prince of Persia I & II.

Conclusion: my SBP1 is not broken, it's just more speed sensitive than my SBP2's.
The problem of this subject is resolved !

Unfortunately, I've another issue on my i486 : I hear background noise with any sound card (SBP1 or SBP2). In fact, that's the reason why I prefer using my Pentium III for DOS games instead of my 486 ! I presume that issue is related to this computer itself. Therefore, I create another topic: Background Noise with ISA sound Cards

bristlehog wrote:

Prince of Persia 1.3 has a setup program:

Interesting. Apart from the setup program, is there any other difference between Prince of Persia 1.3 and earlier versions ?

Malik wrote:

Prince of Persia seems to exhibit weird problems with Sound Blaster cards in faster systems (...) I noticed the game couldn't detect the presence of the SB card and defaulted to using the PC Speaker

That's right ! By default, the original Prince of Persia cannot detect any sound card on my Pentium III 550 MHz. Fortunately, I found a workaround: load AT-SLOW program before running the game. It's not enough to get proper sound with SBP1, but It's perfectly fine with SBP2. Prince of Persia 2 (The Shadow and the Flame) detects the sound card without problem.

Reply 5 of 6, by Malik

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About v1.3 :

1. Level 3 dungeon has greenish hue on the walls in v1.3. Can't remember if some later dungeons are as well.

2. Has the setup program to choose individual music and sound effects cards as well as graphics mode.

3. Supports MT-32.

You can select the sound card and graphics mode in v1.0 through command line, but there is no support for MT-32, iirc.

5476332566_7480a12517_t.jpgSB Dos Drivers