VOGONS


First post, by AlessandroB

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I've read lots of posts on these cards (less on Roland being quite little used) but I didn't quite understand how to use them together and what benefit could I have to use them together.
I would use them on a Pentium1 200 System with a focus on the DOS period from the early 90's to the appearance of the PentiumII.

The first doubt I have is whether Roland actually makes sense having already the AWE32. The AWE is the CT3980 model with OPL3, Wavetable, 30Pin RAM expansion and DSP 4.13.

Using the awe32 with the MIDI samples loaded in ram or using one of the new wavetables (X2GS) doesn't completely compensate for the use of the ROLAND? My doubt is how these 3 solutions are managed by the various games...

Reply 1 of 32, by dank0

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AWE32 with OPL3 is useful for digital sound in DOS games and SCC1 as midi card. Disable com ports and printer ports in a BIOS and you will get free irq 2/3 and irq 7. SCC1 will be used for irq 3/2 address 330. SB awe in dos as 220,irq 7 or 5, dma 1.
with Scc1 you also get good midi port so you can use also external MT32, Yamaha cards for other midi games. and in win 98 you can have multiple midi controllers - AWE/SCC so use what sounds the best for you.

AMD K6-II 500, Nvidia TNT2 AGP, 256 MB RAM

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•• WANTED: ROLAND SCP-55 ••
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Reply 2 of 32, by AlessandroB

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dank0 wrote on 2023-05-02, 12:28:

AWE32 with OPL3 is useful for digital sound in DOS games and SCC1 as midi card. Disable com ports and printer ports in a BIOS and you will get free irq 2/3 and irq 7. SCC1 will be used for irq 3/2 address 330. SB awe in dos as 220,irq 7 or 5, dma 1.
with Scc1 you also get good midi port so you can use also external MT32, Yamaha cards for other midi games. and in win 98 you can have multiple midi controllers - AWE/SCC so use what sounds the best for you.

Thanks, it's very detailed information with no frills

But my question remains: using the awe with modern wavetables, wouldn't I have a duplicate of the SSC-1? I tend not to use duplicates if they have no added value.

Second question: do I really have to disable the COM ports? So I can't use the mouse...

Reply 3 of 32, by AlessandroB

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AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 12:55:
Thanks, it's very detailed information with no frills […]
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dank0 wrote on 2023-05-02, 12:28:

AWE32 with OPL3 is useful for digital sound in DOS games and SCC1 as midi card. Disable com ports and printer ports in a BIOS and you will get free irq 2/3 and irq 7. SCC1 will be used for irq 3/2 address 330. SB awe in dos as 220,irq 7 or 5, dma 1.
with Scc1 you also get good midi port so you can use also external MT32, Yamaha cards for other midi games. and in win 98 you can have multiple midi controllers - AWE/SCC so use what sounds the best for you.

Thanks, it's very detailed information with no frills

But my question remains: using the awe with modern wavetables, wouldn't I have a duplicate of the SSC-1? I tend not to use duplicates if they have no added value.

Second question: do I really have to disable the COM ports? So I can't use the mouse... also the lpt port is used for my ZIP250 drive...

Reply 4 of 32, by firage

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Roland sounds great, it's the real deal and glitch free by comparison. The price premium over something like the X2GS is the only reason I'd even consider anything other than the Roland option. AWE32 by itself is hit and miss, some great titles.

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Reply 5 of 32, by chinny22

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Think of AWE, Roland, X2GS and any other midi device as a band.
Just like a band each device will read the same notes yet each will sound slightly different to each other. Not better or worse, just different.

PS
No need to disable the serial port if it's needed. Just makes finding available IRQ's easier

Reply 7 of 32, by dionb

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AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 12:55:

[...]

Thanks, it's very detailed information with no frills

But my question remains: using the awe with modern wavetables, wouldn't I have a duplicate of the SSC-1? I tend not to use duplicates if they have no added value.

AWE32 have MIDI hanging note bugs, and a very irritating slowdown whenever 16b digital audio is played at same time as MIDI. Even if it sounded exactly like the SCC-1 that would be added value for the Roland card. I'm also not conviced it would - even if you can get the exact same instruments, the card has different analog components so would sound close, but not exactly the same.

Second question: do I really have to disable the COM ports? So I can't use the mouse...

Don't see why you would have to - use IRQ 2/9 for SCC1 and 5 or 7 for AWE32, which leaves you both 3 and 4 for serial ports. Even if you want to use IRQ3 for a card, that only loses you COM2, not COM1 (on IRQ4). I believe the tip above assumed you were using a PS/2 mouse.

Reply 8 of 32, by AlessandroB

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dionb wrote on 2023-05-02, 17:40:
AWE32 have MIDI hanging note bugs, and a very irritating slowdown whenever 16b digital audio is played at same time as MIDI. Eve […]
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AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 12:55:

[...]

Thanks, it's very detailed information with no frills

But my question remains: using the awe with modern wavetables, wouldn't I have a duplicate of the SSC-1? I tend not to use duplicates if they have no added value.

AWE32 have MIDI hanging note bugs, and a very irritating slowdown whenever 16b digital audio is played at same time as MIDI. Even if it sounded exactly like the SCC-1 that would be added value for the Roland card. I'm also not conviced it would - even if you can get the exact same instruments, the card has different analog components so would sound close, but not exactly the same.

Second question: do I really have to disable the COM ports? So I can't use the mouse...

Don't see why you would have to - use IRQ 2/9 for SCC1 and 5 or 7 for AWE32, which leaves you both 3 and 4 for serial ports. Even if you want to use IRQ3 for a card, that only loses you COM2, not COM1 (on IRQ4). I believe the tip above assumed you were using a PS/2 mouse.

but my dsp not have hanging note bug, only level 2

Reply 9 of 32, by dionb

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AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 18:16:

[...]

but my dsp not have hanging note bug, only level 2

Type 2? That's still a hanging note bug, just marginally less irritating than the type 1. And it has the slowdowns which every single SB16/AWE32/64 suffers from.

Reply 10 of 32, by AlessandroB

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dionb wrote on 2023-05-02, 19:10:
AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 18:16:

[...]

but my dsp not have hanging note bug, only level 2

Type 2? That's still a hanging note bug, just marginally less irritating than the type 1. And it has the slowdowns which every single SB16/AWE32/64 suffers from.

What exactly act a slodown? only in duke3D?

Reply 11 of 32, by Shponglefan

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SCC-1 is useful for authentic Roland SC-55 sound sets. AWE32 even with custom samples or add-on wavetable isn't likely to sound identical (unless using an authentic Roland sample set). And as others have mentioned, you won't have to worry about MIDI note bugs with the SCC-1.

The SCC-1 is also useful for connecting other devices via native intelligent mode support for things like an MT-32 or CM-series of sound module.

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Ultimate Windows XP build

Reply 12 of 32, by dionb

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AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 19:12:

[...]

What exactly act a slodown? only in duke3D?

Not just Duke3D, any game that plays 16b digital audio over a MIDI soundtrack. Tie Fighter is the most notorious example, but basically you can take everything on this list:
A List of DOS Games with 16-Bit Sound
(and it's by no means exhaustive - Tie Fighter itself isn't on it, for example)

Reply 13 of 32, by Cloudschatze

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dionb wrote on 2023-05-02, 20:06:
Not just Duke3D, any game that plays 16b digital audio over a MIDI soundtrack. Tie Fighter is the most notorious example, but ba […]
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AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 19:12:

[...]

What exactly act a slodown? only in duke3D?

Not just Duke3D, any game that plays 16b digital audio over a MIDI soundtrack. Tie Fighter is the most notorious example, but basically you can take everything on this list:
A List of DOS Games with 16-Bit Sound
(and it's by no means exhaustive - Tie Fighter itself isn't on it, for example)

The "MIDI slowdown" problem is a limitation/consequence of the SB16 architecture, but was largely mitigated by better PCM and MIDI driver interaction (AIL/MSS being a good example). Consequently, not all games featuring 16-bit PCM output exhibit the MIDI slowdown behavior, and conversely, some games leveraging 8-bit PCM output do (Tie Fighter).

Reply 15 of 32, by Cloudschatze

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AlessandroB wrote on 2023-05-02, 20:55:

So the midi section of the awe32 is totally useless? wavetable or internal ram or external using joystick?

Hardly. I've personally only experienced the slowdown problems with the two titles mentioned.

To clarify the second question, it's the hardware "MPU-401" interfacing that is affected, either via the internal wavetable header, or externally, via joystick-port adapter. Native AWE/EMU8000 and software-based MPU-401 support is unaffected.

Reply 16 of 32, by Cloudschatze

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Also, are you planning to run some flavor of Windows on your Pentium 200 system? If so, and perhaps to better understand what you already have with the AWE32, I would suggest running your GS/GM-supporting DOS titles from Windows (where possible), with MPU-401 emulation enabled, and with the 4GMGSMT.SF2 SoundFont loaded. Not only does this effectively negate the MPU-related shortcomings of the SB16/AWE, but it also results in a subjectively decent MIDI-gaming experience.

Reply 17 of 32, by dank0

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i will still prefer more Yamaha sound card, preferable with external midi card connector (compared to SB16 or AWE) and SCC1 - Yamaha cheap sound card has cleaner output and it has OPL chip. for @all i dont use any COM or LPT ports so i want the bios free some resources - I am mostly PS2

AMD K6-II 500, Nvidia TNT2 AGP, 256 MB RAM

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••
•• WANTED: ROLAND SCP-55 ••
••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Reply 18 of 32, by AlessandroB

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today I tried to disable the serial port if needed and the parallel. in the end I don't think it was necessary to disable everything, the SCC-1 is configured to use port 330 and IRQ7 while AWE32 220, 5, 1.

What I don't quite understand is how to select SCC-1 in game setups. Dune2 for example I can't figure out whether to select MT-32 or Sound Canvas. If I start Monkey2 with the "r" option which seems to be the one for the Roland the music is heard but it seems to use random and meaningless instruments.... I can't figure out how to use this SCC-1.

Reply 19 of 32, by JayAlien

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Is it possible to put the scc 1 on irq 2 or 3 and retest?

386sx25 SBP2 2M
P75(486) SB16 8M
P133 S3 Vir DX A64g 32M
P233MMX R128Pro A64 64M
Pii400 TNT2 Live! 128M
P3-1G V5 M80 256M
P3-1.4G R8500 A1 256M
A3200 9700Pro A2 512M
X6800 X850XT A2ZS 1G
E8600 X1950XTX Xfi 2G
QX9650 3870 Xfi 2G
i7-975 GTX570 Xfi 3GB