Interview with AdLib employees! [done on 17/12/2016] - currenty being Edited

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Interview with AdLib employees! [done on 17/12/2016] - currenty being Edited

Postby Beegle » 2015-7-05 @ 02:54

Guys.

Guys.

I might have the opportunity to do a live interview with composer Henri Chalifour, who worked for sound card companies Ad Lib then Mediatrix in the 90s. Is there anything in particular you would like me to ask him when we do the interview?

Of course depending on the number of questions you propose, I might not get the chance to ask them all.
But still, I have a few inquiries of my own and would love to know what you have always craved to ask him (or indirectly, someone who worked for Ad Lib). Your suggestions will certainly help structure the interview.

Note that he also composes music for stand-alone albums with synthesizers (like his latest, Technautoroute), so your questions should not be limited to Ad Lib or Mediatrix.

I will keep you updated when/if this awesome project moves forward.
Cheers!
Last edited by Beegle on 2017-10-12 @ 22:15, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby MrEWhite » 2015-7-05 @ 04:35

Ask him if he has a collection of Ad-Lib cards.
Last edited by MrEWhite on 2015-7-06 @ 16:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby carlostex » 2015-7-05 @ 09:34

1. What do you think could have been done differently so that AdLib would not end up in bankrupcy.

2. What do you think of the AdLib Gold in comparison with Creative products?

3. How close did you collaborate with Stephane Picq?

4. Where's the warehouse with the stashed brand new AdLib Golds that were never shipped and sold? :lol: :lol: :lol: :cool:
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby DracoNihil » 2015-7-05 @ 10:32

Ask if he believes Creative is a deceptive company.
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Cloudschatze » 2015-7-06 @ 03:52

Glad to hear that Mr. Chalifour is still around. I'd corresponded with him briefly several years ago. In the last e-mail, he'd mentioned that he still had the Visual Composer II software, which he offered to provide in a few days time, after he'd had a chance to locate the box it was stored in. (VCII, as you're probably aware, was what he used to compose the Ad Lib Gold demonstration tunes.) I'm not sure if he just got busy, or what, but a few thousand days have since passed...

As far as questions go:

  • What is your musical background, and what events led to your relationship with Ad Lib?
  • Having composed with and for the Ad Lib Music Synthesizer, Ad Lib Gold, AudioTrix Pro, and AudioTrix 3D-XG, which was your favorite card to work with, and why? Do you have a favorite composition amongst your body of work?
  • A pairing of separately-addressed Ad Lib Music Synthesizer cards provides an easy means of producing stereo output. Despite being possible in 1987, Ad Lib apparently never attempted to capitalize on this feature, even when it might have bought them some time during the delays associated with the production and release of the Ad Lib Gold. Any idea why? Did you personally create any stereo compositions using such a configuration?

Oh, and I'm still hoping that he might be willing to help fill-in the credit blanks in the attached list...
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Beegle » 2015-7-09 @ 03:10

carlostex wrote:

Cloudschatze wrote:

MrEWhite wrote:

DracoNihil wrote:

Very interesting suggestions, I appreciate the help.
I'm compiling all the questions and topics I can think of right now, and will provide the complete list soon.

At the moment there are probably too many questions, hopefully I can combine a few and remove some less important ones.
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Beegle » 2016-11-14 @ 16:32

[Resurrection in progress]

Hello people!
It's been a while, and I have great news. The interview is scheduled for mid-December 2016.
I will be interviewing three people - two composers and one engineer from the original Ad Lib team.

Let me know if there are more questions you'd like me to ask on your behalf.
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Re: Interview with AdLib employees, what would you like to ask?

Postby keenmaster486 » 2016-11-14 @ 19:20

Did they ever consider a dual OPL3 card?
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.
Very silly indeed: https://audaxeundum.wordpress.com
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Re: Interview with AdLib employees, what would you like to ask?

Postby Jepael » 2016-11-14 @ 21:31

keenmaster486 wrote:Did they ever consider a dual OPL3 card?


Or single OPL3 but with two DACs to get all four output channels?

I'd like to know:
-Are there some design specs available somewhere, or perhaps schematics or bill of materials for either Adlib or Adlib Gold? (For emulation purposes, digital chips are easy, but you'd need to know also other things that are on the audio path, like op-amps, filters, equalizers, etc). Maybe PCB layout for building replicas?
-What was the master clock frequency used to drive the Adlib Gold surround add-on board YM7128 chip? Perhaps 14.318 MHz from ISA bus divided by half, 7.16MHz?
-Can you tell us anything about the undocumented LSI testing registers of YM3812 (OPL2) and YMF262 (OPL3) chips?

I'm sure there's million questions more..
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Scali » 2016-11-15 @ 08:07

DracoNihil wrote:Ask if he believes Creative is a deceptive company.


Yea, something like that... Or perhaps just: "What did you think when the Sound Blaster was launched?"
I suppose if I was in that position, I would think: "Why didn't we think of that?", followed by: "Can we sue them for cloning our card?"
I think the answer to the second question would be a 'no', since they use a standard Yamaha chip, and you can't get a monopoly on using a specific port range. So the only way to prevent clones would have been to get an exclusive deal with Yamaha for OPL2 and compatible chips.
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Re: Interview with AdLib employees, what would you like to ask?

Postby jheronimus » 2016-11-15 @ 10:52

If I remember correctly, AdLib actually removed all the markings on the chips they used on some of their cards — you can even see the scratches on those. That was done to hide the fact they used off-the shelf parts. I always found that really amusing and would like to hear the story behind it — i.e., how they came up with that idea.
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Re: Interview with AdLib employees, what would you like to ask?

Postby Scali » 2016-11-15 @ 11:35

jheronimus wrote:If I remember correctly, AdLib actually removed all the markings on the chips they used on some of their cards — you can even see the scratches on those. That was done to hide the fact they used off-the shelf parts. I always found that really amusing and would like to hear the story behind it — i.e., how they came up with that idea.


Yea indeed, because it's pretty silly.
Even if you can't read the chip markings, the dimensions of the chip, the characteristic sound, and the programming manual should make it pretty obvious what chip they were using.
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Re: Interview with AdLib employees, what would you like to ask?

Postby MrKsoft » 2016-11-15 @ 16:54

I'd be curious to know if any copies of the unreleased Visual Composer 2 for the AdLib Gold still exist... And if so, if it could be shared. The sample stuff made with it is great, and it would be great to have an accessible tool to utilize the card.
Wafflenet OPL Archive - Preserving MS-DOS music in a unified format!
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Cloudschatze » 2016-11-15 @ 18:21

Scali wrote:So the only way to prevent clones would have been to get an exclusive deal with Yamaha for OPL2 and compatible chips.

I'll have to find the source again, but I'd read that Ad Lib purportedly did have such an arrangement with Yamaha early on, until Microsoft intervened.
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Scali » 2016-11-15 @ 19:00

Cloudschatze wrote:I'll have to find the source again, but I'd read that Ad Lib purportedly did have such an arrangement with Yamaha early on, until Microsoft intervened.


Why would Microsoft intervene then? They didn't get into the sound card business until years later, when OPL3 was already the standard, and tons of clones based on both OPL2 and OPL3 chips were on the market.
I don't see any link between Microsoft and sound card manufacturers in the late 80s.
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby jesolo » 2016-11-15 @ 19:34

Scali wrote:
Cloudschatze wrote:I'll have to find the source again, but I'd read that Ad Lib purportedly did have such an arrangement with Yamaha early on, until Microsoft intervened.


Why would Microsoft intervene then? They didn't get into the sound card business until years later, when OPL3 was already the standard, and tons of clones based on both OPL2 and OPL3 chips were on the market.
I don't see any link between Microsoft and sound card manufacturers in the late 80s.

Maybe he was referring to Creative Labs?
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Cloudschatze » 2016-11-15 @ 20:19

Karen Collins', "Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design," p.49 wrote:By 1989, at the behest of Microsoft, Yamaha made their FM chips available on the open market, so that a standard sound format for PCs could be created.

If I were to speculate, I would assume that Microsoft's intervention may have had something to do with early discussion/planning of the MPC requirements.
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Re: Interview with AdLib employees, what would you like to ask?

Postby Jade Falcon » 2016-11-15 @ 23:16

what are you thought of the gravies ultra sound sound cards?
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby Scali » 2016-11-16 @ 08:12

Cloudschatze wrote:
Karen Collins', "Game Sound: An Introduction to the History, Theory, and Practice of Video Game Music and Sound Design," p.49 wrote:By 1989, at the behest of Microsoft, Yamaha made their FM chips available on the open market, so that a standard sound format for PCs could be created.

If I were to speculate, I would assume that Microsoft's intervention may have had something to do with early discussion/planning of the MPC requirements.


That's interesting... given that the Sound Blaster was introduced in October 1989... if Microsoft had Yamaha open the OPL2 chips in early 1989, then that would imply that Microsoft made the Sound Blaster possible.
However, I would like to know the other side of the story as well... What kind of deal did AdLib and Yamaha have, and how was Microsoft able to override that?
From Yamaha's side I'm not too sure what an exclusive deal with AdLib would bring to the table. The OPL2 would have been a very interesting chip for a wide number of platforms, and Yamaha was known to supply chips for various home computers, arcade machines and such.
Also, the OPL2 was already being used for some of Yamaha's own low-end synthesizers, so it certainly wasn't a specific custom chip made for AdLib.
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Re: Interview with composer Henri Chalifour, what would you like to ask?

Postby sf78 » 2016-11-16 @ 09:30

carlostex wrote:1. What do you think could have been done differently so that AdLib would not end up in bankrupcy.


I'd also like to know this, or more specifically why they lost their early momentum and why they couldn't create better and more innovative products when the competition was going past them left and right.
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