Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Postby Ultrax » 2018-9-21 @ 04:01

I've got a Sound Blaster Vibra 16S in my Compaq Presario 425 AIO 486DX (Overdrive, for that 486DX2 50 MHZ POWER :P ) system running Windows 3.1/DOS 6.22.

I tried reinstalling the drivers, no change.

FM sound works flawlessly, however, digital sounds (like the CHIMES sound in 3.1, for example) do not work. When I enter the Sound menu in Control Panel, all the options are grayed out, and when I open a WAV file, it doesn't play (tells me something about a driver or sound card - need to attempt to open a wav file to see what the message says.)

However, digital sound works in DOS games, like DN3D (I know, more of a Pentium game, but runs acceptable on this DX2. I like cranking the 486 to the limit, LOL) I can hear the voice samples and digital sound effects.

Previously, this computer had an Avance sound card in it, which had drivers, so I'm wondering if there's a driver conflict? I uninstalled the Avance Sound System driver, and that didn't do anything. I'll try uninstalling the Avance "OPL3" and other Avance drivers to see if that helps.

And one more interesting thing to note - upon startup of Win 3.1, it gives me crap in an error message saying:
"Sound Blaster 16 ERROR Incorrect MIDIPORT setting in system.ini file"
Could this have something to do with it too? Aside from this digital audio issue, the sound card behaves normally, so I wonder why it would bring that up.

If anyone has any ideas, that would be greatly appreciated! :D
Ultrax
~
My machines and the eras of games they play:
1989-1995: Presario 425|Intel 486DX2 50 MHz OD|8MB|SB V16S
1999-2008 + Forums: HP Mini 311|Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz|2G|NVIDIA ION
2008-basic current era: 970a-g43|AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz|16G|GTX 660
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Re: Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Postby fitzpatr » 2018-9-21 @ 04:30

When you install the drivers, are you installing the DOS drivers, or Windows 3.1 drivers?

If you need 3.1 drivers, go here http://support.creative.com/Downloads/welcome.aspx and download one of the 3.1 driver packages.
MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
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Re: Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Postby Ultrax » 2018-9-21 @ 04:53

Both the DOS and 3.1 drivers are installed, it seems, as the SB16 drivers show up in Control Panel. I also have the SB16 programs in a group in Program Manager.

I'll attempt to uninstall the Avance drivers (all of them) and see if that does anything
Ultrax
~
My machines and the eras of games they play:
1989-1995: Presario 425|Intel 486DX2 50 MHz OD|8MB|SB V16S
1999-2008 + Forums: HP Mini 311|Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz|2G|NVIDIA ION
2008-basic current era: 970a-g43|AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz|16G|GTX 660
Ultrax
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Posts: 43
Joined: 2018-7-30 @ 22:30
Location: Texas, USA

Re: Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Postby fitzpatr » 2018-9-21 @ 05:39

Okay. One you do that, I recommend that you uninstall the sound blaster drivers as well, and then reinstall them. Good luck!
MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build
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Re: Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Postby appiah4 » 2018-9-21 @ 09:41

Sounds like an IRQ or DMA conflict to me.
1989:A500|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
1992:HIPPO-VL+|DX2-66|8M|GD5428|CT2290|S2
1995:PCI597-1|P133|32M|Trio64|V1|CT3980/2M
1998:S1573S|K6-2/400|64M|RagePro|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
2001:GA-6OXT|PIII-1200|512M|GF3Ti200|MX300
2004:K8V-D|3200+|2G|X1950P|SB0350
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Re: Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Postby Ultrax » 2018-9-22 @ 21:31

I have no idea how IRQ and DMA work, but when I open Audio Card Configuration in 3.1, it tells me the IRQ is 5, low DMA 1 high DMA 5.
I have a SIIG parallel and serial ISA card installed. That could possibly be causing this, but I like it in there, so can I set the IRQ/DMA to something else?

I removed the other Avance driver, the Avance OPL3 FM Synthesis driver. There is another one, Avance MPU-401, but it tells me it's a driver required by the system - so I might not mess with that LOL.
Ultrax
~
My machines and the eras of games they play:
1989-1995: Presario 425|Intel 486DX2 50 MHz OD|8MB|SB V16S
1999-2008 + Forums: HP Mini 311|Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz|2G|NVIDIA ION
2008-basic current era: 970a-g43|AMD FX-8350 4.0 GHz|16G|GTX 660
Ultrax
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Posts: 43
Joined: 2018-7-30 @ 22:30
Location: Texas, USA

Re: Digital sound quirks with Vibra 16S

Postby fitzpatr » 2018-9-22 @ 21:50

You'll need to do a bit of reading on IRQs and DMAs then, because it is absolutely critical when working with these old systems.

Effectively, each device needs its own IRQ (Interrupt ReQuest) and DMA (Direct Memory Access) Channel. (there are exceptions where sharing IRQs is permissible, but generally you should avoid it.

Different devices will use different IRQs. Each Parallel port, COM port, and Sound Device will require one. The Avance MPU-401 may be causing that MIDI error you're seeing because MPU-401 is the interface used with MIDI devices. Have a look in the BIOS to see if there are assigned IRQs there. Keep track of all of them, so you get an idea of which device is using which IRQ. Sound Blasters should be on 5 normally, and the MPU-401 should be on 2. You'll likely have a COM (Serial) port on 3 & 4, but you may not need those.
MT-32 Old, CM-32L, CM-500, SC-55mkII, SC-88Pro, SC-D70, MU2000EX
K6-III+/450/GA-5AX/G400 Max/Voodoo2 SLI/CT1750/MPU-401AT/Audigy 2ZS
486 Build
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