VOGONS


Cloning the AdLib Gold Surround Sound Module

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Reply 60 of 72, by Tiido

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I once looked at what it would take, and it doesn't take much to make a Level1 device. Level2 requires more effort for no gains as far as games go.

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Reply 61 of 72, by root42

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Shreddoc wrote on 2021-04-08, 21:34:
JimWest wrote on 2021-04-08, 13:12:

Maybe we should really think about making a gold replica. 😄

Surely it's possible!

(?)

The Gold Ctrl IC will be the major problem... Would probably need an FPGA replacement or similar.

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Reply 62 of 72, by JimWest

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root42 wrote on 2021-04-09, 07:42:

The Gold Ctrl IC will be the major problem... Would probably need an FPGA replacement or similar.

Yeah, probably.
I'm doing something similar for Datel PC Action Replay right now.
I think it can be done. I am more concerned about the calculation of the filter capacitors.
A (defective) AdLib Gold would certainly be very helpful as a donor.

Tiido wrote on 2021-04-08, 21:52:

I once looked at what it would take, and it doesn't take much to make a Level1 device. Level2 requires more effort for no gains as far as games go.

What do you mean by level 1 and level 2?

Reply 63 of 72, by Tiido

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Adlib Gold SDK specifies two compatibility levels, one that has basic functionality that basically just involves having OPL3 and MMA chip, and one that has mixer and other additional features such as software controlled IRQ and DMA selection.

Additionnal features of GSS-Level 2 hardware include a standard on-board programmable mixer, which also is used for software con […]
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Additionnal features of GSS-Level 2 hardware include a standard on-board programmable mixer, which also is used for software configuration of GSS cards.
This mixer enables the independent programming of each audio sources volume, and a global bass and treble control.
The applications can also read from GSS-Level 2 cards, the DMA channel and interrupt line assignments used on the card.
GSS-Level 2 cards share 1 single interrupt line for interrupts coming from OPL3 and MMA.
Because of these differences, functions in the SDTK libraries that refer to the OPL3 timer interrupts or to the mixer capabilities are disabled in Level-1 code.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 64 of 72, by TubeTimeUS

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it'd be really fun to clone the Gold! i think the "Gold Ctrl" should be fairly straightforward to implement in an FPGA. or possibly a CPLD, if it is simple. the YMZ263 looks hard to find so it should also go into the FPGA.

Reply 65 of 72, by cyclone3d

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Ok, so I wonder if there are already clones out there:

They are:
Cardinal SoundVision (with OAK VGA onboard)
Cardinal SoundStudio (Same exact board as above, but doesn't have the VGA portion populated) - Have this one but need to replace caps - have not bee able to locate original drivers for either of these Cardinal cards
Dune recordings by alex.schroedsen
https://wiki.preterhuman.net/Cardinal_SOUNDstudio

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2TheMax SoundMedia Multimedia Board (HAs already been tested and programs that try to detect the Adlib controller chip don't detect it. Maybe a driver issue? I have this one, but the POT was broken when I got it. Need to replace and test.
Adlib Gold clone - 2THEMAX SoundMedia Multimedia Board?

Both cards are 12-bit PCM just like the Adlib Gold.

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Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 66 of 72, by Tiido

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TubeTimeUS wrote on 2021-04-10, 03:59:

it'd be really fun to clone the Gold! i think the "Gold Ctrl" should be fairly straightforward to implement in an FPGA. or possibly a CPLD, if it is simple. the YMZ263 looks hard to find so it should also go into the FPGA.

The Gold CTRL will definitely fit a small CPLD, the only real thing it does is map extra devices into the register space of OPL3. MMA (the YMZ) is pretty simple too, but it has FIFOs in it and CPLDs don't normally come with any memory in them but some small FPGA will definitely have no problem.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 67 of 72, by JimWest

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cyclone3d, thanks for the information and photos.
The "old" clones are probably as rare as the AdLib Gold itself.

I think an AdLib Gold Clone should be as close as possible to the original and fully compatible. Clearly the CTRL chip and probably the MMA have to be replaced by FPGA or CPLDs.

Reply 68 of 72, by Benedikt

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Tiido wrote on 2021-04-10, 06:12:
TubeTimeUS wrote on 2021-04-10, 03:59:

it'd be really fun to clone the Gold! i think the "Gold Ctrl" should be fairly straightforward to implement in an FPGA. or possibly a CPLD, if it is simple. the YMZ263 looks hard to find so it should also go into the FPGA.

The Gold CTRL will definitely fit a small CPLD, the only real thing it does is map extra devices into the register space of OPL3. MMA (the YMZ) is pretty simple too, but it has FIFOs in it and CPLDs don't normally come with any memory in them but some small FPGA will definitely have no problem.

The Atmel/Microchip ATF1508 CPLD would be a nice substitute for the GOLD CTRL, if you ask me. It is available in the same PLCC-84 package.

Reply 69 of 72, by Tiido

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That part is a clone of Altera's EPM7128SLC and from experience it is severely limited by lack "wiring" type resources. It is going to struggle with a bidirectional IO port which is one reason it got replaced by something else entirely in one test design I built : http://www.tmeeco.eu/HARDWARE/FLEXkludge3.jpg

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 71 of 72, by 640K!enough

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Any effort to re-produce the Ad Lib Gold should take great care to get the sound as close as possible to the original board. Its sound was one of the distinctive features of the Ad Lib Gold. Furthermore, some software simply expects any GSS card to be an Ad Lib Gold (or close approximation), with all of the registers available. Simply having a Level 1 board won't get you very far with some of the software. With something like the Gold, the basic idea should be to do the whole job, and do it well. It just wasn't supported well enough to be a worthwhile project otherwise, and if the result will be that it just sounds like a GSS-compatible Sound Blaster 16, you're missing the point.

Reply 72 of 72, by Shreddoc

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Also I think there's a certain price-point at which it becomes nonviable, assuming it was done with the end-goal of small-run sales in a similar manner to the Orpheus card. (for a fully-committed cost-doesn't-matter prototype or POC, obviously that would not be so relevant)

In my hastily-thought opinion, the enticement tipping point for a high quality Adlib Gold reproduction would probably come about $400, !max! Probably less. Given the sheer sparsity of software support.

So, I don't know if that would be a valid concern. Perhaps the parts are cheap. (?)