Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

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

Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Cloudschatze » 2015-2-20 @ 17:14

Deletion of off-topic discussion...
Last edited by Cloudschatze on 2015-2-23 @ 17:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Scali » 2015-2-20 @ 17:34

Cloudschatze wrote:Obviously your problem. But hey, let's blame the card!


I'm not blaming the card for that, I'm just saying it's not a very interesting card to have, compared to the GUS, because of this (I already had a GUS, the AWE32 was meant for SB compatibility because the SB Pro I had didn't work in fast systems... I was just disappointed by the fact that this card was better than the GUS on paper, but sounded horrible in practice, and there was barely any software support).
The fact that you are so blind to think I am blaming the card, and that you feel the need to insult and deride me for this, says enough about your fanboyism.

Cloudschatze wrote:Impulse Tracker


Nice try, that tracker wasn't around yet back then. It arrived a few years later, by which time the migration to Windows was already in full effect, and fast CPUs and software synthesizers were starting to make hardware mixing irrelevant (Windows 95 wasn't exactly gentle to the GUS, its popularity died out overnight, pretty much, partly because of the lack of good drivers, and partly because Windows software didn't know what the heck to do with a GUS).

Any others?
And even then, what would the AWE add over a GUS, even if it does get supported by a tracker? Nothing. GUS is the better choice, as I already said, because you have access to a much wider selection of software.

Cloudschatze wrote:Obviously, only a fanboy could possibly care about signal quality.


Well no, any serious user would care about the sound quality of their sound card. In practice, this meant the analog output, back in those days. That is how you connected your card to your headphones, monitor speakers, effect processors, recording equipment, or whatever else you would do with it.
A fanboy would deny the quality issues of the analog output, and deflect the discussion to the SPDIF output, which in the world of 1994 had extremely limited use.

Cloudschatze wrote:The point is that you're made some rather ignorant statements regarding the AWE that I've tried to counter objectively.


Well no, as an AWE32 owner/user, I am far from ignorant about the card.
I am critical about the card's quality, and its limited use. This offends fanboys who counter this criticism with far-fetched 'arguments' in an aggressive and pedantic manner.

Cloudschatze wrote:Because someone purported the the AWE32 to be an "ill-conceived response" to the GUS, perhaps?


Apparently you are either too blinded by your own bias, or you are simply too ignorant to understand what I mean by "ill-conceived response".
The codec isn't exactly a proper response.

Cloudschatze wrote:I referenced a list of titles with explicit SoundFont support. In addition to that, there is a fair amount of native General MIDI support using just the onboard sample ROM. Your claim just isn't factual.


It is, just because you can name some crappy software doesn't mean that the software support is anywhere near a widespread as the GUS, nor that it sounds anywhere near as good.
Now shut your horribly misinformed face. So annoying when ignorant wannabe gamers try to comment on demoscene-related things such as trackers and GUSes. Leave this thread, so the rest of us can continue discussing this InterWave-based GUS clone.
Last edited by Scali on 2015-2-20 @ 18:30, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby F2bnp » 2015-2-20 @ 18:06

Get a load of this scali dude!

Shock_ your idea is fascinating, I can't wait to see it come to fruition :).
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby FGB » 2015-2-20 @ 19:27

Scali wrote:Now shut your horribly misinformed face. So annoying when ignorant wannabe gamers try to comment on demoscene-related things such as trackers and GUSes. Leave this thread, so the rest of us can continue discussing this InterWave-based GUS clone.


Well, well "Scali".. There is NO need to get this kind of personal. I kindly advise you to shift a gear back to a less emotional level. It's about old sound cards here and not about any life relevant issue. You made your point clear and so did Cloudschatze. Why don't you agree to disagree? Both cards are pieces of sound card history and both have pros and cons. Just use the card you prefer and let others use other cards and even more important: respect others opinions and perspectives. Both cards have their real world advantages and also drawbacks.

Let's focus on shock_'s good idea to make a gus compatible card available to those who want one!

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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Marmes » 2015-2-20 @ 19:47

ok, GUS is the best others are bad...can we continue on topic?
@Shock_ do you need any help on something?
I am interested in one board at least, I will ask others around here.
Clone as is. It's good. It's better than having nothing.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2015-2-20 @ 20:36

Marmes: Except for finding the Datasheet for the IW78C21M1 I'm fine so far :)
Having a full symbol for the AM78C201KC as an Eagle library would be good as well, but I'll get there on my own at one point.

And possibly someone owning a business for requesting a quote on chips would be great (most brokers are business to business and won't even talk to hobbyists).
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby jwt27 » 2015-2-20 @ 20:56

shock__ wrote:And possibly someone owning a business for requesting a quote on chips would be great (most brokers are business to business and won't even talk to hobbyists).


I can highly reccommend Utsource for discontinued chips. They don't care if you're a hobbyist or multinational enterprise, only requirement is a $10 minimum order.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Marmes » 2015-2-20 @ 21:14

Well I don't use eagle. I used it long time ago. Being this an open project, it would be nice to make it on say Kicad. But if you are not comfortable with eagle, then eagle it is.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2015-2-20 @ 21:19

jwt27 wrote:
shock__ wrote:And possibly someone owning a business for requesting a quote on chips would be great (most brokers are business to business and won't even talk to hobbyists).


I can highly reccommend Utsource for discontinued chips. They don't care if you're a hobbyist or multinational enterprise, only requirement is a $10 minimum order.
Ah great :) I was looking for something like that - but only knew a German "relay" (electronicpool) which didn't offer the 2 required chips.

So let's see where this gets :) If the price for both chips would be $10 or something like that it would be perfect, if it's something like $50 it's pretty much a tombstone before things started.


I didn't get along with KiCAD too much to be honest (quite incomplete libraries, even less intuitive interface than eagle) but Eagle files can easily be converted to KiCAD, so no issue there.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Marmes » 2015-2-20 @ 22:36

Is that IW78C21M1 a FIFO memory?
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2015-2-20 @ 23:26

Marmes wrote:Is that IW78C21M1 a FIFO memory?
I have no idea at this point yet ... seems to be loosely RAM related tho. My first guess was some kind of RAM controller.

EDIT: just fiddled a bit around
good news: my toolchain still works (scan -> photoshop -> dxf -> eagle) :)
bad news: seeing how there are ~35 ceramic caps on the board (which most likely have to be unsoldered to be measured) and various traces hidden underneath the custom chips, I'm 90% certain the card will be destroyed in the process of being reversed ... so if anyone has a spare GUS he/she can part ways with for a decent price, that would make my decision to proceed a lot easier. And seeing how another GUS I sold less than 2 years ago is catching a considerable profit on eBay right now (it's a card I've only seen once so far with the box having exactly the same wear as the one I had) I'm getting severe second thoughts about releasing production files to the public.
I guess I'll just release a schematic for all and "license" PCB production files to handselected folks (under CC-BY-SA-NC).
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Marmes » 2015-2-21 @ 14:36

Acording to datasheet is FiFo memory for playback and recording. There are substitutes. It some sort of 512kb buffer. The need for other 512kb for samples to emulate true gravis is explained there. Please correct me if I'm wrong. If anyone would like to part from a pnp gus or something like this philips clone, please contact me privatly :)
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2015-2-21 @ 14:41

Okay, sounds interesting :)
Could you link the datasheet?
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Marmes » 2015-2-21 @ 14:48

I don't have the memory datasheet, but on interwave's programmers manual that is explained. if you want that manual i have it.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2015-2-21 @ 14:49

InterWave IC Am78C201 Programmers Guide v2, (SDK) 1996.pdf I suppose?
But okay, knowing the function already gets me a step forward.

Still waiting on a quote tho :/
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Marmes » 2015-2-21 @ 14:54

Because gus pnp itself doesn't support legacy gus cards, you need to add 512kb of ram. About quote, you will need to wait until march. Chinese New Year :)
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby pojo » 2015-2-21 @ 16:04

I would be interested in such a clone too :)
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2015-2-22 @ 00:47

Just a bit of doodling:
http://i.imgur.com/LCO0kIn.png
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby Marmes » 2015-2-22 @ 03:32

Seems very nice, I wonder how can you do it with eagle. I use Circad from Holophase to copy some boards.
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Re: Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

Postby shock__ » 2015-2-22 @ 12:42

My workflow basically goes like this:
Scan both sides (1200dpi), correct the scale in photoshop so vias match up perfectly or at least very close, convert to 2 color black & white, convert to .dxf, convert with "Eagle Power Tools" to a script that draws said black & white image to a dummy layer, start redrawing :) One major issue is getting the scale right.

Once everything is redrawn, start deriving the schematic using Eagle's Electric Rule check so layout and schematic become consistent (that part is really tedious).
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