Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

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

Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby Malvineous » 2018-12-10 @ 22:23

RayeR wrote:Nono, all that my utility currently do is setting bit 0 of SPDIFOUTCTRL from 0 to 1 as I saw via R&W tool and PowerYMF 2.0.1 so it cannot be read-only status bit.

Bit 0 is writable but I meant bit 1 could be the read-only status bit, since you said that changes value even though you don't set it.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby ruthan » 2018-12-31 @ 16:53

I finally tested Yamaha 744 dos digital out with my $5 dollar DAC, with Doom 2 its working FX + FM in SB mode, when i change FM to General midi i hear only FX..

Its expected, or even external output midi could be mixed into digital output? Without Digital fix general midi is working fine.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby Tiido » 2018-12-31 @ 17:01

There's no card's own MIDI support in pure DOS, you just get the dumb MPU-401 UART. For music you need to connect your own MIDI device to the card (and since most have digital output possible you can route it back to the card's SPDIF input also).
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby PARUS » 2018-12-31 @ 17:33

Foolishness, general midi can not "work fine" and can not work at all in pure DOS. YMF 7x4 does not support GM in DOS. Only external MPU is supporting. And how are you going to mix external midi with Yamaha's own S/PDIF out? If its dig input is working in DOS it is possible. If it's not working it's not possible. It is elementary.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby ruthan » 2018-12-31 @ 18:54

Im confused.
Of course that i have external midi, otherwise i can say that its working fine without digital out.. But its connected to line in - analog..

This my card:
download/file.php?id=54297&mode=view

Do you see any digital in port on it? And if yet, i suppose thatn i would i need additional DAC for midi device too?
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby Tiido » 2018-12-31 @ 19:00

All PCI YMF chips have SPDIF in and out, just not exposed on most boards. Some modding is usually necessary. I don't know if the PCI YMF cards support external analog sources in the digital path or not.
The MIDI device would need extra modification to get SPDIF output on it.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby PARUS » 2018-12-31 @ 20:27

All analog inputs/outputs are connected to AC97, the S/PDIF output is separated and it must NOT get all input channels from analog AC97 mixer of the card.
For example on the Live/Audigy cards there is totally switchable input/output routing form ANY input to ANY output. If you saw my mixer for EMU10k cards you know about it. But YMF cards AFAIK even in Windows with win-driver don't play analog in signals through S/PDIF out. And by the way Vortex cards don't also.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby RayeR » 2019-1-04 @ 05:55

Hi, I finally had some time to finish my YMF7XX tool. Now it has commandline options that allows you to enable SPDIF (even with line-in ADC input - for dreamblaster mixing) and you can read/write MMIO registers for experimenting. If you want to write a mixer setting, then you must use 16-bit write instead of 8-bit write. It's automatically checked by length of value parameter so e.g. 00 cause 8-bit write and 0000 cause 16-bit write (all hex numbers).
The permanent link is http://rayer.g6.cz/programm/programe.htm#YMF7XX
So maybe toy could add it to 1st post for later readers of this thread...
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby PARUS » 2019-1-04 @ 12:18

Do you know how much you help retro hardware owners which use non-isa systems? I thank you much! Yamaha and Vortex are the best choices of PCI sound for pure DOS. (And ESS Solo-1 too.) If the similar mod for Vortex could exist (analog input to digital output -- !! waveblaster header !!) it would be great too!

And how about AWE64? Does anybody know something, is it possible to force any wave playback at 44,1 oversampled kHz?
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-1-04 @ 21:16

RayeR wrote:Hi, I finally had some time to finish my YMF7XX tool. Now it has commandline options that allows you to enable SPDIF (even with line-in ADC input - for dreamblaster mixing) and you can read/write MMIO registers for experimenting. If you want to write a mixer setting, then you must use 16-bit write instead of 8-bit write. It's automatically checked by length of value parameter so e.g. 00 cause 8-bit write and 0000 cause 16-bit write (all hex numbers).
The permanent link is http://rayer.g6.cz/programm/programe.htm#YMF7XX
So maybe toy could add it to 1st post for later readers of this thread...

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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby PalMusicFan » 2019-2-12 @ 04:10

RayeR wrote:Hi, I finally had some time to finish my YMF7XX tool. Now it has commandline options that allows you to enable SPDIF (even with line-in ADC input - for dreamblaster mixing) and you can read/write MMIO registers for experimenting. If you want to write a mixer setting, then you must use 16-bit write instead of 8-bit write. It's automatically checked by length of value parameter so e.g. 00 cause 8-bit write and 0000 cause 16-bit write (all hex numbers).
The permanent link is http://rayer.g6.cz/programm/programe.htm#YMF7XX
So maybe toy could add it to 1st post for later readers of this thread...

THAT IS AWESOME! IT WORKS!
Thanks so much! Now I can enjoy the digital FM output of my YMF 724 card (DATALAND).

BTW, is there something wrong within the text output?

Code: Select all
Yamaha YMF7XX configuration tool 1.1 (C) 2019 by Martin Rehak; rayer*******.cz
Compiled by GCC 4.8.5 at 05:25:33, Jan  4 2019 (DOS/Win9x compatability)

Yamaha YMF724F was found at bus: 1, dev: 0, func: 0, VID: 1073h, DID: 000Dh
SERR: disabled, PERR: disabled, BusMaster: enabled, MMIO: enabled
MMIO base address: DC000000h, IRQ: 11, INTA, PCI status: 0210h
Legacy Audio: disabled, SB: enabled, DSP version: 3.01, IO decoding: 10-bit
SB I/O base address: 0220h, SB IRQ: 5 (legacy), SB DMA: 1 (PC/PCI)
FM-synth: enabled, FM I/O base address: 0388h
MPU401: enabled, MPU401 I/O base address: 0330h, MPU401 IRQ: 9
Gameport: enabled, Game I/O base address: 0201h
Master clk: on, PLL0: on, PLL1: on, LegacyAu0: on, LegacyAu1: on, PCI: on
ADC1 playback volume:          0 /     0
ADC1 input volume:             0 /     0
ADC2 playback volume:          0 /     0
ADC2 input volume:             0 /     0
DAC playback volume:           0 /     0
DAC input volume:              0 /     0
BUF441 playback volume:        0 /     0
ZVOUT playback volume:         0 /     0
SPDIF playback volume:         0 /     0
FM Legacy Playback volume: 16383 / 16383
SPDIF Output: disabled => enabled


YMF 724 card (DATALAND) + Celeron 4 1.7GHz + i845GL.
Last edited by PalMusicFan on 2019-2-12 @ 10:40, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby PalMusicFan » 2019-2-12 @ 04:31

Is there anyway to set the FM output via SPDIF as close as it comes out from the YMF289 unit?
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby retardware » 2019-2-12 @ 06:20

Great topic!
As my baby-AT form factor retro PC already has PCI, I can use cheap PCI cards.
The CMI-8338 (ISA) has been mentioned to work fine.
On ebay there are many PCI cards with CMI-8738. DOS drivers seem available for download.
So my question, can I have both sound and music output on SPDIF using a cheap CMI-8738?
(just for gaming, no audiophile stuff :) )

My intention is to just use a simple mechanical switch to select which computer connects to my audio rack.
The raw SPDIF there goes to a Behringer DEQ-2496 as first stage of sound processing.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby gdjacobs » 2019-2-12 @ 08:46

DOS compatibility with CMI 8738 cards is reputed to not be strong. However, it does have a hardware OPL3 implementation which can be used with DOSBox.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby retardware » 2019-2-12 @ 13:44

gdjacobs wrote:DOS compatibility with CMI 8738 cards is reputed to not be strong. However, it does have a hardware OPL3 implementation which can be used with DOSBox.

Umm... I am no expert... back then I believed "compatibility" primarily meant that card is able to be set at A220 I5 D1, either directly via jumper or some ,sys or .com which sets the hardware to a "compatible" configuration. Just so that also these games worked which didn't look for a BLASTER (iirc) environment variable.
If "compatibility" means something different, could you please explain me?
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby ruthan » 2019-2-12 @ 16:36

Well compatibility means if its really working, if fx and music are playing in particular game.. Almost all dos sound drivers can be started at a220 i5 d1 but it doesnt means anything, if driver is not able on particular chipset process sound requests.. There wasnt any certification for claims that card is SB compatible and same on MB side some chipsets lost features needed for Dos audio compatibilty over years.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby retardware » 2019-2-13 @ 01:24

ruthan wrote:Well compatibility means if its really working, if fx and music are playing in particular game.. Almost all dos sound drivers can be started at a220 i5 d1 but it doesnt means anything, if driver is not able on particular chipset process sound requests.. There wasnt any certification for claims that card is SB compatible...

On DOS, did there exist an actual "driver"? Back then, I believed that the "driver"'s function was to set up a SB compatible address configuration.
And well, yes, you are right... even if they claimed to be "compatible", it was so common that many cards stayed quiet in games or just played music, but no sound. And for that reason it was simplest to just use a card from Creative. (Well some had also compatibility issues to their predecessors)

So, from reading the thread I understand so far:
- CMI-8338 is confirmed to overall work fine and output sound AND music on SP-DIF.
- Other combinations only work partly.

As CMI-8338 is very hard to obtain nowadays, I think then it could be reasonable to do some experiments with PCI CMI-8738. (This would possibly also easen the ISA saturation problem). I guess I'll order one on ebay and report back when I did my experiments.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby Kamerat » 2019-2-13 @ 09:48

retardware wrote:On DOS, did there exist an actual "driver"? Back then, I believed that the "driver"'s function was to set up a SB compatible address configuration.
Some ISA cards did have drivers for Sound Blaster emulation, like the Gravis Ultrasound Classic (and some later GUS too?). Some PCI cards also requires drivers/TSRs for Sound Blaster emulation, like the Aureal Vortex, Ensoniq AudioPCI, Creative Live! and Audigy. Some PCI cards use a TSR for emulation of Sound Blaster IRQ, but you can usually just skip it and use the PCI IRQ instead but you still need to run a program that initializes Sound Blaster part of the card.

retardware wrote:As CMI-8338 is very hard to obtain nowadays, I think then it could be reasonable to do some experiments with PCI CMI-8738. (This would possibly also easen the ISA saturation problem). I guess I'll order one on ebay and report back when I did my experiments.

The CMI8738 really suffers in game compatibility on most chipsets, try getting hold of an YMF based PCI card with SPDIF instead.
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby PalMusicFan » 2019-2-14 @ 01:16

Kamerat wrote:The CMI8738 really suffers in game compatibility on most chipsets, try getting hold of an YMF based PCI card with SPDIF instead.


I am using a DATALAND YMF 724 card with SPDIF support. It works well with SPDIF enabled by the tool of YMF7xx. The sound is pretty different if I use the analog output (very bright, weaker bass).

It seems DOOM and WARCRAFT work well with TSR loaded, but DISNEY’s LionKing and TOMB RAIDER don’t work even if there is setupds loaded only. Is there any solution?

Thanks very much!
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Re: Pure DOS gaming system with 100% digital audio output

Postby ruthan » 2019-2-14 @ 10:55

PalMusicFan wrote:It seems DOOM and WARCRAFT work well with TSR loaded, but DISNEY’s LionKing and TOMB RAIDER don’t work even if there is setupds loaded only. Is there any solution?

Its working fine with analog?
Im old goal oriented goatman, i care about facts and freedom, not about egos+prejudices. Hoarding=sickness. If you want respect, gain it by your behavior. I hate stupid SW limits, SW=virtual world, everything should be possible if you have enough HW.
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