Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

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

Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-13 @ 19:17

Hi.
I have been struggling to get this sound card working under windows 98.
I have a pentium 2 400mhz with intel chipset.

I start the demos and I get sound but I cant hear the difference between front and surround.
Reflections and occlusions are enabled.
If I disable reflections I get no sound at all. It's as if I can only hear the reflections.
The occlusions has no impact on the audio.
In thief the dark project, I get clicking noises, and sound suddenly appearing and disappearing.

I have tried to reduce the pci latency from 64 to 32.
I have tried lots of drivers, currently using the drivers that said recommended on the vogons driver library.
I have tried to change irq in bios, and change the pci slot.
Once in all this mess I was able to get sound without reflections, and I could hear the difference between front and surround, but it was still weird and, well, its not like that now.

Could my sound card be broken? Do you understand what I am saying here or should I make a video demonstrating?
I would love any feedback, I really want this card to work.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-14 @ 23:05

Sorry, would have responded sooner but didn't feel too well yesterday.

Run the attached (batch file) dumb diagnostic utility I whipped up ***"UNDER DOS ONLY"*** and post (attach) back the text file it generates.
It's dumb because it does brute force writes to the registers and outputs those with either normal fixed values or those that have stuck bits.
Don't be alarmed by the output, normal cards also have such registers. I'll go through the list manually and see if there are any questionable registers in your card.

For general issues, the Aureal control panel should be set to Quad for 4 speaker mode, and in each of the modes 2-Speaker/Headphone/Quad you should be using the second from the top Jack for any front speakers.
If you have multiple versions of the A3DAPI.dll sitting around they can conflict with the driver versions if they aren't matched properly. <2048 drivers need the v2.25 API, and >=2048 need the v3.3 API dlls.

[edit]diag util removed, updated version in last post
Last edited by ZanQuance on 2016-9-17 @ 00:55, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-15 @ 16:50

Hi!
Don't worry about it. I Hope you are feeling better.
I really appreciate the help! :)

I am using the correct audio port.
My driver is 1.02 I install from a monster sound cd image.
I have only one file called A3DAPI and it's version 2.01.18
Should I replace is with v2.25 API? I will do that and edit this post if it is working. If I can find it.
I have now reinstalled win98 and I am using pci slot 1.
I have installed the latest intel chipset drivers.

Edit: hmm,,I upload attachement but cant see it in my post
It seams the file is empty for some reason. I need to make another

The diag. wont complete now. It stops here:

diag.jpg


The cd is for diamond monster sound 2, I open the readme file and it says it's for the mx300.
But when I launch a demo, it is missing som options now like, reflections and it says, 1997 in the window title.
Changing the API file did not have any impact.


Installed new drivers, used startup disk and made a few more attempts at running au30diag and this doesn't look good:
au30diag.jpg
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-15 @ 20:07

In your first screenshot it locked up while testing the CrossTalk cells.
In the second it completed okay but that's just the end of the card in the Equalizer area, there are many cells marked with default dead code and other funny hex messages, so no worries if you see those.

It's not going to be a driver issue then if your hardware is locking during these diag card reads, I am suspecting that there is either a conflict on the bus somewhere, or the card itself may have issues.

More information required, <motherboard make and model>
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-15 @ 20:22

Really, I was sure it was dead. It's time for me to go to bed now so I will have to wait until tomorrow before I can give you more information.
There are a few versions of this computer but I think it is this one: http://www.cnet.com/products/compaq-des ... ies/specs/ I know it is deskpro en 6400 p2 400mhz.
pc1.jpg

pc2.jpg
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-15 @ 20:28

Ok no problems, catcha later then
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-16 @ 05:47

Before I'm off to school, I tried to run the au30diag. One time it stopped, one time it completed. I does not generate a txt file.
I have some other logs I have attached, but I don't know if it helps or not.

I browsed through some logs in "Microsoft system information" and I found this in multimedia and the sound card "SSA3D30.OCX Driver not installed"
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-16 @ 06:55

Run the included batch file not just the exe, or type in au30diag > diag.txt
If it's not a software issue I strongly suspect that it's hardware. Check the card and also the motherboards PCI-X contacts and clean them if needed.
Thanks but no need to post those software install/boot logs as they won't contain anything useful for this issue anyways. Perhaps if you had a lockup during boot or failed driver install.
The diag software "shouldn't" ever freeze, it operates at the lowest system level communication to the card.
[edit] Found a bug in my code that could cause the lockup and fixed it in the build posted below

Is the card in good condition?
Last edited by ZanQuance on 2016-9-17 @ 01:02, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-16 @ 12:57

The card seams like its in a very good condition, however I do see some sign of rust on the midi port.
I have used several pci slots. I have the diag.txt uploaded.

Edit: The PCI-X is clean.
Attachments
DIAG.TXT
(21.27 KiB) Downloaded 27 times
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-17 @ 00:15

Ok your diag looks clean without any issues. Your on a high IRQ 11, while this "normally" shouldn't be the cause of any problems in general, you might try forcing it to a lower IRQ (5 or 7) in the bios for Windows 98 and see if that helps.
There might be some known issues surrounding single PCI and or PCI-X systems, but at least it's on the primary bus so bus-mastering should be ok.
Last edited by ZanQuance on 2016-9-17 @ 07:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-17 @ 00:59

I've updated the utility to be a bit more thorough and removed a potential cause of a lockup.
Run this version and post the log. This should now definitively tell if the hardware is okay or not.
Attachments
AU30DIAG.zip
Updated diag
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-17 @ 07:02

Thanks for the warning :)
I have tried to enable and disable bus mastering in bios. And reseting the bios, and disabling everything like usb paralell and so on.
Perhaps I must see If I can put together another windows 98 machine with normal pci slots on the motherboard. That would be with more modern hardware, just to see if it works or not.
Unless I get lucky at the flee market today.
Attachments
AU30DIAG.TXT
(20.02 KiB) Downloaded 18 times
youtube.com/uncleawesome
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-17 @ 07:13

Your AU8830 core appears to be just fine.
Definitely try it out on another system.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-17 @ 07:17

Thank you very much for the help so far, I really appreciate it.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-17 @ 13:34

I was able to install windows 98 on a more modern computer. It gave me the same result. No surround, and only sound when reflections are enabled.
I'm thinking I need to buy another mx300 and complain to the seller if the new sound card works.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-17 @ 22:02

Yeah this is a strange problem indeed. The core looks okay from the dumb diag util, so the registers at least read and write.
There could be other hardware issues preventing the final mixed output.

Does it play sound okay under DOS games, using the AU30DOS.com?
The Audio chain looks like this by default:
Code: Select all

VDB_HDR_AC97
282F8:11:34   ( b ) MIXER[4]    ->( d ) MIXER[1]    ->
28144:11:60   ( s ) WT_0_DS_L    ->( d ) MIXER[3]    ->
2814C:11:A0   ( s ) WT_1_DS_L    ->( d ) MIXER[4]    ->
28150:11:35   ( s ) MIXER[5]    ->( d ) MIXER[2]    ->
28148:11:61   ( s ) WT_0_DS_R    ->( d ) MIXER[5]    ->
28154:11:A1   ( s ) WT_1_DS_R    ->( d ) MIXER[6]    ->
28158:11:36   ( s ) MIXER[6]    ->( d ) EQ[0]    ->
28280:11:37   ( s ) MIXER[7]    ->( d ) EQ[1]    ->
28284:11:7E   ( s ) EQ_L    ->( d ) MIXER[7]    ->
2815C:11:7F   ( s ) EQ_R    ->( d ) MIXER[8]    ->
28160:11:30   ( s ) MIXER[0]    ->( d ) AC97[0]    ->
28220:11:31   ( s ) MIXER[1]    ->( d ) AC97[1]    ->
28224:11:32   ( s ) MIXER[2]    ->( d ) AC97[4]    ->
28230:11:33   ( s ) MIXER[3]    ->( d ) AC97[5]    ->
28234:11:70   ( s ) AC97_port[0]    ->( d ) MIXER[10]    ->
28168:11:71   ( s ) AC97_port[1]    ->( d ) MIXER[9]    ->
( d ) NULL_END

If part of the Mixer isn't mixing the final signal then you will be missing audio. The WaveTracing reflections come from the WaveTable cell of the AU8830 and are mixed on channels 3,4,5,6 so you can hear those and they are working, the Mixer also links the mix out through channels 0,1,2,3 for sending to the CODEC.
When you play and Aureal A3D 2/3.0 demo it adds a new chain to the Mixer and feeds the channels through the A3D audio block, Then the results are passed to the X-Talk(Crosstalk) unit and then through the EQ then to the Mixer again for mixing into channels 0->3

Either the Mixer has an issue, or the A3D cell isn't running.
But it working sporadically is a very odd issue and doesn't sound like a bad core, also considering each register is working properly.

I'm honestly not sure what it could be at this point, CODEC should be fine since you hear the reflections, but my diag doesn't test it.
Does any wave and MP3's play okay? They won't be routed through the A3D cell of the chip.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-18 @ 10:37

Sound is fine for regular mp3.

When I enter dos from windows 98, it says vortex sound blaster emulation disabled in windows, driver not loaded.
However it is not disabled in windows.
When I load dos from startup disk I guess naturally i shouldn't work?

Dos from startup disk:
It says winbootdir
environment variable missing. driver not loaded.
au30dos.com section not in au30dos.ini. driver not loaded.

On the more modern computer, I am not able to enter dos (I only have 1gb of ram so I guess that is the reason it's unstable. I should have 512 on win98) However at startup it says, sound blaster emulation disabled. Like the older computer. But, in device manager on the modern computer, I only see vortex au8830 pci, no game ports or sb emulation. But I haven't bothered to install chipset drivers for it..I don't even know if I can find any that works for win98.

To see the audio chain, I would have to successfully launch au30dos.com?
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-9-18 @ 11:11

AU30DOS.com requires that the environment variable be set pointing to where the AU30DOS.ini file resides
so unremark the WINBOOTDIR=C:\WINDOWS in the autoexec.bat or manually type in:
SET WINBOOTDIR=C:\WINDOWS into the command line and then load AU30DOS.com

I presume since MP3's work that there is something broken in the A3D cell that isn't showing in the diags.
The audio chain is only reported with my own diagnostic control panel and isn't yet available to the public.

Without poking around the card myself I can only guess two things here. There is an error in the A3D cell preventing it from rendering in A3D programs, or the drivers your using are somehow just not working properly and the card is actually okay. To know for certain you would have to test a known good card and see if the same things happens, if so then software was indeed that cause (though I don't really see how since you've test this).
If you test in dos and it works okay, then that means most of the chip is functioning and nothing wrong with the major components.

Sorry, but past this point there is very little I can suggest. Let us know how it works out with a replacement card...
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-18 @ 14:29

I got the same result so, I have contacted the seller. He will send me a replacement I think. I will let you know about the result.
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Re: Diamond monster sound mx300 problems

Postby northdale » 2016-9-30 @ 20:44

I got the replacement card and everything works great now :) My Windows 98 retro beast is now complete, Thank you for all the help!
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