New DreamBlaster S2 !

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

Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby matze79 » 2017-12-21 @ 06:53

Ah i remember those OPLsa Cards have Soft MIDI Emulators for Windows 3.x..
so the Card is not suitable for Windows 3.x and 2Mb/4Mb RAM Machines, when using full MIDI Music.
The Emulator uses a lot of RAM.

Anyway the Dreamblaster S2 is nice, you get what you pay for.
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby Falcosoft » 2017-12-21 @ 10:12

TimMer1981 wrote:Are there any updates on the DreamBlaster soundbanks planned? The current highest quality Dream soundbank is a mere 13MB, and the DreamBlaster X2 has 64MB of memory. Seems like it can take a lot higher quality samples then it currently does? :)

Yes, and the new soundbank (called GUD) has its own thread:
viewtopic.php?f=62&t=52724
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby clueless1 » 2017-12-21 @ 10:34

Is there any way to get an S1 to work as the MIDI Playback device in Windows 98? I stuck mine on an SB16 on a 98SE build but Windows uses the SB for MIDI playback with no option to change the MIDI device. Granted, the S1 works fine in DOS Mode in DOS games.
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby derSammler » 2017-12-21 @ 10:40

Yes, I use that combination. Make sure you have the MPU-401 interface listed in the device manager. You may need to install it manually. After that, you can select it in Multimedia -> MIDI.
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby clueless1 » 2017-12-21 @ 11:43

derSammler wrote:Yes, I use that combination. Make sure you have the MPU-401 interface listed in the device manager. You may need to install it manually. After that, you can select it in Multimedia -> MIDI.

Sweet, thanks man!
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby TimMer1981 » 2017-12-24 @ 04:29

Falcosoft wrote:
TimMer1981 wrote:Are there any updates on the DreamBlaster soundbanks planned? The current highest quality Dream soundbank is a mere 13MB, and the DreamBlaster X2 has 64MB of memory. Seems like it can take a lot higher quality samples then it currently does? :)

Yes, and the new soundbank (called GUD) has its own thread:
https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=52724

Nice, but still not even using half of the memory. Why? The quality of the samples could be doubled. :)
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby derSammler » 2017-12-24 @ 09:58

TimMer1981 wrote:Nice, but still not even using half of the memory. Why? The quality of the samples could be doubled. :)

And where should these samples are coming from? That bank was made from already existing samples. Feel free to sample the 128 GM instruments with higher sample rate and provide them to the Dreamblaster team.
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby TimMer1981 » 2017-12-24 @ 21:39

derSammler wrote:
TimMer1981 wrote:Nice, but still not even using half of the memory. Why? The quality of the samples could be doubled. :)

And where should these samples are coming from? That bank was made from already existing samples.

And how am I supposed to know that?

Feel free to sample the 128 GM instruments with higher sample rate and provide them to the Dreamblaster team.

No need to get all smartass, just seeing a lot of technical potential go to waste. It's like buying a Ferrari and hearing afterwards that you can only drive at half of the top speed.

I paid good money for the X2 because it was flexible because of its flash memory, so is it really so weird that I expect a bit more than just two soundfonts which don't even use its full potential?
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby derSammler » 2017-12-24 @ 22:01

TimMer1981 wrote:And how am I supposed to know that?

Because the second sentence in the very first post of the X2GU thread, which Falcosoft gave you just a few posts before, tells you that: "It is based on the samples from the GeneralUser bank (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php) with kind permission from Chris Collins to use these."

I paid good money for the X2 because it was flexible because of its flash memory, so is it really so weird that I expect a bit more than just two soundfonts which don't even use its full potential?

Yes, because you know what you buy when you buy it, unless you don't inform yourself and just buy stuff with wrong expectations. What comes afterwards is a (free) bonus.
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby keropi » 2017-12-24 @ 22:21

Let's keep in mind that Dream themselves provide that 13MB bank - and no higher-quality alternative AFAIK, this is what they license with every chipset sold out there.
The fact that the chipset supports 64MB doesn't necessarily mean that 64MB should be fully used to achieve the best quality - take for example the SC-55 rom: it's just 4MB.

GUD is not ready yet and it takes really really long time to organize samples, set loop points and other bazillion variants to make it sound good/correct. I've helped with testing last year and I can confess that it's not an easy job - and all I had to do was to test the banks during playback , nothing close to the technical stuff that is behind creating it. It's far beyond sticking samples with more resolution and have it work, everything must be painstakingly handcrafted and tuned in order to get decent playback out of it.

As to the X2 expectations - not aimed at anyone in particular here or trying to start a flamewar - there are various samples provided on the sales page for the available banks so I assume one liked what he heard and then buys it or not.
Is there room for improvement? Sure and that's why the GUD bank was created but surely this must be considered as a bonus when it comes and not as something that is expected 101% to happen in a preset amount of time, the fact that there is work undergoing on this alternative bank pretty amazing by itself IMHO.
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby TimMer1981 » 2017-12-25 @ 13:13

derSammler wrote:
TimMer1981 wrote:And how am I supposed to know that?

Because the second sentence in the very first post of the X2GU thread, which Falcosoft gave you just a few posts before, tells you that: "It is based on the samples from the GeneralUser bank (http://www.schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php) with kind permission from Chris Collins to use these."

I paid good money for the X2 because it was flexible because of its flash memory, so is it really so weird that I expect a bit more than just two soundfonts which don't even use its full potential?

Yes, because you know what you buy when you buy it, unless you don't inform yourself and just buy stuff with wrong expectations. What comes afterwards is a (free) bonus.

I informed myself quite well, even contacted the developer of the DreamBlaster units directly for further information.

When a commercial product is sold saying it has flashable memory, one would expect there would be a range of things to flash; not just one soundfont, one beta soundfont and a Nintendo soundfont for shits and giggles. There's also no possbility of converting other soundfonts for end users.

Would've been nice if this was made a bit more clear on the product information page. That's why I'm posting it now: for future customers.

@keropi: I understand. :)
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby the Goat » 2017-12-25 @ 14:36

TimMer1981 wrote:When a commercial product is sold saying it has flashable memory, one would expect there would be a range of things to flash; not just one soundfont, one beta soundfont and a Nintendo soundfont for shits and giggles. There's also no possbility of converting other soundfonts for end users.

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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-12-25 @ 18:02

Hi, as you all know, the DreamBlaster S2 soundbank is ROM based, and cannot be updated.
So I suggest any further discussion on the GUD soundbank, take place in the GUD thread : https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=52724
We are working on improving the GUD bank, and the bank is slowly growing. I will post more details in the GUD thread.
Also, I recently invested in an additional 5000 SDK, and working with a new sound designer, to bring more banks.
I hope we will have result soon, but I cannot promise.
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby 640K!enough » 2017-12-26 @ 20:51

dreamblaster wrote:Hi, as you all know, the DreamBlaster S2 soundbank is ROM based, and cannot be updated.

Just out of curiosity, is the instrument bank built into a monolithic synthesizer IC, or is it in a separate mask ROM? Is the format documented, potentially allowing the use of a customised, flash-based replacement?
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-12-26 @ 21:02

640K!enough wrote:Just out of curiosity, is the instrument bank built into a monolithic synthesizer IC ?

Yes
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Re: New DreamBlaster S2 !

Postby dreamblaster » 2018-6-05 @ 17:46

I bumped into this new S2 demo on youtube today :
It shows S2 on a soundblaster 16
https://youtu.be/cDm8bDvxclc

The video also briefly shows the jumper settings on SB16 (FYI) :
jmpsettings.png
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