OPL2LPT

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

Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-9-13 @ 20:03

640K!enough wrote:Very nice! From your video, I didn't notice the noise a few of you have mentioned. Do you have any specific clues about where it is coming from?

Yes, I have been discussing the noise with jepeal and investigating/measuring.
I changed the amp chip configuration today, in a quick pcb hack, it is much less noisy already.
It now sounds better, I will record a new video.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-9-13 @ 21:22

here's the new recording of adlib jukebox : https://youtu.be/GDQZ-w8pSpk
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby NilsWorld » 2017-9-13 @ 23:37

Hello everyone !

I was very very very enthusiast when I read this thread... It's a wonderful project !! Dreamblaster, I will probably buy your CVX4 and your OPL2LPT and your OPL3LPT cause you probably know your work is soo AMAZING! The results are very impressive!

I wanted to react about some messages before mine.

@Dreamblaster, about the power source by the micro-USB, you said :
dreamblaster wrote:
Paralel wrote:What's the power source for it?

Is has a mini usb connector,so with an usb cable you can use various power solutions.
Old pc's of course don't have USB, but I did some test with such PS2 to USB connector, this seems a nice solution :
ps2adapter.jpg

The ps2 port can deliver up to 125mA which is plenty sufficient


You're right, a lot of old parallel solutions and cards used the PS/2 port to give power to their card... BUT with a passthrough for the PS/2 port (and it's better). Some examples :

The Accton Etherpocket SP which is a parallel ethernet solution powered by PS/2 power cord with a passthrough.
Image

SOLCAM Digital Camera (also powered by a PS/2 cord with a passthrough)
Image

Do you think it's possible to make (and find the pieces) a cable with a PS/2 passhrough to a micro USB ?

About the Digispeech Port*Able Sound Plus (pictures here) : lolo799 introduced me and my YT videos.

I need to explain : I got and I get a lot of Compaq Contura Aero machines (I owned about 50 units since 2014) because I love these little laptops and I try to restore a lot of them (now I'm an expert ahah) to sell them and spread my love for them around the world (ahah).
BUT the main "problem" on this laptop is the lack of an audio card. So I buy a Digispeech Port*Able Sound Plus (DS301) from lolo799 in August 2015. The sound is very impressive but the parallel adapter/card is very... towering (outch!) !

I make a thread about "Parallel sound cards" on a french forum called Win3x.Org : http://www.win3x.org/win3board/viewtopic.php?t=20167
I also created a Parallel sound cards' database on my server (take a look :blush: ) : http://nwserveur.no-ip.org/win3xorg/dev ... d%20Cards/

(I need to add the CVX4 adpater and the OPL2/3LPT by dreamblaster)

A lot of these cards are advanced covox but they still... covox things so they aren't real sound cards.
Only the Digispeech Port*Able Sound Plus is a "REAL" parallel sound card that emulates a soundblaster compatibility with a lot of games. The first game I played with this device was Alone in the dark on my little Compaq Contura Aero 4/33 and I need to say it's was incredible to play this game with sounds (I will probably make a video on the sounds of this game thanks to the Digispeech).

But, I'm very interested in other parallel solutions such as the CVX4 or the OPL2LPT of dreamblaster because the adapters are very tiny! I will MP you cause I really want one (the OPL2LPT, I will buy your CVX4 on your website : serdashop)
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby 640K!enough » 2017-9-14 @ 01:11

dreamblaster wrote:here's the new recording of adlib jukebox : https://youtu.be/GDQZ-w8pSpk

It is different from your previous video, but is still not quite what I remember from when I had an actual Ad Lib MSC. The output seems to emphasise the high frequencies more, while attenuating the lower end. Of course, it could just be the mediocre built-in audio on my aging Mac, but then again, it also seems slightly slower than what I am used to. Have a listen to one of Cloudschatze's recordings for comparison. Am I imagining things?

EDIT: On second thought, disregard the comment about playback being slower. Both your recording and Cloudschatze's take about 1:25 to play "*Very Busy*", but there is something quite different about the sound. In fact, from your recordings, I think it was closer to Cloudschatze's recording, as well as what I get when playing those files using my Ad Lib Gold, before the revisions to the board. The only other thing that I can think of is that we may be using different versions of the instrument bank or ROL files. I've posted SHA1 fingerprints of the files that were on my original diskette for comparison. If the fingerprints on yours don't match, that may explain the differences.

Code: Select all
SHA1(ARIA.ROL)= aa89daf82409fbbfc21f64e76806715bf26606d0
SHA1(CLASSY.ROL)= e8024ef01873eaf041cc7ef22be89b7ea46ba5a1
SHA1(CLOCK.ROL)= 47658d429c68440d3ae147fc12db5668168e57fa
SHA1(CRYSTAL.ROL)= 1d427689d67af05202be276ec3accb0557624704
SHA1(ELECROCK.ROL)= ab85b38baadb843fec247a19897ed1516fe19b29
SHA1(HIGHWAYS.ROL)= 2dc3bc41cbc91cff51ed737f475aa4571e7e7f20
SHA1(PARADE.ROL)= 47f9f0273fe627dcf6a722661dfdc8e9f907e93f
SHA1(RAILROAD.ROL)= 0c0bad9e7461c7ea64be45a57db9424fac0d8e3d
SHA1(RAIN.ROL)= b539fa3bcde2337920443ce26da32d622a7a8eab
SHA1(REGGAE.ROL)= b271144dd16d249fcc405174d062f4c110e4a771
SHA1(RUSH.ROL)= 8843360707dc15b4e7bf53f425c60292680c79ae
SHA1(SAINTS.ROL)= 3b2ed5165befa0712aa619135089d0cedb0b50ec
SHA1(SOFTBLUE.ROL)= 8591042bffb027b2e1df802594c8a92541bb8a24
SHA1(SPRING.ROL)= 1302184eda1a0323b75ae93300344a94a3321fa5
SHA1(SPY'SEYE.ROL)= 0eb46858b20e26ab1172ece44dddfb78cfc89b27
SHA1(VERYBUSY.ROL)= 3ff8d37fdd9a64c6af47fe63c35eed5a6f326a82
SHA1(ZARDOZ.ROL)= 0373d55dbe2b3ef1b773b03eb5da25c47089b37c
SHA1(STANDARD.BNK)= 201ca38e41080782f57063ba366a88a13acff78c
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-9-14 @ 06:36

640K!enough wrote: still not quite what I remember from when I had an actual Ad Lib MSC. The output seems to emphasise the high frequencies more, while attenuating the lower end.

I will make another change this evening, stay tuned.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby pdw » 2017-9-14 @ 06:37

640K!enough wrote:I had another thought, too. Do you plan on also trapping the SB FM I/O ports in the TSR? There are probably a few titles that access the OPL2 that way, ignoring Ad Lib altogether. I even seem to remember a few lesser-known titles that needed SBFMDRV.COM. What do you think about the possibility of getting that working as well?


I wasn't planning on doing anything with the Sound Blaster FM ports. I expect that no software is going to touch those ports unless they detect a SB. So the TSR would have to emulate a SB, and I fear that less-than-perfect emulation would cause a ton of compatibility problems. Plus you'd get annoyances such as games that might disable OPL2 sound effects because they believe they can play digitized sound.

For software using SBFMDRV the best options seems to me to patch that driver to be Adlib compatibile. That sounds like something that somebody on this forum might already have done :)
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby 640K!enough » 2017-9-14 @ 16:56

Another thing that occurred to me is that I've heard that same sort of distorted sound under one condition: when the OPL timing requirements weren't being respected. At the very least, it might be enlightening to put an oscilloscope on the write select line to measure the time between assertions, but a logic analyser would be even more useful.

It could just be the circuit design, but with the possible timing variations introduced by the TSR and parallel port, you can't be too certain. For curiosity's sake, have you tried powering the prototype from a regular, non-switching plug-in adaptor? Could noise of some sort be injected via the PS/2 or USB ports? You seem to have a header that could be used for that, anyhow.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-9-14 @ 21:28

a bit more punch, using bass boost : https://youtu.be/GbPPHvGpPEc
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby Paralel » 2017-9-15 @ 04:47

Since the Digispeech Port*Able Sound Plus is based on an ESS chip, which, if I'm not mistaken, emulates a soundblaster in hardware, couldn't you just treat it like a soundblaster but instead of using the standard port 220, you use the port for LPT instead? I'm sure its not that simple, I just don't know enough to predict why it wouldn't work.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby 640K!enough » 2017-9-15 @ 23:27

dreamblaster wrote:a bit more punch, using bass boost : https://youtu.be/GbPPHvGpPEc
Seems a little better to me, certainly serviceable. I have seen claims that Ad Lib added some sort of filter in the 1990 revision of their design. Maybe that's where the differences I'm noticing come from.

Paralel wrote:Since the Digispeech Port*Able Sound Plus is based on an ESS chip, which, if I'm not mistaken, emulates a soundblaster in hardware, couldn't you just treat it like a soundblaster but instead of using the standard port 220, you use the port for LPT instead? I'm sure its not that simple, I just don't know enough to predict why it wouldn't work.
As you mention, it's not that simple, but it is possible. It would make the board larger and more expensive, and they would have to revise the TSR. The only question is whether dreamblaster has time to add that much to his design.

EDIT: Also, I'm not aware of any ESS ICs that are available in a DIP package, which would limit the solder-it-yourself aspect for some.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dr.zeissler » 2017-9-16 @ 13:36

I am currently thinking where to use the lpt-soundoptions... please tell me if these different models were integrated in one or are they one module only?

so is it meant this way:

LPT (Bidirect) => Switchbox
1. Covox
2. DSS
3. OPL2/3-LPT

??
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-9-23 @ 22:59

dr.zeissler wrote:I am currently thinking where to use the lpt-soundoptions... please tell me if these different models were integrated in one or are they one module only?

so is it meant this way:

LPT (Bidirect) => Switchbox
1. Covox
2. DSS
3. OPL2/3-LPT

??


putting these 3 on a switchbox ? that could work :-)
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-9-24 @ 17:41

hi guys,

I just tested OPL2LPT through my sennheiser hd 555 (with '595' mod --> see http://mikebeauchamp.com/misc/sennheise ... d-595-mod/ )
and it sounded absolutely fanstastic ! Excellent bass, no noise at all... really great :-) I will not change it anymore.
So I'm very happy and can say the OPL2LPT design is final,
PCB's are ordered, and we are in a straight line for the finish...

Also, even pinball fantasies and electroman sample playback through adlib works OK on my pc with OPL2LPT :-)

Vogons only launch price : 30 euro for the solder kit. 40 euro for the hand soldered board (limited availability)..
This is for the first batch, --> thanks to help from a good friend, I will be able to offer soldered boards as well as solder kits.
It will take time and effort to solder the boards, please buy a kit if possible.
The kits will be available somewhere in october.

Please PM me if you are interested, especially in combination with your simmconn reservation,
I can ship all together if you like to save on shipping.

The next fully assembled batch will be factory soldered (I will redesign the board) and probably slightly more expensive.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-9-24 @ 18:11

Here are some more demos :
Larry 1 VGA : https://youtu.be/xAifkV2wdIY ---> listen to that bass, I think I get it right :-) !!
Pinnball Fantasies : https://youtu.be/zyuRCZ4Z3Jc --> sample based sound on adlib... it exists... and it works :-)
Indiana Jones and the fate of atlantis : https://youtu.be/8wW5XqhWn78
Megarace : https://youtu.be/mSBL1nIn1uw
I tried dune too, but could not get sound out of it. Any tricks recommended ?
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby henrikwils » 2017-10-16 @ 13:57

dreamblaster wrote:Hi guys,

right now I am finalizing the OPL2 solder kit, let me know if this is interesting.
I may do a vogons only very limited release, soon.

I also designed an OPL3 board, this will be factory assembled (it is mostly SMD), will be much later.

I would like both.

A friend of mine ditto :)
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby bjwil1991 » 2017-10-16 @ 21:59

Interesting project. For older computers that don't have integrated sound or hard-to-find PCMCIA cards is amazing.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby Jo22 » 2017-10-17 @ 01:32

In theory, it could also be useful for current computers. :D
Parallel port add-on cards still exist in PCIe form, for example.

Problem is, however, to find models that can be configured in DOS also.
Plus, the OPL2 is more speed-sensitive than the OPL3..
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby Ozzuneoj » 2017-10-17 @ 01:38

Forgive me if this has been mentioned elsewhere, but would an OPL2LPT (or something similar) work on a 8088 or a slow 286 with DOS 3.3? I have an IBM 5150 that I use for all of my really really old games, that has a 7Mhz 286 upgrade card installed to slightly extend its capabilities. I've hoped to have some sound option that would be a step up from the PC speaker, but I can't add any more cards to the system without removing something vital or replacing the MFM controller and floppy controller with a single card that does both (which would almost certainly require a low level format of the drive... which has a 25+ year old installation of DOS on it that I'd like to keep).

A Covox-clone is something I've considered but I don't know how many games that would run on a quasy-286 actually use this sound device. There are a lot more games with Adlib support however...
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby keropi » 2017-10-17 @ 06:43

^ the OPL2LPT TSR needs a 386 cpu to redirect the AdLib commands to the LPT port so a 286 machine just won't work... plus it would be really slow if it did, that command redirection does take cpu time.
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Re: OPL2LPT

Postby henrikwils » 2017-10-17 @ 10:25

Ozzuneoj wrote:the drive... which has a 25+ year old installation of DOS on it that I'd like to keep).


If you'd like to keep the data, you should back it up. Hard drives WILL fail! Also, it's really easy to restore a DOS system to another drive. Just copy all files. Use fdisk to partition and make the partition bootable, and then use "sys" command to install system files.

Perhaps create another thread if you have questions/problems with this.
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