DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

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

DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby derSammler » 2018-1-10 @ 16:48

Are there any games that support sound through DSS / Covox Speech Thing only? (apart from PC Speaker)

Got an Aztech card which does DSS/Covox and want to make good use of it. :happy:
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby dr.zeissler » 2018-1-10 @ 17:10

have you looked at mobygames?
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby derSammler » 2018-1-10 @ 17:57

Since when can you browse for exclusive attributes on Mobygames? I'm looking for games that support DSS / Covox Speech *only*, not alongside Adlib, Soundblaster etc.
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby jesolo » 2018-1-10 @ 18:36

I'm speaking under correction but, I don't think the were any games that only supported Disney Sound Source/Covox Speech Thing.

I do recall that towards the late 80's there was a technology called RealSound (developed by Access Software) which allowed you to playback digital voices via the PC speaker.
One game that only suported this was Mean Streets.
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby konc » 2018-1-10 @ 19:55

derSammler wrote:Since when can you browse for exclusive attributes on Mobygames? I'm looking for games that support DSS / Covox Speech *only*, not alongside Adlib, Soundblaster etc.

You are right, you can't and the terrible search is taking away much of the site's potential.
An an idea, since covox games aren't that many, maybe you could manually discard those with additional sound card support. It should be a 50something clicks thing.
I'll go with jesolo in this though, I'm not aware of a single game that supported the speech thing but not the adlib.
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby derSammler » 2018-1-10 @ 20:02

Well, ok. Alongside with Adlib would be fine, since Adlib is for music, not for digital effects. But if all games that support the DSS and/or Covox also support Sound Blaster, I wonder why Aztech bothered supporting it in their early cards at all..? I mean, why would someone select DSS or Covox instead of Sound Blaster in such a case?
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby jesolo » 2018-1-10 @ 20:55

derSammler wrote:Well, ok. Alongside with Adlib would be fine, since Adlib is for music, not for digital effects. But if all games that support the DSS and/or Covox also support Sound Blaster, I wonder why Aztech bothered supporting it in their early cards at all..? I mean, why would someone select DSS or Covox instead of Sound Blaster in such a case?

I think that, at the time, it was just to cover as many standards as possible (which also made for a great marketing strategy).
Looks great on the box, don't you think?
WP_20170314_039.jpg
Sound Galaxy NX Pro box

The later full 16-bit versions (NX Pro 16 & Basic/Pro 16) also supported Windows Sound System, which kind of is the same argument - how many games really supported the Windows Sound System directly under DOS?
20180110_224710.jpg
Sound Galaxy Basic 16
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby derSammler » 2018-1-10 @ 21:04

jesolo wrote:The later full 16-bit versions (NX Pro 16 & Basic/Pro 16) also supported Windows Sound System, which kind of is the same argument - how many games really supported the Windows Sound System directly under DOS?

WSS support had a different reason: The codec was available from Crystal and Analog Devices, ready to be put on any sound card. It allowed to add 16-bit sound features without paying license fees to Creative or designing a completely independent codec. Also, it should be clear that Windows Sound System was never meant for DOS. It was made for Windows 3.1 and up - by Microsoft, btw.

If not games, are there any scene demos that require a DSS or Covox for sound?
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby mrau » 2018-1-10 @ 21:17

http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/shee ... Id,43/p,2/
the list is so short, imho you can check that easily
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby jesolo » 2018-1-10 @ 21:38

derSammler wrote:WSS support had a different reason: The codec was available from Crystal and Analog Devices, ready to be put on any sound card. It allowed to add 16-bit sound features without paying license fees to Creative or designing a completely independent codec. Also, it should be clear that Windows Sound System was never meant for DOS. It was made for Windows 3.1 and up - by Microsoft, btw.

Point taken - however, there were some games and music applications (MOD players, etc.) that did support the Windows Sound System under DOS as well (and by extension, could therefore also playback 16-bit stereo sound, as opposed to only Sound Blaster Pro 8-bit stereo).
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby bjwil1991 » 2018-1-10 @ 21:44

Ah, the good old Aztech Sound Galaxy NX Pro. I have that card, and I never knew that it had the Covox Speech Thing and Disney Sound Source with a genuine OPL3 chipset.
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby digger » 2018-4-07 @ 12:39

derSammler wrote:Well, ok. Alongside with Adlib would be fine, since Adlib is for music, not for digital effects. But if all games that support the DSS and/or Covox also support Sound Blaster, I wonder why Aztech bothered supporting it in their early cards at all..? I mean, why would someone select DSS or Covox instead of Sound Blaster in such a case?

I remember having a fairly unique use case for this. The first PC I built as a teen back in the early 90s had a Sound Galaxy card as well as a motherboard with an OPTi chipset with a buggy or faulty DMA controller that caused many games to freeze when playing back digitized sounds on a sound card. Since DSS and Covox Speech Thing did not make use of DMA, those sound compatibility modes were not susceptible to that problem.

I distinctly remember Blake Stone constantly crashing on my machine until I selected DSS as the digital audio output instead of Sound Blaster. And from what I could remember, the sound quality in that game wasn't even noticeably worse than Sound Blaster DAC output either. But then again, those small computer speakers that came with the Sound Galaxy card didn't sound all that great to begin with. :lol: The game would still utilize the card's Adlib compatibility for music playback.

Unfortunately, this workaround would only work acceptably in games that supported DSS combined with Adlib. Also, I later sold the Sound Galaxy card after I had bought a Gravis Ultrasound to replace it. Although the music sounded a lot better with the GUS, I still experienced the same digital audio lockups with it, without having a DSS compatibility mode to fall back on.

But yeah, that is not a solution that people typically require. :lol:
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby Jo22 » 2018-4-07 @ 20:26

derSammler wrote:Are there any games that support sound through DSS / Covox Speech Thing only? (apart from PC Speaker)

Last Half of Darkness. :)
viewtopic.php?p=539591#p539591
derSammler wrote:Got an Aztech card which does DSS/Covox and want to make good use of it. :happy:

Cool card you''ve got! :cool: I always have been curious about its DSS/Covox feature!
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby matze79 » 2018-4-08 @ 10:03

Never heard about Exclusive Games.

I only know Games who support more then one Output Device.
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby digger » 2018-4-08 @ 15:31

Jo22 wrote:
derSammler wrote:Are there any games that support sound through DSS / Covox Speech Thing only? (apart from PC Speaker)

Last Half of Darkness. :)
viewtopic.php?p=539591#p539591

Interesting! :happy: Finally a game that supports Covox Speech Thing, but not Sound Blaster. I found several gameplay recordings of this game on YouTube, but they all seem to have been recorded with the internal speaker option selected. Interestingly, in some of the YouTube videos, I saw a version of the game being launched that also offered Covox Sound Master as an option, in addition to Covox Speech Thing (but still no Sound Blaster).

I wonder what other games are out there in which Covox Speech Thing and/or DSS is the best supported sound output device.

Perhaps someone could upload some gameplay footage (including audio) of Last Half of Darkness with a Covox Speech Thing (emulated or real).
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby Jo22 » 2018-4-08 @ 17:55

digger wrote:Interesting! :happy: Finally a game that supports Covox Speech Thing, but not Sound Blaster.

It's getting better, even. :) The game supports a line printer (to draw an in-game map at some point) and the 8087 math-co (later VGA release[s]).
Last edited by Jo22 on 2018-4-08 @ 20:59, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby Jo22 » 2018-4-08 @ 20:23

digger wrote:Perhaps someone could upload some gameplay footage (including audio) of Last Half of Darkness with a Covox Speech Thing (emulated or real).

Done. With real hardware.

http://youtu.be/lt0ZQWmddZg

Enjoy1 :)
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby matze79 » 2018-4-09 @ 06:57

Ahhh very noisy ?!?
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby Jo22 » 2018-4-09 @ 07:53

matze79 wrote:Ahhh very noisy ?!?

Same issue as with the Sound Blaster 1.x/2.0.

As I notet in the description, my amplifier "hears" some noise, too.
To make things worse, it isn't shielded yet (hey, it was a little DIY project) and sits next to a CRT..

I think it's not really the game's fault.

Anyway, I'll make another recording.

Edit: Here's another one taken with DOSBox:
http://youtu.be/yftRLz1I42Y
Last edited by Jo22 on 2018-4-09 @ 08:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: DSS / Covox Speech Thing exclusive games

Postby matze79 » 2018-4-09 @ 08:15

Hm i can also make a recording:

speechthing.JPG

front.jpg


i have various homemade lpt sound devices, these are 2 of my favorites. (DSS Plug not shown) :)
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