Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds v0.49 for Live, v1.01 for Audigy

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

Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds v0.49 for Live, v1.01 for Audigy

Postby PARUS » 2018-4-27 @ 17:12

I always was one of guys who likes to build installation of multiple sound standards in one DOS game machine. Most problem here is to take joint signal, it must be as clean as it possible. Usually people connect cards through LINE OUT -> LINE IN -> LINE OUT -> LINE IN -> LINE OUT tracts and get a lot of unwished noises and sometimes signal damping.

If we have one card which can receive all other signals and mix them with nice (at least satisfactory) quality it will be great and we will not need external mixer. In case if you're using one machine the internal mixer is much more comfortable than external mixer, even with MIDI modules. If you use multiple retro machines the external autonomic mixer is more comfortable of course. This topic is about it. Now I present DOS mixer for EMU10K1 (Live!) cards and EMU10K2 (Audigy) cards which is made by my order. It includes enabled signals:
- analog AC97 -
LINE IN stereo
AUX stereo
CD IN stereo
TAD mono (perfect for ADlib or Covox!)
MIC IN mono
BEEP IN mono
- digital -
SPDIF0 = CD SPDIF
SPDIF1 (reserved on Live cards, used on Audigy cards)
SPDIF2
- analog LINE IN2, AUX2 -
I2S0 = AUX 2 stereo
I2S1 (reserved on Live cards, used on Audigy cards)
I2S2 = LINE IN 2 / MIC 2 stereo

All these input channels can be routed separately and independently to:
analog front
SPDIF0 (digital front)
analog rear + SPDIF3 (they always work together on Live as one channel, on Audigy they are separated)
analog cen/bass
SPDIF1 (digital cen/bass)
SPDIF2

Of course each channel has its own customizable level. If you connect 5.1 system for Windows you can in DOS route one input channel to front, other to rear, or mix them together to front or rear. As you wish!

Also mixer has "digital output only" mode.
Follow for updates. ...WIP...

Live!
ekm049.zip
(41.72 KiB) Downloaded 51 times

Audigy1
ekm101.zip
(41.6 KiB) Downloaded 38 times
Last edited by PARUS on 2018-10-02 @ 20:53, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby Kamerat » 2018-4-28 @ 01:21

Very nice! Would it also work with the Audigy 2 ZS?
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby squiggly » 2018-4-28 @ 02:33

Any ISA sound cards with SPDIF out that includes all output including FM and Midi?
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby gdjacobs » 2018-4-28 @ 05:50

CMI 8330 / SoundPro HT1869
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby PARUS » 2018-4-28 @ 07:00

squiggly
It is not a problem. You can take WAVE sound from CMI8330 and take FM and AWE sounds from AWE32. If you want to play via S/PDIF. But why exactly only digital? You can mix analog and digital signals with perfect quality.
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby squiggly » 2018-4-28 @ 08:25

PARUS wrote:squiggly
It is not a problem. You can take WAVE sound from CMI8330 and take FM and AWE sounds from AWE32. If you want to play via S/PDIF. But why exactly only digital? You can mix analog and digital signals with perfect quality.


Yes, that is fine. I already mix digital out from some PCI sound cards with analogue MIDI (feeding the digital through a high quality headphone DAC first). I wasn't aware of any ISA sound card that did the SPDIF out...are you saying AWE32 also does it?
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby PARUS » 2018-4-28 @ 09:18

squiggly
I'll tell you more: any AWE32 and any AWE64 does it!
With my mixer and Live card you can do another variant too - install AWE32/64, mute ALL channels on it (CD, LINE, MIDI, MIC, PCSPK) except WAVE channel. And its own mixer will get minimum noises. Then connect AWE's Line Out to Live's Line In. Then connect AWE's SPDIF Out to Live's SPDIF In. And enjoy, it will be SFX through analog path (with all other channels muted) and FM/AWE through digital path. Maximum possible quality from AWE! You can take mixed signal from Live via its Line Out or SPDIF Out.

About sound cards which can do SPDIF in pure DOS. (You said you don't know.) There are:

AV310 (CMI8330) - SFX and FM, SB16+WSS compatible
All AWE32/SB32/AWE64 - only FM and EMU8k
Terratec EWS64 - WT and analog mixer through its own ADC, SB+WSS compatible
Goldfinch CT1920 - EMU8k
NEC XR385 with jwt27 hardware mod
AU8830 with ZanQuance software mod
Maybe Guillemot Maxi Sound Pro 64 (I do not have it, AFAIK nobody did tests)

I'm going when I'll have alpha release connect to Live directly:
- analog lines -
MT-32
GUS Ace
SC-88
- digital lines -
CDROM
AWE64
AV310
EWS64
And of course I will place this software here in current topic. At the present moment there is only beta. I don't want to publish betas.

I haven't yet I2S converter and can't yet to test I2S inputs. But this is for a short time.
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby squiggly » 2018-4-28 @ 09:38

Thanks PARUS, that's excellent. Are there any good guides on getting SPDIF from AWE64/AWE32? I currently do all my mixing externally using a headphone DAC and a headphone line-level mixer. It works really well for all PCI cards (Live, MX300, Audigy,2 X-Fi, Xonar), but when it comes to ISA cards I go back to noisy-town.

Your card will solve a problem, but before then I would like to have a SPDIF bracket next to a AWE32/64 that provides TosLink/RCA output into my DAC, while the line out of the AWE64 goes straight into the mixer. If I could get that working, I would be in heaven.
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby PARUS » 2018-4-28 @ 09:48

All you need for getting SPDIF out from any AWE64 is to solder two pins (2,4mm step size) on its SPDIF out contacts. Any revision of AWE32 has them soldered already. Pin 0 is a signal, pin 1 is a ground. Output signal at TTL level (really about 4-5 V). To connect it with Live's SPDIF inputs you don't need cables/brackets, just two simple wires (like CD Audio). Live receives TTL level on SPDIF1 and SPDIF2 and receives both levels (5V/0,5V) on CD SPDIF. Live "understands" 44,1 and 48 kHz signals.

Try AWE with your external DAC! I'm sure it would work!
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby PARUS » 2018-4-28 @ 15:02

Kamerat wrote:Very nice! Would it also work with the Audigy 2 ZS?

I want to make it as a large-scale software and all EMU10k cards support from CT4620 to SB0350. But it requires additional donate. Now work is almost done for Live cards and after this the rework will start for Audigy1 support. In order to add support for Audigy2 we need to make some things anew because Audigy2 has one more chip besides EMU10k and Creative/Sigmatel AC97 codec. It is P16V. That is requires another big job for Audigy2 proper support. This chip is designed for DVD Audio sound decoding with 96 kHz and has a close unseverable connection in Audigy2 architecture. I was hoping for Audigy2 basic reference frequency 96 kHz. Very hoping :) But I was talking to developer of this software and he told me the Audigy2 has a same EMU10k DSP like Audigy1. It means that we will not get real basic 96 kHz. All operations on input signals including their mixing go on at only 48 kHz and then the P16V makes simple doubling refresh rate output if you choose "96kHz". Therefore Audigy2 gives us nothing compared with Audigy1 (only honest DVD Audio 96 kHz and 6.1/7.1). So I have thought about it and decided that at the moment we are working for CT4620 --- SB0230 models. And about Audigy2 later we'll see...
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby SaxxonPike » 2018-5-04 @ 04:39

I'm doing this with (undocumented) pins on CT2760 JP6 into a YMF724 card with plentiful inputs. SETUPDS can control all these in pure DOS. But it's such a mess to manage both that and Windows mixer settings.

Having something dedicated for this task sounds like a sweet deal!
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-05 @ 06:32

SaxxonPike, is digital input working on YMF cards in pure DOS? I did not know about it, thank you.
But YMF has only switchable digital input. Or CD SPDIF or SPDIF IN can work single as I know. They can't work simultaneously at the same time. SB Live and Audigy cards have separate digital inputs working together at the same time. They are CD SPDIF, SPDIF IN1. In other cases there are I2S IN, SPDIF IN2 also.
Now I have activated CD SPDIF, SPDIF IN1, CD, AUX, TAD, LINE. Five stereo inputs included two digital and one mono input.

By the way I have read your page about P4 DOS Gaming Guide. I have very interesting rich info about this. You can replenish your guide very substantially via only one small DOS utility which made by developer i8088 at my request. If you are interesting welcome to PM or denote actual topic where we can talk about it.
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Re: Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds, v0.44

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-09 @ 21:05

OK, the first release is v0.44, it's for all Live cards. See the first message.
Here I show Live's simplified scheme:
10k1.jpg

For boot mixer type ekm -b or ekm -boot. As default mode there are working analog front, analog rear (+SPDIF3), analog center/sub, and there is AC97 input disabled.
If you type ekm -boot -d all analog out lines will be disabled and CEN/SUB out will be switched to digital out.

Then type command ekm -c > filename.ext with any filename and you'll create config file. It has text format, please see readme. For the future regular boots you don't need along a -boot key with default parameters. Just edit them in your config file and place in autoexec.bat the command ekm -f filename.ext. [Be sure the program runs in the current directory or in one of PATH-directories.]

Known bugs: in config file created by a program there are incorrect levels on REAR and SPDIF2 outputs (-2147384638 or so). Just change them to 100 (or less as you wish 0-100).

Feel free to ask questions here.
Last edited by PARUS on 2018-8-01 @ 17:04, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds, v0.44

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-09 @ 21:17

I use this bracket
$_3.jpg

for connecting CD IN and AUX IN to 3.5mm jacks and for connecting SPDIF contacts on 40-pin header to RCA COAX + TOSLINK.
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Re: Multichannel analog+digital DOS mixer for multi format DOS sound builds, COMING SOON!

Postby noop » 2018-5-24 @ 16:42

PARUS wrote:squiggly
It is not a problem. You can take WAVE sound from CMI8330 and take FM and AWE sounds from AWE32. If you want to play via S/PDIF. But why exactly only digital? You can mix analog and digital signals with perfect quality.

With "perfect" AC97 codec 48KHz "quality". :P
Good enough for 90% of the hardware though. I'm not criticising, just setting the expectations.
Great for gaming, probably not sufficient for high-quality recording.
For FM audio on AWE32 with "real" OPL3 you apply "consumer quality" resampling at least twice. 49K->44K on AWE32, 44K->48K on Audigy, even if you go digital-only route.
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Re: Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds, v0.44

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-24 @ 22:35

noop
OK, thanks for comment and remark. I can say that different devices were made by different manufactures and were made during different most standards eras... Think please, can they match to each other ideally by all parameters for making their mixed irreproachable stream? In theory we must take each of them in original digital format and oversample to very high equal quality, about 176-192 kHz, then mixing and downsample (optionally) to 48 or 44 kHz. Only this way lets get result approximate to initial sound quality each of our sound sources. It is NOT necessary for DOS gaming! I just gave alternative method for mixing in DOS two or more ISA sound sources than connecting them across themself via LineOut>LineIn. The "perfect" analog mixers of most ISA sound cards are making much more noises, distortions when you unite them one by one "OUT>IN>OUT>IN". So when I said "perfect quality" about mixing via EMU10k I was not kidding. Can you offer better way? It's only external expensive mixer. On the other hand everybody can get any EMU10k card, these cards are very common and cheap yet. Just take it and run EKM.EXE, that's all.

An Audigy support is not completed yet. But soon.
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Re: Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds, v0.44

Postby noop » 2018-5-25 @ 17:41

I have not planned to argue about this, wrote on og.ru already. Just mentioned that "perfect" is not exactly perfect. And, by the way, good small analog mixer can be built for several $ (without digital volume controls, of course) It is only a bunch of resistors, capacitors and a half-decent opamp. On other hand, decent antialiasing filters that would allow high quality capture of OPL2/OPL3 DAC output are anything but cheap :(
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Re: Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds, v0.44

Postby BloodyCactus » 2018-5-25 @ 18:27

this seems like a problem looking for a solution. better solution exists, external mixer and its more functional. multiple machines, multiple external midi, etc. (I have the rolls, its awesome)

Image

Image
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Re: Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds, v0.44

Postby Tenorman » 2018-5-25 @ 19:31

BloodyCactus wrote:this seems like a problem looking for a solution. better solution exists, external mixer and its more functional. multiple machines, multiple external midi, etc. (I have the rolls, its awesome)


I don't want the OP to feel that people are ganging up on him, but I would tend to agree. This whole thing seems over-engineered. It looks like there are people out there that are very interested though, so awesome.

I am using a "Maker Hart LOOP MIXER" I got from Amazon and it has made my life much easier. Five inputs, independent balance and gain, and it supports input from 3.5 mm audio connectors without using adapters.
https://www.amazon.com/Maker-Hart-LOOP- ... 01M68UK38/
[Compaq Presario 633 | DOS 6.22 / Win 3.1 | DX4 100 Overdrive | 28M RAM | SB16 CT2770A | SPEA Media FX (Soundscape S2000) ]
[GA-6BXC R2.0 | Win98SE | Via C3 Ezra 866 | 384M RAM | TNT2 32M | Voodoo2 8M | SB32 CT3670 | Ensoniq Soundscape Opus]
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Re: Multichannel DOS mixer for DOS sound builds, v0.44

Postby PARUS » 2018-5-25 @ 20:24

Do you think only you're so wise and know all this? I can too give an awesome examples. See this:
Image
It's a Roland M-1000, the much better digital mixer than EMU10k DSP.
All your pretty analog mixers which you've shown are much better than EMU10k DSP too. But why you contrapose them I don't know. You probably didn't understand me right. I do not deny pretty external mixers, I just show cheapest and compact (inside case) way.

How much should people pay for good external mixer? $5? $15?
Each guy can build its own "good small mixer for several bucks" (bunch of resistors, capacitors and a half-decent opamp), right? Of course, no.

With EMU10k we just buy it for about $10, plug it, run this free utility, set up list of channels and get digital and analog mixer 2-in-1. Is it bad? No, it is good METHOD (NOT SOLUTION), one of such others. And your external devices aren't greatest discoveries, they are known for a long time unlike about EMU10k. EMU10k can be perfect cheapest mixer in DOS, as I said dig+analog 2-in-1. And by the way it is a real discovery for pure DOS!

The existence of other nice ways does not mean that you must attack this one. It's new and has its own undeniable advantages like other ways. And it has its own lacks like other ways too. Nothing more.
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