soundblaster 16

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

soundblaster 16

Postby emosun » 2018-11-24 @ 10:26

does the soundblaster 16 not support pitch shifting?

I downloaded a few music midis , changed a few instruments using a opl3 soundfount on my laptop , moved the files over to the soundblaster 16 machine and noticed that all the leads don't pitch shift at all. making for some pretty bad and funny singing.
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby realnc » 2018-11-24 @ 11:10

That's up to the MIDI player. If the player doesn't know how to do pitch shifting on an OPL, then you won't hear any pitch shifting. Note that the OPL is not a MIDI device. It's an FM synth and it doesn't know anything about MIDI, which also means it doesn't know anything about pitch shifting. It's up to the MIDI player to do these things.
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby emosun » 2018-11-24 @ 12:07

realnc wrote:That's up to the MIDI player. If the player doesn't know how to do pitch shifting on an OPL, then you won't hear any pitch shifting.


ah ok i was using windows media player , idk if it support pitch shifting or not

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realnc wrote:Note that the OPL is not a MIDI device. It's an FM synth and it doesn't know anything about MIDI


I was under the impression that it was the midi device as it listed as being the active device in the properties

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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby realnc » 2018-11-24 @ 12:22

I meant the OPL chip (the hardware) is not a MIDI device. In this case, a Windows driver is emulating MIDI on the OPL chip. It seems the driver isn't emulating pitch shift, or is not emulating it correctly.

Maybe you can find some specialized MIDI player out there that can do proper MIDI emulation on FM chips. There's a thread from 2008 here:

viewtopic.php?f=7&t=18412

But maybe there's something better out there nowadays.
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby emosun » 2018-11-24 @ 13:15

ok i gave a few other midi players a try and it does the same thing so i assume the windows 95 driver is just having some sort of issue

the card plays the right notes and its in stereo but its just not pitch shifting so I suppose i have to find a driver where that works
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby emosun » 2018-11-24 @ 14:15

tried a more up to date driver and that didnt seem to do anything

I'm starting to think that this card may just not support pitch shifting
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby oeuvre » 2018-11-24 @ 17:40

Interesting theme.
HP Elite 8300 CMT i7 3770, 8GB, GTX745, SSD + HD, XP/7
i7 9700K, 32GB, MSI GTX1060, NVMe SSD + HD, Windows 10
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby emosun » 2018-11-25 @ 01:14

oeuvre wrote:Interesting theme.


the background looks funny because its 16 colors. its saves what little ram it has and runs much better.
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-25 @ 09:46

All FM OPL chips support pitch bends. You do it by just programming the note pitch while the note is playing. If pitch bends "didn't work" then neither would normal notes because they are both programmed into the OPL chip the same way. The Windows MIDI driver also supports them, but there is a bug in that it wraps around at the maximum and minimum points, so a pitchbend low enough suddenly jumps really high and vice versa.

IIRC there are a couple of different ways you can send pitchbend messages, so possibly the MIDI file you are playing does it in an obscure way. If you can post the MIDI you are trying to play we can have a look at it and see why it might not be working as expected.
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby emosun » 2018-11-26 @ 03:38

well it seems to happen with most midis but as an example it happens on this one

https://freemidi.org/download-2288-ever ... ryan-adams

plays fine on my laptop but not the soundblaster
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby Malvineous » 2018-11-26 @ 12:54

That MIDI file has standard pitch bends in it (you can hear the notes changing pitch while they are audible) however it sounds extremely off-key. It seems like the creator of the MIDI file did not set the range of the pitch bends properly, or used a program that had them set incorrectly. The result is that when the pitch bend is set to (for example) +1000, the intention was to go +1 semitone but the result is that only +0.5 semitones is heard, or something along those lines.

I would have to look a bit more closely to confirm this, but at quick glance it looks like a mistake in the MIDI file, assuming the pitch bend range is larger or smaller than it actually is without actually setting it to a specific range.
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby emosun » 2018-11-26 @ 13:10

hmm crap that one seems like a bad example , i'll just upload one that i know plays funny on the sb16 but plays fine off the laptop
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New WinRAR ZIP archive.zip
(13.26 KiB) Downloaded 5 times
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby Malvineous » 2018-12-02 @ 00:45

The pitch bends in that file look normal to me. They seem to be set in the normal way. The problem would appear to be the MIDI driver not supporting them properly.

I thought Windows 95 supported pitch bends just fine. I presume if you use mplay32.exe to play the files instead then you get the same result? I never used the "new" Windows Media Player back in the day so not sure if it tries to do something funny. Not sure whether it's possible to find a newer version of the MIDI driver (perhaps from a newer Windows version) and install just that?

If you can find fastway.mid from Rise of the Triad (try the game rip if you don't have it already) then you can try playing that as I know for sure that the pitch bends work at least in Windows 98 with an OPL3.
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Re: soundblaster 16

Postby Matth79 » 2018-12-02 @ 01:37

Might be worth trying the Jamie O'Connell FMSynth
http://midiox.com/html/fmsynth.htm
It was MUCH better at doing MIDI and GM type stuff on the OPL - I used it way back, until I got a no-name wavetable addon - Windows 3.1 & Win95/98 supported

http://www.midiox.com/index.htm?http:// ... tm#FMSynth
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