AWE64 Gold change

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

AWE64 Gold change

Postby Hevy » 2019-4-08 @ 13:13

Hi,
Long time browser but first time posting.

Just picked up a Awe64 gold.
Is there anyway incan change the stock sound? For example i ont like the way it plays prince of persia sound fx. Sounds too midi.
Can i get it play standard?

Thnks in advance
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby jheronimus » 2019-4-08 @ 13:44

I think you're talking about soundfonts. AWE64 is compatible with sf2 soundfonts (like masterpiece, arachno and so on), but you need extra RAM for that. You have two options:

- find an original RAM expansion module for 8 or 28 megabytes. Really rare and expensive.
- get this module and add up to 32 megabytes of SIMM72 RAM in a single module. Only up to 28 MB will be accessible for soundfonts (that's just how AWE32/64 works).
Pentium Pro 200, 64MB RAM, Tseng ET6100/4MB, Voodoo 2 SLI 8MB, Primax Soundstorm Wave M16, Creative Vibra CT2900
Pentium III 800, 256MB RAM, Voodoo 5 5500 AGP, MusicQuest /w MT-32, SoundBlaster 16 CT2230 /w SC-55
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby badmojo » 2019-4-08 @ 20:41

Prince of Persia is FM only from memory so you can’t change that - the AWE64s have an OPL3 clone that sounds a bit different to the original. You can apply reverb, etc to it tho and it can sound pretty cool so perhaps have a play with those options.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby PARUS » 2019-4-10 @ 06:49

jheronimus, what the..? It's Prince of Persia, how does it can EMU8k standard?
badmojo, yes, his question is about FM but not about OPL versions IMHO.
Hevy, I think you mean game sounds that can be playing via SB's WAVE "SPEECH" part or via FM part. OK, do you know that SB16 standard is not fully compatible with SB/SBpro standard? In some games if sound engine can't play through WAVE channel it plays through FM (like Prince), in some games a portion of sounds is just absent. For example in Mortal Kombat you can't hear "Fight!" and fighters voices if you use SB16 standard card (or PCI card).

I have/had a lot of SB16/AWE cards, CT1750, CT2290, CT2940, CT3600, CT3900, ASUS Vibra, CT4520, CT4390. And no one of them can play sound in Prince of Persia, they do it via FM (sound+music).
And I have a lot of SB clones, ESS688, ESS1688, CS4236, YMF719 (except ADPCM), OPTi933. THEY ALL can play Prince's sound via "SPEECH" WAVE part and music via FM.

I advise leave both standards in your system if you want full compatibility to all games. I usually do exactly:
"SB Pro" card --- IO=220 IRQ=7 DMA=1 FM=388 MPU=330 --- it can be any clone, I think ESS688 with YMF262 is excellent choice. ESS1688 with ESFM and MPU is excellent too!
AWE card --- IO=240 IRQ=5 DMA=0,5 FM=disabled AWE=640 MPU=disabled(or 300)
The newer games with SB16 support do not need "SET BLASTER" environment. Therefore SET BLASTER should be turned for older games: A220 I7 D1 T4
And all will work, don't doubt!

By the way: I have SB16 clone AV310, it's CMI8330A. You know, it CAN'T play Prince's sound via WAVE, it plays via FM!!!
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby Hevy » 2019-4-11 @ 08:03

Thanks so much for that detailed response.

Can you teach me how to get my AWE64 Gold to play prince of persia’s sounds the way you would hear it on DOS BOX?
Not really savvy with old tech.

What i am understanding from your post, is that i cant reach my goal with my AWE64 alone.. i need also a SB card installed right?
Thanks heaps in advance.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby canthearu » 2019-4-13 @ 11:25

You will need to change it for something with OPL2/OPL3 on it.

AWE64 uses CQM rather than FM synthesis, so it doesn't sound quite like DOSBOX or a proper OPL2/3 sound card would in price of persia.

Edit: you would struggle with both a OPL3 based sound blaster and AWE64 card installed. Better to just choose the one you need for your current game!
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby PARUS » 2019-4-13 @ 12:07

No, it's not that. IMHO Hevy doesn't mean FM versions difference. I think he means WAVE/FM sounds difference. As I said it is the only way to use SB/SBpro/clone. FM version OPL/CQM doesn't matter.

Hevy, replace your AWE with any cheap sbpro clone and try. If success install both as I've shown you.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby canthearu » 2019-4-13 @ 14:22

PARUS wrote:No, it's not that. IMHO Hevy doesn't mean FM versions difference. I think he means WAVE/FM sounds difference. As I said it is the only way to use SB/SBpro/clone. FM version OPL/CQM doesn't matter.

Hevy, replace your AWE with any cheap sbpro clone and try. If success install both as I've shown you.


The AWE 64 gold should sound similar to any CQM based sound card when playing games that require FM sound.

Price of Persia uses FM music and 8-bit digital sounds. The AWE 64 produces them fine, but uses CQM rather than OPL3 to reproduce FM sound. There is no real difference for WAVE sound.

The poor SB pro compatibility of the SB16/AWE parts is irrelevant, it plays the older Sound Blaster games fine. I was just playing this game a bit earlier on a SB16 and it sounded pretty much perfect.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby PARUS » 2019-4-13 @ 20:43

What? Where did I say "poor SBpro compatibility"? Why do you distort my words? I never said that! I said "is not fully compatible" and it is truly.
SB16/AWE produces 8-bit digital sounds fine but not in all older games. And it is truly too.
canthearu wrote:There is no real difference for WAVE sound.

Yes. Except one: SB16 cards play WAVE sounds in older "SB Pro" games not always. SB16 has good (not your "poor") compatibility with SB Pro but not full.
canthearu wrote:The poor SB pro compatibility of the SB16/AWE parts is irrelevant, it plays the older Sound Blaster games fine.

No. It plays older SB games passably but not fine.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby firage » 2019-4-13 @ 23:11

I'd sure be interested in demonstrations of all such SB16 and AWE64 failings. AFAIK, PoP is a title that has notable DMA clicking on SB16/AWE prior to Vibra, but should be all clear on AWE64.

SB16 doesn't support SBPro stereo SFX modes, but mono should be fine (?). Most if not all games in stereo have SB16 support available separately.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby dr_st » 2019-4-14 @ 06:19

PARUS wrote: OK, do you know that SB16 standard is not fully compatible with SB/SBpro standard? In some games if sound engine can't play through WAVE channel it plays through FM (like Prince), in some games a portion of sounds is just absent. For example in Mortal Kombat you can't hear "Fight!" and fighters voices if you use SB16 standard card (or PCI card).
I played PoP and MK pretty extensively with an AWE64, and I don't recall either of them having these problems. Maybe my memory is deceiving me; I'll have to try again when I'm near me DOS system...

Can this phenomenon be reproduced in DOSBox by toggling between sbpro and sb16 emulation?
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby badmojo » 2019-4-15 @ 20:59

dr_st wrote:
PARUS wrote: OK, do you know that SB16 standard is not fully compatible with SB/SBpro standard? In some games if sound engine can't play through WAVE channel it plays through FM (like Prince), in some games a portion of sounds is just absent. For example in Mortal Kombat you can't hear "Fight!" and fighters voices if you use SB16 standard card (or PCI card).
I played PoP and MK pretty extensively with an AWE64, and I don't recall either of them having these problems. Maybe my memory is deceiving me; I'll have to try again when I'm near me DOS system...


Not sure about PoP but I played muchas MK1 on a Vibra16 back in the day and don’t remember any missing FX either. Before the Vibra I’d played it on various clones so I’m pretty sure I would have noticed, but in saying that I trust my memory as far as I can throw it.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby Hevy » 2019-5-12 @ 08:46

Ok so I’ve got my self a YMF724 (with Yamaha opl3) plays midi too.
Not using the awe64 anymore. Not sure how to get it working with both cards plugged in.

This sound card plays the correct sounds in POP on IRQ 5 and 7 but when I change it to 10 it’s like the Awe64.
(Maybe sb and then sb16)???
There’s 2 devices in device manager.
The one linked to IRQ5 is DS-XG Yamaha legacy sound system
The one linked to IRQ 10 is DS-XG PCI Audio codec.

Also, everything works fine... except doom in DOS.
It crashes at load up when I set FX to the sound environment. E.g 220 5 1
But if I run it through windows it’s fine.

These cards are so fiddly, but I enjoy the challenge.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby Hevy » 2019-5-12 @ 08:59

By the way, forgive my newbie-ness. I am only new to understanding retro tech...

What I wanted to do from the start, is enable 8-bit sounds on my awe64.
But I can’t can i?
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby Hevy » 2019-5-12 @ 10:22

Anyone know how to run 2 cards at once with 1 set of speakers?
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby NewRisingSun » 2019-5-12 @ 10:26

badmojo wrote:Prince of Persia is FM only from memory so you can’t change that
That is only true for versions 1.0 and 1.1. Version 1.3 adds Roland MT-32 music.
Hevy wrote:Anyone know how to run 2 cards at once with 1 set of speakers?
Connect the Line-Out output of one card to the Line-In input of the other card, then use the other card's mixer utility to adjust the volume of its Line-In input.
Hevy wrote:What I wanted to do from the start, is enable 8-bit sounds on my awe64.
8-bit PCM sound is always enabled. If you mean something else, you will have to specify it more clearly.
Last edited by NewRisingSun on 2019-5-12 @ 10:29, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby lvader » 2019-5-12 @ 10:28

the AWE plays 8 bit sounds perfectly well, in fact in terms of playing both 8 bit and 16bit sounds in DOS I’d say it’s the best card out there. It’s limitation with fm can easily be rectified by disabling fm on the awe 64 and using another card for fm. You can feed the fm from the other card to the awe 64 aux input.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby dionb » 2019-5-12 @ 20:01

Hevy wrote:Ok so I’ve got my self a YMF724 (with Yamaha opl3) plays midi too.
Not using the awe64 anymore. Not sure how to get it working with both cards plugged in.

This sound card plays the correct sounds in POP on IRQ 5 and 7 but when I change it to 10 it’s like the Awe64.
(Maybe sb and then sb16)???
There’s 2 devices in device manager.
The one linked to IRQ5 is DS-XG Yamaha legacy sound system
The one linked to IRQ 10 is DS-XG PCI Audio codec.

Also, everything works fine... except doom in DOS.
It crashes at load up when I set FX to the sound environment. E.g 220 5 1
But if I run it through windows it’s fine.

These cards are so fiddly, but I enjoy the challenge.

Device manager?

Tbh I'd recommend not using Windows for your DOS gaming, just boot into native DOS. Unless both your card and your motherboard have PC/PCI (SBLink) connectors and you're using them, you need some fairly hefty TSR drivers for that YMF724.

In any event, it's pretty clear why DOS games only work on IRQ 5 in this case - that's the 'legacy' DOS IRQ, the PCI Audio codec can't be addressed directly in DOS, so no sound if you try to do so.


Note by the way that you can easily have two sound cards in the same system, I'd recommend combing this card with the AWE64. They are both excellent in their own way, with the AWE64 giving you SB16 and AWE for titles that support it, and the YMF724 giving you real OPL3 and full SBPro2 compatibility. If you don't use your parallel port, the best choice in terms of resources is to set one to 220/7/1 and the other to 240/5/3 - I'd set the YMF724 legacy to 220/7/1 as the oldest titles work better with SBPro2 compatibility, and the AWE64 to 240/5/3.
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby dr_st » 2019-5-12 @ 20:49

dionb wrote:Tbh I'd recommend not using Windows for your DOS gaming, just boot into native DOS. Unless both your card and your motherboard have PC/PCI (SBLink) connectors and you're using them, you need some fairly hefty TSR drivers for that YMF724.
Actually, when it comes to cards with poor DOS support (e.g., everything PCI), running DOS games within Windows can actually be easier...
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Re: AWE64 Gold change

Postby PARUS » 2019-5-13 @ 07:21

lvader wrote:the AWE plays 8 bit sounds perfectly well, in fact in terms of playing both 8 bit and 16bit sounds in DOS I’d say it’s the best card out there. It’s limitation with fm can easily be rectified by disabling fm on the awe 64 and using another card for fm. You can feed the fm from the other card to the awe 64 aux input.

No, his problem is not about FM. His problem is 8 bit sounds exactly. Why can't you all see it, why write a same absurdity about FM, MT-32, version 1.3? Foolishness.
Yes, SB16 and AWE cards can play 8 bit sounds perfectly but some older games can't use SB16/AWE card's speech part correctly. And in this case they (games) don't play speech part OR play via FM (if game engine allows to play sounds as 8 bit digital or as FM) (PoP allows).

Look what he is writing about YMF724: "This sound card plays the correct sounds in POP on IRQ 5 and 7 but when I change it to 10 it’s like the Awe64."
The game can't work with speech part on SB which is allocated on IRQs higher than 7 and plays sounds through FM synth. "Like AWE64" he says! And the game can not work with speech part on AWE64 at all, in any case! It happens often to SB16/AWE cards with older games.

In general I said it all already earlier but you don't want read, look and find:
PARUS wrote:I have/had a lot of SB16/AWE cards, CT1750, CT2290, CT2940, CT3600, CT3900, ASUS Vibra, CT4520, CT4390. And no one of them can play sound in Prince of Persia, they do it via FM (sound+music).
And I have a lot of SB clones, ESS688, ESS1688, CS4236, YMF719 (except ADPCM), OPTi933. THEY ALL can play Prince's sound via "SPEECH" WAVE part and music via FM.

I advise leave both standards in your system if you want full compatibility to all games. I usually do exactly:
"SB Pro" card --- IO=220 IRQ=7 DMA=1 FM=388 MPU=330 --- it can be any clone, I think ESS688 with YMF262 is excellent choice. ESS1688 with ESFM and MPU is excellent too!
AWE card --- IO=240 IRQ=5 DMA=0,5 FM=disabled AWE=640 MPU=disabled(or 300)
The newer games with SB16 support do not need "SET BLASTER" environment. Therefore SET BLASTER should be turned for older games: A220 I7 D1 T4
And all will work, don't doubt!
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