VOGONS


First post, by dionb

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I have myself a little mystery card here. Stock photo, but identical to mine:
pa-wp9050-b_9403.jpg
pa-wp9050-b_9403_1.jpg

The card has a model number: PA-WP9050-B (REV C)
And an FCC ID: JUGMML9050 which resolves as: Wearnes Peripherals Intl (PTE) Ltd Sound Card MML9050

Big chips:
- Analog Devices Echo ESC614
- Analog Devices AD1848KP Soundport
- Analog Devices ADSP-2115

That puts it into the same category as the Orchid Soundwave 32 and the Cardinal MPC700/DSP16.

The only drivers for a card with the AD Echo chip I could find were for the Soundwave32 on vogonsdrivers

Good news: they sort of work! And the AdLib FM sounds fantastic, can't put my finger on it, but better than on any other card. Windows Sound System works nicely under WFW3.11 too, as does MPU-401 under both DOS and Windows.

Bad news: Soundblaster functionality is just that: T1 original Soundblaster. No SBPro stereo. This seems by design. Also even that's not perfect - it hangs the system on sound selection of some games with autodetect (Master of Magic) or gives errors like "Exec Failed" (Laser Squad). Also no MIDI synth in Windows - it's external MPU-401 or no MIDI.

Now, given I'm using ancient drivers for a different card with different functionality that's still not bad. This is with driver version 1.3 for the SW32, there are also version 1.4 and 2.1 which might help SB compatibility. That's something I'll try tomorrow. For now though a question: anybody know what might go into those three empty sockets? The Orchid Soundwave 32 had onboard wavetable, with two large DIP sockets. Would this support something similar? And if so, what on earth to look for...?

Reply 1 of 26, by jtchip

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This card was sold as the Beethoven ADSP-16. The version with wavetable was the ADSP-16 Wave. The wavetable upgrade adds 2x74F174PC chips and the sample ROM. From the recordings I've heard, the samples sound just like the SoundWave32.

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Reply 2 of 26, by dionb

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Perfect, that was exactly the info I needed!

Given I'm already using the Soundwave32 driver, it stands to reason that it should work with the SW32 ROMs too.
(found here) Find information about Orchid SoundWave 32

Now, time to find those 74F174PC chips, get a 1MB PLCC EEPROM (or dig one out of my old piles) and figure out how best to concatenate the two image files from the SW32 into a single file for flashing here 😀

On an aside, driver 1.4/2.1 didn't do a thing for poor SB compatibility, it still hung or failed at exactly the same points.

Reply 3 of 26, by Tiido

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M27C801-xxxKyz is the best option for 1MB PLCC32 memory chip. xxx is speed, y and z are don't cares.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 4 of 26, by jtchip

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While the card does sort of work with the SoundWave32 DOS drivers (specifically the ones for the original Prosonus sample ROMs), it plays Sound Blaster digital samples at a pitch rate that's too low. General MIDI is fine though but the MT-32 mode doesn't work so the hardware isn't completely compatible.
I've attached the DOS drivers, they just seem to be reference drivers. Load adi_pss.sys from config.sys with the path to pss.ini as the only argument. The driver reports synth.ld as Eusynth 1.4, it can also be loaded with sw32.exe /f:synth.ld if you prefer.
The remaining DOS com and exe files are TSRs though not needed for normal use. vmp.com for some reason just hangs so load the others manually instead of running driver.bat; vapipss needs the IRQ for the SB portion if you've changed it from the default 7.

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Reply 6 of 26, by jtchip

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From the DOS subdirectory of the first driver floppy. I can't find the drivers online anywhere now. TBH yours is the first time I've come across another one of these cards. Back in the day everyone I knew mostly had Sound Blasters.
I have a newer DOS driver, which I think I got online probably some time in the mid-90s, consisting of a driver for config.sys and a newer synth.ld which identifies as Eusynth 1.7. Compared to 1.4, it changes the volume balance of the GM instruments (1.4 sounds like the SoundWave32 genmid.ld, but slightly louder to the point of sometimes clipping), this is noticeable in the title screen of Doom II. Another change I noticed is 1.4 works with WSS in Descent but 1.7 doesn't, it works during setup but not in-game.
You can mix and match the sys and ld files, I'm not sure what the newer sys driver does differently apart from different output to the console when loading.

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Reply 7 of 26, by dionb

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Using your driver now, works fine. Can't say I really notice the difference, but good to have correct drivers. I'll upload these to Vogonsdrivers so they'll at least be online in one place now.

Looks like I was too quick to blame this card for bad behaviour in MOM and Lasersquad by the way - I just stuck my replica CT1320C in the same computer and got exactly the same problems.

Reply 8 of 26, by jtchip

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Good know, I see the drivers have been uploaded (though to be clear, Eusynth 1.7 only breaks Descent configured for WSS digital audio, SB works fine). I don't have the games you've mentioned but Mobygames says Laserquad requires a minimum of an 8088 so it could be timing issue, depending on how fast a system you're using.
I'll try to get the Windows 3.1 drivers off the floppies, the last time I tried a few files couldn't be read so it could be a while.

Reply 9 of 26, by dionb

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jtchip wrote:

Good know, I see the drivers have been uploaded (though to be clear, Eusynth 1.7 only breaks Descent configured for WSS digital audio, SB works fine).

You sure it's Eusynth 1.7 (which shouldn't do anything with the SB/WSS .SYS stuff) and not the 2.23.01 SYS driver itself?

I don't have the games you've mentioned but Mobygames says Laserquad requires a minimum of an 8088 so it could be timing issue, depending on how fast a system you're using.

Cx5x86-120. Thing is, AdLib (using this card) and MT-32 do work fine. Then again, neither of them use DMA, so it could just be a timing issue. Unfortunately no time to kick my one XT into life right now to check that. I'm satisfied that it's not this card/driver in any case. And I was used to playing Laser Squad on a Sinclair Spectrum and later an IBM PS/2 with PC speaker only, so it's not as if AdLib or MT-32 sounds too bad compared to that 😉

I'll try to get the Windows 3.1 drivers off the floppies, the last time I tried a few files couldn't be read so it could be a while.

Would be good to save that for posterity too, let's hope those ancient floppies can be coaxed into releasing their contents one last time.

Reply 10 of 26, by jtchip

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dionb wrote:

You sure it's Eusynth 1.7 (which shouldn't do anything with the SB/WSS .SYS stuff) and not the 2.23.01 SYS driver itself?

I did some more testing and it turns out Descent works with WSS digital audio with either version of the sys and ld files, and even with the SoundWave 32 drivers. The trick is to start the game a second time, somehow the WSS digital audio isn't initialised correctly the first time. I haven't encountered this problem with other games that support WSS like Tyrian 2000.
I hadn't managed to get Descent to work with WSS digital audio until I dug out the original drivers, was loading different ld files with sw32, and mistakenly attributed the reason it worked to the original Eusynth 1.4, oops.
WSS digital audio is, I believe, native to the chipset but the SB emulation is run on the DSP. I have a "Supplemental Driver Release" for the SoundWave 32 which only has a newer genmid.ld dated October 1994 and one of the changes is "Enhanced SoundBlaster compatibility".

dionb wrote:

Cx5x86-120.

SetMul does support changing the multiplier to 1X on this so might be worth a try. I use a CuMine Celeron 900 with a slotket on a Slot 1 (my oldest fully working PC) so I'm left with disabling L1 sometimes just to get Adlib working.

Reply 11 of 26, by dionb

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OK, so WSS problem is more of a Descent issue then (game needs starting twice if using WSS regardless of card/drivers)?

In any event, have shelled out some cash on a well-known auction site for four 74F174PC hex flip-flop ICs (2 spares) and two (spare never hurts) supposedly new STM M27C801-100K1 EPROMs. Checked all the reputable suppliers first, but these things have been out of production for a LONG time, and 5V 8Mb E(E)PROMs seem very niche indeed.

Reply 12 of 26, by jtchip

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Yeah, Descent looks like a game-specific issue. I don't know if it happens on other WSS cards as this is the only one I have.
Good luck with your wavetable upgrade, I certainly couldn't do something like that as I don't have the skills or equipment.

Reply 13 of 26, by dionb

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jtchip wrote:

Yeah, Descent looks like a game-specific issue. I don't know if it happens on other WSS cards as this is the only one I have.

Been playing around now and haven't been able to get WSS working on Descent at all with any card. Also have some Aztech cards that are generally very, very well behaved and no sound in Descent with them either. Not exactly same as you were seeing, but pretty clear that Descent is at best extremely touchy with WSS.

Edit: found a card that Descent will do WSS with: my AudioExcel AV310 (CM8330 chip). That card just keeps giving 😀

No problem with the Beethoven in Tyrian using WSS, in fact it sounds pretty good - WSS support works, just not with Descent. In WSS this card shines, it's clearly its focus, not the dodgy SB1 support, and dodgy it is.

Have been trying a few more games and it's not good...
- Terminal Velocity: Soundblaster audio plays in setup, but no sound at all in-game.
- Doom2: Soundblaster detected in setup, no sound at all in game.
- OMF2097: Soundblaster works for the first few seconds, but then with a tiny glitch dies until game is restarted.
All three work fine with Aztech and ESS-based cards in the same SB mode on the same system, so I can hardly recommend this card for compatibility.

Good luck with your wavetable upgrade, I certainly couldn't do something like that as I don't have the skills or equipment.

Skills? The only skill needed was to source that damn eprom, apart from that it's just sticking chips into sockets. Might take a while before the eprom arrives as I had to order that from the US. We'll see...

Reply 14 of 26, by jtchip

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dionb wrote:

Been playing around now and haven't been able to get WSS working on Descent at all with any card.

FWIW, I'm using a fully-patched Descent v1.5 and manually specified port 530h and DMA 0.

dionb wrote:

- Terminal Velocity: Soundblaster audio plays in setup, but no sound at all in-game.
- Doom2: Soundblaster detected in setup, no sound at all in game.
- OMF2097: Soundblaster works for the first few seconds, but then with a tiny glitch dies until game is restarted.

These all work fine for me, using port 220h IRQ 5 DMA 1, although OMF2097 is way too fast on my system.

Reply 15 of 26, by jtchip

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Managed to read the last few files from the floppy disks that it wouldn't read last time. I've no way of testing this as I don't have a Windows 3.1 setup any more (the original floppies for those are in bad shape and anyway I don't have hardware that old).

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Beethoven ADSP-16 DOS and Windows 3.1 drivers
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Reply 16 of 26, by dionb

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jtchip wrote:

Managed to read the last few files from the floppy disks that it wouldn't read last time. I've no way of testing this as I don't have a Windows 3.1 setup any more (the original floppies for those are in bad shape and anyway I don't have hardware that old).

B_ADSP16.ZIP

Thanks!

I've put this one on hold until my chips arrive, but the EPROMs are here already and I expect the supporting logic soon. When they arrive I'll test - and do so in another system: turns out it's the 5x86 and/or the motherboard it's on that was causing the compatibility issues.

Reply 17 of 26, by dionb

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dionb wrote:

[...]

I've put this one on hold until my chips arrive, but the EPROMs are here already and I expect the supporting logic soon. When they arrive I'll test - and do so in another system: turns out it's the 5x86 and/or the motherboard it's on that was causing the compatibility issues.

Great... my supporting logic chips have arrived, but now it turns out my 32p DIP to 32p PLCC EPROM adapter is dead. New one ordered, but will take a few weeks to get here from China 😢

Reply 18 of 26, by dionb

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EEPROM burner and new PLCC32 adapter arrived, so I got to work.

- simply used copy /b rom1.bin+rom2.bin rom.bin[/] to concatenate the two Orchid Soundwave32 Prosonus 512kB images into a single 1MB image.
- burnt the resulting image onto the ST M27C801 EEPROM using my TL866II-Plus burner with supplied DIP32 - PLCC32 adapter
- stuck the ROM and the two supporing 74F174PC ICs into the sockets on the sound card.

End result:
full.jpg

The drivers were set to use it by default, on 0x330 IRQ 2/9 (the default MIDI ports). Only difference on booting was no error message anymore:

Personal Sound System Driver - Copyright (c) 1993 Analog Devices Inc. Portions (c) 1993 Willow Pond Corp., Echo Speech Corp., an […]
Show full quote

Personal Sound System Driver - Copyright (c) 1993 Analog Devices Inc.
Portions (c) 1993 Willow Pond Corp., Echo Speech Corp., and EuPhonics
Driver version 2.23.01
Eusynth Version 1.04

SoundBlaster Address: 220 Interrupt: 7
WSS Address: 530
CD-ROM Address: 240
MPU-401 Address: 330 Interrupt: 9
Game port Enabled


So, time to put it to the test.

Fired up Tyrian as the most reliable and flexible game for this card so far.

Conclusion:
It works! GM wavetable appears as soon as it's selected.

Second conclusion:
It sounds crap!

No facility to easily record sound right now, but while it sounds like all instruments are correct and sounds are produced at the right tone, it's all pretty flat and primitive - I'd say clearly worse than the default Windows softsynth, and my Yamaha MU50EX completely blows it away, even on default settings.

Of course it's hardly fair to compare an el-cheapo integrated wavetable solution with 1MB of samples to a standalone MIDI module with 4MB of samples held in high regard by musicians, but even compared to similar stuff (I also have an Aztech Sound Galaxy WaveRider 32+, same age, same ROM sample size, not particularly great ICS synth chip) it sounds bad.

But regardless, i've taken a card sold as "impossible to get working", and with the help of jtchip and tiido not just gotten basic functionality working, but also maximum theoretical capabilities of the card. I'm happy 😀

Edit:
First impressions were with the 1.(0)4 MIDI synth, now I re-tested with 1.(0)7 and the difference is huge. The volume is still very high, but not clipping anymore, which makes the output sound a lot better. Still not as good as say the WaveRider 32+ though, and not even in the same ballpark as the MU50.

Definitely use the 1.(0)7 synth with this card.

Edit2:
Even with 1.07 it still clips like mad with low notes. Good (bad) example: the Civilization intro. Written for MT32, so sounds bad on any GM device, but not like this: the sustained strings when the intro gets bombastic come out as a pure square wave buzz 🙁

Reply 19 of 26, by jtchip

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Nice work! Yeah, the wavetable is unimpressive to say the least. Some of the instruments sound barely any better than FM synthesis and the percussion instruments sound like they've been sampled at 11kHz. Still better than FM though.
I don't have Civilization, the only MT-32 game I tried was The Secret of Monkey Island and apart from noticing that all the instruments were wrong I didn't notice any clipping. I do wonder what's stopping the SoundWave 32's MT-32 mode from working on this card.