Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

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Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-12 @ 07:16

Hello friends

I'm the middle of building a retro pc and i stumbled upon some sound issues.

My system as of right now is a p3 866mhz on a esc p6-vaa motherboard with AGP PCI and ISA slots.

After some tinkering i got the ISA ES1868F to work under dos and windows 98, but there's a weird issue with the sound, everything sounds as if it's played at half speed and one octave lower, this is especially noticeable in wav files and game sound effects (not sure if it's happening with midi too cause i don't have something to compare it to right now).

It's the same deal under dos 6.22, and on win98. I've tried different IRQ and DMA settings under dos, different drivers under windows98, different isa slot, different bios version and i'm now out of ideas... Either the sound card it's self has a problem or I'm missing something quite obvious.

What should i do? my budget is VERY limited so i can't just go and buy a awe64 isa and be done with it.
Should i go the PCI route?
i'm open to suggestions.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-12 @ 07:29

Does everything else perform normally at right speed? Just sound has issues? Trying with any other soundcard, pci or isa, would be a good check.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-12 @ 07:33

yea the rest of the system is running very well, i don't have another sound card atm unfortunately (nor another system to test the same sound card on) , I'm wondering if i can save the situation as is right now.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-12 @ 07:42

Can you try opl sound...like an early dos game select adlib. If it's ok then maybe a dma conflict is preventing normal playback of digital sound.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-12 @ 07:45

kolderman wrote:Can you try opl sound...like an early dos game select adlib. If it's ok then maybe a dma conflict is preventing normal playback of digital sound.


i'm not sure what opl was to do with playing wave files? and if it was a dma thing i would guess i wouldn't get sound at all... dunno
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-12 @ 07:54

It's about trying to narrow down the problem. And DMA conflicts can slow down transfer of digital samples.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-12 @ 10:37

Well here's what i see, there's a "NA" DMA on the isa device listing. No matter what i try in the bios i can't get it to register a DMA there, not sure if that's how it's supposed to be or that's a problem.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby kolderman » 2019-9-12 @ 11:26

There's two listings, probably for the mpu401 and the codec. I'd still like to know how the adlib sound sounds. The mpu does not need DMA.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby Tiido » 2019-9-12 @ 17:47

It is probably a bad crystal that causes the problem of everything being lower pitched.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-12 @ 18:40

That was my suspicion as well but i don't see such a crystal on the board, I'm no expert though. But if there is one is it replaceable?
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby Tiido » 2019-9-12 @ 19:27

If there's none it most likely uses 14.31818MHz clock from the ISA slot and chances are it isn't at correct freq, the card is fine but motherboard is at fault instead.
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby keropi » 2019-9-12 @ 19:35

are you in GR infernalgr? most likely I have a 1868F card I can just send you - I am not using them anyways
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-12 @ 20:23

keropi wrote:are you in GR infernalgr? most likely I have a 1868F card I can just send you - I am not using them anyways


yes i am, that's very generous man thank you! where from?
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby keropi » 2019-9-12 @ 20:24

let me check tomorrow what I have at hand
I am located in Ioannina
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-12 @ 20:26

keropi wrote:let me check tomorrow what I have at hand
I am located in Ioannina


Cool! i'm in Xanthi, let me know!
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby keropi » 2019-9-13 @ 10:31

turns out the cards are Avance Logic ALS100+ ones... no idea about them tbh if you want one I can still send it over
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Re: Problem with ESS AudioDrive ES1868F

Postby infernalgr » 2019-9-13 @ 19:30

That's very generous of you mate but i think i'm gonna wait until another 1868 appears, or maybe save up for a awe64 gold.

thank you again
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