VOGONS


First post, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

Hello!

After several months of development, testing and guessing 🤣 I am happy to present you the Orpheus sound card 😊
(in case you were wondering about the name Orpheus was a legendary poet/musician in ancient Greece you can read the wikipedia article if you are more curious about it)

The design goal was to make a DOS soundcard that would be SB/WSS compatible, would have a real OPL3 , an optional PCMIDI MPU interface and the ability to output all the sound inputs/outputs via an S/PDIF port under a pure DOS environment - in other words to be a nice DOS card with useful features for some good'old DOS gaming.

FINAL revision done, cards can now be ordered if one wishes: Re: Orpheus Soundcard: a new DOS soundcard with SPDIF/OPL3/MPU support

jfPzPHpl.jpg

PSw0mbal.jpg

D1Lvfdml.jpg

2G5gA7bl.jpg

NeqxsHNl.jpg

2IdLuhGl.jpg

http://orpheus-soundcard.eu is a quick'n'dirty page with jumper/setup info.

As you can see the board is now a "classic green" one 😀
There is an extra jumper block added that lets the user select which MPU device will control the wavetable header, the gameport midi and the dedicated midi-out jack.
So if a card has the pcmidi part installed the user can enable the CS4237 MPU device and have 2 MPU devices working at the same time controlling different parts of the card.
(ofcourse this feature only makes sense with the pcmidi part installed)

The card comes in 3 flavors - all prices include registered airmail shipping in a hard box with fully assembled and complete items ready for use:

  • Orheus soundcard : 130eur
  • Orpheus soundcard with PCMIDI installed: 180eur
  • Orpheus soundcard with PCMIDI installed and Dreamblaster X2 daughterboard: 230eur

link to order: http://pcmidi.eu/order.html (please keep in mind this is a queue atm since the 1st batch sold out - more cards are being made)

For now anyone interested can use the PCMIDI order form located in serdashop.com and www.pcmidi.eu - there is an Orpheus item in the drop-down product list.
Thanks for your support on this and I hope people will like the card as much as we enjoyed making it!

some prototype recordings:
Monkey Island 1 SE: https://soundcloud.com/user-919839499/mi1se-orpheus
Day of the Tentacle CD : https://soundcloud.com/user-919839499/dottcd-orpheus
Alone in the Dark: https://mega.nz/#!QI9GQIpQ!wsOgLaObBpC_Xa-pbK … KxslXDgEx6Q0zuM

old news and prototype pics (click to expand)

Please keep in mind that the following pics are to be treated as an "evaluation board" , they were built to test features and stability.

new rev1.0h pcb revision - it has further analog/digital side separation, more filters, extra buffers, altered routing, different jack placement - in general a more optimized design based on feedback.

3ThQUU2l.png

9b1Xpobl.png

older rev1.0g (added AC'97 header, back ports re-arrange and some other design tweaks) , bracket needs some tweaks

LsBZBcWl.png

12z886al.png

MfzKVSsl.png

... and a couple of quick recordings , the audio caps in use still need some hrs to stabilize though... things are very clear as you will hear, I don't know if that's a bad or good thing after decades of SB filtering 🤣

Monkey Island 1 SE: https://soundcloud.com/user-919839499/mi1se-orpheus
Day of the Tentacle CD : https://soundcloud.com/user-919839499/dottcd-orpheus
Alone in the Dark: https://mega.nz/#!QI9GQIpQ!wsOgLaObBpC_Xa-pbK … KxslXDgEx6Q0zuM

these are mediafire links, soundcloud could re-compress or something not sure
https://www.mediafire.com/file/c0zd4aqdnwnv1o … rpheus.mp3/file
https://www.mediafire.com/file/2d9knsqejxj7lp … rpheus.mp3/file

older 1.0f version

zp1EiTwl.jpg

gzRM4aEl.jpg

7SYfEdrl.jpg

ERInKwYl.jpg

ar1dFZml.jpg

Features:

  • based on the Crystal CS4237B controller which offers SB/SB-PRO/WSS compatibility
  • discrete YMF289B OPL3 chip
  • 44.100hz 16bit S/PDIF output of all internal and external audio sources
  • 4-layer PCB design with attention to analog output part and usage of audio-grade capacitors
  • 2 MPU-401 options: internal CS-4237 UART interface or PCMIDI intelligent mode one, card can be ordered with either option or upgraded at a later point from 4237->PCMIDI interface
  • Gameport, Line IN, Line OUT, MIC and Coax S/PDIF ports
  • Wavetable daughterboard and AC'97 headers
  • dedicated midi-OUT port with the ability to also use at the same time a common gameport->midi or DB15MIDI adapter to gain an extra OUT and IN ports
  • UniSound is the card's driver thanks to JazeFox , it initializes the card , enables/disables s/pdif, switches between OPL3 and CrystalFM , enables/disables CrystalMPU device

    TO-DO list:
  • Although the aim was to make it a DOS card we also have a Win9x driver package that works great except one thing: windows driver disregards the card's hardware setup so under windows the internal FM synthesis is used, you can write to a known register and fix this behavior but we did not find a way to patch the driver to do that yet, if anyone can help with this please get in touch 😎

As always the crime partner in this is marmes 😎 we would love to hear your thoughts and comments on Orpheus card.
Thanks!

Last edited by keropi on 2020-10-26, 10:15. Edited 15 times in total.

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 1 of 269, by Scali

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

That's a very nice card!
AdLib/SB/SBPro compatibility combined with true MPU-401 covers most bases (okay, you need an MT-32, SC or DreamBlaster to complete it) 😀

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 3 of 269, by j^aws

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
keropi wrote:

Hello!
<Awesome stuff>

Looks fantastic - congratulations keropi and marmes on the project! SPDIF output and also Intelligent Mode MPU401 is a great combo missing from most sound cards.

Regarding the Crystal CODEC, does it have 2/3 bit ADPCM compatibility? You can try the Duke Nukem 2 test for sound effects (without using the Adlib option).

Reply 5 of 269, by Marmes

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Hello!
I was able to play DN2 in SB/sbpro option. No hangup.

j^aws wrote:
keropi wrote:

Hello!
<Awesome stuff>

Looks fantastic - congratulations keropi and marmes on the project! SPDIF output and also Intelligent Mode MPU401 is a great combo missing from most sound cards.

Regarding the Crystal CODEC, does it have 2/3 bit ADPCM compatibility? You can try the Duke Nukem 2 test for sound effects (without using the Adlib option).

Reply 6 of 269, by dreamblaster

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Looks fantastic ! 😲 😀

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL2LPT, OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
Special vogons LPT bundle : https://www.serdashop.com/Parallel-port-retro-sound-bundle
Thanks for your support !

Reply 7 of 269, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
Marmes wrote:

Hello!
I was able to play DN2 in SB/sbpro option. No hangup.

j^aws wrote:
keropi wrote:

Hello!
<Awesome stuff>

Looks fantastic - congratulations keropi and marmes on the project! SPDIF output and also Intelligent Mode MPU401 is a great combo missing from most sound cards.

Regarding the Crystal CODEC, does it have 2/3 bit ADPCM compatibility? You can try the Duke Nukem 2 test for sound effects (without using the Adlib option).

... but remember, not all sfx are playing... door destruction ones are mute so not all ADPCM formats are supported
What other game(s) use this format so we can test also?

thanks for the kind words guys!

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 8 of 269, by Tiido

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Looking forward to seeing the final card ~

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 9 of 269, by j^aws

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
keropi wrote:

... but remember, not all sfx are playing... door destruction ones are mute so not all ADPCM formats are supported
What other game(s) use this format so we can test also?

thanks for the kind words guys!

Duke Nukem 2 is a common test game. There maybe other Apogee Software games from the same era that might have the same compatibility issue, but I haven't tested those. Here are a few non-exhaustive games:

Monster Bash
Scuba Venture
Major Stryker
Bio Menace
Alien Carnage
Blake Stone

Remember, if you are testing, avoid using any Adlib options to provide sound effects from FM. This masks what is being heard and can be mistaken for 2/3 bit ADPCM.

Reply 10 of 269, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

I will check the rest but I can tell from now that at least Bio Menace is OK with SB sounds , love that game and played it too much in testing 😁
I really think it's DN2 that is the "weird" one mixing at least 2 adpcm formats in it's playback routines.

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 11 of 269, by gerwin

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

This is a great idea and an impressive achievement!, similar to my all time favorite "Acer Magic S23" AKA "Philips PCA70PS":
Perfect ISA soundcard, in theory
Cool to find that the internal Crystal-FM can be bypassed on this particular Crystal chip.
Did you also utilize the "CS9236 Wavetable Digital Audio Interface" for something?

--> ISA Soundcard Overview // Doom MBF 2.04 // SetMul

Reply 12 of 269, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

thanks gerwin!
and yep, the 9236 digital audio interface is used for the OPL3 chip and this is also why YMF289 is used : 44,1khz output

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 13 of 269, by bjwil1991

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

That is one snazzy card. So the AC'97 header will allow the use of the front audio jacks on an ATX case? One thing I wish existed was GUS clones, but, that probably won't happen. However, that would be so cool as GUS cards are going for an arm and a leg on eBay.

Discord: https://discord.gg/U5dJw7x
Systems from C64 to FX-6300.

Reply 14 of 269, by Scali

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
bjwil1991 wrote:

One thing I wish existed was GUS clones, but, that probably won't happen.

Well, there's the Interwave-based GUS clone:
Newly made Gravis Ultrasound compatible cards ... what's the degree of interest?

http://scalibq.wordpress.com/just-keeping-it- … ro-programming/

Reply 15 of 269, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++
bjwil1991 wrote:

That is one snazzy card. So the AC'97 header will allow the use of the front audio jacks on an ATX case? [...]

indeed, that is the reason of it's inclusion so one can use the jacks on cases 😀

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 18 of 269, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

No you can't hardcode it like you do with other setup options , S/PDIF setup and enabling is like the SRS 3D audio function that needs an extra program to enable/disable.
It's just a 0.5sec function, you run it - it access some registers and it S/PDIF works. So basically you run 2 programs on boot that just initialize the card: the main one and the s/pdif one if you want it. Both are pretty fast and consume no memory.

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 19 of 269, by LABS

User metadata
Rank Member
Rank
Member

Congratulations! Nice set of features and it looks stunning!
Put me on the list please 😀

BLASTERBOARD: a DIY SB2.0-compatible sound card on ATmega328P microcontroller