utahraptor wrote on 2020-09-02, 20:32:
I am actually not even certain what the stereo requirement is, just that it’s part of the meta. Is it if you want to set a game to SB pro midi mode or does it effect regular sound effects somehow to?
It sounds like a bit of a mix-up. The stereo issue is with SBPro support on the SB16, no within SB16.
The issue is that Creative implemented stereo in different ways in the SBPro and SB16, so a regular SB16 will have mixed-up stereo in games that support SBPro. I'm not aware of any SB16 stereo problems (SBPro cards simply don't support 16b operation and high DMA, so it doesn't work at all the other way round).
Note that there are a lot of other stereo issues out there, particularly that a lot of cards have left and right mixed up on their wavetable headers, so you music might end up reversed compared to the DA. Some cards even manage to get their OPL3 stereo reversed vs DA too. In general though these are less irritating than DA being reversed, as both MIDI and FM are used for music which is rarely positional in terms of gameplay - most people care more about hearing whether that monster is on your left or right, not about where string and brass section of the orchestra are hanging out.
AFAIK, stereo on all MIDI stuff (including wavetable headers) on Creative cards is OK. They just fail with slowdowns, hanging notes etc - there is literally no SB16 that's completely bug-free on all of those counts. For that reason I wouldn't recommend using MIDI on an SB16 (0r 32/AWE/64). My preferred solution to this and the SB16<>SBPro stereo issues is to just use two cards, one SB16-derivative for SB16 (and AWE if I'm so inclined), the other for SBPro and bug-free MIDI. I can also add other stuff there like WSS (another 16b audio standard, not very widely supported but impressive if it is, as in Descent).
So for example I have a system with a CT3670 SB32 and an Aztech Waverider32 MMSN826. The CT3670 is basically an AWE64 with SIMM slots, so SB16, AWE and very low noise levels, but CQM for FM synth. The MMSN826 has an AZT2316A chip which is hardware SBPro2 compatible, has bug-free MIDI and WSS, and the card also has a real OPL3 and an ICS wavetable built in. This way I get the best of both worlds, with two relatively available and affordable cards (the CT3670 *should* command a premium over all other SB16-like cards except perhaps the AWE64Gold, but it's generally not valued higher than a Vibra :') )
Of course if you only have one ISA slot (or can't be bothered to mess around with two cards), you either need to compromise - or you need a good ALS100 card that does it all. I hope that the one you found is good 😀