dionb wrote on 2020-09-06, 23:11:
Ozzuneoj wrote on 2020-09-06, 17:29:
dionb wrote on 2020-09-03, 10:53:
Almost all DOS-era stuff is 44kHz anyway and problems tended to only crop up when cards stopped supporting 44kHz without resampling.
Are you referring to music or sound effects? Most effects in DOS games are 11khz. I don't think 44khz effects became common until the early 2000s.
Not exactly common, but the games that did have it were fairly prominent, things like Duke Nukem 3D, Quake and Origin's Crusader series.
I don't think that's correct, I'm sorry.
Quake used mostly 8bit 11khz effects, Q2 used 16bit 22kHz effects. Even Q3, which was basically the most advanced game engine of the 90s (1999) used mainly 16bit 22Khz effects as far as I remember.
Forgive me for being skeptical, I just did a lot of sound modding of games in that era (replacing and editing sounds using Goldwave) so I frequently had the files themselves open in audio editors so I knew what the bitrates and sample rates were. The Crusader series is so old, I just can't imagine it using 44kHz effects. Those games as well as Duke 3D had the distinct "scratchy but muffled" sound I remember of low sample rate effects. I just found this page too:
https://infosuite.duke4.net/index.php?page=re … nces_sound_list
Note that the majority of Duke 3D's effects were either 8kHz or 11kHz.
Support for high sample rate files on DOS sound cards was likely only a bullet point feature, an attempt at future-proofing or possibly to appeal to (inexperienced?) audio professionals. PCs at the time wouldn't have been able to handle tons of 44kHz 16bit samples in real time anyway. Remember the sizeable performance improvements brought on by hardware accelerated 3D sound in 1998-2000? Even those games only used 22khz effects for the most part. Mixing lots of 44khz effects in a pre-3D acceleration game on a ~100Mhz Pentium class CPUs (a reasonable gaming system spec in 1996-1997) would have certainly created a huge performance hit. The memory requirements are also obviously much larger.
EDIT: Just dug through a pile of old sound effects I borrowed out of games almost 20 years ago and the first game I found that had 44khz wav files was Medal of Honor: Allied Assault from 2002. Half-life used 11Khz 8bit sounds, and most games that used the Q1 or Q2 engine used a mixture of 11khz or 22khz 8bit or 16bit wav files. Checked several other older games and some less graphically intensive games (C&C: Red Alert for example), from 1997 have mostly 22khz effects, but most are only 11khz.
Most effects from Half-Life range from ~3KB to 50KB file size for 8bit 11khz. Effects in MOHAA are generally 50-400KB per file for 16bit 44khz effects. On a system with only 16-32MB of RAM (most computers in 1995-1997) this would be a huge difference. It's no wonder the games just didn't bother with high sample rate effects, even if the sound cards could play them.
Anyway, my only point: Don't worry about sample rates for DOS games. Bit depth, mono\stereo or WSS\SB16\SBPro support will limit you long before sample rate will. As mentioned by others, using a native 44khz card will probably sound better for effects that are 11khz or 22khz. I'm not sure how much of a difference there is in quality when dealing with sample rate conversion of 8khz effects on a 44khz card versus a 48khz one (48khz being an even multiple). That would be a good experiment for someone who has time for it! 😀
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