VOGONS


Reply 20 of 29, by dionb

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darry wrote on 2020-09-13, 23:13:
Here is a list of games that explicitly support the SB16 . I do not know how accurate that list is nor if all of them actually d […]
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Velociraptor wrote on 2020-09-13, 22:51:

So the only thing there I'm unsure of (and most of it confirms what I had thought) is 16 bit audio.

Am I likely to want 16 bit audio in DOS?

It's looking like the Orpheus and the SBlive at the moment.

Here is a list of games that explicitly support the SB16 . I do not know how accurate that list is nor if all of them actually do 16-bit audio outpout.

https://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/att … ibuteId,40/p,2/

Orpheus, SB16 and SBlive sounds like a nice combination .

P.S. Initial batch of Orpheus is sold out . If you are sure you want one, you should consider adding your name to the waiting list sooner rather than later. The longer you wait, the longer you will have to wait to get one .

Just a little addition: SB16 isn't the only 16b sound standard in DOS. WSS (Windows Sound System) has similar specs and despite the name works fine under DOS too. A lot of SBPro2-compatible cards/chips do WSS even if they do not do SB16.

WSS support in games isn't very common, but where it is supported it sounds really good (Descent!), and you basically get it 'for free' with most of the newer non-Creative options, including the Crystal chips (Orpheus)

Last edited by dionb on 2020-09-14, 11:39. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 21 of 29, by kolderman

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> But what I'd like to settle on is if I've made broadly correct choices, and if anyone spots something I've overlooked.

By your own standards, sure it's fine. A lot of people here could not live with those compromises.

Reply 22 of 29, by Oetker

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darry wrote on 2020-09-14, 00:46:

The Orpheus and the AWE64 Legacy are probably as close to the perfect ISA sound card as is ever going to exist (especially when combined), so good choice on the Orpheus.

What use case, for you, does the Orpheus have that he AWE64 Legacy doesn't fulfill? They both offer genuine OPL3 and bug-free MIDI, right?
I hope that, at some point, someone will make quality ALS100 based cards.

Reply 23 of 29, by Joseph_Joestar

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dionb wrote on 2020-09-14, 09:03:

WSS support in games isn't very common, but where it is supported it sounds really good (Descent!), and you basically get it 'for free' with most of the newer non-Creative options, including the Yamaha chips (Orpheus)

Actually, WSS compatible titles are more widespread than people think. Mobygames lists nearly 200 games which support it.

Here are some of the popular ones which I've personally tested using WSS:

  • Aladdin
  • Command & Conquer
  • TES II: Daggerfall
  • Descent
  • Descent 2
  • Fatal Racing
  • Heroes of Might and Magic 2
  • Lost Vikings 2
  • Police Quest IV
  • Red Alert
  • Settlers 2 Gold
  • Space Quest V
  • Tomb Raider
  • Turrican II
  • Tyrian
  • Witchaven

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review

Reply 24 of 29, by Velociraptor

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I guess what matters for WSS is where it is supported in games that do 16 bit digital sound.

It looks like WSS might be fairly widely supported in games that do 16 bit sound. but 16 bit sound may be somewhat rare in DOS games in general.

For me I think I'll push on with the Orpheus, SB16 and SBlive and find out how many things fall in the cracks and aren't covered. Hopefully nothing I'm super keen to play.

Again thanks for all the help.

Reply 25 of 29, by darry

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Oetker wrote on 2020-09-14, 09:21:
darry wrote on 2020-09-14, 00:46:

The Orpheus and the AWE64 Legacy are probably as close to the perfect ISA sound card as is ever going to exist (especially when combined), so good choice on the Orpheus.

What use case, for you, does the Orpheus have that he AWE64 Legacy doesn't fulfill? They both offer genuine OPL3 and bug-free MIDI, right?
I hope that, at some point, someone will make quality ALS100 based cards.

The Orpheus offers SB Pro and WSS
The AWE64 Legacy offer SB16 and EMU8000 MIDI . Everything else is overlap, as far as my needs go .

Reply 26 of 29, by Shreddoc

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Seeking ISA soundcard perfection/total coverage is a game of heavily diminishing returns for most people imo.

(Subjectively!) You can get 99% there with a $20 Yamaha Audician for example - various SB mode support, WSS, wavetable connector, intelligent MIDI out, no hanging note, authentic Yamaha-made FM hardware.

Paired with a sound canvas or something, it's hard to complain about, in reality.

Reply 27 of 29, by darry

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Shreddoc wrote on 2020-09-15, 06:10:

Seeking ISA soundcard perfection/total coverage is a game of heavily diminishing returns for most people imo.

(Subjectively!) You can get 99% there with a $20 Yamaha Audician for example - various SB support, WSS, wavetable connector, intelligent MIDI out, no hanging note, authentic Yamaha-made FM.

I agree, but I am a bit of a perfectionist . As far as internal cards go, I currently have an AWE64 value with 28MB (Simmconn Revival) and an YMF715 based Audiotrix 3D/XG and also a GUS . I have owned all of those for 20 odd years or more, so I did not need to spend insane amounts.

Some would rightfully say this is already quite close to perfection, but the quest for better SNR (both AWE64 and Audiotrix still have audible noise) has led me to embrace the Orpheus and AWE64 Legacy (once available).

Though I had kept all those ISA cards, when I started getting actively into retro, I had no ISA capable motherboards. My initial plan was to make do with a YMF724 based card connected to an external DAC . Then I got a board with 1 ISA slot, then one with 2 and then one with 3 . Scope creep got the best of me, I admit . If you (rightfully) thinks that's insane, you should read about my quest for the perfect LCD monitor/scaler combo (actually, don't, unless you want to fall down that rabbithole too, 🤣).

By the way, the Audician has a UART only MPU-401, not an intelligent one. It does not matter that much to me because SoftMPU has worked fine for me so far.

To conclude, I agree that something like the Audician is fine and enough for most people. Some of us, though, will never be 100% satisfied and, TBH, as one of the eternally semi-satisfied, I am quite happy as I feel it's more about the journey than the destination .
It will be a sad day indeed when my main retro rig is absolutely perfect .

P.S. I actually do play games, but i admit to spending more time playing with hardware and tweaking things .

Reply 28 of 29, by Shreddoc

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darry wrote on 2020-09-15, 06:46:
I agree, but I am a bit of a perfectionist . As far as internal cards go, I currently have an AWE64 value with 28MB (Simmconn Re […]
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Shreddoc wrote on 2020-09-15, 06:10:

Seeking ISA soundcard perfection/total coverage is a game of heavily diminishing returns for most people imo.

(Subjectively!) You can get 99% there with a $20 Yamaha Audician for example - various SB support, WSS, wavetable connector, intelligent MIDI out, no hanging note, authentic Yamaha-made FM.

I agree, but I am a bit of a perfectionist . As far as internal cards go, I currently have an AWE64 value with 28MB (Simmconn Revival) and an YMF715 based Audiotrix 3D/XG and also a GUS . I have owned all of those for 20 odd years or more, so I did not need to spend insane amounts.

Some would rightfully say this is already quite close to perfection, but the quest for better SNR (both AWE64 and Audiotrix still have audible noise) has led me to embrace the Orpheus and AWE64 Legacy (once available).

Though I had kept all those ISA cards, when I started getting actively into retro, I had no ISA capable motherboards. My initial plan was to make do with a YMF724 based card connected to an external DAC . Then I got a board with 1 ISA slot, then one with 2 and then one with 3 . Scope creep got the best of me, I admit . If you (rightfully) thinks that's insane, you should read about my quest for the perfect LCD monitor/scaler combo (actually, don't, unless you want to fall down that rabbithole too, 🤣).

By the way, the Audician has a UART only MPU-401, not an intelligent one. It does not matter that much to me because SoftMPU has worked fine for me so far.

To conclude, I agree that something like the Audician is fine and enough for most people. Some of us, though, will never be 100% satisfied and, TBH, as one of the eternally semi-satisfied, I am quite happy as I feel it's more about the journey than the destination .
It will be a sad day indeed when my main retro rig is absolutely perfect .

P.S. I actually do play games, but i admit to spending more time playing with hardware and tweaking things .

Couldn't agree more with all you have said.

I have multiple SBs, + Ensonic, Yamaha, ESS, and AD cards, including multiple OPL3, an OPL4, Yamaha YMF, Sound Canvas, MT-32. Currently only 4 x ISA sound cards. A big part of the fun is the experimentation. The achievement of making it all work yourself, just the way you want, after hours of research and testing. That is what we do.

I would also buy ALL of the great Vogons member designed cards if I... had more money, ha.

Reply 29 of 29, by Joseph_Joestar

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Shreddoc wrote on 2020-09-15, 10:16:

A big part of the fun is the experimentation. The achievement of making it all work yourself, just the way you want, after hours of research and testing. That is what we do.

Same for me. For example, I love testing how the native AudioDrive mode of ESS cards stacks up against Windows Sound System or a true SB16 in late-era DOS games. I'm also interested in the way resampling changes how DOS games sound on 48 kHz cards like the SBLive. And comparing EAX to A3D and Sensaura in late Win9x games is fun too.

There's a method to this though, I mostly do it for games that I enjoyed playing back in the day. Once I find the best sounding card for a particular game (at least to my ears), I write that down. That way, when I decide to properly re-play that game, I can use the optimal hardware for it.

Using Audigy drivers with a Sound Blaster Live
Installing DOS drivers on an Audigy2 ZS
OPL3 vs. ESFM vs. CQM vs. SBLive
OPTi 82C930 review