Sound cards - from best to worst

Discussion about old PC hardware.

Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby swaaye » 2009-9-09 @ 19:59

I've uploaded some drivers for old sound cards that may be hard to find:

Ensoniq
Ensoniq Soundscape & VIVO official FTP archive and final drivers
Ensoniq AudioPCI final drivers and wavesets

Aureal
Vortex 1 Win9x 1189 driver
Vortex 2 Win9x 2048 driver with 3D demos
A3D Drivers 3.12
A2D Drivers 3.12 (translate A3D to DS3D/EAX for non Aureal cards)

Creative
Sound Blaster 1.5
Sound Blaster 2.0
Sound Blaster Pro
Sound Blaster Pro 2.0
Sound Blaster 16 / 32 / AWE collection

Philips Seismic Edge PSC704 (Thunderbird 128 chip)
Windows 9x v6.74
Windows 2K/XP v1.16
DOS drivers

Soundfonts (GM/GS/MT-32 compatible)
need SFArk
Chaos 4MB SF2 intended to replace the default AWE GM/GS bank
Creative/E-Mu 2MB SF2
Creative/E-Mu 4MB SF2
Creative/E-Mu 8MB SF2
Synergi Free 8MB
Last edited by swaaye on 2009-9-18 @ 20:10, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby elianda » 2009-9-13 @ 21:19

I am not sure, is this one rare or just rare because noone got it working properly?
viewtopic.php?t=22769
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2009-11-22 @ 21:00

As i understood correct, if I have a AWE64 Gold for me the best choice would be an external Roland module? I am thinking to buy SC-55. So will the combination of AWE64 Gold + SC-5 allow me to play all Dos games with the best sound?
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby elianda » 2009-11-28 @ 21:57

No, since there are games that sound best on GUS.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby swaaye » 2009-11-28 @ 22:13

Menkau_ra wrote:best sound?

Best = subjective. Use what you think is best. That's all that matters.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2009-11-28 @ 22:15

What games will sound better on GUS?
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby elianda » 2009-11-29 @ 08:25

Well basically every game with digital playback, since GUS resamples always at 44.1 kHz/16 Bit with Interpolation.

Though most noticeable is this with games that play multiple digital channels at the same time, because the older software mixing algorithms are usually not optimized for quality but for speed.
Well first games where a GUS is of advantage might be the Pinball series from Digital Illusions (Dreams / Dream 2 / Fantasies / Illusions a.s.o.) and last maybe something like Death Rally. There are alot of games with GUS support, to say which game benefits the most - well try it.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby swaaye » 2009-11-29 @ 22:43

Which games really utilize GUS hardware and don't just use it as a dumb DAC.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby 5u3 » 2009-11-30 @ 11:37

swaaye wrote:Which games really utilize GUS hardware and don't just use it as a dumb DAC.


Good question. I bet a majority of the games supporting the GUS just use the "dumb" method (mixing channels by CPU). It had to be implemented anyway to support "standard" sound cards, and checking for sample RAM size / uploading samples just adds more complexity. Some games rely on the Ultrasound MIDI emulation for music, but only use the standard patch banks.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2009-12-20 @ 15:56

OK, I will paraphrase my question. If I have awe64 + db60xg + sc-55, is there a reason to buy a GUS to play games?
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby pianoman72 » 2009-12-20 @ 17:02

No reason, that should be more than enough.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2010-1-22 @ 16:39

If there are many versions of a DREAM chip, is there any difference between them?
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby elianda » 2010-1-22 @ 17:53

Yes, have you checked the datasheets?
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby ih8registrations » 2010-1-22 @ 18:05

>OK, I will paraphrase my question. If I have awe64 + db60xg + sc-55, is there a reason to buy a GUS to play games?

There are a few games where it's the best output, like zone66 or ultrabots/zenobots /w sbos. Do a search for interwave sound card, you should be able to find them for sale for about $15.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby Menkau_ra » 2010-1-23 @ 16:14

elianda, no I don't have a datasheet. I just wanna know basic stuffs about the DREAM. I have a TB CancunFX, is it the same as one on Diamond Monster MX200 4mb?
ih8registrations, there were nothing on ebay if I search "interwave". But I'll keep searching. Thanks!
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby elianda » 2010-1-23 @ 17:15

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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby gerwin » 2010-1-25 @ 19:27

@Menkau_ra: Here is also some older info written by me:
Vogons: Midi: Dream and Topwave-32 samplesets
Also you might find this website of interest, even though it is in japanese:
Midi Daughterboard Museum
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby elianda » 2010-1-25 @ 20:40

According to the Soundbanks for Dream (TTS and 94B are basically the same):
There are two official flavors, Roland licenced and Crystal
The Naming of the Roland Licenced are
4 MB / 32 MBit
ROM: GMS963200 (as on MaxiSound64)
RAM: GSSBK320.94B

1 MB / 8 MBit
ROM: GMS960800
RAM: GSSBK080.94B

Crystals CleanWave:
4 MB / 32 MBit
ROM: GMS973200
RAM: GMBK9732.94B

1 MB / 8 MBit
ROM: GMS970800 (as on TerraTec MiniWaveTable)
RAM: GMBK9708.94B

Then there are alot of other SoundBanks from Guillemot, Terratec and Hoontech (SoundTrack97)
Guillemot:
GMSBK6MB.94B 6.187.664 Byte
SYNTVOL.94B 3.633.570 Byte
XGSPIANO.94B 1.223.314 Byte
CMPIANO.94B 1.285.990 Byte

Hoontech:
GMSBK040.94B 505.404 Byte
GS_10MB.94B (or .DMF) 10.582.640 Byte
GM_9MB.94B (or .DMF) 8.886.992 Byte
GS_8MB.94B 8.205.926 Byte

Terratec:
GSSBK320.TTS 4.676.200 Byte
GSSBK320.94B 3.865.508 Byte
GMBK9732.94B 3.524.019 Byte
DRUMKITS.TTS 1.840.454 Byte
GMBK9708.94B 1.050.037 Byte
GSSBK080.94B 1.023.230 Byte
94SBK080.94B 1.021.666 Byte
94SBK040.94B 519.516 Byte

[...]
Remember that you can load more than one SF.
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby fillosaurus » 2010-2-10 @ 20:03

I got my hands on a rare and good PCI soundcard; Is a Philips PSC703. Great sound in Win98SE, and can use .DLS banks in DOS.
For now does not work in DOS on my test system (socket 370, VIA 693 chipset). But so is my XWave Yamaha 754, which does not work AT ALL in the test system, but is flawless in main computer, both WinXP and Ubuntu; use it to play Final Fantasy 7 and sounds better than the onboard 7.1 HDA.
If PSC703 works on Intel chipsets in pure DOS, it will be a great all round card for DOS and Win9x games.
Voodoo box: Celeron 800 MHz, 512 Mb SDRAM, Voodoo 3 3000 AGP, 80 Gig Seagate, Yamaha OPL3 SAx 718+NEC XR 385, SoundBlaster Live!, NEC USB 2.0 PCI card.
WIP: external midi module based on NEC wavetable (Yamaha clone); VLB 486
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Re: Sound cards - from best to worst

Postby gerwin » 2010-2-10 @ 20:38

Interesting, unfortunate that it does not work on your test system.
I read the chipset of the PSC703 is the SAA7785 ThunderBird Avenger.
SAA7785 Spec Sheet wrote:SoundBlaster Proâ„¢ compatibility in both real mode DOS and DOS windows is achieved through hardware SoundBlaster and OPL 3 (FM) emulation registers. Legacy DMA over the PCI bus is supported on all major platforms utilizing PC/PCI, DDMA or our proprietary Legacy Accommodation Modeâ„¢ (LAMâ„¢). DOS music synthesis includes stereo MIDI playback and quadraphonic MIDI playback, as well as FM emulation.
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