How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Emulation of old PCs, PC hardware, or PC peripherals.

Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby WBman » 2010-2-24 @ 23:36

Cloudschatze: I don't want to disprove you anything :). But I still think it's not correct. I'll try to explain as simple as possible. This is how the MT32 emulation works on WB1 (supposing that technically it will be similar on WB2):
WB has approx. 300 stored basic instrument samples and waveforms. They are stored in 4 MB ROM. They are not General MIDI nor MT-32 nor GS. But WB has not 4 MB ROM only, it has also some amount of RAM memory. When you switch to the MT-32 mode, GENMIDI.CBK (loaded into RAM at default WB startup) is unloaded from WB RAM, and the MT32.CBK is loaded. Note that MT32.CBK contains NO SAMPLES or waveforms, the file is very small and contains ONLY patch instructions. MT32.CBK only tells how to organize MT32 patches with samples from 4 MB ROM. It only rebuilds the samples usage, but it takes 0 MB ROM of Wave Blaster. It's just an software add-on.
But I want to stress that it applies to the WB1! Maybe it's different with WB2, I don't know. Only a WB2 user could reveal it.

As to so-called Proteus soundfonts. I still have them stored somewhere - Proteus 1, 2, and 3 soundfonts. They are just a joke in comparison to the real Proteus synths. Not only there are only some Proteus patches, but they sound like a toy. They're nowhere near how the real Proteus hw modules sound. You know the Virtual Sound Canvas SC-88 I suppose. In fact it sounds worse than the hardware SC-55. So-called Proteus fonts are the similar case. So the answer is No - WB1 can't be emulated by soundfonts at all. Because such relevant soundfonts simly don't exist. And don't forget - WB1 is no exactly Proteus 1 - it's Sound Engine hw module. And there's no existing Sound Engine soundfont even in cripple form.
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby Cloudschatze » 2010-2-25 @ 01:13

WBman wrote:Note that MT32.CBK contains NO SAMPLES or waveforms


Of course not - because they're all stored in ROM on the WB/WB2.

I'm not sure what you're trying to convince me of, nor does this negate anything I've written. I suppose I could have been more specific and said that the AWE32 ROM contains just waveforms, period, and not specifically called them "GM" waveforms (I'll edit this statement). The MT-32 and GS SoundFont files used by the AWE32 do contain additional waveforms - you can verify this yourself with a SoundFont editor - so I'm not exactly sure where you think I'm incorrect.

My whole point in even bringing up the WB2 and AWE32 ROMs was to make people aware that the size difference is mainly due to the additional number of waveforms present in the WB2 ROM. Likewise, the AWE32's ROM is smaller because a number of waveforms are stored in the SoundFont files. That's all - absolutely nothing to do with the Wave Blaster I.


I don't know about you, but I'm super done with this discussion. :dead: :lol:
Last edited by Cloudschatze on 2010-2-25 @ 01:31, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby WBman » 2010-2-25 @ 01:28

OK. I was refering to: " I believe elianda's question was whether or not the EMU8000 can emulate the Wave Blaster, if supplied with a "Wave Blaster" SoundFont - implying use of Proteus waveforms, the Wave Blaster's GM patch-configuration data, etc. I'm not aware of a Wave Blaster SoundFont, but since there are already "official" Proteus SoundFonts that achieve like results, I believe the answer is likely yes."

I'm only saying that the answer is likely no. That's all. I'm also done with the discussion. Still there's no absolute proof that WB2's second MB is really the MT32 additional samples stored in ROM, but who knows.. But maybe you're right and WB2 and AWE32 sound exactly same. As I told, maybe the truth is on your side. :blush:
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby Cloudschatze » 2010-2-25 @ 01:35

WBman wrote:Still there's no absolute proof that WB2's second MB is really the MT32 additional samples stored in ROM, but who knows..


Well, moreso samples used for the GS sound-effects than for the MT-32 sound-set, but in any event, I'll work on a few WB2/AWE32 comparisons. (Where's WB2man when you need him?) :lol:
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby WBman » 2010-2-25 @ 03:33

And you have the WB2? That's great! I would like to hear it in the action :happy: . You know... allready the name "Wave Blaster" gives me the chills :blush: So I still hope that something with that name can't sound bad, even with "2" at the end :happyhappy:. What about those GS additional WB2 instruments for example, don't they sound somehow miraculously great? :lol: I know, probably not.
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby rfnagel » 2010-5-04 @ 04:42

Folks,

I finally got off of my arse and took the leap... we be WaveBlaster jammin' now, mahhhn!

I dug a up enough parts to throw together an AMD500, the mobo has only a single ISA slot. Had to go through 3 different SB16s to find one that worked... unfortunately, my old full-length ISA AWE32 card ( CT2760 - http://www.cmoo.com/snor/weeds/Weeds_486DX4-100.htm ) wouldn't fit in the case properly LOL!

Anyhow, found an SB16 (CT1740) that was working, installed the WB, installed the SB16 drivers for W98SE... and now I'm hearing WB MIDI music that I haven't heard in literally years! :)

As an additional side benefit of the old PC:

I also have this old piece of hardware called a MasterPilot, as well as the programmable unit and cartridge for it ( http://www.quickshot.com/game_controlle ... value.html ). The MP works fine with my newest (most modern) PC, but the cartridge programmer has issues with any mobo with a bus speed greater than about 60-100Mhz or so.

The AMD500 mobo's bus speed can be changed in CMOS, and the MP cartridge programmer works like a champ now... a piece of hardware that hasn't been used or fired up for about 10 years or so now :)


(edit) P.S.

One thing that I tried for the MP... I had this brainstorm that maybe it would work in Windows 3.11 installed under DOSBox. I had read many messages on the Internet about folks who ran several CPU intensive apps simultaneously to slow things down enough for the MP cart. programmer to function properly (although, most of the messages were circa 2000, or so), and figured that DOSBox might be the answer... as I could set some of the various options of DOSBox when running W311 to slow things down.

Alas, that didn't work though, but I had a hunch that it probably wouldn't in the first place.
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby swaaye » 2010-5-04 @ 16:53

Hey I remember reading about that Master Pilot thing in Computer Gaming World. :D It sounds like it is a PS/2 device? Reworks keyboard interface?

Always good to hear a happy retro story.
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby rfnagel » 2010-5-04 @ 20:49

swaaye wrote:Hey I remember reading about that Master Pilot thing in Computer Gaming World. :D It sounds like it is a PS/2 device? Reworks keyboard interface?


The MasterPilot connects to a standard AT or PS2 keyboard connector, the MP programmer connects to it, and then your keyboard connects to the programmer. You can also use only the MP unit itself, or just the programmer, simply by removing them from the chain.

Anyhow, the MP is basically a funny looking keyboard <grin>. The unit comes with about a 100 built-in game templates that remap each of the MP buttons and such to the various game's common functions, and then has a printed card that slips into the unit to let ya know what button does what (refer to pics at the QS link above).

With the programmer, you can create your own templates by programming the EPROM cartridge that comes with the programmer. You can assign any keyboard key or key combination to any button or witch on the MP, and then print a card to slip into the unit showing what key does what.

Anyways, a pretty handy piece of hardware, especially for the more complex flight simulators; such as Airline Simulator 2; where one could setup the MP to control nothing but the FMS and flight computers.

I had bought mine back in 1997 (US$125), but it hadn't been powered up since 2003 or so... that is, until now :)
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby rfnagel » 2010-5-05 @ 07:20

Re: WaveBlaster 1 and (the lack of) reverb

Heh, had a brainstorm...

I recorded the music "HUMAN2GM.MID" from Warcraft 2 from my WaveBlaster to a WAV file on the old PC. Copied the WAV file over to my newer PC that has my SBLive installed in it.

Played the WAV file on the new PC, using the SBLive's Environmental Audio Effects (EAX) with a lot of reverb, and re-recorded the WAV file with the reverb.

WHAMMO! Nice reverb sound from my WaveBlaster :)

Hehe, gave me an idea:

If one had a PC with both an SBLive, as well as an SB16 with a WaveBlaster daughterboard installed, they could patch the audio output of the SB16 to the line input of the SBLive, and use all of the SBLive's EAX effects for the WaveBlaster <grin> :)

Anyhoo, an MP3 for ya -> http://www.cmoo.com/snor/weeds/Stuff/Human_2_GM.mp3 :)
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby rfnagel » 2010-7-27 @ 01:33

Sorry to dig up this old(er) thread, but I was discussing the game "Myst" in this thread -> viewtopic.php?t=25439 .

(re: the title of this thread "How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds")

Anyone have the original Myst soundtrack CD? All of the music for the game was composed using one of the older Proteus MIDI modules, which is what the Wave Blaster 1 is based upon. If you have the game CD, check the "The Making of Myst" QuickTime movie on the CD; fast forward to the "Music" part of the movie, and you'll catch a quick glance of Robyn Miller adjusting the LED readout on his Proteus :)

Take a WB1, add a bit of reverb (Robyn Miller used an effects module in conjunction with the Proteus... dunno the make or model though), and you have the sound of all of the original Myst's game music... *that* is how a Wave Blaster 1 really sounds :)
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Re: How Wave Blaster 1 really sounds

Postby rfnagel » 2010-7-27 @ 02:05

I found a MIDI elsewhere on the Internet of a clip of the main Myst theme (sequenced by a third-party). Doctored it up a bit, recorded it using my Wave Blaster 1, and added a bit of SBLive EAX reverb.

Compare the resulting MP3 below to the last segment of track 1 "Myst Theme" from the official Myst soundtrack CD :) (GOOGLE it :wink:)

MP3:

http://www.cmoo.com/snor/weeds/Stuff/Myst_Theme.mp3

MIDI for comparison on other hardware:

http://www.cmoo.com/snor/weeds/Stuff/Myst_Theme.mid
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