The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby Great Hierophant » 2012-12-09 @ 17:37

I hope someone will make recordings of a Yamaha YMF-724 or above on a card with an S/PDIF connector. I would do it myself if I still had a card like that or a system with PCI slots, but I have neither. Such recordings would be as "pure" as you could get without having to hack up a chip, assuming the sampling rate differences (44100Hz vs. 49716Hz) do not affect the resulting sound.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby MaxWar » 2012-12-09 @ 18:21

Merri wrote:I was planning on doing some recordings on Yamaha Audician 32 plus, but I'm hitting a wall of not getting music on Monkey Island or Descent. Monkey Island is just some noise that never quite gets anywhere. Kinda like noise generated by some 8-bit computers when something is on fire.

Some other games have worked fine though and now that I also remembered to install Transport Tycoon Deluxe on my DOS computer I was amazed by how good it actually sounded. Yamaha's card has a genuine OPL3 of course :)

I also have Epox EP-8KTA3PRO motherboard with VT82C686B sound chip and IBM ThinkPad 390X that has ESS Solo-1 both of which I could consider recording. Especially if people are interested.


Don't let games not working stop you, this project does not require to have a minimum amount of recorded games, just that the recordings are done properly for comparative purpose.
And anyway that's interesting! I had alot of problems running Monkey island on many OPL2 cards that are not genuine sound blasters, but so far no problems at all on opl3 cards. You could even add a small recording of the noise it makes :D

If descent does not work sometimes trying with different address settings can work but dont fret too much, some games just do not seem to work
with some cards. Details Can be included in the review of the card.

Great Hierophant wrote:I hope someone will make recordings of a Yamaha YMF-724 or above on a card with an S/PDIF connector. I would do it myself if I still had a card like that or a system with PCI slots, but I have neither. Such recordings would be as "pure" as you could get without having to hack up a chip, assuming the sampling rate differences (44100Hz vs. 49716Hz) do not affect the resulting sound.


I'm pretty sure i have one of these cards somewhere. If i get a card with digital out ill be sure to try it.
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The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby sliderider » 2012-12-09 @ 19:27

Well somebody got Monkey Island working with an AWE32 because it's near the end of this video

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a324ykKV-7Y
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby Merri » 2012-12-09 @ 20:36

I've done a few recordings now with some more to go. I found some oddities: I made no configuration changes, only changed the audio levels to a lower setting and now Descent music works! However Monkey Island lost everything and is now a fully silent game. I tried some parameters for both GameBlaster and Adlib, but that only gave me a crash bad enough to require a reboot.

I guess I'll eventually post the results to my YouTube account and then start wondering about the FLAC files.

Edit!
Descent music only worked once in the setup, now it again refuses to play.

Edit #2!
Okay, going back to Sound Blaster settings in digitized now worked and music started working. Apparently there are issues if you put volume to maximum as Death Rally that previously glitched instantly with music now plays far further... but now instead of just music stopping the game halts before getting to main menu.

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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby MaxWar » 2012-12-09 @ 22:01

Im using the descent shareware version and will usually let it auto-detect sound device but sometimes it does not work. The main quirk i have with descent is that after i ran the game with sounds , if i try to run another game without rebooting first, it will usually crash. For this reason descent is usually the last game i record.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby Stull » 2013-2-01 @ 21:05

Are people still interested in this? I have a PCI YMF724E-V and should be getting an ISA YMF719-E next week.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby MaxWar » 2013-2-02 @ 20:21

Sure, if you want to make recordings it would be great. Ive been a bit on the inactive side of the retro computing for the past month. But im not giving this project up.

So far the CT2290 is the best overall card I tested.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby MaliceX » 2013-7-12 @ 14:03

I have two PCI cards with YMF-724F-V OPL chips, accessible via XP with the appropriate drivers and applications. Also got a ForteMedia FM-801. I did some real-time video recordings a while back just playing random stuff with these cards. I still have the YMF-724F-V card inserted in my box (only got 2 PCI slots :( ) so if anyone wants any recordings of songs hit back. :)
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby MaxWar » 2013-7-16 @ 22:17

^ If you feel like making some recordings I will upload them to the page, Just make sure to follow the standard recording procedure :)

Sorry I haven't posted new cards here in a while, Im just being swallowed whole by the amount of geeky projects I have on my "want to do list" :p

But I promise this is not forgotten, I still have many interesting cards I want to add, including Original Adlib and others.

So far I consider the best sounding cards from my tests are .
-original Ati Stereo f/x
-the "Rock 16" card
-the Sound blaster CT2290.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby squareguy » 2014-9-19 @ 02:25

I know... I'm digging up an old thread but...

MaxWar, or anyone that is truly interested, would you like to add the YMF718-S based Audician 32 Plus card to the list? I would be happy to send a card if someone will do the testing.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby MaxWar » 2014-9-19 @ 03:01

Hey there. I am still interested in this ( in theory ) but in practice I am interested in too many things and some get forgotten :s
But hey if you want to record it or have someone do it I will add it to the page.
Please just follow the guidelines for comparative recording. I am pretty strict about that.

I would not volunteer to record your card simply because I already have a big bunch of cards I would like to record but damn I have not enough time to do all the stuff.
Recently my game item collecting has turned into a second job. Yeah right... Hunting for and refurbishing items to resell in order to fund the buying of ... yet more items.
Sounds pretty crazy and the worse part is that I somehow enjoy it.
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The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby ibm5155 » 2014-12-17 @ 17:50

If you guys want, here's the maxi sound game theater 64 recording (photo included)
https://onedrive.live.com/?cid=63b98db5 ... p8-wklkRWI
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby autoexecdotbat » 2016-1-01 @ 04:30

I had no idea ATI made a sound card! What's next, someone finding out Nvidia made one that bombed faster than IBM's music feature?
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-1-01 @ 04:51

autoexecdotbat wrote:I had no idea ATI made a sound card! What's next, someone finding out Nvidia made one that bombed faster than IBM's music feature?

Yeah about that...
00054715-photo-nvidia-nforce-2-soundstorm.jpg

Soundstorm PCI
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby HighTreason » 2016-1-01 @ 04:59

I had an nForce 2 board with onboard SoundStorm... It never worked right that board.

So far as I remember, the SoundStrom boasted a lot but did not deliver, barely being anything more than the run-of-the-mill ALC650 from that era but at a higher price tag. It did have wavetable synthesis - and I use that term very lightly - but with DLS files which, of course, nobody ever used. I have only ONE replacement DLS file and its samples are not complete.

Wasn't this sound device the one used in the original "teh hueg" XBOX? Gives me more reasons to think I was right not to buy one, PS2 all the way, Gamecube is for losers.

Edit; Love how the "Hueg like XBox" meme is credited to 4Chan... In 2001. I'm not even going to explain why that statement is wrong on so many levels.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby ZanQuance » 2016-1-01 @ 10:03

The ALC650 was just the CODEC used for the output, however the Soundstorm was a full on DSP that offered 64 Hardware 3D voices, 256 2D Directsound ones, was driven by the Sensaura API and was the only non-creative card to accelerate OpenAL.
It was much more than just a Realtek CODEC, however the picture I found there wasn't the PCI dev board I had seen before, which did have the Nforce MCP DSP part on it.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby firage » 2016-1-01 @ 16:04

Perhaps the coolest part about SoundStorm was its digital 5.1 output via real-time Dolby encoding. You could bypass the crappy analog stages and go straight to a home theater receiver. Nothing else did that at the time.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby autoexecdotbat » 2016-1-02 @ 05:54

what about doing midis on those cards, so we have a general idea of what the default patch sets sounded like? I remember ESFM had the best midi patch set and cs4281 the worst.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby HighTreason » 2016-1-02 @ 06:40

Which cards? The Soundstorm? The motherboard is long dead (having been one of the worst I ever owned anyway) but you were missing nothing. By default it uses the same GM.DLS that the Microsoft Synth uses (Which further suggests this was in the XBox) so it sounds exactly the same except you can enable a cheap reverb effect which resembles the one in Windows Sound Recorder but in real-time. The effect was global so it affected all channels playing MIDI. I seem to think there was a Chorus effect which served to distort the audio a lot as well. In short, it was pretty much the same as the Windows synth; Like a Sound Canvas, but worse.

No OPL3 was present on the card and the nForce 2 had compatibility problems with cards that had this feature.
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Re: The Grand OPL3 Comparison Run!

Postby autoexecdotbat » 2016-1-03 @ 05:42

really need some adlib gold samples.
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