Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

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

Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby pullasuti » 2019-4-08 @ 21:15

Greetings. New user, old nerd asking for id help.

A midi card caught my eye, and had to pick it up. Would be interesting to know what this was called back in the day. Has the 4110/4111 and 9203 set of chips, among others. Couldn't get it to work with a SB 2.0, even though no resource conflict should be going on. Works fine on its own, thought

crystal.jpg
Crystal

Next up, help me fix my dead CT3900 :)
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-4-08 @ 21:29

I don't know what this car's name is but I know I envy it.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-4-08 @ 21:34

Sweet looking card

Is there anything on the back of the card? Maybe an FCC ID?

Could be a prototype card if there isn't.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby Tiido » 2019-4-08 @ 21:50

This card does only MIDI, there's no SB or WSS compatibility on it.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby pullasuti » 2019-4-08 @ 21:56

I know, that's why I called it a midi card :)

The back doesn't reveal much, but it does have a serial number, so it's not alone.

crystal_back.jpg
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby badmojo » 2019-4-09 @ 06:06

That's cool! I'm going to go ahead and call it "Crystal SCC1"

Have you tried it? I'm wondering if it's an MPU-401 or if you need special drivers.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-4-09 @ 06:07

Look at that S/N 153437 - where are those other 150,000 cards!!!
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby pullasuti » 2019-4-09 @ 06:46

badmojo wrote:That's cool! I'm going to go ahead and call it "Crystal SCC1"

Have you tried it? I'm wondering if it's an MPU-401 or if you need special drivers.


Yes, works without drivers. Thank goodness :)
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby root42 » 2019-4-09 @ 07:17

Extremely cool and obscure card. I suspect it collides with the MPU interface of the Sound Blaster? Can you disable that? The older ones at least have a disable MPU jumper.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby Scali » 2019-4-09 @ 07:27

I was somewhat confused by 'MIDI card'.
I suppose you mean it contains a wavetable synthesizer, and I assume it would be compatible with the (dumb) MPU-401 interface.
It seems like this uses components commonly found on WaveBlaster boards (Dream MIDI synthesizer and effects processor), such as the Terratec WaveSystem.
However, the fact that it has 3 jacks seems to imply that it also has audio input capability.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-4-09 @ 07:40

Scali wrote:I was somewhat confused by 'MIDI card'.
I suppose you mean it contains a wavetable synthesizer, and I assume it would be compatible with the (dumb) MPU-401 interface.
It seems like this uses components commonly found on WaveBlaster boards (Dream MIDI synthesizer and effects processor), such as the Terratec WaveSystem.
However, the fact that it has 3 jacks seems to imply that it also has audio input capability.


My understanding is that it has a hardware mixer so you can input audio from a regular soundcard, mix with the wavetable music and output as a mixed audio.

Very, very cool card!
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|CT2290/MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby pullasuti » 2019-4-09 @ 08:17

root42 wrote:Extremely cool and obscure card. I suspect it collides with the MPU interface of the Sound Blaster? Can you disable that? The older ones at least have a disable MPU jumper.


Ah, could be. Though I did try different addresses for the card itself, but could see what happens if I set the SB 2.0 to disable "game port".

appiah4 wrote:
Scali wrote:I was somewhat confused by 'MIDI card'.
I suppose you mean it contains a wavetable synthesizer, and I assume it would be compatible with the (dumb) MPU-401 interface.
It seems like this uses components commonly found on WaveBlaster boards (Dream MIDI synthesizer and effects processor), such as the Terratec WaveSystem.
However, the fact that it has 3 jacks seems to imply that it also has audio input capability.


My understanding is that it has a hardware mixer so you can input audio from a regular soundcard, mix with the wavetable music and output as a mixed audio.

Very, very cool card!


Yes, the card has line in, line out and spk out. Very loud by default, and somewhat noisy. Don't know if there has been software to control these.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby keropi » 2019-4-09 @ 08:26

interesting card, how does it sound?
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby Scali » 2019-4-09 @ 08:27

pullasuti wrote:Yes, the card has line in, line out and spk out. Very loud by default, and somewhat noisy. Don't know if there has been software to control these.


I would expect that there are SysEx commands to control this, if it can be controlled at all.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby appiah4 » 2019-4-09 @ 08:52

pullasuti wrote:Yes, the card has line in, line out and spk out. Very loud by default, and somewhat noisy. Don't know if there has been software to control these.


You definitely need some kind of software driver for that I would think.
A500:+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX-25|4M|TVGA9000B|ES688
i486:U5S-33|8M|GD5428|CT2290/MUNT-Pi
i586:P133|32M|S3T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|64M|V2/SLI|CT4500/32M
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby pullasuti » 2019-4-09 @ 09:53

keropi wrote:interesting card, how does it sound?


I suppose it's OK. Did some quick recordings, because this system was originally for FM/MT-32 era, and didn't have that many SC/GM games. Others seem fine, but the intro to UFO/XCOM is completely messed (could be because I just threw versions 1.2 and 1.4 over the original). Should record the same tracks with SB16 and a Dream waveblaster board when have more time.

Sounds of dossy music (Doom, Doom 2, Dune 2, Hand of Fate, Raptor, Sam & Max, UFO).
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby badmojo » 2019-4-09 @ 12:24

Sounds great to me, nice find.

Gah, now I want to play Dune2 again :blah:
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby CHiLL72 » 2019-4-12 @ 11:41

Could this be an Orchid card? I see similarities between this card and this one: http://members.home.nl/c.kersten/WaveBlaster%20MIDI%20daughterboards/Orchid%20Wave%20Booster%204FX%20(2014-03-17).png
A predecessor to the Orchid GameWave 32 perhaps?
Last edited by CHiLL72 on 2019-4-14 @ 12:52, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby tpowell.ca » 2019-4-12 @ 13:47

badmojo wrote:Sounds great to me, nice find.

Gah, now I want to play Dune2 again :blah:


I agree with both these statements.
It really does sound great and well balanced.
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Re: Curious Crystal 8-bit ISA midi card, help identifying?

Postby cyclone3d » 2019-4-12 @ 14:44

CHiLL72 wrote:Could this be an Orchid card? I see similarities between this card and this one: http://members.home.nl/c.kersten/WaveBlaster%20MIDI%20daughterboards/Orchid%20Wave%20Booster%204FX%20(2014-03-17).png
A predecessor to the Orchid GameWave 32 perhaps?


Fixed your link for you.

Very interesting. If it were Orchid, I would think that it would have it silk screened on the card though.
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