Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Developer's Forum, for discussion of bugs, code, and other developmental aspects of DOSBox.

Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby jmk » 2008-5-14 @ 23:06

I have been working on Covox Sound Master emulation... I am still trying to get to grips with the specs and how DMA sound works and so on, but I can play AY and samples with a few glitches and lock ups, depending on the game.
The only game I've found that supports the AY8930 properly (duty cycles and separate envelopes) is Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? :happyhappy: Nothing seems to use white noise though. :sad: You'd think that people would've ported some of their Atari ST musical assets...

Firstly:
The Prince of Persia detection routine sets up a DMA 1 & 3 transfer and then reads port 08 (DMA status) to determine which one (if any) took place.

The routines reads the port and decides that if bit 7 is low then DMA 3 has occurred or if bit 5 is low then DMA 1 has occurred. Generally not what happens in the DMA emulation, where those bits are high or low depending on whether a callback routine has been attached. (For now I am rigging it).

Secondly:
If anyone has a Covox Sound Master+ and can reveal a bit of information on it (even just listing the chips on the board) then I would be grateful!

The CSM appears to use Base+0 to Base+4 for its AY, DAC and DMA (fine). The CSM2 seems to use Base+8 to Base+F for its DAC and DMA (fine, plus the usual Adlib ports for its OPL2 chip). The CSM+ is presumably similar to the CSM, but with an OPL2 chip added. The thing is, the CSM uses some of the AY registers to set up the DMA, so... does the CSM+ have the OPL2 and AY-3-8930?
jmk
Newbie
 
Posts: 34
Joined: 2008-4-13 @ 10:50
Location: Paisley, UK.

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby Great Hierophant » 2008-5-27 @ 03:31

I recall reading once that one of the Alone in the Dark (2 maybe) games supported the Covox Sound Master Plus. or the Media Vision Pro Audio Spectrum Plus. In either case, this is delving into the truly obscure if this is the best we can come up with. I encourage full support for the non-FM Sound Master. I do not recall any one else having emulated the AY-8930.
User avatar
Great Hierophant
l33t
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: 2003-4-27 @ 08:20

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby jmk » 2008-5-27 @ 13:17

Great Hierophant wrote:I recall reading once that one of the Alone in the Dark (2 maybe) games supported the Covox Sound Master Plus. or the Media Vision Pro Audio Spectrum Plus. In either case, this is delving into the truly obscure if this is the best we can come up with. I encourage full support for the non-FM Sound Master. I do not recall any one else having emulated the AY-8930.

It is astonishingly hard to find any Covox Sound Master information, anything at all will be appreciated. :happy:

Alone in the Dark (and other games) seem to have been a bit loose with their description of which CSM card they actually supported. The setup program says "Covox Sound Master+". It appears to do a CSM2 detection, when that fails it is quite happy to play a DAC at 022F using the timer interrupt, which is definitely CSM2/Voice Master compatible, but is it really CSM+ compatible?

To confuse things further, most of the AITD box shots on MobyGames actually show "Covox Sound Master 2+"! I think the Spanish one is the only one that actually says "Sound Master+".

My main reason for requesting CSM+ info was that I wanted to be able to demarcate the hardware between each card, especially since some detection routines wanted to use the newest model available (ignoring AY when it finds OPL and using CSM2/VM samples instead of the AY sample method). If the CSM+ is a full CSM with an added OPL2 chip then it would be impossible not to support it, as any attempt to have CSM and SB activated at the same time would create Adlib at ports 0388.

The AY8930 is (mostly) not that difficult an upgrade from an AY8910/YM2149, but the noise generator does seem a lot more complicated, hence why I was (and still am) looking for some software that supports it in AY8930 mode.

Terms:
    AY = Plays AY using 8910 features.
    AY8930 = Plays AY using 8930 features.
    AYDMA = Uses the DMA sample method using AY registers.
    DAC 0222 = Uses timer interrupt to write 8-bit samples to port 0222.
    DAC 022F = Uses timer interrupt to write 8-bit samples to port 022F.
    OPL2 = Uses Adlib ports (usually in preference over the AY).
    CSM2? = Probably CSM2 compatible only.
    Nothing = No port or BIOS activity seen.
    WN = Supports AY white noise (none so far!).

Here is my current list:
    Ultima 6 (AY)
    Sim City (AYDMA) (Freezes)
    Big Business (DAC 0222 or DAC 022F)
    Sim Earth (AY)
    Space 1899 (DAC 0222)
    Prince of Persia (OPL2, AY, AYDMA)
    Spirit of Excalibar (AY) (Crashes)
    Vengeance of Excalibar (AY)
    Conan - The Cimmerian (AY)
    Megatraveller 1 (DAC 0222)
    Megatraveller 2 (AY, AYDMA)
    The Punisher (OPL2, AYDMA) (Plays erratically and freezes sometimes).
    BattleTech: Revenge... (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    Millennium (AYDMA)
    Twilight: 2000 (AY, AYDMA) (Crashes)
    Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (OPL2, AY8930, AYDMA)
    Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Enhanced. (OPL2, AY, AYDMA).
    Galleons of Glory (OPL2, AY, AYDMA)
    Joe Montana Football (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    F-14 Tomcat (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    Alone in the Dark (OPL2, DAC 022F, CSM2?)
    Shadow of the Comet (OPL2, DAC 022F, CSM2?)
    Grandmaster Chess (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    Wizardry 6 (DAC 0222, DAC 022F)
    Wizardry 7 (OPL2, CSM2?)
    Pinball Dreams/2/Fantasy (CSM2?)
    Cobra Mission (OPL2, CSM2?)
    A-Train (Nothing)
    Countdown (Nothing)
jmk
Newbie
 
Posts: 34
Joined: 2008-4-13 @ 10:50
Location: Paisley, UK.

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby wd » 2008-5-27 @ 14:11

Maybe check out the games at
http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/shee ... Id,80/p,2/
if you didn't already, and maybe test the win3x drivers for those cards.
wd
DOSBox Author
 
Posts: 10818
Joined: 2003-12-03 @ 21:23

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby jmk » 2008-7-13 @ 19:16

wd wrote:Maybe check out the games at
http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/shee ... Id,80/p,2/
if you didn't already, and maybe test the win3x drivers for those cards.


I had a look at the Win 3x drivers and, strangely, they didn't support DMA for the older cards!

I've been on a busy work schedule for the past month, so I haven't been able to do any work on Covox stuff. Unfortunately, I'll be busy for another month as well... Maybe late August might give me some time.
jmk
Newbie
 
Posts: 34
Joined: 2008-4-13 @ 10:50
Location: Paisley, UK.

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby Great Hierophant » 2008-11-19 @ 19:19

Excellent work though, hearing AY sound at all is a real treat. It is especially encouraging (if only for emulation purposes) that no game seems to use the white noise capabilities of the AY8930, whether enhanced or not.

We believe that we know that the original Covox Sound Master used only an AY8930 for non-digitzed music generation, and the Covox Sound Master 2 used only an YM3812 for non-digitzed music generation. The question is whether a Covox Sound Master + used both.

The hypothetical CSM+ would have an AY8930 and a YM3812. The AY8930 would have been placed primarily for DMA purposes while the YM3812 would be present for Adlib compatibility and "better" music. However, a program could use both for music, but as you say virtually all would autodetect the OPL2 chip and use it as the better chip over the AY8930 PSG chip. The same result would be obtained if a user has a CSM and an Adlib card in his system.

This issue is similar to my trying to identify the capabilities of a Pro Audio Spectrum Plus card, as distinguished between the Pro Audio Spectrum and Pro Audio Spectrum 16. In that case, I learned from looking at the board is that it had the OPL3 and 8-bit capabilities of a '16 and the mixer and stereo chips of an 8-bit PAS.
User avatar
Great Hierophant
l33t
 
Posts: 2324
Joined: 2003-4-27 @ 08:20

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby thatroom » 2008-12-12 @ 03:32

If I'm not misinformed, either the MAME or MESS tree may possibly have emulation of that particular chip.
User avatar
thatroom
Newbie
 
Posts: 2
Joined: 2008-12-12 @ 03:30

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby mratzloff » 2009-8-21 @ 02:41

jmk wrote:Here is my current list:
    Ultima 6 (AY)
    Sim City (AYDMA) (Freezes)
    Big Business (DAC 0222 or DAC 022F)
    Sim Earth (AY)
    Space 1899 (DAC 0222)
    Prince of Persia (OPL2, AY, AYDMA)
    Spirit of Excalibar (AY) (Crashes)
    Vengeance of Excalibar (AY)
    Conan - The Cimmerian (AY)
    Megatraveller 1 (DAC 0222)
    Megatraveller 2 (AY, AYDMA)
    The Punisher (OPL2, AYDMA) (Plays erratically and freezes sometimes).
    BattleTech: Revenge... (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    Millennium (AYDMA)
    Twilight: 2000 (AY, AYDMA) (Crashes)
    Where in Time is Carmen Sandiego? (OPL2, AY8930, AYDMA)
    Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? Enhanced. (OPL2, AY, AYDMA).
    Galleons of Glory (OPL2, AY, AYDMA)
    Joe Montana Football (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    F-14 Tomcat (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    Alone in the Dark (OPL2, DAC 022F, CSM2?)
    Shadow of the Comet (OPL2, DAC 022F, CSM2?)
    Grandmaster Chess (OPL2, DAC 0222)
    Wizardry 6 (DAC 0222, DAC 022F)
    Wizardry 7 (OPL2, CSM2?)
    Pinball Dreams/2/Fantasy (CSM2?)
    Cobra Mission (OPL2, CSM2?)
    A-Train (Nothing)
    Countdown (Nothing)
FWIW, Transylvania III: Vanquish the Night also has support for Covox Sound Master, as well as the Covox Speech Thing.
User avatar
mratzloff
Newbie
 
Posts: 9
Joined: 2009-3-19 @ 16:55
Location: Seattle, WA

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby elianda » 2009-10-19 @ 17:00

Well I just searched google for Covox Sound Master Plus and found this thread.
And I got a Covox Sound Master Plus.

http://mail.lipsia.de/~enigma/neu/pics/ ... m_plus.jpg

Now as you can see there is only a OPL2. As far as I know, the 8 Bit DAC is located at 0x330.
I have tested it with Lemmings Covox Edition and Wolfenstein Covox. (there is a command line parameter).

Can't add much here, but the card is working. So if you think you need to test something according the DAC with the real card, send me a test program.
For the AY8930 all I found is the chip datasheet.
http://www.datasheet4u.com/download.php?id=542002
Retronn.de - Vintage Hardware Gallery, Drivers, Guides, HQ Videos.
Youtube Channel
FTP Server - Driver Archive and more
DVI2PCIe alignment and 2D image quality measurement tool
User avatar
elianda
l33t
 
Posts: 2169
Joined: 2006-4-21 @ 16:56
Location: Halle / Germany

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby jmk » 2009-12-11 @ 00:55

Oh! How did I miss this! :sweatdrop:

Wow, a real CSM+ card! Thanks for the picture. I wonder, did it have a utility/demo disk included?

1 OPL2, no AY and a DAC at 0x330... strange, certainly unexpected. Impossible to tell if it has any DMA playing from the picture alone.

Rigging up a test application is something I will get around to, as soon as I can. For now, could you try one of the Pinball Dreams / Pinball Fantasies games? Any one with SETSOUND.EXE has the option to select a DA Converter which you can enter a custom address into, so if you could try that and set the address to 0330 then we could find out quite quickly if the DAC really is there! (Make sure you don't have a SCSI drive though. :wink: ) Also, if you could try any of the games listed in my earlier post (in this thread) that uses AYDMA (Millennium is a good example), just to see if they've used any logic chips to implement the old DMA method without the AY. Many thanks.

I've tried Covox Lemmings in a hacked Dosbox, but I don't detect any access to port 0330... Just OPL2 at 0388.

Also, thanks to mratzloff for the Transylvania III tip, although I can't get a peep out of it. If you have that, then maybe you could try it too?
jmk
Newbie
 
Posts: 34
Joined: 2008-4-13 @ 10:50
Location: Paisley, UK.

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby h-a-l-9000 » 2009-12-11 @ 01:22

The back side of the card would reveal if it uses DMA. Looks too primitive for that though.
1+1=10
h-a-l-9000
DOSBox Author
 
Posts: 4512
Joined: 2005-2-23 @ 00:14

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby ih8registrations » 2009-12-11 @ 03:47

I submitted a correction to mobygames about this a long time ago, included a reference this thread, about splitting sound master from sm+/II and adding the games you had cataloged with support. It sat, and sat, and sat, till finally they deleted the entry with no reply about a decision. Only by checking the sound device list to show nothing has changed.
ih8registrations
Oldbie
 
Posts: 931
Joined: 2003-7-25 @ 17:20

Re: Covox Sound Master / DMA issues.

Postby jal » 2009-12-11 @ 09:00

Mail Trixter directly, he's usually quite responsive.

EDIT: You could also PM him, he's a member of this board.

JAL
User avatar
jal
Member
 
Posts: 494
Joined: 2004-1-02 @ 15:30
Location: Amersfoort, Netherlands


Return to DOSBox Development

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests