Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

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

Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-3-24 @ 17:41

Hardware:
Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro sound card. PCB model information: SC8600 Version 2.0. Also, a RAM SIMM is installed.

OS:
Windows 98.

Software installation:
A CD-ROM was included with the sound card. The Win95 driver + software installed successfully. However, the DOS software did not install successfully. The installation creates a folder called c:\dosmaxi, and puts dos software in to it. Also, the autoexec.bat gets modified. But when Windows 98 boots up, the dos software launched from the autoexec.bat file doesn't work. (It tries to initialise the card, and also set the volume.) The error seen on the screen is "can't find maxi 64". (Words to that effect.) However, if you run this dos software inside a win98 "dos box", it works OK. But if you run this dos software in "pure" dos, it doesn't work. (I can get music when I run Doom, but only in a "dos box" using Windows 98. If I boot in to "pure" DOS, I cannot hear any music.)

Does the SC8600 only support dos general midi music inside a win9x "dos box"? The SC8500 card works OK in pure DOS, for general midi dos music. There is a strange file on the CD-ROM called instdos.exe. When you run it, it creates a *massive* file on the HDD. It "unpacks" a file called bank4.94b. It's so big, my 2GB compact flash drive has no more room, and this dos installation always fails. The other dos set up program on the CD-ROM is the one described earlier - it puts software in the dosmaxi folder, but this software only works inside win98.

Any ideas please people? Any advice gratefully received.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-3-25 @ 08:42

Here's info about the sound card -

http://www.megatrade.ru/Guillemot/Engli ... ioPro.html

I removed the small capacity compact flash drive from the mobo, and replaced it with a real HDD with about 80GB capacity. I booted to Win98 DOS 7, and ran the dosinst.exe utility from the Maxi sound CD-ROM. However, the screen says -

Maxi Sound 64 PnP installation under DOS.

Copying the file:
BANK4M.94B

The keyboard lights work OK. I can hear the HDD making regular "write sounds", but the screen doesn't change. After 15 minutes, I press CTRL-ATL-DEL, and when I look at the dosmaxi folder on the C:\ drive, the BANK4M.94B file is 0 bytes.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-3-25 @ 08:58

The sound card box says -

COMPATIBLE WITH THESE STANDARDS:

(I have cut some, to save some space)

General Midi
General Standard
Roland MPU-401 mode UART
Windows Plug and Play
MS DOS version 5.0 and higher
Sound Blaster
Sound Blaster Pro
ESS Audio Drive
100% compatible with all games
Compatible with any PC system (lntel, AMD and Cyrix processors).

MINIMUM REQUIRED CONFIGURATION:

Microsoft Windows 3.1x, 95, 98 or NT.

That's interesting: why no MS-DOS as a minimum standard? Unfortunately, I can't read the manual. It's not because I can't read, it's not printed in English. However, I can't see much mention of the word "DOS". The folder called dos on the Maxi CD-ROM has a dosinst.exe utility (mentioned in my previous post), but I can't see this mentioned in the manual!
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-3-25 @ 12:01

Here's a pic. I'm not too sure what that thing conected to it is, but on the end of it, there's 6 gold plated "hi-fi" sockets.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby HunterZ » 2010-3-25 @ 15:01

The connected second board is probably the "digital daughterboard" mentioned on the link you posted:
Digital Daughterboard to set up a digital stereo S/PDIF 44,1 kHz Input/Output.
Stereo analog RCA input/output jacks with gold-plated connectors. 18 bits Burrbrown DAC.
You can transfer your musical creations in CD quality Direct to DAT (Digital Audio Tape).
Excellent measured Signal-to-Noise Ratio: >91 dB A (A weighted at -3 dB).


Interestingly, that site also says that Windows is "required" but that it's "compatible" with DOS. Not sure what that means.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-3-25 @ 16:46

HunterZ wrote:Interestingly, that site also says that Windows is "required" but that it's "compatible" with DOS. Not sure what that means.

I've just had a thought - you probably need windows 3 as a minimum, in order to get the software (apps, etc) on the CD-ROM to install. But I'm sure you can get the card to play general midi music in pure dos. It's odd the way the pure dos set up installer program seems to freeze during installation though.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby HunterZ » 2010-3-25 @ 16:55

Maybe it's got some fatal bugs that they didn't catch because they assumed everyone would use Win3.1/9x
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby elianda » 2010-3-26 @ 21:25

Well, I think you can take most of the information from the EWS64 / Guillemot Maxi Sound Home Studio 64 (without Pro) thread.
Overall on this card only the Codec is just exchanged to a ESS Audiodrive.
(the non-Pro has the CS4236, the EWS64S an AD-SoundPort and the EWS64XL a CS4236B)

I don't have this card, but my guesses would be:
-You need to initialize the ESS with some PnP+IC-init program and afterwards the SAM9407.
-You might start with Win9x because for the non-Pro there is only the possibility to load RAM Soundfonts in Windows 9x and I can't see a Soundfont-ROM on the card.
-An open questions is, if there is a tool that loads SF from pure DOS. As for guillemot my guess is that there is none. Without a SF ROM this renders the MIDI output quite SF-less in DOS. Practically it would look like MIDI plays but you hear nothing...
-if you get SF loading working probably in Win9x, you may use all of the 94B SFs.

I know that there are also Win 2K (that work probably in XP too) drivers for this card available.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-3-27 @ 06:57

elianda wrote:-You might start with Win9x because for the non-Pro there is only the possibility to load RAM Soundfonts in Windows 9x and I can't see a Soundfont-ROM on the card.
-An open questions is, if there is a tool that loads SF from pure DOS. As for guillemot my guess is that there is none. Without a SF ROM this renders the MIDI output quite SF-less in DOS. Practically it would look like MIDI plays but you hear nothing...

That's really interesting. Do you remember I posted a thread about the SC8500 card many months ago? Is the SC8500 card the "non-Pro" version? Are you saying that this card (the SC8500), and also my current card (the SC8600) - both do not support General Midi in "pure" DOS? Both cards can only load SFs inside Win9x? And both cards do not have SF-ROM? Thanks for any clarification. Also, I guess one fundamental difference between the Guillemot Maxi Sound 64 cards and the Terratec EWS card is that on the EWS, it is possible to "init" this PnP device with SFs at the "pure" DOS level.

I'm puzzled by Guillemot's assertion that their SC8600 card is "100% compatible with all games". Some DOS games don't like being run inside Win9x. If these particular games must be run in "pure" DOS, and you cannot "init" the Maxi card and load up a SF in "pure" DOS, then that assertion is a bit misleading.

Edit: I think the SC8500 has a ROM wavetable. The SC8600 (the Pro model, not the Lite model) does not have a ROM wavetable. It seems that both SC8500 and SC8600 cards: you cannot load SFs in pure DOS. (Just guessing at the moment.) Therefore, the SC8600 has no "pure" DOS GM support at all, either in RAM or in ROM.

But two mysteries remain.

1) Why is there a "dos" folder on the SC8600 Pro CD-ROM? - When you run the instdos.exe utility found inside this "dos" folder, it attempts to copy the bank4m.94b file to a folder called c:\dosmaxi. As mentioned earlier, this installation fails in a really strange way - the utility freezes and copies this bank file endlessly to the HDD, and the bank file being copied gets larger and larger, until there is no HDD space left!

2) Also, when you run another setup .exe file found on the CD-ROM which is labelled "real DOS", it modifies the autoexec.bat file with a call to maxinit.exe. And this autoexec call always fails when the PC boots up, saying "card not found". Weird.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby elianda » 2010-3-27 @ 12:02

Yes the SC8500 is the non Pr with the CS4236 Codec. It has the 4 MB Roland licenced SF in ROM.
The SC8600 is the Pro with the ESS Codec. From the pic I think it has RAM only?!? Maybe due to the law process between Dream and Roland at this time.

As for EWS64XL, it has no ROM aswell, but the initialization tool is able to load one SF from pure DOS. Though the EWS64XL loads its own Firmware to the SAM9407, you can't use this on a SC8500. The Maxisound cards seem to use the Dream default firmware (and default drivers).

Try the DOS installers to depack in DOSBox emulator. Maybe this works. You can fake some virtual autoexec.bat / config.sys to see what the changes are there.
For the init be sure you init the ESS first and then the SAM9407.
If some tool can load SF from pure DOS then, I would greatly be interested to test this on a SC8500 aswell.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-3-27 @ 12:24

Thanks for the extra info!

elianda wrote:... Maybe due to the law process between Dream and Roland at this time.

I've already thrown the box away (too much clutter around here!), but it said on it something like "Roland approved/licenced sound"

elianda wrote:Try the DOS installers to depack in DOSBox emulator. Maybe this works. You can fake some virtual autoexec.bat / config.sys to see what the changes are there.

I tried that! Here's what I tried:

Launched DOSBox on a fast Windows XP machine.
At the DOSBox prompt, I did:

cd d:\
cd dos
instdos.exe
Pressed "Y" to confirm that I wanted to install the software...

Then a message appeared, inside the "Maxi Sound 64 PnP installation under DOS" application window:

Access denied
INSTALL cannot gain write access to the disk you are trying to install to. Please quit now and check your disk permissions, or run INSTALL again and select a different disk to install to.

Do you know how I can adjust my DOSBox settings, in order to get further with this instdos.exe installation please?

elianda wrote:For the init be sure you init the ESS first and then the SAM9407.

Ah. I did not do this. I was really hoping you could provide me with an idiot's guide as to what lines I need to add to my auto+config files please. Please bear in mind that the CD-ROM DOS installation procedure fails miserably, and does not give me any .SYS device drivers, or any special lines of code inside the auto+config files, to get the ESS working. If you could please tell me:

Auto line(s) needed
Config line(s) needed
DOS Device driver(s) files needed

*THANKS!*
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2010-5-10 @ 11:46

I noticed that a 486 mobo + extras sold recently on German ebay. Here it is -

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 0387977019

One of the extras is, I think, a Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro card, PCB SC8600 2.0. It would be very interesting if someone on Vogons was the highest bidder, and more importantly, they could mess about with this soundcard and attempt to get it running under pure DOS! :happyhappy:
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby Frasco » 2011-9-26 @ 17:19

Oh my god, i saw a Guillemot Maxi Sound Game Theater 64 and it looks like exactly yours.
Ya know, It is a cut-down version for gamers.

Guillemot Game Theater 64 has 4MB RAM, misplaced WBH, no SPDIF daughterboard in the package (Where did you get that daughterboard?).

Please read these reviews about Game Theater 64:

1 --> "If you're looking for a less expensive alternative, Guillemot's Game Theater 64 strips out a few high-end features to arrive at a $99 price tag. You get the same 64-voice synth, four-speaker output, DirectSound and DirectSound3D acceleration, but you lose the S/PDIF connectors, and the onboard sample set is limited to 2MB."
2 --> "Excellent Quality MIDI

Featuring the all-new 64-voice Dream chipset with 2 MB RAM..."


What means "onboard sample set is limited to 2MB" ?

Like, if you are in trouble installing a better version of this card, i have no chance with this priced "GAME THEATER 64" loading a proper GM/GS soundfont. Right ?

Damn. Looks like there is no Guillemot ISA for sale...Damn
Anyway, think i could, like, mess with Game Theater 64 (if i pay up 4$ for it).

I can't help you. I like this forum for reading...You know, long long reading! Hope you alredy have solved the problem throught elianda hints.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby retro games 100 » 2011-9-27 @ 10:04

My o.p. above was written 1.5 years ago, and so my memory about it is a bit vague now...
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby Frasco » 2011-9-27 @ 19:01

Came on. Show me what you are made of.
Other front ?
No problem...I´ll think of something.
In fact, i just want a motherboard for the NEC XR385 and that Dream Chip is very impressive to me (im curious).

I´ll go to hell to solve this problem.
Do you still have dospnp.zip? Only one site posses it and i gotta pay. No, i dont wanna pay.

Or better yet, i'' find a Terratec. Thanks.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby elianda » 2012-12-20 @ 01:37

So time to dig up this unsolved problem...
I recently got a Maxi Sound 64 Dynamic 3D which is similar to the Maxi Sound 64 Home Studio Pro with ESS Audiodrive+Dream SAM9407.
It uses mostly the same drivers.
Windows9x installation is rather easy but the DOS programs are problematic.

The manual states that Real DOS installation is only for advanced gamers... well.
There is a dossetup on the CD that runs from within Win9x and one from plain DOS. The setup that is started from W9x copies the resources from the driver installation in Win9x to the ini file that the dos init tool uses.

The DOS folder are only a few files:
a 94b soundbank
the firmware file g8500v17.bin
the ini file in text format maxi64.ini
the init tool maxinit.exe
a textmode setup tool that just writes to maxi64.ini in the end
a surround and volume tool.

The interesting quirk was:
Running the maxinit tool from within a Win9x dos window detects the card.
Shutting down Win9x to DOS prompt and running maxinit does not detect the card anymore.
Running maxinit from plain DOS does not detect the card.

Solution:
maxinit requires that one port of the card is visible, it is CNFPort in the ini file. But with BIOS set to PnP OS=YES no ISA-PnP device gets configured by the BIOS and so there is no hardware at the port. maxinit does not detect the card.
If you set PnP OS to NO in the BIOS it will try to configure all ISA-PnP cards and the CNFPort gets visible and the maxinit tool works.

As general rule: the port to enter in maxi64.ini for CNFPort is usually the same as the port for the Maxi Sound 64 Dynamic 3D Audio Registers device in windows. It is f.e. 900 with my card. The setup.exe tool gives only choices in the range from 800 to 860.
If it is not 900 then the ctcu tool from the pnp soundblasters may help. Choose the ISA hardware for the cards Audio Registers there and change (or look up) the port in Base Profile 1 (0 is fixed). Don't forget to hard reset the system afterwards.
The BIOS will try the port from Base Profile 1 first.

Soundbank loading works only once. The maxinit tool loads only the soundbank if the card was previously uninitialized.
To 'unload' you have to reboot.
But at least you can load a soundbank.

In the ini file is MPUPort the port for the Dream and DBPort the Midi Connector.

The Maxinit tool looks partially like the 94dinit tool that is used for the crystal codec based cards. Maybe there are similar quirks and also soundbank loading from DOS can be done there.

Another note: If you have a PC that has no PnP BIOS it gets more difficult, since nothing configures the card to show the Port. But there is the isapnp tool that was ported from linux to dos. You can use this tool to configure any ISA-PnP card. In this case you would have to configure the Audio Registers to Port 900 and then call maxinit.

It would be fine to get some feedback if this solution works also somewhere else.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby elianda » 2012-12-22 @ 10:31

I tried a bit more and here is the solution that should work with any setup:
- get esscfg.exe from the DOS package for ESS soundcards, f.e. included in this package from my ftp ftp://78.46.141.148/driver/ESS/ESS_Audi ... _WIN31.rar
- put the package with maxinit into a directory, default is c:\dosmaxi
Installation CD: ftp://78.46.141.148/driver/Guillemot/Ma ... amic3D.iso

In autoexec.bat first call esscfg with forcing to configure the ess audiodrive part, then also maxinit will find the card.
Like this:
C:\DOSMAXI\ESS\ESSCFG.EXE /A:220 /I:5 /D:1 /E:3 /B:330 /J:E !
C:\DOSMAXI\maxinit.exe C:\DOSMAXI
C:\DOSMAXI\volume.exe v:8 w:8 s:8 d:8 c:8 m:0 l:0

with maxi64.ini setting like this:
[IO]
CNFPort=900
SBPort=220
FMPort=388
DBPort=300
GPort=201
MPUPort=330
SBIrq=5
MPUIrq=9
PDma=1
CDma=3
bank=C:\DOSMAXI\Gm_9mb
firmware=C:\DOSMAXI\g8500v17

There should be a soundbank in C:\DOSMAXI, in the example case GM_9MB.94B. And there should be the Dreams Firmware file g8500v17.bin in the DOSMAXI folder.
Set GPort=0 to disable the Gameport.

The cards routing seems to route the ESS Audiodrive output through the Dreams Line-In. So if the ESS stays silent, (i.e. Soundblaster Pro compatible in DOS) make sure the line-in of the Dream is unmuted and set to a reasonable volume level for playback.

How to load a soundbank on demand without rebooting:
Before maxinit reloads a soundbank the soundbank-memory of the Dream has to be reset. There seems to be no way with maxinit to do this, but there is the 94dinit tool from the crystal based maxisound cards.
Call it this way: 94dinit.exe F=g8500v17 S=ROM P=0x330
As the Dynamic3D has no ROM the internal memory mapping will be reset. Calling maxinit will reload firmware and soundbank now. You may want to setup multiple folders with different maxi64.ini files for different soundbanks.
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby easy_john » 2014-11-04 @ 01:12

elianda wrote:I tried a bit more and here is the solution that should work with any setup:

Thanks a lot!
This help me run maxisound on old 486 with non-pnp bios.
Pentium2 450/256mb/4gb/ati rage 128+voodoo2/SB awe32 8mb+db50xg/GUS PnP 8mb/TB Tropez 2mb
486 DX2-66/32mb/8gb/tseng4000 2mb/SB 16+WB/GUS 1mb/LAPC-I
286 12mhz/4mb/512mb/Vga 1mb/SB 2.0+Covox
PegasosII G4 / Amiga 4000 / Amiga1200 / Amiga 600
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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby boxpressed » 2015-12-10 @ 06:26

I just bought a Maxi Sound Game Theater 64. I've installed it only in 98SE, but I already like the MIDI a lot. It is superior to the MIDI from most other ISA cards I own and even in the same league as the 4MB Dream DB I have.

Next up is trying to use this card in real DOS. My Game Theater installation CD does not have a DOS folder, so I'm using elianda's ISO. Fingers crossed!

UPDATE: It works! I didn't even have to use the workaround elianda described to initialize the ESS1868. The stock installation routine from the CD worked perfectly by itself.

elianda's CD seems to have more recent files than the one that came with my Game Theater. For instance, there are no files or directories on my CD with a datestamp after 1997.

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Re: Guillemot Maxi Sound home studio 64 pro - no music in pure DOS

Postby elianda » 2015-12-10 @ 11:05

Very well, so you can also report which GM/GS soundfont you like the most ;).

This also reminds me to check if there is a way to get sound fonts loaded on a Maxi Sound 64 Home Studio from DOS.
My current idea is like this:
- plug an additional ESS AudioDrive to the MS64
- init MS64 incl. 94dinit
- init audiodrive with esscfg and call maxinit with midi port set in the ini to the MS64 instead, also SC8600 firmware.
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