BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

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

Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby LABS » 2019-7-12 @ 18:28

FreddyV wrote:Hi,

Is it still possible to have it ?

To test my player with it :)

Sure, wrote you a pm. I'll be happy to try your player as well.
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby LABS » 2019-7-12 @ 18:51

Nice!
It works, set the rate to max 45400Hz with right/left buttons on selected file, but it is still showing 16000Hz below the card's name in file browser. The output is rather noisy compared to IT or FT for example. How do I change a volume level in Options?
IMG_0760.JPG
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby MJay99 » 2019-7-12 @ 20:50

20190712_221154_resized.jpg
20190712_220234_resized.jpg


MM2XT also starts on the 4,77 MHz commodore XT clone (NEC V20 CPU) and detects the Blasterboard 2.0 nicely. I can go to about 11kHz with 4 channels before it starts skipping. About 18kHz are possible with two channels, anything above isn't working - not that I was expecting anything like that, too :happy:

One tiny GUI issue I saw (or a missing check on a max. 4 channel mod): it does load a 6 voices mod, but as you can see in the second image, frame contents are leaking into the border :)

@LABS: Already turned it off again, but I think the volume was controlled by +/- keys and the global SB kHz setting can be done in the main menu (pressing 'r') and then with left and right arrow keys.
I think the left/right arrows in the file listing do set the kHz for a single mod (since all others are showing with the global setting in the beginning).
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby FreddyV » 2019-7-12 @ 20:58

IT and Fast Tracker surely does the mixing in 16 bit, It makes a big difference.

To improve the sound quality, increase the volume with + / - Keys when you are on a module or increase the Global volume directly.
Volume in the Option menu is changed using a Mouse, or using the /V:xxx command line, with xxx from 1 to 100

We even may find a way to have the BlasterBoard applying the volume and do the mixing.
The PC can Apply the Pitch/Frequency and place all the channels samples in a buffer. Then use registry for each channel volume and the Microcontroller calculate the output. I Don't know how many channel could be mixed by your board :-)
Your DAC is doing more than 8 bit ?
The mixing speed may not be improved that much, but the sound quality, surely.

Added: You can also check if you are using the AutoInit DMA Mode, In the Output configuration, 'CD' should be selected.
Press Space to select/Unselect
Last edited by FreddyV on 2019-7-14 @ 21:54, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby FreddyV » 2019-7-12 @ 21:08

I wrote my previous answer at the same time as you.

Yes, we can configure the frequency individually for each module. This way, we can put it to "the max" for each module.
Press tab to cycle through Module name, volume and frequency. Press delete to enable/Disable the default volume or frequency.

I know about the leaking values, Too lazy to correct :) the code was written originally for a 28 lines VGA mode.

I Believe that this card will me mostly used on XT / 286 machines. For other machines, we will wait for the SB Pro clone.
Then, with Mod Master, It can be used to the max. On 386 or more, they are better players of course.

Another Idea: Implement a "Fast" DAC I/O Mode, as you know that for a true SB, we need to wait that it is ready before sending a sample.

In this way, we can better use it in a Tandy 1000 with no DMA, or PC Junior.

If you want to do more test, you can come in the Mod Master thread, to no more polute this one :)
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby LABS » 2019-7-13 @ 09:23

FreddyV wrote:We even may find a way to have the BlasterBoard applying the volume and do the mixing.
The PC can Apply the Pitch/Frequency and place all the channels samples in a buffer. Then use registry for each channel volume and the Microcontroller calculate the output. I Don't know how many channel could be mixed by your board :-)
Your DAC is doing more than 8 bit ?

The DAC is 8-bit at the moment.
Atmega is capable of doing some mixing, since it has 1-cycle multipliers (including fractional) and a 16-bit kinda adder onboard. Its RAM is limited to 2K, but look-up tables could be located in program memory.

EDIT:
Just googled for 'atmega328p mod player" and there are some projects, one is even capable of playing 28 channels
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby root42 » 2019-7-14 @ 05:53

Ok, done my assembly video. I will do another video where I compare the features of all the cards I've collected so far :)

https://youtu.be/CTttFyxQRvo
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby LABS » 2019-7-14 @ 09:13

Very nice, thank you, Arne! :happy:

It's a shame that the box was crushed..
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby root42 » 2019-7-14 @ 14:28

LABS wrote:Very nice, thank you, Arne! :happy:

It's a shame that the box was crushed..


Not your fault and everything survived ok. But always assume the worst with shipping companies! :)
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby root42 » 2019-7-14 @ 15:40

Hmm... did anyone try to setup the Blasterboard for Windows 3.1 FM MIDI?

I set it up as a SoundBlaster 1.5 using the drivers that come with Windows, but I don't get any FM MIDI...
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby root42 » 2019-7-14 @ 16:41

Got it. SoundBlaster 1.5 driver and Midi Mapper needs to point to the Adlib device on the last four channels. It was still pointing to the Jazz OPL3. :)

Bildschirmfoto 2019-07-14 um 18.35.51.png


Bildschirmfoto 2019-07-14 um 18.36.12.png
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby appiah4 » 2019-7-14 @ 22:22

root42 wrote:Ok, done my assembly video. I will do another video where I compare the features of all the cards I've collected so far :)

https://youtu.be/CTttFyxQRvo


Just watched it, very nice :)

And wow, I got mentioned in the foreword? :blush: I will definitely have to grab one of the next bunch now. :)
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|Rage|V2|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby MJay99 » 2019-7-14 @ 22:36

root42 wrote:Ok, done my assembly video. I will do another video where I compare the features of all the cards I've collected so far :)


Very nice! And thanks for reminding me about RAD - just realized there even is an updated version from 2018 (rewritten and extended, including OPL3 and Win compatibilty).

I'm also really looking forward to this sequel!
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby appiah4 » 2019-7-14 @ 22:45

RAD is awesome, I play Alloyran.rad everytime I am on a computer with some kind of FM Synthesis sound card on it :cool:
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|Rage|V2|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby LABS » 2019-7-15 @ 18:39

appiah4 wrote:I will definitely have to grab one of the next bunch now. :)

You have quite a list of machines to try BB on.
I added you to the waiting list.
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby Salient » 2019-7-15 @ 20:42

Last sunday I started (and finished) working on my Blasterboard. I'm happy to say the thing worked at first try after soldering everything together. :)

Image

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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby appiah4 » 2019-7-15 @ 21:06

LABS wrote:
appiah4 wrote:I will definitely have to grab one of the next bunch now. :)

You have quite a list of machines to try BB on.
I added you to the waiting list.


Thank you :happy:
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|Rage|V2|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby LABS » 2019-7-15 @ 22:49

Neat work, Salient, and impressive consoles collection!
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby canthearu » 2019-7-19 @ 22:11

Yay, my blasterboard has arrived.

Have to try and get it assembled today :)

Crap .... 2/3rds through (installed Q2) and run out of solder. These boards consume solder like nobody's business. Will have to wait until tomorrow to complete!
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Re: BLASTERBOARD : A new SB 2.0-compatible ISA sound card

Postby canthearu » 2019-7-21 @ 07:03

Yay, the blasterboard 2.0 roars into life. Worked fIrst time too. Well maybe 2nd time, I put it in, powered the computer and then realized I forgot to plug the ATMega chip and it's DAC in, I quickly powered it back off and put the chips back in.

But yes, very loud and clear output, have prince of persia running in the background on it now!
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