VOGONS


First post, by wildweasel

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I've got a PC CD-ROM of Pinball Illusions, and I've nearly gotten it working in DOSBox, with sound and tweaked VGA video mode. The one problem left to tackle is that it's trying to play both the module music and the CD-ROM music at the same time. There doesn't appear to be an option to set in the game for this (not even by starting the game with "illusion so" to bring up the sound and game options), and the game kind of sounds stupid when it's trying to play the MOD and Redbook audio together.

I've tried using both the original CD-ROM and an ISO image ripped using ImgBurn. The commands I've used for both are as follows:

# for real CD-ROM:
mount c d:\games\doswin\
mount d e:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0

# for ISO:
mount c d:\games\doswin\
imgmount d c:\games\isos\pinball\illusion\illusion.cue -t iso

Any suggestions? Is there a patched version of DOSBox that fixes this, or is it an issue with the game? I don't have a real DOS machine to verify.

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Reply 1 of 34, by wildweasel

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I'm bumping this thread because I think I know the cause of the problem, but not the solution. Pinball Illusions evidently leaves the CD track running in the background when the game starts, but sets the CD playback volume to zero so the MOD music can start playing instead. DOSBox evidently doesn't do this, so the CD audio continues playing as the MOD music begins, creating a terrible cacophony.

I don't have a machine left in the house that can run this game properly. Is there some option I can set to get the CD playback volume to behave properly?

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Reply 3 of 34, by fluxit

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I realize that(even if it works) this wont cause the game to behave as it did on real hardware, but will the game run if you do it the wrong way and mount the bin rather than the cue?

Reply 5 of 34, by ripsaw8080

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Changing the CD volume through the SB mixer ports is not fully implemented in DOSBox. It would actually be rather easy to do; however it would have the same limitation as manually changing the volume with the MIXER command in that it would only work for disc images. Perhaps the inconsistent support across all mount types is the reason it isn't implemented.

Reply 6 of 34, by fluxit

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HunterZ wrote:

If you mount the bin then DOSBox won't know about the audio tracks.

Exactly. I was thinking of this as a potential work-around for the "two musics playing at the same time" issue. Obviously, it will eliminate the ability to play the CDA when it should be playing.

Reply 7 of 34, by HunterZ

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Would be nice to get CD audio volume control supported when playing from an image and then put a note in the readme saying that's the only way to get software-controllable CD audio volume.

Reply 8 of 34, by robertmo

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you can try adjusting cd volume in your Windows (unless you have win7/vista)

with
# for real CD-ROM:
mount c d:\games\doswin\
mount d e:\ -t cdrom -usecd 0
or with image mounted with daemont tools light or some simmilar program

Oh and i agree with HunterZ

Reply 9 of 34, by robertmo

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HunterZ wrote:

Would be nice to get CD audio volume control supported when playing from an image and then put a note in the readme saying that's the only way to get software-controllable CD audio volume.

btw - that would also fix LBA's "line in" mixer volume control missing which i guess would be harder to implement as it would also require translating line in mixer settings to midi volume mixer settings.

And as a result of adding cd mixer volume, line in/midi could be just adjusted by adjusting other mixer settings

Reply 11 of 34, by ripsaw8080

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I think it's unlikely that an SB would process MIDI messages in real time; it would add a lot of complexity to a hardware device. I would guess that MIDI volume refers to the audio coming in from the MIDI header (i.e. a daughterboard).

Reply 12 of 34, by robertmo

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don't forget that sb not only emulates mpu-401 but also has its own midi interface (used for example in "big red adventure" and "flashback", and also emulated in dosbox). Maybe that interface is less complex?

Reply 13 of 34, by ripsaw8080

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AFAIK, it's not an intelligent mode emulation... and UART mode pretty much just passes stuff through. I think the SB's MIDI interface is DSP command 0x38, which again just passes the raw data through the MIDI port (which was physically part of the game port).

Reply 14 of 34, by ripsaw8080

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Here is a patch against current source that implements changing CD audio volume through the SB mixer ports. There's nothing complicated, it just follows the example of the other mixer outputs. As mentioned before, it only has an effect with disc images mounted with IMGMOUNT.

I tested the patch with Creative's SB16 mixer TSR, where it appears to be working:

cdmixer.png

I do not have a CD version of Pinball Illusions to test with. In case anyone is interested in seeing if the feature helps a particular game or not, I made a build of current source with the patch and uploaded it here. Please report your results.

Attachments

  • Filename
    cd_mixer.diff
    File size
    1.17 KiB
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    203 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 16 of 34, by ripsaw8080

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If I'm looking at the same patch you're referring to, it relates to IOCTL output function 0x03 and sets up a config setting. The changes I tried have no config setting, and just... uh... "activate" the latent capability of the mixer ports. But if I'm reading the notes on the SF patch correctly, Pinball Illusions is known to use the IOCTL function, so the mixer ports won't help there.

I noticed a strange thing with Creative's SB16MIX program. The volume changes it makes do not seem to be linear. And when I set the volume with that app to 16 of 31, DOSBox's mixer shows 11 of 100. It does this for FM and DAC as well, so it's not just the CD changes (which really just duplicates the others). There seems to be some linearity or increment difference in the levels.

Reply 18 of 34, by ripsaw8080

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The channel mapping functions do more than just enable or disable the channels, they can reverse the channels or have one channel play on both output channels. There was one game reported, in the Spanish language, that had separate audio recorded on the CD audio channels. If you tried to implement the channelization through the mixer, you would hear the audio on the left or the right channel, but not duplicated to both.

I think the IOCTL functions, both volume and channel mapping, should alter the extracted samples before sending them to the mixer. Hooking the IOCTL functions up to the mixer volume controls seems a bit of a hack.

Reply 19 of 34, by Qbix

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ripsaw8080 wrote:
Here is a patch against current source that implements changing CD audio volume through the SB mixer ports. There's nothing comp […]
Show full quote

Here is a patch against current source that implements changing CD audio volume through the SB mixer ports. There's nothing complicated, it just follows the example of the other mixer outputs. As mentioned before, it only has an effect with disc images mounted with IMGMOUNT.

I tested the patch with Creative's SB16 mixer TSR, where it appears to be working:

cdmixer.png

I do not have a CD version of Pinball Illusions to test with. In case anyone is interested in seeing if the feature helps a particular game or not, I made a build of current source with the patch and uploaded it here. Please report your results.

patch looks simple enough to be included in 0.74

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