VOGONS


Bought these (retro) hardware today

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Reply 43460 of 45395, by brostenen

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Forget SB Live. The combination of Win98 and SB-Live, prevents you from running real mode Dos games. The best solution is still the correct system (speed wise) for the game you wish to run and then an ISA based intelligent MPU soundcard that can do Soundblaster and then an external MIDI solution. Just make sure the soundcard also have a real OPL chip on it. The poor mans solution would be a hanging bug free ISA soundcard and then a Dreamblaster module. Is is the most bang for buck's and most compatible solution. If you are the man with the cash, then go for the real external MIDI solutions. As for PCI vs. ISA situation, then you kind of need them non-masked IO and IRQ's. That is why that PC-PCI/SB-Link solutions are to find on some PCI sound cards, like YMF-7x4 cards and others a like. But that is for a very limited set of motherboards and PCI cards. Mostly on P2/P3 stuff. Yet they often have ISA slot as well, so I am a bit confused as to why, because ISA soundcard were plenty on the market back then. But hey. Great that the header is on the motherboards, because they give you an extra option.

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Those cakes make you sick....

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Reply 43461 of 45395, by HanJammer

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"hanging bug free ISA" - the hype is real, but the fact is back in the 90s nobody cared for "hanging note bug" and a few knew it exists. I personally don't care about it at all.

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Reply 43462 of 45395, by Kahenraz

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I think that the hanging note bug is overblown. It's only an issue if you are trying to play MIDI on the same Sound Blaster that is doing digital sound. It can be worked around by adding a second sound card, either ISA or PCI. The only reason this should ever be a limitation is if you're building a system with a micro ATX motherboard and don't have enough slots for two sound cards.

Reply 43466 of 45395, by badmojo

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The problem with the hanging note bug is that once you know it exists, you can't un-hear it and it's pretty dang annoying when a note gets stuck. No-one cared about it back in the day because most people didn't have a GM daughterboard - no-one I knew even considered getting one; I don't know that we even knew what they were for and we were pretty obsessed with our computers. If we were spending money on anything it would have been more RAM or an Overdrive CPU.

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Reply 43467 of 45395, by BitWrangler

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Back in the day it seemed like...

SBPro compatibility, check! WSS compatible, check! MPC2 compliant, check! .. MIDI? <doubleclick CANYON.MID> *parrrp parpparp..* [X] Check!

Unicorn herding operations are proceeding, but all the totes of hens teeth and barrels of rocking horse poop give them plenty of hiding spots.

Reply 43469 of 45395, by RaiderOfLostVoodoo

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badmojo wrote on 2022-03-24, 03:55:

No-one cared about it back in the day because most people didn't have a GM daughterboard - no-one I knew even considered getting one; I don't know that we even knew what they were for and we were pretty obsessed with our computers. If we were spending money on anything it would have been more RAM or an Overdrive CPU.

Hanging notes bug also effects external MIDI devices, as far as I know.
In fact I knew someone who had a external MIDI device. Ex boyfriend of my cousin. He was earning good money in his early 20s and spend a lot on the newest tech gadgets.
It was a black Roland box with display. Probably a Sound Canvas. Looked really nice with his black desktop case and black CRT on top of it. He had a Pentium 200, which was the flagship CPU at that time. And of course a Voodoo.
I was a bit confused why the games sounded so different compared to what I experienced before.

Reply 43470 of 45395, by Cuttoon

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RaiderOfLostVoodoo wrote on 2022-03-24, 09:09:

Hanging notes bug also effects external MIDI devices, as far as I know.

It does, it's pretty much the same connection.
But no one could afford or care about a waveblaster device and external ones were even more expensive and unknown.

I had a friend of the "way too much money, alwas the newest gear" type and we talked about a third who ostensibly had a "all SCSI" rig.

We were obsessing (at various times) about CPU speed, the Matrox Millennium, The Quantum fireball HDD, the Tyan Tomcat dual motherboards or thrustmaster joysticks.
But no one discussed MIDI sound.
Think another friend had a gravis ultrasound in his Amiga!

I like jumpers.

Reply 43471 of 45395, by Cuttoon

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To sprinkle in the occasional on topic remark:

Unsurprisingly, my "parts only bargain" DFI P2XBL rev. D2 motherboard arrived today.
PII-400, 44oBX chipset, sb-link, the works.
Along with a "Adlib Genesis 765" S3 PCI, minus a backplate. (who does something so cruel?!?)
Surprisingly, they POST together just fine, right away.

Boy, those Intel boxed coolers could be noisy.
Also, apparently, my crafty neighbour managed to construct a vacuum cleaner out of a discarded MiG-21. Good for him.

Edit: That motherboard has an Award bios that let's you set the FSB, between 66 and 150 MHz and with various PCI dividers. Not quite sure how common that was as early as 1999 but it's pretty cool.

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I like jumpers.

Reply 43472 of 45395, by appiah4

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GM devices, including the MT-32, were unknown to all but a very niche subset of musician/gamers who were seriously into the former profession. I knew of only one person who used General MIDI for gaming, and he was an Amiga guy. He used his synth keyboard for this purpose, not a separate GM synth though.

This is my anectodal experience. I'd be happy to know if any figures exist that could shed light into the penetration of MT-32 or Sound Canvas as a gaming peripheral. I doubt there is, though.

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Reply 43473 of 45395, by HanJammer

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-03-24, 10:27:

GM devices, including the MT-32, were unknown to all but a very niche subset of musician/gamers who were seriously into the former profession. I knew of only one person who used General MIDI for gaming, and he was an Amiga guy. He used his synth keyboard for this purpose, not a separate GM synth though.

This is my anectodal experience. I'd be happy to know if any figures exist that could shed light into the penetration of MT-32 or Sound Canvas as a gaming peripheral. I doubt there is, though.

MT-32 is not General Midi device. It predates the standard.

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Reply 43474 of 45395, by Cuttoon

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HanJammer wrote on 2022-03-24, 10:40:

MT-32 is not General Midi device. It predates the standard.

You're technically correct, the best kind of correct.

To give an example:
Although most gamers at the time had more affordable FM OPL based Adlib or Sound Blaster sound cards, Doom and Doom II was composed on the Roland SC-55 sound module. Support in the engine exists for OPL2-based and Gravis Ultrasound cards, in addition to generic General MIDI output. Native Sound Blaster AWE32 support was added in 1.4.

I'd assume most scores were developed on "real" wavetable gear but it was rather easy to translate that into FM synthesis. Mind you, apart from the technical effort of MIDI equipment, the sound fonts themselves were rather elite content back then.
Sierra actually marketed the MT-32 along with some games of the time but it cost about as much as a spare kidney.

Btw., chrisNova777 will know slightly more about all that:
http://www.oldschooldaw.com/forums/index.php?topic=2398.0
Apparently, it was noteworthy that an MT-32 cost less than 500 pound sterling back when the queen's currency still bought horses with coins.

To really dive into the matter, look up the interviews with George "The Fat Man" Sanger on the tube or read this PDF.

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I like jumpers.

Reply 43475 of 45395, by appiah4

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HanJammer wrote on 2022-03-24, 10:40:
appiah4 wrote on 2022-03-24, 10:27:

GM devices, including the MT-32, were unknown to all but a very niche subset of musician/gamers who were seriously into the former profession. I knew of only one person who used General MIDI for gaming, and he was an Amiga guy. He used his synth keyboard for this purpose, not a separate GM synth though.

This is my anectodal experience. I'd be happy to know if any figures exist that could shed light into the penetration of MT-32 or Sound Canvas as a gaming peripheral. I doubt there is, though.

MT-32 is not General Midi device. It predates the standard.

Right, let me rephrase that and say MIDI in general.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 43476 of 45395, by Tree Wyrm

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appiah4 wrote on 2022-03-24, 10:27:

This is my anectodal experience. I'd be happy to know if any figures exist that could shed light into the penetration of MT-32 or Sound Canvas as a gaming peripheral. I doubt there is, though.

While neither MT-32 or SoundCanvas my old PC (dad's) had SB16 CT1770 SCSI with WaveBlaster (first one, not WBII), and I seem to recall it was some sort of big multimedia bundle with CD-ROM too. I still have the card and MIDI daughterboard and they work fine. There was also Yamaha synth, can't remember the model, gave it away long time ago, it certainly was GM/XG and it was really good for Descent MIDIs.

Reply 43477 of 45395, by hyoenmadan

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Cuttoon wrote on 2022-03-24, 09:22:

Think another friend had a gravis ultrasound in his Amiga!

Well... Gravis Ultrasound is basically an "amped" version of the Amiga Paula DSP for the PC.
It could make sense if he wanted to use OctaMED or Digibooster full potential, and without CPU/software trickeryes to get more PCM channels from Paula.
Now, everyone bought Ultrasound's because their DSP capabilities. Everyone bought them because ScreamTracker.
Gravis Ultrasound Synth/MIDI capabilities were nothing remarkable, and very picky to driver and configuration settings.

Reply 43478 of 45395, by fosterwj03

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I bought the SB32 mostly for the novelty (I didn't buy one years ago even though I wanted one). I suspect it's a relatively good model, but I don't plan to use it exclusivity for all of my computer projects. I also have a SB16 (CT2230) paired with a Dreamblaster S2 that I like quite a bit. The CT2230 is also an excellent match for running Win NT 3.1, OS/2 2.x, and Windows MME (3.0a).

I wish I could have paid less for it, but that's the price in the current market if you want the convenience of getting the card quickly. I could have waited for a great deal by checking local ads, thrift stores, Craigslist, etc., but I didn't want to wait all that long.

I'll also say that I paid less for the SB32 than I paid for the SB16 and the Dreamblaster combined in 2019 (if you include overseas shipping) . I suspect I'll like having it almost as much.

Reply 43479 of 45395, by Shreddoc

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In the early 90's, if we were lucky enough to have a Sound Blaster, then "MT-32" and "Sound Canvas" were simply options we saw regularly in the Setup menus of games. We knew they were fancy, high-end elite options.

But they might as well have been on the moon, for their inaccessibility to most of us, back then. I've been a lifetime nerd who was fully into my local scene in the early 1990's. Yet I didn't ever physically, in-person, see a Sound Canvas until about 2019, when I imported one from Japan. And even now, I've been in the physical presence of exactly ONE (1) Gravis Ultrasound during my lifetime, and that was in 1995 - I don't expect to ever see another.

Those kinds of devices barely even made it, to a lot of the world's countries. And when they did, it was in tiny tiny quantities. It was basically impossible to even hear one, or know what one sounded like. There was no internet, no Youtube full of clips, no magical VHS you could rent out ("Demonstrations of the World's PC Gaming MIDI Modules, Part IV!"). Just a vague dream...