VOGONS


First post, by Old Thrashbarg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I've been sorta eyeing it lately, and I've seen mention of it on here a couple times... What's the general consensus on it?

It looks to be the cheapest GM option, but, considering that $38 is about $35 more than I have invested in the entire rest of my retro machine, I want to be sure it's a decent option as well. I was thinking of using it with my CT2920 SB16 in the short term (until I turn up a better card), and eventually aumenting the setup with some sort of MT-compatible card/box.

So... what say you?

Reply 1 of 44, by GL1zdA

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

I have it and I use it with a Diamond Monster MX300. It sounds good, but probably the only game that supports it natively is Final Fantasy VII (and VIII, but this one is a bit weird). Of course most games will sound good on it, but some people prefer to listen to the music on equipment on which it was created on, an this is Roland most of the time.

getquake.gif | InfoWorld/PC Magazine Indices

Reply 2 of 44, by keropi

User metadata
Rank l33t++
Rank
l33t++

games that support General Midi will sound AWESOME on the DB60XG. It is a licensed clone made by NEC. I have one too, can't tell the difference from a DB50XG.
Final Fantasy VII supports the extra Yamaha XG commands in midi, so it sounds even better. But for GM this is an EXCELLENT card, get it!

🎵 🎧 PCMIDI MPU , Orpheus , Action Rewind , Megacard and MK8330 soundcard website

Reply 3 of 44, by Old Thrashbarg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

some people prefer to listen to the music on equipment on which it was created on

True enough, but there's the issue of being able to afford the equipment it was created on. (Or willing to afford, or whatever... most of that stuff goes way out of my price range.)

Hm, I think I'll hafta snag one, then. The SB16+DB60XG should be a lot less troublesome than this godforsaken AWE64 card I'm currently using, too.

Reply 4 of 44, by retro games 100

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Old Thrashbarg wrote:

The SB16+DB60XG should be a lot less troublesome than this godforsaken AWE64 card I'm currently using, too.

Are you confident your CT2920 will be OK with the infamous "hanging/stuck note" daughterboard bug? When you run Creative's Diagnose.exe utility, what DSP version does it say your card is using?

Reply 5 of 44, by Old Thrashbarg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Nope, I'm not confident. I don't have the SB16 installed at the moment, so I dunno what DSP it uses, but there's a good chance it does use one of the problematic versions. But, how bad is the stuck note bug, anyway? Would it be tolerable on a temporary basis, until I find a different sound card?

Because, so far, I can't get any MIDI at all through my AWE64 in DOS, and I'm really tired of screwing with it.

Reply 6 of 44, by retro games 100

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Old Thrashbarg wrote:

Nope, I'm not confident. I don't have the SB16 installed at the moment, so I dunno what DSP it uses, but there's a good chance it does use one of the problematic versions. But, how bad is the stuck note bug, anyway? Would it be tolerable on a temporary basis, until I find a different sound card?

Because, so far, I can't get any MIDI at all through my AWE64 in DOS, and I'm really tired of screwing with it.

The problem is quite bad, unfortunately. Say if you play Doom, you usually hear a hanging note after about 10 seconds of play. After a minute or so, you'll probably want to turn it off. (That's just speaking from personal experience.)

How about an AWE32 - they seem to be more resilient to this hanging note problem. Some AWE32s are non PnP, while the remainder (80% ?) are PnP.

Reply 7 of 44, by elfuego

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie
Old Thrashbarg wrote:

Nope, I'm not confident. I don't have the SB16 installed at the moment, so I dunno what DSP it uses, but there's a good chance it does use one of the problematic versions. But, how bad is the stuck note bug, anyway? Would it be tolerable on a temporary basis, until I find a different sound card?

That deppends on how much of a audiofreak you are. If you are not so picky, it will not be a problem at all. There are games where hanging notes really sound bad, but there are some that dont have this bug at all. Cheapest solution is to get yet another SB16 card for 1$ of ebay and you are free of hanging notes 😀

Reply 8 of 44, by Farfolomew

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Hey Old Thrashbarg, welcome to the club! I was in about the exact same situation you were a couple months ago. I ended up purchasing a lot of crap that ultimately i'll never use (namely Ensoniq products-sorry Swaaye!), but I think i've finally come up with a decent setup.

I, too, bought the DB60XG from E-Bay, but I have it attached to my Turtle Beach Montego II PCI card (there's a crapton of those available on E-bay). The Montego II uses the Vortex 2 chip, which is the same as on the Diamon Monster MX300 that a lot of people have. It's signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) is about as good as i've seen from any soundcard of that era (it's as good or better than a SBLive). However, when you stick the DB60XG daughterboard on there, you will hear SNR feedback, unfortunately. I don't know why that is; I thought the db and host connection was all digital? Aside from that, it sounds terrific (I don't have a Roland Sound Canvas, so I can't give you comparisons, but see the end of this post for a link that can), and all the games I play, including the notorious Privateer/Strike Commander work great with it. What's also neat about the Vortex 2 is that the TSR it uses does NOT need EMM386.exe, so you can use UMBPCI.sys or nothing at all to retain your DOS Real Mode support.

Anyways, so the Vortex2+DB60XG is great for General Midi support. For digital effects, i've tried a slew of cards: SB16, AWE64, SB Live, Montego II, Ensoniq Gateway S-2000 OPUS (cow chip), and the Ensoniq Audio PCI. Both the Ensoniq cards gave me poor digital effect performance, which included a high SNR and strange crackle/popping sounds. I at least expected the OPUS to give me crystal clear digital effects, even if it did have a high SNR. Maybe Swaaye can explain this, since he's the resident Ensoniq expert. At any rate, my favorite of those I mentioned would probably be the AWE64. While the SBLive had quieter SNR, it also uses a TSR (which needs EMM386.exe) that isn't entirely compatible with all games (while sometimes the SB16 emulation is fantastic, and crystal clear with low SNR, in other times I hear pops/crackling and sometimes it just altogether farts out on me and I have to reboot). The AWE64 Value I have has very low SNR, doesn't require a TSR for Digital Effects, and offers genuine SB16 support.

A quick word though; if the only MIDI you've ever listened to is from a SB16's FM synthesis, you may want to give the time to try and figure out why you can't get your AWE64 to play MIDI. Honestly, I really don't mind AWE64's MIDI performance on games that natively support it (where there's an actual AWE32 selection in the game's MIDI cards choices during setup). It does a pretty good job, and you wouldn't have to spend $38! However, if any of the games you play are older than, say, 1994, a General Midi card like the DB60XG would suit you well, since those games won't natively support the AWE32/64. But then, why not just use DOSBOX for those games?

So, my bottomline? Use the AWE64 for digital effects, and a Montego II+DB60XG for General Midi support. However, if your game is new enough, then first try using AWE64's MIDI before buying the Yamaha card!

PS - I know there's a better site out there that has all the cards in one single table with links to download MIDI samples, but I can't seem to find it. Maybe someone else can post it. In the meantime, though, this link has some decent comparison samples:

http://www.crossfire-designs.de/index.php?lan … undcards&page=1

Reply 9 of 44, by Farfolomew

User metadata
Rank Newbie
Rank
Newbie

Well I found the link I was talking about in the post above:

http://www.dosforum.de/soundcards/

Unfortunately, it doesn't work anymore! I swear I could access the page not more than a month ago! I don't know what happened. That sucks, because it had such a lovely table of popular sound cards with accompanying WAVs taken from MIDI playback, including the DB50XG, AWE64, and Sound Canvas. If anyone knows if the page moved, please post the link. Thanks!

Reply 10 of 44, by Old Thrashbarg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Well, I actually have a Montego II, along with an MX300, an S90 and a few other Vortex cards, and a stack of SB Live's. What I don't have, unfortunately, is a free PCI slot. I would love to use one of those cards, seems like it'd be a lot better option than most of the other stuff out there... but, I just can't fit one in.

I don't know what's the deal with my AWE64... it works fine in Windows, but I get no sound at all in either a DOS box or in pure DOS. I've spent hours screwing with drivers and config files, and everything looks right, says it loaded and configured successfully, it just doesn't work.

Reply 11 of 44, by gerwin

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t

A Vortex 2 as a PCI host card for Daughterboards; I can recommend it too. But when you are out of PCI slots it ain't of much use.

Here is a nice ISA host for Daughterboards: Terratec Profimedia Gold 16/96 Soundkarte mit Wavetable ESS-1868 chipset. I have one too, it should be very compatible and simple to set up. They might not like to send it to the USA though, but Salient (forum member) also has the card for sale, without the wavetable that is.

@Farfolomew
Waveblaster daughterboards have analog output only.
That soundcard page already moved before, you posted the latest address AFAIK, sad to see it is missing.

Reply 14 of 44, by Old Thrashbarg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Hm, according to the auction page he does only send to Germany (and I don't know enough German to be able to ask him for sure), and the payment method might prove troublesome too. But other than that... *grin*

I checked out my SB16, and it does have the troublesome 4.13 DSP, so that's probably out for daughterboard usage.

I have, maybe, another option to consider: a Mediavision PAS16. (The catch is, it may or may not work, I did some repairs to it but haven't tried it yet.) No wavetable header of course, but it could be used in conjunction with a separate card or external box. Any ideas where I could find info/drivers for setting it up? Documentation seems to have disappeared, and even TULARC doesn't show the particular revision I have, so I don't know what to do with the jumper settings...

Edit: So apparently it's a "Fusion CD16" (link here) and not a regular PAS 16. But I'm still not sure exactly how to configure it... what is the whole 'board ID' thing? I also still don't know what drivers are necessary for it.

Reply 15 of 44, by retro games 100

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
gerwin wrote:
:lol: Bitte? You mean one has to do the bankoverschrijvingsding, en geen paypal? Das ist doch selbstverständlich! :wink: […]
Show full quote

🤣
Bitte?
You mean one has to do the bankoverschrijvingsding, en geen paypal?
Das ist doch selbstverständlich! 😉

I must confess that I had to use Google Lunatic to look up the word "bankoverschrijvingsding", and was pleasantly surprised to discover that this word seems to mean, quite literally, "bank thing". 😀

Reply 18 of 44, by retro games 100

User metadata
Rank l33t
Rank
l33t
Old Thrashbarg wrote:

Edit: So apparently it's a "Fusion CD16" (link here) and not a regular PAS 16. But I'm still not sure exactly how to configure it... what is the whole 'board ID' thing? I also still don't know what drivers are necessary for it.

I did a search on driverguide.com (registration required). There's a downloadable package there called MediaVision Fusion CD 16, with "uploader notes" saying - "Original Media Vision Install Disk, Quick Start Install Version 1.00, P/N 557-0209".

The search I did on driverguide.com was - FUSION CD16. It returned 4 results, including the one mentioned above. Some of the other search results look promising too.

Reply 19 of 44, by Old Thrashbarg

User metadata
Rank Oldbie
Rank
Oldbie

Well, I had tried to avoid Driverguide, but I bit the bullet and registered, and got the packages. Later this evening I'll try it out.

If the card works, is it decent, though? I mean, better than an SB16, at least? I know it still wouldn't cover MIDI, so I'd need to figure out what to do there... or maybe I'll start a thread for troubleshooting on my AWE64, see if I can get that going.