First post, by James-F
Many newer DOS sound cards including SB-Pro to SB16 and their clones have a software mixer that allows the user to change the balanced between the sound components.
Older Sound Blaster cards did not have a software mixer but they had a fixed and balanced sound between the FM (OPL) and the PCM (SB), so the game programmer actually developed the game to sound balanced on the older SB cards.
I have noticed that with my SB-Pro2 clone sound cards and DOSBox the FM music with practically all the old games is much too loud with the default mixer settings where FM equals SB, so I decided to investigate.
I found a thread with a recording of the intro song of GODS using and older SB1.5 by Phil.
This intro song combines the FM and SB sounds so they have to be well balanced for the intro song to sound right, and I assume the SB1.5 has the right balance as the programmer intended.
With the SBPro2 clone card I have I had to set the FM to 5 where the SB is on 8 (all out of 15).
DOSBos mixer FM had to be set to 60 (out of 100) to sound correct and match the SB1.5 recording in terms of balance.
After I have matched the volumes, older games that don't have music/sound balance controls in game sounded balanced without one overpowering the other.
Games like Mortal Kombat 1/2, Prince of Persia 1/2, Gods, Skyroads, Lemmings, where the FM music is way too loud in comparison to the sound effects suddenly sounded just right.
If anyone willing to help me and improve the fine tuning, it would be nice to have a recording of the SB 1.0/1.5/2.0 of various games that combine FM and PCM sounds.
The story intro of Prince of Persia 2 will be perfect for testing.