VOGONS


First post, by Sly_Botts

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Hello,

I recently installed an Ensoniq S4016 VIVO ISA card into my P3 system. It seemed to work fine, however I get these random loud static noises when a game or windows plays a sound. It seems to be related to Hardware acceleration because when I turn it off, the problem goes away.

Has anyone encountered this problem before? What do I do? I've tried different drivers, different ports and IRQ's, changing the IRQ"s in the bios from plug and play to ISA legacy, disabled the gameport, etc; Nothing seems to fix this other than turning off hardware acceleration. I even tried different versions of Directx.

Specs:
Pentium 3 MMX 600mhz
512MB SD RAM 133 running at 100mhz with 2-2-2 timings.
IDE to SD card adaptor 16GB Samsung SD card for storage
Backup 8GB IDE HDD slave
Voodoo 3 2000 16MB
Windows 98SE
Serial and Parallel ports disabled in BIOS

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 1 of 13, by swaaye

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You might be able to leave that "hardware acceleration" disabled without losing anything. That card shouldn't have any hardware acceleration that Windows would be using.

However the cause might be PCI and ISA interactions. Sometimes playing with BIOS settings like "delayed transactions" and "passive release" can help this. Something problems like this can actually caused by the video card too.

Reply 3 of 13, by Sly_Botts

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Plasma wrote on 2022-01-14, 22:50:

I remember having the same problem but with a different sound card back in the day. I think you need a wdm driver for your sound card. If there isn't one available you are SOL.

I think you are exactly correct. I ran the directx test and it even says my hardware does not support acceleration while referencing the.vxd file. I guess I am SOL 🤣. Problem solved. Thank you.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 5 of 13, by Plasma

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No it's not. My statement was regarding DirectX hardware acceleration for sound.

Anyway I found more info here. You need a VXD driver with explicit DirectSound support for hardware acceleration. All WDM drivers have DirectSound support.

Reply 6 of 13, by swaaye

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Directsound support isn't necessary for Windows to play its sounds without issue. For games, it sounds like if emulation is necessary it adds some latency but that isn't static noise / pops.

I don't know if the Soundscape drivers have Directsound support, but I used one of these cards through 1997 and it was fine.

Last edited by swaaye on 2022-01-16, 18:05. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 8 of 13, by swaaye

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Plasma wrote on 2022-01-16, 18:03:

This thread is about hardware acceleration.

It's about him having static when Windows or a game plays sounds. He found that if he drops the hardware acceleration slider to off that stops the problem. Soundscape doesn't have any hardware acceleration but that is not the problem because most ISA sound cards do not have any.

I remember reading about that slider somewhere in the past but I have to dig and see if I can find out more about what it does. My first guess is it increases the latency of the audio system and that might help with bus contention. ISA cards in a PCI system sometimes have quirks like this. PCI sound cards sometimes have problems like this too, especially with aggressive video drivers doing things to boost benchmarks.

But yeah the best thing to do for Windows games is probably get a PCI sound card because ISA cards aren't really part of the Directsound paradigm.

Reply 9 of 13, by Plasma

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It's literally in the title...

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/directsound

Like I said before, I had the same problem in the past. I was partially incorrect in that it is possible to have a VXD driver with DirectSound support. Unfortunately my crappy sound card did not. The result was stuttering and static.

Reply 10 of 13, by swaaye

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Plasma wrote on 2022-01-16, 18:37:

It's literally in the title...

https://www.soundonsound.com/techniques/directsound

Like I said before, I had the same problem in the past. I was partially incorrect in that it is possible to have a VXD driver with DirectSound support. Unfortunately my crappy sound card did not. The result was stuttering and static.

Which sound card did you have?

What I am trying to get across is that it's not VXD or DirectSound support that is the problem. Because Windows sounds play with WinMM and he says he has static with that too.

I used to run a Soundscape with Win95 without issue myself. But I do remember having to tweak delayed transaction or passive release for sound problems in DOS or Windows. It has been so long that I don't remember the exact details.

Reply 11 of 13, by Plasma

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Reveal SC400. It predated Windows 95, so no DirectSound with the supplied drivers.

When you have the hardware acceleration set to anything other than none, DirectSound is used by Windows at a minimum to mix the output regardless. At least that's my understanding.

There are multiple Soundscape drivers, maybe some have DirectSound support.

Reply 12 of 13, by Sly_Botts

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I have come to the conclusion that I think something is physically wrong with my Ensoniq card. After countless hours fiddling with the card to get it to do what I want in Pure DOS (Works fine in Win 98 other than the hardware acceleration issue) I said "enough". (Eventually it stopped working properly in DOS at all, without changing anything.) I paid the ridiculous price of the card I really wanted The Ensoniq S-2000 and I'm going to use that with the Resound Adlib. No more TSR's, or memory manager nonsense. I'm just going to go with what I want.

A P3 600mhz Voodoo 3 system with an Ensoniq S-2000 for general midi and MT-32 emulation, and a Resound 3 Adlib card for FM synth. I shouldn't have even bothered messing with the VIVO. The S-2000 is what I really wanted anyway. I just didn't want to pay 200 US after shipping for it. Well, I'm a COVID nurse so I think I deserve to treat myself. This can be my early birthday present.

Thanks for the help anyway though guys/gals.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.

Reply 13 of 13, by Sly_Botts

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I should have noted that my CT2800 SB 16 Vibra (with OPL chip) doesn't have any issue with hardware acceleration, despite being an older sound card. I honestly think its the card itself.

It is possible to commit no errors and still lose. That is not a weakness, that is life.