VOGONS


Reply 220 of 253, by HandOfFate

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2020-08-29, 14:56:
HandOfFate wrote on 2020-08-29, 14:38:

Why is the "ESS FM Synthesizer" so different from the "FM Synthesis" in DOS? Do they use different hardware? Is the "FM Synthesizer" trying to use wavetable-like effects to emulate MIDI?

I'm not 100% sure myself, but I think ESS cards run in "native mode" under Windows when used as a General MIDI device. This is supposed to provide enhanced music in theory, but from my experience, most DOS games sound worse using that approach compared to regular FM synth. Here's the datasheet for your card if you want more details.

Also, as noted above, you'll get normal FM synth functionality under Windows if you install the VxD driver.

I'll try and see if I can find it. I had to dig through a datasheet for another ESS card so I know they're made to be somewhat readable for non-experts but this might be just a bridge too far for me 😜

I got the music working on Windows. I took the drivers from this (by the looks of it, comprehensive) collection of ESS AudioDriver drivers.

One thing that I had to adjust manually after installing the drivers was to have ESSCFG run before Windows starts. Otherwise games like Rise of the Triad didn't detect the FM chip for the music. But everything works flawlessly now. Thanks everyone 😀

Am486 DX4 120MHz, no L2, 16MB, Tseng ET4000/W32 1MB VLB, ESS ES1869 /// 5x86 133MHz, 256kb L2, 64MB, S3 Virge/DX 4MB PCI, SB16 + Yucatan FX /// Pentium III 1GHz, 512MB, Asus V7700 64MB AGP, SB Live!

Reply 221 of 253, by perhenden

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ElementalChaos wrote on 2016-11-14, 23:19:

... there are 6 extra pins in addition to the standard 16-bit ISA stuff, you can see them on the bottom left of the card, marked "P4". Was this for some kind of proprietary Compaq bus? Maybe explains why it's not working?

This is how it looks in a matching Compaq machine:
DSC-0806.jpg.
It also works without P4 connected.

I was impressed by the low noise level of this card, in this machine (Deskpro 4000), with mic, aux and cd volume set to 0.
There are some additional outputs on the backplane board [1] , labeled "* Audio OPT", and "Audio DWN".
The Audio Opt is connected to the additional ISA-slot header. The Audio DWN is connected directly to one of the ISA slot's pins (not to the additional ISA header).

What can DWN mean here?
Edit: my theory is that it means Down, audio is sent from the pins down to the sound card.

Images in more details:
DSC-0803.jpg DSC-0805.jpg DSC-0806.jpg DSC-0807.jpg
DSC-0810.jpg DSC-0809.jpg DSC-0808.jpg

[1]
It's an ISA PCI Riser Board .
This backplane board is labelled "Compaq NZ9751".
These identifiers are printed on it: Compaq 270882-001 007244-001 007245-000 007246

Last edited by perhenden on 2020-10-05, 12:03. Edited 4 times in total.

Reply 222 of 253, by Shreddoc

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perhenden wrote on 2020-10-04, 14:04:
There are some additional outputs on the backplane board [1] , labeled "* Audio OPT", and "Audio DWN". […]
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There are some additional outputs on the backplane board [1] , labeled "* Audio OPT", and "Audio DWN".

What can DWN mean here?

[1]
It's an ISA PCI Riser Board .
This backplane board is labelled "NZ9751".
These identifiers are printed on it: Compaq 270882-001 007244-001 007245-000 007246

Are you able to get a photo of the backplane and ports please? It may provide further clues. I am trying to think what DWN could mean in this context, apart from simply "down".

NZ9751 is unfortunately only Googling to an airplane flight! In which context "DWN" would mean, ummm, Darwin? 😉

Reply 223 of 253, by perhenden

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Shreddoc wrote on 2020-10-04, 23:49:
perhenden wrote on 2020-10-04, 14:04:
There are some additional outputs on the backplane board [1] , labeled "* Audio OPT", and "Audio DWN". […]
Show full quote

There are some additional outputs on the backplane board [1] , labeled "* Audio OPT", and "Audio DWN".

What can DWN mean here?

[1]
It's an ISA PCI Riser Board .
This backplane board is labelled "NZ9751".
These identifiers are printed on it: Compaq 270882-001 007244-001 007245-000 007246

Are you able to get a photo of the backplane and ports please? It may provide further clues. I am trying to think what DWN could mean in this context, apart from simply "down".

Yes, I've updated the post with images from multiple angles.
The additional J8 connector at the end of the ISA slot has lines to "Audio Opt", which is missing on my backplane board.
My guess is that by connecting to "Audio Opt", you could get sound output without moving it across the ISA bus and motherboard, with less noise as the added benefit.
There are three pins, two for signal and one for ground, I think. It could be possible to connect something there. Not sure if "Audio Opt" is for input or for output.

Reply 224 of 253, by Camtheman

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I’ve got a strange ESS AudioDrive 1868f that says “acer FX-16” on it. Bios identifies it as ESS 1868f PnP and it works great. Unable to find any info anywhere on this variant though. All of the 1868s I see online do not have this odd label.

Early 90s: IBM PS/2 Server 95/A, Pentium 66, 16MB RAM, XGA-2, IBM SCSI Corvette, SCSI2SD, 3 Com EtherLink III MCA, Resound 2 AdLib MCA
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Reply 225 of 253, by kolderman

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Camtheman wrote on 2020-10-06, 04:49:

I’ve got a strange ESS AudioDrive 1868f that says “acer FX-16” on it. Bios identifies it as ESS 1868f PnP and it works great. Unable to find any info anywhere on this variant though. All of the 1868s I see online do not have this odd label.

On the card or chip? It just sounds like an oem version of which there were many. Acer made excellent soundcards like the s20 and s21 so it's probably very good. The chip will be identical to a regular audiodrive though.

Reply 226 of 253, by Koveras

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I have a few questions about ESS1688F.
I'm trying to install DOS drivers from Vogels site:
ESS 1688/1868/1869 Pre-installed for DOS
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=616&menustate=0
but with no luck.

I haven't dealt with DOS for a long time and I don't remember everything 😉

Are these drivers for my sound card? My sound card has a hardware volume.
How to set up this card in DOS correctly? I have Roland SC-88, DB15 2 Midi, midi and rca-jack cables
2cHNTFQ.jpg
3SS9PQT.jpg

Thanks!

Reply 227 of 253, by GigAHerZ

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@Koveras, you could always try out UNISOUND, which is amazing tool / universal driver.
If that works, then you can at least validate that your card works. 😀

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 228 of 253, by SScorpio

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Koveras wrote on 2020-11-10, 16:01:
I have a few questions about ESS1688F. I'm trying to install DOS drivers from Vogels site: ESS 1688/1868/1869 Pre-installed for […]
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I have a few questions about ESS1688F.
I'm trying to install DOS drivers from Vogels site:
ESS 1688/1868/1869 Pre-installed for DOS
http://vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?fileid=616&menustate=0
but with no luck.

I haven't dealt with DOS for a long time and I don't remember everything 😉

Is that a PnP card? I see a bunch of jumpers, but are those only to enable the different CD interfaces?

UNISOUND lists support for some of the ESS1688 cards. UNISOUND - Universal ISA PnP Sound Card Driver for DOS v0.76b

Reply 229 of 253, by Koveras

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SScorpio wrote on 2020-11-10, 16:07:

Is that a PnP card? I see a bunch of jumpers, but are those only to enable the different CD interfaces?

UNISOUND lists support for some of the ESS1688 cards. UNISOUND - Universal ISA PnP Sound Card Driver for DOS v0.76b

Unisound tool shows "No PnP sound card detected"...

Reply 230 of 253, by SScorpio

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Koveras wrote on 2020-11-10, 16:41:

Unisound tool shows "No PnP sound card detected"...

Koveras wrote on 2020-11-10, 16:01:

Are these drivers for my sound card? My sound card has a hardware volume.
How to set up this card in DOS correctly? I have Roland SC-88, DB15 2 Midi, midi and rca-jack cables

Looking at the Vogon driver you listed, it says the card is already in SB Pro on boot, so it sounds like things are hardwired and you can't change them. You do need to run the utility to enable the MPU401 interface.

Just run the following and games should be able to see the SB Pro card at Port 220, IRQ 7, DMA 1
SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 T4

The go.bat file in the 1688 subdirectory just does the below which supposedly enabled the MPU401, and sets the BLASTER statement.
ESSCFG /M:e /B:330
SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 T4 P330

Just plug in headphones into the jack between the volume wheel and gameport as a quick test. I don't know if that Line port is a line in or out. If it's out, you can hook up powered speakers to it.

You need a gameport to MIDI cable to connect your SC-88. Then in a compatible game set General MIDI or Sound Canvas and use port 330.

Reply 231 of 253, by badmojo

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That's my favourite Audiodrive you have there @Koveras. The driver you linked to should be fine, here's what I have in my Autoexec.bat:

C:\DRIVERS\ESS1688\ESSCFG.EXE /A:220 /I:5 /D:1 /M:S /B:330
C:\DRIVERS\ESS1688\ESSVOL.EXE /A:10 /C:100

That should do the SET BLASTER variable for you, and no it's not a plug and play card.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 232 of 253, by GigAHerZ

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Koveras wrote on 2020-11-10, 16:41:
SScorpio wrote on 2020-11-10, 16:07:

Is that a PnP card? I see a bunch of jumpers, but are those only to enable the different CD interfaces?

UNISOUND lists support for some of the ESS1688 cards. UNISOUND - Universal ISA PnP Sound Card Driver for DOS v0.76b

Unisound tool shows "No PnP sound card detected"...

You may try to set BLASTER variable before you run the UNISOUND.

"640K ought to be enough for anybody." - And i intend to get every last bit out of it even after loading every damn driver!

Reply 233 of 253, by bloodem

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I have two ES1688 cards and both of them are non-PNP. They simply work with a SET BLASTER environment variable, nothing else is needed.
I think the driver is only needed if you want to enable the MPU-401 interface.

Anyway, great cards! At least mine are very well built and have excellent sound (much better than some cheapo ES186x cards out there).

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
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Reply 234 of 253, by Koveras

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Thanks guys!
My autoexec.bat looks like now:

C:\ES1688\ESSCFG.EXE /A:220 /I:7 /D:1 /B:330 /J:E
C:\ES1688\ESSVOL.EXE /V:12 /L:8 /W:12 /M:0 /C:12 /S:12 /A:0

In Doom music sets to Sound Canvas on Midi port 330 - now music sounds beautifull!
But there is no FX sounds - only on PC Speaker works 😉

Reply 237 of 253, by badmojo

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Why /I:7? 5 is more commonly used. And what sort of system are you running this bad boy in? If it's "modern" (PIII for example) then you might need to jump into the BIOS and set aside the relevant IRQ for your card so that nothing else grabs it.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 239 of 253, by bloodem

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badmojo wrote on 2020-11-13, 06:43:

Why /I:7? 5 is more commonly used. And what sort of system are you running this bad boy in? If it's "modern" (PIII for example) then you might need to jump into the BIOS and set aside the relevant IRQ for your card so that nothing else grabs it.

IRQ 7 is actually more compatible. For example, in a game like Gods, some sounds are missing when using IRQ 5, however, on IRQ 7 all sound samples are working.
The reason for this better compatibility with a few games, from what I understood, is that the disk controllers on some early systems were using IRQ5, so the de facto standard for sound cards during that time was IRQ 7. Couple that with bad coding and... this is what you get 😀

4 x Socket 3 / 4 x Socket 7 / 6 x Super Socket 7 / 5 x Slot 1 / 3 x Slot A / 5 x Socket 370
3 x Socket A / 1 x Socket 478 / 2 x Socket 754 / 3 x Socket 939 / 4 x LGA775 / 1 x LGA1155
Current rig: AM4 - Ryzen 5 3600X
Backup rig: LGA1151 - Core i7 7700k