VOGONS


Media Vision Pro Audio Spectrum 16

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First post, by Intel486dx33

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Is this card any good?
Has some embedded chips like Yamaha and maybe Crystal ?

These where popular back in early 1990's

Is it okay for a retro build ?

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Last edited by Intel486dx33 on 2019-10-10, 15:49. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 3 of 20, by gdjacobs

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For the first video, the PAS is a great card, but the PAS16 isn't completely compatible with it.
For the second video, the Jazz16 chipset is really nice, but it isn't completely compatible with the PAS16.

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 4 of 20, by Tenorman

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PAS 16s are good cards, they can just be kind of "fussy" sometimes. They are fine though once you learn their quirks and get everything configured properly. The Nerdy Pleasures write-up alludes to that. I also have a write-up and some recordings at http://tenorman.info/pc/pas16ll. If you are looking for a good quality FM card and want to do something a bit different than the usual Creative Labs or clone cards go for it.

[Compaq Presario 633 | DOS 6.22 / Win 3.1 | DX4 100 Overdrive | 28M RAM | SB16 CT2770A | SPEA Media FX (Soundscape S2000) ]
[GA-6BXC R2.0 | Win98SE | Via C3 Ezra 866 | 384M RAM | TNT2 32M | Voodoo2 8M | SB32 CT3670 | Ensoniq Soundscape Opus]

Reply 5 of 20, by Jo22

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I second that. PAS cards are good ones, but they shouldn't be seen as SB clones.
Rather, PAS/PAS16 should be considered as a standard of its own.
If you'v got a 286 to 486 machine, the PAS16 will give you clear OPL3 music and average SB 1.5/SB2.0/Thunderboard compatibility.
It will also work fine and in CD quality with MOD players, Windows 3.1, OS/2 and games supporting the PAS' D/A converter natively.
Windows 3.1 support is notable in that it fully works in Standard Mode on a 286. The SB16 drivers can't do that, for example.
(With the exception of those early SB16 drivers that shipped with Tandy's Win 3.0 MME version, maybe.)

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 6 of 20, by badmojo

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The PAS16's software is also a highlight - Win3.11 / DOS that is, they were dead-and-gone by the time Windows95 came out.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 7 of 20, by Jo22

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Yes, that's true, sadly. By the time Windows 95 came, PAS as well as Media Vision were gone.
On the bright side, Windows 9x fully supported the PAS16 out-of-box.

I remember using my PAS16 well into the 2000s in Windows 98SE. ^^
The Trantor SCSI interface was also supported by the built-in drivers.
This was in stark contrast to my father's Mitsumi CD-ROM controller card (f. LU-005),
which did work with the DOS drivers only.

What I still wonder, is, as to why no one has attempt so far to emulate the PAS16. 😕
I mean, it didn't rely on ISA DMA in the way the Sound Blasters did, did it ?
The whole I/O was done through mvsound.sys, which acted as a HAL in some ways.

So a synthetic device could be implemented, which could also be supported on a modern DOS machine
with modern audio (essentially a PAS to AC97/HDA wrapper). In theory, at least.
In reality, some of the games' audio engines did talk to the card directly, I'm afraid. 😅

Edit: Some typos fixed.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 8 of 20, by root42

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I used to have a budget Jazz16 based PAS clone. I think it was made by Media Vision but I am not sure anymore. It was my first sound card, back in 1994. I saved up my pocket money and bought this card plus a Mitsumi FX001D double speed CD ROM. Man, was I happy. Creative Sound Blaster cards were too expensive for me at the time, and the Jazz16 was SB Pro compatible, and a few games even supported the 16bit mode, but that was not quite that important.

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Reply 9 of 20, by root42

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Here is the exact card I had:

http://www.amoretro.de/2012/09/media-vision-p … soundkarte.html

It seems it was even equipped with an original OPL3! Did not know that at the time.

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Reply 10 of 20, by r.cade

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I bought a MediaVision multimedia kit in around 1994. It is long gone, but based on what I recall, it was probably a Jazz-16 based card with the Panasonic CD-ROM interface and drive. It came in a nice big purple and orange box, if my memory serves (and it may not!).

I had no problem playing any games of the day, DOS or Windows 95 (I never ran 3.1x, I started with 95 betas switching over from the Amiga). It emulated the Sound Blaster, or maybe the Pro?

Reply 11 of 20, by badmojo

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Yes the Jazz16 did SB Pro, but not PAS16! The PAS16 only did SB 2.0. It's amazing to see how many games supported the PAS16, it really did give Creative a run for their money back in the day. It was a sad end to the company too from memory, something about a dodgy director and improper use of funds.

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Reply 12 of 20, by Intel486dx33

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gdjacobs wrote:

For the first video, the PAS is a great card, but the PAS16 isn't completely compatible with it.
For the second video, the Jazz16 chipset is really nice, but it isn't completely compatible with the PAS16.

Okay, I have 3 cards.

1) Pas 16
2) MV 16 Pro
3) MV 16

ISA cards.

What is the best type of computer set to use to tests out these cards ?

486 ?
Pentium 1 ?
Pentium 2 ?
Pentium 3 ?

And that OS ?
DOS ?
Win 3x ?
Win NT 351 ?
Win 95 ?
Win 98se ?

Reply 13 of 20, by dionb

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How/why do you have that many non-mainstream retro cards if you know so little about them (or pretty much anything else from the period, judging by your other threads)?

Also, most of your questions here have already been answered in other replies above yours (posts by badmojo & jo22 in particular).

Reply 14 of 20, by Intel486dx33

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Would you rather these old electronics be in an electronic recycle center because that's where they where headed.
Some of these cards where assembled in USA and designed here.
This is old Silicon Valley 1990's tech.
thats why old tech electronics is so hard to find because everyone is sending these old electronics to the recycle centers.
They are not reselling them anymore like they use too.
In the old days they had swap meets and electronics resell stores.
Re-estate is so expensive today that these electronics re-sale stores can't afford to operate.
So no one has any place to get rid of old electronics other than eBay, craigslist or electronics recyclers.

Reply 15 of 20, by skitters

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Intel486dx33 wrote:
Okay, I have 3 cards. […]
Show full quote

Okay, I have 3 cards.

1) Pas 16
2) MV 16 Pro
3) MV 16

ISA cards.

What is the best type of computer set to use to tests out these cards ?

486 ?
Pentium 1 ?
Pentium 2 ?
Pentium 3 ?

And that OS ?
DOS ?
Win 3x ?
Win NT 351 ?
Win 95 ?
Win 98se ?

Try the PAS16 on the 486 with DOS and Windows 3.x.

Drivers for PAS here http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/index.php?catid=40

I'm not sure which cards you mean by "MV 16" and "MV 16 Pro"

Reply 16 of 20, by dionb

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Intel486dx33 wrote:

Would you rather these old electronics be in an electronic recycle center because that's where they where headed.
[...]

That's not the point. Many people here are taking the time and trouble to reply to your posts and you simply ignore their answers and ask the exact things they have explained at some length again two or three posts later. Have the decency to at least acknowledge the effort others have been doing for you, and if you disagree or do not understand their answers, say so.

Reply 17 of 20, by Intel486dx33

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Will the PAS16 work with any SCSI CDROM drive ?
Right now I am NOT using the SCSI interface.
I am using an IDE CDROM connected to a VLB controller.
The problem is that some functions of the Musicbox music play app do not work.
Like “next song” and “FF”
So maybe this app was written to work with a SCSI CDROM player and not IDE ?

Reply 18 of 20, by rkurbatov

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What's the good complement for PAS 16 to get maximum of compatibility?

I have Vibra 16c but it has problems with SB Pro (mono only) and also lacks IDE port (not soldered) so I'm thinking about YMF-719. It has one additional IDE that will be useful, stereo SB Pro compatibility and proper MPU-401. Any other suggestions?

It's going to be 486 VLB with DOS/Win 3.11 on DX2/66 8Mb RAM.

486: ECS UM486 VLB, 256kb cache, i486 DX2/66, 8MB RAM, Trident TGUI9440AGi VLB 1MB, Pro Audio Spectrum 16, FDD 3.5, ZIP 100 ATA
PII: Asus P2B, Pentium II 400MHz, 512MB RAM, Trident 9750 AGP 4MB, Voodoo2 SLI, MonsterSound MX300

Reply 19 of 20, by Jo22

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rkurbatov@gmail.com wrote on 2022-01-18, 14:11:

What's the good complement for PAS 16 to get maximum of compatibility?

I have Vibra 16c but it has problems with SB Pro (mono only) and also lacks IDE port (not soldered) so I'm thinking about YMF-719. It has one additional IDE that will be useful, stereo SB Pro compatibility and proper MPU-401. Any other suggestions?

It's going to be 486 VLB with DOS/Win 3.11 on DX2/66 8Mb RAM.

Hi there!

a) You could try one of the SB32/AWE PnP cards for EMU8000 and SB16 compatibility.
The PnP card models do support the disabling of the OPL3,
so no or little conflicts occur with the PAS16 thus.
If you're merely into the EMU-8000 synth, a Goldfinch card can do.
http://www.amoretro.de/2012/11/creative-sound … ard-ct1920.html

b) Install one of these cheap Ensoniq Audio PCI 1370 or 1371 cards (similar to SoundBlaster 64/128 PCI).
Some of them are compatible with the SoundScape S-2000 DAC, depending on the TSR driver.
SoundScape featured high quality 16-Bit PCM playback (DAC), but had poor FM emulation (OPL3).
The PAS16 can provide a good OPL3 here.
Re: Games that sound best with GUS?

c) Choose a Sound Blaster Pro 2 compatible card.
If it can mute/disable its own OPL3, the better.
SB Pro was very popular among older titles and demoscene productions.
I do have an ESS 688 here, for example. It's "okay" more or less and has an IDE port, too (connected a CF card to it once).

d) Install a Windows Sound System (WSS) compatible card.
WSS had 16-Bit Stereo DAC with up to 48KHz sampling rate.
Many SB Pro clones supported WSS quietly.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Windows_Sound_System

Edit: f) GUS, GameBlaster, Innovation Sound Standard..

These are just some random ideas of mine, though. 😅
The Yamaha is probably pretty good, too. I just can't say much about it.
It's been years since I tinkered with physical soundcards. Too much trouble was holding me back from this great hobby.

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//