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Reply 960 of 999, by IcySon55

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640K!enough wrote on 2022-11-20, 04:30:
chjmartin2 wrote on 2022-11-18, 23:14:

Will the Orpheus work in an 8 bit slot?

I haven't personally tested it, but this should work fine. The reality is that there is no part of the card that uses 16-bit transfers; the extra "connector" (16-bit ISA) is there only to provide access to DMA 0 and additional IRQ lines (above 7). Using the card in an 8-bit slot shouldn't cause any problems, except that you will be restricted to IRQ 7 or lower and will only be able to use DMA 1 or 3.

Color me corrected and intrigued at this knowledge. =D

Reply 961 of 999, by vutt

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Update: It seems to be indeed Unisound specific. After playing around with unisound switches I found out that if I initialize card with enable SPDIF Flag is sets volumes only for digital output. Well that's logical. So my initial test results isn't that relevant because analog output just had random level for Wavetable - probably default 80.

So I decided to play around with Orpheus SPDIF out feature. Went for cheap 15EUR one which seems to be based on AD DAC841 chip. Everything seems to be working fine. Orpheus analogue out implementation is little bit more base heavy compared to DAC. However I am having issues with Serdaco E-Wave wavetable attached to Orpheus digital out volume.
Use case - Tested with Doom and Descent2 music - First tuned my external mixer so that SB/adlib FM has exactly the same levels from both card analogue out and external DAC digital out. Confirmed levels also with game digital sound effects part. However after switching game output to GM(E-Wave) device while card analog out is more or less on the same level, but digital out is a lot quieter.
Hooked it up to my Oscilloscope to get more "scientific" evidence. See attached pic. Orange reference waveform is analog, yellow is digital.

I'm using Unisound. Looks like it has common volume parameter for FM and Wavetable. I cant tune Wavetable digital out separately. What I'm missing here?
Also I have "poor man" version without PCMIDI part in case it might be relevant...

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Last edited by vutt on 2022-11-26, 13:51. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 962 of 999, by Marmes

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Hello!
FM and wave table are indeed tied. As they both are treated as "external synth". It's the way SB and crystal chip works. So when you change volume on synth, either Wavetable or FM volume change to the same value. As for analog output and digital output they are routed differently, so audio levels may be different. That also depends on how software (unisound) routes the audio, I know that SPDIF on Crystal goes out before entering DA converter and go to output mixer. But after that many things can happen with unisound software, I don't rememder how it routes the audio. I would advise you to test orphinit. Both software are great, but orphinit is intend to mess more with Orpheus Card.
Next is an example , exposed before , from what Crystal chip can do:
Orange = output , Yellow = Input

The best way of routing

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Not the best way of routing

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Reply 963 of 999, by vutt

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Wow. Thanks Marmes for detailed answer.

It seems to be indeed Unisound specific. After playing around with unisound switches I found out that if I initialize card with enable SPDIF Flag is sets volumes only for digital output. Well that's logical. So my test results posted above isn't that relevant because analog output just had random level for Wavetable probably default 80.

I however identified unique behavior. With digital output set ON master volume switch [V] will affect Wavetable level as it should. But with digital OFF (default, no parameter) master volume parameter [V] will not affect Wavetable volume. Setting volume with separate Wavetable [VF] parameter works as intended.

Reply 964 of 999, by vutt

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My apologizes about back-to-back posts.
Short update after playing around with orphinit using SPDIF output in attempt to set WT module level.
So only way I can change WT header midi module level is by initializing card in wss mode and tuning wtheader parameter:

Mode=wss
WTHeaderVol=2

In sb mode WTHeader vol will be ignored.

Default value is way to quiet, leve "4-2" worked for me.
Native dos mixer CWDMIX.EXE synth option changes only FM volume - furthermore changing any any other sound level resets WTHeader back to default quiet mode.

Have any of you used Orpheus with this kind of setup SPDIF + WT module. Are there any alternative dos mixers around?
Edit: One more issue. For doom I&II and Heretic games if you choose SB as digital effects card game basically mutes GM WTHeader audio level while regular analog out works just fine.

Reply 965 of 999, by keropi

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vutt wrote on 2022-11-27, 10:57:

[...]
Have any of you used Orpheus with this kind of setup SPDIF + WT module. Are there any alternative dos mixers around?

We'll have to wait for 640k!enough to chime in and tell us if any of these are software issues or just "chip limitations".
The CS4237 is perfectly capable to do anything you ask but I fear it's the "SB MODE" thing that messes things up.
About DOS mixers, there is nothing usable except Oprhinit and UniSound.
Official Crystal drivers are to be avoided, they will just mess things up and offer nothing new (tbh they are just crappy drivers 🤣)

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

Reply 967 of 999, by vutt

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Well my use case is special I guess - a lot of external midi modules daisy-chained via MIDI passthrough and external mixer. Bought recently few WT modules from Serdashop. Thought I could utilize Orpheus WT header as just another module in my "chain". Well I cant turn WT module off/vol down in sb mode if I want to use any other external midi. They are all sharing same midi port.
Actually there is €55 solution to my problem - CHiLL Waveblaster MIDI interface as additional external device.

Btw. more technical question regarding SPDIF output and WT output implementation. If the WT pinout schema (attached) is correct then there doesn't seem to be any I2S type of outputs for digital audio. Does it mean that CS4237 will take WT analogue out signal and convert it to digital format?

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Reply 968 of 999, by keropi

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Yes, WT audio is analog and it gets converted to digital by cs4237, this happens with all analog sources.
What you have is the decades old issue with wt boards, it's the reason some people used 2 soundcards or a midi interface to get 2 MPU devices or just went fully external with midi.

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

Reply 969 of 999, by 640K!enough

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vutt wrote on 2022-11-29, 19:49:

Thought I could utilize Orpheus WT header as just another module in my "chain". Well I cant turn WT module off/vol down in sb mode if I want to use any other external midi. They are all sharing same midi port.

On the surface, this is a simple problem to solve, and a simple use case. The problems appear when you start dealing with sloppy software implementations (Doom, among many others).

Part of the problem with Sound Blaster-compatibility mode is that Crystal was constrained by the primitive SB Pro mixer interface. The way Orpheus is designed, the WT audio is controlled by the FM mixer level when in Sound Blaster-compatibility mode. As you've discovered, the main mixer options (in the [mixer] section in ORPHINIT's configuration files) have no effect in SB compatibility mode; you must instead use the SB-*Vol entries in the [sb-mode] section. So, the settings of interest to you would be SB-FMVol (for FM and WT daughter boards) and SB-LineVol if you are routing any of your other modules through Orpheus. As stated in the comments within the file, the range is only from 0 (mute) to 7 (maximum volume); thank Creative for that incomprehensibly limited design choice.

To mute the WT module when using another source for music, you should simply be able to set SB-FMVol to 0. I say "should" because software has a bad habit of indiscriminately changing mixer values during start-up. Try it and see if you get the results you seek.

Unfortunately, Crystal decided that, upon entering SB-compatibility mode, the mixer values of all sources supported by Creative's primitive mixer would be reset to default Sound Blaster values, so any previous settings are over-written during the mode switch. Crystal also seems to have taken a short-cut in implementing their register mapping for SB-mode, which has the effect of over-writing other settings of the chip if software does things it isn't really supposed to. Doom is one such title, and that appears to be the reason for the odd S/PDIF behaviour. I have a few ideas that should help this problem, though they likely won't solve all problems for all titles. That is for a future version of ORPHINIT; if you insist on UNISOUND, I can't do much for you.

Reply 970 of 999, by vutt

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Thank you 640K!enough for your detailed replay. I actually found out good suitable .ini setup for WT levels with ORPHINIT in WSS mode, but then yeah I realized that software(games) more often than not will reset everything as soon as I choose SB for output.
Still thank you for your effort.
I'm exploring these days SPDIF output options. Ordered even more expensive DAC. So realizing how WT header output it's handled I think I will go external module route anyway.

Reply 971 of 999, by chjmartin2

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640K!enough wrote on 2022-11-20, 04:30:
chjmartin2 wrote on 2022-11-18, 23:14:

Will the Orpheus work in an 8 bit slot?

I haven't personally tested it, but this should work fine. The reality is that there is no part of the card that uses 16-bit transfers; the extra "connector" (16-bit ISA) is there only to provide access to DMA 0 and additional IRQ lines (above 7). Using the card in an 8-bit slot shouldn't cause any problems, except that you will be restricted to IRQ 7 or lower and will only be able to use DMA 1 or 3.

I would love for somebody to try it, particularly with the smart MPU 401...

Reply 972 of 999, by vutt

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My new DAC and Sennhiser arrived this weekend. Few observation about Orpheus spidf out. Everything works flawlessly in Windows 98. Idle signal is completely silent.
Booting under DOS 7.1 when I'm initializing card with orphinit ini parameter RoutingMode=min-digital card stays silent like under Windows. However with RoutingMode=analogue some noise/humming kicks in starting from mid volume. When adding some proper gain to DAC's amp ESS sabre chip will give me fantastic detailed noise amplification on my HD599 headphones. I tried to play around with mute/minimize parameters on different analogue sources but effects on noise were very limited.

I have enough PC part so I plan to put together another dos PC perhaps next weekend. It could be that something in my current setup is "polluting" environment.

Reply 973 of 999, by 640K!enough

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vutt wrote on 2022-12-04, 21:24:

My new DAC and Sennhiser arrived this weekend. Few observation about Orpheus spidf out. Everything works flawlessly in Windows 98. Idle signal is completely silent.
Booting under DOS 7.1 when I'm initializing card with orphinit ini parameter RoutingMode=min-digital card stays silent like under Windows. However with RoutingMode=analogue some noise/humming kicks in starting from mid volume.

This is rather interesting, given that this is almost exactly the opposite of the previous reports that we have had, where the noise complaints were related to the Win9x drivers, and perceived noise was either drastically minimised or not present at all under DOS.

One frequent source of unnecessary noise is CWDMIX. Whether you use UNISOUND or ORPHINIT, under no circumstances should you be using CWDMIX (unless you enjoy the noise).

If not the very next release of ORPHINIT, then the one after it will have some additional features that you may want to try. They may address your concerns. If not, some more careful hunting will be necessary to find the source of the unwelcome sounds.

Last edited by 640K!enough on 2022-12-07, 05:20. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 974 of 999, by smtkr

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Hi. I am setting up my music for a game called The Elder Scrolls II: Daggerfall. I have a lot of music options and they all sound different (and I like them all).

What is the difference between these when I'm using my Orpheus card:
MPU-401
Roland Sound Canvas
MT-32

I'm using the card in the default configuration with the daughter board attached.

Reply 975 of 999, by vutt

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640K!enough is there way to toggle SRS mute switch in DOS? When I'm unmuting SRS channel in Windows mixer I'm getting exactly the same noise on SPDIF as in DOS "analogue" mode. Could be solution for me. I found your old conversation in this thread. Great deal about 3DEN and 3DSO flags and mysterious RU.EXE utility which may help. Googling however didn't help identifying it.

Reply 976 of 999, by darry

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vutt wrote on 2022-12-08, 20:51:

640K!enough is there way to toggle SRS mute switch in DOS? When I'm unmuting SRS channel in Windows mixer I'm getting exactly the same noise on SPDIF as in DOS "analogue" mode. Could be solution for me. I found your old conversation in this thread. Great deal about 3DEN and 3DSO flags and mysterious RU.EXE utility which may help. Googling however didn't help identifying it.

The RU.exe utility referenced is http://ruexe.blogspot.com/

You can use debug rather than ru.exe to write the values you want in the proper registers . For example, see Re: Orpheus Soundcard: a new DOS soundcard with SPDIF/OPL3/MPU support

@640K!enough , do you think it might be useful and hopefully not too much work to make a small text UI/CLI utility to allow setting some of the more common/interesting CS4237 registers to given values ?

Then again, maybe it would be potentially dangerous to hardware or user hearing to easily allow toggling things willy-nilly with too much ease.

Reply 977 of 999, by 640K!enough

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vutt wrote on 2022-12-08, 20:51:

640K!enough is there way to toggle SRS mute switch in DOS? When I'm unmuting SRS channel in Windows mixer I'm getting exactly the same noise on SPDIF as in DOS "analogue" mode.

ORPHINIT allows control of all SRS features via the standard INI file (in the mixer section). It is off by default, but you can experiment as you please.

If you are looking for something a little more immediate, check gerwin's package for the Crystal chips on VOGONS Drivers. In the archive, you will find Crystal's tool for managing the SRS feature, called CW3DCTRL.EXE. That will allow you to modify the settings without having to re-initialise the whole card. EDIT: I forgot to mention that you will have to find the right version of that file within the archive, as some of the more recent versions are Windows-only.

Last edited by 640K!enough on 2022-12-10, 05:17. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 978 of 999, by 640K!enough

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darry wrote on 2022-12-09, 20:28:

@640K!enough , do you think it might be useful and hopefully not too much work to make a small text UI/CLI utility to allow setting some of the more common/interesting CS4237 registers to given values ?

Then again, maybe it would be potentially dangerous to hardware or user hearing to easily allow toggling things willy-nilly with too much ease.

I've thought about that, and even started writing one some time ago, but feedback on ORPHINIT started coming in, then real-life demands and messes, then new hardware, etc., and I never got back to it. I recently had an idea for a better, simpler implementation of such a thing, and may write it at some point, as it can greatly simplify experimentation and testing. However, I was and remain hesitant to publicly release such software. Unless I'm really missing something, there should be no risk of damage to the card (so no unnecessary returns for keropi and Marmes), nor the host system. On the other hand, it is exceptionally easy to create noises that will blow speakers/headphones/eardrums to bits, and I don't want anyone to have the chance to claim that I'm responsible for any such thing; people have been sued for less.

Reply 979 of 999, by vutt

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Thanks guys for ideas and tool hints to tinker around.

For now I have found for myself good default setup - with min-digital and SRS enabled. So all those golden Japanese audio grade capacitors are more like design element for my use case 😁

Only slightly annoying fact is that ma favorite FM player adt2player manages dial FM levels to 100% . It's not audible during playback. However with headphones on higher amp gains it introduces clearly audible pulsating noise after play session on idle in OPL3 mode. Also at least once while turning rapidly up amp vol I managed to drive my Topping DX3 Pro+ into state when ERR something was shown on LCD. Only power cycling unit helped to fix it. So I totally see potential there to blow something up...

I guess it's important to note that behavior (pulsating noise after exit) is not happening with CS4237 native CrystalFM enabled.

Last edited by vutt on 2022-12-10, 12:01. Edited 1 time in total.