Thallanor wrote on 2020-09-14, 03:30:
This is such awesome news! This is going to be a dumb question though, but there are a _lot_ of you here who know a lot more about this than me. I've seen lots of sound cards over the years that support daughterboards, and have been poking at the Waveblaster stuff on Serdashop for a little while. But I am wondering: is Waveblaster essentially wavetable MIDI 'n stuff? I'm just curious what it is used for. Sorry about the dumb question, but part of me is thinking if I order this, I kinda wanna go with all the options, but should scope things out first. I have a Roland MT-32 (and actually bought the MPU-401 from keropi a year or two ago for it) and I know for sure I can pull that card, and connect to the MT-32 to Orpheus. But the Waveblaster... would that be for games that support MIDI (where the MT-32 can sometimes sound a bit off, doing MIDI emulation) or are things like the Waveblaster specifically supported in some games?
Sorry about the stupid question. I used to be more on top of this 25 years ago. 😀
The Wave Blaster header owes its name to being initially meant to connect a Creative Labs Wave Blaster branded daughter cards to a Sound Blaster 16 card . This 26-pin Wave Blaster header became a standard and was implemented on the Creative Labs AWE32 and many third party cards . Compatible daughter cards from many manufacturers weer available . Essentially, the header allows DC power and MIDI data from the host card to be routed to the daughter card and also allows analogue audio (direct digital audio was possible on at least one Turtle Beach sound card and daughter board combination) to be routed back to the sound card mixer . On nearly every Wave Blaster capable sound card, the MIDI data that gets sent to the Wave Blaster header is the same as that which is sent through the DB15 MIDI port.
In other words, the Wave Blaster header allows the equivalent of a MIDI capable synthesizer module to be mounted internally on a sound card . There exist adapter adapter boards to connect a Wave Blaster compatible daughter board to a standard DIN (round plug) MIDI port, essentially converting a Wave Blaster compatible daughter board to a standalone external MIDI module. Like any external MIDI module, DC power must be provided and the makeshift module's audio must be fed somewhere in order for sound to be heard .
See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Wave_Blaster
EDIT: In theory a Wave Blaster fully MT-32 compatible daughter board could have been made, none exist . This is largely due to General MIDI becoming popular by the time Wave Blaster headers became available. Consequently most, possibly all, Wave Blaster daughter cards are General MIDI compatible and some are additionally Yamaha XG or Roland GS compatible . MT-32 compatibility, if present on a daughter card, is limited to the default MT-32 instruments and must be explicitly enabled through a SYSEX message (similarly to the MT-32 "compatibility" of a Sound Canvas) .