VOGONS


Reply 20 of 34, by hard1k

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Yes, AU8830 is a direct replacement part for AU8820 designs, unless you want the quad surround.

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 21 of 34, by cyclone3d

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gex85 wrote on 2020-11-16, 12:43:
At least for Germany and probably most of western Europe, this is not really the case. Pretty much all Vortex2 cards are rare an […]
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hard1k wrote on 2020-11-14, 19:38:

In fact, existing cards offer a nice variety of higher end options: SQ2500, SuperQuad, Turtle Beach Montego II Home Studio, etc.
And all of them are available and not so expensive, so I don't see a reason for a new card replicating the existing set of features.
That's why I'm thinking about niche use cases, or some combo cards.

At least for Germany and probably most of western Europe, this is not really the case. Pretty much all Vortex2 cards are rare and expensive.
Vortex 1 cards are easier to come by, but still sell for >20€, usually. So that's not exactly expensive, but not as cheap as all the sub-10€ Audigy2 ZS cards that pop up every day.

That being said, Diamond Multimedia made the Sonic Impact S90, which is not as crappy in quality as many other AU8820 cards, so if retrofitting the AU8830 chip to an AU8820 design is actually an option, this might be a good candidate.

Same for the USA. Vortex 2 cards are not very common at all. Sometimes the Turtle Beach / Dell ones pop up but the asking price has been $40+. The MX300 card prices are through the roof. The Aureal branded cards are also priced quite high now and I don't see them pop up often either.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 22 of 34, by BetaC

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-11-16, 17:49:

Same for the USA. Vortex 2 cards are not very common at all. Sometimes the Turtle Beach / Dell ones pop up but the asking price has been $40+. The MX300 card prices are through the roof. The Aureal branded cards are also priced quite high now and I don't see them pop up often either.

You could always dumpster dive at a recycler. That’s quite literally the only reason I have a Vortex 2, and even then, it’s one of the turtle beach ones that looks the exact same as a vortex 1 card.

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Reply 23 of 34, by cyclone3d

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BetaC wrote on 2020-11-16, 18:21:
cyclone3d wrote on 2020-11-16, 17:49:

Same for the USA. Vortex 2 cards are not very common at all. Sometimes the Turtle Beach / Dell ones pop up but the asking price has been $40+. The MX300 card prices are through the roof. The Aureal branded cards are also priced quite high now and I don't see them pop up often either.

You could always dumpster dive at a recycler. That’s quite literally the only reason I have a Vortex 2, and even then, it’s one of the turtle beach ones that looks the exact same as a vortex 1 card.

Provided there were any recyclers anywhere near me.

I already have a couple different Vortex 2 cards anyway. I was just trying to provide a bit more info about them not really being readily available in the USA.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 24 of 34, by RichB93

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Count me in. I definitely think that keeping with the legacy moniker you should go all out with a focus on audio and board quality. Certain Diamond cards were revered for their quality. Can you improve upon it? (full disclaimer: never used a Diamond card so that may be a bit of a pointless question, but you get the idea).

Reply 25 of 34, by digger

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Combining the AU8830 chip with a genuine OPL3 chip on a single card would be awesome! Bonus points if you could add hardware MPU-401 compatibility to such a card as well, both through a Waveblaster header and through the game port.

Reply 26 of 34, by hard1k

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Updates:
1. SQ1500 schematics have been reverse engineered.
2. Based on various suggestions and thoughts, we're going for this:

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It's a very preliminary draft, mentioned parts may change, but the concept will stay the same: ultimate retro-aimed PCI soundcard with true OPL3 core and A3D 2.0 acceleration.

Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions and comments are welcome!

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 27 of 34, by cyclone3d

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Waveblaster header?

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself

Reply 28 of 34, by matze79

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Yes, where is it ?

https://dosreloaded.de - The German Retro DOS PC Community
https://www.retroianer.de - under constructing since ever

Co2 - for a endless Summer

Reply 29 of 34, by carlostex

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hard1k wrote on 2020-11-15, 18:33:

That's exactly the reason why I opt for the codec... We still lack a coder in our team, a simple dirty hack always requires lots of efforts and other people involvement 🙁

Also, if you're using one of the YMF7x4 chips in your design keep in mind that unfortunately there's an issue with these chipsets and Miles real mode drivers for digital sound. Games that use Miles .ADV drivers crash when a digital sound is played. I tested with Dune 2 and some other games with a Yamaha 724 PCI card. DSDMA or SBLINK made no difference. Using SBDIG.ADV or SBPDIG.ADV made no difference either. Fortunately source code for these drivers are available so i wonder if this can be fixed, which could make the Yamaha 7x4 cards virtually 99% compatible.

Reply 30 of 34, by digger

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@carlostex do the DIGPAK drivers have the same incompatibility? If not, you could try "patching" AIL-using games by replacing the Sound Blaster DAC driver with the Sound Blaster DIGPAK driver. DIGPAK drivers can act as AIL2 drivers, thanks to cooperation between John Miles and John W. Ratcliff back in the day. Look online for the file DMKIT150.ZIP to find the DIGPAK drivers. In addition to the SBLASTER.COM driver, there is also an SBCLONE.COM driver, specifically meant for Sound Blaster clones that aren't 100% Sound Blaster compatible. Perhaps the Yamaha 724 will work with that.

Alternatively to that, you could try patching these games to use the AIL2 bridge driver for VBE/AI (VESADIG.ADV) and then load the VBE/AI driver for Sound Blaster before launching such a game. You can find the VBE/AI driver online in an archive called vaisdk.zip.

Reply 31 of 34, by hard1k

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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-11-28, 22:37:

Waveblaster header?

That is a very good question. I've been thinking about it for a week already, and to be honest I haven't come up with a solution yet.
If we place it on the little board, it will increase the height + the pins can mess with the other card in a shared PCI/ISA slot setup. And as it is my personal use case for this board, it's somewhat important 😀
If we place it on the bigger (upper) board, we'll have two options:
a) put it on the left side, right above the interconnector with the lower board (somewhat SQ2500 style, but higher due to the interconnection with the lower board) => the daughterboard will overhang from the upper edge, exceeding all standard measures for expansion cards, thus creating potential problems.
b) put it on the right side, close to the upper edge (MX300 style) => the upper board will get longer, thus overlapsing the lower board to the right. Nothing critical, but a bit clumsy.

So no decision yet.

carlostex wrote on 2020-11-28, 23:13:

Also, if you're using one of the YMF7x4 chips in your design keep in mind that unfortunately there's an issue with these chipsets and Miles real mode drivers for digital sound.

Good info!
Does anyone know if there is some means to enable the SPDIF-In on the YMF7x4 in DOS? It would solve this specific problem - enabling the SPDIF-In we would enable the pass-through from the AU8830 chip that works nicely in SBPro mode.

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 32 of 34, by hard1k

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Another thing. Any ideas on the card name?
I'm thinking about Fortex - F makes some reference to FM and to F in the YMF. Forte (It.) - strong, cool. X makes some reference to XG. And overall, Fortex is like Vortex, but Fortex.
Also, Forte is a notation in music, and it can be written like f. So, Fortex can be reduced to fx, and here we have references to effects and even to f(x) in maths.

But still, Fortex for Vortex is a bit of Abibas for Adidas. So I'll happily consider other ideas too 😀

New sound card project: AWE64 Legacy
New sound card(s) project(s): Vortex2+YMF744 Tribute
Please have a look at my wishlist (hosted on Amibay)

Reply 33 of 34, by Pierre32

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I know that with at least some YMF7x4 cards like the AOpen AW744L, the XG MIDI is not available in DOS. Will that be an issue in this design, and can it be addressed?

hard1k wrote on 2020-11-29, 20:48:
Another thing. Any ideas on the card name? I'm thinking about Fortex - F makes some reference to FM and to F in the YMF. Forte ( […]
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Another thing. Any ideas on the card name?
I'm thinking about Fortex - F makes some reference to FM and to F in the YMF. Forte (It.) - strong, cool. X makes some reference to XG. And overall, Fortex is like Vortex, but Fortex.
Also, Forte is a notation in music, and it can be written like f. So, Fortex can be reduced to fx, and here we have references to effects and even to f(x) in maths.

But still, Fortex for Vortex is a bit of Abibas for Adidas. So I'll happily consider other ideas too 😀

This works really well IMO. My two cents: If you were to change the "Fortex" to "Forte-X", it maintains all the same meanings, looks cool and reduces the "Abibas" factor.

Reply 34 of 34, by cyclone3d

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hard1k wrote on 2020-11-29, 20:44:
That is a very good question. I've been thinking about it for a week already, and to be honest I haven't come up with a solution […]
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cyclone3d wrote on 2020-11-28, 22:37:

Waveblaster header?

That is a very good question. I've been thinking about it for a week already, and to be honest I haven't come up with a solution yet.
If we place it on the little board, it will increase the height + the pins can mess with the other card in a shared PCI/ISA slot setup. And as it is my personal use case for this board, it's somewhat important 😀
If we place it on the bigger (upper) board, we'll have two options:
a) put it on the left side, right above the interconnector with the lower board (somewhat SQ2500 style, but higher due to the interconnection with the lower board) => the daughterboard will overhang from the upper edge, exceeding all standard measures for expansion cards, thus creating potential problems.
b) put it on the right side, close to the upper edge (MX300 style) => the upper board will get longer, thus overlapsing the lower board to the right. Nothing critical, but a bit clumsy.

So no decision yet.

carlostex wrote on 2020-11-28, 23:13:

Also, if you're using one of the YMF7x4 chips in your design keep in mind that unfortunately there's an issue with these chipsets and Miles real mode drivers for digital sound.

Good info!
Does anyone know if there is some means to enable the SPDIF-In on the YMF7x4 in DOS? It would solve this specific problem - enabling the SPDIF-In we would enable the pass-through from the AU8830 chip that works nicely in SBPro mode.

I have a maybe strange idea... what about making the card so you can configure what side the waveblaster header is on?

As in.. either have 2 sets of holes, each with a connector where you slip in a header block through from the opposite side or have one set of holes and some sort of way to configure which side the waveblaster card is being installed on.

Bonus points for having the card autodetect which side the waveblaster header is installed on... which shouldn't be difficult at all since the one side of the connector has multiple grounds. You would just need to have some sort of key so the pin block can only go in one way from each side.

Yamaha YMF modified setupds and drivers
Yamaha XG resource repository - updated November 27, 2018
Yamaha YMF7x4 Guide
AW744L II - YMF744 - AOpen Cobra Sound Card - Install SB-Link Header
Epstein didn't kill himself