VOGONS


First post, by Pierre32

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A new arrival which I'm posting outside the purchases thread, to hopefully get some assistance. As you can see in the photo, this card came with the rare wavetable ROM installed, and I know there is some interest out there in a dump of this chip. I assume this can be done with a TL866, but I haven't pulled the trigger on one of those yet. Thing is, given the rarity of this chip and my inexperience, I'm pretty nervous at the prospect of messing with it. Is there a way to dump it while it's still in the card?

The only other one I've seen with the ROM installed was posted by @cyclone3d.

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Last edited by Pierre32 on 2021-02-03, 08:10. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 1 of 55, by Pierre32

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cyclone3d, did you ever dump yours?

And a side question. Did you have the wavetable functioning in DOS, and if so do you recall any special settings required?

cyclone3d wrote on 2018-06-08, 16:19:
Did I just find a real-life unicorn? […]
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Did I just find a real-life unicorn?

A Cardinal DSP-16 sound card WITH the optional wavetable upgrade ROM? At least I hope it is... the sticker is missing from the ROM (or rather it is just a black sticker) but I am guessing somebody didn't just put a random chip in the socket.
I've never even seen a picture of a card with the wavetable ROM or any mention of anybody ever having/using it.
Cardinal with wavetable.jpg

hard1k wrote on 2018-06-08, 16:40:

Can we expect a dump of it?.. 😀

[edit] Should point out that I have the Cardinal driver disks, and will be uploading them once everything is tested and working.

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Reply 2 of 55, by carlostex

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Why are people assuming there's wavetable in this card?

I see a CD-ROM controller, a codec chip, a bus interface chip and a DSP chip. That ROM is probably for the DSP chip, but it is probably something like 32k.

Most surely this is not a ROMpler, there is no synth chip, but there's some RAM on there, maybe 384kb so maybe the card software can upload something like a soundfont to the RAM and the DSP can do something with it.

Try it out, but i'm almost certain it has no wavetable ROM

Reply 3 of 55, by Pierre32

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It's documented as an optional upgrade in old print materials and discussions. Some examples:

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https://groups.google.com/g/comp.sys.ibm.pc.s … d/c/mFComVGw-_s

https://hardforum.com/threads/original-adlib- … d-1987.1999584/

Re: List of rarest PC soundcards

Re: "Archmont" desktop 386DX-40 build

Re: Bought these (retro) hardware today

Reply 4 of 55, by carlostex

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Ah ok, now i've seen other pictures and it has the AD Echo chipset. Not too hot, ROM is probably 512k or 1MB. It seems the ROM for this card ia probably same content as the ROM for the Orchid soundwave 32, just different ROM package.

Good luck, you need to find which kind of ROM is there before you dump it. Maybe ask Tiido for some advice on that.

The Cardinal Sound Studio is the only Cardinal card i've been ever interested, but i never managed to find one sadly.

Reply 5 of 55, by Tiido

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It probably is 27C801 compatible part if it is 1MB, or 27C040 if 512KB. Best way is dumping it with an EPROM programmer. There may be some undocumented software way but there will be no public utils or info about it so it'll be a dead end anyway.

T-04YBSC, a new YMF71x based sound card & Official VOGONS thread about it
Newly made 4MB 60ns 30pin SIMMs ~
mida sa loed ? nagunii aru ei saa 😜

Reply 6 of 55, by dionb

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Would be very interested to see how it compares to these ROMs from another AD Echo card:
http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?file … &menustate=38,0

I used those on my Beethoven ADSP-16, concatenated to a single file. It works, but is the worst-sounding native MIDI I have heard (lots of clipping, particularly on low notes, even with low volume).

Reply 7 of 55, by Pierre32

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Thanks for the input all. Guess I'll wait until I have a programmer.

First thing though is to get the dang thing working in DOS so I can experience it, for better or worse! I was reading your thread earlier dionb - I think I've gone down every rabbit hole that a Cardinal search could take me down 😁

Reply 8 of 55, by Pierre32

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So, switching focus to simply getting this working. I've noticed that it appears to enable the correct settings during boot - but checking them with the DSP16.exe utility afterwards, the MIDI settings have disappeared.

During boot:

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It's just occurred to me while posting that I may have a conflict on IRQ5. I can't think of what that would be, but it's going to eat at me for a few days until I get back home to the machine.

Although you can see it's happening to the joystick port too.

Reply 9 of 55, by jtchip

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I have a Beethoven ADSP-16 Wave (which uses the same chipset) and the DSP16 drivers also say MIDI is not detected despite enabling it in config.sys, though I use IRQ 2 for MIDI. Games using General MIDI do work though so just it a try.
Also, in my case I set the SB IRQ to 5 in config.sys (and games have to set to that in order to work) but dsp16.exe says it's at 7 so I suspect it's making it up! I normally use the Beethoven's own driver (which appears to be the reference driver, without any branding change) but have played with the DSP16 driver in the past.

Reply 10 of 55, by Shreddoc

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I see you've found yet-another weird thing, P32! Good work.

I briefly threw my hat into Google's ring but didn't find anything definitive, however did want to laterally mention old mate Unisound (the generic ISA PnP soundcard driver produced by a member here) as a low-chance option to have a blast at. It goes without saying that your chipset arrangement there, may well NOT fall under that general driver's umbrella, but hey it'll keep you busy for 10 minutes.

We can see the 220/240 IO jumper on board (J1). What's the second one (J2) for?

Reply 11 of 55, by Pierre32

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jtchip wrote on 2021-02-03, 23:44:

I have a Beethoven ADSP-16 Wave (which uses the same chipset) and the DSP16 drivers also say MIDI is not detected despite enabling it in config.sys, though I use IRQ 2 for MIDI. Games using General MIDI do work though so just it a try.
Also, in my case I set the SB IRQ to 5 in config.sys (and games have to set to that in order to work) but dsp16.exe says it's at 7 so I suspect it's making it up! I normally use the Beethoven's own driver (which appears to be the reference driver, without any branding change) but have played with the DSP16 driver in the past.

Cheers for this context. Of course it would make sense to set it to IRQ2/9 in config.sys so I'll try that. (IRQ5 is such a strange default setting for MIDI).

Shreddoc wrote on 2021-02-04, 03:04:

I see you've found yet-another weird thing, P32! Good work.

I briefly threw my hat into Google's ring but didn't find anything definitive, however did want to laterally mention old mate Unisound (the generic ISA PnP soundcard driver produced by a member here) as a low-chance option to have a blast at. It goes without saying that your chipset arrangement there, may well NOT fall under that general driver's umbrella, but hey it'll keep you busy for 10 minutes.

We can see the 220/240 IO jumper on board (J1). What's the second one (J2) for?

Yes, the mysterious appeal of weird things! Gave Unisound a crack already - card not found. Somewhere down the to-do list is posting in that thread, and seeing if JazeFox is interested in adding support (and what I can do to help).

The second jumper you can see is for setting the SCSI address.

Reply 12 of 55, by jtchip

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Unisound won't work, this chipset does not support ISA PnP. Another option is the Orchid Soundwave 32 drivers, which has the advantage of being able to switch the firmware out at runtime using sw32.exe. The Soundwave 32 also has an MT-32 firmware but it doesn't work on the Beethoven.

Reply 13 of 55, by Pierre32

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It's working. And yes, this is some very cheap and cheerful MIDI 😁 At some point I'll record the same set of examples that boxedpress uses in his wavetable thread for comparison: Re: My Wavetable Sample Thread

But as an idea, you could put it in the same league as the McFly: McFly : a VS1053 based waveblaster compatible board

What I've found is that the card seems to be quite intolerant of address/IRQ changes from the default options. Try address 300 for example, and it all falls apart with random instruments playing. Also, during a lot of my testing it was probably spitting out MIDI on the gameport unbeknownst to me, something I only realised tonight when I plugged in a module on a hunch. Loading the correct firmware (dsp001wa.ld) sends MIDI to the onboard ROM - but also continues to send it out the gameport too.

Config.sys:

DEVICE=C:\DSP16\DSP16.SYS /FC:\DSP16\dsp001wa.ld /M0330 /R5 /I7 /D1 /J0

...and if you look at my screenshots above you'll see I was already barking up this tree. So why work now? Well I got into a reckless flurry of changing settings without documenting my steps. But I have a PnP BIOS and I wonder if the difference was changing all IRQs to Legacy ISA.

I'll try out some different firmwares next to see what they do - from both the Cardinal and Soundwave 32 disks. As an aside, I really like the FM on this card!

Here's what I believe all the config.sys switches are, based on the various scraps of information I've found. (I would love to find the manual.)

A - Sony CD address Q - CD IRQ M - MPU address R - MPU IRQ I - SB IRQ D - SB DMA J - Joystick enable W - WSS address S - WSS IRQ […]
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A - Sony CD address
Q - CD IRQ
M - MPU address
R - MPU IRQ
I - SB IRQ
D - SB DMA
J - Joystick enable
W - WSS address
S - WSS IRQ
C - WSS DMA

Reply 14 of 55, by jtchip

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Pierre32 wrote on 2021-02-05, 14:02:

At some point I'll record the same set of examples that boxedpress uses in his wavetable thread for comparison: Re: My Wavetable Sample Thread

I'd be interested to hear how different it sounds compared to the SoundWave 32 (or Beethoven ADSP-16 Wave, which seems to use the same samples).

Pierre32 wrote on 2021-02-05, 14:02:

But I have a PnP BIOS and I wonder if the difference was changing all IRQs to Legacy ISA.

That's probably it, I've always reserved the IRQ/DMA for any ISA sound cards in the BIOS (I no longer have any non-PnP PCs) and they just work.

Pierre32 wrote on 2021-02-05, 14:02:

I'll try out some different firmwares next to see what they do - from both the Cardinal and Soundwave 32 disks. As an aside, I really like the FM on this card!

I've tried both Cardinal and SoundWave 32 firmware on the Beethoven and they don't sound any different to me, except the SW32 firmware seems to make SB digital audio (but not WSS) sound higher pitched, at least on my system (Slot 1 440BX).
The FM, though just OPL2, does sound interesting especially with the "fake stereo" panning but it's not especially accurate. The opening of the door to the SCUMM bar in the first part of The Secret of Monkey Island, for instance, sounds screechy and just wrong.
The config.sys switches look right, I have these as the default settings:

/W530 /S11 /C0 /A0320 /Q10 /M0330 /R9 /I5 /D1 /J1

Reply 15 of 55, by Pierre32

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In the tradition of the boxpressed benchmark, here are some recordings of the downright powerful wavetable ROM on the DSP16. You might be tempted to call this the worst wavetable MIDI you've ever heard. You might wonder if it was marketed with the slogan "I can't believe it's not FM." Me, I like it. It's not going to replace my Roland modules for any serious use, but I like the lane it's in, and down the track I think this card will inspire its own weird DOS build with weird things in it.

Descent

Filename
descent.mp3
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1.4 MiB
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21 downloads
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

Duke3D

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duke.mp3
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1.32 MiB
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29 downloads
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

Tyrian

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tyrian.mp3
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1.23 MiB
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21 downloads
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Fair use/fair dealing exception

Doom

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doom.mp3
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23 downloads
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Reply 16 of 55, by Pierre32

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On a roll with captures tonight, so here is one of my other go-to sound tests, Prince of Persia. FM is my usual music choice for this game. I have an MT-32 (which is the sole MIDI option this game offers) but it just doesn't pack the punch for me. But as the Orchid drivers come with firmware called "mt32", I thought PoP might be an interesting MIDI test. For some additional context, if you've selected MT-32 in PoP setup and it doesn't detect a device, it will fall back to PC speaker music.

- Cardinal firmware dspoo1.ld - outputs to gameport only (expected behaviour as posted earlier).

- Cardinal firmware dspoo1a.ld - fallback to PC speaker

- Cardinal firmware dspoo1wa.ld - this:

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prince cardinal dsp001wa.ld.mp3
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- Orchid firmware mt32.ld - outputs to gameport only

- Orchid firmware genmid.ld - this:

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prince orchid genmid.ld.mp3
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None of that is pretty - but not unexpected when sending MT-32 intruments to GM. Here's what PoP should sound like on an MT-32: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4u7qYhETDUw

Since FM is really my jam here, here's the AnalogDevices rendition on the Cardinal:

Filename
prince cardinal fm.mp3
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2.29 MiB
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Notable is the variation in noise levels per recording. The Orchid firmware is quieter, requiring adjustments to capture input levels thus introducing some line noise. But it's not just line noise; it varies with the output like it's some artefact of the processing. This is present in the FM recording too.

Here is PoP at its FM best (IMO): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HN0jq7IhzTo

Reply 17 of 55, by jtchip

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Pierre32 wrote on 2021-02-06, 10:48:

You might wonder if it was marketed with the slogan "I can't believe it's not FM."

Lol!
Thanks for the recordings, they sound just like the ADSP-16 Wave and SoundWave 32. Personally, I think the McFly sounds better, at least for the recordings that have been made available for that. Given the the SW32 ROM dump is available, an interesting challenge would be to make a SoundFont of it.
I wonder what extra hardware is on the SoundWave 32 that makes it work in MT-32 mode.

Reply 18 of 55, by Pierre32

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And thanks for your input to the thread 😀 Drivers are uploaded now, including some scraps of documentation I've found around the place:

http://www.vogonsdrivers.com/getfile.php?file … &menustate=38,0

https://archive.org/details/cardinal_dsp16

Last edited by Pierre32 on 2021-06-01, 11:07. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 19 of 55, by yawetaG

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Pierre32 wrote on 2021-02-06, 10:48:
In the tradition of the boxpressed benchmark, here are some recordings of the downright powerful wavetable ROM on the DSP16. You […]
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In the tradition of the boxpressed benchmark, here are some recordings of the downright powerful wavetable ROM on the DSP16. You might be tempted to call this the worst wavetable MIDI you've ever heard. You might wonder if it was marketed with the slogan "I can't believe it's not FM." Me, I like it. It's not going to replace my Roland modules for any serious use, but I like the lane it's in, and down the track I think this card will inspire its own weird DOS build with weird things in it.

Descent descent.mp3
Duke3D duke.mp3
Tyrian tyrian.mp3
Doom doom.mp3

That almost sounds like they based their PCM wavetable on the output of a Yamaha FM synthesizer, maybe one of the better PSR models where you can edit the presets in interesting ways... 😁