VOGONS


First post, by BraveToaster

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Hi,

I have an A-Trend Harmony 3DS719 ISA sound card with a Yamaha YMF-719 chip on it. I'm using it in my Pentium 233 MMX PC and it is connected to an external MIDI device through the gameport.
The PC has a Realtek PCI NIC, an ATI 3D XPression+ graphics card (PCI) and a Vooodoo1. I've deactivated the serial and parallel ports since I don't need them (mouse is on PS/2) and to free up resources.

It seems to work fine on Windows 3.1 (under DOS 6.2) as well as Windows 98 SE with the original Yamaha drivers. However, under DOS I'm experiencing quite a lot of issues:
- The sound in Jazz Jackrabbit is completely broken (slow, distorted), no matter which Soundblaster I choose
- In other games, e.g. TIE Fighter, the sound/speech is distorted.
- WSS games seem to work fine (e.g. Descent).

Now here comes the interesting bit: The distorted sound in TIE Fighter goes away when I initialize the card with UNISOUND rather than the bundled SETUPSA.EXE utility. I've tried all kinds of (sane) DMA/IRQ combinations and mixer settings, but to no avail. Initialize with UNISOUND: sound is great, initialize with SETUPSA: Sound is distorted.
Now the reason why I don't just dump the Yamaha tools and switch to UNISOUND is because the mixer settings don't seem to work perfectly with that, but also because I'm really curious now what's going on.

Has anyone else with this card experienced the same issues? Could someone who has this card working send me their OPL3SA.INI (I hope I've remembered the name correctly, it's next to SETUPSA.EXE)? I've noticed that SETUPSA.EXE behaves quite differently depending on what lines are in that file.

One thing to note is also that SETUPSA.EXE perfectly allows putting SB and WSS on the same IRQ and DMA. Does that make sense? It also always seems to put the MPU401 on the same IRQ as the SB, no matter what I put into the INI file.

Thanks everyone!

Last edited by BraveToaster on 2021-05-02, 13:48. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 2 of 6, by BraveToaster

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appiah4 wrote on 2021-04-30, 16:34:

Use Tiido's YMF drivers instead, they are *cheffs kiss* perfect.

Thank you - that was a great suggestion. For future reference, the tool is called SETYMF.EXE and can be found here: http://www.tmeeco.eu/TKAYBSC/

In my case, I had to run it with /FORCEPNP for it to work, but then I could initialize the card flawlessly, and I could flash the EEPROM so that in the future that isn't necessary anymore. That comes with some warnings, but to be honest, the card is utterly broken with the original drivers, so I'm pretty fed up with it anyway. Didn't break anything though.

However, with SETYMF, I'm running into the same issues as with UNISOUND, namely that the SB mixer is broken, Wave is extremely loud and no matter what I set it to, it's either full blast and way too loud in comparison to the rest or off - seems binary. Same happens when I use the SBP-SET.EXE from the Creative Labs SB Pro software suite (just to verify). WSS sound control works fine.
In contrast, Line-In is extremely quiet even when set to max, so using that to feed in sound from an external MIDI device is pretty much infeasible.

For games without their own mixer settings (like Indy4 Fate of Atlantis), it means they are useless with MT32 music, since either the music is inaudible or the speech blasts your ears off.
Games with their own mixer settings (like TIE Fighter) do work, but it's quite annoying to fiddle around until it sounds halfway balanced.

As I said before, with the original drivers / init tool (SETUPSA.EXE), it's completely borken - TIE Fighter has extremely distorted sound and Indy4 just reboots the machine on startup. It's extremely weird. I never thought this was possible, I mean there's no actual driver involved, just a sound card initizialization, and despite that, it behaves so differently depending on which tool initialized it.
That being said, SETUPSA.EXE does seem to be able to set the mixer better at least, but I can't say for sure because the output in the games is so broken with it.

In summary, I think this particular sound card is faulty - maybe there's some inherent flaw with the hardware. Unless maybe someone still has an idea? Otherwise I'll try my luck with another (non-Yamaha) card.

Reply 3 of 6, by badmojo

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That sure does sound broken - the mixer is a bit wonky on the YMF71x cards with SETUPSA (Yamaha YMF71x SB Pro Mixer Bug Issue Fix) but from memory SETYMF.EXE initialises the mixer with reasonable levels by default.

My only thought is that there are different versions of SETUPSA around I think - perhaps yours needs a version specific to that card. I assume you've had a hunt around for a copy of the original driver disk for it? If not maybe worth a shot.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 4 of 6, by Tiido

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It sounds like your card actually has some physical problems. Line-in problem is most likely due to bad capacitors, but SB volume control issue shouldn't be due to bad caps and there maybe something more going on...

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 5 of 6, by BraveToaster

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That's a bummer, but thanks!
Just out of curiosity: Is the issue with Jazz Jackrabbit known with these cards or is that also a "specialty" of the one that I got? I can't Jazz Jackrabbit get to output non-distorted sound at all, with SETUPSA, UNISOUND or SETYMF, and no matter which Sound Blaster option I choose. It's blatantly obviously in the intro already, the sound is just garbage - not just slightly distorted or something but rather distorted so that it's hard to hear what it's supposed to sound like. Works fine with the other sound cards I have (SB 16 CT2950, TerraTec Base1, ALS100).
My understanding is that Epic Pinball uses the same sound system, but that does work.

Reply 6 of 6, by Tiido

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I have not had any issues whatsoever with Jazz on any of my hardware with YMF71x cards, so there definitely seems something fishy going on with yours...

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 😜