VOGONS


Reply 140 of 262, by maxtherabbit

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-09-25, 16:04:
Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-09-25, 01:11:

Edit: Terra Nova has custom samples (FF.SBK) when you select "Sound Blaster AWE32" for music, so DOS32AWE would not be probably needed in this case.

Replaced FF.SBK by renaming another SBK soundfont and it worked fine without DOS32AWE. It will take some time to load larger soundfonts such as FANTAGM2.SBK during startup.

That's very interesting. I wasn't aware of any titles with native AWE support that loaded soundfonts themselves

Reply 141 of 262, by Gmlb256

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More new games tested with DOS32AWE 1.6.

  • Raptor: Call of The Shadows V1.2: Works fine.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces 0.163D: Works fine.
  • System Shock vF1.8D: The demo version I got from DOS Games Archive requires editing CYB.CFG to enable digitized sound and music. For General MIDI support, midi_card and midi_io it should be 12 and 816 (330h) respectively. Game freezes the computer after pressing START.
  • Warcraft: Orcs & Humans 1.22h (the first game of the series): Works fine.

Reply 143 of 262, by Kamerat

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-09-27, 03:40:
More new games tested with DOS32AWE 1.6. […]
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More new games tested with DOS32AWE 1.6.

  • Raptor: Call of The Shadows V1.2: Works fine.
  • Star Wars: Dark Forces 0.163D: Works fine.
  • System Shock vF1.8D: The demo version I got from DOS Games Archive requires editing CYB.CFG to enable digitized sound and music. For General MIDI support, midi_card and midi_io it should be 12 and 816 (330h) respectively. Game freezes the computer after pressing START.
  • Warcraft: Orcs & Humans 1.22h (the first game of the series): Works fine.

Updated the chart.

Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-09-27, 13:34:

It's just me or does the time and date from the BIOS configuration gets reset after using DOS32AWE successfully? Has this happened to anyone else?

I had one instance where the clock got reset.

DOS Sound Blaster compatibility: PCI sound cards vs. PCI chipsets
YouTube channel

Reply 145 of 262, by Gmlb256

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You can easily reproduce this with DOOM using DOS32AWE and after you are done, restart the computer and enter the BIOS setup to check the date and time.

Last edited by Gmlb256 on 2021-09-27, 22:58. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 147 of 262, by georgel

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New version 1.7 of DOS32AWE released, the download link is in the first message. Finally Sim City 2000 is supposed to be working flawlessly. The bug is in the game which sometimes overwrites unallocated RAM . A spare buffer is dedicated now which handles such buggy behavior. Could be useful in other games too.

Reply 148 of 262, by Gmlb256

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Two more games tested after a small hiatus with DOS32AWE 1.7.

  • SideLine 1.20: This obscure game is doesn't work well without EMM installed despite using DOS/4GW, so DOS32AWE can't be used on this game.
  • Boppin' v1.1: Works fine.

Reply 149 of 262, by georgel

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-10-06, 04:22:

...This obscure game is doesn't work well without EMM installed despite using DOS/4GW, so DOS32AWE can't be used on this game.

The game is obscure because it is extremely buggy. Of course, it does not use expanded memory at all (try EMS:N qemm parameter) so it is unclear what it needs (ironically the Asian readme tells not to worry about the memory). Several possibilities come to my mind -- it needs more conventional RAM, secondly and most likely the EMM silently bypasses a game bug by not allowing a memory leak or similar, it is up to you to investigate too.

Reply 150 of 262, by Gmlb256

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georgel wrote on 2021-10-06, 07:05:

The game is obscure because it is extremely buggy. Of course, it does not use expanded memory at all (try EMS:N qemm parameter) so it is unclear what it needs (ironically the Asian readme tells not to worry about the memory). Several possibilities come to my mind -- it needs more conventional RAM, secondly and most likely the EMM silently bypasses a game bug by not allowing a memory leak or similar, it is up to you to investigate too.

According to an old thread on this forum, it could rely on VCPI services.

Reply 151 of 262, by georgel

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Gmlb256 wrote on 2021-10-06, 12:25:

...on this forum, it could rely on VCPI services.

Of course, this happens when run under 386 EMM but it is solely the DOS extender that uses VCPI in that case and not the linear executable (.LE) of the game for sure.

Reply 152 of 262, by georgel

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New version 1.8 of DOS32AWE released, the download link is in the first message. System Shock game is now working. The bug is in the game which for no apparent reason overwrites some interrupt vectors . The fix could be useful in other games too.

Reply 154 of 262, by Kamerat

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georgel wrote on 2021-10-05, 18:25:

New version 1.7 of DOS32AWE released, the download link is in the first message. Finally Sim City 2000 is supposed to be working flawlessly. The bug is in the game which sometimes overwrites unallocated RAM . A spare buffer is dedicated now which handles such buggy behavior. Could be useful in other games too.

Works much better now and the corrupted graphics of the tool menu seems to be gone. I had some crashes, but it's hard to point out how I got it crash. One issue I noticed is that the games suddenly stalls, the time freezes. Moving the the mouse or pushing a button on the keyboard resumes the game. This also happens in the "about" screen of you don't move the mouse or push any buttons for a little while. I got this issue in both v1.7 and v1.8.

DOS Sound Blaster compatibility: PCI sound cards vs. PCI chipsets
YouTube channel

Reply 157 of 262, by maxtherabbit

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nice work with this george, I finally got around to trying it out and it works pretty well

AWE32 with one of the SBK format soundfonts found here: Re: How much soundfont memory does make sense? sounds quite impressive in DOS

Reply 158 of 262, by georgel

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maxtherabbit wrote on 2021-10-27, 20:43:

nice work with this george, I finally got around to trying it out and it works pretty well

AWE32 with one of the SBK format soundfonts found here: Re: How much soundfont memory does make sense? sounds quite impressive in DOS

Thank you!
Once a week in average I am exchanging email messages and examples with Markus - the author of FMJ's Awave Studio which to my humble and recently started sound font education is the only software that attempts converting from SF2 to SF1 but alas does it incorrectly (so far) . His email is fmj (at) fmjsoft.com and he is lacking a vintage machine so far. I have an interesting observation that after conversion from SF2 to SF1 and afterwards back to SF2 (SF1->SF2 is done by the default Creative's LIVE! drivers to avoid involving of Awave Studio) the resultant SF2 plays as initial SF2 on EMU10K (Live!) but equally wrong as converted SF1 on EMU8K (AWE). This leads to conclusion that AWE and Live! drivers differently treat some SF2 out of range parameters but this is yet to be determined. Unfortunately Live! drivers do not use SBK files directly but do convert them to SF2 prior usage.

Another person whom I've never contacted and who may be the ultimate expert in this matter is Takashi Iwai, the author of Linux's AWE drivers (awesfx).

https://github.com/tiwai/awesfx/blob/master/SBKtoSF2.txt

As a side note his Linux drivers have the ability to dynamically use larger sound fonts than the AWE's sounbank RAM is!

Reply 159 of 262, by mkarcher

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georgel wrote on 2021-10-27, 22:54:

As a side note his Linux drivers have the ability to dynamically use larger sound fonts than the AWE's sounbank RAM is!

To be more precise, it's not the linux kernel driver that has the ability to handle larger soundfonts, but it is the accompanying MIDI player application "playmidi" that passes only the required samples to the kernel driver. Most other linux MIDI players that support soundfont loading are derived from playmidi and thus also support partial loading of sound fonts. Usually you can go a factor of 2 to 4 bigger than the RAM on the card. I liked to use an 8MB sound font on my SB32 with 2MB RAM, which worked nice. By "gut feeling", the improvement from the ROM font to the 8MB font is around as big as the improvement from OPL3 to the ROM font.

The idea itself isn't new, though: Gravis used the same approach to their GUS MIDI system. The GUS shipped with around 4.5MB of samples, but the maximum RAM amount on a GUS classic is 1MB. For non-GUS applications there were sample map files that selected which samples to load before you started that application. ULTRAMID dynamically analyzed the MIDI file and chose the required samples or a subset thereof individually for each file.