Sound effects and MIDI work, but no DOS games can produce traditional "soundblaster" music (running within Windows ME)

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Sound effects and MIDI work, but no DOS games can produce traditional "soundblaster" music (running within Windows ME)

Postby SpectreVR » 2019-10-10 @ 19:31

I nabbed an old Gateway from 1999 from a dump and was surprised to see it's perfect. It runs everything very well, but I'm having a very hard time getting that adlib-style music to play (for example, the music from Ultima 6 intro).

I KNOW it works, because I have the shareware version of DOOM playing gun/menu sfx as well as the guitar track during play. This was using MIDI port 330 and SoundBlaster address 220/interrupt 5 settings (as specified in autoexec via the SET BLASTER command).

It has a Creative AudioPCI 1371 as specified in this thread: viewtopic.php?t=26252

From there I learned:
There is one huge drawback however. This card doesn't have a Yamaha OPL chip. It doesn't have a clone chip either. FM synth is emulated through wavetable / soundfont

and sounds horrible.


So, what are my options? How can I get Yamaha "OPL" sound on this machine? Would booting into real DOS mode fix anything or am I SOL for DOS music?

Additionally, if I did have a working OPL chip, would it work automatically? I'm worried because I'm not even hearing wavetable or soundfont as specified in this thread - it's just SILENT. If it did exist and work, would I need to manually configure stuff? I'm worried because many DOS games don't have an installer that lets you select the sound device. For games without installers, am I SOL for running on Windows 98 or ME? Or is there better hardware detection and emulation in the "boot into DOS" mode that these OSes have?
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Re: Sound effects and MIDI work, but no DOS games can produce traditional "soundblaster" music (running within Windows ME)

Postby keenmaster486 » 2019-10-10 @ 20:09

You need a different sound card.

If you're lucky your motherboard has an ISA slot, and you can just put in a good old Sound Blaster 16.
I flermmed the plootash just like you asked.

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Re: Sound effects and MIDI work, but no DOS games can produce traditional "soundblaster" music (running within Windows ME)

Postby SpectreVR » 2019-10-10 @ 20:33

keenmaster486 wrote:You need a different sound card.

If you're lucky your motherboard has an ISA slot, and you can just put in a good old Sound Blaster 16.


I forgot to add, it actually has 2! So what would I be looking for? Once I buy it, what should I do with the old one? Will I need to install the drivers for it in Windows ME? Will I need to unplug the speakers from the old card and plug it into the new one?

How might I expect this to work with DOS games booted in DOS mode vs windows? Will they need to be manually set up to see this new card?

I found this: https://www.ebay.com/itm/Creative-Labs- ... 2868101047
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Re: Sound effects and MIDI work, but no DOS games can produce traditional "soundblaster" music (running within Windows ME)

Postby kolderman » 2019-10-10 @ 20:38

I thought ME lost the DOS subsystem. How does DOOM work at all?
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Re: Sound effects and MIDI work, but no DOS games can produce traditional "soundblaster" music (running within Windows ME)

Postby SpectreVR » 2019-10-10 @ 20:50

kolderman wrote:I thought ME lost the DOS subsystem. How does DOOM work at all?


I just double click the executable. ME has the ability to run DOS applications in-OS as well as boot into DOS once you re-enable the real DOS boot option: https://www.majorgeeks.com/files/detail ... or_me.html

I have not tried this yet, though. I'll try it tonight if I remember. I'm in the middle of obtaining an IDE to SD adapter so I can more easily copy files to the FAT32 SD using my laptop. It's a hassle right now, even with USB support because of unplugging mouse/kb :(
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