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Yamaha SW20-PC

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First post, by fillosaurus

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I had one of those too. Passed away some time ago. Good OPL4 General Midi board. 2 Mb ROM, 128 Kb RAM.
Used Analog Devices 1848 and Opti 928 chips for SB/WSS compatibility, and the above mentioned OPL4 for General Midi.
It was my only "pure" General Midi ISA soundcard. The others being SB32 PnP (with 2 Mb), SB AWE64 (512 Kb), and my favourite (besides the deceased SW20-PC), a GUS ACE with 1 Mb.

Voodoo box: Celeron 800 MHz, 512 Mb SDRAM, Voodoo 3 3000 AGP, 80 Gig Seagate, Yamaha OPL3 SAx 718+NEC XR 385, SoundBlaster Live!, NEC USB 2.0 PCI card.
WIP: external midi module based on NEC wavetable (Yamaha clone); VLB 486

Reply 1 of 39, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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How does OPL4 sound?

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 2 of 39, by fillosaurus

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Quite good, compared to AWE32/64 and GUS MIDI. About the same quality.
I guess it had a good 2 Mb set of samples.

Voodoo box: Celeron 800 MHz, 512 Mb SDRAM, Voodoo 3 3000 AGP, 80 Gig Seagate, Yamaha OPL3 SAx 718+NEC XR 385, SoundBlaster Live!, NEC USB 2.0 PCI card.
WIP: external midi module based on NEC wavetable (Yamaha clone); VLB 486

Reply 3 of 39, by keropi

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that was my 2nd soundcard... I still have it, with packaging, manuals, disks... it had an EXCELLENT 2MB GM set, 128kb of sram to load your own samples, and a FULLY programmable DSP that adds whatever effects you want (reverb/chorus, distortion, etc)
it even had an app for windows, that changed your voice in real-time using the dsp (woman, old man, children etc) was fun at the time where 386 where the standard...costed me ~300eur at the time...

Reply 4 of 39, by Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman

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Wait, I found an interesting article.

...and also to provide backward compatibility for programs utilizing only the OPL2 and OPL3 chips.

Er, maybe I'm a tad too optimistic, but does it mean that games with OPL2 music (e.g selecting Sound Blaster for music) will be played in Wave Table instruments?

Never thought this thread would be that long, but now, for something different.....
Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman.

Reply 5 of 39, by Kippesoep

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:

Er, maybe I'm a tad too optimistic, but does it mean that games with OPL2 music (e.g selecting Sound Blaster for music) will be played in Wave Table instruments?

No, it doesn't. OPL4 adds to OPL3 by adding a few IO ports for the wave table part. The original IO ports still operate the standard FM synthesis.

Reply 6 of 39, by retro games 100

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Regarding the Yamaha SW20-PC sound card, I am ready to test one of these beasts, but I have no (driver) software for it. Can some kind soul point me in the direction where I can get a driver (or install package), to get me up and running with this card please?

(I've tried driverguide.com, but it can't find sw20-pc)

Thanks a lot! 😀

Reply 7 of 39, by keropi

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I will find them for you.
I remember I have "hacked" the original disks to include the latest win95 compatible drivers, so you just install and enjoy.
But wait until tomorrow, as I have them on my work PC.

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site
🎧 Orpheus soundcard site
Action Rewind site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 8 of 39, by keropi

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btw, here is the manual: http://www2.yamaha.co.jp/manual/pdf/emi/engli … /SoundEdgeE.pdf

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site
🎧 Orpheus soundcard site
Action Rewind site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 10 of 39, by keropi

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As promised, the driver!!!!
You must create the 4 disks using the included program (in windows)
plus you MUST report on the card 🤣

http://rapidshare.com/files/186959417/SW20-PC_driver.rar

edit: I also submitted the driver to driverguide.com...

Reply 11 of 39, by retro games 100

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keropi wrote:
As promised, the driver!!!! You must create the 4 disks using the included program (in windows) plus you MUST report on the card […]
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As promised, the driver!!!!
You must create the 4 disks using the included program (in windows)
plus you MUST report on the card 🤣

http://rapidshare.com/files/186959417/SW20-PC_driver.rar

edit: I also submitted the driver to driverguide.com...

Cosmic! 😁 I'll report back with the test results as soon as poss! Thanks a lot!!

Edit: I think I need some tech support please! 😀

I've installed everything. DOS (that is, pure win98 dos 7) installation seemed to go ok. My amended auto + config files look ok. Booting up, I can very briefly see Yamaha related messages on the screen, and they all look ok - I think.

However, if I go in to a DOS game's sound set up section, and select "general midi / 330" for music, it can't detect the mpu-401. I've checked both tiny dip-switches on the card itself, and they are set to 330. (Soundblaster music and adlib music work ok.)

BTW, windows98 installation didn't go well, but perhaps that's not too important right now.

Thanks a lot for any thoughts on the DOS general midi issue! 😀

Edit 2: For some reason, these two lines were added to the autoexec.bat:

c:\yamaha\opl4drv
c:\yamaha\opl4drv -r

The -r removes the driver!

I have now put a "rem" statement at the beginning of the 2nd line.
Now, when I boot up, the opl4drv stays in memory. I can now get a DOS game to see the "general midi 330" port, but I get no music, only hissing silence.

I'll keep working on it! 😀

Edit 3: SOLVED!

For some reason, the installer "hard codes" the autoexec wave table IRQ setting to 7, no matter what jumper you physically set it on the card itself. I left the autoexec setting alone at 7, and physically changed the jumper on the card to match this, and I now hear the wavetable tunes! 😁

Reply 12 of 39, by keropi

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nice you got it working!!!!
what is the windows troubles? there is a setup.exe you can run IIRC

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site
🎧 Orpheus soundcard site
Action Rewind site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 13 of 39, by retro games 100

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keropi wrote:

nice you got it working!!!!
what is the windows troubles? there is a setup.exe you can run IIRC

I was pleased too! 😀

The windows trouble was interesting. The windows setup.exe worked very well. All 4 disks installed fine. Then windows needed to be rebooted. After reboot, windows showed a system file error message. It said something about msmixmgr.dll needed to be "repaired" - something like that. After all this had happened, Windows could not "see" the yamaha card. Not even if I did a manual "add hardware wizard" for it. Consequently, sound tests behaved very strangely. (BTW, I tried "sfc" to get this .dll file, but that didn't do the trick.)

ATM, it's not a problem. I'm sure I can figure it out. Maybe it's win3.1 only? At at most, win95? (I'm going to be installing both of these OSs in the near future, and I've now got those 4 yamaha install disks, I can try again!)

The most important thing for now is that I got it working in DOS, for my old DOS games! 😁

Thanks a lot for the installation software!!!

Reply 14 of 39, by keropi

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OK here is the deal:
the software works fine on win95 and win98
BUT
sw20-pc is only compatible with all 386/486 mobos and some pentium1 ones... AFAIK threre are some hard-coded addresses that conflict in newer mobos and the onbard dsp/ram/whatever cannot initiliaze the card... so it becomes useless in a way
what mobo/cpu/os are you trying with?

Reply 15 of 39, by retro games 100

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keropi wrote:
OK here is the deal: the software works fine on win95 and win98 BUT sw20-pc is only compatible with all 386/486 mobos and some p […]
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OK here is the deal:
the software works fine on win95 and win98
BUT
sw20-pc is only compatible with all 386/486 mobos and some pentium1 ones... AFAIK threre are some hard-coded addresses that conflict in newer mobos and the onbard dsp/ram/whatever cannot initiliaze the card... so it becomes useless in a way
what mobo/cpu/os are you trying with?

Ah! That's very interesting. I tried this card using a "slot 1" P2-based mobo! Win98SE. That's probably why the windows setup failed. DOS seemed OK though, that is win98SE's "real DOS" mode.

Reply 16 of 39, by keropi

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yes, you will never succeed to use the card under windows with this mobo... It just won't work, plus the drivers are some strange VXD ones (no wdm) In one case I could not even get DOS working on a 440BX mobo from ASUS... Really, this card is for 386/486/p1 systems... 😀

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site
🎧 Orpheus soundcard site
Action Rewind site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 17 of 39, by retro games 100

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keropi wrote:

yes, you will never succeed to use the card under windows with this mobo... It just won't work, plus the drivers are some strange VXD ones (no wdm) In one case I could not even get DOS working on a 440BX mobo from ASUS... Really, this card is for 386/486/p1 systems... 😀

Oh wow - I was quite lucky then! - Because my P2-based mobo is a 440BX-based one! 😮 It is a Supermicro P6SBA, revision 2. I don't know much about these boards, whether they are any good or not. Perhaps they are 'Yamaha friendly' ? 😉

Reply 18 of 39, by keropi

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yes you are :p
I remember now, I had tried 2 pII mobos: in DOS both gave garbled sound... the sb part was OK but the effects DSP was getting data (resources conflict) and made the card sound "alien" 🤣

🎵 PCMIDI mpu site
🎧 Orpheus soundcard site
Action Rewind site
💻 WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33

Reply 19 of 39, by retro games 100

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keropi wrote:

yes you are :p
I remember now, I had tried 2 pII mobos: in DOS both gave garbled sound... the sb part was OK but the effects DSP was getting data (resources conflict) and made the card sound "alien" 🤣

Ah! That explains why some of my testing sounded strange. I'm going to retest this beast inside a 486 or early Pentium at a later date. I want to make sure it finds the most suitable home! 😀