First post, by adalbert

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Hello, one of my vintage laptops used for old software is Pentium II 366MHz Dell CPI. It runs Windows 95 OSR2, but I can upgrade it to Win 98SE if needed.


It has two audio devices installed:

NeoMagic MagicMedia 256 Audio
NeoMagic MagicMedia 256 Sound Blaster Emulation
(optional driver)

Sound works fine under Windows applications, but there was no MIDI music and no MIDI devices installed. User's guide stated that this laptop uses sound blaster emulation and 'software wavetable', so I installed Yamaha XG50 Soft Synth and I got MIDI in Windows.

But I would like to have MIDI in DOS games, launched in Windows.
I get sound effects playing fine, but no music, although games seem to detect music card.

Sound in DOS games work only in Windows because it needs driver for emulation.

NeoMagic MagicMedia 256 Sound Blaster Emulation driver has reserved three I/O ranges in control panel:

0220 - 022F
0388 - 038B
0300 - 0301

so it has also ranges that are used for playing music, like 0x388, but the sound card probably doesn't have build in music sythesiser.

Is it possible to emulate MIDI synthesizer for use with DOS games, when only sound effects are working, or to route MIDI signals from DOS to be played by Windows synth - Yamaha XG50?

I have noticed that there is VDMSound for Win 9x but I heard that it is unstable alpha.

Reply 1 of 7, by Davros

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Are you sure it doesnt have midi ?
A soundcard without midi from that era would be very unusual
can you get hold of the original drivers, they should set up your set blaster lines
most cards from that era are sbpro/sb at the register level so midi emulation shouldn't be needed

edit: that cards seems a bit unusual doesnt it also do video ?

Guardian of the Sacred Five Terabyte's of Gaming Goodness

Reply 2 of 7, by adalbert

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Well, I'm pretty sure it doesn't. And yes, it seems to be a weird all-in-one integrated chip.

Anyway, I managed to install VDMSound under Windows 95. It can emulate both SoundBlaster for audio and AdLib for music. But it is unstable and crashes when using both.
When emulating just AdLib, it is perfectly stable, but I have no sound effects.

So, the perfect soultion would be to enable VDMSound to emulate just music, and use Sound Blaster emulation from my laptop sound card.
I tried messing with config file but with no luck. Could anyone try to help solving this?

Reply 4 of 7, by smokeycockatiel

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Sorry for the bump

I have a cpi a 400xt and there's no midi 🙁

35, From Worcestershire England, Autistic, Hobbies, Steam Engine's-Briggs And Stratton Engines, Dell Laptops,Record Collector,

Reply 5 of 7, by Gryphon

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I wanted to bump this thread myself some time ago as last year I bought latitude CPi A366XT with intention of playing dos and early windows games on it and encountered same problem There seem to be 2 versions of latitude CPi. One with prefix D and other with prefix A - the A being newer with "beefier specs" . Old D one has crystal audio sound card which emulates both sound and music under dos and windows,and new one Neomagic media which can sort of emulate some midi but it appears that it's incapable of emulating music for dos games at all.

I was able to have sound and music in windows versions of games like Warcraft 2 or Heroes of Might and Magic 2 on CPI A. I was however unable to have any music in dos versions of these games running under windows 98se. There should be midi drivers for neomagic card which you can try to install. These should at least enable sound on dos games but you still wont have music. Maybe I'm mistaken and there is a way to play music natively but I doubt it.

You can alternatively download dosbox and try dropping your games there. You should be able to play them with sound and music at normal speeds - if you want to play older dos stuff.
CPI's cpu should be able to handle that.

Reply 6 of 7, by ragefury32

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Nope - the Dell Lat CPiAs do not have a DOS kosher sound card - that’s a known issue for pretty much all DellLats between the CPiD (CS4237B) and the CPx (ESS Maestro series). All the other Dell models in that range are Neomagic AC97 devices only (except one specific LS model that uses a Crystal CS4281)