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Games that sound best with GUS?

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First post, by sndwv

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I recently started messing with DOSBox's Ultrasound support (never bothered to look beyond Soundblaster + MIDI, as that was what all my old PC's always had) and I noticed that some games sound a lot better / more clear with Ultrasound. An obvious example would be Zone 66, with a dedicated soundtrack, but I also noticed One Must Fall sounds a lot crisper, and it seems like Jazz Jackrabbit and maybe Raptor might sound better as well, though less noticeable.

Is there a list of games or rule of thumb which games sound best on GUS? Or any other games like Z66 that have special sounds or music?

*edit: and is there any value other than fun to mess with UltaMID/Mega-Em if I already have MT-32/SC-55?

Last edited by sndwv on 2017-05-06, 16:42. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 2 of 25, by gdjacobs

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Not games per se, but I'd definitely try some tracker music on the GUS. As far as games, the best title IMO which uses GUS well is One Must Fall 2097.
www.omf2097.com/robyrt/omf/omf2097.html

See these prior threads for some other ideas:
www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=45990
www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=23101
www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=18628

All hail the Great Capacitor Brand Finder

Reply 3 of 25, by KainXVIII

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sndwv wrote:

I recently started messing with DOSBox's Ultrasound support (never bothered to look beyond Soundblaster + MIDI, as that was what all my old PC's always had) and I noticed that some games sound a lot better / more clear with Ultrasound. An abvious example would be Zone 66, with a dedicated soundtrack, but I also noticed One Must Fall sounds a lot crisper, and it seems like Jazz Jackrabbit and maybe Raptor might sound better as well, though less noticeable.

Is there a list of games or rule of thumb which games sound best on GUS? Or any other games like Z66 that have special sounds or music?

*edit: and is there any value other than fun to mess with ULTRAMID if I already have MT-32/SC-55?

You mean GUS emulation in dosbox? Can you try Crusader No Remorse series and compare with SB16?

Reply 4 of 25, by sndwv

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Cool, thanks for the tips, I'll try these out!

Yes indeed, GUS emulation by the way. Followed the 'install gravis ultrasound properly' thread.

Last edited by sndwv on 2016-10-21, 18:58. Edited 2 times in total.

Reply 5 of 25, by sndwv

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Recorded a bit of gameplay of Crusader on SB16 and Ultrasound under DOSBox SVN. Crusader (GOG version) needed a soundcard patch for GUS support.

Filename
crus_01_sb16.wma
File size
1.06 MiB
Downloads
37 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Filename
crus_01_gus.wma
File size
1.06 MiB
Downloads
39 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Not that much of a difference? Volume is a bit lower for GUS, perhaps a tiny bit clearer?

Last edited by sndwv on 2016-10-25, 12:37. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 7 of 25, by firage

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Seems like this thread belongs in the DOSBox forums, since you're comparing its sound card emulations.

There was a thread with a pretty good start at a list here: www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=46&t=36661

Reply 8 of 25, by sndwv

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Thanks, that's the sort of list I was looking for, and the thread also answers my questions about MIDI.

My original question wasn't specifically about DOSBox's emulation (although that is what I use), but I guess I did derail it a bit when I discovered a potential issue with Star Control 2... I'll clean that up and start a new thread for it. If the mods think the rest is more suitable for DOSBox (or Marvin) feel free to move.

Last edited by sndwv on 2016-10-21, 19:19. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 9 of 25, by ripsaw8080

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sndwv wrote:

My original question wasn't specifically about DOSBox's emulation (although that is what I use)

Yes, but games that sound best (or not) with GUS in DOSBox won't necessarily do so elsewhere. 😉

Reply 10 of 25, by Great Hierophant

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By sheer coincidence, I had just wrote up an article on this subject, dealing with real hardware :

nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/2016/10/re ... sound.html

nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog

Reply 11 of 25, by sndwv

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Interesting, and great to have some recordings on actual hardware to compare against DOSBox. OMF, Turrican, Crusader, Jazz Jackrabbit and to a lesser extent Star Control II are amongst my favorite games, so even though there are not that many that benefit from hardware mixing, I was very happy to 'discover' I could make these titles sound even better than I remembered them.

Tried all the ones you recorded in DOSBox and they sound very similar/the same (you captured some of the skipping you mentioned with OMF which obviously doesn't happen with DOSBox). Except for Star Control II which, at least for me, is behaving strangely with DOSBox, as mentioned earlier.

Reply 12 of 25, by Cloudschatze

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sndwv wrote:

Recorded a bit of gameplay of Crusader on SB16 and Ultrasound under DOSBox SVN. Crusader (GOG version) needed a soundcard patch for GUS support.

Not that much of a difference? Volume is a bit lower for GUS, perhaps a tiny bit clearer?

You must have captured the SB16 example prior to applying the version 1.06 ASYLUM.DLL with GUS support? If so, try the SB16/AWE32 again. You'll notice that the music playback is now in superior, "stereo surround."

www.symphoniae.com/soundcard/Creative/C ... P3/M01.mp3

There's quite a big difference. For this reason, and barring some sort of weird preference for monophonic music otherwise, Crusader: No Remorse is not a game that sounds best with the Gravis Ultrasound.

Reply 13 of 25, by sndwv

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Cloudschatze wrote:

You must have captured the SB16 example prior to applying the version 1.06 ASYLUM.DLL with GUS support?

Correct! 😀

Cloudschatze wrote:

There's quite a big difference. For this reason, and barring some sort of weird preference for monophonic music otherwise, Crusader: No Remorse is not a game that sounds best with the Gravis Ultrasound.

Wow, the stereo separation *is* really cool, I never knew that! That said, there's also something to be said for the amazing clarity of the GUS version. I didn't notice too much of a difference in quality at first, but it is quite noticeable, for instance the quiter installation music, which I recorded in DOSBox here:

Filename
crus_inst_sb16.wma
File size
1.44 MiB
Downloads
52 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Filename
crus_inst_gus.wma
File size
1.44 MiB
Downloads
47 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Notice the stereo, but 'tape hiss' and weaker bass in the SB16 version.

Reply 14 of 25, by Jo22

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Wow, thanks for sharing! Your SB16 captures sound amazing! 😀

Edit: Recording added - Soundscape (real hardware, AudioPCI 3000)

Filename
crus_inst_soundscape.ogg
File size
3.7 MiB
Downloads
35 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception
Last edited by Jo22 on 2017-09-05, 06:29. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 15 of 25, by ripsaw8080

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For critical listening of Crusader No Remorse's tracker music outside of the game, some players support the AMF (Asylum Music Format) files directly, or the AMF2MOD utility can convert to 8-channel MOD that many players support. Most of the AMF files are in the SOUND subdir on the cdrom, but the installation AMF file is in the IDATA subdir.

Reply 16 of 25, by Cloudschatze

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ripsaw8080 wrote:

For critical listening of Crusader No Remorse's tracker music outside of the game, some players support the AMF (Asylum Music Format) files directly...

The in-game spatialization effect provided by the Asylum Sound System isn't reproduced by any of the players that I'm familiar with, for what it's worth.

Last edited by Cloudschatze on 2016-10-26, 02:11. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 17 of 25, by ripsaw8080

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Cloudschatze wrote:

The in-game spatialization effect provided by the Asylum Sound System isn't reproduced by any of these players

Which players? I didn't specify. There are almost countless module player programs, each offering different features, and thus different "renditions" of a given module's sound. There are also module player plugins for WinAmp and Foobar, with all manner of post-processing effects plugins that you can layer on top. When you say a particular effect of a particular player isn't reproduced in other players, my reaction is split between wondering if you've really tried and "So, what?"

At this moment I'm listening to the level 1 music going through a parametric EQ with some bass boost, stereo "widening" plugin, and BBE Sonic Maximizer plugin. Let's see you do that with the music in-game *before* it hits your sound hardware. 😀

Reply 18 of 25, by Cloudschatze

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You're reading way too much into what I've said.

I'm suggesting that the in-game playback experience isn't natively replicated out-of-game, based on my own experience with the common, AMF-supporting players. This information may or may not be important to some folks when determining what to use as a basis of comparison, but I figured it was worth mentioning in connection with your suggestion.

There could very-well be a player that does duplicate the in-game playback though, and for that, I'll revise my statement.

Reply 19 of 25, by PhilsComputerLab

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That is pretty cool 😀

Anyone checked out the Ensoniq option?

Here is a copy paste of the readme:

Show quote

Dear Crusader Customer,

Thank you for purchasing Crusader: No Remorse. Due to heavy demand Origin has created a sound patch for Crusader. The following is a list of updates you will find:

Sound Blaster 16 & AWE improved sound.

Gravis UltraSound native support. Requires half meg on GUS card.

Ensoniq SoundScape native support.

All that is required to install the patch is the place the new ASYLUM.DLL file into the Crusader directory and execute the INSTALL.EXE program from the Crusader directory. Now when you change the soundcard there will be two new selections, namely the Gravis UltraSound & the Ensoniq SoundScape.

Enjoy,

Origin Systems, Inc.

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