VOGONS


Reply 140 of 215, by Action Replay

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keropi wrote on 2019-12-07, 18:35:

...
and yep, the 9236 digital audio interface is used for the OPL3 chip and this is also why YMF289 is used : 44,1khz output

This is the genius part of the design for getting the output of the OPL3 into the main control chip. Great!

I have a question about the OPL3. I am not very familiar with the ISA bus design. Where does the OPL3 chip get its data inputs from? Are the data lines straight from the bus and shared with the Crystal chip?

Reply 141 of 215, by darry

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I somehow missed this project. Very interesting. This and the AWE64 Legacy could replace my Audiotrix 3D/XG and AWE64 Value combo while giving me even better audio quality . My Akai DPS12 does not have enough digital inputs, so I would need to upgrade to something better suited, though .

Reply 142 of 215, by keropi

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@Action Replay
the CS4237 still controls YMF289 - external opl is supported by the chip so it was not an issue
we are still optimizing - there is a newer test revision now 😀

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 144 of 215, by keropi

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Action Replay wrote on 2020-06-26, 17:25:

Thanks, I've had a look at the CS datasheet and that external FM feature is really interesting. Do you know if Cirrus made a PCI chip that has this feature?

doubt it, when PCI was a thing noone really cared about FM or soundblaster support... it was the windows era and all the fuss was 3D-audio and direcsound 😀

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 145 of 215, by Zalog

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keropi wrote on 2020-06-24, 19:50:

@Action Replay
the CS4237 still controls YMF289 - external opl is supported by the chip so it was not an issue
we are still optimizing - there is a newer test revision now 😀

Mark me down for one as I definitely need one for my MEGA-PC like the rig your testing it on, as Adlib music only isn't great on some games !
BTW will the card allow "Pass through" via the line-In port ? as it would be a useful feature to be able to link the audio out of the Megadrive/Adlib card to the Line-In so you could still get the megadrive audio playing through the same set of speakers when you switched over to the megadrive side - as a plus perhaps this would also allow OPL2 adlib music (from the Megadrive card) in PC mode with added SFX from the new soundcard if desired 😀 ?

Reply 146 of 215, by keropi

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Zalog wrote on 2020-06-29, 10:04:
keropi wrote on 2020-06-24, 19:50:

@Action Replay
the CS4237 still controls YMF289 - external opl is supported by the chip so it was not an issue
we are still optimizing - there is a newer test revision now 😀

Mark me down for one as I definitely need one for my MEGA-PC like the rig your testing it on, as Adlib music only isn't great on some games !
BTW will the card allow "Pass through" via the line-In port ? as it would be a useful feature to be able to link the audio out of the Megadrive/Adlib card to the Line-In so you could still get the megadrive audio playing through the same set of speakers when you switched over to the megadrive side - as a plus perhaps this would also allow OPL2 adlib music (from the Megadrive card) in PC mode with added SFX from the new soundcard if desired 😀 ?

oohhh you are in for a treat then, there is something brewing especially for the megapc - it's not based on 4237 though as it's more traditional - it was meant just for my systems but I am pretty sure more mega-pc owners will appreciate it. will show something when things develop a little more.
but to answer your question yes it is possible to mix mega-pc sounds like that

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 148 of 215, by keropi

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we are getting there it just takes long time - not only for shipping that have huge delays because of covid but also because the software work is quite substantial. The original DOS drivers leave A LOT to be desired, even the mixer is sub-par. Sure drivers work for the simpler 4237 cards out there but once you aim for quality and advanced features there are many obstacles - most just boil down to lack of proper documentation and support/sdk tools.
A valuable partner in this is 640k!enough who provides software support and general testing - even found the most serious sound quality flaw that the previous beta had.
There a couple other cards floating around that we also gather feedback from, it really takes some people to test various things their way to really optimize things - and realize there are issues that you did not notice because your testing procedure is different.

For now the new pcb is like this, it has further analog/digital side separation, more filters, extra buffers, altered routing, different jack placement - in general a more optimized design based on feedback.

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This project took way longer than expected - it's just that the optimization never stopped! 😀
Thank you all for your patience and support for the project!

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 149 of 215, by Zalog

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keropi wrote on 2020-06-29, 10:26:
Zalog wrote on 2020-06-29, 10:04:
keropi wrote on 2020-06-24, 19:50:

@Action Replay
the CS4237 still controls YMF289 - external opl is supported by the chip so it was not an issue
we are still optimizing - there is a newer test revision now 😀

Mark me down for one as I definitely need one for my MEGA-PC like the rig your testing it on, as Adlib music only isn't great on some games !
BTW will the card allow "Pass through" via the line-In port ? as it would be a useful feature to be able to link the audio out of the Megadrive/Adlib card to the Line-In so you could still get the megadrive audio playing through the same set of speakers when you switched over to the megadrive side - as a plus perhaps this would also allow OPL2 adlib music (from the Megadrive card) in PC mode with added SFX from the new soundcard if desired 😀 ?

oohhh you are in for a treat then, there is something brewing especially for the megapc - it's not based on 4237 though as it's more traditional - it was meant just for my systems but I am pretty sure more mega-pc owners will appreciate it. will show something when things develop a little more.
but to answer your question yes it is possible to mix mega-pc sounds like that

That's fab news - Can't wait to see what your megapc one turns out like - I think most of us owners would definitely go for a specialised one for the machine (I know I would !!) if it became avaliable 😀

Reply 150 of 215, by keropi

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Zalog wrote on 2020-06-29, 13:27:

That's fab news - Can't wait to see what your megapc one turns out like - I think most of us owners would definitely go for a specialised one for the machine (I know I would !!) if it became avaliable 😀

it will be the only card you'll ever need for the megapc 😉

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 151 of 215, by appiah4

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keropi wrote on 2020-06-29, 14:53:
Zalog wrote on 2020-06-29, 13:27:

That's fab news - Can't wait to see what your megapc one turns out like - I think most of us owners would definitely go for a specialised one for the machine (I know I would !!) if it became avaliable 😀

it will be the only card you'll ever need for the megapc 😉

This card in my life.. I need it.

Retronautics: A digital gallery of my retro computers, hardware and projects.

Reply 153 of 215, by hegars

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zapbuzz wrote on 2020-06-30, 09:38:

PCI version would be good too not much out there these days especially daughter board support.

IT8888F PCI-ISA Bridge and then hell why not PCI-PCIe with a ASM1083, have fun writing the drivers 😀.

Reply 154 of 215, by darry

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zapbuzz wrote on 2020-06-30, 09:38:

PCI version would be good too not much out there these days especially daughter board support.

A PCI version would need to be based on a completely different design and different controller chip. For DOS compatibility, which is one this project's design goals, PCI is sub-optimal .

For waveblaster daughterboard support on PCI, you have some options :

Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
Aureal SQ2500
Dynex DX-SC5.1

Another option for using a waveblaster daughterboard on any card with a DB15 joystick-type MIDI out is this https://www.serdashop.com/CHiLLandPhilAdapter .

Reply 155 of 215, by cde

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keropi wrote on 2020-06-24, 19:50:

@Action Replay
the CS4237 still controls YMF289 - external opl is supported by the chip so it was not an issue
we are still optimizing - there is a newer test revision now 😀

Awesome work! When production builds are ready, I'd be glad to buy one of your cards! Feel free to PM me when they arrive 😀

Last edited by cde on 2020-08-01, 10:09. Edited 1 time in total.

Reply 156 of 215, by jroman

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I'm very interested in this for my HP Vectra XA5. It has the OEM SB16 (CT-2970, non-OPL3) but most sound cards won't fit in the bottom ISA slot as they would overlap the RAM. So not only does this have a killer feature set, but it is as short as can be! I'll for sure be ordering one when they're available.

Edit to avoid double posting: This is a strange question but does this card require power on the -5V rail? I've been reading about using modern power supplies on retro systems and this is apparently a sticking point. Some ISA cards require -5V power but ATX power supplies haven't required it since 2002.

Reply 158 of 215, by keropi

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jroman wrote on 2020-07-31, 02:15:

I'm very interested in this for my HP Vectra XA5. It has the OEM SB16 (CT-2970, non-OPL3) but most sound cards won't fit in the bottom ISA slot as they would overlap the RAM. So not only does this have a killer feature set, but it is as short as can be! I'll for sure be ordering one when they're available.

Edit to avoid double posting: This is a strange question but does this card require power on the -5V rail? I've been reading about using modern power supplies on retro systems and this is apparently a sticking point. Some ISA cards require -5V power but ATX power supplies haven't required it since 2002.

hey jroman,
wow just saw the post... no the soundcard does not require -5v so no need to worry about psu standards
believe it or not the card is still being optimized - just going that extra step that most likely noone will notice 🤣

thanks everyone for your interest, this covid deal just delayed everything but maybe it was for the best since improvements never really stopped!

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system

Reply 159 of 215, by keropi

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I am happy to announce that the Orpheus soundcard is done!
Nothing more to add/remove/tweak in the hardware side of things 😀

Special thanks to
- 640k!enough for his hardware feedback on the prototype boards and his software work
- JazeFox for adding specific Orpheus support to his excellent UniSound driver so the card's special features can be used under pure DOS

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As you can see the board is now a "classic green" one 😀
There is an extra jumper block added that lets the user select which MPU device will control the wavetable header, the gameport midi and the dedicated midi-out jack.
So if a card has the pcmidi part installed the user can enable the CS4237 MPU device and have 2 MPU devices working at the same time controlling different parts of the card.
(ofcourse this feature only makes sense with the pcmidi part installed)

The card comes in 3 flavors - all prices include registered airmail shipping in a hard box with fully assembled and complete items ready for use:

  • Orheus soundcard : 130eur
  • Orpheus soundcard with PCMIDI installed: 180eur
  • Orpheus soundcard with PCMIDI installed and Dreamblaster X2 daughterboard: 230eur

For now anyone interested can use the PCMIDI order form located in serdashop.com and www.pcmidi.eu - there is an Orpheus item in the drop-down product list.
Thanks for your support on this and I hope people will like the card as much as we enjoyed making it!

🎵Link to buy a PCMIDI mpu
🎧Orpheus soundcard project
💻WTB Amstrad PC7486SLC-33 system