VOGONS


First post, by Joseph_Joestar

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So I noticed something interesting with this game. Aladdin has a number of different options in SETSND.EXE of which I've tried "Sound Blaster & AWE32", "Sound Blaster Pro" and finally "Windows Sound System". Testing those options on my Opti82c930 and Avance Logic ALS100 (not plus) with "Enhanced Music" turned on, I discovered the following:

  • Sound Blaster & AWE32 - the music plays back in mono on both cards, sound seems slightly muffled. Setup auto-detects High DMA = 5 for the ALS100 but it makes no difference in sound quality
  • Sound Blaster Pro - the music plays back in stereo on both cards, sound is clean
  • Windows Sound System - with the Opti card in WSS mode, the music plays back in stereo and possibly (not sure) sounds slightly clearer than with the SBPro option

This is very noticeable when using headphones and listening to the intro song "A whole New World". When the "Sound Blaster & AWE32" option is selected, sound is identical on both the left and right. However, in SBPro and WSS mode, you can clearly hear some instruments playing only on the left and others playing only on the right.

My question is, did this game not implement stereo on its "Sound Blaster and AWE32" setup option, or are my clone cards not supporting it? Can someone with a genuine SB16 or AWE32 test this? I'm also curious whether a genuine SB16 will play stereo music with the SBPro option selected.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 2 of 32, by Joseph_Joestar

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FreddyV wrote on 2020-02-28, 10:32:

No, it can't, SB16 does not support SBPro Stereo

I know that too, which is why I asked for someone who has a genuine SB16 to test Aladdin with SBPro selected as a setup option and see if it plays stereo sound or not.

Or, failing that, if they can get stereo in any way on a SB16 in that game.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 4 of 32, by dr_st

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Looks like it's gonna be a while till I get to my AWE64 system to test on a real system.

What I can say is that in DOSBox, Aladdin plays stereo music with SBPro option selected, even if DOSBox itself has sbtype=sb16. But I don't know if DOSBox emulates a real SB16 in this regard.

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Reply 5 of 32, by zyga64

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From my observation. Game sounds much better on integrated YMF701 (intel TC430HX) - SoundBlaster Pro settings, than on Sounblaster Vibra 16s (CT2800) on the same motherboard.
It seems that this game has bug in SB16/AWE32 driver similiar to this in Jazz Jackrabit, or I just have bad version of a game...

1) VLSI SCAMP /286@20 /4MB /CL-GD5422 /CMI8330
2) i420EX /486DX33 /16MB /TGUI9440 /YMF718+GUS
3) i440BX /P!!!750 /256MB /MX440 /SBLive!+Vibra16s

Reply 6 of 32, by Joseph_Joestar

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I'm finally back at my retro rig, so I'm uploading the intro song played back on my Avance Logic ALS100 using the SBAWE32 and the SBPro setup options.

When you listen to both recordings via headphones, the lack of stereo on the SBAWE32 setup option is easy to hear.

Attachments

  • Filename
    Aladdin_SBPro.mp3
    File size
    2.19 MiB
    Downloads
    44 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • Filename
    Aladdin_SB_AWE32.mp3
    File size
    2.22 MiB
    Downloads
    45 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 7 of 32, by Joseph_Joestar

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Well, I now have a Sound Blaster AWE64 Value (CT4520). As expected, Aladdin does not play music in stereo on this card, regardless of whether I choose "Sound Blaster & AWE32" or "Sound Blaster Pro" in setup.

Conclusion: this is one of those few games where having a SBPro (or compatible) will give you proper stereo while having a SB16 (or AWE32/64) will not. So feel feee to use it for testing various cards for their SBPro compatibility.

I have also confirmed that WSS gives clearer stereo sound than a SBPro, and I can upload another MP3 for comparison if people are interested.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 9 of 32, by Joseph_Joestar

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firage wrote on 2020-06-24, 12:48:

Good job documenting the bug. Good information to add to SB16/AWE's practical deficencies.

Thanks! Looks like the old SBPro vs. SB16 debate is still far from over. I'm partial to WSS since it tends to offer the best of both worlds, when supported.

Speaking of which, I'm uploading the Windows Sound System version for the final comparison. It was recorded from an Opti 82c930 running in WSS mode.

Attachments

  • Filename
    Aladdin_WSS.mp3
    File size
    2.27 MiB
    Downloads
    39 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 10 of 32, by Gona

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I have genuine SB Pro 2 (CT1600 Rev08) and SB16 (CT2230 Rev02) and I confirm that the SB16 is not fully SB Pro compatible. I have set the Aladdin to SB Pro and this on CT1600 sound in stereo:

Filename
Aladdin_SB_Pro_-_on_-_SB_Pro2_CT1600_rev08.ogg
File size
1.02 MiB
Downloads
28 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

I have switched the card to the CT2230 and I have used an old and compatible driver for it (later drivers are less compatible), I have left Aladdin sound setup untouched (SB16 on the same PORT, IRQ and DMA as SB Pro 2) but the sound is mono:

Filename
Aladdin_SB_Pro_-_on_-_SB_16_CT2230_rev02.ogg
File size
962.57 KiB
Downloads
27 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Finally I set the Aladdin for "Sound Blaster & AWE32" and this is mono too.

Last edited by Gona on 2021-05-16, 20:54. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 11 of 32, by mothergoose729

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On my Orpheus sound card WSS music never plays after the title screen. Sound blaster pro music is clean and stereo. In general, I have noticed that WSS sounds when mixed in 8 bit sounds similar to sound blaster pro 2, at least on my card, but slightly less filtered/cleaner.

Reply 12 of 32, by Joseph_Joestar

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Gona wrote on 2021-05-16, 20:51:

I have genuine SB Pro 2 (CT1600 Rev08) and SB16 (CT2230 Rev02) and I confirm that the SB16 is not fully SB Pro compatible.

Interesting, so we now have confirmation that this is the case with original Creative cards as well. It seems that Aladdin is indeed one of those rare games where a SBPro provides stereo sound while a SB16 does not.

mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-05-16, 20:53:

On my Orpheus sound card WSS music never plays after the title screen.

That's too bad. I have played through the entire game on my OPTi 82C930 and can confirm that all the songs play correctly in WSS mode. Looks like this might be another Orpheus WSS compatibility issue.

Do note that Aladdin needs quite a bit of free conventional memory for enhanced music (around 590 KB I think). If you have less than that amount, the music may not play correctly.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 13 of 32, by mothergoose729

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-05-16, 22:48:
Interesting, so we now have confirmation that this is the case with original Creative cards as well. It seems that Aladdin is in […]
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Gona wrote on 2021-05-16, 20:51:

I have genuine SB Pro 2 (CT1600 Rev08) and SB16 (CT2230 Rev02) and I confirm that the SB16 is not fully SB Pro compatible.

Interesting, so we now have confirmation that this is the case with original Creative cards as well. It seems that Aladdin is indeed one of those rare games where a SBPro provides stereo sound while a SB16 does not.

mothergoose729 wrote on 2021-05-16, 20:53:

On my Orpheus sound card WSS music never plays after the title screen.

That's too bad. I have played through the entire game on my OPTi 82C930 and can confirm that all the songs play correctly in WSS mode. Looks like this might be another Orpheus WSS compatibility issue.

Do note that Aladdin needs quite a bit of free conventional memory for enhanced music (around 590 KB I think). If you have less than that amount, the music may not play correctly.

It could be a configuration issue. I had to use eatxms to get around the no more than 32mb of availability issue that the game has. In general games after 1995 all work with a couple exceptions, but earlier WSS games usually don't. Fortunately the sound blaster pro driver is really good in that game.

Reply 14 of 32, by matcarfer

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Interesting thread I must say. I recently played Aladdin on Genesis and sounded not that great, and always wondered how good could sound with differents Sound Cards, and never EVER head WSS with Aladdin till now, and man, it sounds fantastic. Guys, thanks for the audio uploads.

Reply 15 of 32, by Gona

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I have found my Media Vision Pro Audio Spectrum 16 card so I have tested it too with Aladdin by set the "Pro Audio Spectrum 16". It is stereo, and sounds better than SB Pro2, it is close to WSS.

Filename
Aladdin_PAS16_-_on_-_PAS16.ogg
File size
1.1 MiB
Downloads
30 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Video card compatibility matrix for DOS games | ATI3DCIF compatibility matrix | CGL API compatibility matrix

Reply 16 of 32, by Joseph_Joestar

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Gona wrote on 2021-05-18, 18:22:

I have found my Media Vision Pro Audio Spectrum 16 card so I have tested it too with Aladdin by set the "Pro Audio Spectrum 16". It is stereo, and sounds better than SB Pro2, it is close to WSS.

Very interesting! Thanks for testing this, the PAS16 music sounds excellent to me.

I wonder why the developers did such a poor job with the SB16 option, when all the other cards deliver proper stereo music.

PC#1: Pentium MMX 166 / Soyo SY-5BT / S3 Trio64V+ / Voodoo1 / OPTi 82C930 / AWE64 Gold / SC-155
PC#2: AthlonXP 1700+ / Abit KT7A / Voodoo3 / SBLive / Vortex2
PC#3: Athlon64 3000+ / Asus K8V-MX / GeForce4 / Audigy1
PC#4: i5-3550P / MSI Z77A-G43 / GTX 650Ti / X-Fi

Reply 17 of 32, by Gona

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Joseph_Joestar wrote on 2021-05-18, 19:26:

Very interesting! Thanks for testing this, the PAS16 music sounds excellent to me.

I wonder why the developers did such a poor job with the SB16 option, when all the other cards deliver proper stereo music.

You are welcome.

Yes, interesting why only SB16 is poor mono. Might the 16-bit Sound Blaster options only a pretence/fake option and works full the same way as SB Pro option which in this case mono on SB16.

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Reply 18 of 32, by Cloudschatze

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Something is wrong with DSMI's SB16 detection routine in Aladdin. I can't speculate as to what. Here's a workaround config file though, concerning a SB16 configured with IRQ5 and high-DMA channel 5. (Byte 0x25 is the IRQ, and byte 0x26 is the DMA channel, if your SB16 is configured otherwise.)

Enjoy 16-bit @ 44.1kHz stereo output with your SB16, or something.

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Reply 19 of 32, by Gona

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Cloudschatze wrote on 2021-05-18, 20:40:

Something is wrong with DSMI's SB16 detection routine in Aladdin. I can't speculate as to what. Here's a workaround config file though, concerning a SB16 configured with IRQ5 and high-DMA channel 5. (Byte 0x25 is the IRQ, and byte 0x26 is the DMA channel, if your SB16 is configured otherwise.)

Enjoy 16-bit @ 44.1kHz stereo output with your SB16, or something.

Wow! Great job!

Filename
Aladdin_SB16_(patched_by_Cloudschatze)_-_on_-_SB16_CT2230_rev02.ogg
File size
1.07 MiB
Downloads
28 downloads
File license
Fair use/fair dealing exception

Is it also a detection problem when selecting SB Pro in Aladdin the SB16 works as mono?

Video card compatibility matrix for DOS games | ATI3DCIF compatibility matrix | CGL API compatibility matrix