First post, by Mau1wurf1977
Ensoniq / Creative AudioPCI
What is interesting about this card?
Firstly this card used PCI. Yes there are plenty of PCI cards around, however how many of these work well with DOS Games und real DOS (Not DOS window in Windows)
Ensoniq was known for high end MIDI cards. Best example is the Ensoniq Soundscape Elite aka “THE BEAST” which you can read up in this thread:
This card is huge, similar to the Roland LAPC-I. Ensoniq tried something new with the AudioPCI which was going after the value market! It is a highly integrated card.
As you can see on the image, there aren't many components on this card at all...
The AudioPCI is Sound Blaster compatible in regards to the digital part (Speech and Sound Effects). It also features wavetable / soundfont technology however using the
PCs system RAM instead of RAM on the sound card. This was a smart cost saving measure!
This card is compatible to General Midi and thus a great card for games that support General Midi for music and Sound Blaster for speech / sound effects.
DOS compatibility was better than Creatives own PCI cards, and that's why Creative bought Ensoniq and resold these AudioPCI cards under various model numbers (PCI64 /
PCI128 and others)
There is one huge drawback however. This card doesn't have a Yamaha OPL chip. It doesn't have a clone chip either. FM synth is emulated through wavetable / soundfont
and sounds horrible.
As an example check out how horrible Monkey Island 2 in Adlib mode sounds on the AudioPCI: http://www.mediafire.com/?3ssfllr8ukypguk
Now because Ensoniq was purchased by Creative, there are two drivers floating around!
1. Ensoniq Driver which will give you Soundblaster Pro, General Midi and Ensoniq Soundscape compatibility
2. Creatives Driver which will give you Soundblaster 16 and General Midi compatibility
Many games had native support for Ensoniq Soundscape. So with these games just select Soundscape. E.g. Descent, Descent2, Dark Forces and Duke Nukem 3D are all
examples of games that have native support for the Ensoniq Soundscape.
I have tested and upladed both drivers. So you are guaranteed that these drivers will work if you have a card that looks like the one in the picture above.
The driver is easy to use and I have included instructions. In a nutshell copy the AUDIOPCI folder to your root directory of your C drive, then copy paste 4 lines from
the supplied AUTOEXEC.BAT into your own AUTOEXEC.BAT.
Done it's as easy as that!
I have made 4 recordings with this driver (Descent, Descent 2, Doom and Duke3D) with the 8MB soundfont. You can download them here: http://www.mediafire.com/?fuf3met15ixpqer
Note that this driver will give you SB16 and General Midi compatibility, but Soundscape support doesn't work!
I have uploaded the DOS drivers and the 2, 4 and 8MB soundfont files. In order to switch soundfonts just edit SBPCI.CFG and edit this line:
Replace the 2 with a 4 or 8 and reboot the machine. mem/c should show you the memory being used.
I highly recommend the 8MB soundfont. It sounds quite good considering how cheap these cards are!
I did two recordings. Each was done with 2, 4 and 8MB soundfont. The Games are Doom the first level (E1M1) and the Dark Forces (The Intro).
It's a big ZIP file with all the recordings: http://www.mediafire.com/?b1z1vta58ec8m88
In a nutshell
This is a really cheap card. Very useful if you have a machine without any ISA slots and would like to play old DOS games. It's ideal for Games that support General
Midi for music and Sound Blaster for speech / sound effects...[/b]