VOGONS


First post, by bjt

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Would anybody be interested in helping to compile a list of GUS-compatible games that actually use the hardware mixing capabilities of the card, rather than mixing in software and using the card as a DAC?

I have the GUS in a machine with an AWE64 Gold, so I'm interested in those games for which the GUS is the best option.

Latest Game List

Archon Ultra
Crusader: No Remorse
Crusader: No Regret
Death Rally
Epic Pinball
Extreme Pinball
Jazz Jackrabbit
The Lemmings Chronicles
One Must Fall 2097
Pinball Fantasies
Pinball Illusions
Star Control II
Turrican 2
Zone 66

Last edited by bjt on 2015-02-20, 13:41. Edited 3 times in total.

Reply 2 of 28, by elianda

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Death Rally
Turrican 2
Extreme Pinball

there might be also direct support in Lemmings 3 as the game brings own patches for the gus.

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Reply 3 of 28, by WolverineDK

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elianda wrote:
Death Rally Turrican 2 Extreme Pinball […]
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Death Rally
Turrican 2
Extreme Pinball

there might be also direct support in Lemmings 3 as the game brings own patches for the gus.

Excuse me, but do you mean Lemmings 2 ? or do you mean "Oh No More Lemmings", or one of the two Holiday Lemmings games ? It would make sense if you meant Lemmings 2, cause well even though Amiga loving people would smack me around a bit. Then I feel GUS, is a great soundcard (I bloody wish I had had one back in the day). And I feel in some ways, that the GUS was the awesome Amiga sound with a few filters 😀

Reply 5 of 28, by Great Hierophant

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WolverineDK wrote:
elianda wrote:
Death Rally Turrican 2 Extreme Pinball […]
Show full quote

Death Rally
Turrican 2
Extreme Pinball

there might be also direct support in Lemmings 3 as the game brings own patches for the gus.

Excuse me, but do you mean Lemmings 2 ? or do you mean "Oh No More Lemmings", or one of the two Holiday Lemmings games ? It would make sense if you meant Lemmings 2, cause well even though Amiga loving people would smack me around a bit. Then I feel GUS, is a great soundcard (I bloody wish I had had one back in the day). And I feel in some ways, that the GUS was the awesome Amiga sound with a few filters 😀

The GUS really fit the role of providing Amiga-like sound without owning an Amiga. Pity Amiga original games like Lemmings/Oh No More Lemmings and Pinball Dreams did not support the GUS, but they were ported too early for GUS support.

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

Reply 6 of 28, by d1stortion

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Maybe extend the list a bit to specify which of those games offered unique features with these cards (higher quality samples etc) and even expand it to include other applications like trackers?

Reply 7 of 28, by elianda

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WolverineDK wrote:
elianda wrote:
Death Rally Turrican 2 Extreme Pinball […]
Show full quote

Death Rally
Turrican 2
Extreme Pinball

there might be also direct support in Lemmings 3 as the game brings own patches for the gus.

Excuse me, but do you mean Lemmings 2 ? or do you mean "Oh No More Lemmings", or one of the two Holiday Lemmings games ? It would make sense if you meant Lemmings 2, cause well even though Amiga loving people would smack me around a bit. Then I feel GUS, is a great soundcard (I bloody wish I had had one back in the day). And I feel in some ways, that the GUS was the awesome Amiga sound with a few filters 😀

No I was talking about Lemmings 3, The Lemmings Chronicles.
If you take a look in /AUDIO/GRAVIS it comes with 92 additional instrument samples specifically for GUS.

As for Tracker/ Player supporting GUS:
Fasttracker 2.06 of course
Impulse Tracker
Scream Tracker 3
CapaMod 3.14
Dual Module Player v2.94+
Galaxy Music Player v2.12
Jaleo 0.67h
Cubic Player (Open Cubic Player)
Protected Module Player 2.32
WOW II 2.3
XTC-Play 0.97c
MPXPLay

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Reply 8 of 28, by Jolaes76

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I think, just like d1stortion said, it is better to expand the list with all other games where the GUS has the upper hand. I would focus on games only, though.
There are some with Miles drivers that not yet support General MIDI or have a poor/faulty GM driver, but can be patched to use the GUS - and sound awesome. Like Space Hulk...

"Ita in vita ut in lusu alae pessima iactura arte corrigenda est."

Reply 9 of 28, by bjt

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Sure, all games where GUS is the best option are welcome, whether it's because they use hardware mixing for speech/sfx, or because GUS is the best option for music. Any game which has working General Midi will likely be better on Yamaha/Roland though.

Reply 11 of 28, by elianda

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It is also debatable if a GUS is the better choice for digital FX. Games using sound libraries with a common API usually mix by software and use the soundcard just as single channel stereo playback device, since this is what all cards are capable of. So the only advantage is that the GUS interpolates and upconverts the samples to 44.1 kHz (or less if music is playing on the card too).
But most games come with 8 bit 11 kHz samples, so it is not the card that limits the quality but the source format.

So while the GUS shines with scene demos there is not much advantage with games. The hardware features the card has are not exploited because soundblaster defined the standard.

MIDI quality was good for the price at this time (SB16 was not out yet), but price not an argument anymore today. In fact you probably pay more for a GUS than for a good Midi wavetable nowadays. Still, GUS uses dynamic patch caching and some games bring their own instruments. And you can use different soundfonts/patchsets, which allows great flexibility. If the game can not be patched Megaem allows using general midi with a 1 MB squeezed patch set. It captures port access to 330h and translates this to GUS playback. (The emulation itself is quite impressive considering compatibility and features.)

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Reply 12 of 28, by Jepael

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bjt wrote:

Would anybody be interested in helping to compile a list of GUS-compatible games that actually use the hardware mixing capabilities of the card, rather than mixing in software and using the card as a DAC?

I owned (and still do) several GUS cards and cannot think of any game that did not use hardware mixing as that is the native mode for the card - load memory with samples and just tell the card from where in the memory to play.

Can you give an example of games that do use software mixing?

Reply 13 of 28, by elianda

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A GUS can not do software mixing on the back end.

But if you have multiple source channels playing at the same time you have several options:
1. You use software to mix the channels to stereo and use the card as stereo out.
1.1. The output is done with a GUS that a small buffer is transferred to the cards RAM (DMA or PIO) and the GF1 plays from there, upconverting to 44.1 kHz
1.2. The output is done with a SB that a small buffer from memory is played via DMA.

2. You use the hardware to mix the channels and let the DSP mix to stereo.
2.1. The output with a GUS is straightforward, you transmit a small buffer for each source channel and activate all for play, the GF1 will mix it and put out stereo.
2.2. This kind of output is not possible with an SB, as the card is limited to 2 channels only.

Now with the usual UltraMID functionality that a lot of games use (AIL) a small part of the GUS onboard memory is kept free and the remaining is filled with the instrument patches data. A fixed number of channels gets reserved for Music (24 to 30) and 2 channels for digital playback.
In such setup the GUS can play only 2 channels, thus stereo, as digital playback. Several digital playback channels require software mixing.

Of course you may reserve only 24 channels for music and have 4 stereo playback channels left that could use hardware mixing. But I strongly doubt that any game use this, because this would mean:
- You have to reserve a buffer in the GUS onboard memory for each digital channel, reducing the available RAM for instrument patches.
- You have to have support by the API which would be more than a classic Soundblaster could do, so it would be special.

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Reply 15 of 28, by gerwin

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I remember this message from Radek about the Gravis Ultrasound. It seems Doom v1.2 did use GUS in hardware.
(In any case I know little about the GUS.)

hardball, 12-09-94 wrote:
I received mail from the guy who writes the sound code for DOOM. Here's what he had to say about why the GUS sound FX are so s […]
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I received mail from the guy who writes the sound code for DOOM.
Here's what he had to say about why the GUS sound FX are so scratchy and
why there's a slowdown from 1.2 to 1.666:

--- begin message here ---
All of the sound effects are now mixed in software, rather than on the GUS hardware. Why, you ask? Because of several reasons. First, is that the GF1 chip has a minimal ramp time that is much to long for very sharp effects. Second, because loading of the MUSIC patches uses all of the GUS memory, I had to DMA all eight sound effects to the card when played. This intern exposed a bug in the GF1 chip that Gravis did not find until my code started to beat on it. The bug would cause the bus to freeze and any program with it. The workaround is to keep DMA activities to a minimum by mixing in software and transfering only 1 channel to the GUS. But since the GF1 can't support auto-initialize DMA, and because the only way to play interleaved data on the card is to set two voices pointing into a single patch and setting the frequency so the every other sample is skipped, you don't get the benifit of sample smoothing from the GF1.

Sorry, but that's the way it has to be 🙁

Paul Radek
Digital Expressions, Inc.

--> ISA Soundcard Overview // Doom MBF 2.04 // SetMul

Reply 16 of 28, by bjt

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Jepael wrote:

Can you give an example of games that do use software mixing?

Duke 3D still asks the user to specify a mixing rate and number of channels to mix when you select GUS for digital FX, so I assume it's still doing software mixing.

Reply 17 of 28, by schlang

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What about Archon Ultra?

Btw. the GUS is the only sound card which manages to play sound from all the SB and PAS I have in that game!!

PC#1: K6-III+ 400 | 512MB | Geforce4 | Voodoo1 | SB Live | AWE64 | GUS PNP Pro
PC#2: 486DX2-66 | 64MB | Riva128 | AWE64 | GUS PNP | PAS16
PC#3: 386DX-40 | 32MB | CL-GD5434 | SB Pro | GUS MAX | PAS16

Think you know your games music? Show us: viewtopic.php?f=5&t=37532

Reply 19 of 28, by Great Hierophant

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Great Hierophant wrote:

The GUS really fit the role of providing Amiga-like sound without owning an Amiga. Pity Amiga original games like Lemmings/Oh No More Lemmings and Pinball Dreams did not support the GUS, but they were ported too early for GUS support.

I was partially incorrect here, Pinball Dreams does have GUS support, but only the version found on the Pinball Arcade CD-ROM. That is a compilation of Pinball Dreams and Pinball Dreams II, and both have GUS support. The standalone version of Pinball Dreams does not, and as far as Pinball Dreams II was an expansion pack to Pinball Dreams, it would not have it either. These may need to be added to the list.

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