Hi D Z,

> I tried that already. I got the EMM386 to load which is required for the
> Sound Blaster drivers to load correctly in DOS, but it fails when I ran the
> SBTEST exe. I already tried adjusting the the IRQ, Address, etc., nothing

I guess it is more useful to try the actual game ;-)

> same results each time, it fails. Even tried the SB in the strings

The SB is a command line option of FD EMM386 and of JEMM386...

> It has to do with the DDMA and NMI feature of the motherboards
> that was ditched sometime around in 2001.

Hmm I remember SB AWE32 ISA did use NMI to pass "out of band"
signals between hardware and drivers to turn MIDI data into
commands for the wavetable synth... Still I had the impression
that the SB PCI is completely separate from the virtual SB
illusion generated by the "SB PCI drivers" for DOS...?

> Intel Core 2 Duo CPU and above, and have been able to get the
> sound working, please tell me what sound cards you [have]

Or Athlon64, of course :-)

> Aureal Vortex 2 was one of the cards mentioned, but has anyone tried

Good question!



> That card will support only Sound Blaster Pro Emulation though

SB Pro gives up to 22kHz stereo, while SB16 can do 44kHz stereo.
The SB16 MIDI was the first which was really MPU401 compatible.
SB16 and SB Pro starting from version 2 also had OPL3 FM while
the original SB Pro had a simpler OPL2 FM and Adlib chip...
For the OPL2 versus OPL3 thing: www.daqarta.com/sbpro.htm

Also only SB16 has 16bit DMA and 16bit D/A. Clones and PCI
hardware solutions are often limited to SB Pro because of
DMA issues. Whether and which Adlib / OPL3 FM support the
card has is a question of luck ;-). I think even a "simple"
hardware based card such as one with ForteMedia FM801 or
even CMedia 8738 can have working FM even if DMA fails...

You could try the "simple hardware" approach if you are
mostly interested in Adlib / OPL3, but of course it can
depend on how well your games can live without DMA / IRQ
from the DSP part for the timing.

The creative.com homepage says on "Sound Blaster ISA Cards -
Information and Troubleshooting" that SB Pro can only do 8bit
D/A, too. So you do get limitations in sound quality it seems.



You, however, are using a SB Live Value PCI card. This card
is based on the Ensoniq AudioPCI idea of having a purely
virtual soundblaster. The SB Live variant is also AC97 in
hardware. The AudioPCI indeed does need NMI to signal the
driver when events need processing. It also has a purely
virtual Adlib / FM. For comparison, VIA onboard sound is
likely to have more hardware compatible SB Pro DSP but it
has no real Adlib hardware so on VIA you only need a more
complex driver active when you need the virtual Adlib...

Wikipedia mentions that Qemu and VMWare emulate the chip
on which the AudioPCI is based, the ES1370 :-). The newer
ES1371 variant used in SB Live additionally supports AC97.
http://easymamecab.mameworld.info/html/snddosdr.htm
has some drivers... (note: Wikipedia "Ensoniq_AudioPCI"
still mentions the old mameworld.net URL instead, alas)
http://support.gateway.com/support/drivers/search.asp?param=ensoniq&st=kw
http://www.emu.com/support/files/download2.asp?Centric=754&Legacy=0&Platform=1

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_Blaster_Live! says
that the driver technology is the same, so apparently
you do still need NMI, indeed...? The SB PCI 512 and
SB Audigy chipsets are different (EMU10k) in some
aspects, on the other hand Wikipedia mentions that
drivers can be modded to work for both families...?

> So for anyone reading this that that plays games with FreeDOS on modern
> systems or any motherboards without ISA slots and have manage to get the
> digital sound and midi music to work, please give me advice.

Indeed a good question and interesting challenge! :-)

>>> tried the SB16 emulation with a Sound Blaster Live! Value PCI card
>>>> http://easymamecab.mameworld.info/
>>>> http://vsynchmame.mameworld.info/

Eric



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