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Retro, The Sounds and The Music.

Discussion in 'Retro & Arcade' started by power, Jul 30, 2010.

  1. pksw

    pksw Member

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    My first card was the soundblaster pro. Saved up every cent to buy that whilst I was in high school. I still have the manuals and disks for it, but going to have to search for the card. I remember it cost around $355 around 1990. I got about $6 an hour working in fast food outlets, so it took a while!
     
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  2. bYrd

    bYrd Member

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    haha - my first sound card was a Sound Blaster 1.0 purchased from Myer in Doncaster - it was a run out deal, obsolete at the time costing < $100 I think. Great card, good amplificiation found a single speaker in hard rubbish that I used to play MOD music mostly.
     
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  3. breech

    breech Member

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    Pretty much same here, I got an SB1 boxed with Monkey Island 1 from target for about $60 on clearance way after its end of life. I don't remember what the audio gear was but probably cleanup freebies too :)
     
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  4. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    Ah the memories - my first sound card was a SB 2.0 Value, bought for ~90 bucks mail order. I still vividly recall running through all of the games I'd been playing for years with PC speaker, enabling the sound blaster or adlib option, and having my tiny mind blown - I literally couldn't believe my ears!
     
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  5. Flamin Joe

    Flamin Joe Member

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    My first was the Sound Blaster Pro which came bundled with Lemmings and Indy 500. I still have the games but the rest is long gone.

    This was such a cool demo to watch I remember playing it many times:



    And who could forget Dr Sbaitso or even the talking parrot? :D They seem so lame now but at the time it was pretty amazing to experience.



     
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  6. Mickatroid

    Mickatroid Member

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  7. Grant

    Grant Member

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    One of my favourite game soundtracks is from Ayrton Senna's Super Monaco GP II. I'm familiar with it because it was one of the first Mega Drive games I owned, but it's a fairly detailed soundtrack mashing fairly familiar 90's Japanese-style composition with some cool use of the YM2612 to generate a "grindy synth" instrument reminiscent of a race car's engine.

    HOWEVER you wouldn't know this if you looked up the OST online. VGM rips from project2612 and Zophar's Music Domain, as well as YouTube renditions of these, used an emulator that seemed to have speed issues with how the grindy synth was generated, and basically sounded like a wounded sea lion.

    So I've sunk several hours into re-ripping the whole thing and packaging it up to project2612's standards.

    project2612.org is down at the moment, so here's the OST on YouTube.

    Sample song with the correct grindy synth:


    Compared to the wounded sea lion version.
     
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  8. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    I thought you were joking.

    You were not joking.
     
  9. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    Love your work Grant! Great contribution to the preservation effort.
     
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  10. shredder

    shredder Member

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    I'm a short while into experiencing some DOS sound capabilities, having been limited to the SBPro2 growing up, and never having anything between that and AC97 or later generic Windows stuff (SBLive! and onwards).

    Softsynths (MUNT, Fluidsynth, etc) have shown me a fairly accurate depiction of the range of possibilities. And the work-in-progress ISA card which I made a thread about is, by way of it's OPL4, giving me some authentic hardware experience of DOS game sound beyond what I ever had hardware-wise.

    My observations and experiences so far have led to what many of you will know to be the inevitable, ultimate conclusion: that if you're really serious about DOS game sound, then you have a hardware MIDI module. Period. Preferably a Roland, preferably a Sound Canvas, or secondarily a very limited selection of other Roland or Yamaha devices.

    This is going to be an even longer shot than your GUS, Pierre, but...

    I'm looking for a Sound Canvas.

    Or, in the fairly likely event this doesn't result in anyone selling me one, any pointers such as specific listings on the market that might be good, best/worst sources, anything really. If I have to pay a few hundred dollars to get one in my hands, which as dirkmirk pointed out is not an unfair sort of price for what it is, then I'll have to try avoiding the unreliable.
     
  11. Grant

    Grant Member

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  12. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Cheers Grant, I had a look at that and it seems a fair option, but so far today I'm stopped from proceeding by:
    aupload_2020-7-8_17-53-29.png
    If eventually I can register there then the site will become a good place to add to the check list.

    One of the main challenges is that being in small city/NZ means there's no gumtree/local/in-country stuff of this nature at all. Pretty much limited to the generic marketplaces like ebay/amazon which are likewise open to the entire world of buyers.

    What about these options, any opinions or advice guys?
    https://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004AQ9O02/ref=dp_olp_afts?ie=UTF8&condition=all
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2020
  13. badmofo

    badmofo Member

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    My 2 cents, for GM I'd stick with a nice daughterboard. Easy and sound great - this one will be a killer, being finalised as we speak: https://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?f=62&t=74525

    External modules are a pain - power packs, desk space, mixing, blah blah. I'd save that spot on the desk for an MT-32 if you want to cover older games.
     
  14. shredder

    shredder Member

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    The reason I want a proper Sound Canvas is that they have the exact patch set and full, unadulterated-in-any-way experience that the games era I am interested in was designed for, at the high end I never had the chance to experience growing up.

    I've earned my DOS Wings over three decades to justify finally going for the Gold Ring now.

    MIDI daughterboards and such will be things that I "also buy", but they aren't the primary goal.
     
  15. Vanne

    Vanne Member

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    while in prison..*cough*, I mean the layover hotel in Auckland ive been looking for some 8 bit goodness and came across these code warriors.. 8 Bit Weapon!!! some very cool tracks, some really relaxing stuff too..

    https://8bitweapon.bandcamp.com/music

    "Disassembly laungauge for de-programming" being my favourite!! vol 1 and 2... pretty sweet...
     
    Last edited: Jul 9, 2020
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  16. Grant

    Grant Member

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    If it'll make you happy to just have the thing in your collection, even when you can listen to exactly the same audio streamed from the internet or indistinguishable music from an emulator, then go ahead and pay the asking price (I have an MT-32 for exactly this reason).

    Stuff from Japan is usually good, and Japan Post recently reopened service to NZ: https://www.post.japanpost.jp/int/information/no_delivery_en.html
     
  17. shredder

    shredder Member

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    I was just mentioning in the what-the-heck-price thread: Those Roland MA-12C speakers so nicely advertised on the LGR videos are vaguely unobtainable. Some reading has suggested Behringer MS16 models to be very similar. Might be nice computer speakers. $170-odd.

    upload_2020-7-18_23-48-45.png
     
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2020
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  18. Pierre32

    Pierre32 Member

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    On the MT-32 topic, here's a cool project: https://github.com/dwhinham/mt32-pi

    It's a baremetal implementation of Munt for the RPi. In other words it's not just Munt running on top of Linux; it's Munt as a kind of native OS that boots in seconds like the real hardware. They're even working towards LCD support for the full MT-32 experience. It's a bit of an involved project (you need to add some GPIO gubbins and a DAC) but could make for a neat little build.
     
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  19. shredder

    shredder Member

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    Doing a back-of-envelope calc for that project in NZD delivered to NZ, I think realistically I'd be looking at:

    RPi 3B = $80 best price in NZ
    DC power supply for above = $15
    SD card for above = $10
    Aliexpress DAC = $10
    Gameport-to-MIDI (Serdaco) = $40
    USB-to-MIDI cable = $40 decent offbrand ("Wersi"), or $80 branded (Roland/MAudio/etc)
    LCD screen if required later = let be kind and say $15 for a very basic 2 line monochrome LCD
    Time = say 4 hours mucking around, hooking up, configuring and testing

    So far, that's $200-odd, plus time. It's an awesome geek project, but financially, at least as a poor old NZer with access to fook all online goods (without exhorbitant postage), I'm thinking that's probably burdensome enough that I might as well just save the same amount again, get a real one, and save the time - even at >$300.

    However at this stage the plan is to repurpose an old ultrabook currently sitting dormant, into a Munter. That way it's literally just the cabling I have to buy - gameport-to-MIDI and MIDI-to-USB. While the Roland UM-ONE/etc official recommended USBMIDI cables would cost me $100 delivered here, I've instead found these $30-40 "Wersi" branded ones, which afaict do contain the necessary wiring and optoisolator to support proper sysex transmission etc - an important aspect of such cables, as you'd well know! So I should be able to do it this way for about $80 total outlay, which for me is viable for a cobble-up.

    On another matter my Sound Canvas from Japan should arrive in a couple of weeks.
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2020
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  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    As much as MT32-Pi is a really interesting concept, it *is* still just an emulator. Whether it's written in C-for-Linux or C-for-ARM, other than boot up time there's no difference in the end result.

    I'm happy it exists, as that sort of thing is great as hardware supplies dwindle. But as mentioned for the dollar cost of "I have to buy all the components", it gets a bit rough.

    I'm a huge RPi fanboy, but here in AU (and obviously NZ) they aren't "just 35 bux!" like our US friends claim. We're looking at $80-90 minimum spend just for the board with our crappy dollar at the moment. And if what you're after is really a machine that runs Linux, there's lots of cheap ways to do that. Perhaps not as space efficient, but if you've got old gear lying around, you may as well use it.
     
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