4 - Bits and Pieces

Author: sgeorge, Posted on: 20 May 2016 22:59

Pieces of equipment come and go. The SoundBlaster 16 has been replaced with a very awesome AWE32 with 2x 16mb sticks giving us 28mb ram for a soundfont (4mb is aliased away internally).

Which probably isnt much use in DOS, but, you can load it up with samples for mod playing... again maybe not so awesome since how often do you see a 20odd megabyte music tracker file?

Anyway, I got a good deal on it, and its one of the cool AWE32's. It does have the useless ASP/CSP chip that nothing uses, which most AWE32 do not have, and it has the Yamaha OPL core, which not all do, so I am impressed. Its not the same as the one I had growing up (that was a non-pnp all jumpered version, this one is pnp but it ticks all the boxes).

Doing a little test, I wrote a utilty that will print out the DSP version on a SoundBlaster or compatible soundcard. You can also use it in a batchfile getting the ubiquitious errorlevel out of it and do something like test for the hanging note bug.

That zip is here for the source sbdsp.zip and dos executable.

It was interesting to test under DOSBox vs real DOS. Real dos requires the mandatory DSP reset and the dsp read/write status checks. DOSBox did not require any of that to work, which was quite interesting.

I even went digging and found my old AWE32 mod player source code. I would love to finish it up and get it working again but the impetus is a bit lacking (there are several awesome awe32 mod players so... not exactly un unfulfilled need).

Trimmer PCB's for the MT32 came back, look nice. I need to get some OTP roms from mouser (they are cheap) and I can wire one up. I do have to measure the noise before I do anything so I can see if there is any actual improvement!

Right now I'm not entirely sure how I can best measure the noise vs improvement. I can hook it up to my scope and see what it looks like but.. hmm.

This is our venerable PCM54HP DAC that were going to mess with.

And this is roughly where/how the PCB will sit, obviously the DAC will be on top and be nicely socketed down to the board.

I also picked up for $18 a MPU-104 and MPU-105! Which are pretty sweet, they let you basically select which MIDI inputs or outputs your running.

Im looking at getting a Nady MM-242 which is a 4x stereo mixer. This will let me mix the soundlbaster digital output and the roland output into one stream and control the volume of both.

I still need a small amp + speakers so that I'm not trying to compromise my main workstations DAC/amp/speakers combo.

tags: AWE32, MIDI, MPU-104, MPU-105, Roland, SB16, Sound Blaster, SoundCanvas


obsoletemachines said on March 19, 2022 18:16:46;
      hi, there is lots of space inside the Roland MPU units and you can place a rechargeable 9.6-9v battery inside and do away with the DC adapter.

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