Questions tagged [sound]

Questions regarding the generation of sound in retrocomputers.

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Why audio of Prince of Persia (1989) produce in CPU rather than audio speaker? [closed]

I used to play this Prince of Persia (1989) in Pentinum III computer. But audio of Prince of Persia (1989) produce in CPU rather than audio speakers. Why?
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23 votes
3 answers
6k views

What causes the glitchy sound when a GBA cartridge is removed?

Example in mGBA (mirror) — SOUND WARNING. When you remove a game cartridge from a powered-on GBA, it makes this horrible, loud glitching sound. I can tell that a small portion of the looped sound is ...
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10 votes
2 answers
809 views

How to get sound working in pure DOS with a CMI8330 card?

I have a tower PC from the early 2000's. I got this system second-hand and as-is so I do not have any original driver resources. I have installed Windows 95 mainly to play old Windows and DOS games. ...
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  • 315
10 votes
2 answers
730 views

How does the OPL2 Composite Sine Mode work?

The Yamaha YM3812 (aka OPL2) has an operation mode named composite sine mode (CSM), apparently designed for speech synthesis. Unfortunately I was unabled to find any documentation on what ...
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17 votes
2 answers
2k views

Who considered multimedia capability a liability for a business computers, and why?

For technical reasons, business computers of the late '70s usually had little multimedia capability. There have been modern claims (e.g., in the comments on this video) that such capability was ...
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6 votes
1 answer
259 views

Commodore 64 sound seems to freeze at a high pitch if executed too soon after startup

I created this little sound driver for sound effects, it makes a classic "laser beam" sound you would hear in old arcade games. There's just one problem, and it's a bit of a strange one. I ...
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  • 1,478
5 votes
0 answers
240 views

What was the first device to "beep" in lieu of tactile feedback to button presses?

I'm splitting this question off of When was beeping invented, in a user interface sense? because I think it's more answerable on its own and I suspect likely to still be computing-related. At some ...
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6 votes
2 answers
522 views

When was beeping invented, in a user interface sense?

UPDATE: thanks all, lots of good discussion but I think this question is a bit too vague to be answerable. I'm casting my own close vote against it and will re-ask a more specific one. Specifically I ...
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  • 2,591
11 votes
2 answers
566 views

AdLib, YM3812 and Timers

For no particular reason I started reading up on the original AdLib Music Card, and it's clear that this card was little more than a stock Yamaha YM3812 music chip (aka OPL2) glued to a PC's 8-bit ISA ...
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  • 853
4 votes
4 answers
384 views

What bit depth and sampling frequency could the BBC micro play back sampled sounds?

I have an archive of sample recordings with a sample playback program, the date and author in the BBC BASIC loader for the program is "(C) 1985 by DAVID J. HOSKINS" There are are about 10 ...
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24 votes
2 answers
4k views

Was "One-Winged Angel" an actual CD track, or generated by the PlayStation's sound chip with a few samples (SFX) added on top?

"One-Winged Angel" is the musical theme for the final boss of Final Fantasy VII for PlayStation, released 1997. I no longer have my copy, sadly. In spite of consisting of no less than three ...
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3 votes
2 answers
375 views

Would there be any practical use of two or more VDPs or sound chips in a retro computer build?

Would that allow for better sound samples or double/triple the number of sprites & colours on screen or would that put too much pressure on the CPU or cause bottlenecks, maybe requiring 2 CPUs for ...
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4 votes
0 answers
118 views

Converting AC'97 to a standard that can be used by my Soundblaster

I currently enjoy using a Windows 98 PC I built using parts I got either for free or very cheap. One of those parts is a sligthtly modern case - the cheapest one I could find that has a 5.25" and ...
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  • 179
28 votes
5 answers
4k views

What really is a sound card driver in MS-DOS?

To my knowledge, neither MS-DOS nor BIOS offers any kind of API for sound cards. Therefore the concept of a "driver" is absent, as we know it today. Apart from accessories and sample files ...
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  • 515
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Algorithm for Apple IIe and Apple IIgs boot/start beep

What is algorithms use for boot/start sound (when turn on computer) in Apple IIe and Apple IIgs? I can't find information about Apple boot sound algorithms or where in computer ROM store either ...
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  • 485
4 votes
2 answers
540 views

Is there any documentation for programming Microsoft Windows Sound System sound cards?

I'm programming my own sound mixing engine and drivers for MS-DOS, but I can't find any documentation for programming for Microsoft Windows Sound System interface sound cards. Was there any ...
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1 vote
2 answers
428 views

Does the Sound Blaster Live! Value had hardware support for Adlib/OPL3?

As I m buying a computer without an onboard sound card, I m thinking about using my old Creative Sound card from 21 years ago and buying a pcie riser adapter instead of a modern sound card (I m ...
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6 votes
1 answer
372 views

Could the Apple IIGS play any and all Amiga MOD files?

The Apple IIGS has a wavetable synthesis sound chip with dedicated 64 kilobytes of RAM. I assume the sound architecture dictates that samples have to be loaded into that dedicated RAM to be able to be ...
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21 votes
2 answers
3k views

Did playing sounds on the PC speaker keep the CPU busy?

The IBM PC and early successors came with an internal speaker that could play simple sounds. According to https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_speaker However, because the method used to reproduce PCM ...
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24 votes
7 answers
4k views

Was it possible programmatically to manipulate the volume as well as the pitch on computers with no sound chip?

On early versions of many 8-bit computers like the Apple II, Spectrum, and even the IBM PC, there was no sound hardware other than the simple "beeper". Programmers made sound by hitting a hardware ...
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42 votes
6 answers
7k views

How did old games from 8-bit era game consoles store music?

Some time ago I found that the audio of a game called Ninja Gaiden 1 (NES) is around 1 hour. This is excluding the sound effects like jump and hit e.t.c. Then I found that the entire game size is ...
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13 votes
2 answers
3k views

How did I fry my SID chip?

I recently got a SID chip (8580r5) for $35 and got it playing music. I was really happy about it. I hooked up a small amp chip to the 9V supply momentarily (it didn't work, I was building that part of ...
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  • 133
5 votes
1 answer
243 views

SID, sampled sound and bad lines

The SID could play sampled sound by poking a click into the chip at an appropriate frequency, and some Commodore 64 games like Ghostbusters and Impossible Mission did this (though only for a few ...
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2 votes
4 answers
1k views

What is the analog component of sound output in an early home computer? [closed]

For a concrete example, take the Vic-20. It is well documented that the 6560/6561 Video Interface Chip was also responsible for sound generation, having three voices and one noise generator. The ...
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7 votes
4 answers
835 views

What was the first PC/computer to have sound recording & playback support?

Sound playback and recording became mainstream on computers today, the most known introduction was around 1989-1991 with the release of windows 3.0 with Multimedia Extensions. However, what was the ...
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4 votes
1 answer
651 views

SID to WAV converter that exports per channel separately

For a C64 SID project of mine (https://soundcloud.com/c64er) I was using an converter almost 10 years ago, but it is missing now with its name... I researched many sites, but no lucky. Is there any ...
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  • 291
3 votes
2 answers
511 views

How did computers generate 'noise' sound files?

I figured out how to make square, triangle, and sawtooth waves in pygame. However, I have no clue what kinds of waves I need to make to produce a 'noise' sound effect like you see in older computer ...
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7 votes
4 answers
681 views

Was the Music System for the Exidy Sorcerer as exceptional as I remember?

I am trying to remember about a bare-board sound card which plugged into the parallel port of an Exidy Sorcerer (circa 1980). The card and software ("Music System") was made by Arrington ...
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9 votes
6 answers
3k views

Is there any music source code for sound chips? [closed]

I’ll clarify what I mean. The sound chip (c64's SID, spectrum's Yamaha, etc.) is connected either to the input / output port, which will be reserved for the sound chip, or directly to the CPU data bus....
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  • 403
10 votes
7 answers
2k views

Low-cost sound chip

I want to make a homebrew 8-bit computer and I want to include a sound chip in it. It needs to be as cheap as possible (under 5$) and I also want it to be possibly controlled by an Arduino or ATmega-...
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  • 109
45 votes
3 answers
6k views

How did C64 games handle music during gameplay?

On the C64 there was no threading, so how did games handle treating at the same time music and game code? Music requires exact timings, and the SID had to be instructed to change the note at the right ...
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8 votes
5 answers
584 views

Getting Music Functioning for Raptor: Call of the Shadows (1994)

I can't get the music audio working for the 1994 version of Raptor. Does anyone know how I can remedy this? I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this question, but here goes. I have an ...
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8 votes
5 answers
2k views

Was the output of the C64 SID chip 8 bit sound?

Was the output of the C64 SID chip 8 bit sound? I know that SID is not sample based, but instead generate its sound using sine waves and white noise. So is it correct to say that the audio ...
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15 votes
2 answers
2k views

Which communication protocol is used in AdLib sound card?

By "AdLib sound card" I mean AdLib Music Synthesizer Card released in 1987. Wikipedia says that AdLib uses frequency modulation synthesis to produce sound, but does it use MIDI communication protocol ...
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22 votes
3 answers
5k views

Why did the ZX Spectrum use an internal speaker?

I was surprised to note recently that the Sinclair ZX Spectrum used an internal speaker. I knew the BBC Micro used one, presumably because it was designed to be optionally used with a monitor which ...
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3 votes
1 answer
650 views

Why didn't Famicom games use the Konami SCC for expansion audio?

There were a handful of Konami games on the Famicom that had additional sound chips (VRC6, VRC7, etc.) to enhance the audio of the games they were used in. Considering that the Famicom got many Konami ...
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  • 225
5 votes
2 answers
580 views

Why did SAM on the Apple II use its own DAC?

From the comments on this question, the SAM on the Apple II seemed to use some proprietary hardware to produce the waveform. (I am not counting the option to produce a horrendous 1-bit PWM using the ...
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  • 34.3k
15 votes
3 answers
829 views

Is there a line printer sound simulator?

To improve "authenticity" of a mainframe simulator and for an additional nostalgic effect, I'd like to add sounds of a line printer to it. They should be similar enough to the original sounds for ...
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4 votes
2 answers
547 views

Did any retro computers ship with the SP0256-AL2 speech chip or its equivalent?

The SP0256-AL2 Speech IC was a popular solution for text to speech translation but is now out of production. There where several other chips that entered the market but as far as I know did not have ...
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  • 4,291
0 votes
0 answers
546 views

Which machines, other than the PC-Engine, uses custom-waveform synthesis for sound?

The most common way retro machines made sounds were with programmable sound generators (PSG); there was a bunch of square waves, saw waves or noise channels at disposal. When technology evolved ...
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3 votes
1 answer
715 views

Can't get the AY-3-8913 sound chip to work with my z80 (added schematic)

I'm trying to get the ay-3-8913 sound chip to work with my z80 but so far I haven't gotten any sound output yet. I know the chip, my amp circuit and the clock circuit work because it works when I ...
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  • 394
25 votes
1 answer
5k views

Why do all the Speech Synthesizers have that same Voice?

The first time I ever played with software speech synthesis on a microcomputer (not hardware synthesis, like in TI's Speak & Spell) was around 1983, using S.A.M for the Commodore 64. A year later,...
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47 votes
9 answers
13k views

Why did the IBM PC need a sound card?

The original IBM PC and later variants used an Intel 8253 or 8254 as a sound chip. Why did users add sound cards such as the Adlib or Sound Blaster. I remember voice output with programs like ...
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  • 4,291
4 votes
1 answer
400 views

CPU speedup breaking sound compatibility

In the old days, it sometimes happened that a computer with a compatible but faster CPU, had problems running old games. For example, Sopwith was written for an 8088 PC; it was amusingly challenging ...
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  • 49.3k
10 votes
6 answers
2k views

Sound chips in 1977

By the early eighties, there were a variety of off-the-shelf sound chips suitable for use in home computers and arcade games. What about 1977? That seems to have been just a little early; I'm not ...
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