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vwestlife
August 30th, 2013, 11:33 PM
This seems to be a forgotten sound card in the history of PC audio:


AUDIO CARD DESCRIPTION:

The Audio card, which fits into the system unit, includes the following:

3 voice synthesizer plus noise generator
Joystick connector for one Joystick
Microphone connector
MIDI interface connector

The MIDI cable, provided with the Audio card and Joystick option, splits the single audio card midi connector into the industry standard MIDI in/out/through.

Since this card has been designed exclusively for the IBM Personal System/1 Computer, applications wanting to take advantage of all its capabilities have to be written specifically for the IBM PS/1 Computer.

MIDI applications available today in the market will not run on an IBM PS/1 Computer unless re-written to the IBM PS/1 hardware interface (device driver).

The "3 voice synthesizer plus noise generator" sounds an awful lot like our old friend, the IBM PCjr / Tandy 1000 sound system... and the microphone connector and joystick port implies that it has the functions of the Tandy DAC audio, too.

The "Sound Cards That Time Forgot" thread says "IBM PS/1 Audio/Joystick Card: This is not an ISA card, but connected to a special connector on the early IBM PS/1 systems. It is capable of three-voice music (like a Tandy 1000?) and digitized sounds. More than that is unknown. It also a gameport and a midi port."

I found this video on YouTube, and indeed, the PS/1 audio card sounds identical to PCjr / Tandy 1000 sound on Silpheed, plus DAC audio for the digitized speech:


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrwhlRSixjI

In addition to having DOS in ROM, it sure looks like IBM was trying to copy Tandy, and also to keep the best feature of their own PCjr!

badmofo
September 1st, 2013, 02:33 AM
I think that sounds pretty good! I bought a 2011 model a little while back but didn't do my homework, I didn't realise that they don't have ISA slots, and that my only option for expanding the sounds is one of these impossible to find "sounds cards that time forgot".

I saw a thread a while back in which someone described making their own, it may even have been here??

nestor
September 1st, 2013, 06:36 AM
Yes, I built an AdLib compatible sound card based on the OLP3 chip that plugs on that connector. The PS/1 Audio Card is supported only in a few games, having an AdLib compatible card is a better option.

vwestlife
September 1st, 2013, 09:09 AM
According to the list on Mobygames, the PS/1 Audio Card was supported by 60 games, mostly by Sierra. Silpheed was updated to support it (in version 3.2), and was bundled with the card:

http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/djsite/SilpheedSoundCard.jpg

It can also be used in Sierra games in conjunction with a Roland MT-32 synthesizer connected to the MIDI/joystick port, with the 3-voice/DAC chip providing the sound effects and the MT-32 providing the music.

Cloudschatze
September 1st, 2013, 09:12 AM
I looked for a PS/1 Audio Card for a few years. Enough folks have them that they're not as rare as some things. The MIDI capabilities are definitely a nice addition, and make for one area where IBM one-upped Tandy's PSSJ.

It's a shame IBM didn't follow Rob Hubbard's advice...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=90YE4G3ze-E&t=5m36s

NeXT
September 1st, 2013, 09:46 AM
Ah yes, I remember that card. I saw it as part of an overpriced kit deal in ebay years ago. Always wanted to see how well it performed.

Maverick1978
September 3rd, 2013, 09:20 AM
Man, I wish I had that Silpheed original floppy... ;) One of the few from that era that I'm missing from the collection! hehe... but - it's something left to hunt!!

Cloudschatze
September 3rd, 2013, 09:42 AM
Man, I wish I had that Silpheed original floppy... ;) One of the few from that era that I'm missing from the collection! hehe... but - it's something left to hunt!!

Well, if just the contents will suffice:

http://queststudios.com/smf/index.php/topic,3506.0.html

Maverick1978
September 4th, 2013, 07:15 AM
Thanks for the link, cloud, then and now! :) I actually saw that quite awhile back. I'm just a Sierra nut after the disk for my collection...

vwestlife
June 24th, 2015, 03:32 PM
I finally got the PS/1 audio card, New In Box! I paid more for it than I did for the PS/1 computer itself, but such is life. :)

But mine came bundled with "Where In The World Is Carmen Sandiego?" instead of Silpheed, and Cloudschatze's link above is now dead. :( Does anyone have a copy of the PS/1 version of Silpheed?

http://i58.tinypic.com/6z4sqw.jpg (http://www.amstereo.org/images/ps1audio1.jpg)
(click to embiggen)

Trixter
June 24th, 2015, 07:02 PM
It's a version I don't have archived, sadly. Picture here: http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/djsite/SilpheedSoundCard.jpg

Hopefully someone can locate it.

Cloudschatze
June 24th, 2015, 07:26 PM
...Cloudschatze's link above is now dead.
http://www.symphoniae.com/misc/SILPHEED/silpps1.zip


I bought this bundle back in 2013:
http://www.symphoniae.com/soundcard/IBM/PS1/JPG/92F9425_s.jpg (http://www.symphoniae.com/soundcard/IBM/PS1/JPG/92F9425_l.jpg) http://www.symphoniae.com/soundcard/IBM/PS1/JPG/92F9425i_s.jpg (http://www.symphoniae.com/soundcard/IBM/PS1/JPG/92F9425i_l.jpg)

Wasn't aware that IBM had a separate bundle for parents who hate their children. ;)

By-the-way, here is a driver package that extends support of the PS/1 audio card (both MIDI and "4-voice") to Sierra's SCI0-based adventure games, along with Thexder II. You're probably already aware that Sierra's later titles (up until SCI32) shipped with PS/1 audio card support.

ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/IBM_PC_BBS/ps1/instdrv.exe

ClassicHasClass
June 25th, 2015, 06:38 AM
So what's the sound chip under the hood? I'm suspecting a clone of the TI SN76489, maybe in that big VLSI array, since that sound architecture was what was in the PCjr and Tandy 1000.

Scali
June 25th, 2015, 07:05 AM
Hum, 286, VGA and PCjr sound? Someone should make a demo about that!

bhtooefr
June 25th, 2015, 07:07 AM
This thread goes into some technical detail about how that card worked: http://www.vogons.org/viewtopic.php?t=18327

chulofiasco
June 26th, 2015, 07:52 AM
glad i could help out my dude. i've got all kinds of crazy stuff. let me know if you need anything else. :)

digger
July 11th, 2015, 10:49 AM
Interesting and fascinating little piece of retrocomputing history! I keep learning new things here. :)

But what I don't understand is if the hardware was so similar to the sound systems in the PCjr and Tandy 1000 anyway, why didn't IBM take just a little more effort to make it hardware compatible with that as well? It would have made it useful in so many more existing games... :huh:

Great Hierophant
July 11th, 2015, 06:24 PM
Interesting and fascinating little piece of retrocomputing history! I keep learning new things here. :)

But what I don't understand is if the hardware was so similar to the sound systems in the PCjr and Tandy 1000 anyway, why didn't IBM take just a little more effort to make it hardware compatible with that as well? It would have made it useful in so many more existing games... :huh:

Because the sound chip in the PCjr. and Tandy 1000 sits at the same registers that the 2nd DMA controller used. That was IBM's fault too.

alex_theman45
July 12th, 2015, 05:59 AM
Maybe they could have done the Sound Blaster 16 PCI solution, use a program that stays resident in memory and changes the Tandy/PCJR audio calls to the IBM PS/1 sound card. But that was most likely not possible then.

Trixter
July 12th, 2015, 06:44 PM
There are no "calls" to hook. There are port writes, and a 386+ could run programs in V8086 mode and trap the port writes and redirect them, I suppose.

You have another problem to deal with: Roughly half of all Tandy/PCjr games auto-detect when to use that audio based on the model byte of the system. So even if you put that hardware into a new system, and can somehow trap and redirect port writes, the game won't use it since it won't detect a Tandy or PCjr system. 386s and higher can get around this using the same mechanism described above. The alternative would be patching the game binary.

pl212
November 1st, 2015, 11:49 AM
I created these recordings for that Vogons thread but thought I'd put them here as well. I'd be glad to record any requests if folks have particular tracks from games they're curious about hearing on the PS/1 Audio Card. These are from an actual hardware card, although I understand DosBox emulation is now quite good...

The Colonel's Bequest
I've split up the intro into three bite-sized pieces: The signing of the will, the introduction of the characters on the stage, and then the cutscene where Laura is sitting outside on the Tulane campus:

Will signing (https://soundcloud.com/pl212-522135920/the-colonels-bequest-will-signing-ibm-ps1-audio-card)

Stage (https://soundcloud.com/pl212-522135920/the-colonels-bequest-stage-ibm-ps1-audio-card)

Tulane (https://soundcloud.com/pl212-522135920/the-colonels-bequest-tulane-ibm-ps1-audio-card)

Police Quest II

PQ2 Intro (https://soundcloud.com/pl212-522135920/police-quest-ii-intro-ibm-ps1-audio-card)

Trixter
November 1st, 2015, 12:44 PM
I'd be glad to record any requests if folks have particular tracks from games they're curious about hearing on the PS/1 Audio Card.

Thanks for taking the time! Since the audio hardware is the same as in the PCjr/Tandy, I don't think the soundtracks will sound any different than those systems, unfortunately. The difference will be for any game that produces digitized audio, like the version of Silpheed for the PS/1 audio card that speaks (ie. https://youtu.be/zrwhlRSixjI?t=3m41s )

pl212
November 1st, 2015, 04:57 PM
Ja, I've noticed that EcoQuest II uses the DAC for a few of its voice snippets; I should try the intro to SQIII, patched to produce the "Where am I?" sound to see if that works.

I remember a while back that somebody produced a patch (agi-mid05.zip) for AGI games to port the tandy/pcjr 4-voice soundtracks to a SB or MT-32. This never sounded terrific, because of the difference between the hardware architectures. The PS/1 card would be an ideal target for this hack...

vwestlife
February 8th, 2016, 03:26 PM
Here's one bundled with a joystick, Silpheed, Cakewalk, and an astronomical price:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141865036044

chulofiasco
February 8th, 2016, 05:40 PM
In addition to that one with the joystick, I have another new old stock soundcard/ Carmen sandiego kit.

theruler
August 7th, 2016, 10:19 AM
The page of (the new) mobygames actually lists only 16 games (http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/attributeId,22/p,2/) , but I am sure there were a lot more.
Have anyone managed to find an updated list?

Here it is: http://www.mobygames.com/attribute/sheet/attributeId,86/offset,0/p,2/so,1a/
WOW!

theruler
August 8th, 2016, 04:47 AM
Any chance to retrieve an updated copy of THEXDER 2 compatible with PS/1 card?
I have the 2.0 version and there is no driver for PS/1 or IMF card implementation. I tried to copy IMF.drv from silpheed directory but fails to "load song driver".

No sound or driver from colonel's bequest either. any advice?
cheers

Cloudschatze
August 8th, 2016, 06:45 AM
No sound or driver from colonel's bequest either. any advice?

From page 2 of this thread:

By-the-way, here is a driver package that extends support of the PS/1 audio card (both MIDI and "4-voice") to Sierra's SCI0-based adventure games, along with Thexder II. You're probably already aware that Sierra's later titles (up until SCI32) shipped with PS/1 audio card support.

ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/IBM_PC_BBS/ps1/instdrv.exe

Great Hierophant
August 11th, 2016, 10:47 PM
Thanks for taking the time! Since the audio hardware is the same as in the PCjr/Tandy, I don't think the soundtracks will sound any different than those systems, unfortunately. The difference will be for any game that produces digitized audio, like the version of Silpheed for the PS/1 audio card that speaks (ie. https://youtu.be/zrwhlRSixjI?t=3m41s )

The pitch will sound higher on the PS/1 due to the difference in base frequency : http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/2015/10/the-journey-of-pcjrtandy-sound-chip.html

theruler
August 14th, 2016, 11:41 PM
Thanks, claudshatze, I totally missed that post.

An user spoke of an home-made OPL3 based sound card connected to the proprietary IBM ps/1 bus. Are there schematics around? I would really enjoy making such a piece of hardware for my PS/1!

Great Hierophant
August 15th, 2016, 09:53 AM
Thanks, claudshatze, I totally missed that post.

An user spoke of an home-made OPL3 based sound card connected to the proprietary IBM ps/1 bus. Are there schematics around? I would really enjoy making such a piece of hardware for my PS/1!

I don't think he provided schematics. The IBM PS/1's game/audio connector has all the signals of an ISA slot you need except one, it does not have an OSC signal. You have to find that elsewhere on the board or you can build a clock circuit.

deathshadow
November 1st, 2016, 06:58 PM
Quick question -- does the PS/1 midi sit at port 0x330 and behave as a dumb UART, or is it a non-standard address with proprietary programming? Will it work in Intelligent mode?

I can't find any real information to confirm that one way or the other.

If it is custom, I'd love to have the info to try and add it to my ever growing library of supported sound cards.

Trixter
November 2nd, 2016, 08:14 AM
The file ftp://ftp.oldskool.org/pub/IBM_PC_BBS/ps1/instdrv.exe contains MT32IBM.DRV which is a PS/1 MIDI-only driver for many Sierra games; a quick disassembly shows it writing to ports 330h, 333h, and 334h, and I didn't see any IRETs, so I'm assuming it is a dumb UART as you suspected. I've attached the quick'n'dirty disassembly.

deathshadow
November 2nd, 2016, 06:57 PM
a quick disassembly shows it writing to ports 330h, 333h, and 334h, and I didn't see any IRETs, so I'm assuming it is a dumb UART as you suspected. I've attached the quick'n'dirty disassembly.

The lack of read for response on 0x331 likely means it's not dumb UART though... or at least doesn't follow the MPU-401 standard even if it is sitting at the correct ports. The accesses to 0x333 and 0x334 are pretty non-standard in fact.

MPU 401 Dumb UART mode only uses the base address and base + 1. (0x330 and 0x331 for normal config). Data port and status port respectively.

It looks like it's reading 0x335 for status before write which is... strange. I'll have to dig into this a bit deeper.

Hopefully I'll have better luck making sense of it than I did the IMF, but it's IBM so...