PDA

View Full Version : Creative Wave Blaster II



Gazrok
June 13th, 2016, 09:52 AM
Hello Everyone!

I apologize if this is the wrong place to post this as I am not sure exactly what this goes to generation wise, but I found a Creative Wave Blaster II still sealed in the original box at a yard sale this weekend. I was wondering if this was something that was sought after by vintage computer enthusiasts like yourselves and what anyone could tell me about it?31616

Any info would be greatly appreciated!

Osgeld
June 13th, 2016, 11:00 AM
its an addon for sound blaster 16 to add wavetable midi support

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Creative_Wave_Blaster

Gazrok
June 13th, 2016, 11:04 AM
Do people use/collect them?

Osgeld
June 13th, 2016, 02:51 PM
I am sure someone does

magicmanred
August 1st, 2016, 09:52 AM
Hey Gazrok,

How much would you like for it? I actually still use this stuff with my retro gaming PC's.
I live in NYC, USA. What would you like for it shipped?

Would love to purchase this from you.
Email me at magicmanred@aim.com as I don't know if my email notifications are on for this site and I don't check frequently.

Todd82TA
August 6th, 2016, 11:47 AM
It's definitely cool...

As Osegold said, it's a daughter board for the Sound Blaster, and other cards that used the "daughter board" wave blaster standard.


There were MANY boards that were offered to support this standard. There was one from Yamaha, which I have. And the best one quite frankly was one made by Roland called the SCB-7 (which I also have). They made tons of other ones, one from a company named Crystal, IBM made one, etc... there had to have been at least a dozen companies that made them.


Here's one that's already attached on a Media Vision sound card: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Media-Vision-Pro-3-D-SRS-ISA-16-Bit-600-0111-01-Pro-Wave-600-0120-01-MORE-/201629030069

And here's one (sold separately) with the Crystal chip set: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Terratec-Promedia-SY-TTWT-36-1-10ft-Mini-Wave-System-Wavetable-Crystal-CS9233-CQ-/281771471346

That last one is insanely overpriced... no idea what's going on there with a $160+ starting price. I regularly see them go for ~$20 on eBay all the time.

Here's one from Diamond Media, never physically heard this one yet, so I don't know how good it is: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Diamond-Monster-General-MIDI-4MB-Wavetable-Sound-Card-Daughterboard-NEW-Tested-/182227096957


The Roland one is far and away, the best. The Yamaha one is probably second, and the Creative Labs WaveTable one is probably third in terms of best sound.


This video (below) has literally dozens of sound cards playing the first level of DOOM, so you can hear the difference. Look in the video description for direct links to all the sound card sounds:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YXFYWJ7dbz0#

Todd82TA
August 6th, 2016, 01:20 PM
For what it's worth, this is the holy grail of "music" sound cards: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roland-SCC-1-ISA-Sound-Canvas-GS-Sound-Card-/162160928067

Osgeld
August 6th, 2016, 03:07 PM
thanks for that video it does show what most of us were missing back in the day

i grew up with an apple IIe for a good portion of my life, then one glorious day OMG there was a packard bell 486DX2/66 with a ESS audio drive and a CD ROM OMGOMGOMG!!! next was my very own first pc a ATT 6300 with dual floppies, green screen and a 20 meg hard card, VERY first thing I did (when I made enough money, hell I was like 12 at the time) was ran out to radio shack and got their little RS branded soundblaster with speakers, pile of shareware and a crappy joystick kit cause I knew from then on I would never live without a sound card

I kept that card forever, it eventually tuned into an AWE32, but around the 500mhz era I knoticed it was a bottleneck so it turned into a SB live and once that died its been onboard ever since ... which is a bit of a sad story but Im working on it heh

Todd82TA
August 6th, 2016, 05:14 PM
thanks for that video it does show what most of us were missing back in the day

i grew up with an apple IIe for a good portion of my life, then one glorious day OMG there was a packard bell 486DX2/66 with a ESS audio drive and a CD ROM OMGOMGOMG!!! next was my very own first pc a ATT 6300 with dual floppies, green screen and a 20 meg hard card, VERY first thing I did (when I made enough money, hell I was like 12 at the time) was ran out to radio shack and got their little RS branded soundblaster with speakers, pile of shareware and a crappy joystick kit cause I knew from then on I would never live without a sound card

I kept that card forever, it eventually tuned into an AWE32, but around the 500mhz era I knoticed it was a bottleneck so it turned into a SB live and once that died its been onboard ever since ... which is a bit of a sad story but Im working on it heh


No problem! I was really big into that whole General MIDI thing for a while. My first computer was a KayPro 8088. Oh yeah, I'm 73VWTodd on AtariAge! I've been meaning to say that but keep forgetting! Thanks again for that video converter.

But yeah, my parents were really big on technology, so they went nuts on a KayPro. Started out with a green Hercules monochrome, and then quickly went to a SVGA monitor, which was amazing. No one in our neighborhood had ever seen one before. We didn't have any software that even supported it, except two image files which came with the graphics card to show off the graphics.

Anyway fast forward to the mid 90s, I was working at CompUSA after school and the Pentium 90 was pretty standard, with the P2 just starting to come out. I had a friend that had just graduated from high school (he was a senior and I was a junior). He was into making music, had a Korg 01W Pro keyboard, and all kinds of other stuff. Anyway, he had an SCC-1 Roland, which he originally paid something like $500 bucks for. He had just bought a new computer. Someone convinced him that his SCC-1 wouldn't work in the new computer, so it was worthless. I told him that I could make it work... but he didn't seem to care and said if I wanted it, I could have it for $30 bucks. I jumped on it!!! I've had it ever since. I got a Roland SCC-1 for $30 bucks... and that's what I used to play all the games that used that...

Great Hierophant
August 6th, 2016, 06:33 PM
For what it's worth, this is the holy grail of "music" sound cards: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Roland-SCC-1-ISA-Sound-Canvas-GS-Sound-Card-/162160928067

I would qualify that statement as the holy grail of General MIDI gaming sound cards. Yamaha was making general purpose General MIDI music sound cards long after Roland. The holy grail of pre-General MIDI gaming sound cards would be :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_LAPC-I

NeXT
August 6th, 2016, 07:32 PM
Wouldn't just an AWE32 render it redundant?

Todd82TA
August 7th, 2016, 06:49 AM
I would qualify that statement as the holy grail of General MIDI gaming sound cards. Yamaha was making general purpose General MIDI music sound cards long after Roland. The holy grail of pre-General MIDI gaming sound cards would be :

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_LAPC-I


Yes; however, the Roland SCC-1 has native support for the Roland MT-32. It literally loads the exact same patches, and there is no difference between the sound of the LAPC-1 and SCC-1 when the same patches are loaded. It's basically a batch file you run before playing an MT-32 game.



Wouldn't just an AWE32 render it redundant?

Yeah, the AWE is basically the Wave Blaster and the more revised Sound Blaster already combined. I don't think the AWE32 would even have the connector for the Wave Blaster anymore since at that point it's already built in.

Xacalite
August 9th, 2016, 04:51 AM
Yeah, the AWE is basically the Wave Blaster and the more revised Sound Blaster already combined. I don't think the AWE32 would even have the connector for the Wave Blaster anymore since at that point it's already built in.
But yes, both AWE32 and AWE64 had the Wave Blaster connector.
I'm wondering myself why, as indeed, adding a true Wave Blaster to them probably didn't make sense.
But there were also third party daughterboards for this connector, some of them better than Wave Blaster, so I guess the connector was useful after all.

olePigeon
August 9th, 2016, 09:34 AM
I have a MIDI card for my SB16 made by Orchid. As far as I can tell, it's identical to the SoundBlaster Wave. I'd love to get my hands on a boxed MT-32, though. It'd go great with my black DOS gaming rig. :D

Great Hierophant
August 10th, 2016, 09:46 AM
Yes; however, the Roland SCC-1 has native support for the Roland MT-32. It literally loads the exact same patches, and there is no difference between the sound of the LAPC-1 and SCC-1 when the same patches are loaded. It's basically a batch file you run before playing an MT-32 game.

That may be a reasonable assumption for the dozen or so games that only use the MT-32 128 built in patches, but for many, many more games that load their own custom patches (up to 64), it doesn't. The SCC-1 does not support MT-32 custom patches. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_SC-55

Cybershaman
November 11th, 2016, 02:12 PM
I was recently lamenting the fact that my midi files sound utterly horrible now that I don't have a true midi chip to decode them and so I found this thread. I had an AWE32 with somewhere around 4 or 8 MBs of RAM installed and...a daughterboard of some kind... I think it was indeed a Waveblaster II. I honestly can't remember how it worked or what I did with it (the daughterboard) but it sounded AMAZING. I really miss it. I remember making use of the soundfont functionality when the game Ultima Online came out as they had several sizes of soundfonts available hidden away on the install disk. Anyway, I read all of your comments with interest! Can't wait to make a legacy machine so that I can truly enjoy my MIDI guilty pleasures again...

GeoffB17
November 12th, 2016, 04:41 AM
Well, I still have my Roland LAPC-I in one of my older PCs. It's still used.

Mainly, it provides the midi interface for that PC, used to play midi files via various other midi devices including Yamaha MU90R and Korg NS5R. I do have various specifically LAPC/MT-32 midi files, they still sound good when played using the LAPC.

Way back, I got piles of MT/LAPC patches for all sorts of sounds, I play with them from time to time. I have software (all DOS of course) to do things with the MT stuff, etc. Also my own software using the Roland interface.

Trouble - the LAPC is an 8 bit ISA card, so it cannot be used in most things these days, so I need to keep appropriate machines running. The card is actually running in a Pentium which has 16 bit ISA slot, which usually works fine, but some of my programming was giving trouble and I suspect this is because the 16 bit interface can be too fast for the 8 bit card (using polling, rather than IRQs) so I had to slow my prog down a little bit.

But, it still all works fine!

Geoff

nestor
November 12th, 2016, 05:30 AM
But yes, both AWE32 and AWE64 had the Wave Blaster connector.
I'm wondering myself why, as indeed, adding a true Wave Blaster to them probably didn't make sense.
But there were also third party daughterboards for this connector, some of them better than Wave Blaster, so I guess the connector was useful after all.

That's right, you can add for example a Yamaha DB50XG waveboard to your Sound Blaster AWE32/AWE64 and play XG midi files (XG is another standard, like GM o GS but more advanced with new sounds and effects like wah-wha or filters).

There are more differences in the hardware level between the WaveBlasters and the SB AWEs. The first are "stand-alone" synths, they only needs a power supply, a midi in and an audio out signals, all of them are provided by the WaveBlaster connector. The AWEs have a ROM memory with a basic instrument bank that can be "enhanced" loading soundfonts in RAM (if available) but they are "dumb" synths, it is the PC microprocessor who controls the sounds through its drivers and at least a 486 machine is needed to perform this task correctly. On the other side, a WaveBlaster card can work even in the original IBM PC 5150 with a Sound Blaster 16.