LOAF's Recipe for Wing Commander Sound

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
or
How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Make the Most Confusing Sound Setup Ever

Sure, you live Wing Commander... but do you love it five soundcards worth? Here's my incredibly complicated and overly-expensive solution to getting every WC's sound to work absolutely just right.

Windows 98

All sound effects and music for Win9x games comes from a SoundBlaster Live 5.1. A cable goes from the digital-out of the SoundBlaster Live to the speakers. There is one exception: the Wing Commander IV DVD FMV sound is generated by a REALMagic Hollywood Plus DVD decoder card. A 1/8" to 1/8" cable goes from the line-out of the RealMagic to the line-in of the Live 5.1. To make the game sound slightly different, I've ported the Wing Commander Prophecy 'sound font' from LiveWare 1.0 to the more recent Live Settings. Because it's a PCI card, DOS will ignore the Live 5.1. I manually disabled all of the 'auto-detected' ISA sound cards in Windows.

DOS 6.22

Music for Wing Commander, Wing Commander II and Academy is generated by a Roland LAPC-I. The LAPC-I is hard-wired to be at IRQ 9/port 330. A 1/8" to dual-RCA cable goes from the line-out of the LAPC-I to the input of a three-way RCA audio switch (from Radio Shack).

Music for Privateer, Privateer 2 and Armada is generated by a Roland SC-55 external MIDI module. The SC-55 connects to the LAPC-I via a Roland MCB-1 breakout box and therefore shares Port 330 (Privateer absolutely cannot play MIDI music on any other port). A RCA to RCA cable goes from the RCA output of the SC-55 to the RCCA input of the three-way audio switch. The SC-55 was chosen as it has additional drum sounds which Privateer takes advantage of. When a game plays music at Port 330, both the LAPC and the SC-55 will generate sounds... the switchbox lets you pick which will enter the SoundBlaster's line-in!

Both sound effects and music for Wing Commander III and Wing Commander IV are generated by a Roland RAP-10. I've put the RAP-10 (via jumpers) at IRQ 11/port 340. A 1/8" to dual-RCA cable goes from the line-out of the RAP-10 to the input of a three-way RCA audio switch. The RAP-10 has enhanced audio for Wing Commander III and IV, although supports practically nothing else (game-wise, at least).

Sound effects for every game but Wing Commander III and IV is provided by a Creative Labs SoundBlaster 32 AWE. The three-way RCA switch's RCA-out connects to the line-in on the SB32. The SB32's line-out connects to the analog-in on the speakers. Install the Creative Labs PnP DOS software and be sure to disable the MIDI emulation. Set the Soundblaster to IRQ 5, Port 220 and DMA 1 (this last one is *necessary* for Wing 2 to work properly!).

What You'll Need...
- Creative Labs SoundBlaster!Live 5.1 (PCI)
- RealMagic Hollywood Plus DVD Decoder (PCI)
- Creative Labs SoundBlaster 32 AWE (ISA)
- Roland RAP-10 (ISA)
- Roland LAPC-I (ISA)
- Roland SC-55 (External)
- 1/8" to RCA audio cables (3)
- RCA to RCA audio cable
- 1/8" to 1/8" audio cable
- Roland MCB-1 Breakout Box
- 5-pin to 5-pin MIDI cable
- Three-Way RCA Audio Switch Box
 

TCSTigersClaw

Greek Special Forces B' Company "Naoussa" 2007-200
Damn.....you are the only one that crazy to have all these put together in your Pc just to play Wc properly.....:p

Maybe Im too..:D

Thanx LOAF.
 

Preacher

Swabbie
Banned
3 ISA slots?... man, you must have an older mobo (circa '98 or so at the latest) to accomplish that...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Originally posted by Preacher
3 ISA slots?... man, you must have an older mobo (circa '98 or so at the latest) to accomplish that...

I used an... ABit BX6 Revision 1. Chip is a P3/600... which is fast enough to play Prophecy in high res and slow enough that disabling the cache means I can play WC1 with no moslo...
 
U

Unregistered

Guest
Hey, Loaf:

I'm gonna get a Hollywoood/Creative dxr2/3 board soon, but I have a question for you:

Other than being able to play the WC4 DVD version, what other advantages are there (if any) to having such a board in one's system?...

In other words, is there any justification for it taking up a PCI slot on my box OTHER than the WC4 DVD?...
Curious...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
No, that's pretty much the only advantage :)

Well... if you're setting up an older machine it'll let you watch DVDs (since it's only faster machines that'll properly run a software DVD player).
 

Preacher

Swabbie
Banned
Originally posted by Bandit LOAF
No, that's pretty much the only advantage :)

Well... if you're setting up an older machine it'll let you watch DVDs (since it's only faster machines that'll properly run a software DVD player).

Thx.

'Nother question: Where do I get the drivers for this board?

(the one I'm thinking of getting is just a nekkid board (--no box/manual/software/etc) at a local second hand PC store locally...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Yeah, there should be a cable that goes from the VGA-Out of your graphics card to the VGA-In on the RealMagic... and then you plug your monitor into the RealMagic's VGA-Out.
 

Preacher

Swabbie
Banned
Aways back we were talkin' 'bout Voodoo boards, and you mentioned the 5000 (or was it the 5500?):

Question is:
Did (whichever board you was talkin' 'bout) come in PCI flavor, or AGP, or both?...


(cuz I'd think you'd wanna get the PCI board, if possible, so you can slam that AGP slot with a GeForce, yet still have the v5000 for Glide goodness when yer in the mood)

Which brings ups another question: Do more modern boards "do" Glide, through some kind of software magic, like "wrappers" I've heard about some years back?... What do you know of this, if anything?...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Howdy,

I'm using a Voodoo 5 5500 AGP on my WC machine... that's best for me, since I have no need for a GeForce (the machine won't be running any modern games). Voodoo 5's are available as PCI cards, although I personally don't have any experience with them.

I experimented a bit with Glide wrappers while the WC computer was in its planning stages... I was trying to get the 3Dfx Test to run with my regular computer's GeForce in the hopes that I wouldn't have to stick my Voodoo 1 in the WC machine (as it turned out, the test ran fine with the Voodoo 5 and I didn't need the old Pure3D at all).

Anyway, my take on Glide Wrappers (think things that emulate 3dfx cards) was that they weren't particularly great... Prophecy, for instance, would run but only some graphics elements would be generated. The test absolutely refused to have cockpit struts, for instance...
 

Preacher

Swabbie
Banned
Originally posted by Bandit LOAF
Howdy,

I'm using a Voodoo 5 5500 AGP on my WC machine... that's best for me,

How hard to get ahold of are these 5500's (either flavor), and how much would I have to shell out for one?... Where would I start looking for one?...
 

Preacher

Swabbie
Banned
Originally posted by Bandit LOAF
Between $50 and $100 on eBay, depending on how long you're willing to watch auctions.

...Yecchhhh.....
(not so much the price, but the watching auctions” part)...
 

Bandit LOAF

Long Live the Confederation!
Originally posted by Preacher
...Yecchhhh.....
(not so much the price, but the watching auctions” part)...

Well... it's nowhere near as bad as waiting to try and get ten year old MIDI stuff. :)
 

Preacher

Swabbie
Banned
Originally posted by Bandit LOAF
Well... it's nowhere near as bad as waiting to try and get ten year old MIDI stuff. :)

...or as bad as waiting to find KS at a decent price....
 

TC

SubCrid
Wow, why would anyone want a GeForce card in a Wing Commander machine. Not only do you not need the power, but Prophecy doesn't really like them too much...
 
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