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how hard to run two sound cards in dos 6.22

oblivion

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im currently running a awe32 in my fast dos machine but i was thinking of adding a grvis ultrasound as well for those games that support it. before i bother with the endevor though i wanted to ask how hard it would be to setup or would it be an endless amount of conflicts and mem usage? ive never played with 2 sound cards in a system before except for using an external mt-32.
 

dorkbert

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If I recall correctly, GUS drivers were mostly there to emulate SB. Software applications with native support for GUS should require no drivers. That said, as long as I/O resources for both cards don't step on each other, I don't see a problem... though over the years, "convention" dictates that certain I/O resources be used, and some cards or software may not permit assignment of resources other than those that conforms to the said convention be used.
 

Trixter

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It's not hard to run two cards in DOS at the same time. You don't even need any resident drivers depending on the cards you have, just an autoexec.bat "mixer" program that sets levels the way you want them.

My favorite setup in the 1990s was a Sound Blaster 16 ASP with a wavetable daughterboard (for general MIDI) and a Gravis Ultrasound (for my demoscene work and for games that supported it). I had the output of the Sound Blaster plugged into the LINE IN of the GUS, and the GUS mixer was set in autoexec to enable and turn on line in. I then connected the line-out of the GUS to my speakers. It worked great as long as I wasn't stomping on any other card's IRQs, DMAs, or ports. IIRC, I believe I had them set to this:

Sound Blaster 16: port 220, IRQ 5, DMA 1, HDMA 5 -- with GMIDI using port 330 (the default)
GUS: 240,7,7,7,7 (port 240, IRQ 7, DMA 7)

This was the most compatible setup across the widest range of games for me. It works fine as long as you don't try to play sound through the GUS at the same time you want to send something to a printer, as both in this setup use IRQ 7.
 

Great Hierophant

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A Game that advertises "native" GUS support may be counting on the music patches contained in the GUS install or may use a program like SBOS, Ultramid or Mega-em which the GUS installs to make the setup transparent to the user.

Most conflicts between the Sound Blaster 16 and GUS can be avoided. They can use different I/O addresses, IRQs and DMAs. Either card can have its joystick disabled. The MIDI I/O addresses (330,300) can also be worked around. But the one unavoidable area of conflict that you may encounter from a standard GUS is with games supporting Adlib.

Adlib is always at I/O 388-389 for these cards. There is no issue if the game only writes to the Adlib chip. But if the game reads from the Adlib chip's status register (for detection purposes), then things may not work correctly. The Ultrasound ACE has a jumper to disable the Adlib ports, presumably for this reason.
 

oblivion

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so if i go this route i should go with the ultrasound ACE? the card it would be paired with is a awe32
 
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Trixter

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You can go with any Gravis card you want, but if you get the ACE you have to disable its Adlib emulation as described above. The awe32 already provides Adlib support.
 
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