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vanilla_d00m

OPL SNYTH in skull tag

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Well..  I don't know if skull tag is a source port or not but it ran a doom.wad.  When I was testing the OPL synth on skull tag 098c I noticed I hear more sound notes on e2m4.. I mean much louder that i couldnt in zdoom, or any port I ever tried.

 

Even DOSBOX!.... this is probably my final port I will be using (if its a port??) 

 

The only problem is the weapon switching, I can't remove the grenade launcher and the rail gun.. I understand it was made for this type of thing but there is no option or threads anywhere online about it.

 

I'm using speakers which is the best way to see if the notes are played at correct volumes, headphones you can't really tell.

@0:36 that part is more louder on skulltag, you don't need to crank the volume too loud to hear it.  The guy who uploaded this vid types about skulltag in the description.

 

 

It has the best OPL emulation for real.

Edited by vanilla_d00m

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32 minutes ago, Redneckerz said:

Skulltag is a source port but discontinued. Its multiplayer focussed, its successor is Zandronum.

Which itself also seems to have died, but I digress. :P

 

Anyway, yeah, the thing is OPL emulation has definitely improved since Skulltag's time. If you played that on a source port with a more modern emulation, it'd probably sound a bit different.

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I didn't quit understand what the guy said about the OPL synth being the best in 95.  I tried skull tag 095j, set up OPL to play for mus files on option since you can't turn it on the main sound menu.  Wen't to E1M1 and all I can say is...

 

What a big... BIG differnce (NIGHT&DAY) in the difference in sound...  it gave me goosebumps!!!

 

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But is it accurate?

 

It sounding more appealing to you is a matter of preference, but if it's inaccurate, then it's inaccurate, and by definition, better accuracy is what makes for a more authentic sound of the real thing.

 

It's like playing a 128k MP3 vs. an uncompressed form (or losslessly, like FLAC) - both will sound close, but one is simply more accurate to the original.

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It sounded very different (skull tag version 095)  the newer versions of skull tag sound different.   It sounded very different then nuke opl, zdoom, gzdoom, prboom chocolate when playing E1M1.

 

I'm going to guess on this one... it sounded like I had the yamaha hardware?? opl.  

 

It sounded very accurate.. i got goosebumps!  the instruments or something sounded like they wan't you to hear it.

 

Too bad I can't take off the grenade launcher that and mini chain gun... it comes up when you press 4 or 5.  There is no option for that.

Edited by vanilla_d00m

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http://www.skulltag.com/download/  I'm using the skull tag 095j... Set OPL FM to run for MUS files in Options/Advance Options, sample rate 44100 run DOOM 1 E1M1

 

I know this has to be it... the most accurate.  I never heard it on a real soundcard but this one sounds too good to be true!

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1 hour ago, vanilla_d00m said:

I know this has to be it... the most accurate.  I never heard it on a real soundcard but this one sounds too good to be true!

I'm not sure what this even means. How can you judge what constitutes "most accurate" if you've never even heard the music on real hardware? Do you just mean "sounds nicest to you"? If so then just say that, but don't pretend that it's "more accurate".

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2 hours ago, vanilla_d00m said:

http://www.skulltag.com/download/  I'm using the skull tag 095j... Set OPL FM to run for MUS files in Options/Advance Options, sample rate 44100 run DOOM 1 E1M1

 

I know this has to be it... the most accurate.  I never heard it on a real soundcard but this one sounds too good to be true!

That's because the old OPL synth in zdoom and related ports added a "limiter" of sorts on certain voice combinations. It's not accurate, it actually changes the timbre of the voices. That's one reason why it was thrown out.

And not to make the post too long, on referencing the OP: "When I was testing the OPL synth on skull tag 098c I noticed I hear more sound notes on e2m4", the reason is that the note pressure algorithm was completely different to what zdoom ports have now. The midi note algorithm in the older zdoom was better. but it wasn't GPL, so out it went.

 

1 hour ago, fraggle said:

I'm not sure what this even means. How can you judge what constitutes "most accurate" if you've never even heard the music on real hardware? Do you just mean "sounds nicest to you"? If so then just say that, but don't pretend that it's "more accurate".

Well, given that you were never meant to hear the OPL2/OPL3 digitally, there will be no such thing as "accurate". But the MAME OPL2 emulator of that era was absolutely terrible, as was the "Java OPL" if that's even selectable in that version. The real issue is this:
image.png.0bc62f0d45ada381fcdec271c13998ba.png

Notice how 2, 3, 4, and 6 are just absolute values of the sine? that also corresponds to the overall output of the chip, so you get stuff like this:

image.png.15a5d84aa091e6bfe6ce8fce045edf80.png

When a correct implementation (presumably through the SB16 DAC) would be more like this:

image.png.bbec86bd228d80c81c3bbed551aab48c.png

The first waveform output cannot be amplified "enough" in digital mixing. it will always be limited by the lopsided sines. Ports need to add a 5Hz highpass to get around this, then OP can crank it up until his speakers break.

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4 hours ago, fraggle said:

I'm not sure what this even means. How can you judge what constitutes "most accurate" if you've never even heard the music on real hardware? Do you just mean "sounds nicest to you"? If so then just say that, but don't pretend that it's "more accurate".

 

 

I ment to say Skulltag 095.  It really has something different when running on E1M1 OPL for mus files on 44100 at least.  I don't know but it sounds really different. 

 

I get my speakers only to 3 and thats enough to hear everything.. It does have a 10 though but it will be all distorted.  If anyone actually tests out skull tag 095 and actually plays E1M1 with OPL synth for MUS files then please tell me you hear a night and day difference.  It sounds like you have the real hardware (my guess)

 

If it made me feel like I won the lottery then it must be accurate??

 

Its soooo alive, thanks for the OPL info btw...

 

It has to be Skull Tag 095J    the letter "J" has to be after 95, this is the good one.

 

EDIT:

 

I think i will just get a sound blaster 16bit Yamaha OPL3 card... this will be my best birthday present.  Sound BLASTER!

Edited by vanilla_d00m

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On 6/1/2020 at 10:12 AM, Dark Pulse said:

Which itself also seems to have died, but I digress. :P

 

Anyway, yeah, the thing is OPL emulation has definitely improved since Skulltag's time. If you played that on a source port with a more modern emulation, it'd probably sound a bit different.

OPL emulation comes in many forms (Deflemask is one other that also does OPN emulation) but indeed, what the OP thinks sounds accurate is actually not accurate whatsoever and the wrong term is assigned for it. It sounds perhaps better to his ears, not accurate.

6 hours ago, vanilla_d00m said:

http://www.skulltag.com/download/  I'm using the skull tag 095j... Set OPL FM to run for MUS files in Options/Advance Options, sample rate 44100 run DOOM 1 E1M1

 

I know this has to be it... the most accurate.  I never heard it on a real soundcard but this one sounds too good to be true!

You don't know if a sound is accurate if you have not heard it the way it is mean't to be heard (So on a native OPL soundcard). That's like saying a High Level SNES emulator is better than Higan because it runs better. That's not what Higan is about.
 

28 minutes ago, vanilla_d00m said:

If it made me feel like I won the lottery then it must be accurate??

No. It sounds perhaps better to your ears. That does not mean its accurate. Its great that you hear a suitable difference, but i doubt its how OPL sounds in reality. Again, making things louder does not equate to better quality.

I feel you use the word accurate to describe something else, because what you are hearing surely isn't accurate.

Heck, a lot of modern dance music does not even take into account that you can put sounds far deeper in the audio spectrum so you can hear things from behind or from the side. I know several producers who make this mistake, and several who don't.

Guess whose productions often get praised more for the refined sound. Its not the producer who simply puts all his soundwaves squarely in the middle of the spectrum so that bass lines simply sound flat and not deep.

Proper sound design is all about details. Its easy to make things sound nice. Its difficult to make things sound refined/accurate.

 

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FUN FACT: the real OPL is a 100% DDS (Direct Digital Synthesis) chip, not an analog synth a-la Moog. This means that all of its waveforms are being generated and mixed digitaly, so a 100% accurate and repeatable reproduction of its output IS possible. The catch is that it operates at an oddball mixing frequency (49716), and in real-world applications it's always coupled to a custom companion DAC, so whatever characteristics that DAC had, that's also what ultimately defines the sound of the "real" OPL.

 

Oh, and remember that oddball mixing frequency I mentioned before (49716 Hz)? Since no standard consumer audio hardware can be programmed to operate at exactly that frequency, any emulator will have to downsample/resample to CD (44.1 kHz), DAT (48 kHz) or multiples thereof. And guess what....you need an intermediate frequency of about 60 Mhz to do a proper resampling between those sets of frequencies, so everything you've been hearing so far in terms of OPL emulation was a COMPROMISE bwahahahahahaha

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6 hours ago, vanilla_d00m said:

If it made me feel like I won the lottery then it must be accurate??

That's not what accurate means.

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Sorry.. I got overly excited.  I even spelled synth wrong on the thread title... it got my hopes up big time.

 

I thought skull tag version 095j was the one and only most accurate emulation. 

 

I hate this fact: Alot of people seem to think the old sounds are bad (how its suppose to sound the best way possibe)... like it sounds like gameboy music.  I can't believe this at all..

 

I wasn't even into DOOM as much as I am now... didn't even register to this site back when i found it in 2006.

 

Until that faithful day came... I heard E1M1 on sound blaster running on dosbox.  I just had to register to doomworld.com and pay my respects... thank you yamaha and E1M1.  And offcourse, Bobby Prince.

 

It's such a big step in differences from general midi to opl in e1m1... i was on general midi for a loong time and never heard E1M1 in opl.  I actually never knew how to change it in dosbox, my cousin did it for me and thats when everything changed and then I registered to this site. 

Edited by vanilla_d00m

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31 minutes ago, vanilla_d00m said:

Sorry.. I got overly excited.  I even spelled synth wrong on the thread title... it got my hopes up big time.

 

I thought skull tag version 095j was the one and only most accurate emulation. 

Its not accurate whatsoever. It just sounds better for you because its louder.

31 minutes ago, vanilla_d00m said:

I hate this fact: Alot of people seem to think the old sounds are bad (how its suppose to sound the best way possibe)... like it sounds like gameboy music.  I can't believe this at all..

 

I wasn't even into DOOM as much as I am now... didn't even register to this site back when i found it in 2006.

I have no idea who you are referring to here with ''A lot of people''.

 

OPL isn't sounding the same as gameboy music, aswell. FM synthesis was a popular way of outputting music in the 80s/beginning 90s. It provided more varied sounds as compared to the beeper present in most PC's back then. The beeper was just a single square wave, nothing more. And yet even that has music software written for it. (and here)  * and it supports multiple voices, too:

00050396.png

 

* Fun fact: The older IBM PC's had a large speaker (known as the honker) that could be software controlled to play a set speed allowing the speaker to output PWM samples at a low bitrate, thus enabling the usage of sampled music, single channel. It sounds rough, mind you. This practice still exists on the ZX Spectrum, but its CPU driven there to generate the samples.

31 minutes ago, vanilla_d00m said:

It's such a big step in differences from general midi to opl in e1m1... i was on general midi for a loong time and never heard E1M1 in opl.  I actually never knew how to change it in dosbox, my cousin did it for me and thats when everything changed and then I registered to this site. 

I don't see them as differences in quality, but as different soundsets with their own limitations. I reckon folks like Jimmy don't think even in limitations when it comes to midi: Its all about how you use the parameters that are available to you.

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1 hour ago, vanilla_d00m said:

I read comments on youtube where people describe sound blaster as awful sounding for the music in ms-dos doom. 

Its not particularly nice to skip 99.99% percent of a comment to make a general comment where all i can answer for is ''Okay''.

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Skulltag 095j does sound different though and not just the loudness part. 80s & 90s had great music yes.

 

I should just play DOOM instead of worrying how the music fits my needs, thats like saying bobbys music has a flaw.  I could of learned DOOM 2 by now.  I memorized Entrway but thats about it.

 

Redneckerz... do YOU prefer this version of e1m1 over the others?  And I didn't skip you're whole comment, so its about 95% since I mentioned about the "Alot Of People" thing and the sound blaster loudness.

 

 

Edited by vanilla_d00m

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9 hours ago, Quasar said:

 

For a more serious one, let's not forget to check in on someone who used the YM2612 and SN76489 to do it right.

 

 

 

(As for me personally, I prefer the SC55 versions. I've tried to do a decent version of this song, but I've yet to find a version that satisfies me.

 

But I did do some others!

Edited by Dark Pulse

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1 hour ago, Edward850 said:

Time for some authentic OPL3 hardware audio in this thread:

 

Bonus, here's the same hardware playing back with OPL2 (Maybe @Csonicgo can explain why the same hardware can do both? I wasn't aware the chipset was back-compat).

 


bonus points for thinkpad. 
 

Is this thread representative of DW these days? I dip in only rarely now and stumble across things like this and it’s a wonder I dip in at all. 

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29 minutes ago, nukeykt said:

Sounds like a OPL3 clone, percussions are definitely wrong. What is your sound card?

It is indeed a clone, though by consequence (can't exactly stick a full sized one inside a laptop) and one of the later ones. Chipset doesn't seem to have an official model (I'd probably have to take it apart) but it's a CrystalWare Audio card. 

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And since 1994 the Lord spake: "Thou shall not have thy Doom musical accompaniment tainted by the falsehoods and deceits of the false OPL prophets. Such abominations shall be cast into the Pit of Eternal Fire, for they are a disgrace to your Lord, Doom".

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12 minutes ago, Maes said:

And since 1994 the Lord spake: "Thou shall not have thy Doom musical accompaniment tainted by the falsehoods and deceits of the false OPL prophets. Such abominations shall be cast into the Pit of Eternal Fire, for they are a disgrace to your Lord, Doom".

Hip hip hooray for the GS Wavetable Synth!

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The absolutely worse way to listen to Doom music however, is OPL2/OPL3 used as a General MIDI device, especially under Windows. Vanilla Doom was unusual among games in that it actually had a decent set of OPL2 timbres (or "SoundFonts" in modern hipster MIDI parlance). Those generic OPL drivers under Windows....not so much. They give E1M1 that dreaded "squarewave banjo" sound, 32X-style.

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7 hours ago, Edward850 said:

Bonus, here's the same hardware playing back with OPL2 (Maybe @Csonicgo can explain why the same hardware can do both? I wasn't aware the chipset was back-compat).

Well the "why" is because Yamaha wanted it to be, but that's also why Creative et al chose it for an upgrade to the OPL2 everyone had been using since the AdLib - it was backwards compatible. That way, any existing software that made use of it would still work, while new software could use the OPL3's improved features like 4-op instruments.

 

I've heard tell of an OPL4 as well, but I'm not sure which (if any) PC sound cards it made it on to. I think it did hit at least one. If I recall correctly, that one is BC with both prior OPLs but adds the ability to handle PCM (or DPCM or DAC or IDEFK) samples natively to it? Which would have been nice had any software used it for, say, drums instead of relying on FM percussion (which is cute but not especially convincing),  if perhaps redundant to the Sound Blaster's entire raison d'être (adding PCM on top of the AdLib's FM synth, making the latter redundant and giving Creative the lion's share of the market).

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17 minutes ago, Shadow Hog said:

I've heard tell of an OPL4 as well

The OPL4 is a hybrid chip: as far as FM synth is concerned it doesn't add much compared to the OPL3, so it's effectively the same chip; however it is also capable of PCM synthesis.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yamaha_YMF278

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