I never did, but was tempted. In the end I just splurged the 80 GBP for a SoundBlaster 16.
It's amazing what people can do with great software and just a little hardware. (See bottom of page: http://linux-audio.com/Sound-HOWTO-3.html)
I think Scream Tracker had the schematic bundled with it as an ASCII drawing. We were taught how to solder in primary school, but I remember the schematics being way too advanced for us. Looking at it now it's just a simple resistor ladder tree
I think it was roughly the same as Covox, someone had written a sound blaster emulator for it, and it worked pretty well on games, scream tracker/fast tracker and demoscene demos - for the price of a parallel port connector and a few resistors, pretty cool.
It wasn't used with the PC Speaker driver though - it was the same as a Covox Speech Thing (mentioned in the original article here too).
My father told me very exited "I went to a friend's house and he was playing Prince of Persia, you can listen the footsteps "ton ton ton"."
I found a picture of the package: http://blog.hmvh.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/moby_SB16box...
"Coincidentally" enough shortly afterwards we had a SB16 of our very own. ;)
There was one particular demon that you would hear half whispering in the distance. As soon as you heard that sound you knew that one of those demons was lurking around somewhere but you didn't know where, so you would start lookng frantically round, waiting for it to burst screaming out of the shadows and attack you.
To this day I have never played another game that evoked such a sense of tension and dread as that sinister whispering.
Anyway, the SB 16 worked fine in Windows 3.1 and in Linux (Slackware, with kernel 1.1.59), but it didn't work properly in DOS for some reason.
I looked online and found that others with the same chipset had the same problem, and no one had found a solution.
So the only way to play Doom with sound on that computer, was to run the Linux version.
The trick was enabling the 3state inputs in the parallel port, which was only available on EPP ports I think
OR IS IT?!
And that someone realised it's too hard to maintain a complete set of 'no longer manufactured' indications.
This is very similar to the Novation Apple-CAT II which was available by 1981 or so:
Ironically, Novation was wiped out when they retooled to produce a card for the PCjr.
I think the unique thing about this IBM sound cards is that it had a programmable DSP which made it much more flexible.
- It had a four-voice synthesizer, so it could play music / synthesize voices, etc over the line.
- It had a handset input, I think w/digitizer, so it could be used as a voice distorter.
- It supported Bell 202 1200 bps half-duplex to another Cat II.
- It could control a tape recorder, so it could be used as an answering machine.
- It could control home appliances via BSR X-10.
- It had RS-232 support, so it could be used as a serial printer controller.
It was not a conventional modem.
Here's a YouTube demo:
($399 in 1979 is equal to about $1399 in 2018)
Since it was still the very early days of personal computing, it was very ELI5, so still very useful.
It's amazing how little data is needed to generate useable speech. If I ever get some free time, I want to see if I can use their schematic to make it work on RS-232.
Cut out a part of the PC cage so it could fit. Added memory from an old video card to it and it worked great.
But things were going so fast that maybe one/two years later the Soundblaster 2 came on the market. Maybe it was $200 and producing much better sound.
Edit: changed the prices as others point out they are wrong.
In 1994 the state-of-the-art SoundBlaster would have been the AWE32 and it was $399. You must be misremembering :)
Sound cards did not drop to anywhere near $20 until the very late 90's or early 00's and those $20 cards were bottom barrel stuff that would have been less advanced in many ways than the GUS Max even then.
Now I remember why I was never able to save any money in my late teens...
Too bad it died after a couple of years, seems to be a design flaw
I was profoundly disappointed to have to deal with this sort of nonsense when we "upgraded" from our Amiga 500.
That card was so good for demoscene stuff..
I was also proud that it was Canadian-made (it sat alongside my Matrox video card)
The only thing I remember I was amazed and sad at the same time when I heard the SB2. Halve the price twice the sound.
And ofcourse Dr. Sbaitso..
These boards still pop-up from time to time on ebay, and are way cheaper than a modern ad-lib clone card.
I had a C-64, and had both the Covox Voice Master (...ter ...ter ...ter), and Commodore's Magic Voice.
Interesting that the Commodore box had to go into the cartridge port and the monitor port just for voice output, but the Covox could do both in and out from the joystick port.
I'm not actually sure that's the correct software. All I remember is it sounding like real instruments back when I was used to simple beeps from the built in sound
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