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Synths and Their Drivers

Discussion in 'General Electronics' started by Radium, Sep 30, 2003.

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  1. Radium

    Radium Guest

    Sound Blaster 16 ISA has the hardware FM synth OPL3 and the driver
    is named "Creative Music Synth [220]". The 220 is the address port for
    the driver.
    You'd be suprised. The driver makes as much of a difference as the
    synth itself. Try a Yamaha PCI card. It has the same OPL3 chip as the
    SB16. However, the sounds are very different -- all because the driver
    is different.

    IMHO Creative Music Synth is the best FM driver.

    Why does the driver make so much of a difference?
  2. Hmm, probably because there's no standard GM set for the OPL-3 based cards.
    You know, the sound parameters (registers) are the same in each card but the
    renditions of GM specific sounds depend on the driver being used.

    I remember seeing some drivers for Windows 3.1 (9x?) allowing you to make
    new OPL patches a little like a sound editor for the OPL-3.

    Surely the sounds are not different in DOS games between the SB and the
    Yamaha cards, right?
    Also, some of the other components like the digital to analog converter may
    affect the basic sound of the chip. Some late 80s arcade games used the same
    OPL chip but it does sound very different.

    Could you please stop cross-posting? I wouldn't want to subscribe to all
    those other groups just to be able to see how this thread goes (posting in
  3. bigtiny

    bigtiny Guest

    Because the chip is, well, just a chip!

    The driver will determine which features of the hardware (chip) will
    be used and how. For instance, you can have a chip with a robust set
    of available functions, but a driver that is written to only take
    advantage of a few of all depends on what the drivers'
    authors wanted to implement....

  4. Radium

    Radium Guest

    Where can I find more information on Creative Music Synth?

    I would like to know:

    1. Technically, how it differs from other FM drivers

    2. How those differences change the characteristics of the sound
    played from the OPL3 chip

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