[Coco] My introduction - a newbie
jcewy at swbell.net
Sat Jan 27 02:28:20 EST 2007
Ok, a quick check on rtsi reveals the following: Play Ver 5 uses the
Orch-90 to play digitized samples under OS-9, though it appears it uses
only one channel. (dis)assembly source is included. There is also an
intriguing looking program called SoundMaster 2.0, which also runs under
OS-9 and allows you to construct sounds for the SSC. The docs seem to
suggest that upgrading it to work at 2MHz is optional, as it includes 2
versions of a driver, one of which apparently slows down the CoCo when
accessing the SSC, or something like that. There's a bunch more
programs under 6x09/sound, so who knows what else there might be. On
the RS-DOS side there are 4 ARC files of what are likely to be
Orchestra-90 music files that compile and play using the built-in ROM
software. I might also add that the CC version of Orchestra-90 came
after Orchestra-80, Orchestra-85, and Orchestra-90 for the TRS-80 Model
I, I believe. As far as I can tell, the music files, which tell the
firmware how to construct a song from, what I guess amounts to ROM-based
wave tables, should be basically upward compatible. Ira Goldklang has a
*ton* of Orch files on his web site, with links to others:
According to L. Curtis Boyle's games list, John R. Strong still sells
two games for $15 each that support the Orchestra-90 CC: Soviet Bloc,
which is a Tetris clone, and Gems, which looks like a game called Jewel
Box that I've played in Linux.
It looks like Ghana Bwana, Adventure In Mythology, Lansford Mansion,
Gantlet, The Interbank Incident, Gold Runner II, and Martian Crypt
support the SSC if present.
Joel Ewy wrote:
> Dan Olson wrote:
>>> With an Orchestra-90 or Speach/Sound cartridge, the Color Computer 3
>>> sound is spectacular. Using just its own built-in circuitry, the sound
>>> is barely adequate. In other words, about ten times better than a C-64.
>> I always thought of it this way, the CoCo has great sound hardware, it
>> just doesn't come standard with the computer. BTW, I never found much
>> info on the Orchestra-90 or Speach/Sound cart, I assume both are
>> incompatible, which has the best software support?
> I haven't really looked into this question in detail yet, but what I
> gather is that there are a number of RS-DOS games that can use the SSC,
> but that the Orch-90 is the only one that works at 2MHz (without
> modification), so the SSC can't be used in (Nitr)OS-9 LII on the CoCo
> 3. Any emulation or reimplementation would have to fix that problem.
> (More likely the problem simply wouldn't arise because all the logic
> gates in an FPGA should be capable of the same clock rates, and software
> emulation is, well, software.) I think maybe there is a program that
> will play WAV files through the Orch-90 in OS-9. Am I right about any
> of this?
> The Orchestra-90 is just a stereo 8-bit audio DAC, and if I understand
> correctly, the SSC is a (monaural?) FM synthesizer and hardware speech
> synthesizer. If that's approximately right, then they really perform
> complementary functions. PC sound cards have both functions, and an
> updated CoCo design should as well. And if it's going to be able to
> play digitized samples as well as synthesized sounds, it might as well
> incorporate these two existing designs.
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