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PostPosted: August 22nd, 2011, 3:16 am 
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I'm finally starting to test the new fmgen builds...

edit: OK, the fmgen builds are not as bad as I originally thought. I seem to be getting better performance on my Windows 7 machine, but there could be many reasons for that.

The QFM option definitely does degrade CD audio, so you should disable it for the few games that use CD audio.

I also think there's a bug related to the sampling rate - keep it at 88 kHz, and just enable/disable QFM depending on the game.
edit 2: I only get this problem on Windows 7. Use 88 kHz or increase the sound buffer to fix.


Last edited by kobushi on September 1st, 2011, 10:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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PostPosted: August 25th, 2011, 9:22 am 
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Does the author know the issues?


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PostPosted: August 27th, 2011, 2:34 am 
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Some issues are already known, I'll let the author know about the others.

A new version was released this week:
Link (pass: 9801): http://www1.axfc.net/uploader/File/so/68036
Mirror (no pass): http://www.sendspace.com/file/oxy98e

- CD volume slider added to the Mixer tab (Device->Sound option). Setting CD volume above 64 is not recommended.
- Part of the code reverted back to older official version to prevent EMM386.EXE panic error
- LPF is only enabled when using QFM, should help eliminate minor noise


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PostPosted: September 1st, 2011, 10:16 am 
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Another new fmgen build:

Link (pass: 9801): http://www1.axfc.net/uploader/File/so/68470
Mirror (no pass): http://www.sendspace.com/file/0lo9xb

- The a5000-a7fff memory area is now writable (d4000-dfff if using the Epson PC-286 architecture)
- Added antialising option to make graphics look less pixellated and more like a CRT picture. There are three levels: Light, Soft, and Hard. If you want to use antialiasing in fullscreen, be sure to check Screen->Screen Option->Fullscreen->No change screen colors.
- Minor bug fixes related to the resume and screen rotation options


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PostPosted: September 1st, 2011, 12:19 pm 
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What about the sound issues we mostly concern of? :shock:


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PostPosted: September 1st, 2011, 4:42 pm 
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micro wrote:
What about the sound issues we mostly concern of? :shock:


I think any change that improves the emulation experience is welcome. Of course sound accuracy is the focus of this build, but not looking like shit in fullscreen (among other fixes) is a nice addition too. PC-98 games weren't designed to look good on LCDs, you'll notice if you look at pseudo-transparencies (one pixel yes, one pixel no).

Moreover, having ALL those fixes in one unique build, how can THAT be bad?


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PostPosted: September 1st, 2011, 10:33 pm 
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micro wrote:
What about the sound issues we mostly concern of? :shock:


I went back and stealth-edited my earlier post, sorry about that.
I think the fmgen builds are working really well now, and like wushu said, all the other fixes and additions are a nice bonus.

As for the sound issues:

- BEEP PCM is slightly worse with QFM enabled, but then again BEEP PCM never sounds good.

- QFM degrades CD audio. This is an easy fix: just disable QFM. There's no reason to have QFM on unless you're listening to FM synth (Policenauts is just CD audio and PCM, for example). CD audio for 9801 DOS games is extremely rare anyway.

- For some reason, audio stutters with on my Windows 7 PC at 22 kHz and 44 kHz. I can fix it by raising the sound buffer. 88 kHz works fine, and my XP PC doesn't have this problem. I don't know whether this is an emulator issue or just my PC. Does anyone else have this problem?

- The overlong sustains I talked about before are actually correct behavior. I double-checked on real hardware with the volume turned up. I thought it was a bug, but it's actually just better emulation :lol:

- Very rarely, the audio will stutter briefly when switching music or loading new data. Lowering the CPU clock and increasing the sound buffer will probably help prevent this, but it seems to happen much less frequently with the newer builds.

- If using Windows Vista/7, disable Aero (desktop composition) for better performance. Actually you should do this when running any emulator.


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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2011, 12:59 am 
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I've got still the same problem. The PCM sounds (in Binyu Hunter for example) plays 20-30 seconds after rebooting, and then they're gone forever, 'till next reboot. I think my PC is not powerful enough to handle it. Or may it be faulty config? But I've tried almost everytyhing. :(

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2011, 1:42 am 
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Binyu Hunter uses "real" PCM and not beep PCM. I don't have any problems with it, even with QFM enabled.

Make sure you have enough memory and CPU - the minimum for Binyu Hunter with PCM is 25 MHz with 1 MB of EMS memory, but I usually use around 33 MHz (2.5 x 14).

Also, Binyu Hunter only plays one PCM sample at a time, so some sound effects get cut off when there is a lot happening at once.

To easily check if your PC is struggling, enable Screen->No Wait. If the game/sound doesn't noticeably speed up, your real CPU is at its limit.


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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2011, 2:47 am 
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Looks like it's as its limit - no speed up at all. I've got the emulated CPU usually over 12 MHz (2.5 x 5). More than this and all the games get actually slower, even the simpliest ones (like Mario Bros. Special or Arrow Gunner EX). I need a better hardware. But with PCM or without it, at least the game is still playable.

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Last edited by cpt. Misumaru Tenchi on September 3rd, 2011, 12:25 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2011, 7:32 am 
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Good advice, kobushi,
Increasing the sound buffer does remove the clicks!


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PostPosted: September 2nd, 2011, 8:18 am 
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Glad to know it's working for you, micro :)

It seems like the right sound buffer really depends on your particular hardware setup.

I hate audio lag, so I try to keep the buffer as low as possible.
On my Windows 7 with Realtek HD integrated audio , I can use 88 kHz with a 40 ms buffer (the absolute minimum) with no problems, but if I switch to 22 kHz or 44 kHz, I need at least 80 ms to prevent stuttering.

On my Windows XP box with an X-Fi sound card, I can use a 40 ms buffer with all sample rates, but I seem to get more random hiccups.


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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2011, 3:48 am 
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150ms is the best I can do on both my XP and 7!


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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2011, 5:53 pm 
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Remember that the default sound buffer in Neko is 500 ms -- half a second! Setting it to 200 provides acceptable results and anything below 100 is absolutely overkill in most PC-98 games. While I'm also particularly sensible to audio latency, we're not talking about a machine running at 60 fps where lag could be a game breaker.

As a sidenote, I discovered a while ago why these new Neko builds would crash on my config. There was a hidden Direct3D library in my Neko directory which I had forgotten to delete from my crazy WinXP times (when I was experimenting with D3D10 custom libs for XP). How exactly it ended up here, I'm not sure, but whatever...

For info, it seems I can activate QFM in 44 KHz with 40 ms buffer without any sound glitch. I'm also running Win7-64 on a Realtek HD chipset. I didn't try 22 KHz though.

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PostPosted: September 3rd, 2011, 9:36 pm 
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For most adventure games that just play music, the audio lag doesn't matter at all, but the lag bothers me whenever I play games with sound effects (Touhou, Falcom, etc.). The title screen in YU-NO is a good example. On a real PC98, you should hear the menu sound effect as soon as you click a menu item.

100 ms is just barely noticeable for me, and although I can live with it, I like to set the buffer lower if I can. If everything works at 40 ms, why not use 40 ms?

Kaminari, thanks for the info, I guess the 44 kHz glitch is just my machine (and my overkill sound buffer :wink:). Also glad to hear that you can run the new Neko builds.

Speaking of Neko builds, here's a new one!
Link (pass: 9801): http://www1.axfc.net/uploader/File/so/68624
Mirror (no pass): http://www.sendspace.com/file/tur0hp

- You can now drag and drop image files into the emulator window to open them. Hard drive images are mounted onto IDE#0 (or SCSI#0 for .hdd images), floppy images are mounted onto FDD1. CD images are automatically mounted onto IDE#2.
- Hold Ctrl to mount an image file onto the second slot (IDE#1, SCSI#1, FDD2).


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