Posts Tagged ‘music’

How to enable Gravis UltraSound in DOSBox for enhanced music experience in DOS programs and Games

Tuesday, October 31st, 2017

DOSBox

Gravis UltraSound Classic

 

Gravis UltraSound

Gravis UltraSound or GUS is a sound card for the IBM PC compatible systems.
It was lunched in 1992 and is notable for it's ability to use real-world sound recordings (wavetable) of a musical instruments rather than artificial computer-generated waveforms.
As one of my friends used to say back then: "it sounds like a CD".

To enable GUS in DOSBox all you need to do is:

1. Download the archive with the GUS files from https://alex.pc-freak.net/files/GUS/ULTRASND.zip. Extract the archive (there is already a directory in it so you don't have to create one) preferably where you keep your DOSBox stuff (like Games).

2. Find your DOSBox config file. Depending on the version or host OS, the dosbox conf file is located either inside the user profile folder or inside the same folder as dosbox.exe. In Windows 7 the config file is located at

"C:\Users\Fred\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\dosbox.conf"

where "Fred" is your username.

In GNU/Linux it's in "/home/Fred/.dosbox/dosbox.conf" where "Fred" is your username.

The name of the conf file may also have dosbox version (for example –

"dosbox-0.74.conf").

Open it with a text editor like notepad (Windows) or equvalent for GNU/Linux (vi, Kate, gedit…). Locate "[gus]" section (without the quotes) and edit it so it looks like this:

[gus]
#      gus: Enable the Gravis Ultrasound emulation.
#  gusrate: Sample rate of Ultrasound emulation.
#           Possible values: 44100, 48000, 32000, 22050, 16000, 11025, 8000, 49716.
#  gusbase: The IO base address of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 240, 220, 260, 280, 2a0, 2c0, 2e0, 300.
#   gusirq: The IRQ number of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 5, 3, 7, 9, 10, 11, 12.
#   gusdma: The DMA channel of the Gravis Ultrasound.
#           Possible values: 3, 0, 1, 5, 6, 7.
# ultradir: Path to Ultrasound directory. In this directory
#           there should be a MIDI directory that contains
#           the patch files for GUS playback. Patch sets used
#           with Timidity should work fine.

gus=true
gusrate=44100
gusbase=240
gusirq=5
gusdma=3
ultradir=C:\ULTRASND

Then save the dosbox conf file.

3. Start DOSBox and mount "ULTRASND" directory to "C:".

You can do that with

mount c (directory to ULTRASND)

For example if you have extracted the archive in "C:\Games" it has created "C:\Games\ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c c:\Games

(example: if your game is in "C:\Games\Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "C:\Games\ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive "C:\Games\") then you "mount c c:\Games" and you are set)

or for GNU/Linux if you have extracted the archive in "/home/Fred/Games" it has created "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRASND" and the command you will have to write in DOSBox is

mount c /home/Fred/Games (where "Fred" is your user name).

(example: if your game is in "/home/Fred/Games/Heroes2" and your GUS directory is "/home/Fred/Games/ULTRSND" (if you have extracted the archive" /home/Fred/Games/") in  then you "mount c /home/Fred/Games" and you are set)

You can make this automatic so you don't have to write it everytime by adding this command in the end (bottom) part of your dosbox conf file and save it.

You're practicly ready. All you need to do now is set Gravis UltraSound in your game or application setup (for example with the file "setup.exe") with IO: 240, IRQ 5 and DMA 3. If you prefer you previous sound card you can do that by selecting it again from the setup without disabling GUS from the dosbox conf file.

Happy listening!

Gravis Ultrasound

 

Article written by Alex

How to install “Beneath a Steel Sky” (Freeware) PC game and add enhanced music

Monday, October 30th, 2017

Beneath a Steel Sky

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 1Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 2

 

 

 

 

 

Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) is a 1994 PC point-and-click adventure game developed by Revolution Software that has been made available as freeware for PC platforms in 2003. I really like those type of games and the sense of humour in this one is top notch. So you want to try it for yourself?

All you need to download is:

1. ScummVM

ScummVM (Script Creation Utility for Maniac Mansion Virtual Machine) is a software that allows you to play games (mainly point-and-click adventures) by interpreting the scripting languages that games use to describe the game world. You can download a version for your system from https://www.scummvm.org/downloads/.

2. Beneath a Steel Sky (BASS) for ScummVM

This is a version of the game that is made to work with ScummVM and it's a freeware. Download it from https://www.scummvm.org/games/#sky. You can choose between CD or Floppy version. The Floppy version is smaller but it does not have speech (subtitles only).

3. Enchanced music (optional)

Back in the days the game was created there were a lot of sound card options and there was midi music. Some sound cards were more advanced in the midi music instruments compartment. Maybe you want that kind of enchanced sound but you don't have the hardware for it? Fortunately a guy called James Woodcock has recorded the midi tracks with powerful MIDI equipment and made them avaylable with ScummVM (thanks to the ScummVM guys too). You can download them from http://www.jameswoodcock.co.uk/content/scummvm-music-enhancement-project/beneath-a-steel-sky-enhanced-soundtrack-for-scummvm/ (Beneath A Steel Sky Enhanced Soundtrack for ScummVM) (mirror).

There are different quality versions (lossless or lossy) and different ScummVM versions. If you have downloaded the latest version of ScummVM from the link I gave you in the 1 then I recommend you to download "OGG Vorbis – Lossy (53MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2 (13th May, 2013)". If you are a audiophile and want only the best possible audio experience and you don't care about the bigger file size you should download the "Flac – Lossless (212MB) Beneath A Steel Sky – Full Soundtrack Version 1.2.1 (2nd Feb, 2014)" version.

How to install and start playing?

First install ScummVM. Then extract the archive with the game "Beneath a Steel Sky" in a directory of your choosing.

Then start ScummVM and choose
"Add game…".

Go to and highlight the directory you have extracted "Beneath a Steel Sky" in and click

"Choose".

Click "OK". The next step is optional if you want and downloaded the enchanced music.
Extract the archive with the music in the "Beneath a Steel Sky"'s directory.
Start the ScummVM program and select "Beneath a Steel Sky".

Now select [Edit Game], switch to Audio tab, tick the

"Overide Global Audio Settings" and set Sample Rate to 44kHz.

All you need now is to select the game from ScummVM and click "Start". That's it! If you want to return previous way of sound of the music just move or delete the music files from the game directory.

Happy playing!

Beneath a Steel Sky Screenshot 3

Article written by Alex

Play Heroes of Might and Magic 3 on Android – Another great strategy game classic to play on Android mobile phone

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

heroes_of_might_and_magic_3_on_android_platform
Android mobile platform is awesome
as it resurrects the days of true gaming by enabling us to play ports of most influential computer games of our youth.
A short time after figuring out about existence of my favourite computer strategy game Heroes of Might and Magic 2 for Android mobiel devices.

heroes-of-might-and-magic-3-android-usual-game-play-among-best-strategy-games-for-android-platform

I got curious whether someone had ported also the successor verion of Heroes of Might and Magic II  strategy role play turn-based games sequels – Heroes of Might and Magic (HOMM) III.
And was striken even Heroes of Might and Magic 3 game port is already available!
To play HOMM 3 you need to install VCMI application on your android phone or tablet, if you search it directly from GooglePlayer Store you will notice 2 VCMI versions, be careful as one of the applications is already depreciated and is not working. VCMI app is based on the open source VCMI engine (check out VCMI wiki here) – attempt to rewrite entire Heroes of Might and Magic 3 from scratch!

To play Heroes 3 on your Android device you will need to have original HoMM3 files.
Once you run VCMI app for a first time you will be get a pop-up instructing you to follow Game files Android install instructions from this page.

heroes-of-might-and-magic-3-in-town-screenshot-android-phone-device

Heroes of Might and Magic 3's graphics and music (all stored in the modern for that time mp3 music format) was strikingly innovative for its release time (HOMM3 was published in y. 1999).

heroes_of_might_and_magic_iii-running-on-your-anroid-device

I still remember the many days and night spent together with friends and my sister playing maniacally Heroes 3. Though Heroes 3 doesn't make in imprint in my mind just like Heroes 2, from my gamer period years 1999 to 2001.

Heroes 3 was one of the games I and many of my friends (at that time aged 17 – 18 yeard old). The game plot is not that different from Heroes 3 – you command an army of mythical creatures from different nations mythologies and from various ages. Heroes are given a choice of skills to upgrade upon levelling up, as well as becoming better at combat or the use of magic. Yiou command the hero over a map with sources, you get the resources to build new structures and army. There are artifacts all around you can get to make your hero strength greater, there is level of wisdom and varios other skills you can raise. You can buy multiple heroes and build strong armies and fight other player armies. Each player has his own number of belongings (castles, villages, mines etc.). The game includes plenty of mystic beings. Just like Heroes 2, a different "races" / castles / armies exist, just to mention few you can play with: Castle, Rampant, Tower, Inferno, Necropolis, Dungeon, Stronghold, Fortress Conflux

heroes-of-mignt-and-magic-3-finally-on-android

Game Storyline

Heroes 3 story line unfolds across 7 playable campaigns all set upon the imaginery continent of Antagarich. During the campaigns, the story is told from alternating points of view, giving players the opportunity to play as each of the town alignments.

Following the disappearance of King Roland Ironfist of Enroth, his wife, Queen Catherine, is left to rule the realm. In the meantime, her father, King Gryphonheart of Erathia, is assassinated. Without their beloved King, the kingdom of Erathia falls to the dark forces of Nighon and Eeofol. Queen Catherine returns home to Antagarich seeking to rally the people of her homeland and lead them against the evil that has ravaged their nation.

Erathia's capital of Steadwick is sacked by the dungeon lords of Nighon and the Kreegans of Eeofol. Meanwhile, the nations of Tatalia and Krewlod skirmish at the western border, seizing the chance to expand their territory. Catherine's first task is to establish a foothold in the conquered kingdom by enlisting the aid of allies. The wizards of Bracada and the elves of AvLee answer her call, and together they push towards Steadwick and eventually retake it, quickly quelling the border war in the west. Soon after, Lucifer Kreegan, a commander in the Eeofol armies, sends an envoy to Erathia claiming that Roland Ironfist is captive within their territories. AvLee invades Eeofol, but fails to rescue Roland, who is transported to their northern holdings. Afterwards, Catherine invades Nighon, pushing the dungeon armies back to their island home.

In the meantime, the necromancers of Deyja, having been responsible for the assassination of King Gryphonheart, plot to revive his corpse as a lich. They plan to use his wisdom in leading their own armies of the undead. However, King Gryphonheart's will proves too much for the necromancers even in his corrupted state, and he becomes a rogue lich. Having little other recourse, Queen Catherine is forced to ally herself with the necromancers and together they set out to destroy the lich of King Gryphonheart before he becomes too powerful.

A final bonus campaign, accessible only after the main campaigns are complete, tells the story of separatists living in the Contested Lands, a war-torn border between Erathia and AvLee. Tired of the skirmishes that bring unrest to their homelands, they join together to fight for independence from the two large kingdoms. It is later implied that this rising was orchestrated by Archibald Ironfist, the antagonist of Heroes of Might and Magic II.

Torus Trooper – Cool 3D Tunnel Speed Up Spaceship game for Linux

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Torus Trooper linux tunnel 3d fast pace speed up game screenshot

Whether you're looking for a game to kill some time and enjoy the old "spaceship shoot and run games" check out Torus Trooper.
Originally game was developed for MS Windows and is remake of an old Atari Arcade Game Tempest.

Those who played Tempest know well that this game was revolution for its time and probably remember also a similar world famous Space Duel game.

Arcade atari old scool tunnel game tempest one of atari pre 3d game classics

Atari's Tempest Arcade game

The objective of Torus Trooper is mega simple as in most arcade games. You're speeding up through a tunnel all time with a spaceship with the only goal to kill as many enemies  as you can and survive as longer as possible. Playing the game you can get some memories of demoscene tracked music, future crew Second Reality / Unreal demos. Game was created by ABA GAMES company, authors Tumiki Fighters and GunRoar another 2 nice 2D Linux arcade games.

TUMIKI Fighters the boss level 1, 2d linux arcade game classic

Tumiki Fighters

Gunroar another cool linux arcade 2d game

GunRoar

Probably best thing of Torus Trooper is its nice graphics and superb demoscene like soundtrack.
I truely love the pace of the game, raising up the player adrenaline in minutes.
To install in a bundle Torus-Trooper Tumiki Fighters and Gunroar on Debian / Ubuntu Linux run the usual:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes torus-trooper tumiki-fighters gunroar
...

There is also a variation of torus-trooper called Torus Trooper, install and give it a try as well;

debian:~# apt-get install -yes torus-trooper-pure
...

In my humble opinion Torus-trooper is among golden games every Linux gamer should have installed on his Desktop.
Enjoy 🙂
 

Linux: 8 Console Music players / Listening mp3 music in text mode

Monday, June 17th, 2013

As most of computer geeks, music is very important to make up my day and bring me up from bad mood or boredom. I like doing things from console, so even though nowadays Linux Desktop is so convenient, I still often prefer playing my mp3s from command line. In that spirit its worthy share with newer Linux users about existence of few mp3 players I used over the years to play my MODs / XM / Wavs / Mp3 etc.in pure console:

1. First and maybe most used over the years is mpg123 and its clone mpg321

mpg321 debian gnu linux playing mp3 in console screenshot
mpg123 is first mp3 player I ever used in Linux with no graphical environment and even to this day I install it on every Linux Desktop I have to configure. Its small its handy and it plays well most of mp3 music. Historically there was some issues with licensing of mpg321 making it not 100% (GPL-ed free software). Therefore a clone of it was made mpg321.
mpg321 is also a good mp3 player, but in some encoded mp3s my experience shows mpg123 plays music better (with less glitches).

 Install both mpg321 and mpg123 on Debian and Ubuntu and rest of deb based Linuces is with trivial:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes mpg321 mpg123
...

2. MP3Blaster (More interactiveNcurses mp3 and ogg vorbis player)

mp3blaster console music mp3 player Debian linux wheezy gnome terminal screenshot

debian:~#  apt-cache show mp3blaster|grep -i -A 1 description

Description-en: Full-screen console mp3 and Ogg Vorbis player
 mp3blaster is an interactive text-based mp3 and Ogg Vorbis player with

Description-md5: 0f28b31112e54bf3e946048856a7b6ce
Tag: interface::text-mode, role::program, sound::mixer, sound::player,

root@noah:/home/hipo/Плот# apt-cache show mp3blaster|grep -i -A 1 description
Description-en: Full-screen console mp3 and Ogg Vorbis player
 mp3blaster is an interactive text-based mp3 and Ogg Vorbis player with

Description-md5: 0f28b31112e54bf3e946048856a7b6ce
Tag: interface::text-mode, role::program, sound::mixer, sound::player,

To install:

 

debian:~# apt-get install --yes mp3blaster
...

3. Open Cubic Player – Cubic Player rewrite for UNIX and Linux

listening mp3 mod xm in console and terminal opencubicplayer ocp gnu linux debian

Those who remember how we used to listen music in DOS (Disk Operating System) days, should certainly remember Cubic Player – IMHO it used to be best MSDOS music player to play CDAudio, midi, MODs, WAVES etc. sound formats. I was more than delighted to find out some few years ago, some geeky developers started project aiming to rewrite from scratch Cubic Player for UNIX OS-es. Open Cubic Player is nowadays reality stable and kicks ass. I warmly recommend it to everyone who want to play music from console or terminal! It simply kicks ass!!! 🙂

Install it with;

debian:~# apt-get install --yes opencubicplayer
...

4. Cmus C Music Player (mp3 / wav / aac / flac / ogg vorbis) console player

Cmus tiny console terminal gnu linux mp3 music player screenshot
debian:~# apt-cache show cmus|grep -i description -A 2

Description-en: lightweight ncurses audio player
 C* Music Player is a modular and very configurable ncurses-based audio player.
 It has some interesting features like configurable colorscheme, mp3 and ogg

Install it with:

debian:~# apt-get install --yes cmus
...

Cmus tiny console terminal gnu linux mp3 music player screenshot
5.Good old but gold Mplayer

noah:~# apt-cache show mplayer|grep -i description -A 2

Description: Ultimate Movie Player For Linux.
 It plays most mpeg, avi and asf files, supported by many native and win32
 DLL codecs. You can watch VCD, DVD and even DivX movies too. The other

Description-en: movie player for Unix-like systems
 MPlayer plays most MPEG, VOB, AVI, Ogg/OGM, VIVO,
 ASF/WMA/WMV, QT/MOV/MP4, FLI, RM, NuppelVideo, yuv4mpeg, FILM, RoQ, PVA files,

noah:~# apt-get install --yes mplayer

playing music in console and terminal mplayer play mp3 ogg and videos in linux console

 


7. herrie – Minimalistic console music player

herrie linux console music player
Other newer player I just recently heard of is Herrie.
I red quite positive things about it, installed it but never got into habit of using it.

8. MikMod – Portable tracked music player

mikmod-console-mod-xm-it-old-school-music-format-player-for-gnu-linux-and-freebsd

Talking about geek music and old school stuff it is impossible not to mention MikMod. Even 12 years after i saw it for first time I still use it often to play cool music from modarchive.org. Its my personal believe MikMod is a player for hard core coders and hackers 🙂

noah:~# apt-cache show mikmod|grep -i description -A 2

Description-en: Portable tracked music player
 Mikmod is a very portable tracked music player which supports a wide
 variety of module formats including compressed sample Impulse Tracker

I'll be glad to hear from others what was your favourite console sound player

noah:~# apt-get install --yes mikmod
...

Djigan – Derzi mne za Ruku (Hold me for the hand) – Nice Russian modern disco pop song

Thursday, January 24th, 2013

In Vkotankte (Vk.com) – or the so called Russian Facebook there is a functionality to listen music while putting info on your wall or just chatting with friends. It's very, very handy functionality which facebook lacks. There while listening to some random Russian songs I come across a very, very nice modern disco pop song, I'm sure many others will like it. Too sad people part of western culture knows nothing of what is happening in Russia and this part of the world. There is plenty of nice Russian cultural things and modern songs to listen to.
 

Djigan – Hold me for the hand (Derzi mne za ruku) / Джиган – Держи меня за руку

A list of Christian Metal website resources on the Net for Christian Metal lovers

Thursday, July 26th, 2012

I’ve been an old times Metal head. The moment I accepted Jesus Christ as a Lord and Saviour and been visited by the Lord’s Holy Ghost grace, my life changed severely. I found out most of the metal bands, I used to be regularly listening to is against Christ and anti-christian in essence, I still however hold my love for Metal as my teenage years were dominated by Metal Music. Happily I found there is plenty of nice Metal music a Metal head could enjoy that are written for glorification of Christ and hence did not have the negative spiritual anti-christian charge that is so typical for a lot of the bads in the metal music world. Recently I’m not listening to as much music as few years from now but still every now and then I like playing some of my old Christian metal loved bands. I was maintaining a small list of Christian metal nice bands I found and playlisted on youtube. If you’re a metal geek you might enjoy my old christian metal playlist here 🙂.

For Christians, who are looking for online Christian Metal community I also suggest you check out Firestream – The believer’s Heavy Music Refugee . There are plenty of other interesting places on the net dedicated for Christian metal fans;;;

I will end up this post with 2 videos of one very favourite Ukrainian Christian Metal band – Angel 7;

Angel 7 – Jesus the Saviour

Angel 7 – The Last Day

There are probably plenty of other nice Christian Metal sites and resources on the net; surely I’m missing a lot here? if you know some other good Christian Rock / Metal resources please drop a comment.

Installing XMMS on Debian Squeeze from a Package / Installing XMMS on Debian – the debian way

Tuesday, July 17th, 2012

installing xmms on debian squeeze linux playing free software song green skin screenshot

I use Debian Linux for my desktop for quite some time; Even though there are plenty of MP3 / CD players around in Debian, I’m used to the good old XMMS, hence I often prefer to use XMMS to play my music instead of newer players like RhythmBox or audacious.
Actually audacious is not bad substitute for XMMS and is by default part of Debian but to me it seems more buggy and tends to crash during playing some music formats more than xmms ….

As most people might know, XMMS is no longer supported in almost all modern Linux distributions, so anyone using Debian, Ubuntu or other deb derivative Linux would have to normally compile it from source.
Compiling from source is time consuming and I think often it doesn’t pay back the effort. Thanksfully, though not officially supported by Debian crew XMMS still can be installed using a deb xmms prebuilt package repository kindly provided by a hacker fellow knuta.

Using the pre-build deb packages, installing xmms on new Debian installs comes to:

debian:~# echo 'deb http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~knuta/xmms/squeeze ./' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
debian:~# echo 'deb-src http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~knuta/xmms/squeeze ./' >> /etc/apt/sources.list
debian:~# apt-get update && apt-get -y install xmms

There are also deb xmms built for Ubuntu, so Ubuntu users could install xmms using repositories:

deb http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~knuta/xmms/karmic ./
deb-src http://www.pvv.ntnu.no/~knuta/xmms/karmic ./
That’s all now xmms is ready to use. Enjoy 🙂

Death Metal singing animals :)

Monday, February 20th, 2012

Alex, just passed me by few funny videos, with "animals singing death metal"

Death Metal Singing Rooster

This Rooster, should definitely contact Six Feet Under (SFU) 's vocalist – Chris Barnes for a solo album 😉

I guess this Camel should start innovative metal music fork to Grind Core or Noise Core metal genre sub-division 🙂


I'm sure you never imagined the donkey could be an awesome Metal singer, Well believe it or not it is a fact the donkey has a talent 🙂


This dog is quite experienced in Death Metal vocalist stage behaviour 😉

There is plenty of other Metal singing animals in Youtube, for more laugh check the related videos. Enjoy ! 🙂

Alex the Alligator – a nice retro style Nintendo / GameBoy like Free Software game for GNU / Linux

Tuesday, December 20th, 2011

Alex the Alligator Free Software 4 colors game Intro GNU Linux screen

Alex the Alligator is a Free Software (Open Sourced) arcade game licensed under the General Public License (GPL)
The game is quite of fun and especially the music totally kicks ass! 😉

The game plot is simple but fun in the good Spirit of oldschool Super Mario like arcade games.
Alex the Alligator evil human kidnapper poachers helicopter, GNU / Linux

In the game you are a little cute crocodile whose (crocodile) girlfriend is kidnapped with a helicopter by the evil human poachers.
As you love her too much and you're determined to grow a crocodile family with this croco-girl you start a long quest to save her from possible zoo slavery or killing for a crocodile skin boots.
Kidnapping Lola dropping a cage Linux screenshot

The quest for kidnapped girlfriend (LOLA) liberation wents through the harsh jungles.
Alex The ALligator level 1 on Linux screenshot

Alex The Alligator has a version for both Windows and Linux ports. The Linux port is available for most major distributions including Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora etc.

To install the game on Debian and Ubuntu with apt-get issue:

debian:~# apt-get --yes install alex4
...

After installing the game can be run from command line using cmd:

alex4

The game controls are as follows;
 

  • Arrow Keys – Movement
  • Alt – Jump
  • Ctrl – Fire (if you have previously collected Eggs

Alex the Alligator is also equipped with a MAP editor, so if you really want to contribute the game development, take some time create some maps and submit to game's official website http://allegator.sourceforge.net/ . On the game website there are few other variations of the Alex the Alligator as well as extra game maps.
Explanation on which keys can be used to create maps is found in the game manual, e.g.:

debian:~$ man alex4

If you have downloaded some extra game maps from the game sourceforge website, to load them you can use:

Shift+L

Will Alex succeed in saving his girlfriend ? It's up to you 😉