Welcome to the Orpheus Sound Card homepage.
Currently this page serves as a quick setup guide , it will eventually be updated and become fully functional.
Orpheus is a PC ISA 16bit soundcard , aimed for DOS usage.
Please keep in mind that this is still and ISA soundcard based
around a 1997 audio controller working inside systems up to 30
years old and playing DOS games that
have low bitrate and compressed samples to accomodate the hardware limitations of the time.
More info and development log can be found on the official VOGONS thread HERE
Videos about the Oprheus Soundcard
RMC - The Cave : Orpheus I + Dreamblaster X2 - A new ISA Sound Card for Retro PC Gamers
LGR : Testing the New Orpheus Sound Blaster-compatible ISA Card
pc-sound-legacy : The Orpheus 1 SoundCard playing Descent Track 18 FM music (Yamaha OPL3) , "1869 - Hart am Wind" FM music
||PCMIDI Resources Control (only installed when
PCMIDI is onboard)
P - jumper closed = port 330 , open = port 300
3,5,7,2 = select *one* IRQ for use
defaults shown: port 330 and IRQ2 selected
|| MIDI Signals Control to allow a dual-mpu
If PCMIDI is installed and you also activate CS4237 MPU device you can select which MPU device controls each port. Move jumper to I (for PCMIDI) or CS (for CS4237) for each jumper
WTC= Wavetable Connector
JYC = Joystick Connector
MOC = MIDI Out Connector
defaults shown: all ports controlled by PCMIDI MPU , if there is no PCMIDI installed on board the jumper block has no use
PCMIDI MPU interface info:
If you want to find out more about the PCMIDI part then please visit the PCMIDI Homepage
This is a driver software developed specifically for the Orpheus Sound Card by VOGONS user 640K!enough
It is INI driven like the official Crystal driver , so you have to edit said INI file to change resource and mixer settings.
Usage is pretty straight forward: edit ORPHEUS.INI if needed and lauch ORPHEUS.BAT , that's it!
You can have multiple INI files and use them with the /F: switch , for example: ORPHINIT /F:DMA0.INI
Grab the latest 0.53ß final version HERE.
a. for an Orpheus soundcard with PCMIDI installed add these lines to AUTOEXEC.BAT (assuming UNISOUND is located in C:\UNISOUND directory)
SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 T4
C:\UNISOUND\UNISOUND.COM /VC80 /VL80 /VF60
with these settings SoundBlaster is configured at port 220 , IRQ 7 , DMA 1
b. for an Orpheus soundcard with CS4237 MPU add these
lines to AUTOEXEC.BAT
SET BLASTER=A220 I7 D1 H3 P330 T4
C:\UNISOUND\UNISOUND.COM /XOM1 /VC80 /VL80 /VF60
with these settings SoundBlaster is configured at port 220 , IRQ 7 , DMA 1 , HIGH DMA 3 and CS4237 MPU is using port 330
Official Crystal DOS drivers:
Important notice: these drivers are completely unoptimized for Orpheus, they are
only useful in case something does not work with current DOS init programs so
you can at least use the card in some problematic scenario.
Specific Orpheus support , coding and testing based on feedback are still undergoing.
HERE you can download a copy of the official Crystal DOS drivers.
There is an ORPHEUS.TXT with installation info inside the archive - basically all you have to
do is extract the files to a directory, edit CWDAUDIO.INI in case you want to use different
resources and chose if you want to have the CS4237 MPU device enabled or disabled.
Then add the lines described in ORPHEUS.TXT in your config/autoexec and reboot!
Those drivers DO NOT offer a way to activate s/pdif output under DOS.
Although Orpheus is designed as a DOS sound card windows drivers do exist - but sadly due to it's closed-source nature some limitations are in effect...
EEPROM restore/config tool:
Use FLASH.COM to restore the card's eeprom settings and disable or enable CSMPU device at ports 300 or 330.
Remember to power cycle the system once you write new eeprom data to the card.
Duke Nukem II : CS4237 chip does not support all ADPCM sample compression modes the game uses. Please use
AdLib sound effects for the game OR the ADPCM FIX from K1n9_Duk3 posted on VOGONS forum HERE.
Tyrian and Tyrian 2000 : On most systems the game only works with WSS and DMA0 selected. You can easily change
resources on the fly by modifying the BLASTER variable and running UniSound to re-init the card or use ORPHINIT with an
INI file that specifies DMA0 to be used. This just seems to be the game's sound driver incompatibility with the CS4237.
Sierra games with 32bit engines like Police Quest IV, Quest for Glory IV, Gabriel Knight, etc that have WSS as an option
in their setup will have to be played with Sound Blaster option since the Sierra WSS driver is incompatible with the CS-4237 chip.
There are WSS driver updates for 16bit game engine HERE and 32bit game engine HERE but they are hardcoded to IRQ7/DMA1
and have the potential/ability to mess with mixer settings and s/pdif output registers.
There are now some fixed 16bit and 32bit Sierra WSS drivers HERE and HERE thanks to 640k!enough , this is still a WIP
but they have the advantage of adding WSS support in Sierra games that never supported tha standard initially. Please refer to the
discussion in the thread for further info. These drivers will help all 423x cards not just Orpheus.
DELL Optiplex socket5 4xxx / 5xxx systems: using Orpheus with those systems cause them to freeze on boot.
There is a chance if left in this state for several minutes the system will record the Orpheus PnP data and subsequent boots will
be fine and normal. But there is a chance the system will never recover and will stay in this halted state.
It is not known at the moment what causes this, the prevailing theory is that the PnP portion of these specific era Optiplex systems
have issues with the CS4237 chip's PnP initiliazation. A BIOS update *might* help but not quaranteed:
go to DELL Support Page
click "Browse All Products"
select "Desktops & All-in-ones"
select "Retired Models"
select "Older Models"
and if you are lucky you might see your system listed and gain access to downloads.
Again, no guarantees this will help... if we find such a system we will investigate further.
How to order it:
There are 3 flavors of the card - prices listed include
registered airmail shipping:
Orheus soundcard : 130eur
Orpheus soundcard with PCMIDI installed: 180eur
Orpheus soundcard with PCMIDI installed and Dreamblaster X2GS latest daughterboard: 240eur (X2 option available on request at the old 230eur price)
Please fill this order form HERE - treat it as a non-paying pre-order , once a card is ready for you we will contact you about payment info.
Be careful to enter your email correctly so we can contact you back!
Be advised that these are the only email addresses that will contact you about a purchase (either Edro or Leo depending on availability) :
Important: please know we do the best we can to ship cards as soon as possible - covid restrictions though really make it hard to do that in
a timely manner. Post offices close earlier, parts are super delayed and everything just moves slower - on top of that each card requires a
good chunk of time to build and test.
The receipt of the Orpheus card is overwhelming and we thank everyone for it! It looks like we are heading for 3rd and 4th batches which
sadly means there will be long waiting times in the range of 1~2 months :(
Rest assured we are doing our best with the means we have !
Just contact us!
We'll be happy to help and resolve any issue you might have!
Thanks for looking!