STEem 3.2 with some updates

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AtariZoll
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STEem 3.2 with some updates

Postby AtariZoll » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:16 pm

I post here Steem 3.2 with few smaller updated/corrections, which I made in last years. I don't want to compete with Steven Seagal, who does great job with SSE, but there are some things what he don't want to implement, it seems.
More important is that: I think that regular Steem is better choice for most of Atari SW - it runs well at least 95% of all written for ST(E). Usage is simpler, and especially is good for beginners, which can go lost in lot of settings in SSE. It is well tested, and proven - over 13 years.

Changes:
1. Improved floppy image creation - both FAT-s are initialized, FAT size is 3 sectors instead 5 if size is under 1M, so more space for user data
2. Small change in video code makes it acting as in different wake up state than regular Steem - according to my tests Mega STE, STE, Mega ST wake in 80-90% case in it. In any case, that assures correct displaying of cover scan intro pictures in my hard disk adaptations.
3. Emulation of STE analog joystick inputs - only port 0. So, you can use some USB game pad with paddles, for what ? - So far it seems that this is only (and even it is unfinished) - OIDS modded for analog controls. Get it here: http://atari-forum.com/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=31796
2 versions - in 12-th and in 18-th post.
4. The hard case: lowering of PSG (YM) audio level is necessary for SW what plays audio on PSG and STE DMA audio at once. That's the case with my mods of Xenon 2, Uridium. for instance. Basically, you get mixing ratio like with mine MixFix HW mod for STE.
Edited:
There are now 2 separated volume control sliders (in Sound Options) - upper for PSG and lower for DMA. And both work when 'Write to primary buffer' is on. Only 1, PSG level is saved when quitting Steem. By next start PSG and DMA will be set on that level. So, you may need to correct DMA level if run some SW which uses STE DMA audio.
I think that separated controls are best - there are cases when PSG audio is not too loud - for instance sample playback via PSG.
Recommended settings for sound are:
Type: Direct
Frequency: 50066Hz
Format: 16-bit stereo
/Edited.
I changed title from Steem Engine to STEem engine, so user will see what version is running. You can copy it in your Steem 3.2 directory and run. Should be not problems with settings, snapshots etc.

STEemP2.zip


I plan to do mod of Vroom - control with analog joystick instead mouse :idea:
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Last edited by AtariZoll on Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Steven Seagal
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Re: STEem 3.2 with some updates

Postby Steven Seagal » Mon Jul 17, 2017 9:08 pm

Since I'm mentioned, I will answer...
- Yes it is competition. :)
- Yes I implement a lot of requests, including yours like STE analog joystick: it's already in the current beta, and both ports :)
- Steem authors used some video timings that were compatible with famous demos (in SSE, you have choice).
- I plan a simpler build with fewer options, this takes time too but it's coming.
- Try to run a SCP or CTR game with Steem 3.2, or listen to some STF samples, or use fullscreen... Even for the casual gamer, it's better to use SSE.
- I think you also must upload the source, Steem 3.2 being open source (or open an account on sourceforge like I did). :)

AtariZoll
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Re: STEem 3.2 with some updates

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:59 am

Yes Steven, you were mentioned, and even praised :D
Competition like between marathon runner and someone who just crosses street to get some food :mrgreen:
I don't like C, don't like programming in it, so all this is big headache for me. I will stay at 680xx coding for sure.
May happen that I will do IDE emulation for Steem, but that will take some time for sure. There are some very special things with it, so I even don't think about asking that someone else do it.
The things are that all what I did was simple, even stackframe and pipeline modded Steem versions (which I didn't publish), but this with sound mixing is really a nutcase. Actually, whole audio thing is much more complicated than I ever imagined. So, you made some new PSG tables, which are actually divided original ones, and with it PSG audio is not that loud. But usage is not comfortable, and worse, some things may become too silent. Sample playback via PSG chip for instance. It is significantly less loud than generated waves, noise, with reason. And may say, that you will hear much more of such sample playback than via DMA in Atari SW. Long talk, easy to go on what is best solution - separated volume controls.
And I don't like how it is done in Steem anyway - you can control volume only when Primary buffer option is off . It seems that they use actually Windows function for that. Plus, it is very badly graduated - setting slider on half, and audio is almost totally off .

I don't agree that better is better in all cases. If I want to go in local shop, to buy couple beers, I will not use my Mercedes 350SL, but Renault Twingo - that's much better for that. And I go in shop much more than on vacation :D

Source will be uploaded when I solve separated volume control. I already upped my older changes there.

I do this mostly for own needs. Some mods may be useful for others. Main benefit would be to make it working well with my other projects, releases. To fill up some gaps.
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Steven Seagal
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Re: STEem 3.2 with some updates

Postby Steven Seagal » Tue Jul 18, 2017 12:41 pm

AtariZoll wrote:Competition like between marathon runner and someone who just crosses street to get some food :mrgreen:


But you say "simpler is better".

So, you made some new PSG tables, which are actually divided original ones, and with it PSG audio is not that loud. But usage is not comfortable, and worse, some things may become too silent. Sample playback via PSG chip for instance. It is significantly less loud than generated waves, noise, with reason. And may say, that you will hear much more of such sample playback than via DMA in Atari SW.


That table was for tests, so that you can hear for yourself that emulation drifts from accurate with softer YM.
I tested SNYD/TCB samples, they hit -12db, which is the point, and are still perfectly audible.
You must realise that what matters is dynamic range. Going from 16bit to 15 then 14 won't hurt because the YM can't have 16bit of range.

Long talk, easy to go on what is best solution - separated volume controls.


Your opinion. I'd rather go for emulating your own STE hack: -12 (whatever) db for YM when we're in STE and $10 is written as control. So it's good for your little games. For all the rest, YM sound would be 15bit ('Sampled YM2149') or 16bit (Steem original).

And I don't like how it is done in Steem anyway - you can control volume only when Primary buffer option is off . It seems that they use actually Windows function for that.


I don't have this problem. Relying on the driver to set the volume is precise.

Plus, it is very badly graduated - setting slider on half, and audio is almost totally off .


Yes, this was fixed in SSE. :)

I don't agree that better is better in all cases. If I want to go in local shop, to buy couple beers, I will not use my Mercedes 350SL, but Renault Twingo - that's much better for that. And I go in shop much more than on vacation :D


You don't drive a Mercedes 350SL. The beers and the Twingo I'm willing to believe. :mrgreen:

AtariZoll
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Re: STEem 3.2 with some updates

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Jul 18, 2017 4:12 pm

It's known that there is no something like "absolutely better" - it depends from user's needs, habits, current situation, etc. You took my words out of context. In other words: most of SW does not benefit from SSE extra features. So, why shooting sparrow with gun ? (saying popular in this waters).

That's not only my "little games" - bad mixing is noticed by others. And I mentioned in that thread about mixer bug, that putting there variable resistor for PSG volume control would be useful. And for me, Steem sound quality is OK. Actually, with new control method what I did even better.

Wanna photo of Mercedes ? But you are right, I don't drive it. I have employee for that :mrgreen:
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Steven Seagal
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Re: STEem 3.2 with some updates

Postby Steven Seagal » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:04 pm

AtariZoll wrote:It's known that there is no something like "absolutely better" - it depends from user's needs, habits, current situation, etc. You took my words out of context. In other words: most of SW does not benefit from SSE extra features. So, why shooting sparrow with gun ? (saying popular in this waters).


But all games benefit from better PSG emulation, or working fullscreen. Not all features are for the discerning amateur... :)

AtariZoll
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Re: STEem 3.2 with some updates

Postby AtariZoll » Tue Jul 18, 2017 6:16 pm

Should really stop here with Steem SSE. Good ware does not need advertising. The real work is just ahead of me. Back to good old 68000 coding :D
If someone wants STEem Debugger with same updates, shout, and I will post it.
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