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Windows audio fun

Update (14th September 2007)

Note: this page originated in 2005; the problems with my audio have since rectified themselves!

Something is horribly wrong with CD-ROM access on my PC. If I try to listen to livesets that I have burnt to CD-R, directly off the CD, I get repeated clicks and slight skips all the way through the set. But listening to music off the hard drive while I copy data off a CD-ROM onto the hard disc is something else – you will have to listen to it for yourself:

Download Windows audio fun clip (MP3, 1638 kB)

Windows is repeatedly being kept from feeding the sound card’s ring buffer for very short amounts of time causing the audio to slow down without a pitch change. There is (or was – I can’t find it now) a Signal Processing Studio effect that ships with Winamp that has the same effect and sounds almost as terrible.

The hard drive and the CD-ROM drive are attached to different IDE buses. The computer is a PII 333 MHz running Windows 2000 SP4. The funny part is that I don’t have any such problems on my older, slower Macintosh ;)

If anyone is not put off by the above extreme nerdiness, I have another clip, of my SoundBlaster Live! card trying to play a old favourite MIDI file of mine:

Download KatyZany as rendered by my Live! drivers (MP3, 1903 kB)

The tune is in fact Raw Deal from Esa Myllyla’s freeware Mini Pac Man for 16-bit Windows. I think it was called Kazy Zany to remind me to let my sister hear it; it never had a filename of its own as it was extracted from PAC16B6.CCA most likely using Windows Write. The playback problem is since rectified either due to a Windows reinstall or the kX sound card drivers (same SoundFont file however) and it should sound like this:

Download KATYZANY.MID (MIDI, 27 kB)