Soundscape Elite

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Soundscape Elite
Soundscape Elite.jpg
Developer: Ensoniq
Released: 1995-03-??
Type: Sound Card
Slot: 16-bit ISA
Icon - Soundscape Elite.png
Platforms: Platform - DOS.pngPlatform - W16.pngPlatform - W32.png

The Soundscape Elite is the second sound card in Ensoniq's Soundscape series. For the most part, it uses the same technology as the original Soundscape, and therefore fully backward compatible. However, the Elite features more memory, more built-in audio codecs, and better signal processing. The board is a 16-bit full-length ISA card. The primary audio chip is Ensoniq's OTTO, which uses sample-based synthesis. The Soundscape also acts as a MIDI device and could interface with most of the CD-ROM technologies of the time allowing for CD playback. The board had enough memory to load its own operating system which booted when the card initialized. The OS included software to make it compatible with other sound cards without needing to run a TSR in DOS, which was common among other manufacturers.

The card was advertised as being compatible with the AdLib, Sound Blaster 2, and the Windows Sound System cards, however, since the card doesn't actually have an FM Synthesis chip, it tries to emulates the wave forms. This results in a sound that is similar when the emulated device is trying to sound like an actual instrument, but well-off when the device is using a custom sound effect. Ensoniq also claimed compatibility with the MT-32, but this was especially bad.

The card's quality could be enhanced by attaching the Soundscape Elite DB daughter board which included a digital signal processor.


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