DOSBox: GUS and Shortcuts

By Daktary, Posted 10 Mar 2011

Ok, so I promised a tutorial in the last blog and I'm keeping my word. This is a tutorial on how to get the Gravis Ultrasound(GUS) working with DOSBox.

For those who don't know, the Gravis Ultrasound was a great sound card back in the day, that generally gave a better sound than any other audio card on the market. If you're interested about it you can read more of Wikipedia.

You may say what's the big deal as there are guides on the net that tells you how to do this. Well, true, but if you follow them you'll realize that your DOSBox can only play the Digital Sound portion with GUS(which DOSBox supports by default), but not the MIDI part... that's because the "geniuses" didn't understand that the path is actually the virtual path... ok, I'll explain how to do it, in case anyone is interested.

Firstly, you'll need the GUS patches. I guess you can find them from different sources, but to save you the trouble, you can get them here.

Extract the contents of the archive to a place of your liking after which create an empty folder on your hard drive with 8 or less characters long, somewhere that isn't a folder that contains space characters. For example we're going to use C:\ULTRASND.

You just need to copy the contents of either ULTRASND411(standard GUS drivers) or ULTRASNDPPL161(presumably "fine tuned" GUS drivers) to your newly created folder.

That's all for the file manipulation part, now let's go to the settings. I'll show you a trick that will save you the headache of having to remember setting up the GUS patches every time you start DOSBox.
Ok, now open up DOSBox's options and your notepad will be full of text :P .
Search for the "[gus]" section(without the quotes) and replace "gus=false" with this:


You can set the sample rate to whatever you like(22050, 44100, 48000, etc.), but I generally like the 44100Hz quality.
"ultradir=u:\" refers to the place where the GUS drivers are to be found. Don't get confused, with what you've done earlier, you'll understand in the next and final step.

Now scroll down to the end of the configuration file and underneath the "[autoexec]" section put the following line below it: "mount u c:\ULTRASND"(again without the quotes). What this actually does it to automount the Gravis drivers every time you start DOSBox to a virtual drive with the letter U, the exact same drive you've set your ultradir as destination.

All you have to do now is to save the file and set your favorite game to use Gravis to play it's music files.


While we are on the subject I'll also show you how to make shortcuts for your DOS games through DOSBox so they'll be at a click's distance :P This shortcuts will use stand-alone configuration files so you can configure your DOSBox preferences for every game without modifying the global settings.
Note: For a better understanding I will use "<>" to underline a generic name that you'll complete on your own.

Ok, first thing you need to do is to open up your DOSBox configuration file. Select it all and save the file with ".conf" as the extention to a place of your liking(I usually use the game's directory).
Open the .conf file again(in Notepad or any other text editor) and go to the "[autoexec]" section(bottom of file) and write the following(what's on each line after # will be ignored):

mount c <your game folder's path> #mounts your game folder as the virtual c drive
c: #sets the current directory to c:\
<game executable or whatever you'd like to run>
exit #exits DOSBox after you've quitted the game

Here's an complete example(It's for Crusader: No Regret, if you were asking):
mount c F:\Games\Crusader
mount d F:\crusader -t cdrom

"@ECHO OFF" and "cls" are just for aestetic reasons(they only remove the extra text on screen). You don't actually need them. Also I've included an extra drive, D which will serve as a CD-Rom type drive.

Then make a make a shortcut pointing to your DOSBox(of if you prefer making a .bat file is fine with me).
Right-Click it, Properties and under the Shortcut tab go to Target. Now make sure it looks something like this:
"<path pointing to DOSBox.exe>" -conf <path to your .conf file>
"C:\Program Files\DOSBox-0.74\DOSBox.exe" -conf F:\Games\Crusader\dosboxPerformance.conf
Also note that if your .conf path contains a " "(space character), make sure to surround the path with quotes.

Just hit ok and you're done. If you've followed the steps closely, you shouldn't have encountered any problems.



BTW, while previewing the blog I noticed that some fragments of the blog seem to dissappear. Most of the generic names lines(I guess that got something to do with the html encoding) but also other portions as well... now that's weird... any idea what's up with that?

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  • avatar RON

    Not sure about those messed up codes but if you can tell me what are the symbols missing exactly, I could as our devs to take a look at this matter.

    And, as for the DOSBox I honestly didn't have any idea.

    Posted Mar 11, 2011

  • @RON : There were 3 or 4 parts of the blog that always got messed up while trying to preview it. I went out and tried to edit and preview it and somehow, all that's dissappearing now is the text between the "<>" symbols, as so:

    "<path pointing to DOSBox.exe>" -conf <path to your .conf file> is reduced to "" -conf


    mount c <your game folder's path> #mounts your game folder as the virtual c drive

    c: #sets the current directory to c:\

    <game executable or whatever you'd like to run>

    exit #exits DOSBox after you've quitted the game

    is reduced to :

    mount c

    exit #exits DOSBox after you've quitted the game (also seem to be a problem pasting this line)

    My thought about it is probably the way the text editor handeles the html tags. I guess it treats the phrases as commands and somehow invalidates them as text. I wasn't keen on using these symbols but that's usually the way to mark generic names so I ended up using them.

    The other part of the text that kept dissappearing was between brackets "()" but as it doesn't seem to happen again so I can't tell you which line was exactly.

    Ow and don't worry about the tutorial, I wasn't expecting too many people to be interested in it. I've put it up for future references, in case one of the DOS nostalgics were ever faced with these questions.

    Posted Mar 11, 2011

  • @Daktary : Your post is so coincidiental. I was working on the DOSBOX and some some good old DOS games to work (which includes Duke3D, the game I am working for a review here). It is a great tutorial indeed.

    Posted Mar 14, 2011

  • @Koshai : :D Thanx! Well, I'm glad to be of service

    Posted Mar 15, 2011

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