Synth Site: Soft/Virtual/Cards: Tropez +: User reviews Add review
Average rating: 3.4 out of 5
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Steve Yarworth a hobbyist user from UK writes:
What an amazing card!!...I ran the Tropez/Cakewalk Pro under W98 for over 2 years and found what appears to be a card which thusfar I have not been able to better when it comes to the midi sounds (albeit a bit slow on the wave table/loading etc and a right pig to load initially). A couple of years on,I built a new machine with an XP Pro OS and no ISA slots, so the Tropez was put into moth balls. I installed a Yamaha XG sound card in this machine for around £250, but was never really happy with the midi sound as most of my old orchestral compositions sounded rather flat and well...midi'ish' if that makes any sense. I am now seriously considering rebuilding a rather dated machine (with ISA) in order to use the Tropez once again, unless I can find something to match the old Tropez midi sounds in the meantime.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Tuesday-Jan-03-2006 at 08:23
Stefan Tibus a hobbyist user from Germany writes:
Well, I just can't understand all these problems setting up the card - I never had them. I can't remember when I bought the card, but I suppose it was in 1996, I upgraded from the Tropez (now called Tropez Classic). The card has always worked fine on DOS, Windows 3.1, Windows 95/98, NT (however without being able to use the WaveFront Synthesizer) and OS/2 (even Windows 3 inside OS/2). Regarding OS/2 Wavetable support lacked for a long time, until 1998/99 I found some driver (I guess it never went beyond the beta-phase, can't tell that now, since I lost contact to the developer) doing all the initializations and afterwards the card worked with the MPU401 driver for OS/2. There's been some fix to the PnP-EEPROM contents some time, which was required for the card to work correctly on Warp 4. After laying around for some time I just reinstalled the card today in a Pentium MMX 166 running Windows 98. I had downloaded the drivers from Turtle Beach's website, installed and everything was fine... Regarding DOS support I have to correct somebody criticizing that the PC would hang if the card was accessed uninitialized. Knowing how a PC works internally it is clear to me, that this is so, since the program tries to access the card but it does not behave as expected since it's not set up to work...and the fact the initialization takes so long has to do with the DSP code that has to be loaded into the WaveFront Synthesizer. Regarding professionality I think it's at the lower end of what Turtle Beach is selling, but it surely was at the upper end of what has been available to hobby-ists that time and regarding the quality of the sound it produces I think it's still in the upper range.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Saturday-Mar-01-2003 at 13:49
Benjamin Vander Jagt a professional user from USA writes:
I'm a little confused by another review posted which said that the Tropez is Turtle Beach's entry level card. I'm not quite sure, since I have the Tropez Plus, but I'd be surprised if there were such a big difference between the Plus and the stadard. Back in 1998, when I was dreaming of having one of these $800 marvels, I was completely stunned when a co-worker gave me one!

It turns out that a customer (we were working in a computer store) got fed up with trying to set up the sound card drivers with his system and switched to an AWE32. Then my co-worker tried it, and his system choked and died on the card! He then asked if I wanted it, because he knew I wanted one.

I've been working on computers for many years now and consider myself to be the second most experienced computer technician I know (my co-worker being the most experienced). But that card had me producing expletives for over a year! I just couldn't get it to work right! Sometimes, it would work on every-other reboot. Sometimes I would get MIDI and no DSP.

It turns out my trouble was a combination of two things. Firstly, I was using DX 5ish, and I assumed that it knew what it was doing when it installed drivers. Secondly, when extracting the drivers I downloaded, I didn't use the -d (or whatever it was) command to extract the full path of the directories. Plus, I was extracting both into the same directory.

Since DX7 and 8, and since correctly extracting the drivers, I have installed this same card into probably thirty computers without any trouble.

Oddly, using the wrong drivers in Windows 98 gives me full duplex AND allows me to play multiple sounds at once (which is pretty good for an ISA card).

If you can find these cards for a few bucks, grab them, but be patient when setting up the drivers.

Most users (people who play games and MP3s) won't notice any advantage. In fact, most will be frustrated with having installed an enormous ISA card and not having voice polyphony.

These are the major benefits and their values:

Low (often not detectable) noise - Record and playback broadcast or recording quality sound Up to 16MB (maybe 52MB?) of wavetable - Record instruments into your wavetable (if you use MIDI, you know how valuable lots of recordable wavetable is) The WaveFront chip - This is by far the best sounding MIDI that has ever existed. Try playing an instrument on any other MIDI synthesizer and see if you can even identify it! On this card, not only can you identify each instrument, but in so many cases it has been impossible to differentiate between a MIDI file and a recorded orchestral production. (Of course, playing Super Mario Bros MIDI with portamento on the piano gives it away, haha.)

I give warning. This card is a little tough to install and has some limitations that the common user might resent. The benefits are, sadly, not found in any other card. I wish Turtle Beach would shed their combination inferiority/superiority complex and just make a simple PCI card with 16MB wavetable and the WaveFront chip.

The reason I give this much cursed card a rating of 5 is the benefits. (I'm not going to give a Corvette a low rating because there aren't back seats.)

As for this card being cheap, I've been searching for these things, hoping to find people getting rid of them for five to ten bucks, and so far I've regularly seen them for $700 and occasionally down as low as $379. Even the WaveFront chip alone (the Maui board) costs around $200.

I hope this review was helpful.

Rating: 5 out of 5 posted Sunday-Dec-22-2002 at 03:00
Ewan Stefani a professional user from Leeds, UK writes:
I have been using my Tropez+ card in a standard Pentium PC for a couple of years now, and I have been able to produce recordings made from it to DAT or minidisc which have been good enough to broadcast over PA or mix direct to CD. For Full duplex hard disk recording it has been fairly trouble-free, and as good audio quality as you are going to get with converters residing inside the PC.

Installation wasn't a problem for me, but I have needed to re-install the drivers several times almost certainly because of conflicts with more recent DirectX drivers (as stated above). This lack of compatability makes it a poor choice as a games card, but then audio applications and games should probably not exist together anyway on the same machine, or at least the same boot-drive.

As a 'sampler' it has also worked successfully for me. I added a standard (parity) 4MB RAM SIMM and was then able to play imported WAV files via MIDI, and it has some basic (and fiddly-to-adjust) parameters to make things more interesting: amplitude envelope, 2 LFOs for pitch and amp, but NO filters unfortunately. The application to deal with managing and modifying samples on the card does NOT come with the card itself. I had to download it from the Turtle BEach web site. This download is called WavePatch and solved a few mysteries concerning the sampling facilities on offer.

Overall, I would recommend this soundcard if you need a good audio full-duplex ISA-slot card which can double as a basic sample- playback unit over MIDI, particularly if you find one second-hand or dirt cheap (around £100 or less). Beware however, that this is a Full-length ISA card which requires a completely unobstructed slot on your PC motherboard. I am not able to upgrade the RAM on my card above 4MB (you can fit a max of 3x 4MB SIMMs) because of a large heat-sink on my AT motherboard. If you have an ATX case / motherboard this should not be a problem - but take a look first!

Rating: 3 out of 5 posted Friday-Jan-15-1999 at 05:36
Don`t bother with the Fiji either, the sonic capabilities are absolutely top notch but as soon as I put it into a PentiumII system I couldn`t get it to function, all sorts of memory conflicts on bootup and win95/98 reported no conflict despite TB`s EMM386 line.. Go for an Event card

posted Monday-Jan-11-1999 at 17:36
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