Sound Master

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Sound Master
Sound Master.jpg
Developer: Covox, Inc.
Released: 1989-??-??
Type: Sound Card
Slot: 8-bit ISA
Icon - Sound Master.png
Platforms: Platform - DOS.png

The Covox Sound Master is an internal 8-bit ISA sound card. Its audio capabilities come from an AY8930/P which is used for music and an 8-bit mono DAC for digital sound effects and speech. The AY8930/P chip features 3 pulse wave channels and 1 noise channel, each channel is highly configurable, but most developers used its Compatible Mode making it functionally equivalent to the older, but more familiar, AY-3-8910. The card also sports two DA-15 game ports for joysticks or MIDI interface, which was impressive at the time.

When the Sound Master made it to market, it had to compete with the AdLib, and to a lesser extent, the Creative Music System, both of which were released over a year earlier, had a large library of supported games, and produced superior music. The Sound Master had the benefit of its DAC which could produce digital sounds and speech that the other cards couldn't, and from its dual DA-15 ports for MIDI and joysticks; neither the AdLib or Creative Music System had even one.

Ultimately, it wasn't competition from the AdLib that kept the Sound Master from breaking into the market, but the Sound Blaster came out the same year. It featured the same music capabilities as the AdLib, the sound and speech capabilities of the Sound Master, a DA-15 port, and a competitive sticker price. Despite its failings, the Sound Master was supported in over 100 games, even more than the Creative Music System. Covox would try two more times to capture the DOS sound card market with the Sound Master Plus and the Sound Master II, but neither gained much traction, as they were always inferior to the latest released Sound Blaster.


During its lifespan over 100 games supported the Sound Master, but few used it to its full potential.

Picture Gallery

Emulation Status

No software properly emulates the Sound Master or the AY8930/P.