DOS Days

International Business Machines

IBM needs no introduction. This page focuses only only on their sound cards.

For details on their various graphics cards, click here.



IBM Music Feature Card

Launched in March 1987 towards the end of its original PC line of PC/XT and AT, this was a collaboration between IBM and Yamaha. Essentially the Music Feature Card was a Yamaha FB-01 MIDI synthesizer installed on an 8-bit expansion card in much the same way as Roland put the MT-32 onto a card and called it the LAPC-I. The Music Feature Card therefore got all of the FB-01's properties: 8 FM voices controllable via 4 frequency operators. It came with over 300 high-quality synthesized instruments on-board, and it was actually possible to have two Music Feature Cards in a single PC to get 16 voices!

What's interesting is that this was the very first general purpose "sound card" for the PC, beating Ad Lib by several months. Unfortunately it was very expensive as most IBM products were back then, and its audience was primarily business users.

One good feature of the card was that it could interpret MIDI data without any further programming in software and send it to the on-board FM chip. Its MIDI interface, however, is *not* MPU-401-compatible. The card only found support by Sierra On-Line with support included in the following titles: Codename Iceman, The Colonel's Bequest, Conquests of Camelot, Hero's Quest, Hoyles Book of Games 1, Leisure Suit Larry 2 and 3, Mixed-Up Mother Goose, Police Quest 2, King's Quest 1 (VGA remake), Silpheed, Sorcerian, and Space Quest III.

The Music Feature Card will work in any PC-compatible if it will physically fit - it requires a full-length expansion slot.

Titles that directly supported the 4-operator FM synthesis found in the IBM Music Feature Card were:

  • 1988 Christmas Card (Sierra SCI0 demo)
  • Jones in the Fast Lane (patch)
  • King's Quest IV (early version only)
  • King's Quest V (patch only)
  • Leisure Suit Larry 2 (early version only)
  • Music Construction Set (special version)
  • Quest for Glory 2 (patch only)
  • Thexder 2 (patch only)

The following titles also work with the IBM MFC, but also require a Yamaha FB-01 MIDI module and MPU-401 interface:

  • Codename: Iceman
  • Colonel's Bequest, The
  • Conquests of Camelot (patch only)
  • Hero's Quest/Quest for Glory
  • Hoyle's Official Book of Games Volume I
  • Jones in the Fast Lane
  • King's Quest I SCI
  • King's Quest IV (later versions)
  • King's Quest V
  • Leisure Suit Larry 2 (later versions)
  • Leisure Suit Larry 3
  • Mixed Up Mother Goose (16-color SCI version, patch only)
  • Police Quest II
  • Quest for Glory 2
  • Silpheed
  • Sorcerian
  • Space Quest III

PS/1 Audio Card