Thanks for the replies. Also for the video, was helpful. Now I know it can work fine.
That's how it should sound, and how it sounds, when I use DosBox.
I'd like to have the same volume in PCem, too.
I would've replied earlier, but, well... troubles.
Since this is an issue I'd like to fix, finally I had some time to check it out and play around with it.
So your replies have not been for nothing.
Indeed the sound is there... for now I have tested my configuration, which is:
Award 486 / SiS 496, 486 DX/50
I switched sound to a Sound Blaster Pro 2.0 (was a non-pro earlier, with standard settings and DBOPL emulation, SET BLASTER also added in AUTOEXEC.BAT). Correct settings there.
I know Windows has several controls, all are maxed out. I max out the volume and set it on the headphones, which I use, to my liking.
For now I always used the Normal level in PCem. At output level Normal I hear nothing at 4/10 volume on my headphones (which is a good volume level for everything else) and when I max the volume to 10, I can barely hear some music, between all the noise...
So I maxed out the output level to +18db.
Compared to the video my output is still very quiet, even at +18db.
When I start the game in DosBox it sounds good. Just as it should, loud at normal level, no background noise.
Really just as in the video posted earlier.
I can't record a video now, so I just grabbed my sound output through Audacity.
The mixer is all set at full volume, incl. the speaker output and PCem, only Windows sounds are at 20%.
It should be fine, the mixer's volume is good.
I recorded everything starting with the LucasArts logo, where volume is good, but that is a Midi sound. and then played the same CD-Audio tracks.
You will hear the difference in volume. Between the logo and the CD-audio tracks I didn't change anything, it really is that quiet.
Here is the .mp3 of the recording:
https://1drv.ms/u/s!AqNqr15txL3MgZw38Oe ... g?e=zSuGcY
I also played around a bit, and the CD-Audio level in Windows Sound settings (in Control Panel) doesn't change a thing. I can keep the level at 24 (which is standard) or max it out to 100, it should get louder, but doesn't, the level stays the same.
Actually I only hear the CD-Audio music with Microsoft's Loudness Equalization being enabled. (Speaker properties > Enhancements) If I disable it, the volume is much lower. But I can hear something, between the noise. Barely, though.
With the best settings I can barely get ~ 1/3 of the volume which it should be.
If I start the same games, using the same CD images in DosBox the volume is good. So the issue is not with the CD-Audio tracks.
If I go 'all out' and disable both, Loudness Equalization and return the output level in PCem to Normal... I get only noise... even if I max out the headphones/speakers... only noise. As if PCem's input level was too low. Normal sounds/midi music play fine. Luckily the sounds didn't damage my speakers. Only the CD-Audio is not there. I can play e.g. Wing Commander Academy fine, at volume output level Normal, it sounds just as in DosBox.
Why? Makes no sense.
Since I used the SB Pro 2.0 there is no digital mixer being set too low, as with a SB 16, no issue here.
All this I tried with Microsoft's HD Audio driver... Since my on-board sound is Realtek, I installed Realtek's driver and wanted to see if it makes a difference, it doesn't.
I know I can play all these games in DosBox, but I prefer PCem...
That's all information I can give, plus maybe: using WIndows 10 1903, latest patch level. But I had this issue also with earlier Windows builds. I really have an issue here, if more information is needed, let me know. Would be nice, if it would work fine here. I don't think a clean Windows installation would change anything, so I am saving that for later.
All 'volume knobs' are maxed out or make no difference.
If anybody has an idea, let me know and I will try/test it as soon as I can.
Looking forward to any replies!