The first board bearing the Sound Blaster name appeared in 1989. In addition to Game Blaster features, it had an 11-voice FM synthesizer using the Yamaha YM3812 chip, also known as OPL2. It provided perfect compatibility with the then market leader AdLib sound card, which had gained support in PC games in the preceding years. Creative used the "DSP" acronym to designate the digital audio part of the Sound Blaster. This actually stood for Digital SOUND Processor, rather than the more common digital signal processor, and was really a simple micro-controller from the Intel MCS-51 family (supplied by Intel and Matra MHS, among others). It could play back monaural sampled sound at up to 23 kHz sampling frequency (approx. FM radio quality) and record at up to 12 kHz (approx. AM radio quality). The sole DSP-like feature of the circuit was ADPCM decompression.
The original card lacked an anti-aliasing filter, resulting in a characteristic "metal junk" sound. (This was rectified with the addition of two user-selectable filters in the later Sound Blaster Pro card.) It also featured a joystick port and a proprietary MIDI interface.
In spite of these limitations, in less than a year, the Sound Blaster became the top-selling expansion card for the PC. It achieved this by providing a fully AdLib-compatible product, with additional features, for the same, and often a lower, price. The inclusion of the game port, and its importance to its early success, is often forgotten or overlooked. PCs of this era did not include a game port. Game port cards were costly (around $50) and used one of a few expansion slot PCs had at the time. Given the choice between an AdLib card or a fully-compatible Sound Blaster card that came with a game port, saved you a slot, and included the 'DSP' for not much more in price, many consumers opted for the Sound Blaster. In-game support for the digital portion of the card did not happen until after the Sound Blaster had gained dominance.
Sound Blaster 1.0 Drivers
Released in 1989 by Creative Labs, Inc.
These are the drivers provided with the Creative Labs Sound Blaster
Revision 1.0 sound card.
Contains two 360K disk images:
Disk 1 contains VoxKit and Intelligent Organ
Disk 2 contains Talking Parrot