> Does MAME still support samples for unemulated sound hardware? It might be possible > to isolate the various sound elements from the video.
Yes, MAME still supports samples. However, in general we prefer to use the "discrete sound" subsystem within MAME now to document and simulate the actual circuitry involved. couriersud worked feverishly (for a while at least) to reduce the system's performance hit and to lower the bar necessary to use it to mere mortals (or at least mere devs ) But I don't think anyone would actively deny the application of a patch that could add sample support to a game, it's just something we're trying to get away from.
This is just one of the several reasons why new sound sample sets in MAME have slowed to maybe one new set every 3-4 years.