This is the game support page.
Privateer has a weird quirk besides the sound and environment issues. If you don't hook up an analog joystick to your joystick port before the game starts, the framerate will be slower and the music speed will be halved. I don't know why (assuming some sort of polling loop goes nuts) but this has happened on a P166, a 486DX2-66, and a 386DX-40 either using the soundcard's FM output, or a wavetable card, and tested with the floppy and the "EA CD-ROM Classics" versions of the game. The fix: simply leave an analog joystick plugged into the port at 201h, whether you are using it or not. If you're not using it, hit Alt-O within the game to change over to the keyboard or mouse.
Privateer also seems to be hard-wired to output MIDI at port 330, regardless of the setting in the install program. Can anyone confirm this?