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SC-55 Soundfont HUGE UPDATE

User is offline   leilei 

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#61

I had this problem when using JonoF's ASS port in Engoo years ago solely for MIDI playback it'd always annoyingly prefer Microsoft Synthesizer by default......on Windows 7, despite having BassMIDI configurator force the midi mapper to use a different not-MS and not-BassMIDI synth.

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User is online   NightFright 

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#62

It would be awesome to be able to use stuff like GUS patches or EAWPats (there is a soundfont that emulates EAWPats quite well, so it's kinda possible already, even if it's still not the real deal) in EDuke32 as you can do with Duke3D in DosBox once set up. Right now, I'd already be happy if we were able to see which midi device the game is using and change it in the config file (if it can't be added to the ingame menu).


This post has been edited by NightFright: 30 March 2018 - 07:43 AM

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User is online   NightFright 

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#63

Time for an update. On my ever-lasting search for good soundfonts, I found one that was already published back in 2015 over at the Coolsoft VirtualMIDISynth forums. Bill90 made the Hyper-C SF GS soundfont, based on the Hyper Canvas and the GS portion of the Virtual Sound Canvas (VSC). Made for games explicitly, but also works fine for pure MIDI playback.

Download Hyper-C SF GS soundfont (71 MB)

According to the author's own words, the soundfont isn't supposed to sound amazing, just balanced. But boy, it is good! I have been scouting the net and tried literally HUNDREDS of soundfonts. Until now I was sticking to GeneralUserGS since it had nice instruments and reasonable file size (< 30 MB), but this one is worth every additional MB. Volume is spot-on, instruments are clear and rich, drum sets are crisp and powerful. And it's based on Roland sounds, that's the best part!

I still need to test it with more games, but MIDIs from Doom, ROTT, Duke3D, Dark Forces or Descent sound amazing with it. And if it prevails in those games, how could it fail in any other?


This post has been edited by NightFright: 23 March 2019 - 05:34 AM

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User is offline   Rimantas 

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#64

I have tried this soundfont. Drums are not balanced - one drum is always louder than others. Also i have spotted few more balance issues Hyper Canvas VST has too.
I switch between these
best balance - Scc1t2.sf2
good balance and good voices - Yamaha S-YXG50 SoftSynth
poor balance, best voices - GeneralUser GS.
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User is online   NightFright 

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#65

I need to try more midis, just checked my favorite ones. Instruments from small soundfonts usually sound very poor. I think it's hard to find anything below 20 MB that's worth keeping, at least for me. GeneralUser has very good instruments especially for its size. I like its clear and natural/realistic choir in particular. Arachno is also good but too large and also far too loud. It turned out to be a great choice for recording Jimmy's DukeDC soundtrack, though.

A good choice for a balanced soundfont would also be the 8mbgmsfx.sf2 or emuaps8.sf2/8mbgm.sf2 that came with the Soundblaster Live cards. Very good sound for 8 MB filesize.

Safest bet is probably still using the Yamaha VSTi plugin or VSC. It's hard to find a soundfont that sounds good and doesn't mess up volumes at the same time.


This post has been edited by NightFright: 24 March 2019 - 08:31 AM

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User is offline   Rimantas 

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#66

8mbgmsfx.sf2 is pretty well balanced, but mess up balance in midis composed with M$ GS Wavetable (BTSX ep1 map01 for example).
Yamaha S-YXG50 - in some midis Saw Lead is too loud, Guitars too silent (d_in_cit from Doom II is good example).
GeneralUser have way too loud and rough Synth Bass 2 (d_shawn from Doom II, Sneaky Snake from duke3d); Muted Guitar and more small instruments are barely audible or completely gone.
Arachno is not only too loud, but i have found a lot of balance issues.
Scc1t2.sf2 is the only one which don't mess up balance, but quality of all instruments is destroyed.
VSC is buggy (original and VST versions, i tested on Win XP). Age of Empires and more midis beats it down to the ground - some instruments are replaced by piano.

This post has been edited by Rimantas: 24 March 2019 - 11:36 AM

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User is online   NightFright 

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#67

Wow, that's a very detailed overview. Thanks a lot for that!

In general I think it's "oldie but goldie". The least issues you have with the Creative soundfonts or the Yamaha synth. No solution will be 100% perfect. Just look at Heretic or Hexen - music for these games was actually optimized for OPL-3 synthesis since it was what they had at Raven back in the days.

On top of that, soundfonts trying to imitate certain synths will never be able to completely nail it. And I doubt Patch93's SC-55 soundfont is the holy grail, either.

Maybe a guy like you should take a soundfont like GeneralUser and tweak it until it sounds fine at least in Doom, ROTT and Duke3D.


This post has been edited by NightFright: 24 March 2019 - 12:09 PM

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User is offline   Rimantas 

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#68

I have no idea how to edit soundfonts. I just listen a lot. :) I was thinking the same: GeneralUser GS should be fixed, then it would be ultimate soundfont.
Patch93 SC-55 v2.2 is fairly good with original Doom midis, but with WADs, Duke3D is horribly unbalanced in my opinion. Drums are way too loud, other instruments makes disaster too.
Midis extracted from Duke3D .grp file can't be trusted, they have multiple tracks for different synths (GUS, OPL, General Midi) so they sounds wrong when played not in game. Xplasma plays with wrong instruments, Gotham is horribly unbalanced to name a few.
Converted to GM/GS midis can be downloaded at http://www.mirsoft.info/
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User is online   NightFright 

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#69

Besides the fact that at least vanilla Duke3D (I assume EDuke32 as well) uses a custom EMIDI format which results in different MIDI handling, too. Just can't tell to which degree and how noticable it is when you play Duke3D MIDIs outside of the game.

Latest GeneralUser 1.471 has also been optimized for FluidSynth, dunno how useful it still is with VirtualMIDISynth or if you are better off with legacy version 1.44. I don't know how actively the author is still developing this font, but if you can compile a list with improvement suggestions, I could try to forward them to him.


This post has been edited by NightFright: 24 March 2019 - 01:27 PM

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User is offline   Mark 

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#70

I know nothing about the internal workings of a soundfont file. Is it difficult to edit one? For instance, adjust the loudness or other parameter of instruments to your liking and then resave?

This post has been edited by Mark: 24 March 2019 - 01:53 PM

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User is online   NightFright 

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#71

There are freeware editors like Polyphone that can do that rather easily. The trick is to know the instruments and the volume values. But can also be trial and error.

I have already merged WeedsGM3 with WeedsGM4 for private usage, so I have at least a bit of experience with this. If it's just about changing instrument volumes in GeneralUser, I am willing to give it a shot.

What I would need from you guys is to go through the entire soundtracks of at least Doom and Duke3D (ingame) and provide info like:
Song x: Increase/decrease volume of instrument y by z%

Naturally the volume of each instrument can only be changed once, so in case the same instrument is mentioned more than once with different volume adjustments, I guess a compromise needs to be found.
If the result is a soundfont that sounds great in Doom and Duke3D, other games should profit as well. Let's do this!


This post has been edited by NightFright: 25 March 2019 - 02:01 AM

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User is online   NightFright 

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#72

In the meantime, tell me what you guys think of this one:

DomiDam and OpenWrld's CHORIUM: Professional v2.4
Be sure to get the last file in that list for the latest version of the soundfont (v2.4) which is called "14. DomiDam's Soundfont Project (December 25, 2018).exe". The soundfont is in the "DomiDam's Soundfonts" subdir of that self-extracting executable, called "CHORIUM v2.4, Professional Soundbank (GM and GS Compatible).sf2".

This one seems to be an advanced version of the quite popular Chorium Rev A soundfont, remastered by a 19yo musician from the Philippines named Dominic Damasco. It is a GM/GS compatible soundfont and very recent - last update was made on Dec 7, 2018. Filesize of the SF2 is 47 MB. Author used new samples from Roland Sound Canvas and Rick Simon's OmegaGMGS2 for this one.

Instruments sound very good to my ears, just can't tell about the volume balance of instruments. Doom/Duke3D MIDIs sound quite nice with this IMHO. stewboy's "Jade Empire" from the Plutonia community soundtrack actually blew my mind with this soundfont, it sounded like a dream with the subtle reverb effects for the piano.

Listen to "Jade Empire" with Chorium Pro v2.4 (OGG, 2.3 MB)

Soundfont changelog (I guess in comparison with Chorium Rev A):
Spoiler



This post has been edited by NightFright: 26 March 2019 - 03:01 AM

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User is offline   Lee Jackson 

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#73

View PostNightFright, on 24 March 2019 - 01:19 PM, said:

Besides the fact that at least vanilla Duke3D (I assume EDuke32 as well) uses a custom EMIDI format which results in different MIDI handling, too. Just can't tell to which degree and how noticable it is when you play Duke3D MIDIs outside of the game.


Sorry for the thread necromancy, but I don't recall making that many changes to the basic soundfont in Duke3D. Correct me if I'm wrong, of course, I was expecting requests for a replacement soundfont. None ever came my way while I was there.

==
Lee Jackson
Garland, TX

This post has been edited by Lee Jackson: 10 July 2019 - 11:47 PM

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User is online   NightFright 

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#74

Wow, an honor to have your contribution here, Lee! Many say the 4MB commercial Voice Crystal soundfont is quite good:

http://www.voicecrystal.com/sf4mgm.htm

I bought and tried it, but I am not sure if it is doing the Duke3D MIDIs any justice. Your remastered recordings for World Tour are an excellent comparison for quality testing. Still, my quest for a soundfont that is doing great at least in Doom, Heretic and Duke3D is still ongoing.

Personally I am currently sticking to the 27 MB 8MBGM Enhanced soundfont:

http://www.bredel.ho...ts-english.html

Was made primarily for Descent and LucasArts games, but I really found it to work nicely for my favorite 90s shooters, too. For Duke3D, I have my standard test with Grabbag, Alienz, XPlasma, Stalker and Gotham. If these sound good, usually the soundfont doesn't fail with the rest, either.


This post has been edited by NightFright: 13 July 2019 - 03:34 PM

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