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The-Heretic-Assassin

Why Was MS Synth Removed?

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Hi. I was wondering, why was MS Synth taken out or replaced with Fluidsynth? You can still have MS Synth if you download it and change the soundfont, but when exiting the game and going back in, it goes back to Fluidsynth. E1M1 in Ultimate Doom sounds awesome with MS Synth in my opinion. Is there a way to have MS on without having to type it in again?

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Posted (edited)

In what? I guess you mean in some source port or other. But which one?

 

Kind-of on a related note: for those composers who specifically target the MS synth, *please* consider rendering your MIDIs down to FLAC, OGG, MP3, etc. so they play as intended on platforms which don't have the MS Synth (Linux, Mac, 3DS, Switch, smart refrigerators…)

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28 minutes ago, Jon said:

In what? I guess you mean in some source port or other. But which one?

 

Kind-of on a related note: for those composers who specifically target the MS synth, *please* consider rendering your MIDIs down to FLAC, OGG, MP3, etc. so they play as intended on platforms which don't have the MS Synth (Linux, Mac, 3DS, Switch, smart refrigerators…)

GZDoom. I don't know if Zandronum still has MS Synth.

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I suspect he's talking about GZDoom. I think it was removed as part of the move towards being 100% open source.

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You can use the soundfont in this post with Fluidsynth, and it sounds just like Microsoft's midi.

 

Put the sf2 file into your "soundfonts" folder, run GZDoom, and do: options -> sound options -> midi player options -> fluidsynth -> set configuration, then select "gm"

 

You might also want to turn off reverb and chorus, since that stuff will make it sound less Microsofty when midis use those effects.

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13 minutes ago, Benjogami said:

You can use the soundfont in this post with Fluidsynth, and it sounds just like Microsoft's midi.

 

Put the sf2 file into your "soundfonts" folder, run GZDoom, and do: options -> sound options -> midi player options -> fluidsynth -> set configuration, then select "gm"

 

You might also want to turn off reverb and chorus, since that stuff will make it sound less Microsofty when midis use those effects.

I already got a gm.SF2 file from here https://www.dfdoom.com/repairing-gzdooms-general-midi-playback/

 

I was wondering if there's a way to make it so that it automatically sets to MS Synth without having to type it in again.

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4 hours ago, Jon said:

those composers who specifically target the MS synth

 

As the MS synth is directly based off of the Roland SC-55 synthesizer (of which Scc1t2.sf2 is more compatible with Timidity's SF2 support thanks to the premade .cfg file that can be found online here), would it be better to say "Those composers who specifically target synths based off the SC-55 mapping?

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It gets saved properly for me. Have you put GZDoom into a write protected directory? This sounds like your config does not get saved when you quit.

 

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If it's a command you need to do you can probably put it in an autoexec.cfg. Does GZDoom have that? I forget.

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1 hour ago, Jerry.C said:

It gets saved properly for me. Have you put GZDoom into a write protected directory? This sounds like your config does not get saved when you quit.

 

Write protected directory?

 

31 minutes ago, segfault said:

If it's a command you need to do you can probably put it in an autoexec.cfg. Does GZDoom have that? I forget.

I'm on android with Delta Touch, so i'm not sure how that works.

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6 hours ago, The-Heretic-Assassin said:

Write protected directory?

 

I'm on android with Delta Touch, so i'm not sure how that works.

A write-protected directory basically means you don't have the ability to change, or "write," things to that directory. Directory is just another word for folder. If you're on Android there's a pretty good chance this is the case.

I'm certain if you put an autoexec.cfg in the same directory (folder) where the GZDoom program is, GZDoom will find it and run any console commands inside.

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13 hours ago, Danfun64 said:

As the MS synth is directly based off of the Roland SC-55 synthesizer

 

 

I didn’t realise it was. They are still pretty different, right?

 

13 hours ago, Danfun64 said:

would it be better to say "Those composers who specifically target synths based off the SC-55 mapping?

 

from what I recall, the readme for BTSX states the musicians specifically designed for the MS synth, so that’s what I was referring to. I’d be surprised if they sounded identical on a SC-55, I imagine they expose quirks and peculiarities of the MS synth.

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On vendredi 3 août 2018 at 5:11 PM, The-Heretic-Assassin said:

You can still have MS Synth if you download it and change the soundfont

What?

 

I don't think what you're talking about is actually the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth. Because the actual MSGSWTS is not something you can just download.

 

On vendredi 3 août 2018 at 5:58 PM, Bauul said:

I suspect he's talking about GZDoom. I think it was removed as part of the move towards being 100% open source.

The MSGSWTS was not removed from GZDoom, because, simply, it was never part of GZDoom. You can't remove something that isn't present in the first place.

 

The MS synth is part of the Microsoft Windows operating system. GZDoom offers it as a choice for MIDI playback when it detects that it is available, just like it can detect any other MIDI driver you have installed. Since it's part of the OS and not part of the application, GZDoom cannot add or remove it, and it also has no effect on the free software status. By the way -- GZDoom, and ZDoom before it, was always 100% open source. Don't confuse open-source with GPL. The ZDoom license mix was encumbered by code under non-commercial clauses, which prevented it from being free software, but not from being open source, since the ability to use commercially is one of the free software requirements while the only requirement for open source is the source being freely available. (The whole free software vs. open source is a whole other topic.)

 

So basically, GZDoom did not remove that synth. If anything removed it, it would be Windows. If you have Windows 10, that's where I'd look into... The other possible explanation is that GZDoom can no longer detect it for some reason, then there's a simple test you can do by running an older version of GZDoom and seeing if it also fails to detect it. Most likely it will, because that part of the code hasn't changed.

 

Tell you what: I just ran GZDoom 3.4.1 and GZDoom 3.5.0 and both were able to use the MS GS wavetable synth on my Windows 7. (The last good version of Windows.)

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On Friday, August 3, 2018 at 5:16 PM, The-Heretic-Assassin said:

I'm on android with Delta Touch, so i'm not sure how that works.

In case it wasn't obvious, if you are running GZDoom on an Android device, you will never have Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth as an option for MIDI playback, because that MIDI device is only available in Windows.

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19 hours ago, Bloodshedder said:

In case it wasn't obvious, if you are running GZDoom on an Android device, you will never have Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth as an option for MIDI playback, because that MIDI device is only available in Windows.

Umm, it works on Delta Touch. Didn't you read the first post? The patch set resets when getting out of the game. I was looking for a solution to have it auto play each time I start playing.

 

2018-08-06-04-41-51-1.png.a166eb71f9fbc3b037ad882415040f31.png

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It's not the MS wavetable synth. It's just a FluidSynth sound font.

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Once more, with feelings:

  1. The Microsoft® GS™ Wavetable Synth™ is a component of the Microsoft® Windows™ Operating System.
  2. It is not, and never has been, a component of the Google® Android™ System.
  3. It is not, and never has been, a component of ZDoom, GZDoom, or any other Doom™ source port.
  4. Because of points 2 and 3, it cannot have been removed, since it was never there in the first place.
  5. Also because of points 2 and 3, it isn't something that you can download, and most definitely not something you can run on an Android system, because it's a Windows driver.
  6. Because of point 5, whatever it is you call "MS synth" is not the MS synth. I don't know what it is, but it's not what you're calling it.

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2 hours ago, Gez said:

Once more, with feelings:

  1. The Microsoft® GS™ Wavetable Synth™ is a component of the Microsoft® Windows™ Operating System.
  2. It is not, and never has been, a component of the Google® Android™ System.
  3. It is not, and never has been, a component of ZDoom, GZDoom, or any other Doom™ source port.
  4. Because of points 2 and 3, it cannot have been removed, since it was never there in the first place.
  5. Also because of points 2 and 3, it isn't something that you can download, and most definitely not something you can run on an Android system, because it's a Windows driver.
  6. Because of point 5, whatever it is you call "MS synth" is not the MS synth. I don't know what it is, but it's not what you're calling it.

What is the gm.SF2 file called then?

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I suppose you should call it gm.sf2.

 

And it's guess what? A soundfont. Not a synth. Just like Arial or Helvetica are fonts and not word processors. And in the same way that a paragraph in Arial font will not necessarily look the same in MS Office Word as it would in Libre Office Writer and I'm not even talking about how it can be rendered in different HTML engines, because each will have slight differences in how they interpret font hints, apply kerning, and so on; the same soundfont can sound very differently depending on which synthesizer you're using it with. BASSMIDI, TiMidity++ and FluidSynth all can load SF2 fonts, as can the old Creative drivers for which the SF2 format was invented in the first place, but they'll all render MIDI slightly differently even with the same soundfont.

 

And a further guess what? The actual MS Wavetable synth uses a soundbank called gm.dls. Not even the same format. The actual MS Wavetable synth cannot even use SF2 files.

 

So what you have isn't the MS synth. It's at best, apparently, an unofficial conversion to SF2 format of the soundbank used by the synth. Which means that you could as well call it the Roland Virtual SoundCanvas font, since it's what Microsoft originally licensed.

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3 hours ago, Gez said:

I suppose you should call it gm.sf2.

 

And it's guess what? A soundfont. Not a synth. Just like Arial or Helvetica are fonts and not word processors. And in the same way that a paragraph in Arial font will not necessarily look the same in MS Office Word as it would in Libre Office Writer and I'm not even talking about how it can be rendered in different HTML engines, because each will have slight differences in how they interpret font hints, apply kerning, and so on; the same soundfont can sound very differently depending on which synthesizer you're using it with. BASSMIDI, TiMidity++ and FluidSynth all can load SF2 fonts, as can the old Creative drivers for which the SF2 format was invented in the first place, but they'll all render MIDI slightly differently even with the same soundfont.

 

And a further guess what? The actual MS Wavetable synth uses a soundbank called gm.dls. Not even the same format. The actual MS Wavetable synth cannot even use SF2 files.

 

So what you have isn't the MS synth. It's at best, apparently, an unofficial conversion to SF2 format of the soundbank used by the synth. Which means that you could as well call it the Roland Virtual SoundCanvas font, since it's what Microsoft originally licensed.

It's called MS Synth in this though 

 

It's at 08:12

 

The site where I got the file called it Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth.

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Yeah, and I could call Comic Sans "MS Word" in a youtube video, too. But that wouldn't make it true.

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On 8/4/2018 at 4:59 AM, Jon said:

from what I recall, the readme for BTSX states the musicians specifically designed for the MS synth, so that’s what I was referring to. I’d be surprised if they sounded identical on a SC-55, I imagine they expose quirks and peculiarities of the MS synth.

FWIW, MIDIs intended for MSGS still tend to sound fine on an SC-55 (or higher, but in SC-55 emulation mode), if not better (because proper reverb, chorus, actual GS instruments which haven't been in MSGS for several OSes now, etc), but yeah, there are absolutely exceptions.

 

Take "Trapeze" from Ancient Aliens, for instance; it has a bit where a taiko drum is the lead, but MSGS implements the pitch range of the taiko instrument incorrectly, such that going up a full octave in it goes up a full octave in pitch instead of, like, half an octave or so. The result is that it sounds fine in MSGS (as it should, being the target synth), but like garbage on SC-55. Have a recording to hear what I mean; first is on MSGS, second is on Roland Sound Canvas VA in SC-55mkII mode, third is Yamaha S-YXG50 in GS mode. Despite the latter two being much more capable synths (and much sharper-sounding at that, with a higher bitrate or something), only the first one sounds right.

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11 minutes ago, Shadow Hog said:

FWIW, MIDIs intended for MSGS still tend to sound fine on an SC-55 (or higher, but in SC-55 emulation mode), if not better (because proper reverb, chorus, actual GS instruments which haven't been in MSGS for several OSes now, etc), but yeah, there are absolutely exceptions.

 

Take "Trapeze" from Ancient Aliens, for instance; it has a bit where a taiko drum is the lead, but MSGS implements the pitch range of the taiko instrument incorrectly, such that going up a full octave in it goes up a full octave in pitch instead of, like, half an octave or so. The result is that it sounds fine in MSGS (as it should, being the target synth), but like garbage on SC-55. Have a recording to hear what I mean; first is on MSGS, second is on Roland Sound Canvas VA in SC-55mkII mode, third is Yamaha S-YXG50 in GS mode. Despite the latter two being much more capable synths (and much sharper-sounding at that, with a higher bitrate or something), only the first one sounds right.

Indeed I remember microsoft taking a ton of their samples from Roland stuff and then downgrading them to get them to run on low end PCs of the time. I remember finding their soundfont and tinkering around with it. Then I was surprised to hear them use the full quality sounds in their Age of Empires CD audio soundtrack and I wondered where they got them from.

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Posted (edited)

Edit: I heard At Doom's Gate with Chorus and Reverb off using Fluidsynth. It actually isn't perfect, but it's very close enough to gm.SF2 at least.

 

Apparently turning Reverb and Chorus off while having Fluidsynth makes the music sound like it's on the gm.SF2 soundfont. I figured out the problem, and it's thanks to GZDoom Dev. I was checking that version of GZ to check the quality in Module Replayer Options and see where it was set, but when the game started up I heard the menu theme and was surprised. I then saw that Reverb and Chorus were set to off. I turned them on, restarted the sound, and found the solution! I now have them off in 3.2.5, and it saves. :D

 

By the way Benjogami, thank you for telling me to turn those options off.

Edited by The-Heretic-Assassin

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