Jump to content
Search In
  • More options...
Find results that contain...
Find results in...
MaxRideWizardLord

Microsoft's GS Wavetable Synth is the best soundfont for Doom?

Recommended Posts

Good day everyone.

 

Now please hear me out before flaming me fluidsynthers.

 

There is a very weird thing I've found about GS Wavetable Synth, and that it's the only soundfont for doom that plays most, if not all doom midis without glitching, laging, swallowing certain notes, playing quiet notes way too loudly and especially playing them all properly.

 

What I mean by playing properly? For example, that one track from Hell Revealed 2 on map09, the Short Circuit, which is my favourite of all HR2 OST, seem to be only playing properly on GS Wavetable Synth. There is one complicated part of this track where most notes can't be played properly and turn in to a unbearable mess. Luckily, I've found a few videos to give you a good comparison.

 

Microsoft's GS Wavetable Synth:

(02:57)

 

Some other soundfont (probably fluidsynth):

(02:53)

 

As you can see, (or hear, actually), the GS Wavetable Synth is the only one that managed to play this one correct. Why? I have no idea. I've shown this comparison to a few of my other friends and asked if they get exact same result, they confirmed that GS Wavetable Synth is the only soundfont that plays it correct.

 

I have no idea what gives, or why other soundfonts can't play this track properly. It's quite possible that most old school doom 1\2 mods were exclusively meant to be playing on GS Wavetable Synth rather than any others.

 

Any idea why is this happening and what causes all of this?

Share this post


Link to post

M$ GS Wavetable Synth was actually developed by Roland, that also did the MPU401 MIDI Processing Unit and the SC-55 /SCC-1/SoundCanvas
Sound Generators, which were used to create the original Soundtrack.
To answer your question in detail, you'd have to technically analyze the songs, check polyphony and voice assignment. Then you'll get answers.

Share this post


Link to post

Bobby Prince made the Doom music to sound correct on the SC-55 he was using back then. The MS GS WS is derived from the SC-55 soundbanks, so it's not surprising it sounds okay with it. Since it's been the "default" MIDI player for most people since the Win95 days to now, most MIDI composers have written their songs with the MSGSWS in mind, meaning that any soundfont that differs too much risks getting some songs bad.

 

Fluidsynth is not a soundfont, but a MIDI player that uses soundfonts. FluidSynth with an SC-55 soundfont should sound correct in most cases.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

@MaxRideWizardLord, what you get to hear by default when using FluidSynth is the simple 3 MB soundfont that comes with each GZDoom package--which you can change for a better one any time, so there's no real need for complaining. It sounds very good with the OG soundtrack. Besides, many custom MIDI tracks sound awful without a really fancy soundfont, especially the guitars and the synths, since they have not been properly fine-tuned for Doom, and the one you've posted doesn't appear to be, either, so FluidSynth will indeed sound worse here.

Share this post


Link to post

That one is not covering any guitars, though, so you won't know how rocky Doom soundtracks will sound.

Share this post


Link to post

Weeds' font still holds up to the test of time in most cases.

Share this post


Link to post
9 hours ago, Gez said:

Bobby Prince made the Doom music to sound correct on the SC-55 he was using back then. The MS GS WS is derived from the SC-55 soundbanks, so it's not surprising it sounds okay with it. Since it's been the "default" MIDI player for most people since the Win95 days to now, most MIDI composers have written their songs with the MSGSWS in mind, meaning that any soundfont that differs too much risks getting some songs bad.

 

Fluidsynth is not a soundfont, but a MIDI player that uses soundfonts. FluidSynth with an SC-55 soundfont should sound correct in most cases.

 

What does OG mean? Original game's soundtrack?

 

Whether fluidsynth is midi player or soundfont is not as important as the fact it can't play some songs. I've been using GS Wavetable Synth soundfont since early skulltag times and I've never found music that sounded bad, nor broken. I have no idea why would Gzdoom change it's original soundfont and I really wish to see the return of it.

 

Are you sure that Fluidsynth that uses GS Wavetable Synth could get the Short Circuit music playing correct way?? If so, would you please tell me how would I do that?

 

In fact, I'd like to have a way to add original and default GS Wavetable Synth soundfont (or GS or SC-55, as you call it) back to newer GZdooms, if it's possible.

 

5 hours ago, glyphic said:

My litmus test for a soundfont is listening to Aliens Say Your Prayers

If it doesn't sound like that then flush it down the toilet and don't regain any HP.

 

Excuse me? Sorry, I barely could understood any of what you say, or how that is relevant to the topic. What is litmus and HP anyway?

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
18 minutes ago, MaxRideWizardLord said:

What does OG mean? Original game's soundtrack?

https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=OG

Quote

OG used to mean Original Gangster allthough some poeple these days use OG as a quicker way of saying Original

 

18 minutes ago, MaxRideWizardLord said:

Whether fluidsynth is midi player or soundfont is not as important as the fact it can't play some songs. I've been using GS Wavetable Synth soundfont since early skulltag times and I've never found music that sounded bad, nor broken. I have no idea why would Gzdoom change it's original soundfont and I really wish to see the return of it.

Skulltag used the GS Wavetable Synth via FMOD. GZDoom stopped doing that when it removed FMOD and doesn't default to using GS anymore, and I'm not sure it can actually use it anymore as it doesn't have a synth that can load the DLS.

Share this post


Link to post
4 minutes ago, MaxRideWizardLord said:

Whether fluidsynth is midi player or soundfont is not as important as the fact it can't play some songs.

No, because it betrays a lack of comprehension of the technical side of it.

 

It's like saying something like "whether Word is a word processor or a truetype font is not as important as the fact it can't display some texts." That's gibberish.

 

Why can't it play some songs? If it's just that some instruments sound bad, are too loud or too soft, etc., it's most likely not the fault of the synth but the fault of the soundfont. You can change the soundfont FluidSynth uses.

 

3 minutes ago, Edward850 said:

Skulltag and GZDoom don't come with soundfonts. They have always defaulted to using the GS wavetable synth. You either are experiencing the placebo effect, or aren't actually running them with the same synthesizer (and thus even with the same soundfont) at all. 

GZDoom comes with a soundfont and FluidSynth as the default synth since FMOD Ex was dumped to allow to to go GPL. IIRC it's Deemster's SC-55 presets.

Share this post


Link to post

Agreed. I'm a strong proponent of using the GS Wavetable Synth instruments or another comparable SC-55 based set.

 

For just about any MIDI written in the past 20 years, it's extremely likely that the composer chose instruments and mixed it with the GS Wavetable Synth in mind, because it's the sound set you get with any standard Windows install.

 

Speaking personally, all of the MIDIs I've written for Back to Saturn X have been composed with and intended for the SC-55/GS instruments. Any alternate soundfonts I've ever heard them played back with have usually turned them into incoherent mush, burying half the instruments, accentuating others in weird ways, softening or sharpening an instrument's attack such that it no longer serves the same function in the song, etc.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

SoundCanvas VA with the SC88-Pro mode is the goto for me.

 

Edit: Alternativly use the UHD3 soundfont found here, which also sounds really good.

 

Edited by BlackFish

Share this post


Link to post

I've never had issues with MIDIs played through FluidSynth in the vast majority of wads that I have played, and I like how it sounds with GZDoom's default soundfont most of the time. The only exception I've managed to run into was a song from the new Sunder levels which sounded horrible and extremely loud when played through PrBoom's Fluidsynth and default soundfont, apart from that it has served me well.

 

But I do use GS Wavetable Synth for playing other games when it's the only choice. As of late however, I've been using an SC-55 soundfont when playing wads in GZDoom.

Share this post


Link to post
17 hours ago, BlackFish said:

SoundCanvas VA with the SC88-Pro mode is the goto for me.

 

Edit: Alternativly use the UHD3 soundfont found here, which also sounds really good.

 

Why does this vid have a General MIDI Logo and shows a kbd, which is not even GM compatible?
BTW: SC-55 is GS, not (only) GM.

Share this post


Link to post

MSGS seems to dislike playing overlapping notes in short sequence, so the prior note(s) completely glitch or cut out sometimes.  Listen to the string part in the beginning of "Waltz of the Demons" and you'll know what I mean here.  This sounds like what might be happening in that first YouTube example, and funny enough it sounds "better" because of that.

Share this post


Link to post

I currently have both an SC-55 MkII and an SC-88, and either one of them is about the best you can do for Doom midi, better than any soundfont. They're expensive, though, and I think most people won't be able to justify dropping a hundred dollars to make Doom sound better. But do they ever sound glorious.

Share this post


Link to post

Or GS Wavetable Synth or the specific soundfont proposed by the MIDI creator

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/26/2019 at 12:49 AM, Gez said:

Why can't it play some songs? If it's just that some instruments sound bad, are too loud or too soft, etc., it's most likely not the fault of the synth but the fault of the soundfont. You can change the soundfont FluidSynth uses.

 

So if I get this correct, the soundfont that I called Microsoft's GS Wavetable Synth is actually just called SC-55 and can be downloaded for free, I hope I'm not wrong here?

 

On 8/26/2019 at 12:49 AM, Gez said:

GZDoom comes with a soundfont and FluidSynth as the default synth since FMOD Ex was dumped to allow to to go GPL. IIRC it's Deemster's SC-55 presets.

 

Would you please give a noob-friendly guide, step-by-step, to help me replace the default gzdoom\fluidsynth's soundfonts with default SC-55 instead?

 

Also, is there any way to replace the Android's soundfont with SC-55?? The one that Delta-Touch uses is quite awful in all honesty.

Share this post


Link to post

The GS Wavetable Synth isn't the SC-55, but it's based on it. The SC-55 is the Roland SoundCanvas-55, the piece of MIDI hardware that Bobby Prince used when composing Doom's soundtrack. The GS Wavetable Synth is basically a simplified, stripped-down version of the same sample set.

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, esselfortium said:

The GS Wavetable Synth isn't the SC-55, but it's based on it. The SC-55 is the Roland SoundCanvas-55, the piece of MIDI hardware that Bobby Prince used when composing Doom's soundtrack. The GS Wavetable Synth is basically a simplified, stripped-down version of the same sample set.

 

But what it's soundfont called and where I can download it? I really want to install it for android, and also try to replace the current soudnfont that Fluidsynth is using with the GS Wavetable Synth.

Share this post


Link to post

the SS-55 is a physical piece of hardware, not software. GS Wavetable Synth is the software synth MS created that uses samples derived from the SC-55 hardware. You can't get it on android, all you can get is a soundfont that's derived from the SC-55 samples. You can download one in the description of that Youtube video above, or like a million other places online (google "sc55 soundfont" i guess)

 

Strictly speaking it's not really legal to do so but there hasn't been any big efforts to stop it so...

Share this post


Link to post
38 minutes ago, SaladBadger said:

the SS-55 is a physical piece of hardware, not software. GS Wavetable Synth is the software synth MS created that uses samples derived from the SC-55 hardware. You can't get it on android, all you can get is a soundfont that's derived from the SC-55 samples. You can download one in the description of that Youtube video above, or like a million other places online (google "sc55 soundfont" i guess)

 

I don't get it. So GS Wavetable Synth = is actually midi player? So, what soundfonts does it REALLY uses? Also, why can't I install MS's GS Wavetable Synth on android? I'm so confused right now.

 

All I want to find a way to make doom songs to play properly. To be precise, I want a soundfont and the midi player that can play that one song named "Short Circuit" from Hell Revealed 2's map09 like I've shown in the first video of this very thread's top. In order for me to achieve such thing, what would you recommend me to do in order to make my FluidSynth to play it properly on PC, and in order to make Delta-Touch'S GZDoom to play it properly on android?

Share this post


Link to post
Posted (edited)

Any of the SC-55 variety of soundfonts sound horribly highpitched to me. For me it's a tossup between ChoriumRevA.SF2 and WeedsGM3.sf2.

Share this post


Link to post

After all those years I still use Timidity++ with EAWPats. I only found a handful of MIDIs during that time that really need an SC-55 sound font to not sound broken - for those there's GZDoom's $mididevice option to define something better fitting. ;)

 

2 hours ago, MaxRideWizardLord said:

I don't get it. So GS Wavetable Synth = is actually midi player? So, what soundfonts does it REALLY uses? Also, why can't I install MS's GS Wavetable Synth on android? I'm so confused right now.

 

The GS Wavetable Synth is a MIDI player - just like FluidSynth, and Timidity++.

It could theoretically be used with any sound font, had Microsoft not chosen to use a soundfont format that isn't supported by anything else in the world, FmodEx excluded, meaning there's almost no alternative sound fonts being made on it. This makes some people believe that the player and its sole sound font are the same thing, which they are not.

 

You cannot install this on Android because it is a piece of Windows, not some separate software.

Share this post


Link to post
6 hours ago, MaxRideWizardLord said:

I don't get it. So GS Wavetable Synth = is actually midi player? So, what soundfonts does it REALLY uses?

It uses gm.dls, which you can find in C:\Windows\System32\drivers or C:\Windows\SysWOW64\drivers.  The DLS format is similar to the SoundFont 2.0 (SF2) format in that it is just a collection of instrument samples that are loaded by a MIDI synthesizer/player.  You could use MS Synth's DLS file with other players, if they supported the DLS format.

Share this post


Link to post

My personal go-to ATM is Scc1t2.sf2 with Omnimidi. I'd prefer something higher quality, but Scc1t2.sf2 is pretty much the most balanced soundfont and I honestly can't think of any good, balanced, hi-fi SC-55 soundfonts. Quality-wise it's very similar to the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth. The aforementioned Omnimidi driver is why I prefer the soundfont to a real SC-55 or Sound Canvas VA... as it's low latency and absurdly high polyphony allow for the playback of Black Midis (for those unaware, they're named as such because they use such a high amount of notes that the note roll looks completely black).

 

That said, I still have Sound Canvas VA, Yamaha S-YXG50, and MUNT around respectively for GMIDI Level 2, XG, and MT-32/CM-32L midis... and WeedsGM3 for Eternal Doom.

Share this post


Link to post
On 8/26/2019 at 7:54 AM, esselfortium said:

Agreed. I'm a strong proponent of using the GS Wavetable Synth instruments or another comparable SC-55 based set.

 

For just about any MIDI written in the past 20 years, it's extremely likely that the composer chose instruments and mixed it with the GS Wavetable Synth in mind, because it's the sound set you get with any standard Windows install.

 

Speaking personally, all of the MIDIs I've written for Back to Saturn X have been composed with and intended for the SC-55/GS instruments. Any alternate soundfonts I've ever heard them played back with have usually turned them into incoherent mush, burying half the instruments, accentuating others in weird ways, softening or sharpening an instrument's attack such that it no longer serves the same function in the song, etc.

I wanted to say basically this a week ago when I first read this but was worried I'd come across as a negative nancy.. There are a lot of MIDI "remixes" (AKA no change other than strange soundfonts used) of various WAD soundtracks floating around on YouTube. Whenever I hear one of my MIDIs played back through anything other than a SC-55 based soundfont it's almost always minorly depressing because so much of the sound gets lost in translation and I know the same thing is happening to every track. I'm really glad people like the MIDIs the community has made and are showing them love in the form of a YT upload but damn, the sound just gets totally fucked over sometimes. Ambient background noises get erased altogether or become indecipherable garbage.

 

The only custom soundfont I ever came across that I really loved was one used by this now-defunct "midi to mp3" site. It provided 0 information on the soundfont it was using for the conversion unfortunately. Regardless, even that nice soundfont had some unexpected side effects on existing tracks.

 

Every single person I ever knew (in person) who played Doom always heard the music the same way: Using the default Windows MIDI sounds. I don't know if it's just a happy coincidence that Bobby Prince was using a keyboard that sounded almost identical or what, but hearing the soundtrack any other way just feels.. totally wrong, at least to my ears. Picking between the bona fide SC-55 and the simplified Windows version is just a matter of taste, they're both correct. There's even a clip of Bobby in the 1993 visit to id software video talking about how superior the Roland sound was to OPL. So really, according to the man himself, anything else just ain't legit!

(Sorry OPL playback fans, but it's just not Prince-approved - facts don't care about your feelings!)

 

lol

 

EDIT: For the love of Gord, if your device asks for a custom soundfont for the Doom tracks, please hear them the way they were meant to be heard. Here's a soundfont that is identical to the stock Windows MIDI sound. https://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/713

Share this post


Link to post

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
×