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Fidchell

Best Way to Play MIDIs?

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Hello, thanks for clicking! I'm curious if there is a software that is very optimized in MIDI playback? Windows Media Player and the MS Synthtable soundfont seem just fine at first, but in certain pieces, if there are too many notes, certain notes get completely cut off. It makes me wonder how Doom itself can playback MIDIs so perfectly under Portmidi settings. I appreciate any help in the matter!

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I'm more experienced with Linux than Windows, but VLC (with the Fluidsynth module) is what I use, and it seems to be available on Windows as well. There's also TiMIDIty, and probably quite a few others. Fluidsynth and TiMIDIty are often used by Doom source ports to play MIDIs, so you can expect similar quality.

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If you're hitting the polyphony limit, you'll likely have a hard time working around it. Even software designed to write MIDI, such as Sekaiju, suffer from this limitation.

 

As northivanastan advised, Fluidsynth is likely your best bet at good playback without worrying about the polyphony limit - that said you'll need to have a soundfont for it to use. I have a version of the windows GM soundfont (the one everyone's most familiar with) uploaded to my website, so you can download it here.

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If everything fails, you could always download Cakewalk by Bandlab. It may sound like overkill, but hey - it'll at least get the job done where everything else has failed. Besides, it's free, and if you ever do decide to dabble with making your own MIDI files, well, there you go. :)

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+1 to foobar2000. It can use modules like bassmidi or fluidsynth that can play all kinds of midi nicely. There's also a lot of visual / technical customization and it's a solid workhorse for me, an audio nerd:
 

Spoiler

Looking for a goniometer plugin btw, does anyone know of one?
YgaDcEH2Ohk.jpg?size=1914x1041&quality=9

Its only possible downside is that it's based around playlists and not very convenient for playing stray files. It's possible though.

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2 hours ago, ClumsyDoomer said:

+1 to foobar2000. It can use modules like bassmidi or fluidsynth that can play all kinds of midi nicely. There's also a lot of visual / technical customization and it's a solid workhorse for me, an audio nerd:
 

  Reveal hidden contents

Looking for a goniometer plugin btw, does anyone know of one?
YgaDcEH2Ohk.jpg?size=1914x1041&quality=9

Its only possible downside is that it's based around playlists and not very convenient for playing stray files. It's possible though.

foobar2000 doesn't allow hardware midi though, which is the best midi. I prefer using WACUP (a community update for the old WinAmp 5) though it has stability issues.

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On 10/22/2021 at 10:51 AM, Dragonfly said:

If you're hitting the polyphony limit, you'll likely have a hard time working around it. Even software designed to write MIDI, such as Sekaiju, suffer from this limitation.

 

As northivanastan advised, Fluidsynth is likely your best bet at good playback without worrying about the polyphony limit - that said you'll need to have a soundfont for it to use. I have a version of the windows GM soundfont (the one everyone's most familiar with) uploaded to my website, so you can download it here.

 

I went ahead and did what you two suggested and added in your soundfont as well. So far so good! I have Chorus and Reverb unchecked, Synthesis Gain at .75 and Polyphony at 500 and it seems pretty close to the original at this point. Thanks, everyone, for your suggestions!

 

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i use windows media player for playing midis

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After trying out a good amount of MIDIs via VLC, I noticed that the GM soundfont seems to be missing a sort of percussion note. One song I can use as an example is Pearlescent by Jimmy Paddock. The beat that grows louder at around the 30-second mark is either missing or really quiet. Does anybody else have the same issue? It seems to work fine in WMP.

 

 

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2 hours ago, Fidchell said:

After trying out a good amount of MIDIs via VLC, I noticed that the GM soundfont seems to be missing a sort of percussion note. One song I can use as an example is Pearlescent by Jimmy Paddock. The beat that grows louder at around the 30-second mark is either missing or really quiet. Does anybody else have the same issue? It seems to work fine in WMP.

That's odd, here's a different version of the same soundfont - https://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/724

Maybe, for whatever reason, you'll have a better result with this version. (There won't be any noticeable change to the instruments themselves)

 

Personally, I use the program VMS to load Soundfonts in Windows - https://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth

It's a super straightforward way to get any soundfont to "override" the default MIDI sound.

 

Combined with Sekaiju to actually play the instruments, I've yet to encounter a MIDI that doesn't sound right during playback! VMS even makes it super simple to convert the MIDI to MP3 which can really come in handy.

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1 hour ago, Doomkid said:

That's odd, here's a different version of the same soundfont - https://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/724

Maybe, for whatever reason, you'll have a better result with this version. (There won't be any noticeable change to the instruments themselves)

 

Personally, I use the program VMS to load Soundfonts in Windows - https://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth

It's a super straightforward way to get any soundfont to "override" the default MIDI sound.

 

Combined with Sekaiju to actually play the instruments, I've yet to encounter a MIDI that doesn't sound right during playback! VMS even makes it super simple to convert the MIDI to MP3 which can really come in handy.

Virtual MIDI synth doesn't even work for me, either I uninstal it or either I listen to no midi.

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I use VLC and WMP to listen to midis, period.

Nothing else, just VLC and WMP

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2 hours ago, RetroAkaMe said:

Virtual MIDI synth doesn't even work for me, either I uninstal it or either I listen to no midi.

Have you also installed MIDIMapper? You'll probably need to have that too so you can tell Windows which MIDI device to use for playback because modern versions of Windows won't even let you change that without registry editing. Don't forget to also load a soundfont, because otherwise you will hear nothing.

 

As for me, VMS is what I use. I alternate with playing MIDIs using soundfonts of all kinds (ct4mgm is my typical goto for that old-timey SB Live! sound) or I plug my synth (an Integra-7) and output MIDIs through it.

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1 hour ago, PsychEyeball said:

Have you also installed MIDIMapper? You'll probably need to have that too so you can tell Windows which MIDI device to use for playback because modern versions of Windows won't even let you change that without registry editing. Don't forget to also load a soundfont, because otherwise you will hear nothing.

 

As for me, VMS is what I use. I alternate with playing MIDIs using soundfonts of all kinds (ct4mgm is my typical goto for that old-timey SB Live! sound) or I plug my synth (an Integra-7) and output MIDIs through it.

nope.

it doesn't open, that's it but ill install it too

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I seem to have found a solution, though it does require a bit of extra work. I normally attain my MIDI files by exporting via Slade. Something must've went wrong in the process, because the drums channel for these tracks seems to be messed up. I had to go into Anvil Studio and basically copy the drums channel into a new channel and this appears to fix it once the new MIDI file it saved. VLC has an article about this drum glitch, but it seems to fix it up just fine!

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