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40oz

Distortion Guitar Soundfont

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I can't stop listening to these unreleased doom music tracks in MP3 format because the distortion guitar instrument just sounds too good. I want something identical or at least very close to that in the form of a soundfont because I'm currently pretty unsatisfied with the one I have. My overdriven guitar soundfont sounds pretty beastly though and I'd prefer to leave that untouched. Anyone wanna help me out on this?

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Is a 'soundfont' only usable in midi? Not the same as wav files? I still don't get midi.. like the sounds are separate? Like if I make a song that uses 'piano3' or something but then YOUR computer doesn't have piano3 'installed' on it, it will sound different to you?

I've tried searching google for wav files that are all 'tone'-ish (instead of percussion) and all in the same pitch like c or whatever, but the keyword required for that search seems extremely elusive and I end up just finding a wav of homer simpson and a dog bark or some shit if I'm lucky.

I use modplug tracker and love trackers and wish there was a more advanced free one that could do more effects in the same program. Even raising the pitch of a note up/down slowly like in that song doesn't work that great in modplug.

The op vid song sounds good and doomish despite having no polyphony (i think there's a subtle accompanying 2nd guitar sound that only plays certain notes of the same melody). Its just a simple single melody but I guess simple is often good with music. I tried searching for evil chords i mean scales (diminished, hungarian minor, and lorrian.. the latter is easy, just start on b instead of c and use white keys, not that I know wtf I'm doing), and those helped my music sound more like gargoyles quest than diddy kong racing..

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gggmork said:

Is a 'soundfont' only usable in midi? Not the same as wav files?

The name "soundfont" says it all.

Here you see an A: A

The data that forms this A is only one byte: 0100 0001.

Here you see another A:

The data that forms this A is 1162 bytes.

So what's the difference between these two letters? The first is just the code for the letter. The other is a complete description of its appearance. When you read A, the computer doesn't display the raw binary, you wouldn't be able to perceive it after all. It looks in a text font how the glyph associated to 0100 0001 looks.

It's the same thing with MIDI. The Standard MIDI File format, and its variants like Romero's MUS format, are the musical equivalent of a textfile. WAV, MP3, Ogg Vorbis or whatever are the equivalent of a scanned page. To read a text file, you need an editor that will display it using a font to render the glyphs. Different editors and different fonts will render it differently; a text file opened in Notepad doesn't look like the same text file opened in Word. To read a scanned page, though, you'll use an image viewer. You can't open that JPG in Notepad.

To use a more topical comparison, a MIDI file is basically sheet music for computers. A WAV file is a record.

MIDI at its core is only a standard interface for digital musical instrument. That's even what the name means: Musical Instrument Digital Interface. It was basically so that synthesizers and computers could have a common language. That's why there was such a thing as a MIDI port on old soundcards. In that way, MIDI was like the early web: HTTP was originally intended for text (HyperText Transfer Protocol), and you'd use the older FTP (File Transfer Protocol) to transfer anything that's not text-based.

The sheet music contained in a MIDI file has to be rendered by instruments before you can listen to it. For this you use a synthesizer. It can be a hardware synthesizer, connected to your computer, embedded in a soundcard, or even integrated in the motherboard, doesn't matter. Or it can be a software synthesizer, since nowaday's computers are powerful enough to afford to let the CPU handle that instead of sending it off to some other component. A software synthesizer, unless it uses a purely algorithmic method of generating sounds (like an OPL emulator), will need reference data to know what the sounds are. That data was called "wavetables" in old sound cards and hardware synths; it's now called "sound fonts" in software synths.

If you want to experiment with sound fonts, I've written some bare-bones articles on the ZDoom wiki: MIDI, software synthesizer, sound fonts. That should be enough to get you started, at least with ZDoom, so you can install the optional soft synths (TiMidity++, FluidSynth), set them up, find and install some sound fonts, and compare how the same song is rendered with different configurations.

gggmork said:

Like if I make a song that uses 'piano3' or something but then YOUR computer doesn't have piano3 'installed' on it, it will sound different to you?

Again, that's where the MIDI being a standard comes into play. There is a standard set of instrument, called General MIDI (often shortened to GM). So if you use that, you won't run into problems with "piano3 not installed" because it's standard. This is not to say that there is only General MIDI; alternatives include old synths like Roland's MT-32 (different instrument set from General MIDI) or extensions to GM (which include all of GM plus more stuff), like Roland's GS or Yamaha's XG. If you stick with GM, though, you're pretty much safe; musicians who use XG or GS will typically record a rendering of their music as MP3, FLAC, OGG or whatever instead of distributing MIDI files.

But yeah, even though the instrument will be there (since the list of instruments is standard), it will sound different on a computer that uses a different sound font or a different synth.

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40oz said:

I can't stop listening to these unreleased doom music tracks in MP3 format because the distortion guitar instrument just sounds too good. I want something identical or at least very close to that in the form of a soundfont because I'm currently pretty unsatisfied with the one I have.


You should explain what the purpose of this new soundfont is going to be, so we can better help you find what you need.

Because frankly, that guitar sounds awful, and if it is your plan to create final sequenced tracks in an audio format like MP3 then screw the soundfonts and grab a guitar VST like Prominy LPC or Realstrat

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That's why the musicians who made Doom's music used a Roland Sound Canvas. :p

That's also why there's a DMXGUS lump in the IWADs, too.

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