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Drat

Midi trouble...

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Most days of the week, I do volunteer work at a nearby community centre, which entails sitting around on my arse in reception and answering the phone. So I chucked a bunch of games on the reception computer. One problem is that it doesn't have a proper midi device. IE not the standard, normal one that is intalled with windows.

Instead it has an "enhanced" (using the term rather loosely) software synthesizer. I have to select General Midi to run anything with it in dos games. I want to hear the music as it is supposed to be heard. Is there a way to copy the normal synthesizer from my home computer (win 98) to the other computer (98 Second Edition) with minimum of fuss? This is keeping me from playing through the hundreds of DooM add-ons I've burnt to CD.

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Are you sure there's no other synth than the software-based one? Check in the Control Panel applet "Multimedia," under the preferred MIDI device. For instance, for my computer, which has an old ISA Sound Blaster 32, the devices present under there are:

Creative FM Synthesizer - Good old FM synth; the instruments are made from mathematical manipulations of sine waves. They are said to sound, um, "phat," described by some people, and certain people prefer this type of synth for Doom music. I don't. It's in my hardware, but I think there is a driver you can get that works in software.

Creative MPU-401 - An output from the game port, used for an external MIDI instrument such as a MIDI keyboard. I have no reason to use it.

Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth - The software synthesizer that comes with Windows 2000. I'm not sure if 98SE comes with the same thing or something different, or even if it comes with a software synth at all. I don't use it. I prefer the last one.

SB AWE32 MIDI Synth - The hardware wavetable synthesizer built into my sound card. The samples are stored on the on-board memory on the card. When I'm not listening to MIDIs with Timidity++, I use this one. It's what I first heard Doom music with, other than FM synth.

Check for something in there that says Hardware Synth, or doesn't say SW or Software in it.

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There are only two synthesizers. The one I have already mentioned, and another (possibly roland, I'll check tomorrow) that has not elicited any response when playing any midi. The computer is a prepackaged compaq POS, so it probably doesn't have anything in the way of special hardware synthesizers. I just want boring old, bog standard midi music.

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Well, it seems I found a freeware FM synth driver on the Internet. Look here for the description and installation, and here for the zip file. Hope it works for you.

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