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Csonicgo

DMXOPL v2.10 - Happy Holidays (Nov 27)

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Freedoom needs something like this so badly. Pretty much every game that uses OPL2/3 needs it.

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Another update! This will have to do for now.

 

On 8/24/2017 at 5:33 PM, Voros said:

Freedoom needs something like this so badly. Pretty much every game that uses OPL2/3 needs it.

I've been wanting to get this GENMIDI diff'd with the Doom II GENMIDI, replace what I need to, and submit DMXOPL in its entirety to Freedoom. If there are any stock instruments left I would be very surprised.

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I added Hi-hats. They sound kinda like hi-hats. I'll be working on them a bit more for an idgames/ release.

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I tried the OPL3 version, it's awesome, even better than earlier versions. However, there's a few things that don't quite sound right to me:

 

D_E1M2: The slap bass sounds really off to me.

D_E1M5: There's a loud pop noise between notes.

D_E1M7: The drone seems too loud, drowning out the strings.

 

In general, the volume of the instruments seems inconsistent, lots of instruments sound quieter or louder relative to each other in DMXOPL vs. how they sound in the Roland-derived GM.DLS.

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12 hours ago, Blastfrog said:

I tried the OPL3 version, it's awesome, even better than earlier versions. However, there's a few things that don't quite sound right to me:

 

D_E1M2: The slap bass sounds really off to me.

D_E1M5: There's a loud pop noise between notes.

D_E1M7: The drone seems too loud, drowning out the strings.

 

In general, the volume of the instruments seems inconsistent, lots of instruments sound quieter or louder relative to each other in DMXOPL vs. how they sound in the Roland-derived GM.DLS.

It's a bug in DMX that isn't compensated for by the editor I'm using. I'm looking into it. 

EDIT: Also, I'm not using GM.DLS at all for comparisons. I'm using a Roland Sound Canvas.

Edited by Csonicgo

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New update! I waited a while and it's a good thing I did. This release couldn't have been possible without the help from everyone who contributed.

 

Now a little rant on DMX... This patch is starting to expose some really bad bugs and inconsistencies in DMX. I've done the best that I can to work around these things, and while the cymbals aren't what I would like, they are at least bearable enough.

Volumes have been tweaked across the board to remove the splattering issues in Heretic and other midis.

 

Now for another rant...

 

I've noticed a lot of custom MIDI files have 0,1-tick notes. If you compose midi files, DO NOT DO THIS! This breaks FM patches, especially snares, as they cannot finish the attack envelope without being forced to play the release envelope. The result is a beep-boopy mess that requires either me ruining the patch entirely (which I'm not doing), or midi players actually enforcing a minimum tick limit. I think the latter is a much better compromise, as there are no MIDI sequences that I know of to actively abuse 0,1-tick percussion. This isn't a problem for wavetable or sample-based Midi synths, as they don't follow strict ADSR as Yamaha FM patches do.

MIDI files that I know break with DMXOPL:

  • Apogee Fanfare MIDI sequence 
  • Nine Inch Nails - Head Like A Hole MIDI that is in a ton of 90s PWADs
  • Entire Jagged Alliance soundtrack

And probably more I haven't found yet, including some VGMusic sequences...

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16 hours ago, Tormentor667 said:

Is it possible to listen to a demo somewhere?

The previous thread had a dozen or so; I'll create a new one so you can hear this.

 

In the meantime:

 

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Great work man!

I was not aware you were working on this further, because I'm just visiting ZDoom forums regularly where I could not see any update.

Really nice to see you are utilizing OPL3 waveforms. I already knew DMX supports them for long time - I simply tried that out and it worked. Once I made all instruments to use square waveform just for fun, and the result was, ehm, terrible. I'm not utilizing them in my GENMIDI simply because I don't know how to use them as I'm combining existing instruments from other games rather than creating my own from scratch.

 

I'm looking forward to give you full and proper feedback on the instruments, once I get a time to try this all out. From what I could hear in your previous versions, the percussion instruments were really improved, which was the most important for me, because I'm not good/skilled in percussion instruments and remade only very few of them in my GENMIDI. As about melodic instruments, generally many of them are great (while a few are not that much), but in many cases I preferred the instruments from my own GENMIDI as I'm feeling proud of them and/or I just like them better, personally. That's highly subjective of course.

 

Keep the good work. I can't wait to test the newest version.

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New Release! v2.7 adds a lot of stuff that I mentioned in the OP. Go check it out!

 

Demo:

 

Edited by Csonicgo : soundcloud demo

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Hello again.

I finally got to give some detailed feedback to you. The main reason for being so late is that you released new versions in the meantime, so I needed to relisten and rethink some things. As I already said, I mostly appreciate the percussion improvements as this is something I can't do well, but many melodic instruments are well-done too.

I'd like to begin with a megawad called Reverie, which has its full original soundtrack, which consists of rock/metal (electric guitars&drums) tracks for the most part. And I must say, Reverie soundtrack really rocks with DMXOPL3!

I was actually trying it with three different versions of DXMOPL3: v2.1a, v2.5 and v2.7. There were significant changes between electric guitars and several percussion instruments between these versions. I'm feeling I like more the Distortion guitar and Accoustic/Electric Snare from version 2.1a than those introduced in 2.5. On the other hand, the Open Hi-Hat in 2.1a sounded pretty off, so in 2.5 it was really improved, but I still think it could be made louder and/or higher pitch.

The only exception about Reverie is map24: Fallen Sun by James Paddock, which I like much more with my own GENMIDI than with DMXOPL.

 

Now I will comment individual instruments. I will probably not remember everything I wanted, but I'll try my best.

 

The instruments I really like:

- New Age, Music Box

- Pad 5 (Bowed Glass)

- Bright FX, Echo FX

- Square Wave Lead (sounds so close to SC-55)

- Tubular Bells (yes, paradoxically, even though you liked mine)

- Church Organ

- Frestless Bass

- French Horn (uses chorus pretty nicely)

- Tremolo Strings, Polysynth (but I'm also fine with the originals)

 

The instruments I like but have some remarks on:

- Accoustic Grand Piano: I like its sound, but I don't feel like it sounds close to a real piano at all. I think mine sounds more like a piano.

- Harp: Same as piano, I like it, but don't feel it sounds like a real harp and think the original DMX was closer.

- String Ensemble 2, Synth Strings 1: Not really bad, but I think the original DMX/Paul Radek's were really well made and I strongly prefer those. I can even say these two were some of the best Paul Radek's creations and are distinctive to DMX (Synth Strings1 is the most iconic instrument in Heretic).

- Atmosphere FX: The same case. I just love how the original DMX/Paul Radek's sounds like.

- Sawtooth Lead: Sounds like a real sawtooth, however I still like the original as it sounds really strongly and is really significant in many Doom as well as custom songs.

- String Ensemble 1: Not bad, but I like mine more, as it sounds more like a violin.

- Slap Bass 1: Obviously you tried your best to make it sound like SC-55 (or whatever is the Windows MIDI synth based on), but it's still not perfect. I tried myself as well but ended up leaving the original, as I think it is okay and strong (similar case as Sawtooth).

- Toms: Not really bad, but I prefer those from ROTT, which I used in my GENMIDI.

- Koto: Not that much bad, but I just think I made it better.

 

The instruments I don't like and/or could be improved:

- Muted Guitar: It's really meh, mine is much closer

- Pizzicato Strings: Don't sound like pizzicato at all. I took mine from Duke Nukem and tweaked a bit, sounds good in high pitches but not that good in low pitches.

- Timpani: Sounds much more like a melodic instrument than a drum. I had problems myself improving it so decided to leave the original.

- Harpsichord: Sounds too much "electric". I had problems myself improving it so decided to leave the original.

- Flute, Clarinet: Slow attack rate. I like mine much better.

- Steel and Nylon guitar: I don't feel they sound close to real things. Steel guitar sounds more like something between guitar and harpsichord, so I decided to leave the original. My Nylon guitar sounds more like an electric piano, but at least I like it much better like that.

- Xylophone: I dislike the new version introduced in v2.7. I was happy with the previous version.

- Helicopter: Close to a helicopter, but too loud and drowns out everything else

 

So that's it. With the rest either I'm mostly okay and have no comment, or didn't hear these yet.

I hope you will like my feedback. Keep up good work.

Edited by Hisymak

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While ADSR and other tweaks are easy to do, "turning back" to Paul Radek's patches goes against the spirit of my project. I wasn't simply trying to tweak Paul Radek's patches as much as replace them entirely to be legal to use in other projects, and to be used in other applications besides Doom. I may try my hand at a "Tweaked" Paul Radek GENMIDI later, but currently, this project has become too ambitious to dial back now.

 

As for some of your criticisms, most are due to limitations of DMX, and I've been working to fix this. What sounds good in one program doesn't in another - See the contrabass patch in the latest release for an example of this (Much too loud for starters).

 

A v2.8 prerelease is out on GitHub, which has quite a few changes in the instruments you mentioned, and more. Go check it out when you can.

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8 hours ago, Csonicgo said:

"turning back" to Paul Radek's patches goes against the spirit of my project. I wasn't simply trying to tweak Paul Radek's patches as much as replace them entirely to be legal to use in other projects, and to be used in other applications besides Doom.

Actually I did not want to say you should revert back to Paul Radek's patches, but now I realize it might have sounded like that. I understand the goals of your project. That was rather about my personal preference.

8 hours ago, Csonicgo said:

I may try my hand at a "Tweaked" Paul Radek GENMIDI later, but currently, this project has become too ambitious to dial back now.

That's what my own GENMIDI project is all about, so just keep focused on what you are working on :)

8 hours ago, Csonicgo said:

As for some of your criticisms, most are due to limitations of DMX, and I've been working to fix this.

Hmm, can you explain those limitations a bit? Aren't they rather limitations of OPL synthesizer generally? Or DMX has some specific problems/bugs? If so, are the problems present in ZDoom?

8 hours ago, Csonicgo said:

What sounds good in one program doesn't in another

That's something that happened to me many times as well. Several times I created an instrument which sounded excellent for a particualr song, but broke for many others. Generally this is also very subjective matter.

 

I'm also really interested what you (or anyone else) think and like or dislike on my GENMIDI, so if you feel like that, please don't be loath to give some criticisms to me as well.

Edited by Hisymak

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On 10/23/2017 at 1:21 PM, Hisymak said:

Hmm, can you explain those limitations a bit? Aren't they rather limitations of OPL synthesizer generally? Or DMX has some specific problems/bugs? If so, are the problems present in ZDoom?

Sure!

Basically there are some precision issues with how the GENMIDI format is read in and sent to the OPL3 chip, vs the Yamaha specs. I assume it's because Yamaha left a lot of room for more precision later, for later OPL series cards. OPL-4 was the last one, and didn't take advantage of this. As a result, some volumes are louder than they should be, some combinations of sounds that should work won't. My Slap Bass patches once suffered from this. Unfortunately none of this stuff is documented; and if it is, I haven't found it.

 

ZDoom 2.8.1 is basically what I recommend using for the best sound overall for now, GZDoom is still broken on some music files, and I cannot figure out why. ZDoom doesn't have the volume problems that Chocolate Doom emulates. Eternity Engine should have ADLMIDI support soon, which will bring to that port the sound exactly as I intended.

On 10/23/2017 at 1:21 PM, Hisymak said:

That's something that happened to me many times as well. Several times I created an instrument which sounded excellent for a particualr song, but broke for many others. Generally this is also very subjective matter.

That's why my aim was for the SC-55 at first, but with the input of some in the demoscene, a lot of things have deviated from that goal. Hence the Guitars - they are inspired by ThunderForce IV rather than the SC-55.

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40 minutes ago, Patch93 said:

Self glorification, go!

That Tubular Bells are really sweet! Love that demo.

The electric guitar is good too, but the only problem is, sometimes (on lower pitches) it transitions into noise.

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7 hours ago, Hisymak said:

The electric guitar is good too, but the only problem is, sometimes (on lower pitches) it transitions into noise.

 

Yeah, I've tried fixing that numerous times. Unfortunately, there is no way to remove it without ruining the preset. Unless I'm wrong, this is pretty much the best an electric guitar preset can sound in OPL without making separate patches for different key ranges which is impossible with DMX. Most compositions usually don't use that low of a key range anyway, so I don't think it's that big of a deal. The IWADs' MIDIs never go that even low AFAIK, at least Doom 1 and 2.

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Well, A new release. The "problem" patches have been "fixed", until I figure out a better way to do those. Sorry! But check it out anyway! Works in ADLMidi at least...

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Someone on the Fourth Modulator discord chatroom recorded Doom on a real Windows 98/DOS PC with a Sound Blaster 16 ISA sound card and a real OPL3 chip.

 

 

It might be due to the YMF262's low pass filter but my electric guitars sound a bit too chorusy for some reason. I'll have to look further into this. Other than that though, it was amazing to hear this on actual hardware.

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Christmas Update Ha Ha Ha Ha, Taking a break, my ears are shot from testing this every waking hour. Please give it a go!

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That At Doom's Gate demo sounds really amazing!

Did you do any changes in percussion instruments since the previous version?

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Just now, Hisymak said:

That At Doom's Gate demo sounds really amazing!

Did you do any changes in percussion instruments since the previous version?

The only things I remember changing are for the WOPL version only, which included the timbales, jingle bells, shaker, and one more I can't remember at the moment.

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One more thing I noticed when playing around with percussion instruments within my GENMIDI project.

There are some additional percussion sounds (apart from those 47 defined in GENMIDI) which are used in MIDIs. They play if I use the Microsoft wavetable synth (or whatever it's called) but they're quiet on OPL synth because they are not part of GENMIDI. I noticed that first on a "Jingle Bell" sound.

I found out there are 14 additional percussion instruments within "GS" standard which is an extension to General MIDI.

I see there is probably no solution for this problem, just wanted to point it out as this quite annoys me. Do you have any comments or ideas?

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3 hours ago, Hisymak said:

One more thing I noticed when playing around with percussion instruments within my GENMIDI project.

There are some additional percussion sounds (apart from those 47 defined in GENMIDI) which are used in MIDIs. They play if I use the Microsoft wavetable synth (or whatever it's called) but they're quiet on OPL synth because they are not part of GENMIDI. I noticed that first on a "Jingle Bell" sound.

I found out there are 14 additional percussion instruments within "GS" standard which is an extension to General MIDI.

I see there is probably no solution for this problem, just wanted to point it out as this quite annoys me. Do you have any comments or ideas?

Unfortunately for DMX, there is no way to fix this, as it is not in the GM1 Standard. It's only in GS, which DMX does not honor for OPL synth. However, ADLMidi, which I use to test my patches and will be in Eternity Engine as a DMX replacement, will use GS instruments and even XG ones (if they exist in the instrument banks).

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Just out of curiosity, is there a way to use this out of the game at the moment? I grabbed the latest foo_midi, but looking at the changelog its still using an older version of DMXOPL 2. Would be nice to be able to listen to stuff without having to load it into game.

 

So far, though, from what I have loaded up I'm very pleased with the changes you've made over the past many versions.

 

ed: so, I've given quite a few tracks a listen so far. Much of the nonsense I've thrown at it comes out sounding pretty damn great, including of course the Doom soundtracks, but the Descent music continues to baffle me and produce questionable results. I've been using the "normal" versions of most of these songs, figuring that the OPL versions were designed for the specific instrument sets rather than a more general instrument set, so I'd figure that something like this which is relatively general would accept them, but seeing your complaint about midis doing things like using 0-1 tick notes causing trouble, I'm wondering if the OPL versions actually do something that's better for the synth overall. They tend to sound better. hmm

Edited by InsanityBringer

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@InsanityBringer

 

You can use NukeYT's Doom OPL3 driver for Windows: 

Make sure you install both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions and set up the stereo enviorment variable by going into your system properties,  (Assuming if you're using Windows 7, not sure if the process is the same on 8 and 10.) clicking the advanced tab, then go to environment variables and create a new variable with the name DMXOPTION and the values -opl3 -extstereo -chips6, or just -opl3 if you want to emulate a true OPL3 chip, though you will only have roughly 9 channels so watch out for that with extended midis. Note that it won't sound exactly the same as in adlmidi due to DMX handling stuff differently.

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