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42PercentHealth

Recommended Soundfonts?

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Hey y'all,

 

I am trying to -viddump a demo, and I'm not getting the music for some reason. According to this thread, portmidi and SDL don't work with -viddump. Now that I've changed to fluidsynth, the music sounds like crap. Can anybody recommend me the "best" soundfont to use for Doom midis? Searching Google is overwhelming, 'cuz there are literally thousands of them out there...

 

Thanks!

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If you mean a soundfont to make the music sound better to listen to, I found this.

 

Download: https://www.mediafire.com/file/zo8l3dgf2989266/SGM-V2.01.7z

 

EDIT: Here's another I found, if you feel like checking out another.

http://schristiancollins.com/generaluser.php

 

If you require TiMidity or something else to use this, then here's a pack of midi devices: http://www.moddb.com/games/doom/addons/audiopack-for-zdoom-and-gzdoom

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SGM-V2.01 was mentioned and that's the one that I use for Zandro and GZDoom. There's also others like Arachno soundfont or Timbres of Heaven...

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I second the SGM recommendation. One of my favorite free sf2's. Another good one is Shadow, though I think the only way to get that is through a collection torrent. I recorded my Reverie tracks with it years ago. Here's an example that Jimmy, Stuart, and I worked on for Reverie:

 

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Some cool soundfonts which I using:

airfont 380 final.sf2
Arachno SoundFont - Version 1.0.sf2
ChoriumRevA.sf2
Musyng_Kite.sf2 (probably the biggest, almost 1gb!)
Reality_GMGS_falcomod.sf2

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7 hours ago, PRIMEVAL said:

I second the SGM recommendation. One of my favorite free sf2's. Another good one is Shadow, though I think the only way to get that is through a collection torrent. I recorded my Reverie tracks with it years ago. Here's an example that Jimmy, Stuart, and I worked on for Reverie:

 

Man, I need to finish Reverie sometime. Let alone get rid of my habit of jumping in-and-out of different mapsets, and never saving along the way. But that sounds neat as hell.

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I use Scc1t2.sf2 because it is small and sounds close to a real SC-55 synthesizer.

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GeneralUser GS, Arachno, Synergi GS, 1mgm, Merlin soundfonts.

Edited by Rimantas

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Guess I'll use the bump to link my soundfonts folder (minus the commercial stuff, of course).  This will probably be helpful for some who are looking for some new soundfonts to try.

Link to folder:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1TbLOvr6GwqrxteWH8RD7Z7Q7t8q-vsIe

 

Here's the readme file:  https://drive.google.com/open?id=1K4zaFi_rYnAE7hEDnaz99MQW3WW1rYXP

 

Now, as for recommendations, I'm just going to say that the vast majority of soundfonts are not going to sound "correct" in old games because the instrument balance is inevitably going to get thrown out of whack.  You'd be surprised at the number of soundfonts that make no attempt to sound balanced or even usable for General MIDI playback.  Even fewer are able to play some of DOOM's more unusual MIDI sections properly (the "DOOM" voice in the intro of DOOM II Map 5 and the marching sounds in DOOM II Map 31 are two effects that a lot of soundfonts and MIDI synthesizers screw up).  Another problem that happens with certain soundfonts is when the Overdriven and Distortion Guitar presets use the same samples, so E1M1 ends up with pretty bad phasing (AWE32's 1 MB GM bank is guilty of this).

However, there are a few that stand out for varying reasons:

* 1mgm.sf2 - This is an SF2-compatible version of the classic AWE32 1 MB General MIDI synthesizer.
* Voice Crystal 4 MB GM v4.1 by Eye & I Productions - This is a commercial soundfont made by the same company that made the original GUS patches.  This soundfont is probably the closest to the Roland SC-55 in terms of balance and consistency, and is one of my favorites.  However, I cannot share it because this one is a commercial product.

* Arachno Soundfont v1.0 by Maxime Abbey - A popular free soundfont optimized for classic DOS games.  Not perfectly well-balanced, but the instruments are very "big" and high quality.  One of my favorite soundfonts.

* GeneralUser GS by S. Christian Collins - Another popular free soundfont.

* sYnerGi GS - A formerly commercial, professional soundfont that has "Totally balanced instruments [so that] the bank will play all standard midi files without any problems with dynamics or otherwise."  However, there are playback-breaking flaws (see my _readme.txt linked above).

* Utopia Live! 2.0 - Another formerly commercial, professional soundfont.  There are 4 versions:  Default Stereo Panned Percussion (P), Light Edition (P LE), Pianos Enhanced (P PE), and SteroID Percussion (S).  This soundfont "has a unique warm/ambient sound and a huge effort has been made to get it as close as possible to the 'balance' of the Roland SoundCanvas and thus ensure correct MIDI playback with nearly all types of music."  I don't really like the electric guitars, though; I think they're too muddy.

* SONIVOX 24 MB GS - Formerly commercial.  This one would be nice if half the instruments weren't in the wrong octave.

* SONIVOX 250 MB GS - Formerly commercial.  Used to cost $99.99 at one point.  Horrible balance, horrible drums, and horrible velocity layers.

* Retro Synth and Industrial Dance by SONIVOX - Formerly commercial.  They're supposed to be GM-compatible, but they just make MIDIs sound really, really weird.
* Black Tyros GM Edition - Commercial, so I can't share it.  Absolutely awful.  Numerous issues make this one borderline unusable for MIDI playback.

Edited by TheUltimateDoomer666 : Added additional information

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I hear arachno soundfont is pretty good but because I want to listen to music on my phone a lot which is cheap and doesn't have much space I usually use GeneralUser GS as well, would recommend it, it has good quality samples and velocity (the synth samples aren't ear bleedingly loud like they are in the GZDoom soundfont……) 

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Huh, the GZDoom soundfont has some unused samples.

2055696288_gzdoom.sf2missingsamplespolyphone.png.f6b277808bfa208ac58f65ac3234b57a.png

 

I don't know if others care about my soundfont ramblings, but I'll babble about some stuff anyway:
 

Spoiler

Examination of the soundfont's samples reveals that there are indeed a number of samples that are not mapped to any keys.  Let's take the bagpipe for example.  The bagpipe instrument refers to 6 samples, the lowest pitched of which is BAGPP64A.  The instrument is set up so that BAGPP64A's key range is 23-69, and its root key is 65.  There are two issues here:  First of all, GM presets' key ranges should always start from 0 for the sake of full compatibility with all MIDI files (some MIDIs may play instruments well out of their realistic octaves to create various effects, although this is rare).  Secondly, there is a sample that has not been mapped to this instrument:  BAGPP53A.  This unused sample should be mapped to the bagpipe instrument.  BAGPP53A's root key should be 54, and its key range should be 0-57, but as this sample has not been mapped to the instrument, it does not get used at all (the other sample, BAGPP64A, is used for those lower notes instead--the pitch is still correct, but the timbre is noticeably different).  I have referenced SCVA (SC-55 map), and found that sample BAGPP53A is indeed supposed to be mapped from 0 to 57.  The other unused samples in the GZDoom soundfont are likely the result of similar issues with other instruments.  E.g., the Bottle Blow instrument uses the sample BOTTL72 with a key range of 0-109 and a root key of 72, while BOTTL84 is unused.

Edit:  I mapped the BOTTL84 sample to the Bottle Blow instrument, and set BOTTL72's key range to 0-83 and BOTTL84's key range to 84-127. However, there is another issue:  BOTTL84 sounds horribly out-of-tune because it has incorrect loop points.  So, I had to manually adjust the loop points to fix that sample's pitch:  I adjusted the loop start to 984 and the loop end to 1005.  Now the instrument seems to sound correct, although I think there is actually also a S_SAXA2 sample that is supposed to be mapped to the higher notes.

It seems that Sound Canvas soundfont was the result of a less-than-graceful conversion (to be fair, the 1996 Sound Canvas samples were already of a poor quality to begin with).


Edit:  Spoilered all the technical GZDoom soundfont stuff because it's such a minor issue and unlikely to have an effect on MIDI playback in the vast majority of cases.

Edited by TheUltimateDoomer666

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@GrayestOdinJim Oh hell yeah, that sounds very interesting. Still waiting for the download, but I really want to try this out. Thanks to Doom and CoolSoft's VirtualMidiSynth I got back into Midis. In 2018. What the hell. <3

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While the Genesis Soundfont will of course play MIDIs, keep in mind that the soundfont is not fully GM-compatible, so GM music played with it will have different instrument mappings and occasionally missing instruments.

Edited by TheUltimateDoomer666

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GUS Pro Patches Lite 1.61 + MIDI mapper which handles each instrument as a separate .pat file. (I'm using Timidity++)

Here's the comparison.

 

By the way, I'm glad this topic has been started recently as I'm looking for a replacement soundfount for GZDoom. Due to recent updates, built-in Timidity mapper handles whole .sf2 files only. (Correct me if I'm wrong)

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I'd love to do that - moreover, I did it in prior versions. But now I can't choose it (MIDI set normally in Windows) besides the built-in Timidity at the midi selection. And I don't know probably whether (and how) the external exe, additionally installed for ZDoom, can be still used now.

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GZDooM won't use the external driver anymore after Graf made it into GZDooM with his own port(after years of annoying with external driver and finding better replacements) after GZDooM 3.3.0, it just replaced and didn't needed the external driver.

Select Timidity++ in current GZDooM will load the built-in one only, the external one will just ignored.

 

(I did use the external Timidity++ driver and dev. builds of GZDooM with built-in Timidity++ driver added before the 3.3.0 released so I'm sure)

 

I use eawpats and Silverspring15.sf2 for GZDooM's Timidity++ and they all worked, at least on latest GZDooM dev. build: g3.7per-9-g4ac43dac3(x64) and I see no error or warning in the console, and it sounds great so I think it works. Make sure your timidity.cfg was correctly setup and point to the soundfont's full directory.

 

Spoiler is what my timidity.cfg looks like.

Spoiler

PS: "D:\GAME\GLZDoom\" is my GZDooM directory, the eawpats soundfont(not-sf2 but lot of *.pat) is in "eawpats" sub-directory and Silverspring15.sf2 is in "Silverspring15" sub-directory, both are in my GZDooM directory.

 

And, yes, it always be like that when I first using Timidity++'s exe 5 years ago, not sure if it correctly setup but since it works so I don't care much.

 

##############################################################################
#
# Instrument configuration file for timidity
#
# Specify library directory:            dir <directory>
#
# - Multiple library directories may be given. The ones given last will be
#   searched first so you can override them in later configuration files.
#   Extra configuration files and MIDI files will also be searched in these
#   directories.
#
# Set tone bank or drum set to modify:  bank <number>
#                                       drumset <number>
#
# Map program number to patch map:      <program number> <patch name>
#
# - If the patch can't be found in the library directories, TiMidity will
#   search again with ".pat" appended to the name.
#   Programs without a loaded patch will be silent, except that for
#   banks/drumsets >0, the corresponding patch in  bank/drumset 0 will
#   be used (if one exists).
#
# Read another configuration file:      source <file name>
#

##############################################################################
# If you've moved things around since compiling, uncomment and edit this to
# point to the library directory:
#
#dir D:\GAME\GLZDoom\eawpats
dir D:\GAME\GLZDoom\Silverspring15
soundfont "silverspring15.sf2"
#
##############################################################################
# This sets up the default patches in the TiMidity support package
# "timidity-lib-0.1.tar.gz":

#bank 0
#   0 patch/acpiano.pat
#  24 patch/nylongt2.pat

##############################################################################
# If you have Dustin McCartney's "wowpats" patches, you can source the
# config file to set them up for TiMidity:
#
# (Note that later entries in config files always override earlier ones)
#
#source wowpats.cfg
#

##############################################################################
# If you have Dustin McCartney's GS drum sets, you can source the config
# file to set them up for TiMidity:
#
#source gsdrum.cfg
#

##############################################################################
# If you have the GUS General MIDI patch set, uncomment the following lines
# and edit the "dir" statement to point to your GUS patch directory.
#
#dir D:\GAME\GLZDoom\eawpats
dir D:\GAME\GLZDoom\Silverspring15
soundfont "silverspring15.sf2"
#source gravis.cfg
#source gsdrums.cfg
#source gssfx.cfg
#source xgmap2.cfg
#source proteus2.cfg
#source mt-32.cfg
#source sndfont.cfg
#####
# you don't usually need sustain.cfg anymore, use the -m option instead
#source sustain.cfg
#

##############################################################################
# If you have the Midia patch set, you can source midia.cfg to set them up.
# Note that midia.cfg sources gravis.cfg in turn, since the filenames are
# almost identical.
#
#source midia.cfg
#


##############################################################################
# End of configuration file

 

Edited by Player Lin : Added something.

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A disclaimer of sorts: I can't technically officially speak for everyone (and if I'm wrong about any of y'all, please chime in), but those of us who write .mid music for Doom wads (Jimmy, stewboy, Eris Falling, Esselfortium, and myself, to name a few) specifically target SC-55 voices (the janky-but-lovable default Windows one being the de facto standard, for better or worse). If you prefer to use another soundfont like WeedsGM or whatnot, feel free to give it a shot, but keep in mind that this is the musical equivalent of loading a gameplay mod on top of a map that wasn't designed for it. Maybe it'll work, and maybe it won't -- swim at your own risk.

 

Since this thread is about recommendations, then +1 to Scc1t2.sf2 or some other SC-55-ish thing. The soundfont included in GZDoom tends to work just fine in my experience... if you disable reverb and chorus, else it's a mushy trainwreck. I forget if those are switched on by default in new versions, but they certainly used to be, so chances are you'll need to go into the menus and explicitly turn them off for the music to not get botched up.

 

If you like OPL, also check out CSG's DMXOPL -- it's super-good and is currently the only non-SC-55-derived "soundfont" that's passed my personal sniff-test, for whatever that's worth. :P

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7 minutes ago, Xaser said:

 Scc1t2.sf2

 

That's the type of soundfont I've used the most. Most of my midi listening was on an XP machine, so I got used to that. I tried the more fancy soundfonts, but it just didn't sound right.

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Using scc1t2.sf2 as a reference for balancing MIDIs is good despite its poor quality samples, as it means said MIDIs will generally also sound balanced for those who use the higher quality samples from a real Sound Canvas or SCVA's SC-55 mode.

Speaking of non-SF2 MIDI synths, you can use a General MIDI-compatible VSTi with VSTHost and loopmidi in place of a soundfont.

Here are some professional GM VSTis that I have played DOOM with:

* NI Bandstand
* M-Audio GM Module
* Sonic Reality OmniSynth 2

* Luxonix Purity

* There's also a DXi GM synth called Coyote Forte

But I don't think getting any of those is worth it, as all their GM banks are overly large, horribly unbalanced, and full of atrocious-sounding instruments.

Listen to NI Bandstand's 2+ GB GM patch set playing E1M1:
 


 

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The bass sounds too loud in that, same as with GZDoom's Fluidsynth + default gzdoom soundfont, doesn't it? When I use Doom Retro the music is played through Coolsoft VirtualMIDISynth and the Scc1t2.sf2 soundfont. The bass is not louder than the guitar that way, it's more in the background, sounds better and I think it was intended that way.

 

Can anyone confirm?

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Chiming in to agree with the posts recommending SoundCanvas instruments. You can pretty safely assume that 99% of the Doom MIDIs out there were composed with those instruments in mind, just because they've been the defaults in Windows since forever, and we haven't been in the wild west of "every computer has different-sounding midi hardware" for a few decades now.

 

SoundCanvas is also what was used when composing the original Doom and Doom II music, for what that's worth.

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7 hours ago, VGA said:

Can anyone confirm?

Yes, the Picked Bass patch is far too loud in GZDoom.  I think FluidSynth is at fault here and is not playing the soundfont correctly.  The softer bass is the intended sound, as this is how it sounds in SCVA (SC-55 mode) and real SC-55 recordings.

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On 10/14/2018 at 7:03 AM, TheUltimateDoomer666 said:

...Even fewer are able to play some of DOOM's more unusual MIDI sections properly (the "DOOM" voice in the intro of DOOM II Map 5...

 

Kinda off-topic (and sorry about that), but do we have a verifiable source for this? Because I recall reading this piece of trivia somewhere on the internet; that's the kind of DOOM trivia you don't hear every time someone does a "Top 10 DOOM Facts" video, and I'd really like to have a "reputable" source just for posterity's sake (and also because I couldn't find such piece of info. on the DoomWiki).

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Robert Prince would probably be the only one who can confirm it.  But considering the song is simply titled "DOOM", and the MIDI uses Voice Oohs with a Dulcimer rising to the end for an "mm" sound, it does sound like the music is saying "doom".

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