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First post, by truth_deleted

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DOS games typically support music playback via a MIDI or a soundblaster device. DOSBox emulates both. On Windows, the DOSBox MIDI data is played through the built-in device Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth; it is limited by its samples, mono sound, and lack of effects. DOS games from 1988 to the early 1990s (for example, Sierra adventure games) would typically encode music optimized for the Roland MT-32 MIDI device. A MT-32 emulator is available from the MUNT team; and a dosbox binary with this MT-32 emulation is available here: DOSBox-SVN + MT-32(v1.30) emulation. After the early 1990s, MIDI music was typically encoded and optimized for a General MIDI device, not for MT-32 (for example, Roland Sound Canvas SC-55). For the purposes of high quality MIDI emulation, these two types of MIDI devices are preferred; rather than the MIDI device built in to Windows. As the MUNT team hosts MT-32 MIDI emulation, there are others who have delivered a high quality General MIDI emulator.

Using MinGW/GCC4.6.2 and a patch by gaula92 and ykhwong (*), dosbox was built to use the "fluidsynth software synthesizer". This synthesizer emulates a General MIDI (GM) device when coupled with an appropriate SoundFont from a GM device, a file format for sample based instrument sounds (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SoundFont). The synthesizer was downloaded in the form of a library and its dependent libraries from here: http://fluidsynth.flyx.org. For obtaining a free SoundFont instrument file, instructions are here: http://sourceforge.net/apps/trac/fluidsynth/wiki/SoundFont.

In the attached archive are the necessary files to run DOSBox in Windows along with high quality General MIDI emulation. The only missing elements are the SoundFont file and two edits to your dosbox.conf file, as shown:
mididevice=synth
midiconfig=SGM-V2.01.sf2

The mididevice is always "synth" to enable GM music. However, midiconfig is the name of the SoundFont file which would be located in your dosbox directory. The other requirement is that the DOS game is configured for General MIDI music.

Edit: I compiled and attached a proper version of DOSbox-SVN+GeneralMIDI. It also is from the latest SVN, updated just a few days ago. The attached archive can completely replace the current one attached to the post. This archive has fluidsynth version 1.1.3.

the second archive (dosbox-SVN+GM-2.zip) includes the newer fluidsynth 1.1.6 library; it also has different dependencies and is more compact. I haven't tested this version as much as in the previous archive (fluidsynth 1.1.3).

The newer library was obtained from here:
http://sourceforge.net/projects/jorgan/files/fluidsynth

(*) help using Fluidsynth patch with Dosbox 0.74 by clestrade; Fluidsynth soundfont patch

Attachments

  • Filename
    dosbox-SVN+GM-2.zip
    File size
    1.72 MiB
    Downloads
    516 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception
  • Filename
    dosbox-SVN+GM.zip
    File size
    2.16 MiB
    Downloads
    413 downloads
    File license
    Fair use/fair dealing exception

Reply 1 of 6, by Dominus

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DOSBox Moderator

just for completeness sake, at least the MT32 emulation can be accessed with lock stock normal DOSBox when installing the munt qt-gui and the munt driver. I came to prefer this method since it doesn't involve patching DOSBox and works for multiple projects.

FLuidsynth otoh doesn't seem to have a driver or program for Windows and needs to be compiled in...

I think this needs to go into the guides sections (pm me if there are other posts by you that need to be in there as well) and I'll move it now

Windows 3.1x guide for DOSBox
60 seconds guide to DOSBox

Reply 2 of 6, by Great Hierophant

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l33t

I get an error "This program can't start because libgcc_s_dw2-1.dll is missing from your computer. Try reinstalling the program to fix this problem."

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog

Reply 5 of 6, by Great Hierophant

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I tried the second version with an SC-55 soundfont and it sounded very good, except for the drum part. They sounded wholly wrong, barely even registering when they should be close to thundering. Even the Windows GS Synth sounded much better.

http://nerdlypleasures.blogspot.com/ - Nerdly Pleasures - My Retro Gaming, Computing & Tech Blog

Reply 6 of 6, by Mau1wurf1977

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l33t++

Hmm the stock standard DOSBox with MUNT and BASSMIDI works very well for me.

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