X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Discussion about old sound cards, MIDI devices and sound related accessories.

Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-4-29 @ 07:35

Thanks for the good analysis !!! Excellent ears !! :-)

I uploaded more recordings for comparison and enjoyment :

X2 : Betrayal at Krondor - opening : Audit 2 preset : GUD 0.6 bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... ud-06-bank
X2 : Betrayal at Krondor - opening : Audit 2 preset : Dream : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... dream-bank

X2 : Age of Empires 2 - opening : Audit 2 preset : GUD 0.6 bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... ud-06-bank
X2 : Age of Empires 2 - opening : Audit 2 preset : Dream bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... dream-bank

X2 : DukeNukem 3D Grab Bag : Audit 2 preset : GUD 0.6 bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... ud-06-bank
X2 : DukeNukem 3D Grab Bag : Audit 2 preset : Dream bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... dream-bank

X2 : Wing Commander 3 title : Audit 2 preset : GUD 0.6 bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... ud-06-bank
X2 : Wing Commander 3 Title : Audit 2 preset : Dream bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... dream-bank

X2 : Descent Title : Audit 2 preset : GUD 0.6 bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... ud-06-bank
X2 : Descent Title : Audit 2 preset : Dream bank : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/x2- ... dream-bank


bundled in this playlist : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/set ... omparisons
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby clueless1 » 2017-4-29 @ 13:50

@dreamblaster

For the orchestral songs, GUD 0.6 definitely sounds more realistic. The flute in BAK is incredible-sounding! Strings in WC3 do not sound at all genuine on the Dream bank.

In Duke3D, I prefer the guitar in GUD, but the rest of the instruments in Dream. In particular, Dream has a much "punchier" bass-driven sound that you'd expect in a rock song. GUD version sounds like someone turned the treble all the way up and the bass all the way down.

In the "Synthy" Descent tune, I do prefer the stereo separation in the GUD version, but the rest of it sounds off. There is some static in the 1-4 second range that I'm not sure is part of the instruments or a recording defect. Also, the "punchiness" I mentioned above is missing in the GUD version again. There's a more satisfying bass thump in the Dream version.
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby James-F » 2017-4-29 @ 14:35

It's true that GM officially supports only one standard drum kit BUT it supports at least 5 more drum kits unofficially.

Duke Nukem 3D uses the Power drum kit which has different Kick and Snare.
Descent uses the TR-808 drum kit which has a lot of different sounds.
Warcraft uses Orchestra drum kit practically on every track.

Technically all these games use GM but they will sound wrong with a "standard-correct" GM bank/unit.
On all the drum kits Kick (36) and Snare (38) sound totally different, they are the meat and potatoes of the drum kit.
So these tracks will sound off with the current state of the GUD bank.

You should look at Roland SC-7 which is a GM only device as a reference.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roland_SC-7
http://www.houseofsynth.com/hos-downloads/manuals/Roland/Roland-Owners-Manuals/Roland-SC-7-Owners-Manual.pdf
Page 29 for GM "supported" drum kits.

Sorry to be "that guy" but someone's gotta do it. :happy:
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby FGB » 2017-4-29 @ 17:13

Excellent project, dreamblaster!
www.AmoRetro.de Visit my huge hardware gallery with many historic items from 16MHz 286 to 1000MHz Slot A. Includes more than 80 soundcards and a growing Wavetable Recording section with more than 300 recordings.
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby Doppler » 2017-4-29 @ 18:12

Hear me people!

All of your suggestion will be taken into account in the next version(s) of X2GU bank. Please audit as much midi game soundtracks as you can and point as many bugs as possible.

If you know any high quality (i mean REAL HIGH QUALITY) midi game soundtracks like warcraft 2 or sam&max then send them in PM to 'Dreamblaster' or me. Such soundtracks are crucial for proper volume balancing between instruments and are great references for comparison to other sf2 banks.

What we want to achieve for now is to be close to original SF2 GeneralUser bank.
We also know that most of the instrument patches sounds very weak - this will change in the next bank based on GUD but with all the weak instruments exchanged by high quality, modern sounding ones.

We'll also integrate more percussion sets later.

I can assure you that your time is not wasted by helping us getting this bank right. We're heading to make the best GM (GS?) bank ever created for retro community - the X2GU (aka GUD) is just the beginning. GUD can be called just an excersise for understaning the flaws and synthesis approach of the Dream chip. In technical aspects the Dream chip synthesis behaves like a normal synthesizer/sampler and there is no straight translation from MIDI, SF2 or GM/GS to internal Dream parameters. We have everything here in dB and 0/1 scales so lots of tweaking is done by ear and hours (MANY HOURS) of audition and small corrections.

The updates are not frequent because of lack of time - its a hobby project though. But I'll say it one more time - every help from all of You is a big step forward and everything will be taken into account.

THANKS FOR THE SUPPORT!
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-4-29 @ 19:41

Doppler, thank you so much for your hard work and great help !!!! :blush:
yes, a call to all Vogon X2 users, try the GUD bank, and keep the feedback coming !!!

clueless1 wrote:There is some static in the 1-4 second range that I'm not sure is part of the instruments or a recording defect.

I think I was fiddling with wires during the recording, I checked again and it is not in the midi, I recorded again and replaced it on soundcloud.
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby Whiskey » 2017-4-29 @ 20:48

Doppler wrote:Hear me people!

If you know any high quality (i mean REAL HIGH QUALITY) midi game soundtracks like warcraft 2 or sam&max then send them in PM to 'Dreamblaster' or me. Such soundtracks are crucial for proper volume balancing between instruments and are great references for comparison to other sf2 banks.


I'm guessing you want sound tracks recorded from the X2 with GUD 0.6 and the latest audit preset? I can record the rest of the Sam & Max sound track this weekend.
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby Doppler » 2017-4-30 @ 17:31

Whiskey wrote:
I'm guessing you want sound tracks recorded from the X2 with GUD 0.6 and the latest audit preset? I can record the rest of the Sam & Max sound track this weekend.


Nope. I meant professionally composed and properly ripped MIDI tracks.
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby James-F » 2017-4-30 @ 18:14

Doppler wrote:If you know any high quality (i mean REAL HIGH QUALITY) midi game soundtracks like warcraft 2 or sam&max then send them in PM to 'Dreamblaster' or me. Such soundtracks are crucial for proper volume balancing between instruments and are great references for comparison to other sf2 banks.


In my opinion there is nothing better for balance reference than Sound Canvas.
SC-VA will be the most balanced among software options, no other SF2 or VSTi compares.
It would not be far from the truth to assume that all General Midi devices from 1991 and on would have the Roland SC-55 as balance reference anyway.
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby Whiskey » 2017-4-30 @ 22:57

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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-5-12 @ 06:30

GUD 0.7 bank is available for download now : http://serdaco.com/downloads/X2/X2_Soun ... ck/GM/GUD/

Changes compared to 0.6 :
+ reduced dynamics floor to -36dB on all 128 instruments for more modern, compressed sound. It sounds better on low levels when gaming.
+ corrected "D149-Crash Lower" and "D157-Crash" volume/velocity curves. Crash now hearable in Doom.
+ corrected "118-Synth Drum" Synth Drum tuning
+ corrected "98-Crystal SFX" Crystal tuning
+ corrected "77-shakuchachi" sample start, volume and tuning
+ corrected "73-flute" sample start, volume and tuning
+ corrected "78-Irish Thin Whistle" sample start, volume and tuning.
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby Whiskey » 2017-5-13 @ 10:07

Recordings of E1M1 and Grab Bag with the new GUD 0.7 soundbank with audit preset 2.
https://soundcloud.com/whiskeyjuliet/dr ... dooms-gate
https://soundcloud.com/whiskeyjuliet/dr ... d-grab-bag
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-5-16 @ 16:23

Thanks Whiskey !
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-7-02 @ 19:01

We've been working further on the GUD bank, adding more drum kits, balancing sounds,...
The banks work on X2 and X3M.
We'd appreciate your feedback, before finalizing the bank.
I used X3M to digitally record some tracks :
Descent : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/des ... r/sets/x3m
Duke Nukem 3d grabbag : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/duk ... r/sets/x3m
Heretic E1M1 : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/her ... -recording

I will add more recordings to this playlist : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/sets/x3m
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby clueless1 » 2017-7-03 @ 00:16

@dreamblaster -

They sound great! Grabbag is probably (IMO) the weakest, but that's not saying much, as they all sound wonderful. I think the guitars sound a little too synthy, at least to my ear. Thanks for all your work on this, it's much appreciated :)
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-7-04 @ 17:55

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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby keropi » 2017-7-04 @ 18:47

sounds better and better with each GUD version :)
I must say the X3M is really useful in a modern computer, USB-MIDI and the new digital recording feature makes working with midi really easy :blush:
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby clueless1 » 2017-7-04 @ 22:16

0.8 will be flashable on the X2, right? :)
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby keropi » 2017-7-04 @ 22:55

both use the same soundbanks so I guess there won't be a problem
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Re: X2GU : New GM bank for DreamBlaster X2

Postby dreamblaster » 2017-7-12 @ 06:30

clueless1 wrote:0.8 will be flashable on the X2, right? :)

Yes
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