Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Getting old DOS games working on modern hardware. (DOSBox topics belong in DOSBox areas below, not here).

Re: Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Postby NewRisingSun » 2018-12-11 @ 16:46

Kevin Schilder wrote:As I recall, I was always composing on a Soundblaster card of some kind
I understand that I am supposed to take this at face value because it is from the composer himself, but this seems like utter nonsense. I would say he is substituting actual knowledge with an extrapolation of extremely vague memories ("a Soundblaster card of some kind", how precise). Maybe he connected an SC-55 to the Sound Blaster MIDI interface, or maybe he did check on OPL2 that it did not sound obviously wrong, but that does not mean that OPL2 is the optimal configuration.

Hexen included CD tracks recorded from a Roland SC-55 --- that is contemporaneous evidence indicating that Kevin Schilder used a Sound Canvas to compose that soundtrack, and I see no reason to believe that he would have operated differently for Heretic. Please listen to the OPL2 soundtracks of Heretic and Hexen (logged with 18 voices and stereo as played on an OPL3 card when running the game with the correct command-line parameters) to discover how utterly awful the FM instruments are. Ghastly. Whoever thinks that these mixes are "well-balanced" is nuts. That the SC-55 has polyphony dropouts with some songs means nothing other than a lack of care in MIDI editing. MT-32 game soundtracks have polyphony dropouts all the time, yet nobody questions that they were composed for MT-32.

If you want to argue about what subjectively sounds right, then I will strongly represent the side that SC-55 sounds right, and for every seeming imperfection you can point out on the SC-55, you can find two on any other device, including FM. Should you put up modified recordings adjusting the files according to someone's loopy opinion on what he thinks sounds right ("loopy" referring not to you, but to some genius on that doomworld thread complaining that the SC-55's choir sounds "cheesy"), then I shall offer competing proper recordings from unmodified MIDI files (while recording high-polyphony tracks in two passes and then mixing them together).
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Re: Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Postby MusicallyInspired » 2018-12-12 @ 01:17

Volume-wise, and patch-selection-wise, yes they are more balanced. The patches used on the SC-55 for the Heretic soundtrack are awful (not the patch sounds themselves, as the SC-55 has great sounds, but rather the choice of patch selections in these tracks. I just don't think they work well. I still think it's an afterthought). The whole soundtrack in SC-55 is horrid IMO. Yeah, there's plenty of polyphony problems on OPL and it's not optimal, but you can actually hear everything that's being sounded (if there were no polyphony issues). There are channels that are set way too low in volume on the SC-55 that you can hear just fine in OPL (there's a string channel in E1M2 for instance). There's a guitar track in E2M3 of Heretic that is not even audible on either OPL or SC-55. I think we can agree that in all of these issues, Kevin (or someone on the Raven team) wasn't the best arranger of music files for the game engine or mixer for the SC-55. The compositions themselves have technical problems.

I also don't have a problem with the "cheesy choir", incidentally. My main issue is with the very liberal (and questionable) use of the Synth Strings patch with the really slow attack envelope and the sub-optimal channel volume levels and always an octave lower than the OPL counterpart instrument. Sounds like every track Synth Strings is on is falling asleep. I see, though, that there's a clear desire and need to have unmolested recordings. Which I respect. I'm all for unfettered authenticity. Luckily, I have them all done already (for Heretic, anyway) and polyphony issue-free. So I can just post them as well, no worries. I'll continue to work on my (admittedly subjective) packs as well, though, and just release them after.
Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)
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Re: Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Postby NewRisingSun » 2018-12-12 @ 06:50

:)

There is one issue though with the MIDI files that should be addressed when recording:
E1M5.png
(9.84 KiB) Not downloaded yet

When there are two notes on the same channel and the same key immediately following each other, or even overlap because of sloppy MIDI editing, the second note may be cut off, either by the synthesizer, or sometimes by the MIDI sequencer when saving and then loading, or by the .MID->.MUS conversion program that Raven used. .XMI files are full of these problems as well, because MIDIFORM, the program used to convert from .MID to .XMI, does not handle such situations gracefully. It's obvious in this case that these extremely short notes were supposed to sound for an entire measure as well and just got cut off. I always like to restore such notes to their proper lengths before recording. I consider that an acceptable, even necessary, modification, because it is about removing a conversion artifact.
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Re: Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Postby MusicallyInspired » 2018-12-12 @ 13:54

Ah I didn't catch that one. Fixed.

Here's the pack! I don't have time right now to go over it all to see if there's something else like that I may have missed, but I'll do that tonight. If you notice anything I missed in the meantime let me know.
Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)
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Re: Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Postby the_ultra_code » 2018-12-12 @ 14:43

This thread of mine really has went off the rails, hasn't it? :lol:
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Re: Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Postby MusicallyInspired » 2018-12-12 @ 15:56

Sorry, I'm done derailing. :) Any further conversation on my music packs will be in my music pack thread in Milliways.

Thread on!
Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)
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Re: Are There Any Source Ports for Doom/Doom 2 + Expansions That Support External MIDI Devices?

Postby DOSdevSean » 2019-4-04 @ 14:43

As someone mentioned earlier, GZDoom has full support for external MIDI.

What I do is use a couple of utilities to enable Windows to handle MIDI devices more properly.
vista_midi.zip
(47.14 KiB) Downloaded 15 times

And LoopMidi which is too big to post here, but here is the site to download it: https://www.tobias-erichsen.de/software/loopmidi.html

Vista Midi will allow you to select a midi output device for Windows.
LoopMidi will allow you to use a software synth as a midi device, which I use to hook up Roland's Sound Canvas VA, or MUNT.

It's pretty simple to figure out, probably even less complicated if you have actual hardware. If you want to use a software synth,
you will probably need Savihost to load the VST plugin for it: http://www.hermannseib.com/english/savihost.htm
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