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First post, by dnewhous

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Does either game come with a .sbk soundfont? Is it possible to use Final Fantasy VIII with the Yamaha db50xg soundcard?

Daniel L Newhouse

Reply 1 of 27, by Zup

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AFAIK, Final Fantasy VII had:
- Some SF2 soundfonts for using with Soundblaster AWE with different RAM sizes.
- MIDI songs for GM, XG and AWE sound cards (if you use the AWE MIDIs, you must use that SF2 files).
- Some kind of utility to load soundfonts (but I used the utility from Creative).
- A Yamaha XG soft synthetizer.

Final Fantasy VIII included an update to that Yamaha soft synth.

So both games should support a Yamaha XG soundcard.

I don't remember if FF7 included sbk fonts and that FF7 and FF8 features list is surely incomplete (I guess FFVIII may have different MIDIs for different cars, but won't be sure until I check the disks).

Also, don't use the Steam editions. Steam editios have music prerecorded in mp3 files (most likely from PSX edition) and don't use the MIDI system, so those features will be likely missing.

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 3 of 27, by leileilol

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FF7 was SF2 only. FF8 used Directmusic only IIRC so what that would use are DLS instrument banks piped through the DirectMusic API

They could've done a better job on the SF2 too. Many instruments didn't translate well, like overdrive guitar and many of the FM bits, and the lack of vocals on that song of course. If I had my way with them it'd be a tracker format 😜 you can get reasonable accuracy with even a .mod file

apsosig.png

Reply 5 of 27, by Silanda

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leileilol wrote:

Many instruments didn't translate well, like overdrive guitar and many of the FM bits, and the lack of vocals on that song of course.

? The largest version of the soundfont did include the "One Winged Angel" vocals, didn't it?

Reply 7 of 27, by Zup

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Looking into my Final Fantasy discs...

(Keep in mind that my disks are a spanish edition, so the contents may vary).

Final Fantasy VII:
- Contains four sets of MIDI songs (awe, midi, xg and ygm). They're for Sound Blaster AWE, General MIDI, XG and Yamaha.
- Contains four sets of soundfonts (FF7, FF7M, FF7S and lb2). FF7s is for AWEs with 1mb, while FF7m and FF7 are for cards with 2 and 4mb RAM. LBA2 is smaller than FF7m, and I don't know if it's better or worse than other soundfonts.
- The MIDI files for Sound Blaster AWE are NOT standard MIDI, so they won't sound good on other cards. They contains some "special effects" mapped on instruments (most noticeably, Chocobo sounds in the Chocobo race track).
- It contains a soundfont manager.
- It contains the Yamaha S-YXG70 soft synthetizer.
- The movies shown ingame have sound effects but no music.
- The Steam edition does not play MIDI music, but uses prerecorded ogg files (from the PSX version? or maybe were prerendered using a PC soundcard?). It does contain those MIDI sets and soundfonts... but they're not used.

Final Fantasy VIII:
- It contains an update to Yamaha soft synthethizers, to use it as a DirectMusic device.
- I guess the music outputs via DirectMusic. It uses a lot of sgt files that contains the tracks and a big (8 meg) FF8.dls file containing all the samples. I don't know if those .sgt files can be converted to MIDI.
- Most movies have sound effects but no music, like in Final Fantasy VII.
- The exception is the song "eyes on me" that is found as a wav file on disk.
- The steam version does not appear to have sound tracks recorded as ogg or mp3. I wonder if music runs correctly, because DirectMusic don't work on 64 bit systems.

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 9 of 27, by dnewhous

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Zup wrote:

(Keep in mind that my disks are a spanish edition, so the contents may vary).

Final Fantasy VII:
- Contains four sets of soundfonts (FF7, FF7M, FF7S and lb2). FF7s is for AWEs with 1mb, while FF7m and FF7 are for cards with 2 and 4mb RAM. LBA2 is smaller than FF7m, and I don't know if it's better or worse than other soundfonts.

Aren't these .sbk soundfonts?

Zup wrote:

- The MIDI files for Sound Blaster AWE are NOT standard MIDI, so they won't sound good on other cards. They contains some "special effects" mapped on instruments (most noticeably, Chocobo sounds in the Chocobo race track).

What's the file extension?

Zup wrote:

- It contains a soundfont manager.

So the AWE cards will play whatever soundfont is chosen with the in-game soundfont manager rather than the soundfont manager that comes with the card?

Zup wrote:

Final Fantasy VIII:
- I guess the music outputs via DirectMusic. It uses a lot of sgt files that contains the tracks and a big (8 meg) FF8.dls file containing all the samples. I don't know if those .sgt files can be converted to MIDI.

Curious, any software that produces a .sgt sequence file?

Daniel L Newhouse

Reply 10 of 27, by Zup

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All the soundfonts are SF2. The Sound Blaster AWE is capable of using both sbk and sf2 soundfonts.

About FF7 midi files, they're midi files packed into a lgp file. Maybe didn't explain it well: the files are standard, but they have f/x mapped into instruments. So, the chocobo f/x found in the racing track may sound like a cymbal on other sound cards (I don't konw which samples are mapped into which instruments).

The soundfont utility is an alternative to the utility provided with your sound card. The sound card will play the last soundfont loaded, not matter what utility you used to load it.

That sgt files are produce with utilities related to DirectMusic.

I have traveled across the universe and through the years to find Her.
Sometimes going all the way is just a start...

I'm selling some stuff!

Reply 11 of 27, by dnewhous

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What's the patch list for FF7.sf2 and FF8.dls? Could someone post the files to this thread? If FF7.sf2 isn't available is there a FF7.sbk?

Last edited by dnewhous on 2016-10-16, 22:25. Edited 1 time in total.

Daniel L Newhouse

Reply 12 of 27, by Jorpho

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Zup wrote:

Also, don't use the Steam editions. Steam editios have music prerecorded in mp3 files (most likely from PSX edition) and don't use the MIDI system, so those features will be likely missing.

The thing is, you can just replace those prerecorded files with prerecorded files made with the synthesizer of your choice. And surely someone's already made several different sets of prerecorded files by now..?

Zup wrote:

- The movies shown ingame have sound effects but no music.

I played through the original English release, and all the movies had their own music included. I can't remember what the case was for FF8, but I don't think it was any different.

- The exception is the song "eyes on me" that is found as a wav file on disk.

In my original release version, it's redbook audio. (As you might expect, I for one had trouble getting it to play when it was supposed to.)

But as you say, your version may well have been completely different.

Reply 14 of 27, by dnewhous

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From the FFVII instruction book

MIDI

Your MIDI driver should be automatically configured. If you want to change the driver, select the one the matches your computer’s MIDI setting. Your MIDI data should be automatically set as well. Your MIDI data should match your MIDI driver. General MIDI is for all wavetable synthesis cards or any sound card in general. You should also use General MIDI for the Yamaha S-YXG70 software synthesizer. Soundfont MIDI is for Creative Labs AWE sound cards. Yamaha XG MIDI is for XG MIDI-compatible sound cards (NOT for the Yamaha S-YXG70 software synthesizer).

Daniel L Newhouse

Reply 15 of 27, by Silanda

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"Yamaha XG MIDI is for XG MIDI-compatible sound cards (NOT for the Yamaha S-YXG70 software synthesizer)"

The manual was wrong about that (the softsynth part), the S-YXG70 was a fully featured XG synth. My suspicion is that the S-YXG20 was originally intended to be bundled, and the manual was written for that with just the code changed in the final.

Reply 16 of 27, by Kodai

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Just a heads up on using the modern release of FF VII with older hardware. This will work for the Steam version of the game as well: replace the current .exe with the original (not hard to find), and it will allow you to pick the original midi sound track. The release a few years ago, was beyond bad. Some idiot had played the original XG midi files through Windows GS, recorded them and in low quality to boot. They messed about with the .exe and locked it in to only play these bad recordings as a type of red book. The bad quality caused a huge stink, so SE went back and re-recorded and patched in the new files to replace the old ones. They are still bad .ogg (maybe mp3's, I cant remember) and did not unlock the ability for the user to use FM or midi device.

The game works fine with the original .exe no matter where you buy the game. It of course lets you select your music and sound device so you wont be locked into those nasty recordings and lets you run with glide support on vintage hardware.

BTW, FF VII with a Yamaha MU2000EX and TOS out is sublime. I wish I had recorded it when I had it all hooked up a couple years ago. One Winged Angel will never be right on the PC (as it uses that quasi PCM chip on the Playstation), but everything else is superior if you go with a good XG based rig.

Reply 17 of 27, by Jorpho

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Kodai wrote:

One Winged Angel will never be right on the PC (as it uses that quasi PCM chip on the Playstation)

"Never" ? Like I said: all you have to do is replace it with an .ogg soundtrack recorded using the original Playstation soundtrack, and it will be perfectly "right".

There's even a mod for the original release of the game which will play the soundtrack straight from .PSF files ripped from the Playstation version, though I do not know offhand if the resulting rendition of One Winged Angel is correct, or if that mod works with the Steam version.

How difficult is it at this point to take a MIDI file and generate a recording of how it would have sounded on an AWE64, anyway? I know PCem emulates at least the AWE32 to a reasonable degree, though I would not expect it to be necessary to go that far.

Reply 18 of 27, by Cloudschatze

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Jorpho wrote:
Kodai wrote:

One Winged Angel will never be right on the PC (as it uses that quasi PCM chip on the Playstation)

"Never" ? Like I said: all you have to do is replace it with an .ogg soundtrack recorded using the original Playstation soundtrack, and it will be perfectly "right".

If you have a SoundFont-supporting card (and have properly configured the SoundFont MIDI Router), you might give the AWE version of the soundtrack a try. It's been mentioned several times, but that playback includes the vocal samples.

Here's a digital, S/PDIF capture of the in-game playback of One-Winged Angel:

One-Winged Angel (in-game) - AWE64 Gold

Reply 19 of 27, by DracoNihil

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Why is that missing the snare drums in the beginning? One of the things that annoys me about FF7 PC is that the MIDI music barely matches the original PSX version when comparing notes in several places, and then there's just entire parts of the music missing entirely like the snare drums that are supposed to be in the first few parts of OWA.

It's also worth mentioning, the instrument mapping in OWA places the choir samples on the "Woodblock" instrument patch, atleast last I looked at it in SoundFont Bank Manager.

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