Midi: Dream and Topwave-32 samplesets

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Midi: Dream and Topwave-32 samplesets

Postby gerwin » 2007-8-10 @ 11:15

1) I have these two sound boards with a 'Dream' synth and accompanying 4mb GS sampleset: A Terratec Maestro 32/96 soundcard and a more recent Turtle Beach Cancun-FX daughterboard. To my suprise they sound quite different from eachother! Anyone knows the history behind this? how many different samplesets have they made and how can one recognize them? I did already read about dream copying roland soundcanvas samples. link
Must say I prefer the older Terratec Dream sampleset, which seems to be much like a Soundcanvas, but with more punch. The Cancun-FX is good on the natural sound of instruments, but lacks on the oldschool waveform sounds and has to much bass.

I have uploaded Example recordings of both of the above synths, and added some others for comparison:
dune2recordings.zip [10MB]

2) I might be able to get a Topwave-32 4MB GM daughterboard, with a Korg Chip. I read some very good reviews but am reluctant to buy one since I have never heard a recording of this board. Is it maybe similar in sound to external korg modules like the NS5R or X5DR. Of these last ones I did find some samples on the Quests Studios website and forums.

TIA

(Edit: updated file location)
Last edited by gerwin on 2015-10-24 @ 17:14, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Midi: Dream and Topwave-32 samplesets

Postby gerwin » 2007-8-12 @ 23:25

I changed the contents of the above mentioned file, it now contains recordings of the game Descent. Four different cards are in the comparison:

- Roland SC-55 (from dos.skillreactor.org)
- Dream 1 - SAM9233; Terratec Maestro 32/96
- Dream 2 - SAM9407; Guillemot Maxi Sound 64 Home Studio (from dos.skillreactor.org)
- Dream 3 - SAM9733; Turtle Beach Cancun-FX (on m3296)

I don't think The SamXXXX synthesizer chip revisions are that relevant, because they do not represent the ROM with the samples. I have not found a way to easily identify and ID the latter.
Now, I am quite sure non of the above cards sound exactly the same. IMO they resemble eachother in the above order. Which is (AFAIK) also the order of the years in which they where sold:

- SC-55 is most like Dream 1 (very similar indeed, except some square/sawtooth sounds.)
- Dream 1 is most like Dream 2 (no. 2 a bit muffled, different drums etc.)
- Dream 2 is most like Dream 3 (no. 3 has heavier bass, sounds 'warmer' etc.)

That Dream company was sure busy with changing their sampleset, though I can't say it was always an improvement.

Now concerning the Topwave-32; I have an agreement on that, and hope to try it out soon. If someone is curious I will gladly post a recording.

Edit: the skillreactor link no longer works, as the page has moved to this address: http://sound.dosforum.de/
Last edited by gerwin on 2009-7-24 @ 12:22, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Midi: Dream and Topwave-32 samplesets

Postby elianda » 2007-8-16 @ 11:43

I guess the Dreams SF-format is the same for all 3 chip revisions. Why not save the ROM soundfont of each card, so you can compare it on the very same hardware. Just in case there are firmware differences.
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Re: Midi: Dream and Topwave-32 samplesets

Postby gerwin » 2007-8-16 @ 20:05

These waveblaster cards just have one midi in port, and a stereo analog out. No way I can digitally read out the information in the ROMs on these cards. There are ways I suppose, but that requires hardware ROM readers or something, and a lot of knowhow.
Anyways, I was able to judge the sample sets by just listening in the ordinary way. :)
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Re: Midi: Dream and Topwave-32 samplesets

Postby Mithloraite » 2014-10-21 @ 01:21

gerwin wrote:The Cancun-FX is good on the natural sound of instruments...
I have uploaded Example recordings of both of the above synths, and added some others for comparison:
dune2recordings.zip [10MB]

Thank you so much for the uploads. Indeed, these Dream sets all have some weaker points before the well balanced Roland SC.

One more drastic question is, does one have to use many settings to initialize the Cancun and make it work? Or the original drivers under Win98?
(I've made a new topic about this.)
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