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Reply 40 of 42, by Cloudschatze

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boxpressed wrote:

I know that games like Descent offer a "Sound Canvas" option, but I was always under the impression that selecting it gave you the same music as "General MIDI," even if you had an SC-55.

In every instance I've come across where both "General MIDI" and "Sound Canvas" options are present, the MIDI playback has been exactly the same.

Is it really pumping out Roland GS music?

Yes and no. It also depends on your definition of "GS music."

The following Descent tracks are straight-up General MIDI:

  • briefing.mid
  • credits.mid
  • game04.mid
  • game05.mid
  • game06.mid
  • game07.mid
  • game09.mid
  • game10.mid
  • game15.mid
  • game16.mid
  • game17.mid
  • game19.mid
  • game20.mid

While the following Descent tracks utilize GS features:

  • descent.mid (PC26: TR-808 Set, CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • endgame.mid (CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • endlevel.mid (CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game01.mid (PC26: TR-808 Set)
  • game02.mid (PC26: TR-808 Set, CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game03.mid (PC26: TR-808 Set, CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game08.mid (PC25: Electronic Set, CC5: Portamento Time, CC65: Portamento Ctrl., CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game11.mid (CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game12.mid (PC25: TR-808 Set)
  • game13.mid (PC25: Electronic Set)
  • game14.mid (CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game18.mid (PC26: TR-808 Set, CC5: Portamento Time, CC65: Portamento Ctrl., CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game21.mid (PC26: TR-808 Set, CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)
  • game22.mid (PC17: Power Set, CC91: Reverb Depth, CC93: Chorus Depth)

Of the latter, only "game08.mid" and "game18.mid" contain what I would consider to be "GS-specific" features/controls in their use of portamento, given that the extra drumkits and effect CCs are implemented in several "non-GS" devices, including Roland's SC-7, RAP-10, and SCB-7.

Descent's "GM-only" tracks are problematic in that several of them lack an explicit Program Change message for the drum channel, and all of them lack control-change resets - the notable consequence being that they simply inherit the drumset and effect controller settings from the last track to have set them (which can hardly be imagined as the composer's intent). Fortunately, "briefing.mid" includes the "Standard" drumset selection, and generally precedes every affected track, while Tikalat's fix addresses the remainder of the issues (or should - I haven't tried it).

I prefer the Yamaha TG300 (GM-B mode) for playing Descent as of late, which I don't believe ever gets mentioned. Oh, well... 😉

GAME02 Yamaha TG300
GAME08 Yamaha TG300
GAME13 Yamaha TG300
GAME18 Yamaha TG300
GAME22 Yamaha TG300

Reply 41 of 42, by MusicallyInspired

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Kreshna Aryaguna Nurzaman wrote:
MusicallyInspired wrote:

Have to echo Descent. Some tracks are hit and miss, but a few of them are spectacular pieces of Sound Canvas MIDI engineering. Brilliant stuff.

Descent intro sounds better with Yamaha XG IMO.

That I will concede. But Mission 2 for instance sounds great on Sound Canvas.

boxpressed wrote:

Just want to clarify something. When we say "Sound Canvas" games, are we talking about games that offer a specific "Sound Canvas" option for music or a regular "General MIDI" option?

I know that games like Descent offer a "Sound Canvas" option, but I was always under the impression that selecting it gave you the same music as "General MIDI," even if you had an SC-55. Is it really pumping out Roland GS music?

As Cloudhschatze said, it depends. For Sierra games, for instance, the option was always General MIDI but each score was composed with the Sound Canvas. And while Mark Seibert reportedly wouldn't allow use of the extra banks of the Sound Canvas, the MIDI resources did (I think) have calls to Sound Canvas effects controllers like reverb and chorus.

Roland SC-55 Music Packs - Duke Nukem 3D, Doom, Hocus Pocus, Descent, and more.
Latest release: Heretic Music Pack (12/12/18)

Reply 42 of 42, by thecrankyhermit

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By "Sound Canvas games" I mean any and all games composed with a Sound Canvas in mind, and I'm under the impression that the vast majority of GM titles would apply. I wouldn't be interested in games composed with MT-32 in mind that happen to have an SC-compatible mapping mode, or games composed for other chiptunes or trackers that got translated to GM (unless the translation was unusually good and really put the original to shame, Lemmings 95 comes to mind).

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