Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

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

Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-5-31 @ 03:16

I'm working on some pretty significant modifications to an existing soundfont project, and I want to make sure it works with a AWE 64 card.
Unfortunately I am currently unable to use my own AWE64 Gold because the system it's in isn't working right now. I'll be able to fix it, I'll probably just need a few parts shipped in.

I was wondering if any of you guys would be helpful enough to test out this soundfont I'm working on and let me know how it works for you.
Project page - https://www.retroimperfections.com/pro7use/
Download Links - https://downloads.kor.ninja/Music/?dir=pro7use

the presets I've modified are 029, 030, 031, 050, 051, 052, 053, 062, 063, 080, 081, 082 and 118. *edit* (I've modified basically all of them now)

The games I'd like tested are, Tyrian, DOOM, Duke 3D, and Decent. These games are the ones I've used to tune this soundfont with on my i7 and I'd like to know if they sound the same on original hardware.
Feel free to test it with whatever else you'd like as well.

My goal for this is to get the best sounding soundfont possible for my old AWE 64 Gold (with 32mb adapter).
I'm working on porting the Guitars from my own soundfont project into this one, but the progress is slow... (my soundfont project is 2gb)
Does anyone know what modulators are supported by the AWE 32/64? Or does anyone have any other technical info on this ol' beast?

*Update* Got my Win98 rig working. Here it is in action... https://downloads.kor.ninja/Music/pro7use/old/e1m1.wav :-D
Last edited by t9999clint on 2019-7-16 @ 22:46, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: AWE 32/64 testers needed, test new soundfont

Postby mastergamma12 » 2019-5-31 @ 06:36

I'd help you but I don't have a SimmConn.

Sorry.

I could try my AWE32 CT3670 but I need to find more than 8mb's of ram.
Asus P3C-E Pentium III-S 1.4ghz,512MB PC800 RDRAM,3dfx Voodoo4 4500,SB AWE64 Gold + SB Live[98]
EVGA 790i SLI FTW Core 2 Quad Q9550,8GB DDR3 1333,8800 GTX,X-Fi Ti Fatal1ty[XP]
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Re: AWE 32/64 testers needed, test new soundfont

Postby t9999clint » 2019-6-01 @ 08:22

Thanks anyways, I updated the soundfont. Now it's 16.8mb, the link is the same.
I got the distortion and overdrive guitars sounding 95% as good as the ones in my main soundfont.
This and how damned good it sounds in Tyrian and Decent make this thing my favorite sub 30mb soundfont. (I'm a little biased though...)
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Re: AWE 32/64 testers needed, test new soundfont

Postby t9999clint » 2019-6-07 @ 07:22

Made a huge improvement with this soundfont. But the file size has also made a fairly large jump. Suckers at 19.0mb now.
I also updated the download link. I'm working on a website for my various software projects so I'm moving things around.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-6-15 @ 22:23

Got my old rig working again. I had to solder in a new battery...
Anyways, I tested out my soundfont.....
It sounds TERRIBLE. Doesn't work at all.
Worked on it a bit more, it looks like it's running into issues on the playback rate of several samples. It also treats modulator completely differently than I thought it would.
Does anyone have any solid info on what frequency the AWE 64 supports for it's .SF2 synth?

I'm slowly figuring it out now (80% of it works now), but if anyone who's worked on this before has any advice it'd be really helpful.
Also I'll have a new soundfont to test for AWE 32/64 in a day or two.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby kolderman » 2019-6-15 @ 23:43

I actually bought the VCGS4MV4 font and I like it more than the stock 8mb sf from creative. I pretty much only use it.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-6-15 @ 23:58

kolderman wrote:I actually bought the VCGS4MV4 font and I like it more than the stock 8mb sf from creative. I pretty much only use it.

Don't think I've heard of that one yet, how much did it cost? Is it still for sale?

Also I think I have a workaround for the AWE 64. Looks like I got it 98% working now, There's still a bunch of missing/out of tune notes that I have to figure out.
This is a lot weirder than I thought it'd be.

At least it's useable now, DOOM 1 & 2 sound better with this than any other AWE 64 compatible soundfont (that I've tried so far).
I still need to fix a few instruments to get FF7 and FF8 sounding right.
Tyrian 2000 will require much more work.

I think I have the mod settings worked out, but somethings getting borked when I resample it to 44khz. Maybe it's another polyphone bug...
Here's a link to the AWE compatible version. (28.mb)
https://downloads.kor.ninja/Music/?dir=pro7use/AWE
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby kolderman » 2019-6-16 @ 02:05

t9999clint wrote:
kolderman wrote:I actually bought the VCGS4MV4 font and I like it more than the stock 8mb sf from creative. I pretty much only use it.

Don't think I've heard of that one yet, how much did it cost? Is it still for sale?


Believe it is this one here:
http://www.voicecrystal.com/sf4mgm.htm
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby oeuvre » 2019-6-16 @ 13:02

I'm in AWE at this project! Great work
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-6-16 @ 22:49

oeuvre wrote:I'm in AWE at this project! Great work

Thanks, I think a lot of the glitches I'm running into are actually ram errors on my expansion card. So I'll probably need to get replacement ram for that thing.
Either way there's some tweaking left to do.

I really like the warm audio coloring that the AWE 64 gold adds to my soundfont, it makes the guitar presets sound great!
Once I get that machine stable again, I'll start recording some samples. Maybe even compare the digital out vs the analog one.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby amadeus777999 » 2019-7-15 @ 12:42

Ok, downloaded and uploaded the font/soundbank and it sounds pretty swell - I would prefer it to the "dreamset" one I have used in the past as your's sounds more "distinct" to me.

Please be aware that I'm not a musician and not a musical person by nature which renders me a bit incompetent to assess your work's quality... I'm listening to DoomII's Map10 tune and I REALLY like it!
On Map28's tune the organ(that sounds kinda like a Viking's) seems a bit too timid/low in volume.
On the other hand the electrical guitars sound very good in my opinion(also the volume seems just right).
Only on Map30 your's sounds kinda of and the SC55 font "blows" it away.

Ok, I have Warcraft running currently and the drums are a blast. Again a minor "complaint" could be some of the instruments being low in volume. This was for example a big issue with other high capacity soundbanks I have tried where the music sounded totally off due to differing volume levels all across the various instruments. Your work seems way better in this regard.

For sure a tough balancing act/art to get this right - overall I really dig it, so PROPS!
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-7-16 @ 07:56

Thanks for the input, I'm glad it's running clean and stable on your card. Mine just isn't having it, after about 5 minutes the samples get too garbled and I have to reload the font into ram.
The ram tests as fine, so I'm thinking it might be a voltage issue. I think I need to find a different PSU for my MS-DOS/Win9X rig.

amadeus777999 wrote:Again a minor "complaint" could be some of the instruments being low in volume. This was for example a big issue with other high capacity soundbanks I have tried where the music sounded totally off due to differing volume levels all across the various instruments. Your work seems way better in this regard.

I totally understand why it's a problem with most soundfonts, attenuation levels (volume) are easily the hardest part of tuning a soundfont as none of the software I've worked with seems to handle that right. I've always had to do it by ear, and tuning the volume for hundreds of samples at a time is a lengthy process, and I always seem to miss something.
Warcraft II on the other hand was something I was already aware of. I have a few solutions already in mind but Pro7use is more of a modeled synth than the other soundfonts I've worked with so it'll be a little tricky to fix, I will get it done though. Several other instruments had this issue as well but I fixed those already.

I'm glad you pointed out Map28, I missed that one somehow. I try to test with all the DOOM I & II songs. Also it's not going to be 27mb large for long, I increased it to that size just to figure out a compatibility bug. The final version will probably only be about 18mb, maybe smaller.

There's still some more I'd like to do with that version of my soundfont. I'm not only working on a version for the AWE-64, but I'm also making one for the Raspberry Pi and even the Dreamblaster X3.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-7-16 @ 18:37

I tried out a few fixes and they seem to be working. I also completely replaced a few instruments making it so the soundfont is still a little bigger than I'd like.
That being said I think it fixes all the issues I noticed in my previous testing and my soundcard isn't borking on it like it was before. :)

Test it out and let me know if it's any better. I couldn't notice anything wrong with MAP28, but maybe I'm not testing it right.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby amadeus777999 » 2019-7-16 @ 18:53

Nice - I'll give it a try in a few days!
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-7-16 @ 21:07

Did some more testing, Map30 still sounds completely wrong. I'll be fixing that next.

Looks like Music Box, Bowed Glass, Twinkle Bell and Breath will need to be redone from scratch.
Now that my Win98 rig is working stability now I have a good chance to properly test things.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby appiah4 » 2019-7-17 @ 12:55

I tried downloading the 28MB soundfont yesterday but your download links don't have it anymore?

I would be more than happy to compare it to the best 28MB SF2 that I know fits in an AWE64 - Masterpiece.sf2.
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688|MuntPi3
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|V2/SLI|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-7-17 @ 16:52

appiah4 wrote:I tried downloading the 28MB soundfont yesterday but your download links don't have it anymore?

I would be more than happy to compare it to the best 28MB SF2 that I know fits in an AWE64 - Masterpiece.sf2.

Ohh, I forgot to mention that I removed the AWE specific version because it's not needed anymore. (I still need to update my site to reflect this)
The normal version of the soundfont works with it now.

I also really liked masterpiece, it's probably the closest to what I was trying to accomplish when I was starting this project. Most of the brass instruments are from there. There are still a number of things I didn't like about masterpiece that PRO7EUS did better, which is why I decided to base it off of that project instead. So I guess you could consider it a better version of Masterpiece.sf2.

One thing to keep in mind is that this soundfont is far from done. There's still a lot more I want to add to it and a few things I'd like to fix.
If I can get the size back down to around 18ish MB than I can plan on getting some SC55 stuff crammed in there as well. Right now it's limited to GM only.
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby appiah4 » 2019-7-18 @ 06:02

Sorry but what is the 'normal' version of the soundfont and where do I find it? I am looking at the fileserver on your link and there are basic, tiny and complete only?
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688|MuntPi3
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|V2/SLI|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby t9999clint » 2019-7-18 @ 07:23

appiah4 wrote:Sorry but what is the 'normal' version of the soundfont and where do I find it? I am looking at the fileserver on your link and there are basic, tiny and complete only?

Wrong soundfont project. It's based off KOR, but there's still a lot of samples to replace before I can call it that. (GPL issues)

Use this link... (it's also in the first post)
https://downloads.kor.ninja/Music/?dir=pro7use
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Re: Making a new soundfont for the AWE 64

Postby appiah4 » 2019-7-18 @ 07:43

Oh cool! Downloading it now :) I will be sure to compare it to Masterpiece and report back on how it sounds to me!
A500:Rev6|+512K|ACA500+|C1084S
i386:Am386SX25|4M|GD5402|ES688|MuntPi3
i486:U5S33|8M|GD5428|YMF719|DB-S2
i586:P133|32M|T64+/MX2|V1|CT3980/32M
i686:K6-2/400|128M|V2/SLI|CT4520/32M
S370:P3-1200|384M|GF4-4200|MX300
S754:A3700+|2G|X1950PRO|SB0350
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