VOGONS


First post, by varrol

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Testing the sound in general is quite obvious - but what about midi? I was trying games at first but its not that straight forward and I don't have many games with good midi - and its hard to get them nowadays - also not very optimal to buy them just to test sound 😉 I even found a demo of Secret of Monkey Island (as it seems to be the benchmark for midi in many reviews + I love this theme) - just wonder if it features the sound from full version.

Anyway - testing with games does not seem the best way to do it - better would be to do it with some kind of midi player and some tracks. I'm not experienced in this area - my worries are - is there midi player that actually utilises midi on sound card instead of software conversion from midi (so not testing sound card midi at all). Also is there a library to get nice samples of midi tracks to test on?

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Reply 2 of 14, by dionb

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Lots of freeware/shareware game demos are perfectly good for testing MIDI (eg. Doom).

Question is: what is your goal in testing the MIDI? If you don't have games supporting MIDI and don't want to buy them, it suggests MIDI doesn't have much value to you anyway. Why waste time on this then?

Also, what do you mean when you say "MIDI"? Do you have an external MIDI sound module or Wavetable daughterboard you want to use, and are you testing MPU-401 capabilities (or bugs, which are unfortunately common)? Or are you intending to test the MIDI playback capabilities of the cards themselves? In that case, a lot depends on which card you have - both in terms of options and expected quality. If your card doesn't have dedicated MIDI hardware (Wavetable synth+ROM or RAM), you'll be playing the MIDI back using FM-synthesis or worse.

Reply 3 of 14, by varrol

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I want to test how different samples sound on different sound cards - and determine which one I like the most - basically for fun of using old hardware.

AOpen AX6B+ | P3 1G | 1GB ECC REG | FX5200 | CT4500
AOpen AX59pro | K6-2 450M | 256MB | Rage 128
Asus CUBX-E | P3 1G | 512MB | GF4 TI4200 | YMF719E-S
Asus P3B-F | P3 933M | 384MB | Radeon 9200 | CT4520
Asus P5A | P55C 200M | 256MB | Riva TNT | CT3600

Reply 4 of 14, by derSammler

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Samples are not MIDI. Music is normally not played using samples, but using FM via OPL2/3. There are a very few exceptions, like Epic Pinball or One Must Fall 2097, which play music in form of MOD files.

Reply 5 of 14, by lolo799

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derSammler wrote on 2020-04-08, 13:48:

MIDI uses its own port, so if you use a MIDI player, it won't accidentally use something else. I use GSPLAY for DOS to test my wavetables.

You're still using the old GSPLAY and not the updated and renamed version of the program?

Game setups are also good to test MIDI devices, like the one from Descent, or from IMUSE games.

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Reply 8 of 14, by varrol

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I'll check players from this site: http://dosprograms.info.tt/sound.htm - GSplay and DOSMid seem nice + some midi files I can find that seem to be well prepared.

I was asking for midi players as there are some players that actually simulate midi by software processing - but I see that DOS ones have actual drivers for sound cards and utilise the actual midi part.

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Reply 9 of 14, by CHiLL72

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lolo799 wrote on 2020-04-08, 19:26:

Its author made many fixes on it after he released the 1.0 version, they may be useful for what you're using it, just saying.

The only version of GSPLAY I can find is the 1.o version. What software are you referring to exactly? Sounds interesting.

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Reply 10 of 14, by Cloudschatze

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I don't know if it's been announced anywhere, but Mark released MFPLAY v1.3 a few weeks ago, which includes a couple of functional changes that I'd requested. I'd suggest reaching out to him via the e-mail address listed on his website.

Reply 11 of 14, by yawetaG

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varrol wrote on 2020-04-08, 16:32:

I want to test how different samples sound on different sound cards - and determine which one I like the most - basically for fun of using old hardware.

MIDI is not going to have a difference between sound cards, unless the sound card in question has bugs in its MIDI implementation, because as derSammler mentions MIDI does not use audio samples. It is a serial communication protocol for musical instruments.

(This confusion comes up so often on these forums, can't we put it in a FAQ somewhere?)

Reply 12 of 14, by digistorm

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The question of the TS still isn’t clear to me. To me it seems the TS just wants to check out what different sound cards on their own make of the midi commands sent to them. I guess when he says “sample” he actually means “General MIDI instrument”.

Reply 13 of 14, by varrol

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yawetaG wrote on 2020-04-11, 06:32:
varrol wrote on 2020-04-08, 16:32:

I want to test how different samples sound on different sound cards - and determine which one I like the most - basically for fun of using old hardware.

MIDI is not going to have a difference between sound cards, unless the sound card in question has bugs in its MIDI implementation, because as derSammler mentions MIDI does not use audio samples. It is a serial communication protocol for musical instruments.

(This confusion comes up so often on these forums, can't we put it in a FAQ somewhere?)

Ok, now I'm sure we are talking about different things and this is where the confusion is.

I do not want to check midi output of different sound cards - I want to listen how they play it using their own hardware. I'm not using any external midi device.

Probably the way I formulated my question and naming I used probably lead to this misunderstanding and complication of a simple problem.

I do not want to do it using games - I'd rather use midi player and midi files - that is why I asked if this is relevant.

digistorm wrote on 2020-04-11, 07:38:

The question of the TS still isn’t clear to me. To me it seems the TS just wants to check out what different sound cards on their own make of the midi commands sent to them. I guess when he says “sample” he actually means “General MIDI instrument”.

Yes, correct.

AOpen AX6B+ | P3 1G | 1GB ECC REG | FX5200 | CT4500
AOpen AX59pro | K6-2 450M | 256MB | Rage 128
Asus CUBX-E | P3 1G | 512MB | GF4 TI4200 | YMF719E-S
Asus P3B-F | P3 933M | 384MB | Radeon 9200 | CT4520
Asus P5A | P55C 200M | 256MB | Riva TNT | CT3600

Reply 14 of 14, by CHiLL72

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Cloudschatze wrote on 2020-04-10, 21:21:

I don't know if it's been announced anywhere, but Mark released MFPLAY v1.3 a few weeks ago, which includes a couple of functional changes that I'd requested. I'd suggest reaching out to him via the e-mail address listed on his website.

Thank you, I just sent out an e-mail to Mark Fontana. Waiting for a response!

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