georgel wrote on 2021-10-27, 22:54:
As a side note his Linux drivers have the ability to dynamically use larger sound fonts than the AWE's sounbank RAM is!
To be more precise, it's not the linux kernel driver that has the ability to handle larger soundfonts, but it is the accompanying MIDI player application "playmidi" that passes only the required samples to the kernel driver. Most other linux MIDI players that support soundfont loading are derived from playmidi and thus also support partial loading of sound fonts. Usually you can go a factor of 2 to 4 bigger than the RAM on the card. I liked to use an 8MB sound font on my SB32 with 2MB RAM, which worked nice. By "gut feeling", the improvement from the ROM font to the 8MB font is around as big as the improvement from OPL3 to the ROM font.
The idea itself isn't new, though: Gravis used the same approach to their GUS MIDI system. The GUS shipped with around 4.5MB of samples, but the maximum RAM amount on a GUS classic is 1MB. For non-GUS applications there were sample map files that selected which samples to load before you started that application. ULTRAMID dynamically analyzed the MIDI file and chose the required samples or a subset thereof individually for each file.