VOGONS


First post, by dreamblaster

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Hello,

I bought the V3 sound sonority XXL for testing out its performance with DOS games.
It is a module normally intended for musicians, and costs 459 euro at Thomann (where I bought it) : https://www.thomann.de/be/v3_sound_sonority_xxl.htm
It has a nice triangular look and feel, and a much larger bank than on X2 / X2GS.

But does it perform well with DOS game music ?
Here are my recordings : https://soundcloud.com/dreamblaster/sets/v3-tests-game-music
Would you prefer it above X2GS ?

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Reply 1 of 46, by Stretch

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All samples sounded good to me, with the exception of Warcraft 2.

Win11 - AMD Ryzen 9 3900 - 16 GB - GeForce RTX 2060S - Sound BlasterX AE5-Plus
Win98SE - ASRock 775i65G R3.0 - Celeron 2.2 GHz - 2 GB - GeForce FX5700 - Ensoniq 1373
Win98SE - Via Apollo Pro Mobo - Pentium II 233 - 256 MB - Voodoo 3 1000 - ESS Solo-1 1938

Reply 2 of 46, by RetroGamer4Ever

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That product is (basically) what you were going to be putting out yourself, in your high-end Dreamblaster designs with the 5716/5916, but it isn't using a GS soundbank and has a pile of high-resolution soundbanks stored in it's large memory cache, taking up 2GB (of 4GB). Is it great for gaming? That's a matter of perspective. It certainly has good GM sounds, but it does not seem to be anything great for gaming, and there is no GS soundbank, though you could possibly load it with one or other banks, using the software from Dream, though the user manual makes no mention of such functionality, despite having 2GB of free space. The software that is used with the device seems to offer nothing more than specific bank selection and performance parameter selection, so I'm not sure what use it would have for anyone who wanted to do anything beyond using it for keyboard-driven performances.

https://www.v3sound.com/handbuch/V3SOUND-D-E- … onority-XXL.pdf

Reply 3 of 46, by BloodyCactus

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If I were to spend that money on a sound module, I'd get a roland soniccell instead... but the v3's 256 voice polyphony is pretty good 😀 Gearspace has reports of stuck notes, did you have any stuck notes during playback?

I mean its total overkill for a dos GM device... but hey..

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Reply 4 of 46, by Pierre32

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This has great sounding samples, especially the very natural sounding percussion. But for me there's an 'uncanny valley' effect as you ramp up the instrument quality on these retro compositions. They sound much more at home on the old gear IMO.

One thing that amuses me is how cheap the old Star Wars MIDI scores sound on absolutely everything, including higher end modules. Is there a GM instrument called "Gutless horns from a plastic child's toy"? Warcraft's wind sounds a lot better, so this has to be more about the programming than the soundset.

Off topic, but a modern module that I enjoy for retro gaming is the MidiPlus Mini Engine.

Reply 5 of 46, by igna78

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I listened to the recorded tracks and, honestly in consideration of the cost/quality ratio, X2 and X2GS wins hands down!

Personally I find X2 and X2GS more performing and YucatanFX also sounds better for me 😉

Reply 6 of 46, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The MPME is another Dream-powered product, but without the GS bank. FWR, the GS-enabled Dream-powered products get more praise and good reviews than the same hardware using GM banks of various sizes.

Reply 7 of 46, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The much-beloved Star Wars PC-DOS games (except for Dark Forces) were made for the MT-32 and not anything more complicated, but the music is great once it is reworked for modern times. The total conversions of X-Wing and TIE Fighter both have the original MIDI music converted and rendered through today's digital music creation tools (HQ samples and DAW software) and sound wonderful.

Reply 9 of 46, by RetroGamer4Ever

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darry wrote on 2022-03-18, 03:00:

What is the hardware under the hood ?

It is a Dream SAM5716 chip, with around 2GB of sounds (4GB of bank storage total) in multiple banks and GM compliance. It's a box intended to provide good sound for live performances, as most MIDI-capable keyboards that aren't professional-grade don't offer good sound.

Reply 10 of 46, by badmojo

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Yes the samples were nice and I'm sure it's great for its intended purpose but I thought the example recordings sounded disjointed and unpleasant, I'd take the X2GS any day of the week.

Life? Don't talk to me about life.

Reply 11 of 46, by RetroGamer4Ever

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The thing about the device is that it has many large banks and when you play a common MIDI file, it has to access each bank with each instrument, instead of simply having a single bank with multiple instruments, as is normal with commonly used MIDI modules, like the Sound Canvas series. To put it simply, the unit gets constipated from handling all of that, as it is intended to be a one-instrument at a time device, using the HQ banks of individual instrument samples to do live-performance work.

Reply 12 of 46, by Shreddoc

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I like the V3's broad soundstage and the quality of some of the instrument types. For example, the string section - as shown off in the Warcraft II track recording - really stood out for me. Percussion also reasonably natural sounding. For that style of music, I think it's pretty awesome, up there with the best I've heard.

On the other hand, some of the less complex rock-style tracks sounded worse through the V3 than they do on virtually any gaming-specific hardware. For obvious reasons - some gaming musics' intended impact relies heavily upon specific nuances of the game's target hardware.

Reply 13 of 46, by Spikey

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I think as well, with higher quality sound banks one has to tweak MIDI velocities, patch selection, effects etc to get a MIDI sounding right. It's not surprising that "plugging and playing" won't lead to good results - that's not what such newer devices are intended for, after all.

Even the Roland INTEGRA-7 would sound substandard if I just threw a 90s gaming MIDI at it without customising it *somewhat*.

Reply 14 of 46, by dreamblaster

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Would it be worth going for a license for a "gaming edition" of the V3 sound bank, for DreamBlaster X8/X16 ? Even if it is only GM, not GS ?

Visit http://www.serdashop.com for retro sound cards, video converters, ...
OPL3LPT, X2, S2, S2P, MCE2VGA, ... many projects !
New X2GS sound card : https://www.serdashop.com/X2GS
Thanks for your support !

Reply 15 of 46, by Spikey

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Depends how much it costs, to be honest. I personally would say "no" but others may love the idea. I think if it's cheap enough for you to do and still make money, it will probably be worth it, there are always people wanting new GM banks.

I guess it also depends on what your "gaming edition" would be in terms of GM bank compared to the hardware synth. If it has 2-4GB of samples, that would be pretty novel. Also pretty expensive I'd imagine 😉

Reply 16 of 46, by RetroGamer4Ever

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If you do a little digging, you can find the guy who did the grunt work to make the V3's 20-something sound banks and get him to cut a DREAM-compatible HQ GM bank for you. I don't know if it would be worth it, as the sounds for the V3 are intended for live performance and not game or studio use, but I am sure he could put together something that works better for gaming that isn't over the top like the pile of V3 banks are. All I want is the biggest and most encompassing HQ GS bank that DREAM has to offer and if I could get an HQ GM bank, I certainly wouldn't complain and nor would the vintage DOS gamers, though I don't need GM cause it's already covered by easy-peasy soft-synth options on modern systems.

Reply 18 of 46, by SuperDeadite

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I quite like the samples myself. It's nice to listen to something different compared to the typical Roland clones.

The Crisis Soundfont might be another interesting choice. As it is too big for fluidsynth to address, last I heard.

Modules: CM-64, CM-500, SC-55MkII, SC-88 Pro, SY22, TG100, MU2000EX, PLG100-SG, PLG150-DR, PLG150-AN, SG01k, NS5R, GZ-50M, SN-U110-07, SN-U110-10, Pocket Studio 5, DreamBlaster S2, X2, McFly, E-Wave, QWave, CrystalBlaster C2

Reply 19 of 46, by RetroGamer4Ever

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FluidSynth should be able to handle Crisis just fine, but only in Windows, as of the 2.2 build of FS, which added the ability to use SF files larger than 2GB. The real problem with FS is that implementations of it (use of it with programs and user-installed versions) don't get updated to the newer builds, which would fix common issues. VLC for example, seems to be using 2.1.7 of FS, which is over a year old, and they only update the version they use when they feel the need to do so.