SScorpio wrote on 2022-11-20, 23:37:
The worry you are raising still feels extremely overblown. Both iOS and Android support MIDI. Tradition DIN connectors are starting to go away, but USB MIDI is still on lots of new and modern equipment.
I'm sorry, but I utterly fail to see the relevance of iOS and Android having really basic (and not very good) MIDI support. In case somehow I was unclear, I am not saying that ARM can't do MIDI -- that wouldn't make sense as MIDI is basically an interpretation thing much like BASIC or etc, so just about any architecture could technically implement some sort of code for implementing it. My point is just that there is basically no option or control in such things. In fact, you'll find that on those platforms things like DOSBox, ScummVM, and other such things relevant to this conversation do not use any OS implementations but, in fact, implement their own MIDI handling. But my real point in bringing up ARM architectures (BTW, I actually specified the Switch in my previous post, which has no MIDI implementation built into the OS) is just that you can't run many options such as S-YXG50 on those because they simply can't execute the code. A 32-bit x86 binary simply won't execute on an ARM processor in any meaningful way. It currently just isn't possible at all with ports of things like DOSBox and ScummVM on such platforms to have, say, the XG50 sound, which is all I was saying.
We have MUNT for MT-32 which is open-source and can be ported to anything.
Yes. That exists. And it's the example of exactly the sort of thing I was saying I'd like to see more of.
There's a Sound Canvas SC55/88/88 Pro in development.
See, that's good to hear. Why couldn't you have opened with that? This is exactly the sort of thing I'm talking about being what is needed. Nice open source implementations of specific synthesizers is exactly what we need to see more of.
We have the S-YXG50 VSTi which can be decompiled and rewritten
It's closed source and technically would be illegal to do this. Yamaha still owns the license to their MIDI products and isn't exactly super excited to let people make unapproved uses of it. Japanese companies in particular are kind of bad about maintaining an iron-grip control of their IP even when they actually would lose money in doing so (they sell zero copies of S-YXG50, but they'd still be quick to issue takedowns or even threaten lawsuits -- I can guarantee that.) But, of course, Japanese companies aren't the only ones who do this sort of thing, just the worst ones about it. If anyone did ever actually manage to just simply break down the existing VSTi plugin, they could not legally distribute it, making it hard even to get (and illegal to do so,) and software like DOSBox could not implement it in any official capacity, which significantly narrows down the usefulness of such a thing. Unfortunately, it gets a lot more complicated with real implementations of such thing: they basically have to implement a from-scratch implementation of something that ends up at the same functionality. Yeah, basically reinventing the wheel over and over. Well, that is the legal system that this world has in regards to software, so it can't be helped. If you want to make your own tire that exactly implements, say, a Yokohama style, you need to learn how to make the rubber yourself, how to get exactly the right mixes yourself, how to mold it yourself, redo the math/design entirely from scratch to produce the divots, etc etc etc all from scratch. That generally represents an enormous investment in time and effort and often money too. This is why it's so rare that this actually happens. What you're talking about is the equivalent of making a mold from their tires, melting them down, reforming them in the mold, and then calling the result your own. (Ok, tires are a bit more complicated, but you get the idea. Or you can if you want to anyway.) Even if you don't sell it, just by producing it as your tire you've reached a point they'll send a C&D on principle.
Actually, what I had in mind was maybe if they could figure out some sort of more universal way of handling these things. It's messy and complicated, but, for example it might theoretically be possible for a VSTi system that actually emulates a 32-bit x86 CPU doing basically nothing but running that VSTi plugin. That's inefficient and requires a lot of processing power, but not on the same scale as how much processing power it takes to run the entire software (eg DOSBox or whatever) in an emulated CPU. It does have the advantage of the VSTi environment itself would be absolutely under the control of the developers so they could 100% predict the exact results every time for completely reproducible results in basically any platform or situation. Or maybe there is some much more efficient and overall better way of doing it. Again, I just wanted to plant the seeds of thought on the matter. Why you oppose this I do not know, but luckily you're not really the target audience of this idea. If they ever create such a thing you can just refuse to use it.
if it becomes necessary to run on unsupported OSes. Though for just gaming a good SoundFont meets the needs of 99% of anyone taking a casual look at how MIDI was with old games. Is it 100% authentic? No, but for the people who really care, they can be the audiophiles they are and drop the money on real modules.
I'm not sure if you know what audiophile actually means as this is very much not it. My point about finding a good general MIDI soundfont to actually sound right across a variety of games isn't that you have to be an audiophile for it to matter but that most just simply don't sound right in some. As in outright wrong or even bad. I'm not talking about the quality of the samples or etc. Perhaps the average user won't know the difference between a soundfont with 8-bit samples and one with 16-bit. Maybe. That is a different discussion entirely though. Even with tin ears one can tell if instruments sound badly off in a particular game. And no, you don't have to be a rich perfectionist to prefer the sound of one option over another. That's just personal preference. And not all of us can afford to drop the money on real modules even if that were always viable (though even if it were, you basically can't with a DB50XG.) I just like my DOS gaming to sound nice without the complication of switching soundfonts back and forth depending on the game.
Again. All I am saying is that eventually it won't be possible to use some things like S-YXG50 for MIDI. I am not saying it is not possible today (outside of non-x86 32-bit compatible platforms that is.) I don't understand why this is so confusing. I am only saying we need to think about the future. I'm not really clear why you're so dead-set to argue against even taking such thoughts into consideration or willing to understand that I'm saying "some day" and not "today." Either way, this conversation has reached the point of pointlessness and I have no more to say on it.