Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth

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ringjus
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2004/06/02 19:59:13 (permalink)

Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth

Hi! I just started using Music Creator 2003. I am trying to convert a MIDI file to a wav file. I have installed MC under Windows 2003 on a machine using a SB Live! sound card. When I play the MIDI file using Netscape WinAmp, it sounds the way I want it to sound. When I play the MIDI file within MC, the file sounds somewhat distorted.

Under Sounds and Audio Device Properties in Control Panel, I have set up the default device for MIDI music playback as "Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth". When I click on the "About..." button beneath the Default Device field, a window appears saying "Microsoft Software Wavetable Synthesizer Featuring Roland Sound Canvas digital samples". It also says "Sound Canvas Sample Set Roland GM/GS(R) Sound Set Copyright 1996 Roland Corporation U.S.". Further down on the screen it says "The current Audio output device for this software synthesizer is SB Live! Wave device."

If I open the MIDI file within Music Creator and try to play it, the playback sounds somewhat distorted. Checking the MIDI devices, I have "SB Live! MIDI UART" highlighted as my MIDI input, and "SB Live! MIDI Synth" and "SB Live! MIDI UART" both highlighted as MIDI outputs. "Microsoft MIDI Mapper" also exists in the MIDI Output list but it is not highlighted. Checking the instrument mapping, all the channels are mapped to "<Default>." My other options include "General MIDI", "General MIDI drums", "Generic (Patches 0..127)", "Generic (Patches 1..128)", "Roland GS", "Roland GS drumsets", "Soundfont Device", "Yamaha XG", and "Yamaha XG Drums".
I tried mapping the channels to each of the "General MIDI", the "Roland GS", and the "Yamaha XG" options, but the output sound each time just was not the same as from the WinAmp application.

Am I overlooking something simple? Do I need to set up a soft synth? Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
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    r_lynton
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    RE: Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth 2004/06/02 20:50:32 (permalink)
    What a coincidence. I am looking here for the same reason.

    I have just upgraded from Cakewalk Express 6.0 which allowed me to use the Microsoft GS Wavetable Soft Synth / Roland Digital Samples. Some of the instruments on that synth sounded pretty good and I was pleased with the song I had written.

    Last night I installed Music Creator 2003 and found that the Microsoft Soft Synth was not available for Midi Out whereas it was available in Cakewalk Express 6.0.

    Instead Music Creator 2003 wanted me to choose my sound card's wavetable which was pretty crap.

    Alternatively I could hunt for some midi instruments using the EDIROL or DREAMSTATION soft synth.

    At this stage, all I can attribute the problem to is that the Microsoft Synth is not FULL DUPLEX, and that Cakewalk Music Creator 2003 cannot see it BY DESIGN...!!

    The following is from the readme.rtf...


    Music Creator Will Not Recognize the Reality Software Synthesizer Wave Driver

    The Seer Systems Reality software synthesizer exposes a virtual waveOut driver, so that host applications can play audio and synthesized MIDI at the same time.

    By design, Music Creator will not recognize this driver, since all audio hardware must support full duplex. Music Creator will not recognize any output driver that does not have a matching input driver, or vice-versa. Since Reality is such an “output only” driver, it is not available in Music Creator.


    Perhaps this means that it is not possible for Music Creator 2003 to convert the Microsoft Soft Synth to audio when it comes time to record the song.

    Let me know if you discover anything.
    #2
    ringjus
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    RE: Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth 2004/06/02 22:42:18 (permalink)
    I think I understand what you are saying. The first time I tried converting this file I followed the steps in Tutorial 4 in the manual (which took a while to figure out since all of my tracks were squashed together and I could not see where the destination audio track was supposed to be set...) (NOTE TO CAKEWALK PEOPLE: YOUR MANUAL NEEDS A LOT MORE ILLUSTRATIONS/PICTURES) . I was able to finally get an audio track created and recorded but it sounded pretty distorted. I guess the SB Live! card does have full duplex capability since I was able to get this to work. I guess I am confused about the nature of the software synth. Why does a software synth need to be "full duplexed" if it utilizes the sound card hardware for playback/record? Has anybody created a software synth that is comparable to the Microsoft synth?

    Any help for both of us would be very appreciated!!
    #3
    r_lynton
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    RE: Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth 2004/06/03 20:29:00 (permalink)
    Cakewalk may argue that the Edirol Soft Synth and the Dreamstation soft synth which comes with Cakewalk Music Creator 2003 was included in order to compensate for losing the use of 'output only' soft synths.

    In this case both the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth and the EDIROL SW Synth are both from Roland and have similar sounds.

    Have you managed to get the EDIROL working?

    I mapped all 4 of my channels/patches yesterday to the EDIROL soft synth (on Track 5 - an audio track) and found that 3 of the instruments were very similar to the ones on the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth.

    These were Synth Strings 1 (51), Muted Guitar (29), and the percussion channel 10 mapped to Edirol Drum Set Standard 1.

    As Synth Brass 1 (63) on Edirol was not as good as on the Microsoft GS Wavetable, I mapped this to a completely different instrument - Preset 9 on the Dreamstation soft synth using Track 6 - another audio track.

    Overall I think I have more choice and control than before. However it would be good to have a bit more explanation of why the Windows Standard Midi Synth doesn't work on Music Creator.

    This is a concern if I email a midi file to a fellow windows user, as they will probably hear it with the Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW synth.
    #4
    Shifty Geezer
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    RE: Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth 2004/06/04 13:15:31 (permalink)
    All MIDI instruments sound different and you can't rely on them for reproducing the sounds you composed. There's dozens of GM sound banks for use with the SBLive!'s (and others) soundfonts, and they all give a totally different rendering of MIDI tracks. That's the nature of MIDI :(

    Shifty Geezer
    ...
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    itsdaroc6
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    RE: Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth 2004/06/08 23:26:28 (permalink)
    Hey Shifty Geezer I hear your good at this cakewalk stuff maybe you can help me out if you can. I am having a slight problem Whenever i try to import music from a cd to cw it tells me "out of memory" or "cannot play wave file" when i click play.

    PLease help me if you can or anyone else for that matter


    Thanks Its DA Roc !!!
    #6
    itsdaroc6
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    RE: Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth 2004/06/08 23:28:29 (permalink)
    Hey Shifty Geezer I hear your good at this cakewalk stuff maybe you can help me out if you can. I am having a slight problem Whenever i try to import music from a cd to cw it tells me "out of memory" or "cannot play wave file" when i click play.

    PLease help me if you can or anyone else for that matter


    Thanks Its DA Roc !!!
    #7
    ringjus
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    RE: Question re Microsoft GS Software Wavetable SW Synth 2004/06/09 09:00:00 (permalink)
    Thank you for your suggestion about trying EDIROL. I was able to get all of my channels mapped to some similar instruments and was finally able to convert the MIDI file to a reasonable wav file facsimile. I would like to get a better understanding of the compatibility (?) issue with the Microsoft synth. Could somebody from Cakewalk provide a short explanation?

    Thanks for your help!
    #8
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