UHD soundfont

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Posts: 11
Joined: July 29, 2014 - 07:24
UHD soundfont

I found this SoundFont on youtube.

It's creator's channel is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjCma3GKtfYt-GDJabfbzA and it's link is https://pub.dotbalm.org/misc/UHD3.7z

Help Support VirtualMidiSynth 2.0

Posts: 1536
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: UHD soundfont

I've had a look at the youtube channel and it seems interesting.

Does the soundfont have an official page, or a blog post that links to it?
I'd like to avoid publishing a link straight to the .7z file, better to have some kind of "official" page...

Posts: 11
Joined: July 29, 2014 - 07:24
Re: UHD soundfont

If I remember his homepage is most likely his channel at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZjCma3GKtfYt-GDJabfbzA/about

Help Support VirtualMidiSynth 2.0

Posts: 1536
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: UHD soundfont

Link added to VMS homepage...

Posts: 3
Joined: January 7, 2019 - 19:56
Re: UHD soundfont

Hello! I'm the author of UHD, was directed to this thread and just wanted to chime in.

You're correct, there is no homepage for UHD. That's because I finished that project like a decade ago or more, though I added a little polish and released it only recently. My current (and IMO, superior) project is a GM/GS SF2 called FatBoy. As that's an active project, it does have a proper website with changelog. Feel free to feature that as well, if you'd like: https://fatboy.site

All the best,

-C

Posts: 1536
Joined: March 25, 2012 - 01:19
Re: UHD soundfont

@cwadge: Welcome and thanks for your work.
I've added a link to your website in Soundfonts section on VMS page.

Posts: 3
Joined: January 7, 2019 - 19:56
Re: UHD soundfont

@coolsoft - Thanks, that's kind of you. Your site seems like a great resource for us fringe tech weirdos. ;-) Keep up the good work!

-C

Posts: 2
Joined: May 1, 2019 - 09:45
Re: UHD soundfont

Thanks cwade for "fatboy".

Thanks coolsoft the midi synth and mapper is a great toy for an old gamer like me.

cwade, overall i like the "FatBoy" soundfont, but certain instruments aren't well balanced in loudness i feel, of course one could fix this if a midi is recorded with the midi converter using the midi mixer, but while you play a ame you won't have this opportunity respectively it won't make much sense.

Most (until now all) homebrew soundfonts are a little bad in balance if i compare them to the standard 8MBGM of creative labs which is only <8MB large but makes quite good sound most of all the instruments are well balanced, i.e. cowbells or similar aren't to loud compared to violines or trumpets.

Before i needed something like MIDI Synth/Mapper i used my old soundblaster card up to WinXP and mostly i was satisfied with the 8MB soundfont sometimes i even banged it on the hardware since you still have an MPU401 on board. it's a bit brittle but for some games just right.

"Fatboy" is that phat that it turns almost all music to classical music, perhaps to phat ;)

It's ideal for classical music & jazz as i experienced but it can sound a little funny playing techno tracks or similar synthetic music, in such a case the creative labs 8MBGM soundfont is still handy.

It leaks a little for the special effects they get reproduced better with the 8MBGM soundfont.

Tracks i arranged using the 8MBGM soundfont sound mostly very funny wit a different soundfont

compare yourself:

https://youtu.be/3x9XbD6S2dc

A very nice sorta classical/march tune it's reproduced best using FatBoy while you can hear the cymbals are to loud and they are in general to loud not only for this tune. Alternatively it sounds very well using GUS what isn't compared here (yet).

https://youtu.be/d7RZRDx9tA8

The rearranged version of "Mike Cook" sounds good as well, the cymbals are less loud but still to loud.

A by me arranged track

https://youtu.be/fMLI5nS9o2w

It loses a little of the "space sound" hall when played back using "Fatboy" overall it's less synthetic but this arrangement of Bach (Brandenburg Concerto No.3, third movement) should sound synthetic.

Very good results like i said with classical or march tunes, the medieval type of music in "Lords of the Realm" sounds that good that you will use the MIDI music and discard the soundeffects for this. The horns are brillant, i like much in "Fatboy".

https://youtu.be/Bqkb8DLrcZY

A Different example, this isn't the actual in-game music of "Commander Keen" they are MIDI versions made by the composer himself which come closer to what was intented by him. The first synth track is shows well that "Fatboy" turns almost all to instruments while the second track shows the strength of "Fatboy" playing a fine mutet trumpet.

https://youtu.be/NhsItwhhdkw

erm yes, i noticed the small 8MBGMSFX isn't present here, further i noticed some might look for it, here it is, small but well sounding

https://alsa.opensrc.org/8MBGMSFX.SF2

---

Besides yeah MIDI and Soundtracker files still make sense, i like them. not so lang ago i played a Soundtracker Module to a young friend and speeded it up, his comment "it's that easy?" - "yes it is that easy" (i always told him bpm are no problem to achieve, how many you like?)

I like this website, it's definately cool.

If i would have money to spend i would donate a little but i live by welfare and didn't even have a credit card.

but i can donate this to you ;)

https://forums.frontier.co.uk/threads/phoenix-pioneer-space-sim-derivate...

i'm maintaining this derivate of Pioneer, i hope you like it, no it has no MIDI sound - unfortunately, i would like, i would like to implement the mod plug plugin to playback MIDI and soundtracker files. I added as a MOD about 500MB of to .ogg converted soundtracker files in the original format it would be some MB's and not a half of a gigabyte. Most of all i feel it sounds different if played back as MIDI or MOD but maybe that's presumption.

Posts: 3
Joined: January 7, 2019 - 19:56
Re: UHD soundfont

Hi Gernot,

   Thanks kindly for the thorough and honest feedback. FatBoy is definitely still a work in progress, which is why it is not quite at v1.0 just yet. I'm still tweaking things, taking feedback and ocassionally fixing minor bugs as well. That said, I need to establish a bit of background. Soundfonts which utilize real, live instrument samples are fundamentally more difficult to mix and balance appropriately than a more compressed, "synthetic" SoundFont e.g. the Creative 8MB GM set. Right now I have an attenuation mix which was digitally metered to make sure each individual instrument has exactly the same volume across the board when at 100% velocity, in four distinct groups:

  1. General instrumentation, e.g. pianos, guitars, etc.
  2. Sound efffects, e.g. birds chirping, fret noise, etc.
  3. Bass instruments
  4. Percussion instruments

These reference volumes are based on reverse engineering recordings of some industry-standard synths from the late 80's and early 90's, which got me fairly close but is admittedly not ideal. Each MIDI recording is subjective due to the nature of the performance itself. For instance, some older (or particularly low-effort) recordings simply use 100% instrument velocity for every instrument in every circumstance -- the digital equivalent of banging on every key as hard as possible for every single note. In contrast others use dynamic velocities with varying degrees of success, making the expression closer to live musicians performing on real instruments. A good example of the latter is "golden age" Sierra or LucasArts adventure games. With that in mind, in order to really fine-tune the balance, and in order to correctly add certain obscure instruments in the GS extended set, I'll need to acquire some [functional!] period hardware and go through each preset one by one. At present I don't have that hardware, and thus no proper litmus.

Once a true hardware reference is established, there remains one more large challenge. Due to the dynamic nature of the samples, the way certain MIDI is arranged means it will always sound a little "off" on anything other than the specific hardware/soundfont it was originally composed for. This is one reason MIDI fell out of fashion in the first place, in favor of later technology such as MOD and now pre-arranged & mastered recorded digital audio. This particular dillemma is not completely surmountable, since FatBoy can never be every legacy synthesizer with all of their unique nuances and quirks. The best compromise in such instances is probably just to make FatBoy sound as good as possible for what it is.

With all that context out of the way, there is a difference between the perceived volume of a given sample and the objective digitial attenuation. For instance, a fretless bass or a timpany in the low frequency range is going to be perceived as louder than the same instrument in a higher frequency range, even if the objective attenuation is exactly the same. In the lower range, it sounds more "full". Likewise particularly brash instruments, like trumpets or cymbals, may sound louder to the human ear in the higher frequency range than they do at the lower end of the scale. And none of this takes into account the quality and balance of the speakers being used by the listener. :) This may be what's happening here. What would greatly help me to sort out the subjective from the objective in cases like these is to have a copy of the raw MIDI along with a recorded sample from a standard baseline, preferrably an industry-standard piece of hardware such as a Roland Sound Canvas. I assume you probably don't have a Sound Canvas laying around (though I hope to have my own eventually), would it be possible to get me some raw MIDI of the tracks where you're hearing issues? If you don't have an ideal way of doing that, feel free to use the email contact link at the bottom of https://fatboy.site

Thanks and all the best,

-Chris

Posts: 2
Joined: May 1, 2019 - 09:45
Re: UHD soundfont

Thanks for the quick reply cwadge.

First it isn't that important but i will link here some files.

Recently (right now as i'm typing) i listen to the same files using your former "UHD3" soundfont which sounds pretty good for the midi files i play back. (but won't sound a cool as if i use the emulated GUS for the game, it's in this case to prefere, the instruments sound pretty good)

They are out of a set of reworked .HMP files by Mike Cook taken from Frontier First Encounters. (unfortunately i can't get them to be played back as .HMP in FFE, the reason isn't to clear to me, the files work if i use John Jordans JJFFE which runs on modern computers it reads and converts the HMP to MIDI to play them back, recently also i can't play them in winamp even if i remember that it worked previousely, could be an issue of x64 Win10, i have no idea). Probably they have to many voices, FFE tracks have only 4, i converted once some midi to .hmp successfully but i remember i had problems with some tracks. Yes they do sound different as MIDI, it's not ideal but i liked to have some alternative music for the game.

For sure i haven't a Roland Canvas, the odd Soundblaster plus MPU401 was the best i had and i remeber i must have still an AWE32 but it's of no use except i would rebuild an old system just to play the old crap.

Since some others might be interested in the MIDI files i will attach FFE-MIDI_R1 here

Also one or two which i rearranged, while i have to say it's crappy i used back then some unregistered software to edit them i can't even remember which program it was. The material is such old that i even haven't the original files present only the renamed ones so don't be surprised if the name of the file won't match the composition.

Recently thanks to coolsofts virtual midi synth i'm playing around a lot with that, doesn't makes much sense but it's fun.

Besides personally i prefere to play back baroque music mostly Bach in MIDI, his compositions are such clear structured that they sound as if they would be made to be played by a machine and for this "Fatboy" sounds really good. I converted an amiga mod to MIDI (using MP Tracker) it's an organ piece and using fat boy it sounds again as good as the original, better even recently i'm comparing them and ohh what happens to it i have instruments i never heard in it, the original is an octamed file which i converted to MIDI, played back using a GM soundfont it sounds pretty much the same, played back using Fatboy it's an organ concerto with recorder, oboe, violine and trumpet very nice indeed, i will attach this to that's quite interesting (i must have chosen those instruments? i can't remember i thought it was all organ).

Don't be surprised the music of FFE is minimalistic but therefore a good soundfont makes a big difference to them. Even more problematic is the music of its predecessor "Frontier" which are in .ROL format and use a own set of instruments (i guess). However i extracted them using DOSBox's capability to export the raw MIDI instructions. Just for a comparison i attach them too.

Overall and i guess it's related to HMP FFE's music is one of the rather difficult music to play back, other MIDI tracks sound in general fine except you like to play back heavy metal (comment of the composer of commander keens music "don't do heavy with me", depending on the soundfont it can sound better "weeds" used nice distorted guitar samples his font is useful to play back rock music).

Besides the comparisons i made mostly to show off how the soundfont affects the music of a game and how nice the virtual synth is, especially because we can't have anymore (or i can't use anymore especially not for the tiny notebook which i recently use) a SB card. I noticed there are other sorftwares for the same goal, i didn't tried but i guess coolsofts virtual synth is at least the most comfortable. Means i will post them also on "VOGONS" and on "Frontier forums" to advertise a little for both, the virtual synth and your soundfont. I can't tell if that giant 1.8GB sized sf will sound better i didn't downloaded it yet, it seems to me to large. Further like i said FFE sounds best using the emulated Ultrasound.

Ah yes the peripheral sound equipment is as crappy too it's a "Logitech" desktop speaker system, not the best and really thin compared to a good stereo, it depends where i stay, at home i have the notebook connected to a stereo but i haven't web access at home (starving open source co-dev, you know) thus i have to travel to my moms home because she has web acces (because of TV which i don't need) . This might get better in the near future. If i connect the tard to dads leftover denon and his coffin sized speakers it sounds again quite different.

Passacaglia and Fugue in c minor - That's a damned nice track to compare the soundfonts. Damned "your" trumpet is extremly cool, sounds like played inclusive the "blow on", also oboe and recorder is great (that's why everything turns to classical music) wherefore the organ is a little synthetic sounds a bit like "switched on Bach" but it could be that i really chose the instruments for the conversion of the octamed file to midi. It forces me to open it in MP tracker and see if i can't change the organ sound.

Attachments (Only registered users)
FFE-MIDI-R1_ALL.zip
FFE-MIDI-R1a_ALL.zip
FFE_alternatives.zip
passacagliafuguec.zip