Guide: How to tune your ScummVM music/sound (Win2K/XP/Vista)

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Guide: How to tune your ScummVM music/sound (Win2K/XP/Vista)

Post by Dakarios »

Tune your standard-MIDI-sound in Win2K/XP/Vista so you have the best possible sound in ScummVM:

1.) TiMidity++ download & immediately install:
2.) Airfont 340 soundfont download & immediately decompress zip-archive: ... t_340.html
3.) SfArk download & immediately install:

After installation of SfArk run the program from the start menu, open the .sfArk-soundfont file which you've gotten from the Airfont 340-zip archive, and decompress it.
After decompression using SfArk, you have a file named "a340.sf2" - this is our soundfont for perfect sound in TiMidity++, our virtual MIDI-playing device for Win2K/XP/Vista.

Now go to the program directoy of TiMidity++ (e.g. C:\Program Files\TiMidity++). There's a directoy named "musix" - to this directory, you copy the a340.sf2, because in this directoy all soundfonts used by TiMidity++ are located.
To activate a340.sf2 as the only soundfont to be used by TiMidity++, again go to the program directory of TiMidity++. There you see the directory "bin", where you find the file "setwindrv.exe" - run that program. On the left you now see an area named "soundfonts & includes". That's where the active soundfonts are shown. On the right of the program, you see an overview with all available soundfonts you can choose from.
You now click on the soundfonts you see on the left (should be "A320U.sf2" and "piano-mgg.sf2") and click "remove". Our new soundfont we want to add is "a320.sf", this one should be available for selection on the right side. Click on it and then click "add". To save and activate our new configuration, click "save & quit".
(if TiMidity++ doesn't show "a340.sf2" for selection on the right side, by clicking on "directory (where your soundfonts are)" you can choose the directory where you've put your a340.sf2)
Now you've successfully configured TiMidity++.

To activate TiMidity++ to be used for playing MIDI-sounds in Windows instead of the cheap Microsoft synthesizer, we've got to finish the job with one last step.
Open the Windows control panel and double-click "Sounds and Audio Devices" (perhaps you first have to switch to classic view to see it). Under "Audio"/"MIDI music playback" change your standard MIDI device to "Timidity++ Driver". Confirm by clicking "Apply"/"OK". That's it - enough hacking your system config for today!

Note for Vista-Users: Here, Microsoft simply removed the option to choose a different MIDI-device - pretty stupid if you ask me, because Vista still supports switching MIDI-devices, it's just hidden somewhere in the depths of Vista. (that fancy Aero-graphics must have some disadvantages, right?)
A German fellow-countryman of mine with the unpronounceable name "Putzlowischt" has created a nifty tool to get back your freedom you've been used to from 2K/XP: Download the "Putzlowischts Vista MIDI-Mapper" from ... di-mapper/ and extract the file you've found within the ZIP-archive to C:\Windows\System32.
When you start your Windows control panel, you now see "Putzlowischts Vista-MIDIMapper". (again, use classic view if you don't see it)
Here, you now choose "Timidity++ Driver" and confirm by clicking "Apply"/"OK". That's it!

You most easily hear the difference by playing a MIDI-music file (not a mobile ringtone, but something with a couple of instruments!). To realize what you've been missing before, switch back to the Microsoft's standard MIDI-synthesizer in the control panel and listen to the same MIDI again. I told you it's worth the hassle! One sounds like a Gameboy, the other like an orchestra. :-)

Don't forget to choose "MIDI" as the standard audio device in ScummVM, otherwise all this work has no use for getting any better sound in your beloved game classics.

Another note here: All offered software has been checked as free of malware/viruses and is completely free for download and use.
However, I don't give any guarantee for what happens to your computer (e.g. if you delete your Windows-directory instead of copying a file into it! *G*)

If you have any questions, feel free to get in touch with me:

Have fun with it!
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Post by Cyphox »

Much better: Shan's Soundfont
Mr. Wood
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Post by Mr. Wood »

Personally I prefer Fluid release 3, although its electric guitars are absolutely god-awful. :(
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Post by Arantor »

It is possible to play mix 'n' match with Soundfonts.

You could in theory build a SF based on Fluid and add in some better guitars.

I think you need an SF enabled sound card to do it (not using TiMidity), and on SF cards, Creative themselves provide the software (Vienna Soundfont Studio) but I haven't yet figured out how to manage it though :oops:
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Post by Ceri Cat »

Well configuring soundfonts to use multiples has nothing to do with Vienna (Vienna is primarily for SF design) it's actually under AudioHQ in your control panel. Open SoundFont from there and now comes the fun part.

1 In the SoundFont dialog box, click the Configure Instrument tab.
2 In the Select Bank list, select the bank whose instruments you want to configure.
You can select any bank.
3 In the Select Instrument list, select the instrument to configure.
In the Instrument Stack box, you may see an instrument entry although you did not load an instrument in this page. The instrument, which has the icon, is the instrument found in a bank loaded in the Configure Bank tabbed page.

4 Click the Load button and load the SoundFont/DLS/Wave file that contains the instrument you want to use.
The latest file loaded always appears at the top of the Instrument Stack box, with an arrow pointing to it.
5 To clear an instrument from the stack, select the instrument and then click the Clear button.

You might want/need to disable the standard 2MB Soundfont setup by default as well. I usually use the 8MB myself with a bit of tweaking from other samples. You might also need to increase the soundfont cache on the third tab if you're using too many soundfonts. The SBLive! Value at least defaults to 12 megs, I can't speak for other Creative cards.

To give an idea why this can be an issue, some of the better quality soundfonts are over 100 megs, but in all fairness we're talking modern digital studio quality sound sampling and such SFs can retail at over 10K good for recording artists who don't have access to anything besides a keyboard but no good for our purposes given we're not going to notice the playback difference with home sound systems. Good SFs exist for most of the standard instruments if you look through the SF libraries, and they're usually better quality than the broad spectrum packs like Airfont 340 if you're feeling picky.
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Post by tom999 »


I have just registered to say a BIG THANK YOU!!!! Can you imagine I got a brand new laptop with Vista (with conexant smart audio chip on board) in which I don't even have crappy Microsoft GS wave synth activated!! I don't know whether it is because of vista or crappy driver for intergrated audio chip but f** it, with timidity and soundfonts I can get nice midi sounds on my machine. Once again, thank you for the solution provided!!!!

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Post by plutonick »

I successfuly used your guide in order to have timidity as midi in scummvm.

However, this causes many problems in the rest of my DOSBOX games. Is there any work around?

EDIT: I found the solution. My bad for not researching thorougly
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Post by rtr86 »

Wow, I always thought the windows midi driver would far exceed the music in games especially the old ones.

Just tried this tune guide and there really is a big difference. I'm just playing through the intro of Indiana FOA and I'm hearing music and effects I've never herd before!

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Post by plutonick »

i must be doing something wrong then because no matter which midi output i select in my control panel, the intro music is the same. I have also selected MIDI in scummvm audio options.
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Post by marticus »

Yamaha softsynth was pretty cool when I heard it on someone's PC, but I think it's discontinued (or way too expensive)
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Post by pncFreak »

Is it possible to use/change soundfonts on Windows Mobile 6 devices?
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Post by md5 »

pncFreak wrote:Is it possible to use/change soundfonts on Windows Mobile 6 devices?
Most probably not, the CPU needed for this is too high, and can't be handled by the slow CPU that mobile phones have. Plus, I personally don't know of any application for Windows Mobile 6 which would allow you to play synthesized music using sound fonts. But then again, I could be wrong.
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Post by pncFreak »

md5 wrote:Most probably not, the CPU needed for this is too high, and can't be handled by the slow CPU that mobile phones have...
Well, my hunch seems to be confirmed by your reply. Oh well, can't have it all I suppose.
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Post by fischkopf »

I istalled timidity ++, but I dont see the Timidity++ Driver in my list! I have Vista x64!
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Post by phanboy_iv »

fischkopf wrote:I istalled timidity ++, but I dont see the Timidity++ Driver in my list! I have Vista x64!
Shoot, same here. Used this guide to get a great MIDI experience on 32-bit Win 7, at least until I moved to 64-bit Win 7.
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