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Midi, the lost art of the 90's

#1
so once upon a time, before MP3's, and CD's and all that stuff there was a style of music mostly associated with PC's, that style was the use of what's now known as general midi.
general midi was a way for games to have music and sound effects without needing the space that sampled sounds and recorded music takes up, you'll find it commonly with older games, especially does games.

these days though midi support has been all but removed from windows, and didn't even really exist in linux or mac osx.  it's a shame really, midi's are a rather unique product of an age back when space was still at a premium, before we had thousands of gigabytes of space in our laptops and desktop PC's.

however there are ways to still enjoy midi even now, there's this nifty piece of software by a company called coolsoft called virtual midi synth.
with it you can load something called a soundfont and play midi's without all the hardware or digging up old sound cards from bygone eras.

there's all sorts of soundfonts out there as well, back towards the end of the midi age soundfonts were a way to get the most from your midi music without having to shell out tons of cash for midi synthesizer hardware add-ons.

if you feel like checking out this dated but still fairly powerful type of sound I highly recommend it, as far as soundfonts go, a good one to check out is called chorium, it's got a good balance of great sounds and leveled audio, plus it's free.

so is anyone familiar with midi's?
for that matter does anyone still listen to them?
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
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#2
Interesting timing. I was trying to explain midis to someone at work a few weeks ago. Takes me back...
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#3
indeed lol.

I grew up with midi's as my grandfather had a rather large collection of them, sadly as of windows 10 such things no-longer work by default so you need to tinker with things to get them working now.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
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#4
Quote:so is anyone familiar with midi's?


I sorta recall the Midi formats yes..but only kinda vaguely


Quote:for that matter does anyone still listen to them?



I think its been a pretty long while since I recall listening to one.. Dodgy
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#5
(December 30th, 2017 at 11:57 AM)brian51 Wrote:
Quote:for that matter does anyone still listen to them?



I think its been a pretty long while since I recall listening to one.. Dodgy

Yeah, on that count, can't say I remember when...
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#6
ok so I took some time to record a good example of the difference between the classic windows general midi and the coolsoft virtual midi using a decent soundfont.

if you've played SC2K you'll recognize this particular song, it's 10008.mid, also known as moogy city.

the first video is midi back when it was still supported (windows 7 and before)

the second is the enhanced midi.






The difference is far more noticeable with headphones but there's definitely a better quality sound.

with more tweaking I'm sure I could take it further but I'm happy where it's at lol.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
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#7
Okay i finally got around to listening to them both,
wanted to thank you for the post, and also bringing back some great memories for me Smile
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#8
midi's are really good when setup right lol.
and they take up like zero space XD
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
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#9
Loved that game! Good tracks.
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#10
yeah SC2K has some great midi music.

as I've been playing a lot of retrogames in the past couple years I've found a ton of great midi files that I've copied over to my midi folder for replaying later.

don't get me wrong, MP3's are great and fairly consistant but idk, I just really love the sound of midi files played with a really awesome soundfont.

case in point.

grabbag from duke nukem 3D.

it's a midi that was so awesome megadeth did a cover of it!

played with the right soundfont it jsut sounds like a really epic rock theme.

on the other hand... it just blends right in on the sega genesis soundfont lol.
"I reject your reality and subsitute my own." - Adam Savage, Mythbusters
[Image: 5.jpg]
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