VST/Standalone General Midi Player for casual listening

VST, AU, AAX, etc. plug-in Virtual Instruments discussion
Topic Starter
2 posts since 23 Jan, 2021

Post Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:59 pm

I've been listening to midis with the Falcosoft midi player and its VST player using Yamaha S-YXG50. This has been miles better than the default windows midi soundset, but I find it hard to believe that the highest quality method of midi playback I can find is a VST from 1997. I've tried a number of other methods too, like Universal Sound Module and Roland Sound Canvas VA, but neither sounded as good. I've also tried Native Instruments Bandstand; which isn't a VST, but a standalone midi player, and that was only really good for a few specific genres and otherwise sounded janky.

My question is, what's a way to listen to midis with high quality instruments (not counting romplers that have 16 channel support but you have to manually choose the instruments for each individual song)? I've heard a lot of conflicting information and it seems as if there are very few options at all. I know that there are modern hardware sound modules that are capable of out-of-the-box midi playback like the roland integra 7, so surely there's a software equivalent out there?

Any options would be appreciated, be they free, expensive, or abandonware. Thanks.

User avatar
138 posts since 24 Sep, 2003 from Ireland

Post Sat Jan 23, 2021 4:07 am

Try synthfont with a high quality GM soundfont.

48 posts since 24 Apr, 2019

Post Sat Jan 23, 2021 9:59 am

JackGibson wrote: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:59 pmMy question is, what's a way to listen to midis with high quality instruments
There's a far easier way. Grab foobar2000, grab https://www.foobar2000.org/components/view/foo_midi, download some soundfonts (just google for "general midi soundfont", then grab a few and try them all out), and there you go.

Topic Starter
2 posts since 23 Jan, 2021

Post Mon Jan 25, 2021 10:44 pm

I have tried soundfonts before, my personal favorite is the Orpheus soundfont.

However, I have found what I am looking for with Halion Sonic SE. It was exactly what I wanted.

838 posts since 22 Apr, 2004 from Switzerland

Post Tue Jan 26, 2021 1:01 am

Another option is VLC in combination with soundfonts.

3 posts since 6 Apr, 2014

Post Wed Aug 04, 2021 5:16 am

Soundfonts will never sound convincing with GM / GS / XG MIDI-files, because those files rely on MIDI Control Change Messages – Continuous Controllers
71 = Filter Resonance
74 = Filter Cutoff Frequency
73 = Attack time
84 = Portamento amount
91 = Reverb send
93 = Chorus send
95 = Phaser send
... and the list goes on and on.

This is not possible to program into Soundfonts.
You need a proper GM-Sound-Module from Yamaha or Roland or Korg with complete implementation of MIDI messages. (Hardware or now better software-pendants)
Otherwise the files will never sound right, just ok if you are lucky and the file does not rely too much on controllers.

The YAMAHA S-YXG50 is a slightly stripped down version of the popular MU80 sound module (hardware), which sounds the same (some effects are missing in the software though, like PITCH CHANGE or AURAL EXCITER) and is still the de facto standard for GM and XG.

But it is true, there was no GM-development in the recent years, probably because General MIDI is not actively promoted anymore, since games use audio tracks now and no MIDI-tracks anymore, and even karaoke sees more properly produced audio tracks recently.

10 posts since 18 Jan, 2022

Post Sat Jan 22, 2022 9:14 am

I'm quite confused... I tried to play my MIDI backing tracks through a multitude of GM soundfonts I found online, with VLC player and they all sounded like trash! I read somewhere else that the soundfont will sound different through different players. Does that mean that VLC is a lousy player to use soundfonts with? What should I use to play MIDI files with soundfonts? Are GM VST files always better sounding than soundfonts?

29 posts since 22 Jun, 2021

Post Sat Sep 24, 2022 12:25 pm

I think these two are the best gm soundfonts available,
This free one,
and this 20 dollars one,
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEznW2 ... KPTGDjXNow

User avatar
1654 posts since 25 Sep, 2014 from Specific Northwest

Post Sun Sep 25, 2022 10:18 pm

Sonic Cat Purity.

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