VST/Standalone General Midi Player for casual listening

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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.

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Try synthfont with a high quality GM soundfont.
Meh

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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.

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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.

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Another option is VLC in combination with soundfonts.

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Soundfonts will never sound convincing with GM / GS / XG MIDI-files, because those files rely on MIDI Control Change Messages – Continuous Controllers
e.g.
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.

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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?

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I think these two are the best gm soundfonts available,
This free one,
https://musical-artifacts.com/artifacts/1176
and this 20 dollars one,
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCEznW2 ... KPTGDjXNow

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Sonic Cat Purity.
I started on Logic 5 with a PowerBook G4 550Mhz. I now have a MacBook Air M1 and it's ~165x faster! So, why is my music not proportionally better? :(

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