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Midi Synth Software Driver

Posted on 2002-05-08
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Last Modified: 2010-05-29
I'm looking for an alternative Midi Synth Driver for my laptop.  The plain vanilla 'Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth' is a bit too ding-dong for the music applications I have in mind.

Any suggestions?  It needs to be driver - not just a midi file player - so that it can be used for realtime MIDI output from any application.
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Question by:scce
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6997237
Scce,

Can't think of any suggestions for you.  But if I knew what kind of laptop I might be able to think of some!  :)

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by:stevenlewis
ID: 6997709
Cakewalk?
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6998115
sounds like he is looking for a driver not a midi capable piece of software....Cakewalk is midi software....I have it and it doesnt come with drivers.
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by:stevenlewis
ID: 6998411
But the voices are provided by the software, and the midi device, and not the drivers
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by:Wakeup
ID: 6998506
Right.  But if he is trying to just get midi sound, he doesnt need cakewalk.  But if he does then cakewalk he does need....however on a laptop?  that is up to him I suppose.  Plus he needs to know a little about music composing and have midi capable equipment to use the voices and stuff...so I'd agree if that is what he is going to need it for.  That and it cost money.  Plus he says he wants a driver not  a midi player.  Which is kinda what cakewalk is but even more so cuz you can compose.
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by:stevenlewis
ID: 7000038
I know, I use Cakewalk, love it. It has been my experience that the quality of the sound is more dependent on the out put device. I have a Roland PMA 5 with 328 voices (band in a box if you will) and when I use the sound card it sounds like crap, but if I use the Roland the voices are realistic and the sound is awesome. I used to use this setup, and run it through my PA, and edit the tracks, and add in my guitar (live) and sing, and performed on Cape Cod. The club and restaurant owners out there wanted a whole band sound for solo artist money
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by:scce
ID: 7000042
Thanks for your comments, guys, but I think you're barking up the wrong tree with Cakewalk.

Are you familiar with the Microsoft GS Wavetable SW Synth?  It's a software midi device which Windows installs by default.  If you have a dedicated hardware sound card (in a desktop) you get additional midi devices which typically have a better sound.

Problem is on a laptop you usually don't have a dedicated hardware sound card so the Microsoft offering is all you get.  I'm looking for something that works in the same way but sounds better.
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by:stevenlewis
ID: 7000145
scce, I believe (which I was trying to get at in my round about way LOL) is the "crappy" sound is a limitation of the sound card, and not the wave table synth. the quality of the sound is dependent on what is reproducing the patch, and not the patch itself
but I could be wrong (Lord know I have been many times before)
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7000175
scce,

I am familiar with the GS wavetable.  What kind of laptop do you have?  Please?

Thanks...

I know cakewalk is not what you need.  So lets talk about what you do need...and what you have.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7000177
Oh and yes I have the Sound Blaster Audigy card.  It supports MS GS Wavetable synth which I agree sux, and also has Audigy Wave and creative wav and some other synths which sound alot better, so yes I do know what you are talking about.  I do need however the information on your laptop to help you out to see if we can get drivers or find something compatible for you to try or use.


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Author Comment

by:scce
ID: 7004935
Wakeup, it's a Toshiba Satellite 1800.  I'm not sure how that helps though - surely any midi driver will be generic?  I don't believe there is any sound hardware on it apart from wave output which is why the MS Wavetable Synth is supplied for midi.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7005275
scce,

Yes it does matter, because midi drivers are not generic.  Just because your sound card supports midi, doesn't mean that any driver will work.  Just because I have a car doesnt mean it uses Unleaded fuel.  Could be diesel, could be electric.  Could be solar.  right?

so here are drivers for Toshiba Satellite 1800 laptops:
http://209.167.114.38/support/Downloads/index.html

I would suggest starting with those.  If that does not make any difference, then I dunno what to tell ya, cuz that is all I could find.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7029325
scce...any resolution on this?
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by:scce
ID: 7030772
Sorry, Wakeup, but you haven't actually addressed the question I asked.  So far, I still have no resolution on improving the sound of the laptop.

I was already aware of the Toshiba drivers web site - this is the driver that installs the standard SW synth I'm trying to replace.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7031137
Well I see that that doesn't help, but that is all that is available for your sound card.  What you need to do is get in contact with someone (A developer) who can modify your drivers or create new ones for you.  Otherwise that is it.  No other drivers out there.  It has to be specific to your hardware.  You can't use other drivers for other devices.  Just the same as you can't use WinXP drivers on a 98 box and 98 drivers on an XP box.. If it isn't out there for your card it isn't out there.  Not much more we can say to help you...the question was already rigged to begin with because there are no others available to begin with anyway.
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by:Asta Cu
ID: 7135376
Have you been helped here or is more needed?  Since time has passed since your last comment, an update is appreciated (in case things have changed).  If you've been helped, convert the expert's comment to the Accepted Answer to grade and close it.  If more than one helped you, ask for a point split by posting a zero point question in the Community Support topic area, include this link and details with your request (expert name and point values to each).

This is the Community Support link:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/jsp/qList.jsp?ta=commspt

Thanks,
":0)
Asta
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Author Comment

by:scce
ID: 7161308
Hi astaec,

I would like to close this question (I thought I already had).  Unfortunately the suggestions offered have really missed the point I was asking.

After several hours of research, I have answered my own question - among the the third party MIDI drivers that I was seeking are the following:

Roland Virtual Sound Canvas
Yamaha XG SoftSynth

Both of these will install themselves as a MIDI Device and will play their own sound samples through *ANY* wave sound card.

Since I had to find these on my own and was not helped by responses to my question (unusually, since EE has been a great help for most of the questions I have asked in the past), I would like to just cancel the question.

I can't see any obvious way of doing this from the form.  I you can advise, I will be happy to close it off.
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Accepted Solution

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Wakeup earned 100 total points
ID: 7161364
scce,

I would suggest you go to community support and ask them to close the question and refund the points.  I think that deleting or canceling the question is a waste of time that us EE users have put in to this question.  So I would suggest you have them move it to the PAQ.  And refund your points.

Go here:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/commspt/

And tell them what you want to do with this question:
http://www.experts-exchange.com/winxp/Q_20298261.html

paste that in your community support question.
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by:Wakeup
ID: 7163580
hmmm...

I dont understand why you accepted my comment as an answer...?
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by:tlatev
ID: 32877606
scce,
I found this post googling for exactly the same problem. Years ago when sound cards were a luxury I remember that there was a piece of software called wingroove. Looks like it's been discontinued long time ago, but it used to install itself as a software wavetable under windows and using the wingroove driver midi files for the first time sounded like CDs. /at the expense of higher CPU usage/
It's a shame that we need to spend so much time trying to accomplish something that was so easy to do 15 years ago. Microsoft not only made it as hard as possible, but with Win7 it removed the option to adjust the volume of the midi device independently.
If someone has found a solution please let us all know.
I guess the lame answer would be - go out there and spend some $$$ on a new sound card
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