• Register
  • Help
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Topic: Suggestion for GEM

Share/Bookmark
  1. #1

    Suggestion for GEM

    When will your General MIDI synth, GEM, be released?

    I have one suggestion for it.

    Most software synthesizers these days are released in VSTI and DXI versions, but not in a system version.

    I think, however, that for a general MIDI synth, it would be really nice to have a system version, besides the DXI and VSTI plugin versions.

    What do I mean by a system version? A version that installs in the OS as a MIDI device, that can be one's default MIDI playback synth (replacing the "Microsoft Synthesizer" that comes as default with Windows), shows up in Control Panel, Device Manager, etc.

    I currently have the Yamaha SYXG50 (also a softsynth) set up as my system synth. It is much better than the Microsoft Synthesizer. Yet, it is years old, Yamaha has dropped support for it (so, there will be no Vista support) (I still use XP), and I'm sure that Garritan's GEM will be much better. (Roland-Edirol's VSC3 is also installable as a system synth, also better than the (also made by Roland) Microsoft synth, but IMO not as good as the SYXG50, and also several years old.)

    It is convenient sometimes, especially when first working on a project, just to have the sounds routed automatically to the GM system synth, and not have to isnsert plugin synths, add audio tracks for them, route the MIDI tracks to those audio tracks, etc.

    Therefore, I think it would be really useful if GEM is released so it can be installed as a system synth (hopefully for XP, Vista, and Mac), as well as a in the VST, DXI, RTAS forms, etc. That would really fill a void, as I don't know of any other system GM softsynth released in recent years.

  2. #2

    Re: Suggestion for GEM


    I agree completely with this post and also request that this forthcoming sample library be installable as a system sound source.

    Thanks,

    Larry

    Larry G. Alexander
    www.alexandermusic.com

  3. #3
    Senior Member jonray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Birmingham, England
    Posts
    405

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    Nice idea - I, too, would welcome this idea.

    I have been wondering whether the sounds in GEM will load automatically when a midi file is opened or whether you will have to go through a long laborious task of loading the instruments manually.

    Thanks
    Jon

  4. #4
    Moderator
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Location
    Chandler, Arizona
    Posts
    4,045

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    This probably wouldn't work for computer sounds as GEM samples are much larger than the very small sample sets used with most soundcards. There would have to be a way to load all of them into memory which would take all the memory in a 2 GB machine. Then there wouldn't be any memory left for anything else.

    Jim

  5. #5

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    Actually I have a method for improving the system General MIDI sounds for Mac OS X and QuickTime 7.3.

    The QuickTime General MIDI sound set is licensed from Roland and has not changed in 10 years. It is about 1MB of samples, total.

    You can easily configure QuickTime (Mac OS X) to use the freely downloadable SoundFont General MIDI library that comes with Finale Notepad. It is 31MB in size and sounds much better than the Roland library that comes with QuickTime.

    There ought to be some way to do the same thing with QuickTime in Windows XP or Vista, but I haven't looked into this. It probably involves knowing which Registry keys to edit, and is probably a bit tricky.

    Now any Standard MIDI file you play in any Web browser on the Mac (or directly in the Finder, for that matter) will sound much better. And you can also use this with any application that uses the Apple DLS sound font player, such as Sibelius 4.

    If you have a Mac and you'd like to try this, send me an email at wheat@wheatwilliams.com and I will send you the instructions.
    Wheat Williams
    Atlanta, Georgia, USA
    Music Copyist in Sibelius
    Apple MacBook Pro, Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion
    Apple Certified Support Professional. I also work with Windows.

  6. #6

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    Interesting thread - I haven't heard my computer's sound card General MIDI sounds in so long, I (thankfully!) have forgotten what they sound like.

    It would be slick to have the upcoming GEM be the generic default set of instruments for MIDI files to be played through - But Jim "Haydn's" point is the catcher. Sound Card General MIDI sounds are so tinky tink and plain bad because the manufacturers keep the sound set as small as possible. They Have to keep it small to not take up too much room on the computer. How could this good GEM library be kept on hand by the system when it's going to be so much larger--?

    But I have an answer for Jonray's question:

    "...I have been wondering whether the sounds in GEM will load automatically when a midi file is opened or whether you will have to go through a long laborious task of loading the instruments manually..."

    Having them load automatically is Maiki's request - But to answer the second half of your question, MIDI files have program changes built in to them which correspond to the General MIDI sound set specification. Sound #1, for instance, is always a Piano. #41 is always Violin. The last sound is always a Gunshot - That's what makes a set "General" - All instruments are always assigned to the same number.

    So when you open a MIDI file (which is properly programmed) - all you do is open your GM synth and you don't have to do Any configuring for it to instantly play exactly what the programmer intended. MIDI channels and sounds both are both instantly mapped correctly for you. That's how you're able to play an internet MIDI through your sound card with no fuss.

    I don't use my sound card's sounds - When I have reason to deal with MIDI files, either the ones I've made or ones I've found online, I just open Sonar, open the generic vanilla flavored GM Edirol synth that comes with Sonar - and when I play the MIDI file, Edirol automatically plays the right instruments because of the file's program changes.

    See?

    So for me it's not a big deal to listen to MIDI files - I always play them through Sonar, and it takes less than a minute to insert the Edirol synth - And when GEM is out, of course I'll want to use it instead.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  7. #7
    Senior Member jonray's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2003
    Location
    Birmingham, England
    Posts
    405

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    Quote Originally Posted by rbowser-
    But I have an answer for Jonray's question:

    <Snip>

    Having them load automatically is Maiki's request - But to answer the second half of your question, MIDI files have program changes built in to them which correspond to the General MIDI sound set specification. Sound #1, for instance, is always a Piano. #41 is always Violin. The last sound is always a Gunshot - That's what makes a set "General" - All instruments are always assigned to the same number.
    Thanks Randy, for taking time to answer, and although I did already know about the workings of General MIDI, you weren't to know that!! Your answer was very clear - thank you.

    I suppose my question was really to do with the specifics of how it would work wthin my system, namely Cubase.

    I was wondering exactly what would happen upon opening a midi file in Cubase. I assume GEM will be installed as a VST on my computer. I imagine when I open a midi file, the tracks appear, each assigned to a different General MIDI sound... Then, I would go to devices > VST instruments, choose GEM in the first slot.

    The next bit was what I was wondering about. I'll then have to connect each track to the GEM output. So, do I have to connect each track individually and select the appropriate midi channel for each track manually, or will there be a magic way of working it so it goes.... *pouff*... and every sound and midi channel are automatically connected?

    (I assume that GEM will read the General MIDI number and assign the correct SOUND to each track but I my question related to how fiddly the process will be, especially when I'm using a complex midi file with loads of tracks).


    I have another question: will the orchestral sounds of GEM be the same samples as GPO? Any how many drum kits will be included?

    I would be very interested in considering purchasing GEM since I do use MIDI files a lot (I teach flute and I use backing tracks exrensively with my pupils).

    Any news from anyone on when it might be available (I'd especially like to know if it will be ready before Christmas ), and how much it is going to cost? And will it be available in the UK from the outset?

    Cheers
    Jon

  8. #8

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    Hello again, Jonray

    Yes, I thought from your question that a basic explanation of how General MIDI works was in order. Now I understand better what you're wondering about - and part of it might still be due to some vagueness you have about GM. Let me see what I can answer.

    You're working with Cubase, which I've worked with a bit, but my DAW is Sonar, and there are some differences.

    "...I was wondering exactly what would happen upon opening a midi file in Cubase. I assume GEM will be installed as a VST on my computer..."

    If you see to it that the VST plugin option is selected when install GEM, the library's .dll file will be in your VST pool.

    "...I imagine when I open a midi file, the tracks appear, each assigned to a different General MIDI sound... Then, I would go to devices > VST instruments, choose GEM in the first slot..."

    Right, and to refresh my memory about Cubase's operation, I opened up my program to take a look. I opened up a GM MIDI file from the internet, then inserted KP2.

    "...The next bit was what I was wondering about. I'll then have to connect each track to the GEM output. So, do I have to connect each track individually and select the appropriate midi channel for each track manually, or will there be a magic way of working it so it goes.... *pouff*... and every sound and midi channel are automatically connected?..."

    Here's where it appears to me that Cubase is clumsier in this regard that Sonar. When adding a VST synth in Sonar, there's an option to add all the needed audio track outs or not. Saying "yes please, give me all the audio tracks" makes them all appear.

    Then, assigning the MIDI tracks to those appropriate audio outs from the synth is done in one pass--One selects all the MIDI tracks, then under the Track menu you can set all their outputs to go into the soft synth, all done in one step.

    All told, it takes under a minute to set that up.

    In Cubase, maybe there are options I'm not aware of, but it seems like you do indeed have to go to the output of each MIDI track and assign it to the soft synth - one at a time.

    BUT, you asked if you'd have to assign the MIDI Channel of each track individually, and the answer is No. The MIDI Channels are imported as part of the MIDI file. The only assigning you need to do is what I've described, making sure those MIDI tracks are now directed towards the soft synth.

    "...(I assume that GEM will read the General MIDI number and assign the correct SOUND to each track but I my question related to how fiddly the process will be, especially when I'm using a complex midi file with loads of tracks)..."

    Yes, for GEM to be a GM library, it will have to be able to read the patch change number and select the appropriate instrument. The MIDI Channels will be there automatically, as I've said above, but it Does look like in Cubase you'll have to individually set up the correct outs.

    But if you can make a template for projects in Cubase, and then import MIDI files into that template--that would be great. The template could have GEM already in its VST Instrument slot, with at least 32 tracks set up to drive GEM - then import the MIDI file--but I don't know if you can do that.

    In the Cubase I had open for checking on this reply, the MIDI file I imported had 16 tracks. I don't know how Cubase would handle a file with more MIDI channels.

    ---My time to say that I feel it's yet another way in which Sonar is superior to Cubase. It seems always less fiddley and arcane to figure out and operate. --End of commercial.

    "...I have another question: will the orchestral sounds of GEM be the same samples as GPO? Any how many drum kits will be included?..."

    Those details I don't know. No specifics of that sort have been published that I'm aware of. But most good GM libraries have at least 4 drum kits - GM Kit, Jazz, Dance and Orchestral. For GPO sounds are adapted into GEM--seems possible (like in the Pocket Orchestra), but I don't know.

    Randy B.
    (rbowser)

  9. #9

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    Quote Originally Posted by Haydn
    This probably wouldn't work for computer sounds as GEM samples are much larger than the very small sample sets used with most soundcards. There would have to be a way to load all of them into memory which would take all the memory in a 2 GB machine. Then there wouldn't be any memory left for anything else.

    Jim
    Why would they all need to be in memory all the time? Couldn't they be loaded from disk as needed?

    In any case, if the full GEM set is too large for a system synth, I'd suggest that besides the full set available for DXI and VSTI, that it come with a smaller sample set installable as a system synth.

    I think this is really needed. The Microsoft Synth that comes with Windows is not very good, and both the Yamaha SYXG50 and Roland VSC3 have been discontinued. We need a new better (and supported) system-level software synth.

    Perhaps Garritan could even sell it to Microsoft and Apple to include in their OSs!

  10. #10

    Re: Suggestion for GEM

    Quote Originally Posted by Wheat Williams
    Actually I have a method for improving the system General MIDI sounds for Mac OS X and QuickTime 7.3.

    The QuickTime General MIDI sound set is licensed from Roland and has not changed in 10 years. It is about 1MB of samples, total.

    You can easily configure QuickTime (Mac OS X) to use the freely downloadable SoundFont General MIDI library that comes with Finale Notepad. It is 31MB in size and sounds much better than the Roland library that comes with QuickTime.

    There ought to be some way to do the same thing with QuickTime in Windows XP or Vista, but I haven't looked into this. It probably involves knowing which Registry keys to edit, and is probably a bit tricky.
    I don't think that will work in Windows. I have Quicktime Pro for Windows. I don't recall seeing anything about using Soundfonts for the QT MIDI sounds.

    And for sure, the Quicktime Synthesizer does not get installed as a system MIDI synth in Windows. It is there for use by Quicktime (the default synthesizer for Quicktime), but is not installed to the system for use by other programs. (And I think it's quality is even worse than the Microsoft Synthesizer. (although both are made by Roland.))

Go Back to forum

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •