Do YOU have General MIDI
You should hear
the following instruments in the given order. If even one instrument
is not right, then you do NOT have General MIDI support. If that
is the case, then your system is either configured wrong or you do not
even have the required hardware and/or software for General MIDI.
The test lasts about 9 minutes and 38 seconds. Believe it or not,
but I recorded all this myself.
Church Organ or Pipe Organ
Clean Electric Guitar
Steel String Acoustic Guitar
Tubular Bells or Church Bells
Pipe Organ (with much richer sound than above)
Please note that you will NOT likely have high quality versions of EVERY INSTRUMENT. If you do, you are DARN LUCKY!
Also note that if the last song (on the bigger pipe organ) cuts out a lot, then you have either a problem with low polyphony (less than 32 note polyphony) and/or you have a bad voice allocation algorithm. Both of these symptoms are the fault of either the sound card itself and/or the wavetable software.
You have my automatic permission to copy this file for your own testing purposes and to share with your friends. However, you are NOT to make any profit off of this.
To copy it, RIGHT-CLICK HERE and select "Save As" or "Save Target As".
If you decide that you need a new sound card that IS General MIDI compliant, please check out www.soundblaster.com. Some good choices include the Sound Blaster PCI-512 (for those on smaller budgets), Sound Blaster Live series (make SURE that it has the EMU10K1 chip!), and the Sound Blaster Audigy (NOT the external version!) (again, make SURE that it has the EMU10K1 chip!). Do NOT get the Sound Blaster 16 or any other sound card that has only an FM (or OPL-3) synthesizer, for these SUCK! Luckily, you can find sound cards like these at Wal-Mart, Circuit City, Staples, Office Max, and probably many other places. If you just want to add decent wavetable capability, be prepared to plunk down about 60-100 dollars. If you want the whole kit'n'kaboodle in high performance audio, then be prepared to plunk down about 150-250 dollars. However, for the vast majority of people, INCLUDING MOST MUSICIANS, the 60-100 dollar variety will do. I am a decent musician, and I am quite happy with my Sound Blaster Live Value card that is in my system.
There is also a chance that your system may be configured incorrectly. Here is how to tell this, and it is 100% noninvasive! Please note that this is only for Windows-based PC's.
Go to your Start Menu and select "Settings" and then
2. Double-click on the Multimedia icon (or the Sounds icon
on Windows Me/2000/Xp).
3. Select the "MIDI" tab, which is at the top of this latest
window that just opened.
4. Under "MIDI Instruments" or "Single Instrument", look
for the following: SB Live! MIDI Synth, Wavetable Synth,
WT Synth, SW Synth, SWT Synth, GS Synth, GM Synth,
Software GS WaveSynth, or something of this nature. Do
NOT select "Creative Synthesizer", "FM Synth", "OPL-3
Synth" or anything of this nature UNLESS this is all you
have (other than External Out). If this is the case, then you
need a NEW SOUND CARD or wavetable driver! Once you
make your selection, click on "Apply" below and "OK" your
way back out.
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