Soundfonts and XP and terrible sound

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Soundfonts and XP and terrible sound

Postby Choirgirl » Wed Jan 18, 2006 8:21 pm


I've got a new computer and a new sound card. Before I was running Cakewalk Audio Pro with Windows ME on a computer with a Creative Sound Blaster Card. Now I've got XP and Realtek AC'97 card. I first tried install Cakewalk and it said that the soundfonts weren't compatible with XP. The program worked, but the output sound was terrible when I play my music. Then I downloaded a trial version of Sonar 4, and my music still has that TERRIBLE SOUND.

I've search the net and it seems that Soundfonts only work with Creative cards. How on earth do I get some nice voice/choir sound on my computer????

Please!!! Someone help me :cry:

Frustrated Choirgirl
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Re: Soundfonts and XP and terrible sound

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Postby HDB » Sat Jan 21, 2006 11:03 am


If you still have the computer with the Soundblaster, perhaps you could pop the SB out of it and install it in the new one?

Turn off computer, install card, and upon reboot, catch the BIOS settings so you can disable that awful AC97 in there.

Don't forget to connect a cable from CD/DVD drive to SB so you can hear stuff from it.

Let computer reboot to Windows, and XP should try to install.
You may have to/want to connect to internet and download latest drivers/software for SB in XP, if you don't already have them.

Soundblaster quality is not exactly pro quality (especially for audio), but it's better than AC97, and it's OK for MIDI/SFs.

BTW, if possible, install SB as far away from other cards as possible, if possible. They pick up noise from other stuff.

Hope this helped,
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Postby andychap » Mon Jan 23, 2006 3:19 pm

I would never go back to a Creative card in a month of sundays, they cause more trouble than they are worth.

If you want to use soundfonts then download SFZ from here. Install it on your machine and then when you run Sonar insert it as a softsynth. Load your soundfonts and route the midi through it. It also handles samples which is a step up in quality from soundfonts.

Oh and best of all it's free.

If you decide to stick with Sonar then I would suggest Sonar 5PE. SFZ is included as well as a whole host of other softsynths. You would never have bad sounds again.

You might also want to think about upgrading your soundcard to something like an Audiophile or EMU 0404, both entry level cards but excellant 24/96 audio quality.
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Postby HDB » Tue Jan 24, 2006 11:14 am

What Andy said! :)

Actually, the first time I tried to post...and it got lost in the system to destroy 20 minutes of typing...I did mention SF players and a better sound card as an alternative. The second message...that did make it through... was much shorter and to the point of what was maybe already available, and geared to using what she may have been used to.

Using SFZ is still going to run audio through that extremely lousy AC97, running through the SB is a bit less lousy, but still not ideal. I still make use of one in my MIDI computer, just to give me more outputs and sounds to mix'n'match. Sometimes, sneaking a SF into the mix under a VSTi makes a good compliment, especially if I play with volume/velocity or other settings.

I agree that running them through another, better card would be the best bet. But if she already has the SB sitting there doing nothing, and is a bit strapped for cash...why not? Heck, if she still has the old computer, and a mixer, just connect a MIDI cable, use the new computer for audio/VST/DX, and use the other for the soundfonts. I kept my old computer just for that kind of thing.

Cheers :D
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Postby andychap » Tue Jan 24, 2006 4:55 pm

The main problem witht he soundbaster is the fixed 48,000mhz sample rate. Most Soundfonts are created from 41,000mhz samples and then have resampled by the card to 48,000. I think only the banks created by creative were sampled at 48,000, thats one of the reason they sounded do good for so long.

If you are going to stick with the SB or even the realtek then download the ASIO4ALL drivers. They will give you better performance and a more workable latency.

There are a couple of quality soundfonts at naturalstudios that you just have to have. The drum kit, piano and jazz guitar are amongst the best I have found on the net and they are free.
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