timidity/FAQ
author Sam Lantinga <slouken@libsdl.org>
Sat, 01 Jun 2013 22:30:04 -0700
changeset 627 438fb12df34f
parent 0 4ce2db4db959
child 782 e7d3a8f73e88
permissions -rw-r--r--
Updated iOS project to include OGG support directly
     1 ---------------------------*-indented-text-*------------------------------
     2 
     3     TiMidity -- Experimental MIDI to WAVE converter
     4     Copyright (C) 1995 Tuukka Toivonen <toivonen@clinet.fi>
     5 
     6 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
     7 
     8    Frequently Asked Questions with answers:
     9 
    10 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    11 Q: What is it?
    12 
    13 A: Where?  Well Chris, TiMidity is a software-only synthesizer, MIDI
    14    renderer, MIDI to WAVE converter, realtime MIDI player for UNIX machines,
    15    even (I've heard) a Netscape helper application.  It takes a MIDI file
    16    and writes a WAVE or raw PCM data or plays it on your digital audio
    17    device.  It sounds much more realistic than FM synthesis, but you need a
    18    ~100Mhz processor to listen to 32kHz stereo music in the background while
    19    you work.  11kHz mono can be played on a low-end 486, and, to some, it
    20    still sounds better than FM.
    21 
    22 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    23 Q: I don't have a GUS, can I use TiMidity?
    24 
    25 A: Yes.  That's the point.  You don't need a Gravis Ultrasound to use
    26    TiMidity, you just need GUS-compatible patches, which are freely
    27    available on the Internet.  See below for pointers.
    28 
    29 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    30 Q: I have a GUS, can I use TiMidity?
    31 
    32 A: The DOS port doesn't have GUS support, and TiMidity won't be taking
    33    advantage of the board's internal synthesizer under other operating
    34    systems either.  So it kind of defeats the purpose.  But you can use it.
    35 
    36 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    37 Q: I tried playing a MIDI file I got off the Net but all I got was a
    38    dozen warnings saying "No instrument mapped to tone bank 0, program
    39    xx - this instrument will not be heard". What's wrong?
    40 
    41 A: The General MIDI standard specifies 128 melodic instruments and
    42    some sixty percussion sounds. If you wish to play arbitrary General
    43    MIDI files, you'll need to get more patch files.
    44 
    45    There's a program called Midia for SGI's, which also plays MIDI
    46    files and has a lot more bells and whistles than TiMidity. It uses
    47    GUS-compatible patches, too -- so you can get the 8 MB set at
    48    ftp://archive.cs.umbc.edu/pub/midia for pretty good GM compatibility.
    49 
    50    There are also many excellent patches on the Ultrasound FTP sites.
    51    I can recommend Dustin McCartney's collections gsdrum*.zip and
    52    wow*.zip in the "[.../]sound/patches/files" directory. The huge
    53    ProPats series (pp3-*.zip) contains good patches as well. General
    54    MIDI files can also be found on these sites.
    55 
    56    This site list is from the GUS FAQ:
    57 
    58 >                        FTP Sites                     Archive Directories
    59 >                        ---------                     -------------------
    60 > Main N.American Site:  archive.orst.edu              pub/packages/gravis
    61 >                        wuarchive.wustl.edu           systems/ibmpc/ultrasound
    62 > Main Asian Site:       nctuccca.edu.tw               PC/ultrasound
    63 > Main European Site:    src.doc.ic.ac.uk              packages/ultrasound
    64 > Main Australian Site:  ftp.mpx.com.au                /ultrasound/general
    65 >                                                      /ultrasound/submit
    66 > South African Site:    ftp.sun.ac.za                 /pub/packages/ultrasound
    67 > Submissions:           archive.epas.utoronto.ca      pub/pc/ultrasound/submit
    68 > Newly Validated Files: archive.epas.utoronto.ca      pub/pc/ultrasound
    69 > 
    70 > Mirrors:               garbo.uwasa.fi                mirror/ultrasound
    71 >                        ftp.st.nepean.uws.edu.au      pc/ultrasound
    72 >                        ftp.luth.se                   pub/msdos/ultrasound
    73 
    74 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    75 Q: Some files have awful clicks and pops.
    76 
    77 A: Find out which patch is responsible for the clicking (try "timidity
    78    -P<patch> <midi/test-decay|midi/test-panning>".  Add "strip=tail" in
    79    the config file after its name.  If this doesn't fix it, mail me the
    80    patch.
    81 
    82 --------------------------------------------------------------------------
    83 Q: I'm playing Fantasie Impromptu in the background. When I run Netscape,
    84    the sound gets choppy and it takes ten minutes to load. What can I do?
    85 
    86 A: Here are some things to try:
    87 
    88    - Use a lower sampling rate.
    89 
    90    - Use mono output. This can improve performance by 10-30%.
    91      (Using 8-bit instead of 16-bit output makes no difference.)
    92 
    93    - Use a smaller number of simultaneous voices.
    94 
    95    - Make sure you compiled with FAST_DECAY and PRECALC_LOOPS enabled
    96      in config.h
    97 
    98    - If you don't have hardware to compute sines, recompile with
    99      LOOKUP_SINE enabled in config.h
   100 
   101    - Recompile with LOOKUP_HACK enabled in config.h.
   102 
   103    - Recompile with LINEAR_INTERPOLATION disabled in config.h.
   104 
   105    - Recompile with DANGEROUS_RENICE enabled in config.h, and make
   106      TiMidity setuid root. This will help only if you frequently play
   107      music while other processes are running.
   108 
   109    - Recompile with an Intel-optimized gcc for a 5-15%
   110      performance increase.
   111 
   112 --------------------------------------------------------------------------