The following step-by-step instructions describe in detail the installation and configuration of Kode54's and MudLord's freeware "BASSMIDI SoundFont Compatible MIDI Synthesizer Driver" for Windows for use with "NoteWorthy Composer". Note that these instructions can also be used with almost any Windows MIDI sequencer or Windows MIDI music player program, as the installation and configuration of the BASSMIDI Driver is almost identical.
More information about the freeware BASSMIDI SoundFont Compatible MIDI Synthesizer Driver (and all of it's features) can be found at http://www.mudlord.info/bassmididrv or http://jasonwilliams400com.startlogic.com/snor/weeds/SoundFonts/XMPlay/XMPlay.htm#bassmididriver.
Refer to the "BASSMIDI Driver MIDI Implementation Chart" at http://www.mudlord.info/bassmididrv/BASSMIDI_Driver_MIDI_Implementation_Chart.htm or http://jasonwilliams400com.startlogic.com/snor/weeds/SoundFonts/XMPlay/BASSMIDI_Driver_MIDI_Implementation_Chart.htm for a complete list of MIDI controllers, functions, and System Exclusive messages that the BASSMIDI Driver supports.
First, you will need to download a quality SoundFont file to use with the BASSMIDI SoundFont Compatible MIDI Synthesizer Driver:
Made for composers and musicians, by a composer and musician...
My own custom freeware SoundFont "„Weeds„ General MIDI SoundFont v3.0" (54.9 megabytes) sounds great with the BASSMIDI Driver. More information about this SoundFont can be found at my web page at http://www.richnagel.net/#soundfonts, and you can download the SoundFont directly from http://www.un4seen.com/download.php?extra/WeedsGM3.zip.
After downloading and unzipping the ZIP archive "WeedsGM3.zip", run the included "WeedsGM3.sfArk.exe" installation program to extract the SoundFont ("WeedsGM3.sf2") and documentation ("WeedsGM3.txt" and "WeedsGM3.License.txt"). Note that the "WeedsGM3.sfArk.exe" installation program is nothing but a simple self-extracting "sfArk" archive, and using the sfArk utility to package the files resulted in much better compression of the included SoundFont and files than when using other archive compression utilities (such as "ACE", "RAR", "ZIP", etc...).
Other available alternative freeware SoundFonts include (* = Useful for emulating various MIDI modules and sound cards):
"General MIDI" AWE32 ROM Dump SoundFont, by E-mu Systems (1.1 megabytes) *
http://connect.creativelabs.com/developer/SoundFont/SoundFont Librarian.zip (SFLib10c.zip)
"GS Sound Set (GM.dls)" Sound Canvas SoundFont, by Roland (3.5 megabytes) *
"Gravis Ultrasound Classic Patch Set v1.6b" Gravis Ultrasound SoundFont, by Arek Rak (5.9 megabytes) *
"8MBGM E-mu Rev B (EmuAPS8.sf2/8MBGM.sf2)" SoundFont, by E-mu Systems (7.6 megabytes)
"Roland SC-55 v1.1 (GM.dls)" Sound Canvas SoundFont, by DJ Tony (9.9 megabytes) *
"Chorium Revision A" SoundFont, by Open World (28.9 megabytes)
"General User GS" SoundFont, by Chris Collins (31.3 megabytes)
"OPL-3 FM 128M" Sound Blaster 16 FM Synthesis SoundFont, by Zandro Reveille (135 megabytes) *
ftp://fm:firstname.lastname@example.org:6872/OPL-3 FM 128M.sfpack
"Fluid R3 GM" SoundFont, by Frank Wen (148.4 megabytes)
"Arachno SoundFont v1.0" SoundFont, by Maxime Abbey (155.4 megabytes)
"SGM v2.01" SoundFont, by David Shan (247.4 megabytes)
[In my (not so) humble opinion...]
There are many more alternative freeware SoundFonts of varying quality that can be downloaded from the Internet and used with BASSMIDI SoundFont Compatible MIDI Synthesizer Driver... but quite a few of them are really not worth your time or effort. Their relatively unbalanced and low-quality overall sound simply does not justify their extremely large filesizes.
A small list of these SoundFonts include:
"Airfont 380" SoundFont, by Milton Paredes (276 megabytes)
"Titanic 200 SoundFont v1.2" SoundFont, by Luke Sena (280 megabytes)
"Crisis General MIDI v3.0" SoundFont, by Christophe Maricourt (1.6 gigabytes)
Again, this is simply my (not so) humble opinion...
Note that for any real-time usage (such as using the BASSMIDI Driver for a real-time performance, or for real-time MIDI sequencing), it is recommended to install and use the latest released version of the BASSMIDI Driver. The latest released version of the driver exhibits the same low latency that can be seen in the older versions 1.x of the driver. Note that versions 2.x of the BASSMIDI Driver had approximately 0.105 seconds of latency, while versions 1.x and 3.x (and newer) of the driver has less than 0.05 seconds of latency.
Nevertheless, if for some reason that you wish to install and use an older version of the driver, you can download older versions of the BASSMIDI Driver from http://www.mudlord.info/bassmididrv/archive or http://jasonwilliams400com.startlogic.com/snor/weeds/SoundFonts/BASSMIDI_Driver/.
Optionally you can adjust the driver's master "Volume" slider to your liking, as well as enabling sinc interpolation by checking the "Use sinc interpolation" check box if you wish.
If you have any problems selecting the "BASSMIDI Driver" as the default Windows MIDI music playback device from within the BASSMIDI Driver Configuration Utility, you can to manually change the active MIDI device from within the Windows XP "Sounds and Audio Devices Properties" control panel applet (click "Start -> Control Panel -> Sounds and Audio Devices -> Audio -> MIDI Music Playback Default Device").
If you have any problems selecting the "BASSMIDI Driver" as the default Windows MIDI music playback device from within the BASSMIDI Driver Configuration Utility, the "Windows Vista MIDI Picker" utility can be of help. You can download the utility from http://software.bootblock.co.uk/?id=vistamidipicker.
Another alternative is the "Putzlowitschs Vista MIDI Mapper" control panel applet. You can download the newest version of the applet from http://akkordwechsel.de/15-windows-vista-und-der-midi-mapper. Note that an English description (of an older version) can be found at http://www.brainmaster.com/kb/entry/334.
BASS ("BASS.dll") and BASSMIDI ("BASSMIDI.dll") Audio Library updates can be downloaded from http://www.un4seen.com/download.php?bass24 and http://www.un4seen.com/download.php?bassmidi24 (located at the BASS Audio Library web site at http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html and http://www.un4seen.com/bass.html#addons).
Alternatively, the newest beta versions (also known as "Stuff" versions) of these audio libraries can be downloaded from http://www.un4seen.com/stuff/bass.dll and http://www.un4seen.com/stuff/bassmidi.dll (if available).
Note that installing these updates is entirely optional, and is not required for the proper operation and usage of the BASSMIDI SoundFont Compatible MIDI Synthesizer Driver. Nevertheless, since the BASSMIDI Driver uses the BASS and BASSMIDI Audio Libraries for it's SoundFont synthesis engine, you can optionally download and install these updates if you wish.
To install these BASS and BASSMIDI Audio Library updates:
Lastly, note that you can also manually upgrade (or downgrade) the actual BASSMIDI Driver itself using this exact same method (although this is NOT recommended). Nevertheless, the following are the files that require renaming (with optional deletion, as explained above):
These files will be located in the "C:\Windows\System32\BASSMIDIDrv" (or "C:\Windows\SysWow64\BASSMIDIDrv") directory on your hard drive (similar to updating the BASS and BASSMIDI Audio Libraries, as explained above).
Although all of this may seem complicated at first (or like a daunting task), it is by far easier than setting up the other commonly known alternatives for non-hardware (software synthesized) MIDI music playback (such as the "Timidity+++" software synthesizer, or the various other "VSTi" options that are available; in conjunction with a "virtual MIDI patch cable" utility) with NoteWorthy Composer (as well as other MIDI sequencers or player programs)... and the overall sound is considerably better to boot (with extremely low latency as well)!
Rich „Weeds„ Nagel
August 2, 2012