Midi Synth Comparisons

This site provides some samples and comparisons for the following Midi modules and Sound Card:

Roland MT-32

Roland SoundCanvas SC-88VL

And with flash so you can actually see it:

Sound Blaster AWE64 Value CT-4500

Some samples also recorded using FM Synth playback for comparison. These are recorded with the same AWE64, so they are using the Creative Quadrature Modulaton (CQM) Synthesis, not the earlier Yamaha OPL3 chip. They are, however, recorded directly from the corresponding games to get the correct FM Synth driver for the music in question.

Several games have support for both MT32 and General Midi. In most cases, the soundtrack will be designed for one, and then adapted for the other. I have sorted each set of samples based on the intended synth, and marked the intended download with ▼ (all other downloads will use ▽). It's unclear in some cases which midi module a General midi file is composed for. In those cases, I will mark both the SC55 and SC88 as "intended" and it is up to the user to decide their preference. That said, while Doom is known to be composed for the SC-55, several songs do sound noticably better on the SC-88, even if it was not the "target" synth.

Indiana Jones and the Fate of Atlantis also plays rather quiet midi data, so I had to amplify it a bit after recording. Unfortunately, this also amplifies the noise from the MT32. Not much I can do about that, unfortunately.


Game Track
Midi File
CQM FM Synth
AWE64 Wavetable
SC88VL (SC55 mode)
SC88VL (SC88 mode)
Monkey IslandIntro
Ultima 7Credits
Ultima 7Quotes
Ultima UnderworldMaps and Legends
X-Com UFO DefenseIntroduction
Indiana Jones and the Fate of AtlantisIntro
Prince of Persia 2Introduction
Prince of Persia 2Temple of the Flame
Sam and Max Hit the RoadTheme and Office
Descent 2Credits
System ShockSecurity Level
Ultima 8East Road
Rise of the Triad Havana Smooth
Doom At Doom's Gate
Doom I Sawed the Demons
Doom 2 Dave D. Taylor Blues
Doom 2 Into Sandy's City
Doom 2 Shawn's Got The Shotgun
Duke Nukem 3D Grabbag
Duke Nukem 3D Taking the Death Toll
Shadow Warrior Sekapu Station
Shadow Warrior Theme