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Better Midi sound, part II – Soundfonts in Windows with Timidity

Attention: This post is a little old, and I’ve written a new one with a more modern and less complicated solution. You can find it here.

After a comment on my debut post “Better Midi sound”, I decided to have a look at Timidity for Windows again. Back then, I simply hadn’t understood the program. But through continuous occupation with the subject matter during the last year, I have obviously developed a better understanding for it. ;) At least this time I found out within a few minutes how to make Windows play all Midi sounds with a Soundfont with the help of Timidity.

My last year’s tips only worked with special players like XMPlay or SynthFont. This time, however, we will install Timidity as a Windows Midi driver and then tell it to use our favourite Soundfont for playback. This way, we get down to the root of the trouble, with the result that Midis will principally be played via Soundfont in any player or program.

First download twsynth twsynth. That is basically a version of Timidity that has already been compiled for Windows. For the sake of simplicity, I chose the English .exe file English .exe file. Important: Tick the box “Timidity++ Driver” during installation!

After that is done, there’s only one litte thing left to do: You have to tell Timidity which Soundfont to use for Midi playback in a config file. For this purpose, create (or open) the file timidity.cfg in the installation directory and enter something like:

dir "E:\Eigene Dateien\Soundfonts"
soundfont CrisisGeneralMidi1.8.sf2 order=0

The first line describes the path to the Soundfont and the second the file name. Now you only have to choose the “Timidity++ Driver” in the Windows Midi options (“Control Panel” → “Sounds and Audio Devices” → “Audio”). That’s it! Piece o’cake, huh?


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  1. 15th January 2011
    11:15 am

    Stefan flag

    Lass mich die Betonung des “nicht” zurück ziehen.
    Ob die Konfigurationsdatei im Installationsverzeichnis Auswirkung auf den Treiber hat habe ich gar nicht ausprobiert, die Konfigurationsdatei im Windowsverzeichnis hat unter XP auf jeden Fall Einfluss auf den Treiber. Vielleicht beachtet timidity ja auch beide Konfigurationsdateien und führt sie zusammen.

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