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micro-HOWTO on loading sound fonts with SB Live!

On Tue, 14 Nov 2000, Ivan E. Moore II wrote:

> ack!  that would explain the probs I have (sblive)...
> how do you load sound fonts? 

OOPS! First let me say in my last e-mail to the list I confused kmid and
kmidi. kmidi is the one that has crashed for some time now.  kmid works
great once you load the sound font.

When I first searched this out with google it was clear from the *many*
repetitions of this question that this is one of the great unknowns of Linux
sound.  (In fact a lot of people are under the impression you cannot do it,
and therefore propagate this mis-information.)

Hence, here is the micro-Howto.  Ivan, when you confirm this works for you,
you will do everybody a great service by putting this on the kde-debian web

(1) Use ALSA SB live driver!  I don't have the reference any more, but I saw a
table a few months back comparing the different SB live drivers, and the
ALSA one was the only one that allowed sound font loading at that time. This
may have changed since for the non-ALSA drivers, but I haven't investigated
because ALSA does the job.

(2) Download awesfx-0.4.4.tgz from http://members.tripod.de/iwai/awedrv.html

These are utilities primarily for SB AWE cards, but the sound font loader
also works for ALSA SB-Live.

(3) after unpacking

make sfxload to create just the executable you need.  I then did symbolic
links of the executable to /usr/local/bin (and the sfxload man page to
/usr/local/man/man1) for convenience, and because I wanted to avoid a full
install of SB AWE utitilities that I didn't need.

(4) Find a sound font to load.  The CD that came with my SB Live! had
the sound font in the file /cdrom/AUDIO/COMMON/SFBANK/8MBGMSFX.SF2, but
other posts I have seen found it elsewhere on their CD so you may have
to search a bit for this file.

(5) I copied that file to a disk directory and loaded it by

sfxload 8MBGMSFX.SF2

I believe you have to execute sfxload each time you reboot (or perhaps power
down?), but my machine has been up for the last 25 days so I haven't
bothered testing that aspect, yet.  The sfxload man page has other options
to, e.g., check what sound fonts have already been loaded.  IIRC, there
is room for 4 8MB sound fonts (or perhaps one 32MB sound font?) on the

kmid works a treat with ALSA-driven SBLive! after loading the sound font
this way.

I believe there are even better sound fonts than 8MBGMSFX.SF2 that are
available on the web, but I haven't tried them yet.


email: irwin@beluga.phys.uvic.ca
phone: 250-727-2902	FAX: 250-721-7715
Dr. Alan W. Irwin
Department of Physics and Astronomy,
University of Victoria, P.O. Box 3055,
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada, V8W 3P6 

Linux-powered astrophysics

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