Back in the day of MS Dos and games such as Doom or Descent, General MIDI was all the rage. Almost every sound card company had a General MIDI capable product. But two companies stood out:
Roland and Yamaha.
Roland's Sound Canvas was really the main General MIDI standard and used my most game studios for testing and balancing their General MIDI soundtracks.
BUT this means that they aren't that easy to find these days, and if you do, be prepared to pay for it. On eBay however, you can find these fairly cheap NEC 385 wavetable boards. These are clones of the Yamaha DB60GX and fit on any sound card with a wavetable connector.
Some people swear by the General MIDI sound of these Yamaha boards, some stick with Roland. Now you can listen to both of them. I hope I made this comparison fair, interesting and fun to watch.
Personally I will stick to Roland. I had a Sound Canvas wavetable board when I was young so I am used to the way they sound. But if you have only experienced and grown up with Sound Blaster music then you might prefer the sound of Yamaha.
In the end it's all about the games and that we enjoy ourselves. So pick whatever you prefer and be happy!
Games featured in this video:
- Doom 2
- Duke Nukem 3D
- Warcraft 2
- Space Quest 5
- Dark Forces
- Sam and Max