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Soundcards with MIDI soundfont support?

MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
Frankly I have no idea what I'm talking about in this area, so here we go... D:

Anyways, I was recently messing around with Timidity in Windows XP and found some good General MIDI soundfonts to really improve things beyond the generic Microsoft Wavetable you usually have to deal with nowadays. While Timidity is very cool in what it does with the little resources it uses (compared to other solutions I've found, at least), I can't help but feel I'm missing out by not being able to have this functionality at a hardware level.

I'm completely vague on this, but from the little I'm familiar with it seems there are some older (and hopefully newer) soundcards that supported soundfonts and would of course take in all of that work at a hardware level.

So I'd like to know:

-Are these kinds of cards still sold?
-What kind of prices do they fetch?
-Can they load .SF2 soundfont files or is there a much more complicated procedure?
-Is there a much better soundfont MIDI wrapper/driver for Windows XP that I've ignored (something better than Timidity, that is)?

Any information you can provide on this to clue me in would be great, I feel kind of lost with all the terminology and I can only hope someone here is a little more familiar than I am. Thanks in advance for any contribution!

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    The Reverend Dr GalactusThe Reverend Dr Galactus Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    What is it exactly that you want to accomplish? It seems to me that you want to turn GM files into WAVs, but some context might help determine if there may in fact be a better solution for you than soundfonts.

    The Reverend Dr Galactus on
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    MugenmidgetMugenmidget Registered User regular
    edited July 2008
    Oh no, I have a solution for that already if I wanted to but I was thinking something on the hardware side of things that could operate with these soundfonts but not take much RAM/CPU power, if possible. Supposedly this is what traditional MIDI soundcards were capable of and where soundfonts even originate from, at least that's what I got out of it.

    So basically I'd like to know if there's still hardware being sold that will support using soundfonts for General MIDI, so that way every application that utilizes them will have a much more robust sound. This would probably only be mostly for old games but I think it could be really nifty.

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