The Sierra Soundtrack Series website was designed to provide support for the thousands of Sierra gaming fans who still use MIDI sound cards and modules. Although you will find hundreds of digital song files among these pages, it has been our primary goal to provide continued support to those who still enjoy MIDI.

MIDI song files depend heavily on the MIDI device used to play them back. We therefore have strived to present MIDI files in a variety of formats so that most of the popular sound cards and modules are represented. However, it is not possible to support ALL makes and models. Please read this page carefully before contacting us for help.

Roland MT-32 Sound Module

Most of the MIDI files on this site were sequenced specifically for the Roland MT-32 Sound Module and its siblings; the LAPC-I, CM-32L, MT-100, and CM-64. These files come in two flavors: those with an Embedded System Exclusive Patch Bank, and those which require a separate SysEx Patch Bank. With the latter, you will need to transmit the patch bank that’s included with the Soundtrack song file prior to playback of the MIDI files. The patch bank will write new sounds to the MT-32’s memory which can be used with all MIDI files related to that game. Any System Exclusive utility can be used to transmit the patch bank. (i.e. Dump.) You’ll also find that most sequencing software contains a utility for transmitting SysEx data. If you have any questions or problems while using the patch banks, drop me a line. I’ll be glad to help.

MT-32 MIDI files that contain embedded patch banks will automatically transmit the patch data upon playback of the song with most MIDI File Player programs and utilities. However, if you have problems with some player programs under Win9x/ME, (like ealier versions of Media Player), the latest versions of Microsoft web site. Most versions of Digital Orchestrator Plus /Pro, Cakewalk ProAudio (v3.x and higher), and other fine sequencers should also work well. Files which incorporate these embedded SysEx patch banks’ are identified with the following description on the Sierra Soundtrack Series pages: Includes embedded SysEx patch bank for the MT-32.

General MIDI

Many of our General MIDI Soundtrack files have been converted from MT-32 versions. This is because General MIDI support in Sierra games didn’t begin until several years after the MT-32 was already supported. When Sierra began to support the format, their General MIDI soundtracks were arranged for the Roland Sound Canvas. However, due to its popularity, many of our GM versions have also been re-mixed for Sound Blaster Emu playback, using the default General MIDI sounds. Although many of these GM files will perform well on any General MIDI device, optimal playback of the “SB General MIDI” versions will be heard on Emu-based soundcards. All other GM MIDI files are mixed for Roland Sound Canvas General MIDI.

You’ll see the two General MIDI logos at left on our soundtrack pages. Not all General MIDI song files will have both versions available. It should also be mentioned that many Sound Blaster cards can accept “sound fonts” or sound banks which will allow them to better emulate the standard Roland GM sound set.

Roland GS / ED

Some of the soundtracks have been arranged exclusively for the Roland GS definition. These files are not General MIDI compatible. They rely on many sounds not available under GM and will not perform well on soundcards that simply “emulate” GS modes, such as the SoundBlaster Audigy and AWE cards. When played on non-GS devices, you will hear capital tones instead of the selected extended voices — which in many cases will mean an instrument will be playing where a sound effect should be heard, the balance will be incorrect, or no sound will play at all!

The “SC-55 GS” version files have been mixed using a Roland SC-55 and require Roland SC-55 GS devices containing the MT-32 variation tone set. Devices such as the SCC-1, SCB-55 (SCD-15), SC-155, and SC-55mkII are fully compatible. Basically, any of Roland’s SC MIDI cards and modules containing 317 or more tones will be compatible. Older Roland cards, such as the RAP-10 and SCB-7/10 are not GS compatible. (SC-88Pro/8820/8850 users should select the “SC-55” mode on these sound modules for proper playback.)

Note that although the Yamaha XG definition supports a large number of variation tones, the actual sound characteristics and patch numbering differs greatly between Yamaha and Roland. Some of the GS files will playback on Yamaha XG devices, but the quality will vary from MIDI file to MIDI file. Roland GS is the preferred playback method for all of the GS files posted on this site.

In addition to SC-55 support, a more advanced Sound Canvas GS and General MIDI Level 2 version may be available for some Sierra soundtrack MIDI postings, designed specifically for the Roland ED SC-D70, SC-8820, and SC-8850 Sound Modules. (If the song file is also comptible with the SC-88 and/or SC-88Pro, this will be stated in the file description.) If you own one of these sound modules, these versions are your best choice for superior MIDI playback — rivaling the original MT-32 music heard in older Sierra games. Some recent Sound Canvas (SC-55) GS song files have been setup to automatically change to the SC-55 Playback Mode when loaded. This is useful when playing MIDI files on the SC-D70, SC-8820, or SC-8850 which are designed for SC-55 playback. (If your SC recognizes CC#032 at a value of 001 as the SC-55 sound set, this mode will be automatically set.)

Yamaha XG

Several of the soundtracks have also been arranged exclusively for the Yamaha XG definition. Please be aware that although these XG files may appear somewhat compatible with General MIDI, they incorporate many sounds not available under GM or GS. When played on a non-XG supported device, you will hear capital tones instead of the selected extended voices — which in many cases will mean an instrument will be playing where a sound effect should be heard, the balance will be incorrect, or no sound will play at all! The XG files have been mixed using a Yamaha WaveForce WF192XG and/or SW60XG sound card and therefore are optimized for all Yamaha devices utilizing Waveforce (AWM 2) technology. The files should also perform properly on Yamaha MU and EX XG tone generators.

Many of the XG MIDI selections will perform well through the Yamaha S-YXG50 software synthesizer. Files that have been tested and found to be fully compatible will display the “Soft XG” logo in the song description. Not all songs have been tested, though most should play well through the S-YXG50.

MIDI File Formats

MT-32 –  Designed for playback on Roland L/A Synths:  MT-32, CM-32L, CM-64, LAPC-I

GM/SC – Designed for playback on Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 General MIDI modules and sound cards.

GM/SB – Designed for playback on Creative Labs Sound Blaster General MIDI sound cards.

GS       – Designed for playback on Roland Sound Canvas SC-55 GS compatible modules and sound cards.

XG       – Designed for playback on Yamaha XG sound cards, modules, and softsynths.

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