Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth (gm.dls) – Exploring Sounds Beyond the Main Bank

Well, here’s a post that will only be relevant to a handful of people.

I had always wanted to be able to play the MIDI sounds included with most instances of Windows (i.e. Microsoft GS Wavetable) on a MIDI controller. After considering it passively for about 15 years, I finally took the initiative to figure out how to do it a few months ago.

Upon loading up the soundfont, I discovered that there are a bunch of instruments included in it that I had never heard before! I shared this information with some of my friends who have also been composing MIDI tracks for decades using the 128 sounds found in the main bank, and it was requested that I put together a demo of these sounds.

Some are duplicates of instruments from the main bank, some are sound samples pitch mapped to the keyboard (some of these are available in monophonic form in the soundbank’s drum channel SFX patch), some are modifications of instruments from the main bank, and some are totally unique! This was quite shocking for us and we all wish that our main MIDI composing tool (TabIt) had allowed us to access these sounds. It easily could have, considering that a few sounds from beyond the main bank actually were included. But not these.