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Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth is the MIDI Synth that is bundled with Windows releases. It is licensed by Roland and based off of the first release version of Virtual Sound Canvas, at the time a commercial product. It contains its SC-55-based sound set which, while more compact and downsampled, was considered to be high quality at the time. Though its limitations have caused it to age poorly, it is still used as a standard for MIDI composers. For playback, some better alternatives do exist now, such as Coolsoft VirtualMIDISynth and BASSMIDI; in fact, despite some differences, the sound set plays better in these synths.

Advantages/Disadvantages

Advantages

  • Does not require installation on a Windows computer.
  • Loads quickly due to compact size.

Disadvantages

  • Notable Lag and note interruptions, especially so in Windows Media Player.
  • Limited polyphony (32).
  • Lack of Reverb, Chorus, and Delay effects.
  • Cannot use variant instruments, despite sound set including some.

Trivia

  • Under Windows 9x, it's available when using WDM audio drivers only. VxD drivers have zero support for Windows Multimedia.

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MSGSWSDM-0

MSGSWS in Device Manager