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waltc
Post subject: Tips for flawless Win10x64 performance with sound and Midi
Post Posted: Jun 19, 2019 3:19 pm
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Joined: Jun 19, 2019 2:43 pm
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Great Overseer Win10 Midi compatibility and sound...

Glad to say that under the latest Win10x64 version, v1903, build 18362.175 and later, Overseer runs fine in the normal Win10 compatibility mode with no compatibility mode selected. Just leave the OS compatibility checkbox in the Overseer shortcut empty--unchecked.


Enter "Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth", a free program available here: http://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth


It not only installs a much better synth than the stock Microsoft synth, but the program requires *soundfonts*, also free and obtainable via links on the same page. You can use one soundfont or many--choice is yours. I already discovered the program works wonderfully well for General Midi emulation through Dosbox games (much better than the GUS emulation even when GUS is properly supported by the DOS game), so the challenge was to get this marvelous synth to work with Overseer.

Unlike the other Tex games, which are DOSbox and instantly workable with the Coolsoft synth, Overseer is different. It's actually a Win95 game and in Win95 midi was handled a bit differently than in later Windows versions. Here's what you have to do:

1) Install the Coolsoft VIrtualMidiSynth into Win7/8/10. Download the soundfont(s) of your choice direct from links on the same Coolsoft page.

2) Run the Coolsoft configurator program and install the soundfont(s) of your choice (very, very easy.) On the Midi Mapper tab, look at the "Default MIdi Out device" and "Windows Media Player default device" menu and make sure that "VirtualMidiSynth #1" is the device selected for both. Hit apply.

3)on the "Options" tab, make sure your normal "output audio device" is selected. Mine is: "Speakers (Realtek High Definition Audio)", and I have enabled the following: hardware mixing, Preload whole soundfont, Increase priority to REALTIME, all *checked* (enabled.)

4) Hit "Apply" to save all program changes

We are done with the Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth Configurator. Close it if you like. Once accomplished these steps never need repeating.

5)No need to set Overseer shortcut for Win95 compatibility!

6) Edit tex.ini to make sure that midi device line, is written out as "Microsoft Midi Mapper" and not "Midi Mapper" as the short name for the device won't work. (DriverName=Microsoft MIDI Mapper)


7) Inside the game, in the Overseer config, go to audio and in the midi column you should see three midi output selections: Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth; Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth; Microsoft Midi Mapper. Select Microsoft Midi Mapper


8) That selection seems counter-intuitive, but in the way that Overseer/Win95 looks for midi input, what's happened is that although the Overseer program is looking in a certain place for the midi (where normally the MCI Microsoft Midi Mapper would be in Win95) what it finds instead is the Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth! And so the much superior Coolsoft midi synth plays instead, which is what we want.

Works splendidly so far, through repeated program shutdowns and restarts. Inside Overseer options, Audio, if "Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth" or "Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth" is selected--neither works at all, btw. Set up the way I describe above, it makes all the difference in the atmosphere of the game.

Almost forgot: All of those pesky "This error is not an error" message boxes are gone!

I just played through the Big Jim Slade episode at the Big Sir Motel--taking his briefcase while avoiding him--the scene now plays perfectly without a bug whatsoever! Played completely the first time through. Slade gets out of the shower as he's supposed to and I had to dodge him in order to successfully make away with the briefcase and the post-office box key. I had heard that with previous "workarounds" for the DVD mpeg2 version, this scene would not complete unless the midi is turned off completely. Not so with the Coolsoft Synth installed into Windows 10x64 and playing through the Microsoft Midi Mapper selection inside the Overseer config panel! That "bug" is simply not there for me. Just wanted to pass this along!

Installing the Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth and your choice of soundfonts in Win7/8/10 creates an entirely new and I think far better Overseer game. The entire pace of the game is picked up dramatically--and the midi quality is on a par with a professional movie orchestra. Playing Overseer without this is to really miss a great gaming experience, imo!

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