BaWaMI (Basic Waveform MIDI Soft-synth) – Public Release!

Posted on 2012-12-25 at 05:34 in Music, Programs, Videos by Robbi-985.

To get out of not having made anything for Christmas - As a Christmas present, I’m releasing Bawami, my freeware MIDI software synthesizer!

(Click it to see full-size image)

You can download it from here. A dual-core or hyperthreaded CPU is highly recommended. Note: You may need to run “First Run.bat” as an administrator when using Bawami for the first time, to sort necessary system files. Please see “FIRST RUN” in info.txt (included in download) for details.

Bawami is a standalone MIDI file player with a mostly simple/retro/electronic sound, although there are more realistic-sounding instruments, such as the saxophones. I’ve already shown Bawami in some previous videos, but I’ve never made it downloadable until now. This is because there are many parts of it that are still very much incomplete – it’s a constant work-in-progress. However, it already:

  • Plays standard MIDI files or live MIDI input
  • Can use ASIO (useful for low latency when using live MIDI input)
  • Can play notes on the internal PC speaker (like Bleeper Music Maker*, only better), even on Windows 7 (32-bit OSes only)
  • Has editable instrument files (human-readable plain text)
  • Has a changeable “maximum number of playing notes”, from 1 to 255 (default is 24, a fast computer is recommended for over 48)

MIDI messages can control more advanced things, including:

  • Chorus and reverb effects
  • Low-pass filter for each MIDI channel (cutoff frequency and resonance)
  • Custom pitch-bend sensitivity, modulation (vibrato) strength and speed, portamento time
  • Sustain (damper) pedal
  • Custom loop points in MIDI files (section loop, global loop)
  • Multiple percussion channels

Bawami also supports some System Exclusive messages (Roland’s GS and Yamaha’s XG) as alternative ways to control things such as volume, channel filters and extra percussion channels, as well as the Reset messages.

*Also, using the PC speaker on Bawami has the following advantages compared to on my old “Bleeper Music Maker”:

  • Pitch-bend, modulation (vibrato) and portamento support
  • Windows 7 support (PC speaker not tested with Windows 8)
  • Doesn’t freeze while a note is playing
  • Instrument’s volume envelope is taken into consideration (e.g. if the instrument is a piano, it will stop playing on the PC speaker when the note has mostly faded away)
  • A few other bugs fixed (e.g. a short note on one channel won’t stop a long, same note, on a different channel)

[Watch in HD]

Bawami’s name comes from the fact that all of its sound starts off as a raw “basic waveform”, such as a square (electronic-sounding), sawtooth (harsh-sounding) or white noise. It is then filtered in various ways to shape the sound into an approximation of a MIDI instrument (e.g. a saxophone) according to an instrument file.  As these are just plain-text files, they can be edited for fun or to make new instruments. An instrument file controls its initial waveform, various filter settings, a volume envelope, and a distortion effect. These can be changed to make a range of different sounds.

Merry Christmas, anyone and everyone!

MISAKA is surprised by the contents of the bagIllustration by たちばな (Tachibana)

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