Roland SMF Player

PC platform

Back in the beginning of 1990’s, my two old friends Peter Andersen and Lars Toft made a program, a Standard Midi File player, for Roland. The program was the Roland Standard Midi File Player (!) or ‘Roland SMF Player’ for short. The Roland SMF Player was released around 1993-1994.

The Roland SMF Player was, as I remembered it, bundled with some very high quality MIDI files, developed by some Japanese guys. And the level of details in those songs – You would not believe it. I remember ‘Jump’ by Van Halen or ‘Every breath you take’ by The Police, just to name a few and they sounded fantastic.

Together with the demo version of Roland SMF Player, you’ve got 13 somewhat mellow songs, but nothing fancy. But it was (and maybe still is) possible to buy those extra high quality songs on floppy disks, and then import to the Roland SMF Player interface, and play with your favorite sound device.

The Sound

The Roland SMF Player can play standard Midi files (.mid) through a variety of different sound devices (or interfaces if you like). The more memorable sound devices includes; the SoundBlaster AWE 32 Soundcard, the Roland MT32 Multi-Timbre Sound Module and of course the AdLib OPL3 Sound Device.

The Adlib OPL3 device is developed by another very good friend, Peter Jørgensen whom also has created Editor for the Atari ST, MasterPlayer and the Atari YM 2149 sound chip emulator (Project Ymer) for the PC.

Playing today

When Peter Jørgensen got his hands on the SMF Player and his old AdLib OPL3 Sound Device source code, a month or so back, the first thing he did was to change a couple of the sounds in the AdLib OPL3 Sound Device, because he never was really satisfied with them. Later he adjusted the volume level on some of the sounds.

Try it out

Using SMF Player today requires the use of DOSBox, with the limitations that brings unless you have a really old-school computer stashed away somewhere.

All you need is:

Just install DOSbox, download Roland SMF Player, unpack the downloaded ZIP file and you are ready to go!

But I was never the biggest Roland fan – I’m more of a Yamaha kind of guy.