Originally Posted by Jope
By the way, all SoundBlasters do/did samples.. That was their cutting edge against the first popular card, the AdLib (which the SB also emulated). The first ones were 8bit/mono, then later on 8bit/stereo and the SB16 was the first 16bit/stereo SB.
It's just that if you wanted your .MID tunes to sound nice, you had to get a wavetable card like the SB AWE32, or perhaps the Gravis Ultrasound or Roland MT-32.
Midi was popular on the PC, because it offloaded the processing and mixing to the sound card. The early PCs didn't have too much horsepower to mix the samples with the CPU. That's the reason most old DOS demos want a Gravis Ultrasound, they didn't have CPU cycles available for mixing the MOD channels to stereo, and the Ultrasound was the only card back then that had also sample mixing in hardware.
AdLib didn't do samples, it had FM synth only.
That's it, I was using incorrect terminology there, I meant wavetables vs. samples
If you ever want to really hear the difference in the sound capabilites, then load up an old DOS Box with Doom I/II and setup the sound for standard SB/Adlib audio then switch over to the MIDI wavetable samples and here what you've been missing