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CladInShadows said:
HoloDust said:

At the time I had Creative AWE32 soundcard which had sample based synthesizer onboard, so depending on quality of your General MIDI library (which was pretty much dependent on how much expansion RAM you had on card) you could get some really good sounding MIDI music.

I remember friend of my stopping by for the first time after I bought PC - at the time he had Creative Sound Blaster 16, which was only capable of FM synthesis (not sample based, rather oscillators that frequency modulate each other, Yamaha was pioneer of that tech back in 70s and early 80s, of course their synths sounded much better than SB16) - DOOM sounds like this through it

That's how I remember the music.  Good ole AdLib.  We eventually got better sound hardware (and also the Doom 95 version used the Windows 95 midi sounds...Wavetable Synth, I think it was called), but this is how I was introduced to Doom, Doom 2, Heretic, and Hexen music. Still holds a special place in my heart.

Yeah, Creative used Wavetable moniker to market their AWE sound cards back in days, so that label was used a lot after that, but they were all actually sample based synthesis cards.

In Wavetable synths, sound is produced by looping single cycle waveform (that then usually runs through common synth chain of filters and modulators) with ability to go through different waveforms in table (hense wavetable) while note is still playing either manually or via envelopes and LFOs. It was sort of digital answer to analog synths that based their sound on different type of oscillators (typically sine, triangle, saw, square and noise) giving user a lot of waveforms to experiment with.

In sampled based synthesis you use samples of real instruments and then run them additonally through modulation and filtering - this is what AWE32, Gravis Ultrasound and all those PC cards from that period (as well as numerous synths and sound modules) used.