Music routines (MIDI)

Allegro allows you to play MIDI files. MIDI files basically contain notes and the type of instrument that is meant to play them, so they are usually very small in size. However, it's up to the soundcard of the end user to play the notes, and soundcards have been historically known to have poor MIDI performance (at least those oriented to the consumer market). Few consumer cards feature decent MIDI playback. Still, as a game creator you can never be sure if the music of your game will be played as you meant it, because it totally depends on the hardware of the user.

For this reason Allegro also provides a DIGMID driver. This is a software implementation of the so called Wavetable synthesis. Soundcards featuring this store digital samples of real instruments at different pitches, interpolating those that are not recorded, thus achieving a high sound quality. Implementing this in software makes you sure that the quality you hear on your computer is that which will be heard by end users using the same driver.

The disadvantage of the DIGMID driver is that it uses more CPU than simple MIDI playback, and it steals some hardware voices from the soundcard, which might be more critical for the end user experience than the background music. At the Allegro homepage ( you can find more information about DIGMID and where to download digital samples for your MIDI files.