eawpats. You may have seen that name around - it's a set of Gravis Ultrasound patches compiled by Eric A. Welsh some time ago. Using either an actual Gravis Ultrasound card or Timidity, one could use these patches for MIDI playback in whatever supports those playback methods. I know a few out there use this patch set regularly, as do I, and I quite enjoy them. I see them as an alternative to the basic Windows GS synth that doesn't veer off into more realistic-sounding and classier soundfonts, and I've been using them for several years now. However, given that the eawpats are not a soundfont, strictly speaking, their use is limited. Timidity and a few others are the only softsynths I know of that can utilize the patches, leaving out more popular options like Fluidsynth and BASSMIDI that you see nowadays.
That's where I decided to step in.
Using tools such as Awave Studio and Viena, I put together a soundfont (.sf2) version of eawpats, with the intent of being able to use it for all my MIDI playback, regardless of software. I didn't really know what I was doing at first, but using other soundfonts as guides, I started to piece things together and get a feel for it, and was able to compile all the used patches into an .sf2 package that can be used by virtually most MIDI sofsynths.
In putting this together, I also took the liberty of changing/"fixing" some things that I felt needed improvement with the original patches. Most of the changes involved volume tweaking as well as tweaking decay and release times for a lot of the instruments, as I felt many of them took far too long to release. I mostly used the Windows GS synth as a basis for this kind of thing, since it's easily the most used sound set for MIDI, but didn't try to copy it exactly. No other really big changes have been made otherwise. The overall sound is a bit drier, given the release times are shorter mostly, and also considering the Timidity++ driver added a lot of reverb (at least for me) that's no longer there, but otherwise it should mostly sound just like the patch set normally does. I'm happy with the way it has turned out, and after spending a month or so using it and refining things here and there, I feel I'm ready to finally release it to the public.
If you run into any major technical bugs, let me know. I've done what I can to iron out anything that didn't seem right or was outright broken, so hopefully nothing slipped through the cracks. I hope this will be helpful to those who enjoy eawpats, but couldn't use it in more places due to its design.
Wow, this is probably the best soundfont I've heard yet. Very rich and full, but still simple enough to sound good with more basic or abusive MIDIs. Has a lot of the same charm as the PSX Squaresoft titles, too. Thanks for putting this together.
I am not sure exactly how accurate they are to the original GUS. I do not know of any soundfont for the Pro Patches; it seems no one has made one yet.
Edit: A post by DracoNihil on VOGONS mentions that the Classic Patch Set v1.6b soundfont has some badly de-tuned instruments. I tried the other Gravis Ultrasound soundfont with CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth, and the hi-hat hits cut off abruptly (i.e. they don't release correctly) in E1M1 music. So those two GUS soundfonts are not particularly good it seems.
The Pro Patches has a much better overdrive and distorted guitar, amongst other things. If you ever have the time to toy with them, you can get the GUS files from various of DOSBox GUS related threads.
I have just discovered this yesterday and gotta say it's really quite accurate. EAWPats have been my favorite option regarding Doom music playback for a long time until I switched to Patch93's SC-55 soundfont. However, it's great to return to the old times, and having a soundfont instead of GUS patches makes using it a lot easier indeed. It's also great that you managed to keep filesize reasonable with a bit less than 33 MB.
In ZDoom, I find the volume a bit low compared to some other soundfonts, but I guess it's better to just turn up MIDI volume for that purpose instead of increasing the volume of the soundfont internally. After this rather accurate EAWPats reproduction, I would welcome a variation with a stronger drumset (if available) and the potential modifications mentioned by Hellser above.
Yeah, I wasn't sure if I should keep the volume a bit lower or not. It is a little quieter than before, but I didn't want to run into situations where a song would be hilariously loud otherwise. I tried to keep most else in place, so I'm glad you like it.