AdLib Timbre Bank Format
|Format type||Musical Instrument|
|Number of instruments||65535|
|Instruments named?||Yes, 8 chars|
The AdLib Timbre Bank Format is used to store the FM instruments used when playing songs in AdLib MIDI Format. The official documentation uses both the .snd and .tim extensions for files in this format.
This format is an early (1988) method of combining individual instrument files into one "bank" file. As this format was only designed to include the instruments needed to play a single song, in 1989 AdLib created the BNK Format, giving it the .bnk extension. The differences are minor - compared to the Timbre format, the later Bank format includes a signature in the header, indicators for percussive vs melodic patches, and halves the capacity used for storing instruments by placing them in bytes instead of 16-bit integers.
The file begins with a header:
|UINT16LE||nrTimbre||Number of instruments in the file|
|UINT16LE||offsetDef||Offset where instrument data begins|
This is followed by a list of instrument names, repeated nrTimbre times:
|char||timbreName||Instrument name - must be null terminated|
At this point, the current position should be the same as offsetDef. The actual instrument data follows, again repeated once for each instrument. The instrument data is in the following format, which is almost identical to the AdLib Instrument Format.
|OPLREGS||oplModulator||Register values for the Modulator (0) operator|
|OPLREGS||oplCarrier||Register values for the Carrier (1) operator|
|UINT16LE||iModWaveSel||Modulator wave select (only bits 0-1 recognised, OPL register 0xE0)|
|UINT16LE||iCarWaveSel||Carrier wave select (only bits 0-1 recognised, OPL register 0xE0)|
The OPLREGS structure is defined as:
|Data type||Name||Description||OPL base register||Value range|
|UINT16LE||iKSL||Key scaling level||0x40 (bits 6-7)|
|UINT16LE||iMultiple||Frequency multiplier||0x20 (bits 0-3)||iMultiple & 0x0F is sent to OPL register [verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iFeedback||Feedback||0xC0 (bits 1-3)||Although only bits 1-3 are valid, Vinyl doesn't limit the output to three bits wide.|
|UINT16LE||iAttack||Attack rate||0x60 (upper four bits)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iSustain||Sustain level||0x80 (upper four bits)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iEG||Envelope gain (nonzero value is on)||0x20 (bit 5)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iDecay||Decay rate||0x60 (lower four bits)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iReleaseRate||Release rate||0x80 (lower four bits)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iTotalLevel||Total output level||0x40 (bit 0-5)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iAM||Amplitude modulation (Tremolo)||0x20 (bit 7)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iVIB||Frequency Vibrato||0x20 (bit 6)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iKSR||Key scaling/envelope rate||0x20 (bit 4)||[verify this]|
|UINT16LE||iCONoff||Connector [OP0 only]||0xC0 (bit 0, inverted)||0: OPL bit set to 1|
other: OPL bit set to 0
There is no distinction between percussive and melodic instruments. This is controlled at playback time, depending on which channel the instrument is loaded into. This rules for this are described in AdLib MIDI Format.
The following tools are able to work with files in this format.
|Name||Platform||Play?||Create new?||Modify?||Convert/export to other?||Import from other?||Access hidden data?||Edit metadata?||Notes|
|AdLib play.exe||DOS||Yes||No||No||No||No||No||No||Only with an associated .mus file. Part of AdLib Programmer's Guide.|
|AdLib convert.exe||DOS||No||No||No||No||Yes; .ins||No||No||Loads .ins specified in .rol when producing .mus + .tim. Part of AdLib Programmer's Guide.|
|Camoto||Linux/Win||Yes||No||No||Yes; many||No||No||No||Only with an associated .mus file|
|OPL3 Bank Editor||Linux, Windows, macOS||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes; many||Yes; many||No||No|
This file format was originally reverse engineered by Malvineous as the Vinyl Goddess From Mars instrument format, until binarymaster discovered it was the same as an early AdLib music format, and supplied the documentation on which this article is now based. If you find this information helpful in a project you're working on, please give credit where credit is due. (A link back to this wiki would be nice too!)