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A Software MIDI Synthesizer library with OPL3 (YMF262) emulator
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libADLMIDI is a free Software MIDI synthesizer library with OPL3 emulation

Original ADLMIDI code: Copyright (c) 2010-2014 Joel Yliluoma

ADLMIDI Library API: Copyright (c) 2015-2018 Vitaly Novichkov

Library is based on the ADLMIDI, a MIDI player for Linux and Windows with OPL3 emulation:

  • Semaphore-CI: Build Status
  • AppVeyor CI: Build status
  • Travis CI: Build Status

Differences with original tool

  • Reverb code has been removed.
  • Doesn't contains platform specific code. Library can be used with various purposes include making of a custom music decoders for a media players and usage with a games.
  • Supports custom non-hardcoded WOPL banks and ability to build without of embedded banks

Tested on platforms

  • Linux GCC 4.8, 4.9, 5.4 / CLang
  • Mac OS X CLang (Xcode 7.x)
  • Windows MinGW 4.9.x, 5.2
  • Android NDK 12b/13
  • DJGPP GCC 7.2 cross compiler from Linux to MS-DOS 32-bit
  • OpenBSD
  • Haiku
  • Emscripten

Key features

  • OPL3 emulation with four-operator mode support
  • FM patches from a number of known PC games, copied from files typical to AIL = Miles Sound System / DMX / HMI = Human Machine Interfaces / Creative IBK.
  • Stereo sound
  • Number of simulated OPL3 chips can be specified as 1-100 (maximum channels 1800!)
  • Pan (binary panning, i.e. left/right side on/off)
  • Pitch-bender with adjustable range
  • Vibrato that responds to RPN/NRPN parameters
  • Sustain (a.k.a. Pedal hold) and Sostenuto enable/disable
  • MIDI and RMI file support
  • Real-Time MIDI API support
  • loopStart / loopEnd tag support (Final Fantasy VII)
  • 111-th controller based loop start (RPG-Maker)
  • Use automatic arpeggio with chords to relieve channel pressure
  • Support for multiple concurrent MIDI synthesizers (per-track device/port select FF 09 message), can be used to overcome 16 channel limit
  • Support for playing Id-software Music File format (IMF)
  • Support for custom banks of WOPL format
  • Partial support for GS and XG standards (having more instruments than in one 128:128 GM set and ability to use multiple channels for percussion purposes, and a support for some GS/XG exclusive controllers)
  • CC74 "Brightness" affects a modulator scale (to simulate frequency cut-off on WT synths)
  • Portamento support (CC5, CC37, and CC65)
  • SysEx support that supports some generic, GS, and XG features
  • Full-panning stereo option (works for emulators only)

How to build

To build libADLMIDI you need to use CMake:

mkdir build
cd build
cmake -DCMAKE_BUILD_TYPE=Release ..
sudo make install


  • To compile for DOS via DJGPP on Linux, use cmake/djgpp/ script which a wrapper over CMake to pass DJGPP's stuff required for build


The library is licensed under in it's parts LGPL 2.1+, GPL v2+, GPL v3+, and MIT.

  • Nuked OPL3 emulators are licensed under LGPL v2.1+.
  • DosBox OPL3 emulator is licensed under GPL v2+.
  • Chip interfaces are licensed under LGPL v2.1+.
  • File Reader class and MIDI Sequencer is licensed under MIT.
  • WOPL reader and writer module is licensed under MIT.
  • Other parts of library are licensed under GPLv3+.

Available CMake options

Library options

  • CMAKE_PREFIX_PATH - destination folder where libADLMIDI will be installed. On Linux it is /usr/local/ by default.

  • CMAKE_BUILD_TYPE - Build types: Debug or Release

  • libADLMIDI_STATIC - (ON/OFF, default ON) Build static library

  • libADLMIDI_SHARED - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build shared library

  • WITH_UNIT_TESTS - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Enable unit testing

  • WITH_CPP_EXTRAS - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build libADLMIDI with some extra public features for C++ language (for example, instrument testing API is available for C++ only).

  • WITH_MIDI_SEQUENCER - (ON/OFF, default ON) Build with embedded MIDI sequencer. Disable this if you want use library in real-time MIDI drivers or plugins.)

  • WITH_EMBEDDED_BANKS - (ON/OFF, default ON) Enable or disable embedded banks (Original ADLMIDI and older versions of libADLMIDI are had embedded-only banks with no ability to load custom banks in runtime).

  • WITH_HQ_RESAMPLER - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build with support for high quality resampling (requires zita-resampler to be installed)

  • WITH_MUS_SUPPORT - (ON/OFF, default ON) Build with support for DMX MUS files)

  • WITH_XMI_SUPPORT - (ON/OFF, default ON) Build with support for AIL XMI files)

  • USE_DOSBOX_EMULATOR - (ON/OFF, default ON) Enable support for DosBox 0.74 emulator. (Well-accurate and fast)

  • USE_NUKED_EMULATOR - (ON/OFF, default ON) Enable support for Nuked OPL3 emulator. (Very-accurate, needs more CPU power)

  • USE_OPAL_EMULATOR - (ON/OFF, default ON) Enable support for Opal emulator by Reality (Taken from RAD v2 release package). (Inaccurate)

  • USE_JAVA_EMULATOR - (ON/OFF, default ON) Enable support for JavaOPL emulator (Taken from GZDoom). (Semi-accurate)

Utils and extras

  • WITH_GENADLDATA - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build and execute the utility which will rebuild the embedded banks database (which is an adldata.cpp file).

  • WITH_GENADLDATA_COMMENTS - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Enable comments in generated ADLDATA cache file

  • WITH_MIDIPLAY - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build demo MIDI player (Requires SDL2 and also pthread on Windows with MinGW)

  • MIDIPLAY_WAVE_ONLY - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build Demo MIDI player without support of real time playing. It will output into WAV only.

  • WITH_ADLMIDI2 - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build Classic ADLMIDI MIDI player (Requires SDL2 on Linux and macOS, requires pthread on Windows with MinGW, SDL doesn't required on Windows. Also, the WITH_CPP_EXTRAS flag must be enabled)

  • WITH_VLC_PLUGIN - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Compile VLC plugin. For now, works on Linux and VLC. Support for other platforms comming soon!

  • WITH_OLD_UTILS - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build old utilities to dump some bank formats, made by original creator of ADLMIDI

  • EXAMPLE_SDL2_AUDIO - (ON/OFF, default OFF) Build also a simple SDL2 demo MIDI player

You also can build library manually:

You need to make in the any IDE a library project and put into it next files (or include those files into subfolder of your exist project instead if you want to use it statically):

Useful macros

  • BWMIDI_DISABLE_XMI_SUPPORT - Disables XMI to MIDI converter
  • BWMIDI_DISABLE_MUS_SUPPORT - Disables MUS to MIDI converter
  • ADLMIDI_DISABLE_MIDI_SEQUENCER - Completely disables built-in MIDI sequencer.
  • ADLMIDI_DISABLE_DOSBOX_EMULATOR - Disables DosBox 0.74 OPL3 emulator.
  • ADLMIDI_DISABLE_NUKED_EMULATOR - Disables Nuked OPL3 emulator.
  • DISABLE_EMBEDDED_BANKS - Disables usage of embedded banks. Use it to use custom-only banks.

Public header (include)

  • adlmidi.h - Library Public API header, use it to control library
  • adlmidi.hpp - Public additional C++ API header, optional

Internal code (src)

  • chips/* - Various OPL3 chip emulators and commonized interface over them

  • wopl/* - WOPL bank format library

  • adldata.hh - bank structures definition

  • adlmidi_private.hpp - header of internal private APIs

  • adlmidi_bankmap.h - MIDI bank hash table

  • adlmidi_bankmap.tcc - MIDI bank hash table (Implementation)

  • adlmidi_cvt.hpp - Instrument conversion template

  • adlmidi_ptr.hpp - Custom implementations of smart pointers for C++98

  • file_reader.hpp - Generic file and memory reader

  • adldata.cpp - Automatically generated database of FM banks from "fm_banks" directory via "gen_adldata" tool. Don't build it if you have defined DISABLE_EMBEDDED_BANKS macro!

  • adlmidi.cpp - code of library

  • adlmidi_load.cpp - Source of file loading and parsing processing

  • adlmidi_midiplay.cpp - MIDI event sequencer

  • adlmidi_opl3.cpp - OPL3 chips manager

  • adlmidi_private.cpp - some internal functions sources

MIDI Sequencer

To remove MIDI Sequencer, define ADLMIDI_DISABLE_MIDI_SEQUENCER macro and remove all those files

  • adlmidi_sequencer.cpp - MIDI Sequencer related source
  • cvt_mus2mid.hpp - MUS2MID converter source (define BWMIDI_DISABLE_MUS_SUPPORT macro to remove MUS support)
  • cvt_xmi2mid.hpp - XMI2MID converter source (define BWMIDI_DISABLE_XMI_SUPPORT macro to remove XMI support)
  • fraction.hpp - Fraction number handling (Used by Sequencer only)
  • midi_sequencer.h - MIDI Sequencer C bindings
  • midi_sequencer.hpp - MIDI Sequencer C++ declaration
  • midi_sequencer_impl.hpp - MIDI Sequencer C++ implementation (must be once included into one of CPP together with interfaces initializations)

Important: Please use DosBox emulator on mobile devices because it requires small CPU power. Nuked OPL synthesizer is very accurate (compared to real OPL3 chip), but it requires much more power device and is high probability your device will lag and playback will be choppy.

Tip 1: If you want to work with custom WOPL banks without using of embedded banks, you can create them by using OPL3 Bank Editor where also included some WOPL examples, or you are able to save any other bank as WOPL.

Tip 2: To compile libADLMIDI without embedded banks, define the DISABLE_EMBEDDED_BANKS macro and remove building of the adldata.cpp file in your project.


In the utils/midiplay you will found an example project which uses this library. That example is a simple audio player based on SDL Audio usage.

To build that example you will need to have installed SDL2 library.

Working demos

  • PGE MusPlay for Win32 and Win64 (also available for other platforms as part of PGE Project) - a little music player which uses SDL Mixer X library (fork of the SDL Mixer 2.0) which has embedded libADLMIDI to play MIDI files independently from operating system's settings and drivers.
    (source code of player can be find here and source code of SDL Mixer X here)
  • ADLMIDI Player for Android - a little MIDI-player for Android which uses libADLMIDI to play MIDI files and provides flexible GUI with ability to change bank, flags, number of emulated chips, etc.
  • ADLMIDI Player for DOS32 - a little MIDI-player built with DJGPP toolchain for DOS operating system for old computers to play music on the real OPL3 hardware. Archive contains two variants: adlmidi.exe is the main variant; adlmidi2.exe is the reincarnation of original ADLMIDI player by Joel Yliluoma made over modern libADLMIDI backend.


  • Check out for XG/GS standards to provide a support to use any channels as percussion and also check some of SysEx commands.
  • Add support of MIDI Format 2 files


1.4.1 dev

  • Drum note length expanding is now supported in real-time mode (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Channels manager has been improved (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Nuked OPL3 1.8 emulator got some optimizations ported from 1.7 where they are was applied previously (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Reworked rhythm-mode percussions system, WOPL banks with rhythm-mode percussions
  • Added Public Domain Opal OPL3 emulator made by Reality (a team who originally made the Reality Adlib Tracker) (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Added LGPL licensed JavaOPL3 emulator made by Robson Cozendey in Java and later rewritten into C++ for GZDoom (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)

1.4.0 2018-10-01

  • Implemented a full support for Portamento! (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Added support for SysEx event handling! (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Added support for GS way of custom drum channels (through SysEx events)
  • Ignore some NRPN events and lsb bank number when using GS standard (after catching of GS Reset SysEx call)
  • Added support for CC66-Sostenuto controller (Pedal hold of currently-pressed notes only while CC64 holds also all next notes)
  • Added support for CC67-SoftPedal controller (SoftPedal lowers the volume of notes played)
  • Fixed correctness of CMF files playing
  • Fixed unnecessary overuse of chip channels by blank notes
  • Added API to disable specific MIDI tracks or play one of MIDI tracks solo
  • Added support for more complex loop (loopStart=XX, loopEnd=0). Where XX - count of loops, or 0 - infinite. Nested loops are supported without of any limits.
  • XMIDI now supports loops
  • Added working implementation of TMB's velocity offset
  • Added support for full-panning stereo option (Thanks to Christopher Snowhill for a work!)
  • Fixed inability to play high notes due physical tone frequency out of range on the OPL3 chip

1.3.3 2018-06-19

  • Fixed an inability to load another custom bank without of library re-initialization
  • Optimizing the MIDI banks management system for MultiBanks (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Fixed incorrect 4-op counter which is still catch 4-op instruments on 2-op banks
  • Fixed an incorrect processing of auto-flags
  • Fixed incorrect initial MIDI tempo when MIDI file doesn't includes the tempo event
  • Channel and Note Aftertouch features are now supported correctly! Aftertouch is the tremolo / vibrato, NOT A VOLUME!
  • Updated DosBox OPL3 emulator up to r4111 of official DosBox trunk (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • The automatical choosing of 4 operator channels count has been improved (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Added optional HQ resampler for Nuked OPL3 emulators which does usage of Zita-Resampler library (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)

1.3.2 2018-04-24

  • Added ability to disable MUS and XMI converters
  • Added ability to disable embedded MIDI sequencer to use library as RealTime synthesizer only or use any custom MIDI sequencer plugins.
  • Fixed blank instruments fallback in multi-bank support. When using non-zero bank, if instrument is blank, then, instrument will be taken from a root (I.e. zero bank).
  • Added support for real-time switching the emulator
  • Added support for CC-120 - "All sound off" on the MIDI channel
  • Changed logic of CC-74 Brightness to affect sound only between 0 and 64 like real XG synthesizers. Ability to turn on a full-ranged brightness (to use full 0...127 range) is kept.
  • Added support for different output sample formats (PCM8, PCM8U, PCM16, PCM16U, PCM32, PCM32U, Float32, and Float64) (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)
  • Reworked MIDI channels management to avoid any memory reallocations while music processing for a hard real time. (Thanks to Jean Pierre Cimalando for a work!)

1.3.1 2017-12-16

  • Added Real-Time MIDI API (MIDI event functions and adl_generate() to generate PCM between of event rows) which allows you to implement plugin for media players or even a real time MIDI playing driver.
  • Fixed some bugs
  • Fixed initialization that allows to use adl_generate without passing of any files.
  • No more extra output buffer is used between of PCM output requests
  • Deep Tremolo and Vibrato now can be toggled without reopening of a MIDI file

1.3.0 2017-10-17

  • "gen_adldata" tool now supports WOPL banks format which supports a full set of libADLMIDI features
  • Added support for custom banks are loadable in runtime without rebuilding of "adldata.cpp" banks database
  • Smooth finalizing of song when loop is disabled (old ugly hack has been removed 😉)
  • Added an ability to reset song position to begin (very helpful when song reaches the end)
  • Avoided possible crashes on attempt to fetch sample data without opening of MIDI file
  • Demo tool now can correctly record WAVs and now can correctly deal with CTRL+C termination
  • When loop is disabled, loop points will be ignored
  • Loop now is disabled by default
  • Reworked internal storage of MIDI events to easier pre-process them and retrieve any useful information before play them
  • Added ability to get seconds time position and song length
  • Added seekability support
  • Fixed IMF playing when passing file as path nor as memory block
  • Added ability to get time position of every loop point if presented
  • Added ability to change playing tempo by giving multiplier (how faster or slower than original)
  • Added support for meta-tags getting: title, copyright, track titles, and markers with time and ticks positions
  • Added hooks to increase advandate of The Library: MIDI-event, Note, and Debug-Message hooks!
  • Fixed the ability to merge two equal pseudo-4-operator voices as one voice without damaging the result!
  • Added auto-increasing of percussion note lengths when there are too short and playing an incorrect sound on various banks
  • Tri-state support for deep-tremolo/vibrato, scale modulators, and legacy adlib percussion mode. -1 means "auto", I.e. default and specified by bank.
  • Added new functions: adl_linkedLibraryVersion(), adl_errorInfo(), adl_tickEvents(), and adl_generate()
  • Error string is no more global, now every ADL_MIDIPlayer instance has own thread-safe error info that can be retreived by using adl_errorInfo() function. The adl_errorString() will return library initialization errors only;
  • Added С++ Extra public API which now includes instrument testing feature (which is required by classic ADLMIDI utility)
  • Multi-bank WOPL files now supported! Feel free to implement GS or XG - compatible bank
  • Added support for DJGPP compiler to build libADLMIDI for DOS to use hardware OPL3 chip
  • Added XG percussion bank channel handling support, XG MIDI files are using custom percussion channels are now playing fine!
  • Fixed damaged playback while loop music caused by state of controllers came from end of current melody
  • Added Brightness (CC74) controller which will affect modulator scale

1.2.1 2017-07-30

  • Minor fixes
  • Added 72'th bank by Sneakernets
  • Updated "gen_adldata" utility to use ini file

1.2.0 2017-02-15

  • Fixed 12'th bank where are drums and melodic sets are was swapped
  • Fxied logariphmic volumes flag which autoreseted to false on playing begin moment
  • Added TRUE support for MUS and XMI formats (added the conversion functions to make right MIDI data to play it)

1.1.1 2016-12-09

  • Added a changable volume ranges models (Automatic for some banks, Generic, CMF, DMX, Apogee and 9X)

1.1.0 2016-12-06

  • Added Nuked OPL3 emulator which is more accurate (but requires more CPU power, therefore kept ability to use DosBox OPL3 via macro)
  • Fixed warnings of CLang code model plugin
  • Fixed bend coefficient which makes hi-hats in DOOM banks be incorrectly

1.0.3 2016-08-06

  • Added handling of 111'th controller as "loopStart" (which used by RPG-Maker)
  • Fixed infinite loop caused by blank MIDI-files (add extra second of waiting if over 10000 0-waiting loops are been detected)
  • Fixed damaged playing of IMF files (cased by wrong implementation of getc() function where return type must be int, not unsigned char)

1.0.2 2016-03-16

  • Fixed infinite loop causes swapped loopEnd and loopStart (when loopEnd goes before loopStart)
  • Fixed sielent volume tracks (when initial voule is zero, tracks wouldn't be playd even after applying fading in volume events)
  • More accurate fine tuning for second voice for DMX-based banks (playback now is more like original DOOM than before!)
  • Library's Output data now in short format (no more need to do extra conversions to make 16-bit audio stream from every 16-bit sample stored into each 32-bit integer)

1.0.0 2015-10-10

  • First release of library
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