Downloadable Sounds ("DLS") Specifications

The Downloadable Sounds (DLS) Level 1 Specifications (DLS-1, DLS-2, and Mobile DLS) defined an industry-standard approach to delivering sound sets for sample-based ("wavetable") synthesizers. The standard enables composers to distribute MIDI files with custom sound sets that achieve consistent playback across a broad number of existing devices.

DLS Technology Overview

The MMA's Downloadable Sounds (DLS) Specification defines a sound data format and the required synthesizer features for accurate playback on any DLS compatible synth. This overview of the technology is excerpted from an article written for Yamaha's XG-Extra Newsletter in 1997 by Howard Massey.

DLS Level 1 Specification

The Downloadable Sounds (DLS) Level 1 Specification defined the first industry-standard approach to delivering sound sets for sample-based ("wavetable") synthesizers. The standard was created to enable composers to distribute MIDI files with custom sound sets that achieve consistent playback across a broad number of existing devices.

DLS Level 2 Specification

The DLS Level 2 Specification (DLS-2) is a logical extension of DLS-1 intended to be in-line with what is commonly considered state of the art today in multimedia computing. It was developed in collaboration between MMA and MPEG (IEC/ISO JTC-1 SC-29 WG-11).

Mobile DLS Specification

The Mobile DLS Specification defines a wavetable instrument representation format optimized for use in mobile applications. Mobile DLS is intended for use with Mobile XMF file for a complete musical performance.