The Official MIDI Specifications

DLS Level 1 Specification

The DLS Level 1 Specification (DLS1) describes the minimal synthesis architecture and feature set needed for a device to be capable of playing DLS1 format sound samples. DLS Level 1 was is aimed squarely at wavetable PC audio devices in use around 1999. Later levels (DLS-2, etc.) added support for enhanced performance and additional features.

Revision History

» VERSION 1.1, January 1999 - The following changes and additions were made:

  • General: Terms of reference more consistent.
  • Articulation Modules: LFO: Clarifies curve of LFO for volume and pitch.
  • Performances Controllers: PAN: Corrected pan formula expression.
  • Figure 16 (Connection Graph): Corrected CID numbers.
  • Table 1 (Connection Block Table): Changed articulator Names to be consistent with text.
  • Table 2 (Default, Minimum and Maximum Values): Corrected LFO Start Delay, Attenuation Scale and Mod to Attenuation default values
  • Data Formats: Corrected attenuation data format explanation.
  • Examples:
    • Table 3 (Parameter Table):
      - Corrected headings to match text.
      - Corrected LFO start delay Lscale value.
    • Changed expressions in EG1 example.
    • Changed pitch calculations.
    • Changed attentuation calulations.
  • Coding Requirements: Added text that inferred connections must not be written to DLS file.
  • Errata
    • Explanation of Attenuation vs. Gain (Entire Specification).
    • Explanation of default note exclusivity behavior.
    • New envelope digram (Figure 12) and segment descriptions.
    • New "<wsmp-chk>" description

» VERSION 1.1b, September 2004 - This is just an editorial change, correcting a misstatement regarding resetting of Expression (CC11) on reception of the Reset All Controllers message. Expression should be reset.

DLS version 2

The DLS Level 2 Specification (DLS-2) extended DLS to be in-line with advances in the state of the art in multimedia computing. The specification was the result of collaboration between numerous hardware and software manufacturers represented by the MMA, as well as input from other organizations intending to use the format, such as MPEG (IEC/ISO JTC-1 SC-29 WG-11).

Mobile DLS

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.

Download the DLS Level 1 Specification

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