Cannot find instruments from loaded SoundFonts

• Jun 16, 2016 - 12:26

I have loaded Doumbek-Faisal.sf2 and RemoDjembe.sf2, but when I Edit Instruments the only instrument I can find from those SoundFonts is "Slap", which may be from the standard FluidR3Mono_GM.sf3 or from FluidR3 GM-2-2.SF2.

In Polyphone, Doumbek-Faisal shows up as having two instruments: Doumbek 1 and Doumbek 2. RemoDjembe shows up as several "instruments": Boom, Mute 2, Mute 1, Scratch and Slap.

Is there a way in Musescore to find and select Doumbek 1, Doumbek 2, Boom, Mute 2, Mute 1 or Scratch?

Alternatively, can I use Polyphone to rearrange these SoundFonts so that they will be easier to use in MuseScore?


Soundfonts don't define instruments, they define sounds. The isntruments will still be the standard list, but you can use View / Mixer to assign the *sound* from an alternate soundfont fto that instrument.

How many Presets are there? I believe you may be getting the "Instrument" and the "Preset" components of a soundfont mixed up. The Preset is the part of the soundfont that you use when it is loaded into any software, the "Instrument" is a component that is a step between the samples and the presets, and is not directly used by any piece of software.

With thanks to Marc and StringContrabass, I have put together the following guide to installing and using a new SoundFont instrument in MuseScore

1. Install the SoundFont as described in the MuseScore Handbook.

2. Open a score and use the Synthesizer to add the SoundFont to the score, as described in the MuseScore Handbook.
* It is preferable to initially put the new SoundFont at the top of the SoundFont list.

3. Select “Edit > Instruments” and add to the score one or more staves for instrument/s that resemble/s the Presets in the new SoundFont.
* If the Presets are not described in the SoundFont documentation, you can view them using a SoundFont editor such as Polyphone or Swami.
* e.g. 1: for the SoundFont RemoDjembe.sf2, you might add five staves – one for for each of the Melodic Presets RemoDjembeBoom, RemoDjembeMute1, RemoDjembeMute2, RemoDjembeSlap and RemoDjembeScratch.
* e.g. 2: for the SoundFont Doumbek-Faisal.sf2, you might add a Melodic staff for Doumbek1, and/or a Percussion staff for Doumbek2.

4. Select “View > Mixer” and for each staff use the drop-down menu to allocate the desired Preset to its staff
* to find the desired instrument, you may need to select or de-select the “drumset” option.

5. In some cases this is all you need to do. You can now edit the staff or staves for your new instrument/s

6. If the notes in your score don't have any sound, or if they sound different from the instrument in the SoundFont, check the note ranges for each of the instruments in the SoundFont.
* Some SoundFont instruments use limited and /or intermittent note ranges.
E.g. Doumbek2 in Doumbek-Faisal.sf2 uses only notes 35, 45, 62 (D above middle C), 63, (D# above middle C), 64 (E), 70, 71, 72, 72 and 74.
* If the note ranges for each new Instrument are not described in the SoundFont documentation, you can view them using a SoundFont editor, such as Polyphone or Swami.

7. Check that the notes you have entered correspond with notes that the SoundFont recognises.
* It may be useful to create and keep a few reference bars of music that include and describe the note ranges for each Instrument. For each note, you can put a text description in a Rehearsal Mark (Ctrl+M) or a Chord (Ctrl+k).
* Placing text descriptions in Chords has the advantage that the description is usually copied along with the note. One disadvantage is that you can't include spaces. You can use underscores instead of spaces.
* If your Instrument uses a percussion staff, you may find it easier to find each corresponding note in a melodic staff, enter it into that staff, and then copy it across to the percussion staff.

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