Real Instruments

• Nov 17, 2012 - 14:40

I'm sure there are a lot of people on this Forum who play some kind of instrument. Would it be feasible to collect samples from actual instruments and use them to create a SoundFont or series of Soundfonts?


That's exactly how almost all sound fonts are generated - including the one that comes that MuseScore as well as the other ones suggested if you read Soundfont .

The differences between soundfonts isn't whether they use real instrumkents or not - again, they all do. It's how good the players and the recording equipment and techniques used are, how many different notes are sampled, how many different volume levels of each note are sampled, etc. And the big tradeoff is size. The more notes you sample, and the more different volume levels of each you sample, the more realistic the sound, but also the larger the file. FluidR3 - one of the soundfonts suggested in the Handbook - achieves a pretty good balance, I think. Have you tried it?

In this forum, there have been discussions on building a new soundfont especially for MuseScore, one that aims to maximize realism even at the expense of size. It's a huge undertaking, though. You might want to check out those discussions and see if you can contribute in any way.

In reply to by peter-frumon

Have you tried adjusting the reverb and chorus settings? A bug in MuseScore causes distortedpkayback for some people that goes away as soon as you move those sliders. Also be sure you have not turned up the sythesizer volume so high that you are clipping. Bring up the synth window are watch the levels during playback. My guess one of these will turn out to be the reason you are experiencing distortion.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I haven't experimented with those things but I will check out that. I've run into a strange situation, I downloaded the MagicSF Soundfont and in MuseScore the pieces sounded absolutely hideous. I then exported it to a WAV file so I could test the file on another computer. When I played back the file it sounded almost professional. Is it possible that the things you mentioned are behind it or something else?

In reply to by peter-frumon

If it sounds good exported to WAV but bad in MuseScore, it could very well be the reverb/chorus settings. But this would be the first I can remember any reporting that particular symptom - I don't know if any of the people reporting distorted playback had ever tried exporting to WAV. If true, it could turn out to be an important clue in figuring out why the reverb/chorus bug exists.

After fiddling with the reverb and chorus settings on MuseScore, the playback sounds fine. I know very little about programing but my guess would be the bug is located somewhere in the playback engine itself.

Being a carillonneur I enjoy working with Musescore a lot, but playback has always been unsatisfactory: I have never been able to find a soundfont with a realistic carillon sound. There is one soundfont ( however its use was limited: this is an instrument with very heavy bells in mean tone tuning.
For this reason I made my own soundfont with the sound of the carillon of Grimbergen (Belgium). I know that it is far from perfect (can you find the children and the bird?), still I find it an improvement... The link is below. Feel free to tune and tweak - or to include the samples in another soundfont. Just one recommendation: if you use it, set reverb and chorus to 0 in Musescore (there is plenty of those in the bells by themselves!)
Recorded 2009, Oct. 4 using simple mp3 recorder
49 bells are made by Eijsbouts, 1964 (47) and 1998 (2)

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.