What are SFZ files?

• Jan 23, 2014 - 22:54

I wanted to try downloading a new soundfont for musescore, but after extracting the zip I notice it's just a bunch if SFZ files, and I have no idea what that is. There's a different one for every instrument. How do I make a soundfont out of these??


SFZ is a sample format invented by Cakewalk for use in their Sonar DAW software.

It has since acquired a number of standalone players, and some samplers (eg Linux Sampler) will play sampled stored in this format.

It is incompatible with MuseScore's internal synth which uses the Fluidsynth soundfont player to play sounds.

It would be possible to generate a soundfont from the sample files included in the SFZ file, but it is an operation not for the faint hearted, requiring sample editing skills, and an in depth knowledge of the instruments concerned in order to provide the necessary splits and layers to make it sound even slightly realistic.

This can be achieved with a Soundfont Editor such as Viena or Polyphone.

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