Soundfonts and a good DAW

• Apr 27, 2018 - 17:32

Hello everyone,

I'm now interested in learning how to use a DAW to get the best sound I can for Musescore compositions (jazz and orchestral). Mind you, I'm completely new to DAWs.

I'm under the understanding that converting a work to MIDI and then running it in a DAW is a good method to get the best sound you can get. I have avoided this like the plague in the past because DAWs have seemed so intimidating. So what I need is something with which to get started; a DAW that is pretty intuitive and reasonably simple to learn yet produces good results—by intuitive, I mean for people who just don't think too strongly and aren't wired along the lines of this kind of software. The software should not assume the user is familiar with DAWs and the language surrounding the industry.

I'd like to start off with something free and then, once I am comfortable, purchase a product that I find fitting for me.

Finally, as to soundfonts, I understand there's work being done to better the sound of Musescore, and that's very exciting! In the interim, if someone could point me to decent quality soundfonts and what have you, that would be great. I am willing to pay but I don't have a lot to spend on this at the moment.

Thanks very much.


There are a number of free DAWS including Reaper, Audacity, Traction and Cakewalk. They all work more or less the same and are more or less intuitive. There is no need to purchase one. (Sounds and samples strike me as a different matter in terms of a temptation to buy other libraries and players. But with all the work being done to gather, edit and customize sounds for Msc sf/sfz, I am happy)

Just set up preferences for computer audio, figure out how to add a track, and then import or "record in" a file and away you go. The only other thing I do is disable the grid, zoom in and tinker with effects and plug- ins a bit. You do have to spend some time with instructions.

I run audio out of Msc and record unprocessed (no Zita) audio into Reaper. I also export MIDI to Synthfont for the facility of the user interface, but continue to use all of the available soundfonts. I then run audio out of synthfont and record a 2nd track into Reaper. Finally, render to WAV file.

Synthfont adds flexibility in editing ( single note de/crescendo for instance)

The method, as is, holds up pretty well in A/B tests on different systems (mostly CD's in various car stereos lately) with pro-analog and commercial mixing effects and products.

I haven't dropped a dime.

In reply to by Bedjka

Thanks for the reference! Question, though...

Apparently, the product does not support 3rd- arty plugins. Since I'm new to this, does "3rd party plugins" have anything to do with VST support? If not, what does it have reference to? And does it have all the plugins one would probably need for what I want to do?

I'm watching the vids you references right now, too. And I went to the main website but wasn't sure where the soundfonts are on their Product page.

Thanks very much.

In reply to by Starkman

3rd party plugins /vst support is the same thing. In "Prime" you are limited to the internal free Presonus sounds and all the soundfonts you can get, free or not.

There are much more possibilities and quality instruments if you choose to use a daw with vst support.
For a total beginner my advise is to get Energyxt which is very easy to understand and use. it doesn't cost much (24 euros/30 UsD). You can download it and test it for free and there are some very simple tutorials on their site,
Starting from that, there are a lot of free vst instruments to be downloaded. The limitation will only be how new/powerfull your pc is.

In reply to by Bedjka

Thanks for the vid, but I wasn't inquiring about how to install soundfonts; I was wondering if it will allow importing of VST sound files. Apparently, too, Prime won't accept SFZ files. Again, I'm not sure, at this point in my knowledge, if that's a drawback.

Thanks much.

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