Managing sound font list

• Aug 29, 2020 - 22:30

These past few weeks I've been inquiring about fonts and have gotten links to downloads. I installed some font packages and did some exploring. Some of these sound very interesting. The problem is that I had to uninstall them because they cluttered my list. Can I remove the default list? Because i would like to explore one package at a time and keep track of which fonts belong to what packages. Also, after exploring and choosing fonts of most interest to me, is there a way to install a single font rather than an entire package? Because I just find it awkward to manage hundreds of fonts. I'd rather be able to customize a list of fonts, some defaults and a few from other packages.

I find that the default synths are very weak and some of the synths in the downloaded packages pack more punch. But the 20+ synths that are in default clutter up my list. There ought to be a way to discard these unlikely options. Is there a way to do this?


It sounds like you are using some Zerberus sound fonts which put a lot of choices into the synthesizer list. I'm not sure how picking and choosing sounds in Zerberus works if it does at all.

In general, in View->Preferences there is a General tab (the first one) where file locations are listed. What you can do is set up your own directory tree with the sound fonts you want to use together are in a directory (also called a folder). When you want to use sound font 1 & 2, have only those sound fonts in Folder A and set SoundFonts in preferences to folder A. If you want sound fonts 1 & 3, set Folder B to contain sound fonts 1 & 3 and change preferences to Folder B. I realize that these folders may take up a lot of space so this may not be an option for you if your hard drive doesn't have enough room but this is the best idea I can think of for what you want.

One other thing, I think you will need to change the folder in preferences then restart MuseScore for it to load the changed sound fonts but I haven't tested this part.

In reply to by mike320

Thanks for the suggestion. It always takes me some weeks to process ideas that are posted here and then find time to do the chores involved. I'm interested in trying this out, but what do you mean by taking up a lot of space? Where? All of my sound font downloads measure about 6 gigs. Is that a lot? My file system has 75 gigs free. Or do these go somewhere else?

In reply to by Rockhoven

Oops, I missed a word. It shouldn't cause too much trouble. Most files you create are rather small so even if you use another 12 gigs duplicating your sound fonts to put the in different directories you'll still have a bout 63 gigs for the smaller files you create with most programs. That's a lot of space still left over.

In reply to by mike320

Yeah. Space is not the issue. The list is what I find hard to manage. I installed a package and did some exploration and was excited about using them but had to uninstall because the list was too hard to deal with. I'd prefer a little more control over the list, if it's possible.

In reply to by Rockhoven

I agree. In spite of all the ways we are given to manoeuvre it, the instrument list can be a mess. The thing about SFZ fonts is that when you install them using the synthesizer, you see a list of all the instruments. I have tried several and found them wanting for various reasons. Mainly having to do with the lack of SND. I've never been able to get what Mike suggests to actually work. But there are other reasons. Here's my point: My current font is the default MuseScore General HQ. But that font has no solo horn. Also the trumpet is a bit harsh to me. But VPO has a decent solo horn and trumpet. I used Polyphone to extrapolate those two sounds, change them to sf2 ( yes, I know it might affect the quality, though I can't hear it) and add them to the default list.
You don't have to install the whole SFZ font if you figure out you don't want the whole thing. You can pick and choose. Something you can't do with sf2 fonts.

In reply to by mike320

I'm not at all familiar with all of this. It will take me months just to pick up the vocabulary. A very obvious problem is that there are a large number of synths listed. I would rather have one synth for all of those sounds, closer to what a real synth does. Why do we need a brightness synth font and an ethereal synth, etc? A single synth supplies all of these sounds.

In reply to by Rockhoven

The basic problem is that a sound for one style of music is not good for another. A very good example is the saxophone. Almost every sax sound font I've heard is great for an up tempo jazz or rock song but totally wrong for a ballad or the occasional classical piece. Every sound font has its strengths and weaknesses and people should be able to pick sounds from different sound fonts (as is possible in MuseScore) for all of their instruments.

In reply to by mike320

I see, SSO is Sontina symphonic orchestra. I tested it on the same score as in the link and it worked perfectly. Make sure all of the settings are correct, there are two settings to change in the dynamics tab.

In reply to by bobjp

I've used the portable version and it worked fine. Did you try my test score? Using SSO is tried every clarinet and bass clarinet sound and they all worked fine. Since the year on my sound font is 2013 I can't imagine us having different versions.

I don't understand how this addresses the OP. It's probably a failure in my own thinking. I don't know what you guys are talking about. It could take me weeks to catch up because I'm constantly running to learn new things about Musescore, Audacity and other programs that I frequently use.

In reply to by Rockhoven

Using CC2 versus CC11 for single note dynamics (SND) is an issue related to your original question. If you use CC2 for SND, then only sound fonts designed to be used with CC2 are relevant. If you use CC11 then you need to manage more sound fonts. Switching between CC11 & CC2 is not difficult if you properly manage your soundfonts.

During the discussion you brought up Zerberus sound fonts. I have no idea how CC2 and CC11 affect Zerberus sounds. There others issues to consider if you decide to use soundfonts besides the MuseScore default that allows you to use CC2 for SND. I won't get into those issues mostly because I don't use CC2.

We did get slightly off track on applying SND to individual notes and that question should have actually been put in a different thread but it is a little relevant to the conversation.

In reply to by Rockhoven

If you are experimenting with different fonts, I would do it this way: Have the fonts you want to try out installed the the font folder in MuseScore. In the Fluid tab (for sf2 and sf3 fonts), select the font in the main window. Hit the DELETE button in the lower right. This does not delete the font, it only clears it out of the player. Hit the ADD button. Anew window opens with a list of sf2 type fonts in your folder. Select the font you want to try and hit LOAD. Now only the instruments in the chosen font will show in the list. Same procedure for Zerberus. Make sure no other fonts are loaded, including Fluid.
Yes there is a way to single out certain instruments. Sf2 usually requires 3rd party software. Sfz, you should be able load only the instruments of choice in the Synthesizer.

In reply to by bobjp

I totally forgot a better way to do this based upon what bobjp suggested. You can use the add and delete button along with the arrows to move the selected sound fonts up and down the list. Once you have the sound fonts set up for that song, click Save to score. If you make or download a song with similar instrumentation, you can open the score where you clicked save to score and click Load from score. This will load the soundfonts you had set up for that score into the synthesizer. Remember that MuseScore can only have one setup for the synthesizer at a time so clicking Load from score will replace what is currently there.

Mike - I've installed all of my fonts and played them previously. So they all work. I don't think CC2 and SND is my problem if I can hear the fonts, right? I just had to uninstall them because they made a total mess of my list. Now I've set up a test score and will install and review one package at a time, applying what you and Bob have suggested in the past few posts. I guess I'll be getting this done over the weekend.

Maybe I should have mention that these are all sf2 fonts. I don't think I can select single fonts because they appear in the fonts folder as only one single file. Where can I select single fonts? Nevermind. I forgot. That's the fonts list. OK. I think this is going to work.

Now I remember that where these fonts should be listed is in the Instruments list. None of the fonts for test are showing up in that list. I can't remember how I made them appear in the list before. That was the initial problem - the cluttered list. I want to test each package individually. The fonts should appear in Instruments.

In reply to by mike320

They did before. that's the problem stated in the OP. The Instruments list was cluttered. Now I miss the poor cluttered clumsy muddered clucker. That was where I could choose the individual fonts from the package. Where else am I going to do that?

Maybe I'm not recollecting correctly. What is the font list and where is it? The issue is that loading the package resulted in a cluttered list. Where are you viewing your list?

In reply to by Rockhoven

  • Synthesizer lists soundfonts
  • Mixer lists sound presets

I had a short list of soundfonts in the synthesizer and a long, long list of sound presets in the mixer. I now have a single, custom soundfont in the synthesizer and a short list of presets in the mixer.

My custom soundfont has several guitars and a couple of pianos – nothing else as I never need them. I have arranged them in the soundfont so that it remains GM compatible, (albeit with many sounds removed.)


mixer.png : this is the full list

Spose I have an sf2 file titled "guitars." I install the file in the Musescore Sound Fonts folder. I load it in the synth. Where do I find the list of individual guitars coming from that file?

In reply to by mike320

I'm confused because when I first downloaded and installed these fonts, they appeared in my Instruments list alongside the default fonts (instruments.) That is why I uninstalled the fonts and posted this thread. It is the Instruments list that got cluttered.

Hi. So now I'm testing a batch of sound fonts that I downloaded from recommended pages listed here at the forum. I am using Jeetee's Daily Log to do this. I have my dated piano score open, and I know how to delete and add fonts in the synth, and how to apply them in the mixer and preview them.

I have added a second instrument and would like to run two fonts at the same time. Is this possible? Something tells me I will have to utilize my DAW for this.

No, I will not need to use the DAW as I can see there are tracks or channels for the two instruments. I'm getting sounds from two fonts. Sweet. Is there a limit to this?

In reply to by Rockhoven

The only real limit is how much all of the fonts slow down your system. The more fonts you use, the longer it will take for MuseScore to sort out the sounds so the initial play or introduction of a new sound in a staff might get garbled. When I use a few sound fonts, my score always starts garbled the first time. I let it play a few seconds then restart it and it works better.

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