How do I add an instrument to MuseScore's default soundfont

• Jul 4, 2021 - 16:28

Hi. Sorry if this has been asked before. I have not found it in the forum.

I have three non-default instruments that I use a lot now. While I can access them in a score by going to the Synthesizer tab, and "Add" fonts to the SF2 menu, then positioning them in the correct order, then opening the Mixer, navigating to the instrument I want, then selecting it, etc., it would be nice to already have those 3 instruments in the default Musescore_General.sf3 soundfont. So ...

(1) is it possible to add 3 instruments to the .sf3 file, using Polyphone and then save it as .sf3? When I try, it only saves as an .sf2 file. I can do this, but ...

(2) If not, how do I replace the Musescore_General.sf3 default font with an edited Musescore_General1.sf2 file so that the program opens only with the edited font as the default? I know it is a bigger file, but that is OK.

Thanks in advance


While I'm sure it would be possible to do this, why would you want to? Why not simply load those soundfonts then hit the "Set as default" button so they are all loaded by default?

Anyhow, for the record, sf3 is a format we invented ourseles, really just sf2 but with compressed audio samples. MuseScore is happy to load sf2's as well, so no problem specifying your custom sf2 as your default if for whatever reason you'd rather see only one soundfont loaded by default instead of four. I'm not sure there would be any advantage, though, and the downside is, you'd lose the ability to automatically benefit from updates to MuseScore_General.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella


Ah, I did not realize there was a "set to default" button. I could do that but I'd be more interested in loading a customized sf2 file as a single default soundfont. How do I do that? Is there a place I have to put it, or a menu I have to use or a node outline of the steps I have to take? Sorry if it is an elementary question. Never used the feature before in Musescore.

In reply to by fsgregs

Here's the little bit I know. You can combine fonts in Polyphone.
Open your main font. Then open your other three single instrument fonts. You will have four tabs. Select the MENU in the upper right, and select Export Sound Fonts. The popup that opens will have a list of all the instruments in the four fonts. Here you could remove any you might not want from the main font. You will have a choice of formats and location to save. After export, go to the created file and rename it, because it will by default have the name of the first file opened in Polyphone.
You could probably reopen the new font and reorder instruments, but I haven't gotten that far yet.

In reply to by fsgregs

No special place you'd need to put it, just load it normally. But again, there is no advantage, and very major disadvantages to doing it that way versus the ordinary way of simply leaving the built in soundfont alone. It's way more work to do it as you propose, more error prone, and it will break in the future when the soudnfont is inevitably updated. So why even try?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I might do this because I use the default font and two instruments from other fonts. Sure I load them and set them as default. Then I change fonts for some other projects. Because I don't want to revert to the OE fonts yet, I set the new fonts to default. Later, after possibly several default fonts, I want to go back to the original three fonts. Now I have to remember the order I originally loaded them or they won't load properly into a score that worked before. Easier to have one font made up of however many different ones. It's such a simple process that it can easily be repeated if the font gets an update. The alternative is to have several large font loaded that make it hard to find instruments. Depending on what font has the sound you want, was that "Horn", or "French Horn", or "Solo Horn"? Type "fr" if the name is really just "Horn" won't get you what you want.

I can see why I would try.

In reply to by bobjp

Exactly. It is easier to load just one default font, containing 3 or 5 or 7 more instruments that we have found worthy. So, I can create a Musescore_General_2.sf2 font in Polyphone with the instruments I wish. How do I make it the new default font in place of Musescore's .sf3 font (I don't want both to load, since my custom font will have all the instruments in it from the sf3 font already? How do i tell the program not to load .sf3 and load my custom font instead? Thanks

In reply to by fsgregs

If you want to unload the standard one, just delete it. As I said, simply load whatever soundfonts you want in View / Sythesizer, then hit "Set as default". updated. But be aware you will need to repeat each and every one of these steps - including re-copying the default soundfont, re-editing it, etc - each and every time there is an update to the default soundfont. So it's10 times as much work today, and that same work will need to be repeated every few months. Whereas doing it the normal way it's 1/10 the work now, and never needs to be repeated. Well, maybe once, because much will change in going from MuseScore 3 to 4.

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