Changing soundfont in 2.0

• Oct 10, 2014 - 17:05

Downloaded 'ProTrax_Classical_Guitar.sf2 from the HammerSound library and installed it in the MuseScore2 soundfont folder: 'Program Files (x86)> MuseScore2> sound'.
Then after viewing the synthesizer nothing was there.
But clicking of the 'Add' button and selecting it this new soundfont appeared.
For testing I selected it and made it the default font.
When playing I discovered that nothing had changed. I am hearing still the 'FluidR3Mono_GM.sf3' soundfont.
Can someone help me getting things right please?


First, it's normal that you wouldn't see a soundfont in the synthesizer window until you add it. The window only shows the *loaded* soundfonts, not the *available* sounfonts.

Second, no need to install soundfonts into Program Files - you should have your own Soundfonts folder right next to your Scores folder, and the Add dialog looks there too.

Third, if you want to hear the sounds of this soundfont on an already-loaded score, I think you need to have it listed before Fluid in the list. Or even remove Fluid from the list (then perhaps add it later). If you have two soundfonts installed, you have the *option* of using sounds from either on any given staff using the Mixer, but MuseScore won't know which soundfont you wish to use for which staff until you tell it via the Mixer.

Finally, if that isn't a GM soundfont (and I'm guessing it isn't), it probably doesn't use the standard GM patch numbers for guitar. So you will definitely need to use the Mixer to tell MuseScore which patch number to use. You won't need to look up anything; the drop down menus in the Mixer should just list the available patches.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, there are a few things in your explanation which I do not quite understand:

'you should have your own Soundfonts folder right next to your Scores folder, and the Add dialogue looks there too.'

Do you mean that I have to create a folder in the folder where I have my score? And if so, must it then be labelled 'sound' or 'soundfont' or...?
I did some experiments to implement this without success.

'I think you need to have it listed before Fluid in the list. Or even remove Fluid from the list (then perhaps add it later).'

After copying the fluid soundfont to another place and deleting it in the 'official' sound folder (so there was only that ProTrax soundfont), nothing is heard when using playback.

'Finally, if that isn't a GM soundfont (and I'm guessing it isn't), it probably doesn't use the standard GM patch numbers for guitar. So you will definitely need to use the Mixer to tell MuseScore which patch number to use. You won't need to look up anything; the drop down menus in the Mixer should just list the available patches.'

This comment leaves me quite puzzled.....

In reply to by JoeAlders

Still cannot get it running. Or there is something wrong with that particular soundfont or
I am not doing the right things.
Whatever I try, no sound is heard when using playback after installing.
As I said above, perhaps this soundfont isn't "sound"....

In reply to by JoeAlders

See the rest of my response - in particular, the part about needing to go in to the Mixer and tell MuseScore which actual sound you wish to use for which staff. Otherwise, there is no way it could possibly know, especially if it's not a GM soundfont, which I'm guessing it isn't. Since you said that left you puzzled, here is some really basic info about soundfonts that might help.

A soundfont consists of sounds for one or more instruments. Each instrument in a soundfont gets a number, sometimes called the "patch" number. GM is a standard that says which patch numebr should mean which instrument - grand piano in GM is always patch 1, electric piano is 5, nylon string acoustic guitar is patch 25, steel string is 26, etc - see So right now, your score is using Fluid patch 25 to play acoustic guitar. You need to tell MuseScore not to use Fluid #25 for your guitar staff but instead to use you new soundfont, and whatever patch number it uses for the guitar sound you want. Since it is probably not a GM soundfont, it's highly unlikely it uses patch 25 for guitar But again, you shouldn't need to know the numebrs. When you go to the Mixer, you should see the different patches provided by your soundfont listed by name in the dropdown. Simply select the one you want to hear.

BTW, when I suggested removing Fluid, again, I didn't mean removing the 8file*. Just unloading it from the synthesizer. You seem to be confusing the "folder" trhat happens to contain a bunch from files, with the "synthesizer", which only loads cerain files from that folder. You can have hundreds of files in the folder for all MuseScore cares, but only those explicitly listed in the Synthesizer window are actually *loaded*. So you don't need or want to remove Fluid from the folder; you simple need to delete it from the synthesizer.

In reply to by JoeAlders

I had this problem on a Windows Vista machine and the solution was to make sure that I was running Musescore as "Administrator". This gives you the rights to write in the Musescore/Sound folder. Right click the Shortcut Icon that you use to run MuseScore, then select the SHORTCUT tab, then the ADVANCED button, then check the box "Run as Administrator"

In reply to by Cade Pope

Going into MuseScore's program files would actually be a bad idea—for one thing, you'll lose the changes you made to that folder when next you update MuseScore. There are two folders that MuseScore looks in for SoundFonts—the system folder in the program files (which you should not edit), and the user folder in (the one that you should use)—that's the one the SoundFont gets copied to when you actually open an SF2 file with MuseScore, and the files there are safe when you update. The contents of both folders are combined in the list that shows when you click the Add button in the Synthesizer.

See… for more details.

In reply to by JoeAlders

There are two "Musescore 2" folders. One in the "Programs" Folder, which you don't want, and one in your documents>Musescore2>Soundfonts. You take the .sf2 file and drop it into THAT folder, then after starting a score, go to View>Synthesizer, go to the 'Fluid' tab and hit the add button to access the Soundfonts folder. Pick a font to add, then whatever .sf2 file you then highlight will be used, and you can "add it to your score" or "make it default"

Thanks Marc, for taking time to make your extra comments.
Again tried several times to install the new font without success. I give up.

In reply to by JoeAlders

I've just checked this soundfont in Viena.

There is only one preset in the file - Make sure the Protrax soundfont is at the top of the list in the Synthesiser page and then choose Program Change 0 (Piano) to listen to it.

You will find it in the Mixer under SteelwoundNylonGuitar.


In reply to by JoeAlders

Hmm. Well, if you should decide to try again, maybe post a picture of your Synthesizer window and your Mixer window. It *should* be just as simple as I described used - load the desired soundfont in Synthesizer, select desired patch within that soundfont for the desired staff in Mixer.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

O.K. ChurchOrganist and Marc,
changing to 'steelwoundnylonguitar' did the trick. And then hearing the awful sound of
a 'classical' guitar! What a great disappointment. I am wondering if there is a soundfont which
resembles the sound of a real classical spanish guitar. I guess there is not and yes, if there is one,
I am willing to pay for it.

In reply to by JoeAlders

I suspect the steelwound section of the title may have given a clue :)

These kind of strings are very popular with flamenco guitarists because they give extra brilliance to the sound, which, of course, is what their type of music requires.

The best classical guitar sound I have come across so far is a VST instrument called DSK Guitars Nylon, available here:

To use this though you would need to start using Jack instead of Portaudio for your sound output, and play MuseScore through a VST host with this plugin loaded.

It is a little fiddly to set up, but I shall be releasing a set of videos and e-book soon on setting up Jack Audio Control Kit with MuseScore 2.0 beta.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Just visited the website you gave: Sorry, but what I heard I am not crasy about it.
It closely resembles a jazz guitar is my humble opinion but definitly not a classical guitar.
But thanks anyway and yes, I am very interested in your set of videos and e-book for setting up this kit. Perhaps I will discover somewhere on the net the font of a guitar sound of my taste.

In reply to by JoeAlders

I'm having big trouble too - I have same problem understanding where things are because there seems to be a confusing way of linguistics - in other words - step by steps is not in laymans terms - only way I can see it working is by maybe Youtube - hands on experience - I know if I see it just once , It'll sink in .
I'll ask one more time . If it fails - I give up too. I think there are elements missing somehow.

In reply to by macrobbair

Everybody has a different opinion. ;-) That said, pretty much everybody will agree that one of the following three is the best overall:

1) FluidR3Mono—MuseScore 2's default; strikingly realistic overall; some individual instruments aren't very nice and/or are not quite in tune, but work is being done to improve
2) GeneralUser GS—rather similar to the above, perhaps just very slightly less realistic; doesn't have certain tuning issues present in FluidR3; reasonable file size to download
3) Timbres of Heaven—titanic file size, but quite possibly worth it; the strings patch (Don's Strings) in particular is the most realistic thing in the world; much louder overall than most other SoundFonts

These and a few others can be downloaded from the links at

It's worth noting that it is possible, though not very accessible, to mix and match sounds from different SoundFonts in MuseScore 2. If they're loaded into the Synthesizer, then all the sounds from all the fonts form one long list that you can choose from in the Mixer. Clicking the "Save to Score" button in the Synthesizer and then the "Load from Score" button next time you open the same score is an essential step.

In reply to by macrobbair

The Soundfonts folder underneath your MuseScore 2 folder (right next to your "Scores" folder), and then it will be available in View / Synthesizer / Add. Or put it just anywhere than double click it to automatically add it to MuseScore. See the Handbook section on Soundfonts for more information.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

not sure what I have done, I downloaded and extracted ok, then right click and open musescore seemed to put them somewhere, however there is no sign of them in /usr/share/sounds/sf2, which according to the handbook is where they should be, I suspect that everything is ok and it just put them somewhere else.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

this is really odd it puts them in a different partition from the other sound fonts.
It is the last pace that I would look, I tend to delete or use as little as possible any directory called "Documents" it sounds too microsoft.

In reply to by macrobbair

Yes, it is deliberate that your personal directory would be different from the application directory. Most applications workmthat way - their own files go into one set of folders, normally read-only, but your petsonal files go into separate folders. I can't think lf any application I've ever used that doesn't structure things that way. You don't put your personal scores into MuseScore's installation folders, nor should you put your personal soundfonts there.

In reply to by macrobbair

Presumably that latex directory is not the same folder where latex itself is installed, though. The vast majority programs expect a clean separation between the directories containing files that are installed with the program versus directories where user files go. This is what makes clean installation / reinstallation / updates possible. "/usr/share" is kind of a special case, but it's very much a Unix-ism, with no counterpart on Windows, and MuseScore is cross-platform.

My God, I started this thread and I now must confess that I completely
lost track of this discussion.
I am now running MuseScore 2.0.1 on linux 'PCLinuxOS Full Monty' without substantial
problems, but looking for where the soundfonts are now installed in order to have "your own" without creating problems......
"Latex"..... what on earth does this mean here.......

In reply to by JoeAlders

LaTeX isn't really relevant here, it was just an example of another program and how one person stored the files he uses with that program.

Anyhow, in addition to the dialog Zack shows, the other important point here is that for soundfonts as well as for other things like templates, plugins, and style files, MuseScore comes with some of these files pre-installed for you but also allows you to create your own. The files MuseScore installs for you are not meant to be messed with, so they are stored in a folder you normally cannot write write to. If you wish to install your own soundfonts, templates, plugins, or style files, you are supposed to do so in your own folders. MuseScore creates these folders for you, and the dialog shown above lists their locations (as well as the lcoations of MuseScore private soundfonts, templates, plugins, and style files).

But ubnless oyu have very specific / unusual, you never need to look at that dialog. I can tell you where your own soundfonts, templates, plugins, and style files should go - in your own Soundfonts, Templates, Plugins, and Styles folder that MuseScore creates for you right next to the Scores folder that MsueScore also created for you and where you have presumably been storing all your scores unless you for some reaosn chose to override this.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Think that I have got the logic of why musescore puts what where, what happens if one moves a lot from machine to machine? On an average day I use three different machines with three different operating systems, presumably if musescore is set up the same the files should open in them all, it does not matter that much as I only use one for musescore.

Latex is good for writing articles books and so on and is especially good for equations. There is a latex package for writing music, I never got it to work and it does not have any playback. In principle one could output musescore as a latex file and it might work best for music examples in books; it would be difficult to output as latex and I guess only 2 or 3 people would use it, so it must be well down the list of priorities.

In reply to by macrobbair

The usual way of setting this up would be to install MuseScore on all three machines, meaning MuseScore's own folders would be identical on all three machines. Then it would be up to you to decide how to share your own perosnal folders - either putting them on a network drive accessible by all three machines, using some sort of sync service to make sure all three systems see the same files, or however you would solve the same problem for any other program. It's not just or even primarily about soundfonts - it's mostly your scores themselve.s Presumably you want to be able to access them on all machines, so whatever solution you devise for that, that would automatically also apply to your personal soundfonts, tempaltes, etc, since are are all stored under a common parent folder (MuseScore2/Scores, MuseScore2/Soundfonts, MuseScore2/Templates, etc).

BTW, for export of musical examples for inclusion in books, there are lots of ways of going about this, but I don't think export to the LaTex would be a good way. There would be little chance that formatting would be similar enough to rely on. Instead, see the image capture mode (camera icon on main toolbar), also see the MsueScore Example Manager plugin for LibreOffice.

I cannot get merlin gold soundfont to work. I have downloaded it and have downloaded the package to unpack it, but the unpacking package does not open or do anything. I am using linux mint.

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