Use sfz instead of sf3

• Jan 2, 2015 - 21:08

I was wondering if it wouldn't be better to use sfz as the standard soundfont format?
It seems to be much better suited for your git based development process and also seems to have more features.


The problem with sfz is that there appear to be no graphical editors.

Consequently the learning curve required for editing them is IMO far too steep.

The stable release of MuseScore 2 will have limited support for sfz files in the form of the Zerberus synth. At present it only supports the Salamander Grand Piano, but there are plans to open it up for other sfz files.

It is also possible, of course, to use SFZ via samplers such as LiveProfessor, and VSTi, but currently this involves the installation and configuration of Jack Audio Connection Kit.

I agree SFZ seems more senslble long term, but right now, we rely on fluidsynth mostly, and I gather it likes sf2 (sf3 is just compressed sf2). Plus we really don't "develop" soundfonts ourselves; we just tweak and re-package ones developed by others. Which isn't to say we wouldn't get into the soundfont development game at some point. But using SFZ would presumably mean having to flesh out our own SFZ synth, Zerberus, which apparently is pretty limited right now. "Soundfont" form (sf2 / sf3) is just easier to support right now.

Realistically, there is also the issue of VSTi support etc to consider, MIDI out too, that are probably more important within the realm of playback improvements.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yeah, I'd really love a musescore specific soundfont. I just got involved with soundfonts lately and was really astonished how little resources are available.
An interim solution could be to compile the sfz font to sf2/3. Polyphone is capable of such a conversion but doesn't seem to have a proper api. Maybe there is another good tool !?
As a software developer I just really don't like seeing the "binaries" (sf2/3 files) in the repo. =P

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, I saw this old discussion about SFZ and SF2 soundfonts. I am wondering, IYHO, which one is better? Better for sound quality and better for memory usage. I notice SFZ soundfonts are much bigger than SF2, so i am wondering if you can have playback memory issues with SFZ soundfonts unless you have a monster machine.

In reply to by odelphi231

Indeed size matters here, I'm terms of quality.
Downside of Sfz is the long loading time, while Sf3 (!) are loaded and decompressed in thw background and Sf2 are available immediately after program start, sfz can cause several minutes (!) delay in program start.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Yes, I have 2 sfz sound fonts and the program does take about 2 minutes to load. I am having problems with the sfz sound fonts, so I am thinking of deleting. There is an audible bass drum sound when certain notes play with the sfz file. Maybe it has to do with what some are saying: you have to edit sfz files before usage.

I have gotten multiple SFZ files to work with MuseScore, but it is a difficult process that often requires editing the SFZ file (and often the sample names) itself.

In reply to by StringContrabass

Frankly speaking, sf2, sf3 and sfz are new things for me, but as I mentioned earlier, I've managed to buid sfz with Polyphone from scratch without problem.
Therefore, since the problem is yet to come (may be) can you explane, please
> often requires editing the SFZ file - Why so? (It is clear that as long as you do not complete the work on SFZ, changes are inevitable).
> and often [requires editing] the sample names - what is this for?

For now I have the only problem - to learn the right way of correct tuning of soundfont parameters for my needs.

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