Anyone use soundfonts?

Posted by: John51

Anyone use soundfonts? - 09/04/02 05:32 PM

Just wondering if anyone preferred a particular soundfont over the default sound of their digital.
Posted by: SteveY

Re: Anyone use soundfonts? - 09/04/02 08:40 PM

I'm embarrassed to say this, but what's a soundfont?
Posted by: John51

Re: Anyone use soundfonts? - 09/04/02 09:31 PM

It's a data file used by some PC soundcards for playing midi.
As long as there is a midi outlet, your keyboard can sound anyway you want, from a 7'5" Steinway to an upright double bass.
Basically, all the sounds for each note/chord are recorded digitally and when you play the keyboard the computer kicks out the appropriate recording.
The best ones cost a little money, (many are free)as it takes a lot of time and skill to make a really good one.
There's a "Steinway grand" I really like, (costs about 30) I've got an MP3 sample of it (2mb)if you want to hear it.
Posted by: John51

Re: Anyone use soundfonts? - 09/05/02 12:14 AM

Easier to name the site. it's www.studioax.com
Here's the blurb that made me wonder what digital piano owners thought of it:

Can a soundfont deliver better sounds and more accurate performance than digital grands and sound modules? With the Grand Piano One (GP1) soundfont, the answer is a definitely YES!

Based on a 9-feet Steinway & Sons (model D) and a 8-feet C. Bechstein grand piano, the multi-rate stereo samples of GP1 are digitally recorded, mixed, edited and enhanced. Designed for professionals, Grand Piano One (GP1) delivers studio-quality grand piano sounds from your PC/Mac.
Posted by: SteveY

Re: Anyone use soundfonts? - 09/05/02 09:14 AM

Hi John
Thanks for the info. I know the technology. I just wasn't familiar with the name. FYI - these are not really hi-rez samples, and while they may be designing them for professionals, I don't think it's likely that many will use them. Pro's don't use soundblaster or audigy cards. If I read the web page correctly, 15 different "soundfonts" make up a total of 50MB of data. While not bad, these aren't exactly hi-rez, high sampling rate.

You have to realize that every digital piano or synth has it's own "soundfonts" built into the internal memory. Many pro keyboards (which are often less expensive than consumer keyboards due to the lack of aesthetic value) are able to be upgraded through the addition of "expansion boards" that contain additional samples. My favorite piano samples of this kind are found on the Roland Concert Grand expansion boards for the XV series instruments.

If you like the idea of "virtual instruments", that is using a PC/MAC to create sound, you might try a program such as Gigasmapler or Unity to play hi-rez piano samples.

Hope this helps.