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#687134 - 08/18/08 05:30 PM what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
mine's probably pianissimum.sf2 thanks to good ole http://hammersound.com

Here's my list of sf2/presets I like:
pianissimum.sf2 - Grand_Piano, Mellow_Piano
1Grand_Piano.sf2 - Grand_Piano_1
kawaistereogrand.sf2 - Kawai_Grand_1, 2
md_StereoGrandV1.sf2 - md_Stereo_Grand_v1
JV1080NicePiano.sf2 - Nice_Piano, Right_Piano
niceRolandPiano.sf2 - Nice_Piano
Double_Clavinova_Pia.sf2 - Piano_7000_Top
64vcRolandPiano.sf2 - Roland_64VoicePiano
SGPn.sf2 - Stereo_Grand
2LyrSRX-2_Grand.sf2 - SRX-2_Grand_2_layer
Stereo_Grand.sf2 - Stereo_Grand_1
YamahaPiano.sf2 - U1
XP50piano.sf2 - XP50_Piano_1, -rever2, -reverb


Anybody prefer others? \:D


...Steve
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#687135 - 08/19/08 09:02 AM Re: what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
propianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/08
Posts: 131
Loc: England
Hi Steve,

Is there any chance you could please include some actual weblinks (for further info or direct downloads) and any helpful MP3 demo weblinks to benefit this list of SoundFonts, and maybe say if they're freeware / shareware / commercial / no longer available, etc.?

eg.
Kemble upright piano.SF2 ( 64Mb custom SoundFont by propianist - MP3 example )

Trachtman Steinway.SF2 ( completely free 25Mb Soundfont piano - MP3 example )

Bovbjerg Steinway.SF2 ( completely free 29MB SoundFont piano - MP3 example )

Bovbjerg Fazioli.SF2 ( completely free 17MB SoundFont piano - MP3 demo unavailable )

rgc:audio SFZ – completely free SF2 Soundfont player, works standalone or as VST plug-in - highly recommended!


I recently compiled another similar list (including weblinks) to compare popular commercial piano software libraries, on this thread .


Best Service Galaxy II[/b] (£169 / Steinway + 5.1 / Bosendorfer / Bluthner )

Garritan Authorised Steinway Pro[/b] (£255 / 5 mic positions / endorsed by Steinway - demo )

Synthogy Ivory Italian Grand[/b] (£89 + iLok / Fazioli )

Synthogy Ivory[/b] (£149 + iLok / Bosendorfer / Steinway / Yamaha )

EastWest[/b] Quantum Leap Pianos[/b] (£259 + iLok / Steinway / Bosendorfer / Bechstein / Yamaha )

Milan Digital Audio Hamburg Steinway D[/b] ($200 / Kontakt format only - multisample vs live recording )

Steinberg The Grand 2[/b] (£116 / Kawai EX )

Sampletekk Black Grand[/b] ($139 / Steinway D )

Bluthner Digital Model One[/b] ($299 / endorsed by Bluthner - demo )

Vienna Symphonic Library Bosendorfer Imperial[/b] (£180 / endorsed by Bosendorfer - demo )

Native Instruments Akoustik[/b] (£129 / Steinway / Bosendorfer / Bechstein / Steingraeber upright )

Art Vista Virtual Grand Piano 2[/b] ($199 / Steinway B )

Modartt Pianoteq[/b] (£195 / physical modelling + add-ons - demo )

4Front True Pianos[/b] (£90 / 4 modelled grands - demo )

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#687136 - 08/19/08 10:44 AM Re: what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Hi Propianist.

The ones I listed are ALL from http://hammersound.com
and are public domain.

Well, I haven't double checked all of them. But I have checked pianissimum.sf2 at least.

Thanks for that thread! Can't believe I missed it somehow
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#687137 - 08/21/08 10:06 AM Re: what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
propianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/08
Posts: 131
Loc: England
Pianissimum.sf2[/b] ................. 6.7MB

1Grand_Piano.sf2

Kawai Stereo Grand.sf2[/b] ..... 5.4MB

md_StereoGrandV1.sf2

JV1080 Nice Piano.sf2[/b] ....... 12 MB

Roland Nice Piano.sf2[/b] ....... 6.4MB

Double_Clavinova_Pia.sf2

Roland 64 Voice Piano.sf2[/b] .... 7 MB

SGPno.sf2[/b] ........................ 6.6MB

2LyrSRX-2_Grand.sf2

Stereo_Grand.sf2

YamahaPiano.sf2

XP50piano.sf2

9ft Grand.sf2[/b]

Campbell\'s Grand Piano Beta II.sf2[/b] ........ 5.0MB


Well, I found a few of them, but that HammerSound website seems to have a lot of broken links! It also requires WinRar or sfArk applications to unzip the downloads. I don't know why they bother compressing really, if most of them are only a few megabytes.

I downloaded Pianissimum and Kawai Stereo Grand, but they weren't very good - which is hardly surprising for their tiny multisample size! Many of those other freeware pianos unfortunately are very amateur attempts, where people have just sampled a lousy internal preset piano patch from an old synth module or digital keyboard, capturing the audio through their computer's SoundBlaster soundcard, and edited a basic multisample together using Creative Vienna SoundFont editor, (which is fine software nonetheless!)

People are generous to give their samples away for other's benefit, but there's nothing there of serious interest to demanding users.
Newbies who've played piano for years, but are still unfamiliar with computer soundfonts or plug-ins, might first try these and even be put off buying expensive commercial software, thinking this is roughly the current state of technology!

It's a shame, because if you download a free WAV editor or MIDI sequencer, it can often do the basic job just as well as a commercial product, only with a few less advanced features. I use several freeware applications, and some like Media Player Classic or Rad Bink Video , work far better than applications I've paid money for!

I would be of great interest to many people if there was a really good piano sample available for free, but none of the multisamples below 10 MB in size stand much chance of sounding realistic at all!

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#687138 - 08/21/08 11:13 AM Re: what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
Stephen Hazel Offline
500 Post Club Member

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 734
Loc: Seattle-ish, WA
Hmm, well, as an author of some freeware myself...
For those people expecting free stuff to be state of the art...
Well, it's fine by me if they're put off.

I think older free technology is still quite valuable.

Maybe not to a professional pianist with technophobia.
But maybe so to a newbie pianist who can't afford anything beyond a lite keys plastic keyboard. Like I was.
_________________________
...Steve
http://PianoCheetah.com - writing my own piano practice program ...yeah, I'm crazy like that

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#687139 - 08/21/08 07:43 PM Re: what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
propianist Offline
Full Member

Registered: 06/29/08
Posts: 131
Loc: England
Don't get me wrong - I love great freeware as much as the next person! All I'm saying is, that when it comes to free piano multisamples, in particular more than anything else, be they SoundFonts, VST plug-ins or whatever, about 95% of the ones out there are disappointingly bad, and it's very rare indeed to find a hidden gem. (I'm sure yours are the exception, of course!)
And that contrasts so much with the situation everywhere else, with free software in general - whether music software or free drumloops or mass appeal stuff like DVD+R authoring, picture editors, video players, MP3 rippers, etc., which in vast majority of cases are very good quality, useful little programs.

I'm just saying it's a shame quality free piano samples aren't as common as this, and a real shame that any struggling newbie has got to keep hunting and hunting around so hard to find anything even remotely worthwhile - that's why experienced users like you and I can help by putting some recommendations up with weblinks like this. But when it comes to suggesting really great sounding free piano samples I draw a blank here too. I suppose the problem is, of course, that recording acoustic pianos well is so difficult in the first place! Even a lot of the big commercial manufacturers have trouble too...

Quite frankly, given the vast extent of music software piracy and illegal warez sites out there, I'm wouldn't be surprised if somebody somewhere reverse-engineered the big commercial piano libraries and streamlined their samples into a high quality 512MB soundfont, because it would be quite straightforward to do without any need to decompile software, as typically the raw note sample files can be opened directly into a Wav editor just by choosing the appropriate format for the PCM data. However it would never be as good or flexible as having the original, and most of the important features like SSR would be missing, not to mention being very serious copyright infringement!!!

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#687140 - 08/23/08 10:29 AM Re: what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
mjdxx Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 06/19/08
Posts: 7
Loc: Hampshire, UK
Not sf2, but worth a listen is the Maestro Concert Grand v2 from here:

http://www.linuxsampler.org/instruments.html

It's a gigabyte uncompressed and better quality than the sf2 fonts I've tried.

I use it with linuxsampler, I don't know if gigasampler files can be used for free on windows.

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#687141 - 08/23/08 10:45 AM Re: what's your favorite piano SF2 ?
MichaelM Offline
Junior Member

Registered: 08/19/08
Posts: 9
Loc: South Australia
I think the difference is this:

writing free software = skill, time.
Creating free sound fonts = skill, time, expensive recording gear, expensive musical instruments.

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