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#63604 - 03/05/10 09:13 AM [Off-Topic] sound fonts
tributeman Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
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Ive been advised to post this up regarding understanding of sound fonts.Ive got the creative sb live sound card and would like to know more about how it could help in my songwriting demos.If someone could point to any info here or on the web it would be most appreciated.Thanks Frankie
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#63605 - 03/05/10 09:17 AM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: tributeman]
MarioD Offline
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Tributeman, just google soundfont or SF2 and you will find a ton of information about them. Also you will find a ton of free soundfonts that are available as well as many that you can purchases.

Have fun.
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#63606 - 03/05/10 09:20 AM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: MarioD]
tributeman Offline
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thanks Mario will do Frankie
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#63607 - 03/05/10 10:59 AM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: tributeman]
jford Offline
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If you check out Allanah's site, you'll find a bunch of Soundfonts. Please respect her wishes not to download everything at once, but you'll find a number you can try out. My favorite is the one listed as "031.9mg Reality GM GS Bank". You'll need the sfArk extraction program to decompress them, but that's easily found on the "Misc Files" button on her site.
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#63608 - 03/05/10 11:53 AM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: jford]
Gary Curran Offline
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Registered: 01/07/02
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Tribute,
If you remember dedicated sampler keyboards, you understand how SoundFonts work. You load a specific SoundFont into the memory for your SB Live to use, and then you direct the MIDI output to that particular synth (there may be two). Then, when you play a file, you can hear those particular sounds.

You'll need some understanding of Bank and BankLSB to be able to fully utilize the SoundFont capability.

Gary
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#63609 - 03/05/10 02:14 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: Gary Curran]
jcspro40 Offline
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Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 830
Loc: Ohio-USA
It looks like you have got some great info already tributeman, so I will just add this..

Using a Soundfont will improve immensely the sound you here for a Midi track, this you will have more inspiration to work on the tunes, and that can only help out your songwriting.

There a are a TON of SF out there, and Allanah's site has some good ones. Just remember to grab the GM Soundfonts only, this way everything will be set up & ready to go. If you grab them a single instrument at a time, you will have to "map them" to the right channels.

I like the 037.4mg Personal Copy v4.0.0 Bank for general backing tracks. Tho it is a large download, I think it is worth it.
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#63610 - 03/05/10 02:37 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: jcspro40]
tributeman Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
thanks everyone for this info.. Rharv was right when he said post it in the proper forum.Cheers Frankie
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#63611 - 03/05/10 03:30 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: tributeman]
Gary Curran Offline
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Registered: 01/07/02
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Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
JCS,

Quote:

Using a Soundfont will improve immensely the sound you here for a Midi track, this you will have more inspiration to work on the tunes, and that can only help out your songwriting.




Not necessarily. While most SoundFonts are a step up from the basic DLS that's included with Windows, in form of the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth, aka cousin to the Roland VSC synth, I've not heard too many SoundFonts that can top either one of my Korg hardware synths. I will admit that there are some capabilities in SF's that my synth can not do, such as mapping a single up or down strum on a guitar to a single note. Something like that allows you to play two notes on your keyboard and 'strum' a guitar. Various chords would be mapped to different keys, allowing you to strum different chords across a 61 note keyboard.

However, SoundFonts are just like any other sample, depending on how good they were recorded, and what you do with them, they may make a difference, or they may make your whole song sound a whole lot worse.

Gary
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#63612 - 03/05/10 03:50 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: Gary Curran]
tributeman Offline
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Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
Having superb real guitar strumming on real tracks means having no need for guitar midi samples.So Im not really sure myself if Im just going through the motions regarding sound fonts when what Ive heard from biab real tracks is perfect for my songwriting. Im not into dance/trance music (and I dont perform live anymore) but ballads.. country rock and gospel music which real tracks and real styles from what Ive heard so far (and Im only just touching the tip of the iceberg) is more than good enough to provide half decent demos though I do think strings.. brass and bass could be a great help in midi.So that doesnt mean I wont take a good look at it and also quality sound fonts but Im still unsure if its going to be of any great benefit to me and the type of songs that I write.Cheers Frankie
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#63613 - 03/05/10 03:52 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: Gary Curran]
silvertones Offline
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Registered: 05/13/03
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I used to use soundfonts. They are really old technology at this point. Just to give you an idea. The so call nice GM set that has 128 different instruments is 37Meg. I have Sonivox strings. One Instruments. It has 552 files totaling 457 Meg.
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#63614 - 03/05/10 04:15 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: tributeman]
Rachael Offline
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Registered: 05/18/07
Posts: 1616
Consider the Coyote Forte sold through PG Music. Very nice sounds for the money.

Here is a link to plenty of SFs

http://www.synthfont.com/links_to_soundfonts.html

Rachael

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#63615 - 03/05/10 04:54 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: jcspro40]
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 11066
Loc: Hamlin NY
Quote:


There a are a TON of SF out there, and Allanah's site has some good ones. Just remember to grab the GM Soundfonts only, this way everything will be set up & ready to go. If you grab them a single instrument at a time, you will have to "map them" to the right channels.






Getting a GM soundfont to start with is a good idea. However using a soundfont librarian one can change individual sounds in a soundfont set. Thus if one doesn’t like the muted trumpet sound for example you can replace it with another better sounding muted trumpet. When I was using SF2’s a lot I would always replace the sound effects, #121-127, with usable alternate sounds such as other trumpets, saxes etc. I also had separate modified GM soundfont sets for specific songs. For instance I would replace all of the orchestra and sound effects SF2s and replace them with different sounding brass and reeds if I were doing a big band song. As stated you would have to map them to the right channels and with a sequencer (RB for example) that is very easily done.

SF2’s are a great place to get started. Most are inexpensive and/or free. However as Silvertones have stated it is old technology that has been overtaken by larger more realistic sound sources like Sonivox, Kontakt, Reason etc.

Have fun
_________________________
The only exercise I did this month was run out of money!

64 bit Win 10 Pro - the latest BiaB and RB - Roland Octa-Capture audio interface - a ton of software and some hardware.

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#63616 - 03/06/10 12:35 AM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: MarioD]
jcspro40 Offline
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Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 830
Loc: Ohio-USA
Quote:

Not necessarily. While most SoundFonts are a step up from the basic DLS that's included with Windows, in form of the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth, aka cousin to the Roland VSC synth, I've not heard too many SoundFonts that can top either one of my Korg hardware synths.




I disagree. To get better results right now, without $100's invested, the SF format is a viable option, especially with the SB card.

Yes, it is old technology, but I feel the Roland sounds have always been pretty unrealistic, and that the Yamaha XG format sounded much better. I would place some of the SF files I have heard over the Roland, ad right up there with the Yamaha Softsynth.

This would get the OP up & running with better sounds, without any investment by grabbing them from Allanah's great site (Thanks Allanah if you read this!).

And it goes without saying that any "newer"hardware sampler will sound better than an old SF, but the Original questions was "would like to know more about how it could help in my songwriting demos." That is what I tried to answer.;)

Of course this is all IMHO, YMMV, yada yada...
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#63617 - 03/06/10 02:15 AM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: jcspro40]
rharv Offline
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Registered: 05/30/00
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The ability to change soundfonts (customize them) was one of the strengths it had IMO. Tons to choose from for very little cost.
Of course newer hardware synths will be better, but the cost is often a factor. Comparing inexpensive soundfonts with thousand(s) dollar equipment isn't fair. Then there is the 'user' part. I have heard thousands of dollars of equipment not sound as good as a VSC based recording.. in the right hands.
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#63618 - 03/06/10 01:03 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: Rachael]
bobcflatpicker Offline
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Registered: 10/27/07
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Quote:

Consider the Coyote Forte sold through PG Music. Very nice sounds for the money.




Especially if you're using Win7 64. The last I heard, Roland VSC wouldn't work with WIN7 64.
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#63619 - 03/06/10 01:35 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: jcspro40]
Gary Curran Offline
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Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
Quote:

Quote:

Not necessarily. While most SoundFonts are a step up from the basic DLS that's included with Windows, in form of the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth, aka cousin to the Roland VSC synth, I've not heard too many SoundFonts that can top either one of my Korg hardware synths.




I disagree. To get better results right now, without $100's invested, the SF format is a viable option, especially with the SB card.

Yes, it is old technology, but I feel the Roland sounds have always been pretty unrealistic, and that the Yamaha XG format sounded much better. I would place some of the SF files I have heard over the Roland, ad right up there with the Yamaha Softsynth.

This would get the OP up & running with better sounds, without any investment by grabbing them from Allanah's great site (Thanks Allanah if you read this!).

And it goes without saying that any "newer"hardware sampler will sound better than an old SF, but the Original questions was "would like to know more about how it could help in my songwriting demos." That is what I tried to answer.;)

Of course this is all IMHO, YMMV, yada yada...




JCS,
You took my post completely out of meaning.

I am not, and will not quarrel, that some sound fonts can do everything that you said they can do. However, the vast majority of the soundfonts that I've listened to, or purchased from Sonivox or others, do not stand up to my hardware synths.

BUT, they can do everything that you said they could do, and they are a cost effective way to move beyond the most basic sounds. Plus, with some collections that are very specific in nature to one type of instrument, guitar for example, I can get and use samples that are not available from my keyboard.

Finally, I said this:
Quote:

However, SoundFonts are just like any other sample, depending on how good they were recorded, and what you do with them, they may make a difference, or they may make your whole song sound a whole lot worse.




A good soundfont, created by someone like Sonivox, or someone with lots of experience doing sample libraries, may sound very good. It may be just the sound that you are looking for, and it may do everything that you said it would. On the other hand, someone with NO experience, taking samples from various keyboards, as is the case many time, may do a poor job of creating the soundfont, and hence, it would do more damage to your song.

It all depends on the SoundFont.

Gary
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#63620 - 03/06/10 01:49 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: Gary Curran]
Gary Curran Offline
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Registered: 01/07/02
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Bob,
It *IS* unfair to compare the two, because there is a huge difference between a $100 SoundFont and a $2,800 keyboard. I was also replying to this particular part of JSC's original post.

Quote:

Using a Soundfont will improve immensely the sound you here for a Midi track...




However, I *would*...easily...be willing to compare my $2,800 synth with a $400 Ketron, and very favorably at that. Would you pay someone like Sonivox $100 for something like this?

http://www.sonivoxmi.com/ProductList.asp...l%20MIDI%20Sets

Or, would you be willing to pay PG Music less than $400 for this?

http://www.pgmusic.com/ketronsd2.htm

Yes, I know that cost is often a factor in our decision, I couldn't afford to buy the Ketron now, either.

But, you see my point?

Gary
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Music touches everyone, and everyone can touch music, if they wish.

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#63621 - 03/06/10 02:53 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: Gary Curran]
tributeman Offline
Journeyman

Registered: 01/14/10
Posts: 589
Loc: uk
Hi Gary,I just listened to those sonivox sound fonts and I was impressed especially the guitars they were the most authentic Ive ever heard Cheers Frankie
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#63622 - 03/06/10 03:44 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: tributeman]
jcspro40 Offline
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Registered: 04/16/03
Posts: 830
Loc: Ohio-USA
I am sorry you feel I took your post wrong, I did not mean it that way. But without going to the other thread, here is what was asked in this thread..

Quote:

Ive got the creative sb live sound card and would like to know more about how it could help in my songwriting demos.




I answered this question with an answer that I feel was appropriate, that using sound fonts CAN improve his MIDI sounds, thus help with songwriting by working with a better sound set. There was no question about any type of hardware, just how a sound font could help tributeman situation now.

You responded with....

Quote:

Not necessarily. While most SoundFonts are a step up from the basic DLS that's included with Windows, in form of the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth, aka cousin to the Roland VSC synth, I've not heard too many SoundFonts that can top either one of my Korg hardware synths.




Which got off of the originals posters question, and that is what I disagreed with.

I also don't want to quarrel, but I don't feel that I "took my post completely out of meaning." It looked to me that you were saying that hardware is better than sound fonts, and like you, in some circumstances I agree. But that did not address the OP question of HOW sound fonts could help him with the equipment he has NOW.

And it strikes me as funny that, in the 2 comparisons, that tributeman chose the sound font over the hardware!

I again say that by using sound fonts to enhance what tributeman already has that, with no $$ outlay, he can improve his songwriting ability's, and enjoy it a lot more, over the supplied roland stuff.

I will now gracefully bow out of this thread....
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#63623 - 03/06/10 05:38 PM [Off-Topic] Re: sound fonts [Re: jcspro40]
Gary Curran Offline
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Registered: 01/07/02
Posts: 10059
Loc: Poulsbo, Wa 98370
JCS,
Okay, I see your point of view.

I did not mean to come across that SoundFonts aren't useful, and that hardware is the end all, be all. I just said I hadn't heard any SF that sounded as good as my hardware. BUT, some SFs *are* good, and do suffice for songwriting.

Gary
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