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Added example song[edit]

I composed a song, originally in MIDI, and noticed it became quite awesome when played with soundfonts freely disponible in the public domain. So, I did my part of democracy and shared it! (talk) 01:18, 1 March 2009 (UTC)

If you're talking about that sidebar clip labelled Side By Side by Pascal Provost, all I can say is not everyone is going to share your positive opinion. In any event, I'm not sure it's a compelling example of how soundfonts are distinctly better, since it still resembles electronic music rather than anything acoustically recorded. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, 28 October 2009 (UTC)

I think it's a good idea in principle. Maybe you can add the non-Soundfont (GM bank) version so people can play both side-by-side, for comparison? --WayneMokane (talk) 19:05, 19 April 2011 (UTC)
What exactly IS a "non-Soundfont GM Bank"? That could mean anything from a pro quality dedicated synthesizer, to the Ultrasound and DLS sound banks used by competitors, to the cheezy AdLib derived 2-op FM synthesis common on lower end Soundblasters and their clones, which became synonymous with MIDI among the ignorant masses of windows users in the 90s. Which do you mean?
If you mean 2-op FM synthesis, *any* sample-based synthesis will beat low-end FM hands down, and it is completely disingenuous to represent SoundFonts as being any way special in that regard.
If you're comparing SoundFonts to other sample-based synthesis implementations, then you're squarely in subjective territory, and given the flexibility of sample synthesis, the skill and quality put into the patch bank is going to be the deciding factor, not the specific technical implementation.
Soundfonts are nothing more than Creative's implementation of sample-based synthesis and there's nothing particularly special about it other than it becoming a de-facto standard due to Creative's domination of the PC-soundcard industry. This whole article has the stink of someone who doesn't know what they're talking about, parroting marketing fluff as if it means anything. I'm deleting the nonsense in the intro. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:57, 27 June 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for improving the article. You should consider signing up for a user account. --WayneMokane (talk) 14:56, 1 July 2011 (UTC)

bi-directional compatible?[edit]

Shouldn't that be worded as either bi-directionally compatible or more correctly as cross-compatible (compare backwards-compatible and foreward-compatible)--Jack Schitt 07:41, 5 June 2006 (UTC) Yep, should be bidirectionally compatible. Mikeguz 06:31, 22 January 2007 (UTC)

What is the Filename extension for SoundFont? --Abdull 12:40, 2 October 2005 (UTC) .sf2 is the Filename extension for SoundFonts

how to use soundfont with sonar?[edit]

I'm a newby using sf2/midi files. I use to work with Guitar Pro, then Reason to create samplers for the midi files, but I had no satisfying results with redrum while importing, 'cause the drum pieces - like hihats or bass - doesn't match. I'd like to use soundfounds for the drum tracks but I don't know how. Could someone give me a hint or something? I'd appreciate very much.

I hate to sound like a wet blanket but Wikipedia is not for technical support. This talk page should only be about this article and how to make it better. Why don't you try the Sonar forums? [1] --WayneMokane (talk) 04:13, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

Soundfont player?[edit]

Does anyone know of a simple soundfont player that can open up sf2 files and allow playback with a clickable keyboard interface?

- Yes, look at the free SoundFont/MIDI player SynthFont or the SoundFont editor Viena (not "Vienna") at


i read on the FluidSynth web site that "SoundFont(R) is a registered trademark of E-mu Systems, Inc." This article does say it is a brand name, but perhaps the trademark holder should be mentioned? --Jerome Potts 03:08, 2 July 2007 (UTC)

Memory limit/ Hardware synths[edit]

On SoniVox's web site, they mentioned that a library in Kontakt or Giga format was about 1.3 GB, but due to a memory limit, but due to a memory limit, the SoundFont library fit onto one CD. What's that about? The article did not mention anything about a memory limit. Also, I think it would be informative if the article mentioned something about the hardware synthesizers (Korg M3, etc) that use SoundFont. Dr G (talk) 20:32, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

I agree this would be a nice addition to the article. Why don't you go ahead and add it in? --WayneMokane (talk) 04:14, 25 July 2008 (UTC)

SoundFont Extension[edit]

There is another SoundFont extension called ".sfArk". I don't know what it's for, but you can find examples at -David sfArk is a SoundFont compressed in size for quicker downloading. The afArk Application (free the last time I checked) compresses and decompresses the file for use. Funkus (talk) 21:09, 17 April 2009 (UTC)

Error in "On Windows Vista" section[edit]

The Vista section states that the removal of an option to change the default midi out device makes it difficult or impossible to change to a soundfont compatible midi synth. This is not correct and is at best highly misleading. There is no GUI option for it in the sound control panel, however changing the midi out device is no harder than flipping a registry setting found in the two paths; HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveMovie\devenum\{4EFE2452-168A-11D1-BC76-00C04FB9453B} and HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveMovie\devenum 64-bit\{4EFE2452-168A-11D1-BC76-00C04FB9453B}

In these two keys all midi devices are listed and changing the default is a simple matter of changing the MidiOutId of the "Default MidiOut Device" key to the id of whichever one of the listed devices you want to use. Their id is also sequentially enumerated with the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth (the default shipped with Vista) as 0 and then all added midi devices being given the id of 1, 2, 3 and so on. In the case of having an X-fi Elite Pro from Creative installed in the system the devices "SB X-Fi Synth A [EC00]", SB X-Fi Synth B [EC00]" and "SB X-Fi MIDI Port [EC00]" are respectively given the ids 1, 2 and 3.

Thus, to use Synth A from the X-fi card one would only need to change the Default MidiOut Device key's MidiOutId to 1. To use the MIDI Port as the default playback device one would change the id to 3. To revert back to the original softsynth in Vista changing it back to 0 would do the trick.

tl;dr: Changing the default midi playback device might not be an easy task for someone not used to changing registry settings, but it is no more complicated than following the above steps or to, in closing, make a shorter how-to;
Maneuver to the keys
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveMovie\devenum\{4EFE2452-168A-11D1-BC76-00C04FB9453B}\Default MidiOut Device
HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Microsoft\ActiveMovie\devenum 64-bit\{4EFE2452-168A-11D1-BC76-00C04FB9453B}\Default MidiOut Device
and change the MidiOutId to 1 (or whichever id you want, the available ids can be found in the keys below the one you will be changing. A reboot is not necessary, though reopening the media player of your choice might be.

Recommend that the section be rewritten and to either include a short how-to similar to the one I wrote out or at the very least state that while there is no GUI option to change the midi out device, it can still be done by use of a single registry setting. (So there is no need for Creative or anyone else for that matter to make a utility to allow changing midi devices, though it might come in handy if you for whatever reason need to change it often). (talk) 11:53, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

If you don't want to edit the registry, there's a small freeware tool for Vista and Windows 7: Putzlowitsch's Vista MIDI Mapper Control Panel (German page), described in English here (but note that on 64 bit machines, you have to copy the file to C:\windows\SysWOW64 and you have to switch the control panel to small or large icons on Windows 7).
Disclaimer: I did not write the tool, I'm just a happy user.
-- (talk) 19:30, 14 October 2013 (UTC)

EDIT: Creative also has a soundfont bank manager for their x-fi and audigy cards, both included on the driver cd as well as a download from their driver download page on their website, making soundfont management on vista quite easy even without specialized audio software. (talk) 12:00, 7 June 2009 (UTC)

Is the Windows section really necessary?[edit]

AFAIK, this is about SoundFont. And if we really need to mention MS Windows, shouldn't there be a reason? I am unable to see that reason. Also, it's no good to only mention Windows if this article also has to cover the adoption of SoundFont in operating systems. Both GNU/Linux and Mac OSX ought to be mentioned in that case, just to cover it all. NqpZ (talk) 19:03, 24 April 2010 (UTC)

External links[edit]

I just removed a lot of questionable links from the external links section. I left the official site in, but everything else is gone. If people want to add individual, highly relevant sites, that can work. But don't just spam us with every piece of hardware, software, or website that has anything to do with this. I'd like to add a {{dmoz}}, but I'm not sure of the best category. --NYKevin 03:14, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

"I just removed a lot of questionable links" - I'm of two minds about this - a number of those links were to good stuff, and the entrants appear sincere and not motivated by commercial motives, although of course the links do age. Removing the links leaves us essentially at the mercy of Google or Bing's whims and removes an alternate source of information. Per the growing power of the Filter Bubble, others may see stuff that I/we don't. I would rather that the link get periodically reviewed and annotated; this really adds value, rather than subtracting it. Ken MusicScienceGuy (talk) 20:04, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

I contend that it's not our job to create and maintain a useful list of links. We can and should delegate that to dmoz. --NYKevin 05:31, 14 April 2013 (UTC)

SF3 format (OGG samples)[edit]

A new type of SoundFont format started sometime recently that is built out of Ogg Vorbis compressed audio samples, with the extension .SF3. It's currently supported by MuseScore and Polyphone [2], perhaps others. I'm not sure whether it's notable enough to add to this article, though. Any thoughts? ZackTheCardshark (talk) 01:01, 18 January 2016 (UTC)

SFZ format[edit]

Nothing about this format? (talk) 01:53, 29 April 2016 (UTC)