Helpful ReplyHow do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist?

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JCrawf79
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2017/08/04 06:37:50 (permalink)

How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist?

I'm kind of new to Sonar, and I love using soundfonts for composing. I'm not sure how to get them to work.
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abacab
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/04 16:54:19 (permalink) ☄ Helpfulby Fog 2017/08/13 18:08:14
What soundfont player were you playing them with before?
 
Sonar can host many VST instruments.  Here are a few free SF2 players in VST instrument plugin format.  I have not tried any of them, so cannot recommend any favorites.
http://www.best-free-vst.com/plugins/virtual-instruments/soundfont-sf2-player-01.php
 
I have tried importing sf2 into an sfz player, that converts SF2 to sfz, such as the free Plogue sforzando.  It is based on the same Aria engine that Garritan Aria Player uses.
https://www.plogue.com/products/sforzando/
 
I have seen comments that converting SF2 to sfz is not an exact science, so they may not sound the same, but sfz is the new open standard file format for sampling.
 
You can take any wav sample, or multisamples, and define the sound with an accompanying sfz file.  It is a text file format that you can edit in any text editor.
 
"The SFZ Format is widely accepted as the open standard to define the behavior of a musical instrument from a bare set of sound recordings. Being a royalty-free format, any developer can create, use and distribute SFZ files and players for either free or commercial purposes. So when looking for flexibility and portability, SFZ is the obvious choice. That’s why it’s the default instrument file format used in the ARIA Engine."
 

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abacab
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/04 17:38:16 (permalink)
I just remembered that Cakewalk included the rgc:audio sfz player in most editions of Sonar.
 
From "Cakewalk Synthesizers: From Presets to Power User, 2nd edition."  See chapter 14 in the free download ebook available here: https://noisesculpture.com/cakewalk-synthesizers-downloads/

 
The sfz player can load and play:
  • sfz format (.sfz) files
  • SoundFont (.sf2) format Banks
  • Wave (.wav) files
  • Ogg-vorbis (.ogg) compressed files
Single wave and ogg-vorbis files can be loaded directly and will then be playable over the
whole keyboard. If you want to map a wave or an ogg-vorbis file to a specified region of the
keyboard or set its pitch center, you would need to do this with an sfz file.
 
sfz+ was a commercial soundfont player, that Cakewalk eventually released for free.  Cannot find any live download links at this time.  It only loaded SF2, and wasn't compatible with the .sfz format.
 
sfz+ is perhaps the highest-quality SoundFont Bank player—the coupling
of high-quality audio with a highly intuitive interface makes it an obvious choice for
SoundFont playback. Although you can tweak SoundFont Banks in the sfz player, it is so
much easier in sfz+.

post edited by abacab - 2017/08/06 00:26:25

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soens
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/12 06:59:58 (permalink)
Yes. rgc:audio sfz will load and play soundfonts. It's labeled sfz in the Insert menu.
 
Since X1, Sonar removed the ability to load sf2 files directly which made my world difficult. It wasn't until X3 or even SPlat when I realized the ability to load them was there all along with rgc:audio sfz. Until I found it I was converting soundfonts to sfz format with mixed results. Now I don't have to anymore.
 
If you don't have it, you can get it here.
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abacab
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/12 12:07:10 (permalink)
Here's a bit of trivia about the sfz player from Simon Cann.  The sfz expression engine was used in several Cakewalk synths, so they are related somewhat under the hood.  This has nothing to do with sf2 files, but is interesting to know.  This applies to Dimension, Rapture, Session Drummer, Beatscape, Dropzone, and RXP.
 
"The sfz player was originally developed as a component for what was to be rgc:audio’s next
synthesizer. We now know the synthesizer to be Dimension (which is essentially four sfz
players on steroids, strapped together). The sfz engine in its current incarnation as the
Expression Engine has also been used as the basis for Cakewalk’s most recent synthesizer:
Rapture."

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soens
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/13 03:09:07 (permalink)
Too bad none of those will load sf2's.
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abacab
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/13 18:05:36 (permalink)
soens
Too bad none of those will load sf2's.




That's because they are based on the .sfz file format. 
 
"The sfz format and the SoundFont format are ways of arranging files so they can be replayed.
Within the file format, a group of samples can be structured and arranged so they can be
loaded into a synthesizer and deployed for a performance. The SoundFont format was
developed by E-MU, and the sfz format was developed by Cakewalk (rgc:audio).
There are differences between the two formats, most notably:
  • SoundFont format files are monolithic—the waves and the mapping information are stored together in one file.
  •  sfz format files are non-monolithic—each wave is separately stored, and the mappingfile (which references the wave files) is a separate document.
  • SoundFont format files can include a range of programs in the monolithic file, whereas sfz format files do not."

Cakewalk: Sonar Platinum x64 2017-08; X3e; Dimension Pro; Rapture, Z3TA+2  Other: Akai VIP; AIR AIEP 3; BIAB; Ignite; Iris 2; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; SONiVOX; VocalizerPro;  Tracktion Waveform OS: Win10 Pro x64 1607 System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410;  Controllers: A-300PRO;  Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Mackie 1202
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soens
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/14 19:12:42 (permalink)
Just interesting if Cakewalk's synths are based on sfz why they removed the sf2 capability it originally had. At least it's still in the sfz player.
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abacab
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/14 21:20:12 (permalink)
soens
Just interesting if Cakewalk's synths are based on sfz why they removed the sf2 capability it originally had. At least it's still in the sfz player.




Good question. Also I can only load sf2 files into sfz in the 32-bit version of Sonar.  If I try to load the file in the 64-bit version, nothing loads.
 
I was never a big soundfont user.  I ditched my SoundBlaster years ago, and began using my Roland JV-1080 to play GM sequences.
 
But recently I was trying to see if I could setup a plugin other than TTS-1 to play a GM sequence.  So far I have found a couple of GM sf2 banks that work in sfz, but they really don't sound all that great by today's standards.  They are better than the Microsoft MIDI thingy, so that's not saying a lot.
 
But I have found that if I take the time to create a Multi in SampleTank, it sounds like real instruments are playing.  It's not as simple as a GM player automatically selecting the sounds for each part, but it is much more rewarding! 

Cakewalk: Sonar Platinum x64 2017-08; X3e; Dimension Pro; Rapture, Z3TA+2  Other: Akai VIP; AIR AIEP 3; BIAB; Ignite; Iris 2; SampleTank 3; SynthMaster; Syntronik; SONiVOX; VocalizerPro;  Tracktion Waveform OS: Win10 Pro x64 1607 System: Homebuilt Asus; i3 3.4Ghz; 8GB DDR3; Intel HD Graphics; Dual Monitors; Samsung EVO 850 SSD, 250GB; WD 1.0TB 7200rpm; FireWire  Audio: M-Audio FW-410;  Controllers: A-300PRO;  Alesis VX49; CME Xkey  Hardware: Roland JV880; JV1080; XP-30; Alesis QS-6; Casio CZ-1000; Mackie 1202
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TheMaartian
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/14 21:29:38 (permalink)
abacab
soens
Just interesting if Cakewalk's synths are based on sfz why they removed the sf2 capability it originally had. At least it's still in the sfz player.




Good question. Also I can only load sf2 files into sfz in the 32-bit version of Sonar.  If I try to load the file in the 64-bit version, nothing loads.
 
I was never a big soundfont user.  I ditched my SoundBlaster years ago, and began using my Roland JV-1080 to play GM sequences.
 
But recently I was trying to see if I could setup a plugin other than TTS-1 to play a GM sequence.  So far I have found a couple of GM sf2 banks that work in sfz, but they really don't sound all that great by today's standards.  They are better than the Microsoft MIDI thingy, so that's not saying a lot.
 
But I have found that if I take the time to create a Multi in SampleTank, it sounds like real instruments are playing.  It's not as simple as a GM player automatically selecting the sounds for each part, but it is much more rewarding! 


I use the CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth instead of the crappy MS GS Wavetable Synth. The download page also has links to a number of useful soundfonts. I'm currently using the Arachno soundfont.
 
http://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth

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soens
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Re: How do you set up Soundfonts in Sonar Artist? 2017/08/15 07:02:44 (permalink)
I use the 4GB soundblaster audigy set with sfz when working on some old stuff from the turn of the century. There's actually some descent sounds in it that even Yamaha's xg sets can't touch.
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