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Using Notation Software products with other (third party) products Find out from others, or share your experience, about integrating Notation Software products with sound libraries, audio processing software, and other hardware and software products.

 
 
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Old 03-08-2010, 12:45 PM
Sherry C's Avatar
Sherry C Sherry C is offline
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Location: Bad Axe, MI, USA (The Tip of the Thumb of Michigan)
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Lightbulb Getting better sounds inexpensively

Hi Friends,

I had a query at the helpdesk today about using soundfonts to get better sounds. The following is an expansion on my response. I hope you find it helpful if you're looking for better sound than the GS Wavetable, but don't have a sound library or other synthesizer options.

----------------------------
We have a page at http://www.notation.com/Articles-Soundfonts.htm that gives "the long version". Lots of information to help you understand soundfonts and how they work.

If you have a sound card that is able to load soundfonts, that makes things a little easier. You can use the free soundfonts that you find from the links on our Soundfont Resources page, and just load them into your soundcard.

If your sound card is not capable of loading soundfonts, then the "short and simple" version would be you can use Notation Composer along with a program called SynthFont. SynthFont is available free, but then has a "nag" screen asking if you'd like to donate. I see at the home page at www.synthfont.com that Kenneth Rundt (the developer) is still running a sale for € 15 via PayPal (you can also use credit card).

Here's the step-by-step version for what you do:

1. Install SynthFont (see link above)

2. Install a virtual MIDI cable for connecting SynthFont to Composer. I use LoopBe1, which is available free at http://www.nerds.de/en/download.html and works on all Windows through Windows 7.

3. Run SynthFont, and use the "File/Set Default Soundfont" command to set a default General MIDI soundfont (see our page at http://www.notation.com/Articles-Soundfonts.htm for lots of free soundfont resources). There are lots of really nice ones available.

4. Run Composer (in that order - after first starting SynthFont).

5. In Composer, go to Setup/MIDI Device Configuration, and click on "Port/Select Ports".

6. On the left, Uncheck "LoopBe", and on the right, Uncheck Microsoft GS Wavetable.

7. Click "Ok." (At this point the LoopBe might show a "feedback loop!" warning. Just right-click it, and uncheck the Mute box.)

8. In SynthFont, click the "Activate Midi Input". This then allows SynthFont to be the "sound source", and Composer to be the "player".

After this all you need to do is be sure to run SynthFont before you run Composer. You can then load the soundfont(s) that you want in SynthFont for the corresponding channel assignments of each staff in Composer, and there you go

You can also use SynthFont for directly "rendering" a MIDI file to an audio file, in case you want to listen to the song elsewhere. All you would need to do is to use File/Export MIDI in Composer to get the .mid file for SynthFont to use. In SynthFont, you then click "Play to File" to save the audio rendition, which you can then burn to audio CD.

There are a lot of free soundfonts available as you can see on our Resource page. If you find that any of those links don't work, please do let me know so that I can fix them.
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If there is any interest, I can put together a quicky video tutorial about using these together.

Enjoy
Sherry
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Last edited by Sherry C; 03-21-2010 at 06:44 PM. Reason: typo
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