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dj 08-01-2014 12:44 PM

Fine tuning 3rd Party Soundfont Players
Hi, all:

Sherry and I have had some discussion off-line about whether Soundfonts (.sf2 files) can be tuned to meet real-world conditions such as a piano that's a few cents short of 440 Hz.

We came to the conclusion that it's not really possible through the usual midi controls. Although the MIDI spec does include Registered Parameter Number 01 (Fine Tune), Composer can't send RPN's and many Soundfont players don't seem to respond to it. Adding pitchbend control data to a file is also more than most want to undertake.

I just browsed through my VST folder and had a look at the soundfont players I have:

-- Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth doesn't offer any tuning facility at all.

-- DSK SF2 doesn't offer any tuning facility.

-- Independence Free offers both fine and coarse tuning on one knob, which makes for some careful adjustment. Independence Free is a monster of a player, by the way.

-- KXSF2-ST offers fine tuning independent of coarse tuning.

-- Riff Raff Soundfont Player v1 (made by me as a demo for Notation Software's founder, Mark Walsen) doesn't offer any tuning at all. Silly idiot that programmed that one!

-- Plogue Sforzando player offers both fine and coarse tuning.

-- Sonic At Work SF Player has no tuning at all.

-- SFZ+ (which won't run on 64-bit) offers a front-panel tuning slider. SFZ is now owned by Cakewalk, but earlier versions are still available on the net.

-- Synthfont VSTi doesn't offer any tuning facility. Nor, I believe, does the Synthfont stand-alone.

-- Soundtypo SF player offers fine tuning.

Those are the somewhat random collection of Soundfont players in my VST folder. As you can see, tuning capability is kind of hit-and-miss. There are other Soundfont players available.

By the way, all are freeware (except Synthfont which is donation-ware and the Riff-Raff player which was made for private use). They should be readily downloadable; just Google them. They range from pretty good to pretty bad, interface-wise.

Except for Coolsoft VirtualMidiSynth, Synthfont and Independence, you will need a VST host and a virtual midi cable to connect Composer to them. There are threads in this part of the forum on installation and use of virtual midi cables and VST host programs.

Hope this is useful for some.


herbert 08-03-2014 07:18 AM

Re: Fine tuning 3rd Party Soundfont Players
Hi David,

I thought the days of getting no-cost sounds over the internet have long gone, when we can now buy high quality sample libraries at affordable prices.


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