Is it possible to use multiple sfz soundfonts (in different tracks)?

I have found decent free soundfonts for the instruments I’m interested in and I would like to assign a different one to each midi track I have open. I loaded the sfizz plugin on to each track, but there seem to be only one sfizz instance running, and whatever soundfont I load last overwrites the others. All the tracks use the same soundfont, hence play the same instrument.

Is it possible to have multiple instance of sfizz running, or is there a trick to use multiple soundfonts in one instance? Or should I perhaps load multiple instance in a plugin rack (carla, let’s say)?

I’m no expert on this, as I have only done it a few times, but I have never had a problem as you’ve described. I create a midi track, assign sfizz to it, and pick out a (an? :slight_smile: ) sfz file, and that works great. Let’s say it’s an oboe sound. Then I create another midi track, assign sfizz to it, and for this one, choose a clarinet. I have not had an issue where the sounds chosen were over-rided by choices in a separate track. I would suggest that if you are following a simple procedure like this, and it’s working as you described it, open a ticket/report a problem.

That being said, you’re going to get a lot of pushback that sfz != soundfont. And they are correct. Very unfortunate naming similarities. I think the “Generic Synth”-thing, nominally included in Ardour, is soundfont-based, like QSynth/fluidsynth. And sfizz is for sfz-format patches.

Yes, I’m aware that sfz files are different from the .sf/sf2 soundfont files used by fluidsynth and similar synths. I’m possibly using the wrong terms, but could not think of a better one—I’m still pretty new to all this. Sample banks, or sample collections, perhaps?
At any rate, the problem is how I described it. But if you are following my same procedure and getting the expected result, then maybe there is something wrong with my midi tracks (they’re are externally generated). I will try again with internally generated test tracks to see if there is a difference. Thanks for the input.

Just as a test, using the Ardour 6.6 binaries on Ubuntu 20.04, I created a new session with an empty template, then imported two different midi files, assigning sfizz to each. Once the tracks were created, I selected the sfizz for each one, chose a different sfz file for each (I used the VPO stuff, clarinet for one, string section for the other), and it all worked as expected.

I realize that “works for me!” is highly unsatisfying (I worked in IT for 20 years). Just wanted to rule out an obvious bug.

Yep, I did a test with exactly the same procedure you tried, and got the opposite result…same instrument on both tracks. It’s proving very elusive to pin own what the problem is. I’m going to try with hand-coded midi in a brand new session next.

Which version of sfizz are you using?

Could it be that there is a patch-change in the MIDI data, requesting a given sound from sfizz? On Ardour’s timeline they’re represented like:

Maybe rule out MIDI and directly play the synth. e.g. via Ardour’s Window > Virtual MIDI keyboard. or the plugin provided one.

The problem seems indeed to have been sfizz.
I created a test session from scratch, with just two midi tracks containing a bass and a drumkit, respectively. Sfizz played the two instruments as expected, but after a few tries Ardour started to behave strangely: it would only advance for a fraction of a second and then go back (while the clock was ticking normally).

I tried quitting and restarting Ardour, after which every attempt to load the test session with the two MIDI/sfizz tracks would immediately crash it and dump core. Sfizz version was latest stable 0.5.1-2, Ardour’s latest 6.6. After replacing sfizz with the git version (r3254.3dfc9c84-1 on Arch), the problem disappeared.

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