For a long time I could not understand why most soundfont players lacked specific features, but then finally I came to the realization that for the most part there are two kinds of users / uses for them.
1.) General purpose use for providing sounds for midi files (songs, clips, video games music, etc.) I believe this is the general reason why Ardour provides a soundfont player.
2.) Using as more of a sampler to be able to physically play virtual instruments, which is more the use I am looking for.
That being said I noticed that as I was trying to make the move away from Windows and transition deeper into the use of Linux (which is kind of at a hault for me at the moment for other reasons) there do not seem to be any soundfont players (LV2/VST) that provide more “sampler” based features which is odd, am I the only one looking to use soundfonts in this way?
Everyone else is just interested in loading up the damn DOOM soundtrack
The main features I am referring to are things such as…
-Legato (Glide) (with amount parameter)
Basically parameters that allow more expression to plain soundfonts without the need for automation.
Other Desired Features
-Ability to drag sf2 files into the plugins GUI to load them
-Nice GUI for showing banks & patches selection window (I am ok with ACE Fluidsynth approach works well with the following)
-16 Channel selector (Like that ACE Fluidsynth offers this as well)
-Some I have seen in Windows show the list of patches right in the GUI (great for testing out soundfonts, this is a bonus but if has this would be nice to hide don’t need to see all the time)
If anyone knows of any with the parameters I am looking for, or is interested in modifying / creating something like this please let me know.
Okay I will stop here but I will be posting a reply below with more information but probably not be worth reading unless interested in more about the topic.
Also noticed that seemingly all soundfont players in Linux are Fluidsynth based.
Odd thing is is that anyone who incorporates this into their program always only adds the same parameters which are two effects chorus & reverb.
(Side note I always get excited when I see a sf2 player that has tons of parameters and each time I am tricked because those effects have 4 parameters and ADSR has 4 parameters, fooled everytime!)
I have looked into Fluidsynth and they appear to have a ton of other features offered in the background but no one seems to make them available in their GUI, does anyone know why this is?
Seems odd, the only two sample based formats available in Linux are SF2 and SFZ and they have been around for a while, so I would have imagined that their would be some pretty advanced players.
Which brings me to my next statement…
Because I know that a conversation about soundfonts always leads to someone asking “why don’t you just use SFZ, they are superior to soundfonts” I personally like soundfonts for the exact the same reasons that they differ from SFZ (the only thing I wish soundfonts offered would be true release samples) I am not completely against SFZ but even if I did use them, oddly I don’t see any SFZ players either with the features I am requesting above which is even stranger because that is the only use for SFZ is for sample based instruments.
Also I have heard of Linux Sampler
When using Windows I must have downloaded it tons of times, every time I read the page about all the features it contains I would download it over and over to try, only to be confused and asking myself why do I keep downloading this? was never able to experience all those mentioned features, might be better in Linux itself don’t know never tried, if it is better in Linux let me know.
Just personally could never figure it out, it has been a while though… hmmmm maybe I should download it again… NO NO! STOP!
Thank you to anyone who reads all of this and for any info offered.
Honestly, that’s how I always thought that was a normal way to use SoundFonts.
When I was on Windows (many years ago) it was all the same. You had a SF “player” (in fact, loaded .sf2 directly into the soundcard RAM) and a separate editor when editing was made. On Linux all it looked similar regarding SFs and I wasn’t surprised.
What surprised me the most was LinuxSampler. I was pretty sure it has all basic editing capabilities (ADSR, crossfading, filters etc.) inside. Launched it and… no! It is a again just a player. And they call it sampler! That was really strange as most hardware samplers had a bunch of editing capabilities since 90s or earlier. Even most professional/semi pro die hard ROMplers have it, like my 1989 Proteus/1. So what went wrong?
But today I personally doesn’t care, TBH. I’m mainly OTB and using hardware synths/samplers. Having said that, I have to admit I love Hydrogen attitude, which has envelopes, filters and many more. All this is easily accessible and user friendly. I’m pretty sure one can find dozen of so “real” samplers on Linux (like a TAL-Sampler) but I’m not aware of any which use SoundFonts. Maybe it’s supposed to be like that?
It does (or did) build for Linux, I think the guys who work on GeekOSDaw for openSUSE Packaged it for openSUSE and Debian in their OBS. Not sure if it is currently maintained… *Note I had high hopes for it on an old 32bit machine running energyXT but it didn’t work there and I haven’t touched it since
I’m one of the GeekosDAW maintainers and just had a look at (and fixed building of) our juicysfplugin package.
we currently build it only for openSUSE Tumbleweed and Leap 15.4. I haven’t seen the necessary debian control files anywhere in the source tree or our package repo.
last release is about a year old and no commits have seen Github since
I’ve given it a short test in Ardour (in its LV2 incarnation) and it seems to work just fine, even if the Github Readme says that the linux build has regressed a bit. The ADSR, cut and resonance controls all do what they’re supposed to do.
That’s good news, I recall ‘Kott’ from GeekOSDAW on the Linuxmusicians forum had a Repo of stuff with builds for Debian (including juicysf). There was early discussion of having the Debian builds available for Debian and AV Linux Users but I ended up moving to the MX ISO build system which is much saner and wiser to use without any external repos and we fell out of contact about it so I’m not sure what happened to the previous Debian builds…
JuicySF was one that I was getting into in Windows but unfortunately the project was no longer being developed so could never mention the adding of legato/glide feature.
When trying to get into Linux I also noticed that the Linux version of JuicySF was not kept up with by the developer even less than the Windows version unfortunately.
That plugin has a lot of potential, shame that it is longer developed. Has many of the desired features that I mentioned in my original post. The only developer in history to add ADSR to a Fluidsynth project
The developer mentioned on his github site something along the line of that the plugin can access all the MIDI CCs provided by Fluidsynth even though not shown in the GUI. I have heard that Fluidsynth does have some legato/glide features, does anyone know if it does an are available in JuicySF?
I always hoped someone would fork the project and continue its development, if not in Linux at least in Windows. I would like to ask around if anyone would be interested but where would one even go ask something like this?
Not sure why but before getting into Linux I had the idea that the Linux community was filled with tons of developers just waiting to work on all of my requests, where are they all hiding?
Hey… Renoise Redux has ADSR support. Would be indeed great to have a robust sampler/synth that could play ball with the silly marketplace(s) and the seemingly infinite variations of the same stuff. The ability to pan notes within the “sampler” (Sfizz or whatever) could be a godsend for some sample sets, too.
Another free (but for Windows) alternative that seems to run with no issues on Linux using yabridge is the DSK one:
I don’t advocate using out of platform plugins when a native solution is available but on the other hand yabridge seems pretty bulletproof for those occasions when the native Linux options don’t fit the bill… I won’t lie, having access to stuff like Fabfilter Plugins on Linux is pretty right-on…