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Comment Re:I disagree! (Score 1) 348

I used to post on those forums years ago :)

The reason I still care about soundfonts is that I sometimes write music for fun. I don't have any of the expensive VSTs, and some of the cheaper VSTs (like Garritan Pocket Orchestra) frankly sound worse than a good free soundfont.

Otherwise MIDI files are mostly a nostalgia thing - although they can be useful as a format for moving data between different music programs. E.g. Cakewalk to MuseScore.

Comment Re:But they sucked. (Score 1) 348

Glad it works for you! And yes, SynthFont is meant for more than just playing, it can render to wave/mp3 etc.

I haven't tried it myself yet, but I just found this guide to using Timidity++ driver in Windows, which should allow you to use soundfonts with your normal midi player (e.g. Windows Media Player):

Comment Re:I disagree! (Score 1) 348

You don't need hardware soundfont support because modern CPUs can do that with one hand behind their back. However, the MS software synth doesn't support custom soundfonts and its samples aren't exactly spectacular.

There are plenty of free apps to play MIDIs or render them to wave/mp3 - I've experimented with everything from SynthFont, FluidSynth, to midi loopback cable + VST hosts + SFZ+ combinations. Unfortunately nobody has yet come up with a simple free SoundFont compatible Windows midi driver. Something like a combination of LoopBe1's midi out port with FluidSynth. Unfortunately LoopBe1 isn't open source ... I guess Windows drivers are harder to code than they look.

Comment Re:But they sucked. (Score 1) 348

There are numerous options under Windows. You can play MIDI files (or render them to wave/mp3) in SynthFont using any of the numerous free downloadable soundfonts (I recommend this one to start with), some of which are sampled from old synthesizers. You can import them into Linux Multimedia Studio (despite the name, it also runs on Windows) and play them using a sequencer plugin, a soundfont plugin, or even a VST plugin (plenty are freely downloadable). You can even download SFZ+ for free from Cakewalk - which is a soundfont synthesizer that runs as a VST plugin. Under Linux, you have most of those options (VSTs are Windows specific but work under Wine) as well as Rosegarden and MusE, which are Linux only.

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