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Topic: Soundfont - again (Read 2063 times) previous topic - next topic

  • vibe
  • NWC2 User
Soundfont - again
My question is simply:  How do I install/use one particular soundfont that does not seem to be available in any intrument tree I have found?

The single soundfont is 'Campbells_Wooden_Xylophone.sf2'.

I have NWC 2.75 and I am using a Sony Vaio laptop with Windows 10 and Realtek High Definition Audio.

    

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #1
Hi Vibe,
soundfonts and iTrees are not specifically connected...

A soundfont is a database of samples that are used by a midi synthesizer to generate sound from directives contained in the midi data stream.

The itree is simply a tool used in NWC to make selecting midi patches and associated parameters easier.

To use a soundfont, you need to be using a synth that can load it.  Most Creative sound cards can use soundfonts natively in hardware.  Otherwise you need a softsynth that will allow you to load a soundfont - there are many out there, but AFAIK Win10 does NOT support soundfonts, you need a third party synth.

These days one of the most effective approaches is to use a VST host.  Please see 2 documents here:

http://nwc-scriptorium.org/helpful.html#Vst

One is by myself, and the other is by Rich Nagel - Rich's guide is more relevant than mine which is now quite dated.
I plays 'Bones, crumpets, coronets, floosgals 'n youfonymums - gonna lern tubies next

  • Bart
  • NWC2 User
Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #2
Last week, when I was browsing some midi related programs I found VirtualMIDISynth from Coolsoft.

It is a free program based on bassmidi.dll (developed by Ian Luck and also mentioned in Gunther Nagels' document)

It is the easiest soundfont based midi tool I have met until now.

After installation and setup, you simply modify your midi configuration in NoteworthyComposer so that it points to the new driver, and then, everytime when you start noteworthycomposer, a child process with a handy midi mixer starts in the background. And when you close noteworthycomposer, this child process disappears too.

I hadn't any conflicts with other sound related device drivers yet.

It is not a VST host, I suppose, because it has only a few features. But you get soundfont based quality music very easily, and that's what matters for most of us, I think.

I haven't thoroughly tested VirtualMIDISynth yet, but if it proves to be stable, it could become my default NoteworthyComposer companion in the near future.

For those who are interested, just check : http://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth

Bart

  • Lloyd
  • NWC2 User
Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #3
Quote
I found VirtualMIDISynth from Coolsoft.
I found it too. I'm using it right now with NWC and it works fine, but I don't know if it will solve the problems between Windows 10 and SoundFonts... In the site it says that the software is only for WinXP (SP3), Vista (SP1), 7 (SP1) and 8.x

This could be a good time for someone to test it in W10  ;)

lloyd.
[...] y el mayor bien es pequeño: que toda la vida es sueño, y los sueños, sueños son.

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #4
I found it too. I'm using it right now with NWC and it works fine, but I don't know if it will solve the problems between Windows 10 and SoundFonts... In the site it says that the software is only for WinXP (SP3), Vista (SP1), 7 (SP1) and 8.x

This could be a good time for someone to test it in W10  ;)

lloyd.
I can confirm VirtualMIDISynth works fine in Windows 10 on my Surface Pro. I had version 1.8.x installed before, when I was running Windows 8.1, and just tried using it now; it would not appear in the MIDI devices list. So I downloaded the latest version (1.15) and installed it, and it now plays nicely.

Mike

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #5
Happy to confirm that the current version of VIrtualMIDISynth works fine on my Windows 10 desktop. Straight from the installer, you load your soundfont and pick the playback channel, and then it appears in NWC's list of devices for you to choose.

Having more or less been shut out all these years after Creative ceased effective support for soundfonts and hardware synths (ie the current drivers are terrible and produce unusable playback), I am very excited to be able to listen to all of my old work from way back when on NWC again. Looking forward now to finding Thick as a Brick..! :-)

Couple things to note:
  • It doesn't really support using Banks to choose between soundfonts as I was used to with Creative; it basically loads them in order instead (so if Soundfont A has instruments 1-10, and Soundfont B has instruments 6-15, you will hear A on 1-5 but B on everything else - works if you have a GM soundfont and then want to replace specific sounds with bespoke ones, but will not layer otherwise
  • It only loads as a single device, so you cannot have two (I used to use Creative's two devices to direct my percussion on Channel 10 to one instrument and my drumkit on Channel 10 to another - this does not work under VirtualMIDISynth)
  • If you are using it together with another synth, you may have latency issues messing up the sync

Because of this I am having to simplify some of my old NWC files and am losing some of the sounds I used to love. If all you are doing though is using one GM soundfont through one device, it works great.

I gather from its website that the developer is alpha-testing a new version which has a different architecture that will permit more flexibility around some of these things; I did try the alpha with NWC but it does not work yet. On hitting Play, NWC basically skipped right to the end, with more or less all of the notes hitting simultaneously. Cacophony.

Thanks,
Neeraj

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #6
I did try the alpha with NWC but it does not work yet. On hitting Play, NWC basically skipped right to the end, with more or less all of the notes hitting simultaneously. Cacophony.

Kind of like the July 4, 2012 fireworks display in San Diego? :)

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #7
Just Googled that.... wow.

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #8
Thick as a Brick?
Easy: look in the scripto!
http://nwc-scriptorium.org/rock.html#Jethro
N.B. If I remember correctly you can't reach a part of the scripto directly...

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #9
Ah yes, that was the one! Still blows me away, that transcription - truly superb job, and demonstration of NWC's capabilities even way back then. Fantastic. Does Adam still contribute to this forum?

Re: Soundfont - again
Reply #10
I concur on the wonderful quality of the transcritpion.
About Adam, I don't remember having read its name in a long time.