What am I missing about .sfz

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So I see all these .sfz players and loaders around and I am wondering all the fuss is about. I know about soundfonts from what feels like ages ago, and I guess I thought it was outdated stuff with all the super multi-sample-round-robin-velocity-layered libraries out now that hard drive space isn’t as much of a concern.

What are some of the benefits I might be missing from essentially ignoring the whole .sfz world? Are there some amazing .sfz libraries that will convince me I cannot live without them? What draws you to them?

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vata44 wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 10:56 am So I see all these .sfz players and loaders around and I am wondering all the fuss is about. I know about soundfonts from what feels like ages ago, and I guess I thought it was outdated stuff with all the super multi-sample-round-robin-velocity-layered libraries out now that hard drive space isn’t as much of a concern.

-- What are some of the benefits I might be missing from essentially ignoring the whole .sfz world?
-- Are there some amazing .sfz libraries that will convince me I cannot live without them?
-- What draws you to them?
Mmmmh... well, if you have your favorite sampler, e.g. Kontakt
or Halion or EXS, and are happy with it, then there's nothing
you're missing out on if you don't look into SFZ.

Stick with your favorite sampler and make music! :wink: :tu: :D

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--> Why does the SFZ format even exist? :?

This isn't so easy to explain; the need for SFZ actually only comes
from many years of studio experience. The key word here is
“future-proof”.

Over time, it sometimes happens that a PC breaks down, a
hard drive fails, or that the studio hardware simply must be or
needs to be converted. In this case, all software must be
reinstalled. So does your sampler and all sample libraries.

You've probably guessed what's coming now: The sampler and
libraries need to be reactivated and authorized. And depending
on the version status and version dependencies, this may not
work straight away - and it often requires various updates.

In theory that's not a problem - but in practice it's a night-long
nightmare that you don't want to experience a second time.

The way out is - if the pain and nightmare is big enough - a
"future-proof" format like the SFZ format.

In this regard, the SFZ format has all the advantages you can
imagine:

1. Although it was invented by Cakewalk, it is still open and
manufacturer-independent: Anyone can use it, it does not have
to be activated or authorized in any way.

2. It's a simple text format - and the samples remain simply as
WAVs. It couldn't be simpler or more problem-free.

3. There are many samplers that understand the SFZ format.
This also contributes to security - future security (!).

You can find a lot of information about this here.
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

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enroe wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 11:39 pm Although it was invented by Cakewalk
I thought it was invented by Rene when he was still rgc:audio?
I used to be Bunnyboy many many years ago

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Bunny_boy wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 11:54 pm
enroe wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 11:39 pm Although it was invented by Cakewalk
I thought it was invented by Rene when he was still rgc:audio?
Yes, you're right:
Wikipedia wrote: SFZ is a plain text file format that stores instrument data for software synthesizers. The SFZ format was developed by René Ceballos (founder of rgc:audio software) and continues to be used by companies such as Cakewalk, Plogue and Garritan.
:wink:
free mp3s + info: andy-enroe.de songs + weird stuff: enroe.de

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vata44 wrote: Wed Apr 17, 2024 10:56 am So I see all these .sfz players and loaders around and I am wondering all the fuss is about.
what 'fuss?' exactly. its an open standard for sample libraries, introduced to provide an alternative to proprietary standards in general and soundfonts in specificty. as such its useful, and relatively commonly implemented. that's it.
I guess I thought it was outdated stuff with all the super multi-sample-round-robin-velocity-layered libraries out now that hard drive space isn’t as much of a concern.
sfz is a standardised format for libraries. it does multi-samples, velocity layers and round robins.
how do libraries implemented with these things in some other format make the sfz format outdated?
and what do you think hard drive space has to do with a format standard?
my other modular synth is a bugbrand

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Thank you all for taking the time to explain it to me. It totally makes sense now. I was under the wrong impression that it was basically a sound font.

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"Are y'all with the cult?"

"No, we're..."

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DSmolken wrote: Thu Apr 18, 2024 6:19 am "Are y'all with the cult?"

"No, we're..."
lol

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Some advantages of SFZ compared to most other sampleset formats, in addition to what's said above:
  • It's easier for a hobbyist-sampler to use to build samplesets
  • It's easier for the end user to tweak, if desired, for 2 reasons:
    • the control is text-based
    • the samples are normal audio files, so can easily be processed (changed) by the end user
  • It has more features than soundfonts (e.g., round-robins)
  • It is under "almost active" development. That is, there is hope of adding new features, unlike Soundfonts
  • It's easier to host on Github or Gitlab, due to having lots of small binary (audio) files, rather than one big monlithic one, so it's easier for hobbyists to host open-source samplesets
  • As alluded to above, it's more "future-proof" since the control is text that's mostly simple to read & understand, plus standard audio formats
Basically, if you're a hobbyist creating samplesets, it's the best option. (If you're a pro, it has the disadvantage that you have no copy protection; if you want that, you'd most likely use Kontakt.)

If you're a sampleset user, it's just yet another option, and fortunately a free one. Just another tool in the kit, and you'd usually pick a sampleset based on how it sounds rather than what plugin it uses.

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Here's a the best single list of sfz instruments I'm aware of: https://sfzinstruments.github.io/ -- worth a browse.

(Is that still the correct URL? IIRC it changed, but that's what google served up.)

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JeffLearman wrote: Wed Apr 24, 2024 5:36 am Here's a the best single list of sfz instruments I'm aware of: https://sfzinstruments.github.io/ -- worth a browse.

(Is that still the correct URL? IIRC it changed, but that's what google served up.)
I suggest you delete this post and start a new thread with an appropriate title and you'll be likely to get more attention from people who want a list of sfz instruments, which is unrelated to the actual question.
my other modular synth is a bugbrand

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LOL, I guess I posted that to the wrong thread.

Or perhaps it was in response to " Are there some amazing .sfz libraries that will convince me I cannot live without them? " because there are definitely some samplesets there that I use regularly.

https://sfzinstruments.github.io/pianos/jrhodes3d - well, I made that, so of course I use it. Makes a great layer over a piano. There are other Rhodes pianos that are more general-purpose, but this is how I usually want a Rhodes to sound.
https://sfzinstruments.github.io/pianos/salamander - one of the best free pianos
https://sfzinstruments.github.io/pianos ... rand_piano - a very nice woody, roomy piano; works great for back-porch country music

I don't use sampled guitars, but if I did, I'd start by trying the Karoryfer guitars from my link in the post above. Karoryfer samplesets are all pro quality, and the free ones are a gift to us all. I do sometimes use a Karoryfer upright bass.

Terkelsen's Marimba is really good.

I also like my steel drum, which oddly isn't at that site; not sure why, but you can find it here:
https://github.com/sfzinstruments/jlearman.SteelDrum

When I compared samples like these to Kontakt freebies, well, I recently I rebuilt my music computer and didn't bother loading Kontakt.

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