Free samples, sample-players, and where to find them

Sampler and Sampling discussion (techniques, tips and tricks, etc.)
metamorphosis
KVRAF
3745 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:04 pm

Somebody seems to need this information every five minutes so a very kind moderator made it a sticky.

Free VSTi sfz player (Multiplatform):
[UPDATE:] I now recommend using sforzando as your default sf2 player and using the internal engine to convert your sf2's to sfz's. Unlike the two alternatives listed below, it is well-supported and not terribly buggy.


Free VSTi SoundFont(sf2)/sfz player (Windows):
I recommend using sforzando, as above. However for legacy purposes the following is provided. In my experience SFZ, even in it's multi-core version, tends to cause horrific static, so be forewarned:
sfz is one of the only free SoundFont player (other than the one below) which accurately plays SoundFonts and uses the internal loop/ADSR characteristics. Its CPU usage in draft mode (still very good quality) is quite low. Turn 'effects' off for even better CPU usage. May crash your host in DFD mode (use SF or PR modes instead).


VSTSynthFont (Windows):
  • VSTSynthfont

    Synthfont is more advanced than sfz and can handle one soundbank to every MIDI channel, but has almost double the CPU usage. It also plays GigaStudio files. I have found it to crash Tracktion, but YMMV.
A variety of other sample players are available here, - some wav, some soundfont - be aware that the other soundfont players are either incompatible with a wide variety of sf2's, buggy, or do not implement internal ADSR or looping (tested). This includes Kontakt - which does not play back stereo samples in soundfonts, rendering them in mono instead.


Free soundbank convertor:
  • Chicken System's Translator Free

    Has some limitations, but can convert soundbanks from one format to another seamlessly.
    Often a good way to utilise free Gigastudio/Kontakt files is to translate them to rgc:audio's sfz format, then use the sfz VSTi above to play them. Low CPU usage, and free.
Free SoundFonts(sf2):
  • sf2midi

    Sf2midi is often the fastest way to find the kind of SoundFont you're looking for, requires free, painless registration.
There are, of course, an absolute ton of other sample sites out there on the net, as detailed in many, many other threads, for example here (SoundFonts only), and here (samples in general).


Realtime Midi manipulation VST's
I have personally found Tobybear's Midibag VST plugins to be absolutely life-saving for MIDI-manipulation. The humanisator, in particular, comes in handy.
Another one is NiallM's ndcMIDI Pack.

Cheers,
M@
Last edited by metamorphosis on Tue Nov 15, 2016 4:52 pm, edited 21 times in total.

JamieSkeen
KVRian
740 posts since 27 Apr, 2006 from Charleston, WV

Post Sat Aug 18, 2007 7:51 pm

thanks for the links.........never tried synthfont.
Bump

thagoocher
KVRer
18 posts since 1 Jan, 2007

Post Wed Oct 10, 2007 7:44 pm

So what do Mac users use for sample playback?

rbet
KVRian
1215 posts since 17 Apr, 2004

Post Fri Nov 09, 2007 10:31 pm

thagoocher wrote:So what do Mac users use for sample playback?
PCs. :hihi:
Image
:: FL Studio v9.0.3 :: u-he Zebra2 v2.5 :: u-he MFM v2.0.2b5 :: u-he Uhbik v1.1 :: EnergyXT v1.4.1/v2.0.2 ::

tERMoBLUe
KVRian
1294 posts since 26 May, 2003 from im müscha...

Post Sat Nov 17, 2007 8:24 pm

a other free soundfontplayer vst bye sonic-AT-work ;) ...cya

<2°TRo²³

metamorphosis
KVRAF
3745 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Sun Nov 18, 2007 6:31 pm

tERMoBLUe wrote:a other free soundfontplayer vst bye sonic-AT-work ;) ...cya

<2°TRo²³
Doesn't use internal ADSR/looping characteristics properly,
doesn't load some soundfonts,
makes all instruments come through one speaker only,
no support for stereo samples-
not recommended, sorry...
Other folks, please check out plugins before posting in future.
Cheers-
m

raweber
KVRist
68 posts since 1 Feb, 2007 from On the Shore

Post Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:33 pm

metamorphosis wrote:[*]Dual-core/Multi-core/hyperthreading version (no longer accessible now that RGCaudio's gone over to cakewalk)
Is there a dual-core version floating about the Internet anywhere?

User avatar
sonicfire
KVRAF
3944 posts since 7 May, 2004 from behind his workbench

Post Sat Dec 01, 2007 8:38 pm

tERMoBLUe wrote:a other free soundfontplayer vst bye sonic-AT-work ;) ...cya

<2°TRo²³
...termo: your sig's link doesn't work properly ;)

manytone
Mod-ulator
2889 posts since 31 Oct, 2000 from "Where I'm to, There I'll be"

Post Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:09 pm

One thing to note here too guys about any of the soundfont sites listed above or any other free site you may find:
(Especially as I just now noticed that this is a sticky on KVR... and I am a Moderator here)

Although there are popular websites on the internet for soundfonts.... and many of them do contain legal and freely distributed files, I have discovered that there are a few files I have seen in at least one of these "free" popular soundfont places, in the past that were questionable as to the legality of redistribution. I would suggest ones takes the sounds from any free site (or anywhere for that matter) with a bit of knowledge about this. Not everything you may find for free on the net ....is truly meant to be a free product.
Paul
Image

Musical Gym
KVRAF
4740 posts since 24 May, 2004 from square1

Post Sat Dec 01, 2007 9:49 pm

That's one reason why I have hesitated using a lot of the sf2 files I used to collect. No immediate documentation on source, legality, etc.
It would be nice to have a definitive list with authors attributed and terms of use.

metamorphosis
KVRAF
3745 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:13 pm

The only one I've heard of which was questionable legally was SJ Orchestral, and that was found to be legit (S J stands for 'Saint James') - other than that, I haven't seen any indications of illegality.
Given the bulk of soundfonts are user-generated, it would be much more useful to assume that all soundfonts are legit unless stated otherwise.
If anyone wants to build a list of known illegal ones, that would be a good and worthwhile cause. Until then, I don't think it's particularly helpful to make people nervous with unfounded conjectures.
My 2c.
M@
Last edited by metamorphosis on Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:25 pm, edited 2 times in total.

metamorphosis
KVRAF
3745 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Sat Dec 01, 2007 10:20 pm

raweber wrote:
metamorphosis wrote:[*]Dual-core/Multi-core/hyperthreading version (no longer accessible now that RGCaudio's gone over to cakewalk)
Is there a dual-core version floating about the Internet anywhere?
Have mirrored my copy on my website now, check the above original post.
Please be aware that the multithread version is temperamental from my experience. Also, RGC might ask us to take it off at some point, so grab it while you can.
Cheers,
m@

manytone
Mod-ulator
2889 posts since 31 Oct, 2000 from "Where I'm to, There I'll be"

Post Sat Dec 01, 2007 11:47 pm

metamorphosis wrote:The only one I've heard of which was questionable legally was SJ Orchestral, and that was found to be legit (S J stands for 'Saint James') - other than that, I haven't seen any indications of illegality.
Given the bulk of soundfonts are user-generated, it would be much more useful to assume that all soundfonts are legit unless stated otherwise.
If anyone wants to build a list of known illegal ones, that would be a good and worthwhile cause. Until then, I don't think it's particularly helpful to make people nervous with unfounded conjectures.
My 2c.
M@
Not trying to make people nervous with unfounded gestures. Just making a point and not implicating anyone or any sf2 in the process.

I've passed on a bit of background info to Ben though that I won't disclose here.

All I'll say at this point is that I have found questionable samples in free SF2 files at some sites.

A list of illegal ones ...may just cause some folks to search them though, so may not be good either.

Anyways guys...I love free stuff ...and not trying to knock it. Just trying to make sure folks are aware.
Paul
Image

metamorphosis
KVRAF
3745 posts since 8 Jan, 2005 from Hamilton, New Zealand

Post Sun Dec 02, 2007 12:17 am

I appreciate your ideas, but don't see why people would search for samples specifically because they're illegitimate, or how that knowledge is a bad thing-
If people really want to pirate stuff they will - and they certainly won't care about the authenticity or otherwise, of their material- this is mainly about users who give a crap, so just give them the info they need to make correct decisions, rather than taring every file in a given format with the same brush, which is counterproductive and ridiculous.
Cheers,
M@

eduardo_b
KVRAF
11857 posts since 23 Nov, 2004 from west of east

Post Sun Dec 02, 2007 2:40 pm

metamorphosis wrote:I appreciate your ideas, but don't see why people would search for samples specifically because they're illegitimate, or how that knowledge is a bad thing-
If people really want to pirate stuff they will - and they certainly won't care about the authenticity or otherwise, of their material- this is mainly about users who give a crap, so just give them the info they need to make correct decisions, rather than taring every file in a given format with the same brush, which is counterproductive and ridiculous.
Cheers,
M@
I have to agree. It's simply not practical to know what is what on these sites, and given that the vast majority are "legal," I would opt for having a list of links rather than not because of an unknown possibility.
We escape the trap of our own subjectivity by
perceiving neither black nor white but shades of grey

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