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SFZ Player Plugin by Plogue
sforzando sforzando sforzando
sforzando by Plogue is a Virtual Instrument Audio Plugin for macOS and Windows. It functions as a VST Plugin, an Audio Units Plugin, a VST 3 Plugin and an AAX Plugin.
Sample Formats
Loads and/or Saves
ACIDized WAV, DLS, SF2 (SoundFont), sfz, WAV
Copy Protection
My KVR - Groups, Versions, & More
329 KVR members have added sforzando to 138 My KVR groups 391 times.
Not In Your MY KVR Groups
(or group limitation prevents versioning)
+138 in private groups

KVR Rank

Overall: 229   178   227

30-Day: 370; 7-Day: 425; Yesterday: 2496

sforzando is a free SFZ player. Advanced sample hobbyists now have a powerful tool to experiment and share instruments without relying on proprietary formats.

It is also possible to drop SF2, DLS and acidized WAV files directly on the interface, and they will automatically get converted to SFZ 2.0. Then, they can be edited.

Powered by the ARIA Engine

sforzando relies on the same ARIA Engine that powers the ARIA Player and other products from Garritan and obviously Plogue chipsounds.

Like the other ARIA products, this player is available as a standalone and VSTi/AU/RTAS plugin on Windows or OS X and can run in either 32-bit or 64-bit.

Dedicated To Its Community

Plogue has deployed a forum dedicated to the SFZ format to help users support each other. All technical support for this product will be community driven at ARIAEngine.com.

Latest User Reviews

Average user rating of 3.60 from 5 reviews

Reviewed By antoniusguntoro [all]
October 23rd, 2021
Version reviewed: - on Windows

Number 1 free sfz player till 2021 :) thanks. Could easily convert SF2 files into SFZ file too with the built in ARIA Engine.

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Reviewed By enroe [all]
February 22nd, 2020
Version reviewed: 1.961 on Windows

This is an answer on the Review of "Tagirijus" of the 17th February 2020 - because his 3 points need some explanation:

1. Installs two additional programms (TableWarp and Aria or so) and will not deinstall those, if you deinstall sforzando.

This is true. But:

The Aria-Player is the sample-playback-engine of Sforzando. So this is a necessary part of Sforzando. The TableWarp is just an Example-synth installed along with Sforzando. It is very small - only some kb - and it sounds quite useful.

2. Is not a SF2 Player, but needs to convert the SF2 to SFZ first.

Also this is true. But:

Sforzando is not dedicated to SF2. SF2 is ONLY a nice add-on. Sforzando can read sf2 - more or less - and converts it to sfz. The "more or less" means that:

3. Will not play / convert it correctly so that the patches are not playbale.

This might be the case for certain sf2-files. Just because Sforzando is not dedicated to SF2. If you need a real SF2 Player you should look for something else.


So let's come to the topic of "Sforzando": Sforzando is basically a monotimbral sfz-sampler. And it is one of the best, because it is (1) easy to install, (2) easy to use and (3) easy on CPU. For me Sforzando is very stable (windows-10), and you can use a lot of instances at the same time. The handling is straight forward and if you are advanced you can create your own GUI.

Also the sfz-format has tremendous advantages: You just can edit any sfz-sample file with any text-editor. So you have full control and you can simply change and adjust any multisample to your special needs. SFZ is not a proprietary format - and so it is future-proof. That is important if you want to be sure that you can use your sample library in the future without hassle. In the development of SFZ there are the versions 1.0 and 2.0. Sforzando can play version 2.0 - and it understands some additional sfz-commands.

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Reviewed By Tagirijus [all]
February 17th, 2020
Version reviewed: 1.961 on Windows

1. Installs two additional programms (TableWarp and Aria or so) and will not deinstall those, if you deinstall sforzando.

2. Is not a SF2 Player, but needs to convert the SF2 to SFZ first.

3. Will not play / convert it correctly so that the patches are not playbale.

Read Review

Reviewed By sphaira [all]
August 20th, 2013
Version reviewed: XP on Windows

This is a SFZ file player that has tremendous potential. Directly dependent on Aria Engine (used for sound banks Garritan) this player plays perfectly the SFZ 1.0 and SFZ 2.0 versions. The forum engine is very reactive, competent people can quickly respond to simple or advanced topics (some of the developers of the engine are themselves on the forum).

A SFZ file can be placed on the player (with drag & drop possibility) that reads and instantly updates the SFZ file when it has been changed. The parser of SFZ opcodes indicates whether the file contains errors or unkown opcodes.

Tested with up to 15 simultaneous instances I have not had a complaint from any slowdown in my machine (Dual Core CPU 2.6 GB).It is available on several platforms (Mac and PC) that really boring for the developer of sound bank.

Specificity of Sforzando is that it contains a panel MIDI controls. This panel makes the SFZ file d├ępendent player but brings a lot of control over the patch.

The biggest flaw is that it has no effect and is not multitimbral but it is difficult to find a synthesizer / sampler of this quality for free.

I think this player is the SFZ player of choice because it is reliable, robust and accurate and there is more and more high quality sound bank in SFZ format.

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Reviewed By plastedre [all]
August 20th, 2013
Version reviewed: Seven on Windows

Sforzando is a player of SFZ file extremely powerful. The developers have developed Chipsounds and Aria engine. Sforzando use Aria engine single player mode without effects.

The quality of sound output is extremely accurate, I tested in comparison with Cakewalk SFZ and Sforzando is capable of playing WAV files smaller without penalty (like Single Cycle Waveform). The player can convert Soundfont SF2 to SFZ in the folder of your choice (change the folder in "settings" panel).

Filters are good I know that conventional LP6, LP12, LP24 and LP48, which allows me to create all layers of analogue beauty. Editing is done using a text editor (personally I use PSPad) and the file being played by Sforzando is updated automatically making it very comfortable editing.

Reading sample format is WAV and OGG, but I discovered that the FLAC format is also included which allows you to create large banks without keeping the sound quality (to my opinion OGG is not a professional format).

I regularly asked on the forum to know various details of the SFZ programming and I was pleasantly surprised to get answers quickly and accurately (the forum is mainly dedicated to Aria engine).

I regularly use this sampler / synthesizer to create my sets of banks in my own music. Opportunities for external modulation (with the use of "controls" panel) can compete with a synthesizer (such as Synth 1).

Even with large banks of sounds (multi sampled) my processor does not suffer. This is a sampler that does not have all the advantages of Kontakt but is doing well in various situations and is more flexible.

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