Is Sf2 or Sfz or Sf3 format better? What are the pros and cons of each?

• May 8, 2022 - 18:02

Is Sf2 or Sfz or Sf3 format better? What are the pros and cons of each?
Yes same question of the title


They're different.

The default sf3 is a lossy compressed version of sf2, although I believe you can compress lossless as well.
The main advantage of sf2/3 is a single file distribution format; where sf2 has the benefit of not needing decompression (faster loads), but larger filesize compared to sf3.

SFZ is a collection of files, usually distributed via an archive format to benefit from smaller and single file distribution. Usually the sound sample files in an SFZ are uncompressed (so qualitywise comparable to sf2). In MuseScore(3) the disadvantage is that MuseScore loads the entire SFZ definition and sound samples into memory, creating slow launch times that go into minutes (MDL extension for example suffers from this).
The built-in SFZ support is dropped for the upcoming MuseScore4, although you could still use the Sforzando VST to play back using SFZs.
As the SFZ index files are plain text, in theory you don't need special software to create/edit the mapping of such a file.

In reply to by julioduca

Any and all sf3 files you can find that follow the Soundfont standard will work in MS4. If they don't follow GM mapping, you'll likely want to split them by instrument or wait for 4.2, in which the option to select individual patches within a soundfont from the mixer is restored.

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