Orchestral SoundFonts/SFZ's

• Apr 23, 2020 - 21:03

Hello again!
I created this topic in order for everyone here to share their findings and opinions on orchestral soundfonts, to use in Musescore. So for the last few days I've been searching for some good and realistic sounding pack of soundfonts. And I found these:
VSCO Community https://vis.versilstudios.com/vsco-community.html
I only tried the "Vanilla" library which was great for me! It had all basic instruments. Muted trumpets, pianos, solo/section strings except double basses >:(. If you want you can try it, it's free after all.
But besides that, this pack did not included sounds for more than the basic stuff... Let's say for alto flute or contrabassoons or saxophones. Not even Bass drum or snare drum! So besides sharing soundfonts here I also want a small request...
- If it's possible, and if you know any, can you suggest any good soundfonts or sfz's like VSCO's but with more than the basic stuff? (Necessarily bass drums and mutes for brasses)
That's all!


In reply to by Music_Berry

Yes... I believe the best soundfonts will be the ones which will be made by recording instruments. Right VSCO seems to do that but it is bad at low and high end notes: they don't sound as clear and don't get to sound properly on time. Plus they haven't made sounds for some low/high end notes. Actually in almost every instrument. Only the notes amateurs can play are in VSCO Community edition vanilla.

Here's my list of things I've tried. In addition to VSCO.

SFZ fonts:
Orchestra Pack Soundfonts
Saint James Orchestral Soundfonts
Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra
Virtual Playing Orchestra3

MuseScore General
Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra
Symphonic Sounds
Timbers Of Heaven

As well as default sf3 HQ

I think that covers most of the fonts out there. Problem is I don't really like any of them. I write for orchestra. String sounds are important to me. I don't care if mute sounds are included. Strange coming from a trumpet player, I know. To me SSO has the best sounds but MuseScore does funny things with them. Oh, like swell on half notes. Or some sounds don't hold past a dotted half note. Or single note dynamics don't work.
Or in the case of Virtual Playing Orchestra, the wrong instrument gets loaded in some cases. The other problem with sfz is that you start MS and can go out for coffee and back before the software starts. Then you open a score and go out for a second cup before there is sound in playback.

So I'm using the default sf3 HQ (for SND) and the solo horn (because there is no solo horn in the default) and some strings from Virtual Playing orchestra.
It's really hard to find a one size fits all font. I have four computers. I've considered setting each one up with a different font to be used for different situations. Probably won't. Too lazy.

In reply to by bobjp

~~4 computers?~~ I mean... so disatisfying that none works pefectly or doesn't have the most realistic sounds. And I have seen the same issue, one note dynamics, with VSCO, kinda sad xD. But I don't care when the instruments are loaded wrongly, I just put the correct instrument in the channels back again...unless that's not what you mean. But I don't think with sfz it takes SOOO much time for musescore to load. Surely it takes some time but like for 5G I had downloaded and loaded (VSCO, VSLC) it took around 1-2 minutes (probably if I had used Windows would be worse LOL) COUGH. And besides Timbers of Heaven isn't for Ubuntu so I'll pass that. I shall now check all others! Thank you...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Virtual Playing Orchestra. This font is based on several other fonts, including SSO. For some instruments, the wrong sound is in playback. I don't remember exactly, but one example might be that I specify flute in the mixer for the flute part in the score. But playback is a trumpet. Probably a font problem, rather than a MuseScore problem.

In reply to by bobjp

So I tried Sonatina , Virtual ,symphonic sounds and HQ but none will do. I think the best ones, even for few instrument sounds, are VSCO CE's sounds because they probably have been made in a studio. But i hate that they are so big in space andthe download file contains sounds which do not have sfz's XD. Just questions:
1) Where do I find the Orchestra Pack
2) and where saint james one? That one might be awesome because I saw this: https://vbfasr307.weebly.com/blog/saint-james-orchestra-soundfont but can't find a download link.

In reply to by [DELETED] 32872726

MuseScore_General_HQsf3 is included with MuseScore. In the Fluid tab click the load button and it will appear in the list.
From what I can see, all the free fonts out there are based on a few basic libraries. All have been recorded in a studio and originally for use in a DAW. A DAW works nothing like MuseScore. To get sounds to work in MuseScore takes changing the font in ways that kind of dumb it down. That's an over simplification. But notation can't manipulate sound the way a DAW can.
Some people have done a lot of great work and put these fonts out there for free. Assume.
But they will never sound as good a library you would pay for to use in other software like Dorico.
Your quest for just the sounds you want will, I suspect, lead you to picking an choosing a combination of several fonts. I.E. strings from one font,Muted trumpet from another, Percussion from another, and so forth.
I use a combination of two.
I use MuseScore to compose for orchestra. Many people seem to use it to reproduce orchestra scores. Not sure why. Notation software doesn't do a good job of that.
How do you want to use MuseScore?

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