Soundfont for overly-picky orchestra nerds

• Dec 15, 2016 - 00:43

First warning, it's huge. 656MB uncompressed.

Second warning, it's not General Midi compliant. Not even close. There are multiples of every orchestral instrument, they're in the order you would usually find them in a score.

Third warning: it's really, really, REALLY not done. It's usuable, but it's going to change majorly in new versions. I've been delaying sharing this specifically because I'm probably going to change presets - add new ones, move others around. The most obvious one right now is Trumpet Sus(at the very bottom of the preset list) and Westgate ff I'll be replacing westgate ff with the sus once I get all of sus looped. They're both from Westgate, btw, it's just that the sus has more velocity levels than ff, which is obviously better.

If that didn't scare you off, here's the link and some more info:

// Sounds

Here's a demo, it's from the Nutcracker, I have nearly the whole first act posted at my profile if you're interested.
// falls, Christmas Tree Grows

This is mostly a compilation soundfont, but I have edited nearly every single sound in there, whether it for looping(SSO), velocity layers(all the brass, the bass clarinets, cflute, etc...), or volume(everything). I didn't touch AA violin, that thing is a work of art. It's not looped, but... omg, it's beautiful *because* it isn't looped. A lot of these sounds are free things that are now nearly impossible to find outside of sf2midi, or actually impossible to find(westgate).

I put in multiple of each because I'm an orchestral nerd, and if you really want playback to sound right, if you have three flute parts or six french horn parts, you need three different flutes and six different french horns.

Preset list with comments, * denotes the best quality instrument in that group:
000 Piccolo SSO
001 Piccolo SGM
002 *Piccolo (no idea where this is from, sorry)
009 *Cflute
010 Flute (the one Fluid contribution)
011 Flute SSO (looped, top two notes fixed)
012 Flute Section (from SSO, looped)
013 Alto Flute SSO
015 Oboe SSO
016 Oboe Stereo
017 Oboe (another orphan from somewhere)
018 *Cor Anglais Florestan(not that great, but best overall)
019 Cor Anglais SSO (terrible for fast passages, good for largo.)
020 English Horn V (unlikely to stay)
021 Eb Clar UoI (not our lovely Church Organist's, I did this one.)
022 *Clarinet SSO
025 Clarinet SGM(No/little change in timbre over the range, but decent for a backup)
026 *Bass Clarinet SSO (has velocity layers)
027 Bass Clarinet UoI
028 *Bassoon SSO
029 Bassoon UoI
030 Ethan's Bassoon
031 Contrabassoon SSO
032 *French Horn SSO
033 JL Solo Horn (does not have the lower range, only use on parts that don't go into bass clef)
034 French Horn SGM (second best after SSO, full range and velocity)
035 French Horns ToH(French Horn *section*)
036 JL Stopped Horn (faked with a filter)
039 Flugelhorn (also from JL, have used as wagner tuba)
040 Baritone Horn (only one I could find)
045 Trumpet ToH solo (Vibrato, brassy)
046 Trumpet SSO (good overall)
047 Trumpet Westgate ff(brass your face off)
048 Trumpet UoI (not very brassy, does well as a cornet against the brassketeers as trumpets)
049 JL Trumpet(also a good cornet)
051 JL Trombone(nice mf tone, not brassy)
052 Tenor Trombone SSO (Brassy)
053 *Tenor Trombone Uoi (ff, mf, pp)
055 *Bass Trombone (full velocity layers, appropriately face melting, although I *still* don't think it's loud enough)
056 Bass Trombone SSO (full velocity layers, not quite as face-melting, NOT FULLY LOOPED)
057 Euphonium (only one I could find, decent)
058 Tuba SGM
059 Muted Trumpet-C1(only GM compliant preset. Was the only muted trumpet I could find that sounded like a muted trumpet)
060 Campbell's Eb Tuba(solid Jazz tuba)
061 *Tuba UoI (velocity layered, very brassy when loud)
062 Timpani Gold 2(normal)
063 *Tympani SSO(regular octave is right hand stick, down an octave is left hand stick, Up an octave for rolls, up another for *crescendoing* rolls, stick have velocity layers. My suggestion is to write for notation in first voice(check 'don't play' box in inspector) and use fully invisible second voice for actual playback. That's what I did for timpani rolls in the demo)
064 Orchestral Harp
065 *Harp SSO
067 Tutti (g.o) Organ(from Jeux, might change, or add more stops to the soundfont)
068 Grand Piano (Steinway, very detailed layering)
069 Celesta
070 Harpsichord 1&2 Blanchet-Jeu (every single note is sampled, from a 17th century harpsichord. This is the version with both of the normal stops pulled out)
071 First Violins (from SSO)
072 1st Violins Pizzicato
073 AA Solo Violin
074 Solo Violin Pizzicato
075 Second Violins
076 2nd Violins Pizzicato
077 Gagliano Violin (solo, less dramatic than AA, looped)
078 Viola Section
079 Violas Pizz.
080 Cadenza Viola (I really, really need a better(good) viola sample. Will probably go to UoI for it)
081 Solo Viola Pizzicato
082 Violoncello Section
083 Celli Pizzicato
084 *Ethan's cello
085 Cadenza Cello
086 Solo Cello Pizzicato
087 Contrabassi Section
088 Bassi Pizzicato
089 Cadenza Double Bass (I've got meatbass samples, they'll probably replace this)
090 Solo C-Bass Pizzicato
0106 Shamisen/col legno (the Shamisen from ToH, volume turned way down, for fake col legno effect. Will probably add another, so more than one section can play col legno without being terribly loud)
115 Woodblock

Bank 1
005 Harpsichord 1 Blanchet-jeu(only the first stop from the harpsichord)
006 Harpsichord 2 Blanchet Jeu(only the second)
008 Lute (only the lute stop from the harpsichord. Yes, they have a lute stop.)
044 Tremolo Strings(from SGM, if you use them, write them as long notes in second voice - tied whole notes, half notes instead of two quarter, etc - invisible them, then write proper notation in first voice. Only really good for unmetered tremolo - three slash stems or places marked 'trem.' usually.)

GS Orchestra Kit
Orchestra Kit
Orchestral Drum Kit
*Percussion SSO

The drumsets are normal, except for SSO, which has three different gongs, snare rolls, multiple cymbal rolls, and a triangle roll. Also no timpani sound in the SSO set.

More French Horns, real stopped horns
Muted versions of all brass and strings
Trombone Wah-wahs, maybe Trombone slides
Real Col legno, spiccato, sul G, point of the bow(can't remember the italian, punta del'arco? or something)
Solo Viola. Solo everything, so I can make better samples.
English Horn
Wagner Tuba.
BBb Tuba and F Tuba
A real Baritone horn
Bass Trumpet

Long, quiet cymbal roll. Or the magical ability to loop those things.
Quiet cymbal crash, so I can velocity layer the crash.

Some of this I can do on my own, some of it I can beg and plead with my orchestra friends over - although I don't have a good microphone.

I also don't necessarily know what I'm doing with licenses, so if there are any bombs, please tell me.

EDIT: added the drum style I've been using. Also not finished, but it labels quite a few sounds in the SSO percussion.

Attachment Size
SSODrumset.drm 4.38 KB


Hey, I'm mainly looking for the gong soundfont. I see you attached the .drm file, so how do I apply the link you gave me to the drumset? Step by step would help me, but if no explanation could be fully given, I understand. Thanks!!!

In reply to by DED010

Add the drumset instrument. You'll get a five-line staff. Hit 'N' for new note, and type anything. A box should appear at the bottom of your screen, with a list of notes/instruments to use. With the percussion preset here, these are wrong. So, there's a button that says 'Edit drumset' to the left of the box. Click that. At the bottom of the popup, there are save and load buttons. Load the .drm.

Hope that helped.

Edit: When assigning in the mixer, make sure 'drumset' is checked, and make sure its the one that says 'Percussion', I included more than one drumset.

In reply to by DED010

Yep, you have to download and then load the .drm from wherever you saved it - MS looks in documents-> Musescore2->Styles

Also, I don't know if this will help, but here's your score, with some gong in the drumset line... I also set all the instruments in the mixer appropriately. All three gong sounds are at the end, the key change.

If you just need to download the .drm file, though, you possibly don't need such desperate measures, lol.

Attachment Size
Vertrate di Chiesa.mscz 47.77 KB

In reply to by Laurelin

Yeah, my question was how do I download/save the .drm file?

***EDIT: I know how now. I guess my browser downloads the .drm files in a different way than most browsers. I had to right-click on the file and click "Save Link as..." I know how to download the .drm files now.***

Anyways, thanks for doing this for me, I got it working now. It was a hassle for me for trying to figure this out until I saw this post. Thanks, Laurelin!

In reply to by mike320

Ah, I can finally log in again. There is a (fake) col legno already - it's a shamisen, turned down in volume enough to pretty accurately approximate col legno.

Other than that, I'm taking an hour or so with a cellist in my orchestra today to record things... col legno is on the list. con sordino too. I only have an iphone for a microphone, but I do have an entire orchestra, so I am definitely thinking of creating 100% original samples for all these things. Get enough cellists, I'll have an entire section.

I've actually already recorded myself (clarinet) but I'm not happy with it, I think I need it to be a forte instead of a fortissimo... also no tongue. I'll be fixing that soon enough too.

In reply to by Laurelin

Thank you for all of the work. I believe one of the things you need to pay attention to is for all the samples to have the same attack, preferably with no tongue to keep a consistent volume. This will all allow consistent results from applying the same ornaments to all instruments. For example, my current cello C below middle C has a very soft attack. The volume on one with a trill is extremely weak and must be adjusted. The same note on the viola has a very harsh attack and the trilled note is comparatively very loud.

In reply to by mike320

C3 on a Cello is the G string stopped. C3 on a Viola is open C. Not sure about the dynamics but open strings generally have harsher attacks than stopped. The Viola C string has the most harsh attack of all strings I've found. It's not always all the samples to blame. The biggest example is probably the openG on violin versus the same now on the cello.(Violin much harsher while cello is warmer.)

Listening to the sample, and I'm quite impressed. I'll have to do more of an analysis in the distant future.

Greetings from a fellow Orchestra nerd!

I finally tested out your SoundFont with one of my favorite classical pieces (Infernal Galop) and I'll have to say, after a bit of tweaking, it did sound Amazing. Well, compared to SGM. I will say, test out the samples using Tchaikovsky's music or late-romantic pieces in general since they will easily expose some defects within the sound system that modern scores tend to cover up. Some of your samples tended to "stick-out" but I was able to correct them by tweaking samples. From what I've found for instruments such as the Trumpet, don't have all parts have the same sample because that will tend to make them stick out. In general, you should be fine with giving each part different samples.
Good Job with the SoundFont. If you desire, I could provide you with an mp3 file of what I tested out.

I really enjoyed loading this SoundFont on my midi keyboard. Lots of nice sounds to play and I'm looking forward to any updates.
I've done a fair bit of work on some of the SSO sounds myself so if you are looking to incorporate say chamber strings or a multi velocity layered flute or 6 layered piano then you are welcome to pull these from one of my Full-Keys SoundFonts from here:
Great work - thanks again.

I absolutely LOVE this soundfont! However, I just have to make a small suggestion-- and I know this may be a very hard one to fill-- is if you could find something for the Eb tenor horn/alto horn depending on where you're from and the Eb soprano cornet. I don't know if you're familiar with brass bands, but they are made up of cornets including the soprano and flueglhorn, euphoniums, baritones, Bb tubas, Eb tubas, trombones, and the Eb horns. I have never found any soundfont with all these brass band instruments. You would absolutely be my hero if you could get ahold of either of these!!!!!!

Yeah, this is a great collection you made. A couple of questions about the Cadenza Viola SoundFont, Where did that SoundFont came from? And can you please give me a link to that SoundFont?

Could you maybe add some saxophone sounds? I know this is for orchestra, but adding sax would make it a overall more well-rounded soundfont. Btw, I LOVE this soundfont so much. Thank you for making it for all of us to use.

In reply to by Music_Man934

Music_Man934 said "Could you maybe add some saxophone sounds? I know this is for orchestra, but adding sax would make it a overall more well-rounded soundfont. Btw, I LOVE this soundfont so much. Thank you for making it for all of us to use." In reality many composers such as Georges Bizet ( ) and Maurice Ravel (… ) have used various saxophones in various works. Bizet in L'Arlseinne and Ravel in Bolero for example.

From what I see that is a very impressive and ambitious list and a lot of hard work. Congratulation!
However, I would like to see you be a bit more unconventional.

I think it would be a great idea you add a guitar section. This should include six to ten classical guitars, six to ten acoustic (steel strings) guitars, three to six 12-string guitars, and tree to six acoustic basses.

I know that this is non-traditional. However, I think we need and should consider the needs and desires of the up and coming composers. Many of these composers have (like us) grown up not just listening to classical music, but also to folk, jazz, blues, rock’n’roll and even to country and western and every variant and crossover in between. All of these genres employ guitars.

This idea isn’t as non-tradition as one may think. I’m sure if one reads the history of classical music one will find that over time more instruments were added that were deemed unconventional at the time.

I like using Muse Score to write musing employing French horns, trumpets, basses, banjos, and guitars (I’m picky about the sound of my guitars).

In the future I would to use dobros and diatonic harmonicas. Presently these instruments aren’t available or are very inaccurate in tone and sound.

Good luck with the rest of your project.

In reply to by ♪𝔔𝔲𝔞𝔳𝔢𝔯 ℭ𝔯𝔞𝔣𝔱𝔢𝔯♪

I agree with you. The mandolin has its distinctive sound, however the Muse Score sound font for it doesn't capture this distinction which is a real shame.

I am hoping Muse Score will address this irritant, but I doubt it. From what I've been reading I'm getting the impression that the newest version will be gear more toward better notation than sound. To me the notation is very good and they should put more focus on sound. I rather sound pretty than look pretty.

In reply to by Lafayette

The previous release was mostly about notation, the next will be largely about audio. But still, MuseScore is first and foremost a notation program, so it's important to keep that in mind.

Meanwhile, ut's easy enough to find alternate soundfonts if you think another one has a more distinctive mandolin sound.

Wonderful job! So glad to have found this excellent soundfont! A few tiny suggestions (in descending order of importance):

  1. Fix the baritone horn and organ (they have a very quickly repeating popping sound on long notes).
  2. Faster attack on the Flute SSO.
  3. Slightly gentler attack on the AA solo violin in the middle range. It usually sounds good, except for slurs. Maybe there's a way you could add looping perhaps as well?
  4. Include the clicking sound at the end of a harpsichord note. I don't know if this is possible or not.
  5. More organ sounds.

Thank you so much for putting this together! It's the best I've found!

This sounds amazing! Hopefully it will still work with MuseScore 2.2! From what I could hear the horns sounded good, and as a horn player that's something I'm really picky about!

Hi Laurelin, this is really cool!
I'm just wondering where all the sounds came from, especially because I want to be cautious about copyright status if I use these in public work. You used some acronyms like SSO, SGM, ToH, and UoI that I assume refer to the provenance, but I'm not sure what these stand for, and other instruments have no indication.
Thanks very much!

This sounds amazing but all my soundfont isn't working good! All my instruments sound diffirent for example my contrabas sounds like a trumpet.

Can anyone help me pls???

In reply to by penne vodka

"Bass Trombone (full velocity layers, appropriately face melting, although I still don't think it's loud enough)"
Surely you jest It melted my room!

"Bass Trombone SSO (full velocity layers, not quite as face-melting, NOT FULLY LOOPED)"
Funny how sometimes it falters below velocity of 60 and on dec. hairpin. Maybe something on my end, but I thought I should mention. Good sound.

BTW- Laura's clarinet. You said it would be good 2nd. Indeed! Have used it with interplay with bass cl. Love the throaty-woody-reedy sound, I use it for solos in a work based on gloomy text. Quick staccato eights around written B4 - delicious.

I loaded the drumset as I am looking for the gong soundfont. I loaded it, but none of the gongs make a sound. Is there a way to fix this or does the sound need to be edited. I also found that the cymbal rolls dont make a sound either.

It would be awesome if it follows two basic rules:

1) The International Standard MIDI patch number order.

2) 100% full compatible with the *.sf2 standard format.

I'll hope for that!!!

The original dropbox file seems to have been erased, does anyone have an already donwloaded copy of the original file that you could share? :(

In the updated version shared Feb 9, 2021: single notes of new instruments marked "cc2" are not affected now by the "Velocity" setting in the "Inspector". [In the Synthesizer's "Dynamics" tab, both method & CC are set to "default". Am I missing a step?]

Great sounds. Thank you!

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