Anthony's Philharmonic

• Nov 8, 2013 - 08:19

This will mainly be of interest to those of you interested in using an external sample engine for sound, although the SF2s may be usable in Musescore 2.0.

I am creating a virtual instrument library called Anthony's Philharmonic in the SFZ and SF2 format. Since I am a Musescore user myself, I have tailored this library to my own usage of Musescore and LinuxSampler.

The first release will be of woodwinds and a Steinway grand piano. You can hear some brief comparisons of my library to FluidR3 and Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra at All of the demos in this video were made with no external manipulation in a DAW. These are the actual sounds of each library as played by Musescore into LinuxSampler (for FluidR3, Qsynth).

The library will be available in SFZ and SF2 format; however, it is highly recommended that you use SFZ, not only for the advanced programming features, but also because most SF2 engines cannot make use of disk streaming technology, which will make it difficult to use a library of this size. Linuxsampler and other SFZ players make use of disk streaming so that even more humble computers will run smoothly with such a large library.

You can visit for more details about Anthony's Philharmonic. Both the About page and the Philharmonic page contain information about the library. I will also have videos on the Videos page demonstrating how to use my library with Musescore, LinuxSampler and Zita-Rev1.

I will begin uploading the library in the next few days, so hopefully by next week it will be available for download at the Philharmonic page of my website. I will post again in this thread when the downloads are ready :)


This all sounds extremely interesting Anthony.

Are you aware of the work Werner has done on providing a compressed format for SF2 which uses Ogg Vorbis to compress the samples?

He has called it SF3 and MuseScore 2 will be able to use soundfonts compressed in this way.

This means that you would be able to use compressed SoundFonts which means potentially bigger samples.

If you'd like to know more there is an article about this in the Technology Preview forum.


Sounds great from the demo - I look forward to checking this out! I gather there are Windoiws builds of LinuxSampler, but I haven't tried this out yet and expect there to be a learning curve. So I'll probably want to try the SF2 version first just for simplicity despite the limitations.

What sort of licensing are you thinking about? And are you actively working on brass, strings, and other GM sounds?

Also, I wonder - some your Fluid R3 examples on the video sound extremely strange, like you are running them through some sort of effect unit that adds a very fast chorus or some such. The first one - saxophone and piano - sounds normal, but the others all sound very distorted and not at all how I'd expect from playback within MuseScore. I wonder if maybe Qsynth is not dealing with that soundfont correctly in some way, or if you had it set up differently from how you had LinuxSampler set up?

@ Michael
Thanks for bringing this up. Yes, I am well aware of the SF3 format; however, I am gearing this towards people who are looking more for high-end audio, so using a lossy format is somewhat counterproductive. Three velocity layers of chromatically sampled instruments is never going to be a small library even as ogg. Size was never a consideration---only quality.

Thanks for bringing that up about Fluid sounding strange. I did this video late last night and I uploaded the wrong clips, as those weren't even FluidR3. Here is the new link to the fixed video and my apologies to all.

There are several other free SFZ players that are native to Windows, so you might check those out but I have seen many people using LinuxSamper in Windows. The SF2 isn't much different for these instruments, so you can use Musescore's own channel changing to add articulations into your score instead of using the keyswitches in SFZ. I have a video posted showing how to do keyswitching and channel changing with LinuxSampler, but this can also be done directly from Musescore. You can select the articulation that you want from the mixer in Musescore. Go to the 5 minute mark on this video and you'll see how to do the channel changing. (I know the video is pretty bad, but I'll do a better one once the library is actually released.)

The license is on the website at

If enough people find this project useful and contribute enough with donations to make it worth my while, then yes, it will eventually have all the instruments of the full orchestra plus others.

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