New: Aegean Symphonic Orchestra Soundfont Sf2

• Aug 4, 2017 - 16:58

A gift to Musescore users: Aegean Symphonic Orchestra, SF2 Soundfont.

For classical music; in SF2 format, Balanced and GM compatible.

Details, Samples and Download:


In reply to by Elwin

I love the tests.
I would appreciate it if you told me which files you used for the test (I've always wondered what kind of tests other people do).
If these files are not available online (in and you add them here, I can also test them.
Thank you for attention. :)

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I'm currently listening to the 1812 Overture played by Agean Symphonic Orchestra. Here's what I notice instantly.
1) It is a little lacking in depth.
2) There are certain notes in the woodwinds that tend to dominate over the entire Orchestra.
3) Section strings are astounding, They blend really well.
4) The Solo strings do not sound like strings at all. You might want to check that out.

Over all, I am impressed with This SoundFont. The only thing I don't like is the Solo Strings, as well as some notes in Woodwinds.

In reply to by Elwin

Notice and suggestions:
1. You can try different reverbation settings.
2. With mixer settings: you can increase the volume of strings or reduce the volume of woodwinds.
4. Violin solo, viola solo, cello solo, contrabass solo instruments are not solo strings (group). These are solo instruments. (solo violin = 1 violin)

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

1) I tried it with the settings you suggested. I am not good with reverb settings, so I'll leave that alone
2) It is certain notes within the instrument that dominate.
4) I am aware that solo instruments are not group instruments. What I wanted to point out was that the sound is less realistic.

In reply to by Elwin

  1. Ok
  2. I checked, but I could not find it. Do you know which wood instruments have this problem? (and which notes) Another thing I suspect is the resonance of the speakers. Do you get the same result as headphones?
  3. OK. This audio font uses VPO samples. Since the some instruments samples are unstable in themselves, I have worked on these samples and tried to do the best that I can. But that's the material. And everything I can do with this material can only be as close to the original quality that it has. (sometimes a bit worse, sometimes a bit better).
    When I created this SoundFont, the main idea was that SoundFont was balanced in itself.

Please specify your thoughts on problems and balancing here.
I can make version 2.3 by doing some fixes on this.

As far as I've seen so far, most of the instruments have what seems to be a metallic (or echo?) sound to it. Perhaps this is reverb? I'm not sure. When I listen to the entire symphonic orchestra it sounds good.

In reply to by mike320

Since the samples on the site are compressed using ogg, the quality may be somewhat lower. (Average bitrate is 113kbps)

If you are testing on your own computer: Have you tried listening by switching off (or adjusting) the reverb? Also, turn off the compressor if it is on.

There is no reverb or echo effect on the original VPO2 samples.

I tested your file (William Tell Overture). It sounded pretty good on my computer (with "Aegean Symphonic Orchestra" soundfont) :)
Test it:… (320kbs VBR) (Because of the compression, Cymbals and High-frequencies will not be sound well. These problems are not present in the original SoundFont and in the original wav file I exported. It is caused by compression.)

In reply to by mike320

I understand what the "metallic" problem is today :)

Some parts of this SoundFont are extremely stereo.

If the headphone or speaker jack is loose, or the sound comes from only one channel (for some other reason), then sounds are strangely metallic. Because you hear plus the reverb of the other channel (In addition to the sound of the channel you normally listen to).

I think it is necessary to try to listen to the stereo (check that the connections are tight and to have both speakers are on).

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

With other soundfonts I had problems with the bassoon not sounding quite right. I had the same problem with ASO but I wondered how it would sound with the dark bassoon as Grieg intended that part to be dark and mysterious. The dark bassoon works so well for the start so that's what I have there. The only problem is in the beginning every line is accented with a stopped horn. I used sordino horn because it sounded more similar to stopped horn than open horn but it still is different. Thinking about it, what it was missing was the nasal quality. Oboes possess a lot of this quality so I will duplicate the part on a hidden stave of oboe. Maybe I should use dark oboe.

Here's a suggestion, for each of the String sections, add a "Solo" articulation, so that way should the composer desire a "Solo" within the section, an extra staff doesn't have to be added.

I'd love to try your soundfont with Musescore but ... If I follow the link to Google Drive I can only download a file: "ASO-sf2_2.7z which I cannot open. Changing the extension to "zip" or "sit" doesn't help.

I tried out this SoundFont, and it sounds AWESOME!!! I would definitely say that the samples came from Virtual Playing Orchestra, No Budget Orchestra, Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra, etc.

Can someone explain how to use the aso-instruments.xml file. The last time I used a file, I ended up with channels for both the default xml and the added xml file every time I added an instrument (so for example every flute was defined twice in the mixer).

In reply to by mike320

Sometimes what you say is happening for me too, but not always.

I used the following definitions (in aso-instruments.xml file) so that the software doesn't mix instruments:
"aso- prefix" and special genre definition "asoorch":


<Instrument id="aso-glockenspiel">

But, maybe it probably wasn't enough. (Or there is a bug somewhere in MS)

Maybe the only place where the software can fall into the trap:


//Because I can't use special additions (prefix, postfix, insert) here.
I don't know.


But; Following is absolutely normal:

some instruments uses 2 channels.
1 Flute;
2 Dark Flute (Sordino)
1 Clarinet;
2 Dark Clarinet (Sordino)
1. Vibraphone (Auto Damp)
2. Vibraphone (Open)

some uses 4 channels:
1. Violin Section;
2. Violin Section-pizzicato;
3. Violin Section-tremolo;
4. Violin Section-sordino

some uses 6 channels:
String Ensemble-pizzicato
String Ensemble-tremolo
String Ensemble-sordino
String Ensemble-sordino and pizzicato
String Ensemble-sordino and tremolo

It is especially set up so that it can be used easily with the staff-text.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I haven't tried your instruments file yet, because I don't want to have the same problem again. I know you made the definitions to take advantage of the extra sounds you created, but I only want 4 channels for my violin section-not 7.

What do I do in the preferences to make sure only one set of definitions is used. I'm hoping someone knows how to make it work correctly.

I simply cannot figure out how to get this into Musescore. Please provide a step-by-step procedure. None of those provided mean anything to me. For example, I have no idea what to do with a 7z file. I've tried to download software to handle it, but it doesn't work. I've downloaded the other files and unzipped them, but I don't know what to do with them. There is no clear explanation.

In reply to by Michael E. Henderson

To default to use the Aegean soundfont, have it listed first in the synthesizer. Also, make sure you change instruments to those from the ASO section in the instruments list. This way the definitions and sounds match. if you don't use the ASO instruments, you have to use the mixer and assign sounds. Keep in mind, the sounds listed in the mixer have all of the first soundfont sounds listed, then the second and so forth.

I love your soundfont, but there's a little bit of a problem:
1. The strings are good, like the violin, etc.
2. Can you improve the sound quality of the piano?
It helps you enhance the soundfont you have.
3. No other piano?

After the years...
Finally a maintenance update is being prepared.
Since this is a maintenance update, it does not include a new feature or a new instrument.

  1. The tuning of the instruments was re-adjusted.
  2. Some loop-points have been readjusted. (evaluation of the loop-points in the fluid-synthesier used in the old 2.3 version was one or two points different from the polyphone)
  3. The sound-range of the brass-section has been expanded.

Version number: 2.3
Estimated release time: December 19 2019

Next month we will start working for the new major version.
Version number: 3.1
Things to do:

  1. Expressive patches to be added.
  2. Add filter-cutoff modulator.
  3. Adding hard-attack options to solo instruments.
  4. Addition of two different piano patches.
  5. Addition of different Gong patches.
  6. ...

In this version the sound-quality may differ slightly from the previous ones.
Estimated release time: January 22 2020

If you have any requests for v3.1, please specify.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

If I did have to make a request (not sure how difficult this would be), but I noticed that the individual string sections (violins, violas, etc) lack sord + trem, which the "string ensemble" instrument has. If nothing else, is it possible to add in sord + trem for all the other string sections, even if it is just switching over to the string ensemble's audio for that?

I know that it's possible to just do an instrument change every time it comes up, but there's two issues with that. Firstly, adjusting mixer options such as pan for an instrument change requires opening up the score as a text file, finding the change, and adjusting it manually. This, naturally, is a terrible workflow. Secondly, though I am not entirely certain, I recall there being problems if you add too many instrument changes to a score- the score can't process that number of instrument changes, and eventually every part just becomes strings.

I don't know whether this is possible (or even coherent), but it would certainly help a lot.

Same request applies to sord + pizz, naturally.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Hi, Ziya!!!

Can you give me a good course about how to use a soundfont editor (like Polyphone)? ???

I want to do something I don't know if we can do: To take some instruments from a soundfont file and put it into another soundfont file (replacing the original sounds) and, then, to create a new soundfont file, with a new name. Too much Sci-Fic? Can We do that? ???

In reply to by jotape1960

Just copy and paste Presets.

Use the "new soundfont" button (in Polyphone).
Open the other soundfont.
Copy the Presets you like.
Paste into the "Presets" section of your newly created empty soundfont.
When you're done, open another soundfont.
and continue copy and paste.
And save the your new soundfont that is no longer empty. :)

After a while, you notice that the sound balances of instruments (and sometimes tunings) do not match.
Open your new soundfont and let real work begin.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Huh. Checking the instruments.xml file that came with it, the channels are there. However, they don't appear in Musescore proper- I just checked to be sure, and I did set my second instrument file to be the correct file (the one that comes with the soundfont).

EDIT: Nevermind, figured it out- I have to go in and manually change the instruments to themselves to get them to read from the new instruments.xml file rather than defaulting to what they read from the old,

Soundfont updated to version 3.5

v3.5 (for musescore, SND) & 2.5 (universal) revisions:
Major bug fixed: "-" sign in Filter-cutoff-modulator was missing (in all instruments), it is now fixed.
All Instrument levels and attenuations corrected (including percussions and drum-sets)
+ Now it is much more balanced.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Hi, Ziya!!!

"Houston, we have a problem, here!"

I downloaded the last update (3.5) and I put it into my soundfont folder, and I added to the MuseScore Synthesizer, but... It doesn't sound!!!

I tested all the possible Symphonic Orchestra instruments I know and... NOTHING!!! Not sound at all!!!

All the other soundfonts work so fine (included the previous version of Aegean). So...

What's wrong, here? ???

BTW: I'm using MuseScore 3.4.1 Portable AppImage in Ubuntu Studio 19.10 (64 bit Linux).

In reply to by jotape1960

I have now tested and haven't seen a problem.

Most likely the expressive / non expressive settings are clashing with default settings.
For ASO, the "non-expressive" button means "All expressive"; but for the default (ms_general) soundfont, this is the opposite.

You should use it with the settings shown on the site. (See Adjustments" section)
You may also need to use the "Save to Score" button if another soundfont was previously defined/saved in the score.

For ASO v3_5, I re-added a test file that had been preset (see attachment).
Open the file,
Click the "Load from score" button on the synthesizer;
and play it.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I followed all the steps the ASO page says and... NOTHING!!!

Curiously, with your test file it works!!!

I don't know what to say...

BTW: Something I don't understand is why we have to change the settings on the MuseScore synthesizer each time we use a different soundfont file(s). Wouldn't be there some kind of "universal compatible" setting, whatever the soundfont file we would want to use, at any time? ???

Hello Ziya,

first of all, thanks for your efforts to provide such a complete soundfont.
I'm trying to use single note dynamics on timpani rolls, but it seems not working. Do you know why?


In reply to by EnricoM

I couldn't find the source of the problem.
It also seems that something has changed in the software.
timpani-roll is not working at all with SND (in the current nightlies).
Works on version; but that version also has a different problem (about ties).
I don't know what they changed again.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

In theory, nothing changed from a user perspective, just the implementation behind the hood. So basically, just do the normal things you do with SND and make sure they still work. Really not much more I can say than that since I didn't implement it. But the change became active in the nightlies a few days ago only.

After using this soundfont for quite a while on a variety of works, I hope the feedback/comments I provide is useful to those who are trying to improve it. I used it primarily for wind ensemble/concert band works, so I don't have much to comment about the strings.
First off, the single-note dynamics ability is truly amazing and certainly a pleasant surprise from the Sonatina Symphonic soundfont I had before, which did not support SND.
Most section ("Sect.") instruments for winds and brass sound rather synthesized, with the exception of the oboe. The solo banks are exceptionally realistic, so I used those instead.
The dark/sord. instruments were not practical for me, as the solo instruments I used were not overly dark or bright; I only used the sord. clarinet solo for bass clarinets for lyrical passages, as the bs. cl. can get too reedy. These took up a lot of the mixer space (Can we have a search function for the mixer?).
The sord. for brass is not equivalent to actual mutes; they're just darker, not brighter/"nasal"-ier. I haven't found a good muted brass font besides this harmon mute for trumpet (I think no SND):
The articulations for WW and brass seem a bit heavy, but usually only during lyrical passages.
For a wind ensemble setting at least, I had to turn the woodwind velocities down (WW: 60-70, Brass: 100) to mimic the balance in a real setting. For orchestra, I'd probably need to keep the strings at least at 100 velocity. REVERB IS ESSENTIAL!
Timpani hits are good, rolls not so much; I have an excellent percussion bank with better rolls that I'm not sure where I sourced from...they were all SFZs.
The "Orchestra Percussion" is decent, but I find the "All Percussion" from SSO to be much better, mainly for its suspended cymbal rolls. The glockenspiel sounds great but seems to be at least two octaves higher than it should be? Might just be a notation setting error from my end.
No euphonium/baritone soundfont, but the dark solo horn is a surprisingly good substitute for me.
No saxophone soundfonts, also never able to find a good classical sax patch either.
Pipe organ is legendary, mainly because I can actually change the velocity through dynamics (unlike the one from SSO, I'm not sure why).
There's contrabassoon?!?! Heck yea! Though usually those are quite soft so sadly must be lowered in mixer.
I still use SSO for its percussion and its sustained french horns, which are amazingly brassy (but no SND) for those feature horn parts. Prob makes my mixer chug a lot but I get by.
To me, the "Old Grand Piano" is the only realistic-sounding piano option; seems to be the same as the "Concert Grand Piano" from SSO.
Choir is the usual meh, don't think there's any good choir patch (just held vowels) unless you pay $$ for something from Spitfire Audio or something.
Section strings and their extended techniques seem good, though I haven't tried any of the solo ones besides the one for string bass. I've sometimes had problems with solo strings glitching with the audio from SSO.
Overall, amazing free soundfont without its faults. But with some integration with other patches, I'm pretty satisfied with what I am capable of sound-wise. Can't wait to see what's next in this realm!

In reply to by Quinn Ouyang

I use MuseScore Portable AppImage 3.4.2 inside Ubuntu Studio 20.04 (last 64 bit Linux OS).

I've tried to use Aegean Symphonic Orchestra V. 3.5 soundfont (the version to MuseScore), but... I cannot to get any sound from it! !!!

Whatever other soundfont I use in the MuseScore synthesizer... Sounds!!! Not Aegean.

What's wrong here? ???

Maybe some MIDI patch numbers incompatibility? ???
(If this was the case... Why no to build soundfonts following the Universal Standard MIDI patches list? ???)

How can I work around this? ???

Blessings and Greetings from Chile!!!


In reply to by Quinn Ouyang

Now I can see clearly it is about the internal "map" of sound patches (instruments) of ASO. As it is not the same GM uses, of course I don't get sounds (because my MuseScore files are made following the GM patches order). Why not to make an ASO soundfont file with the GM patches order? ???

This is a wonderful soundfont, but I seem to run into a problem with some instruments(The glock and Timpani specifically) they work just fine in the Musescore app but seem to disappear in the export. Is there anything that could be done to fix this problem?

This is perhaps a rather specific request, but is it possible that you could make a patch for various instruments (at the very least woodwinds and strings) where it is the same as the normal patch, except just the sustain portion (i.e. cut out the attack)?

My idea here is that, and this isn't your fault in particular (to my knowledge no soundfont includes what I'm asking), but instruments that have the means to continuously transition from one to another can't really do so properly- every note sounds like it is initiating a new note. It would be as if a violinist played the entire piece spiccato. However, if the instrument were to have a patch that starts in the middle of the sample rather than the start, switching to that patch after the first note (and switching back after the sequence of notes is done) should theoretically sound perfectly nice and continuous; a true legato playback.

I have no idea whether this is feasible, of course, and no clue how much work it would be (let alone whether it'll actually work), but I think it has considerable potential to give a sound to playback that Musescore has never had before.

In reply to by LuuBluum

Thank you for this nice post with good ideas.

Let me explain some things:

In fact, this soundfont has two parts for sounds
1.Attack part
2.Sustain part
and these parts are used by combining.

Almost fifty percent of the sound characteristics of the instruments come from the attack part (maybe more). Therefore, it is imperative to preserve this part - even if only a little.

In fact, when we only listen to the sustain part, we hear that the sound still starts in a similar way (ie sharp) to the attack part because the sound doesn't start slowly. It starts suddenly at the loudness of the sustain part. In order to deal with this, it is necessary to give a long initial value to the attack-time from the soundfont parameters.

I did this (by trial / error) on ASO-soundfont and instruments have a high attack time of almost "0.060". Values ​​higher than this result in delay and low volume for notes with 16th and lower values. (And you say a little more than exist to describe it, no instruments in ASO sound like spiccato. You only have to hear the attack part a little bit :P ).

Of course, an additional sub-bank (eg slow-violin) can be put for each instrument and switch to it as you said, but this switch/bank-change can be used to change the notes in the score each time (for the starting of the violin-bow, and for the continuation of the violin-bow) it has to be put by hand, and after a while this action becomes boring. In addition, the number of banks starts to increase gradually (x2).

Your opinion is good, but the Soundfont technology unfortunately doesn't have a parameter to handle this. If there was an "X-fade transition" feature or a "mono-legato" playback parameter, this could be easily (though not fully) simulated.

There are actually some MIDI commands that can be used in mono-legato(portamento). But in order for them to be implemented, it is necessary to make some improvements to Musescore's synthesizer and to allow some parameters for soundfont-developers (at least in instrument.xml) to be implemented.

It would be better to think that playing the scores you wrote is a simple pre-listening / simulation / faking, rather than thinking that all instrument techniques will be played exactly. :/

Maybe Musescore v4 will allow the use of some advanced MIDI parameters. But when that time comes, everyone will be using VST or something, and our soundfonts will perhaps be thrown away (except for a few enthusiasts and its creator who still uses it). :)

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Ah, fair enough. I suppose I'll have to wait until Musescore 4 to see if I can ever expand what I do beyond piano.

For what it's worth, I mostly use Musescore as a means of providing the best "faking it" that I can muster- my goal is to try and digitally reproduce human-like performances to the best that can be expected. At least with piano pieces, I have all of the tools that I really need to do so. It's just expanding beyond piano that proves beyond the capabilities of the software at the moment. We shall see with Musescore 4 if I can finally transcribe Medtner's Sonata Epica and have it sound as it should.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I use several methods. Sometimes I export Musescore files to Midi, and then use a DAW - several - including perhaps LMMS, Logic, Reaper with various different sound libraries. This can get closer to some effects, but it can be a lot of work.

I don't think tweaking pieces in a DAW is worthwhile unless the piece is already in a near finished state, as the changes don't "push back" along the workflow line. You can make a change in MS and that would (or should) be reflected in a change in Midi/DAW output, but tweaking at the DAW stage doesn't affect the notation representation - or at least not sensibly. There are DAWs which can output notation from their representation (MIDI?) but the notation is usually very difficult to use. If anyone has ever tried to work back from a Midi file to notation they will understand what I mean.

It's easy to do that - find a Midi file -there are many of those in Midi archives/repositories, and import it into MuseScore and see if it makes any sense to you. It probably won't.

I have heard good things of NotePerformer, which I think is a targetted aim for MuseScore 4 - or at least a sound facility similar in quality to that one.

You can also export MusesScore files as MuscXML, and then import into other notation software tools such as Sibelius. Probably most users won't do that, as those tools are more expensive to purchase and use, but MuseScore does provide a transition path. That can be useful for a musician/composer who starts with MS and then decides to make some form of career out of music/recording etc., and may be able to gain access to the more expensive systems later on.

In reply to by LuuBluum

that is very well possible in a soundfont, but not in Musescore, because this program uses Velocity instead of Control 8 (Volume) for setting the Volume of a note.
in a soundfond you can trigger every sample at a specific velocity value, so it is easy to let a note play 1 or 2 samples (for example; a Spiccato sample AND a Legato sample at velocities above, say , 90, and just the Legato sample at velocities below that value) .
regards bottrop

Unfortunately, the sound quality has decreased considerably because some of the soundfont modulator settings in my ASO soundfont do not work properly with the "Expr" features of the Musescore software.

Also, users usually work with Musescore software's default synthesizer settings, which does not match the structure of the ASO soundfont. Timbre, attack and frequency changes and modulator settings depending on Velocity-values do not occur. Users unfortunately cannot hear the beautiful timbre of this soundfont as in Musescore 2.x.

For this reason, I started working to make the ASO soundfont compatible with Musescore's default soundfont (with expr patches).

Since I have to change some additional patch numbers for this new version, it will not be compatible with the old one. // Except for basic GM patches.

The reason I did this is because the beautiful samples included in the soundfont can be used for a while with a new MuseScore compatible soundfont. I even canceled another soundfont project for this reason.

It takes about a month to complete (including the time required for tests).

Soundfont updated:
Revision 4.02: Sordino parameters used in 2.x versions of Musescore differ in 3.x versions using CC02. Therefore, Attenuation corrections were required. It has been replaced with an emergency fix version for this situation that was noticed at the last minute.

Soundfont updated; Demos added.

Revision 4.06: The orchestra's overall instrument levels were tested by listening to test-scores with over-ear headphones in many different sessions, and many attenuation settings were adjusted to be more appropriate.

Soundfont updated to v4.08; 2 audio demos of this version have been added to the site.:

Revision 4.08: Improvements have been made to Keyboard instruments and Harp, and many attenuation settings on instrument levels have been adjusted to be more appropriate.

Hi, first of all thank you for your hard work on this lovely soundfont.

Does the soundfont needs to be the first in the synthesizer list for the staff text properties to work? Because I only managed to make the mute/arco/pizzicato/etc options work that way. If the soundfont is not the first it they became all bungled up, or is there any way to make it work that I'm missing?

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.