Soundfont(s) for baroque music

• Feb 15, 2010 - 10:41


I'm looking for suggestions about sound font(s) useful for rendering baroque music. I'm not an expert of sound fonts, I have looked at 2 or 3 web sites and what I found is mostly quite old (are sound fonts out of fashion?) and/or inappropriate.

The minimal set I would need is made of:
* (German) flute (traversiere),
* alto recorder,
* oboe,
* violin,
* cello,
* harpsichord
(bassoon and (bass) viol can wait; cornetto would be fantastic but quite impossible to arrive at I'm afraid; existing brasses are sub-optimal but often acceptable). Even instruments dispersed across several fonts could do: I never used programmes like Vienna, but I assume I can learn how to handle them.

All the samples I have found so far are not usable for baroque music: there is way too much vibrato and the timbre is completely different, often there is also too much 'attack' (particularly for strings).

I'm having problems even for the harpsichord, which is part of the standard set: the Magic's one has a harsh timbre break between F4 and G5; the sinfon36 has several notes very out of tune; the Merlin Vienna has not noticeable inconsistencies but the timbre is "spongy" to say the least... With winds and strings, we are in the wild...

Thanks for any suggestion!


In reply to by Michael M

Thanks for the suggestion.

Fluid SF was one of my first tries and I discarded it. Pushed by your suggestion, I came back to check it again and, frankly, I have to repeat my disappointment.

All the instruments I tried have a 'sick' kind of sound, feeble and 'scrubby'; the recorder in particular seems played by a poor tuberculous guy exhaling his last breath!

The oboe sounds like plastic (NOTHING to do with the gorgeous sound of a baroque oboe), the harpsichord sounds like a pinball and it seems they managed to add vibrato to it too. And, of course, all the sustained sounds have TOO much vibrato (the violinist seems affected by delirium tremens! Alas, because the note attack and end are better than most other sound fonts I tried). So, I'm afraid the quest is still open...

In any case, thanks for the suggestion and for caring!


I know that the soundfonts that you were using don't sound like baroque instruments at all. But this is what I done. I made a soundfont with all the baroque instruments from the 17th and 18th century. that's why I downloaded the Polyphone app to create a soundfont called
"Baroque Instruments." Everyone is looking for a perfect soundfont that has
Baroque Instruments in it. That's why I made this soundfont "Baroque
Instruments" because it's full of instruments from the Baroque Era that I
created on "Polyphone." And I need to find a way to publish this soundfont
offline on some websites. Is there any way for me to publish my soundfont
"Baroque Instruments" from "Polyphone" to the internet and other websites?

You can get Polyphone here at:

In reply to by Arianna2001

Yes, of course. Depending on: under what license is it published? Who recorded/played the samples? How big is it? I might be able to provide Webspace to host the font but maybe even github/gitlab is an option (esp. if you publish the original samples as well as the polyphone setup).

In reply to by Arianna2001

I use Google Drive for hosting the updates to the MuseScore default soundfont, and any others I may be working on like the new Clarinet for MuseScore.

You simply create a folder in your Google Drive account and then set it to Public Access. You then post llinks to the files in forums such as this and on Facebook etc.


In reply to by Arianna2001

I recorded some samples for Baroque Violin by playing some long sustained notes on my violin and tuned it 415 Hz. Then I recorded other samples for the instrument "Viola da Gamba." It was recorded by another baroque player playing a viola da gamba. Then I created the rest of the instruments with other soundfonts and removed all the vibrato in them to make it sound like baroque instruments from the 17th century.

In reply to by Arianna2001

About the violin, you know that your violin will not sound pretty different from a baroque violin if it was made in 1840 or later. Baroque violin:
+ Fingerboard is flat on the instrument
+ Strings are made out of the stomach of a sheep
+ Bow is shorter and overcurved
Key changes to the violin:
+ Fingerboard comes out at an angle
+ Strings are metal
+ Bow is lengthened and undercurved

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