Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Create music and sound effects for mainline or user-made content.

Moderators: Forum Moderators, Developers

User avatar
West
Retired Lord of Music
Posts: 1173
Joined: October 30th, 2006, 7:24 am
Location: In the philotic connections between ansibles.
Contact:

Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by West » February 1st, 2010, 12:39 pm

Time and again a certain question comes up here in the music forum: are there any good free orchestral samples? The answer to that is yes, but finding the gems amongst all the junk is no small task, not to mention that many great freebies have become unavailable over the years. To remedy that, Tyler Johnson and me have set up a large repository of good orchestral samples in soundfont format. Roughly 3 gigabytes of strings, brass, woodwinds, percussion and more can be found at:

freesf2.com

While this may not be an end-all solution to your orchestral sample needs, it will most certainly be an excellent starting point. So now there's absolutely no excuse relying on cheesy GM banks and saying "sorry, but it's all I have". We have made the samples available to you. Now let's hear what you can do with them.

A word of caution: Putting together a virtual orchestra using samples from different sources is not for the faint of heart. Even using a commercial library where all instruments are recorded and set up to blend toghether well can be challenging, so don't expect it to be easy. Getting good results from these free samples requires lots of experimentation, creativity and hard work. In other words, sample quality alone is not your ticket to mainline.

Walexo
Posts: 7
Joined: January 20th, 2010, 5:35 pm

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Walexo » February 1st, 2010, 2:16 pm

I must say this is really amazing. Thanks to you and Tyler Johnson for putting some much instruments in one free site. :D :D I'm really happy.

I'll start something, to gain more experience in orchsetral sampling.

PPH
Posts: 143
Joined: January 13th, 2009, 12:52 am

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by PPH » February 1st, 2010, 2:25 pm

Thank you, guys. I do have samples already, but as you know, one never has enough samples :D

User avatar
Telaron
Posts: 453
Joined: December 30th, 2009, 7:58 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Telaron » February 2nd, 2010, 10:16 am

I really hate to sound stupid, but how do you download these? I have a Mac so I'm not sure if these will work on it or not. I went to the link, clicked percussion, clicked one of the cymbals, it appeared in the middle of the screen. I then clicked on the one in the middle of the screen, but all that loads is just computer code. :augh:
Check out the FOSS game Sumwars
Wish I had more time for composing music...

PPH
Posts: 143
Joined: January 13th, 2009, 12:52 am

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by PPH » February 2nd, 2010, 10:51 am

I guess when you talk about what appears in the center of the string you are referring to the link to the file, e.g. "trumpet.sf2". If I click on this with my browser, I download the file. Maybe you could try with another browser, or "Save target as...".

EDIT: Another thing: if you have a software sampler that works on the Mac and supports soundfonts, this should work in a Mac.

User avatar
Telaron
Posts: 453
Joined: December 30th, 2009, 7:58 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Telaron » February 2nd, 2010, 10:57 am

I have Garageband and Logic Express, but I think I need to get the Cakewalk studio. I managed to download ethan_winter_triangle.sf2, but it doesn't work with any of my programs. I'll have to get that Caketwalk. I believe this works with those instraments. :hmm:
Check out the FOSS game Sumwars
Wish I had more time for composing music...

PPH
Posts: 143
Joined: January 13th, 2009, 12:52 am

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by PPH » February 2nd, 2010, 11:25 am

Doesn't Logic Express support VSTi? If it does, you may try to find out whether a version of SFZ for Mac exists (I think it doesn't) or try this sampler:

http://www.kvraudio.com/get/3113.html

EDIT: By the way, the HTML page corresponding to the Fake Glass Harmonica has no link in it.
EDIT2: Broken link: http://www.tyler-johnson.net/samples/pr ... re_far.sf2
Last edited by PPH on February 2nd, 2010, 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
West
Retired Lord of Music
Posts: 1173
Joined: October 30th, 2006, 7:24 am
Location: In the philotic connections between ansibles.
Contact:

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by West » February 2nd, 2010, 11:42 am

Telaron wrote:I have Garageband and Logic Express, but I think I need to get the Cakewalk studio. I managed to download ethan_winter_triangle.sf2, but it doesn't work with any of my programs. I'll have to get that Caketwalk. I believe this works with those instraments. :hmm:
No you don't have to get Cakewalk. In fact I strongly advice against it. REAPER has a Mac version, try that instead.
PPH wrote:Doesn't Logic Express support VSTi? If it does, you may try to find out whether a version of SFZ for Mac exists (I think it doesn't) or try this sampler:

http://www.kvraudio.com/get/3113.html
sfz and sfz+ are really the ultimate soundfont players in terms of sound quality and I really really recommend using them. However they're both VST instruments, they don't exist in AU format. So for Mac users I would suggest investing in a DAW with VST support instead settling for a substandard plugin in AU format.

I really don't understand why people use Macs for music making. Everything costs money and the selection of available software is like 10% of what's around for PC. What's their target audience anyway, wealthy masochists? :/

User avatar
Tyler Johnson
Music Contributor
Posts: 264
Joined: April 20th, 2008, 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Tyler Johnson » February 2nd, 2010, 1:12 pm

The site is under construction. Had to make a few changes. Should be back up tomorrow!

-Tyler

User avatar
Telaron
Posts: 453
Joined: December 30th, 2009, 7:58 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Telaron » February 3rd, 2010, 10:49 am

Well, I've got the Mac Mini to replace my old Windows. You're supposed to be able to run windows on the Mac Mini too, but...
Check out the FOSS game Sumwars
Wish I had more time for composing music...

User avatar
Tyler Johnson
Music Contributor
Posts: 264
Joined: April 20th, 2008, 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Tyler Johnson » February 3rd, 2010, 10:54 am

If you're running Leopard, just install Boot Camp.

Or you can aquire VMWare Fusion or Parallels.

User avatar
StandYourGround
Posts: 256
Joined: May 13th, 2009, 2:16 am
Location: On a blue ball spinning through space at incomprehensible speed

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by StandYourGround » February 3rd, 2010, 11:01 am

To clarify, if you have Leopard or Snow Leopard, Boot Camp is already installed. Just go to Applications > Utilities > Boot Camp Assistant, and set it up. with simple click and drag, you can resize the Mac partition to make a partition for Windows, then boot up on a Windows Installer Disk to install. After Windows is installed, insert the Mac OS X disc that came with your machine, and install the Windows drivers for the Mac hardware. Done! Now whenever you boot up, you should get a boot menu to choose whether to boot Mac or Windows.

If you need to remove Windows for whatever reason, just go back to Boot Camp Assistant, erase the Windows drive, and remove its partition to give the whole HD back to Mac OS X.
I will now resume lurking silently.

User avatar
Telaron
Posts: 453
Joined: December 30th, 2009, 7:58 pm
Location: U.S.A.

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Telaron » February 3rd, 2010, 11:03 am

I've got Snow Leopard. I think, in order to use the Windows you have to register it. Right?
Check out the FOSS game Sumwars
Wish I had more time for composing music...

User avatar
Tyler Johnson
Music Contributor
Posts: 264
Joined: April 20th, 2008, 11:47 pm
Contact:

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by Tyler Johnson » February 3rd, 2010, 11:16 am

Unless you have a pirated copy of Snow Leopard I don't see why you wouldn't register it.

But I would suggest strongly against Snow Leopard, as many DAW's and composing tools simply aren't compatible with Snow Leopard.

User avatar
StandYourGround
Posts: 256
Joined: May 13th, 2009, 2:16 am
Location: On a blue ball spinning through space at incomprehensible speed

Re: Free Orchestral Soundfonts

Post by StandYourGround » February 3rd, 2010, 8:51 pm

Actually, just about anything that runs in Tiger or Leopard runs just fine in Snow Leopard. I know for one that Pro Tools runs just fine. All the pro apps like Logic, Motion, and Final Cut work great. There aren't many apps at all that don't work by now. Even PPC binary apps work great in Rosetta (I'm a die hard Appleworks Database user, and I'm still going strong in Snow Leopard). I recommend using Snow Leopard, if only for the greatly improved performance and the advanced memory handling.

EDIT: for reference, here is a link to an exhaustive list of apps, and whether they work with Snow Leopard. For nearly every app that doesn't, you will find a newer version below it that does.

http://snowleopard.wikidot.com/
I will now resume lurking silently.

Post Reply