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  1. Bryan
  2. The MIDI Association
  3. Sunday, 19 May 2019
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I'm building a 3D music education application using Unity and MIDI. It's designed to teach rhythm guitar by example by using 3D hands to play a 3D guitar. Right now, I have CoolSoft Virtual Synth playing all my Windows sounds with a GM soundfont. And I've used programs like Polyphone to create soundfonts from sound samples I provide.

I'm interested in the sound samples and formats that software MIDI players can use. I'm using soundfonts now and I'm only vaguely aware of the DLS sample format (which may be extinct for all I know) but there may be others. And there may be giant, high-quality sound libraries that some or many MIDI sound formats can access. What are the pros doing to get their software playable sounds?

I'm providing a screenshot and a link to a prototype web version of the application below:
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  1. http://avatarguitarteacher.com
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About the early music formats i think DLS and SF2 was the ones used as you say "unless it was hardware sample formats" i think GIGA format was pretty big. But insead of Coolsoft Virtual Synth i would use SyFonOne it has ASIO.

Jonas T
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  1. more than a month ago
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Hi Bryan,
Very popular today are Virtual Instruments which work to a standard interface defined by Steinberg and known as VST.
The instruments are known as VSTi's (or VSTI) and the best known maker of htese instruments is probably Native Instruments otherwise known as N.I.
They have their Kontakt player in which sysnthesisers or sample players can run.

The other one is an open standard with another sound font definition called sfz. There is a free sound font player avaiiable from Plogue and called SForZando.
You can use this to make your own instruments using your own samples once you learn how to define instrument sound shaping.
The code has similarities to XML.

Garritan has a whole set of sound libraries, primarily of orchestral instruments, that use the sfz format and also use a 16 channel player based upon SForZando.
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i believe the most used formats are the "normal" sound file formats such as AIFC, WAVE, and sounddesigner.

you would combines the audio files with a program file (usually a textfile) where you describe how samples should be loaded and organized.

many commercial software instruments also use custom binary formats, with or without metadata. but they are mostly also only headerless PCM audio files which are encrypted to disallow general use, outside the software.
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