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  1. Peter
  2. MIDI Software
  3. Monday, 20 July 2020
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Hello all
I have been using MIDI keyboard setup for a long time and I am pretty versed in how to make them talk to each other, change programs, etc. I run a vintage setup of Yamaha DX7, Roland RD 500 and Roland E-20 synth. Recently I decided to play a bit with MIDI software hoping I can connect my MIDI keys to computer and mess a little bit with sequencing. Most MIDI players are easy to understand and my keyboards and software get along just fine. . I am confused with MIDI Fonts. I tried loading some into VLC player and I noticed that some play the same instrument on all channels and some play the whole bank of instruments. Did I get this right and if so, how do I distinguish between a single instrument font vs the whole bank font? Moreover, can fonts be individually loaded into individual MIDI channels? Any clarification on this subject will be greatly appreciated
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Hello,

I don't know what's going wrong here.

I've been using vintage equipment for a lot of years, and have recently started using something more modern on my XP machine. My use of SynthFont (software/midi player) with the 'Timbres of Heaven' SF font file has worked fine, no problems, and sounds great. I just installed things and it all worked. This is playing midi files, where the midi file contains the usual PC (Program Change) instruction to set a specific Channel to a specific instrument.

Maybe you're missing this step. I don't know what the defaults of your setup are, but you neeed to treat the Virtual Synth system just like a real synth, it needs telling which instrument is selected on each channel. If you play every track to the same channel, and that channel is set to, say, piano, then everything will come out as piano. If the default instrument for each channel is piano, and you don't set another instrument for each channel, then each channel will play piano.

Otherwise, more details of what you're actually doing.

Geoff
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
  3. # 1
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I don't know the answer to your question, but if you want to experiment with dividing your soundback I'd use Awave Studio.
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  1. more than a month ago
  2. MIDI Software
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Soundfonts can be loaded only into some software synthesizers that support soundfonts: files with the SF2 or DLS extensions. VLC is a player, that uses FluidSynth (http://www.fluidsynth.org/) as a synthesizer when you load and play a MIDI file into VLC. This synth uses SF2 files and can be also used directly from the command line, or from a GUI wrapper like Qsynth(https://qsynth.sourceforge.io/). Other software synthesizers using soundfonts are VirtualMIDISynth(https://coolsoft.altervista.org/en/virtualmidisynth) for Windows, and SimpleSynth(https://notahat.com/simplesynth/) for macOS. Each one has a mechanism to load soundfonts and display the instruments defined by the file.

how do I distinguish between a single instrument font vs the whole bank font?

Using the command line fluidsynth program, the shell command "inst" displays the list of instruments defined by the soundfont. Please see the manual (https://github.com/FluidSynth/fluidsynth/wiki/UserManual#soundfonts) for more information, or the corresponding documentation of the other programs.

can fonts be individually loaded into individual MIDI channels?

The correct question would be: Is there any soundfont based software synthesizer allowing me to load a soundfont into only one or a few selected MIDI channels? And my answer is: none that I know.
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  1. more than a month ago
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