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Harmony

Why isn't the SFZ format more popular?

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I've been messing around with it for a few days now, and it is simple, flexible, rife with possibilities, in a word: awesome. It removes most of the restrictions we had with soundfonts and makes the sample sets easy to create/modify without the need for a special editor. Sure, VSTs are great but try building or modifying your own. It took me 20 minutes to grab some samples and build the greatest most playable free drum kit I've ever had using only MS Wordpad. And its all non-proprietary.

Am I missing something? Why haven't sample developers jumped on this? Why don't I see any sfz gui editors out there (sfzEd is apparently dead)? Where are free alternatives to sfz and VSTsynthFont? :|

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Samples should be plain old .aiff and .wav and a single .prg file for the placement and other settings anyway.

Kontakt is one of the most popular samplers, and it makes more sense to distribute samples in that format than SoundFont which may or may not require extra conversion.

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Samples should be plain old .aiff and .wav and a single .prg file for the placement and other settings anyway.
Exactly, sfz does away with that aspect of soundfonts. SFZ is non-monolithic, in that the sfz file itself is just an ascii text file where as the samples (.wav or ogg-vorbis) are distributed at your discretion in various folders.

I guess I can see the marketability issue. It would be incredibly difficult to implement copy protection with sfz in its native form, but for us poor folk who unfortunately don't own Kontakt or similar, it seems like an excellent way to distribute and develop sample banks.

For reference

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sfz is a nice format, but it's not as powerful as any other commercial format, such as Kontakt or Giga. Considering how cheap it is to buy high-end libraries in high-end formats these days, there is little market motivation to develop a low-end format...

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sfz is a nice format, but it's not as powerful as any other commercial format, such as Kontakt or Giga. Considering how cheap it is to buy high-end libraries in high-end formats these days, there is little market motivation to develop a low-end format...
:| Ah well. Out of curiosity, why aren't the libraries that you guys are developing offered in sfz, for example? Wouldn't that allow people like me, who don't have a proprietary sampler, to buy your product and increase your sales? Is it the copy protection issue I mentioned before? Do you feel the library would lose too much in translation?

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It took me 20 minutes to grab some samples and build the greatest most playable free drum kit I've ever had using only MS Wordpad. And its all non-proprietary.

Care to share? :D

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haha, I'll have to find a place to put the larger samples, but sure :)

Try Mediafire.

I've seen the occasional smaller library developer offering sfz versions. This one for example (Nice stuff too, I got the Grand Piano)

http://www.acousticsamples.net/index.php

Makes a lot of sense to me to sell moderately sized single Instruments in sfz format. I don't care personally as I got Kontakt, but it's a nice service tothose who don't.

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:| Ah well. Out of curiosity, why aren't the libraries that you guys are developing offered in sfz, for example? Wouldn't that allow people like me, who don't have a proprietary sampler, to buy your product and increase your sales? Is it the copy protection issue I mentioned before? Do you feel the library would lose too much in translation?

The thought has crossed my mind, but the lack of a graphical editor for sfz is a major pain. When you're dealing with thousands of WAV samples, text-only seems like it would be a nightmare. In Kontakt, it takes me less than two minutes to map a 15 velocity layer, 10 round robin patch. I can drag and drop multiple samples at the same time, change their velocity range or keyrange simultaneously, etc.

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With the trend of proprietary sample players starting to take off in the industry, even things like Kontakt may eventually fall into obscurity (Gigastudio is already dead).

VSL has one. EastWest has one. Garritan has one....

One can hope for an open standard, but with this trend it isn't likely. Of course vendor lock-in from NI or TASCAM will be decreasing, but I still like the ability to edit instruments now and then, and a lot of these players don't really let you do that.

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I think Giga died because it just didn't keep up. Who wants to use a finicky piece of crap that can blue screen your computer? It took them YEARS after Kontakt hit the scene to develop a VST version of Gigastudio, which should have been around BEFORE Kontakt hit the market. They died, and it's all their own fault. If they made stable, readily-usable software that worked cross-platform and in Pro Tools, they would probably still be around! Still, the growth of proprietary samplers is annoying. I'd prefer if everyone used Kontakt.

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The reason East West moved away from Kompakt is because they didn't have any software developers to create a UI for their libraries. And they didn't like having to essentially share their profits with Native Instruments, so as soon as they had some programmers, they created PLAY. But really, so many people have Kontakt, I personally think the possibility of its demise anytime soon is unlikely.

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Care to share? :D

http://www.mediafire.com/?zmgqhttzdmy

The samples as well as the SFZ file are there. I've tweaked it some more and I absolutely LOVE playing with this kit. It's primarily a modification of the GSCW kit but I moved a bunch of stuff, remapped many of the velocity layers, added some toms, removed some of the "performance" samples, pulled in some cymbals from various places, and added chokes for all of them. Personalization rocks :)

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Thanks for posting the sfz kit Harmony, downloading it now, found it on youtube first and then had to come here after finding the link you put on the video just linked to mediafires homepage(file reference in the url was a few letters short, might want to fix that on the video description), search engines sure are handy.

Also none of you guys have mentioned Dimension Pro, not sure if anyone here besides me have used it personally but I find it a nice and powerful sfz player/editor. Not sure how it goes with the text files and such but I find the graphical interface nice and flexible, perfect for tweaking any sfz file to my liking.

Unfortunately coming at $249 might be out of the price range for some of you, but if you own a copy of Dimension LE then you can get it for $149. You get what you pay for and it's a very reliable VSTi, has not crashed on me once.

SFZ is a great free player, but doesn't really offer any tweaking unlike the commercial sfz+(which by chance doesn't support sfz but only sf2 format). But able to do everything in a text file is good enough if you know how to do it.

I know I'm a bit late in finding this but who knows, maybe this will help others who are looking into sfz.

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