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TOPIC: Lossless FLAC SFZs

Lossless FLAC SFZs 1 month 1 week ago #1

  • JoeyM
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Hi all,
A few years ago I noticed Plogue sforzando SFZ player has a neat but little-known feature - take a normal SFZ Instrument which has .Wav samples inside. Convert all the Waves to .FLAC and then open the SFZ header and replace all .WAV with .FLAC
Voila it works! And the sample library size is cut in half.
However Sforzando is the only player I know of that will work that way. It makes a lot of sense to me.

So the thought occurred to me to ask what you all think of some flac features? For instance batch processing .SFZ headers to change all reference inside from Wave to FLAC, as well as the other way around.

At first I was real intrigued by SF3 because I assumed that was flac, but I don't know enough about Ogg Vorbis to say much right now. I assumed it was a lossy format.

Maybe flac support could be SF4, a self contained cute little monolith.

In the meantime I'm going through my SFZ library and converting to flac, the downside being only sforzando will load them. But making multiple backups of my lifetime library takes up a lot less space and I'm not locked into proprietary encrypted formats like you know what.

Greets!
JoeyM
Last Edit: 1 month 1 week ago by JoeyM. Reason: I'm the typo king
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Lossless FLAC SFZs 1 week 2 days ago #2

  • Michael
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Technically SF2-files are considered to be outdated along time ago. Kontakt-files and SFZ-files are considered to be the standard of sampled instruments and sounds for many years. SFZ is a royalty free file format. The Kontakt file format is also used very often by musicians, though it belongs to Native Instruments and for that it is not royalty free.

The SFZ-format offers more options than the SF2-format. One of the most noticable advantages is it supports various kinds of sound files to be used into the sound librarie including lossless compressed audio files like FLAC and lossy compressed files like OGG. Another feature the SF2-format doesn't offer is with SFZ you can assign specific keys to rapidly change the sound preset: very useful for example when you're playing with string sounds and you quickly need to change from arco to pizzicato. Especially in relation to filters, modulation and LFOs the SFZ-format offers more functionality.

Polyphone is still very usefull for designing SFZ-sound libraries. It may not offer all functions possible, however you first need to set up the basics like assigning root keys and zones, setting up the amplitude envelope, setting up loop points in the samples, etc. For this I find Polyphone very easy to work with and it gives me an organised view. It's complicated enough to set up all these values, so a user-friendly organised view with not too many functions is very welcome.

To add functionality which is not available for the SF2-format you can use other software or a text editor.

~~~~~~

About your question due to FLAC vs WAV:

Suppose you convert a sample library of 2 GB of WAV-files to FLAC. It reduces the size of the sample files, however you still need 2 GB of RAM to load the complete sample library. Because FLAC-files need to be decompressed before they can be played, which will result into the same data as an uncompressed audio file like WAV. Also that decompression requires more power from your system.

I use Plogue SforZando as well and I think it's absolutely great! I do notice however Polyphone is more lightweight. Polyphone is meant for designing sound libraries. SforZando is meant for performing with sound libraries.
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Lossless FLAC SFZs 1 week 2 days ago #3

  • JoeyM
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Thanks a lot for your informative answer!

My motivation in all this is the fairly major DAW Presonus Studio One, which at this time accepts SF2 import into its onboard sampler.

I just don't see any 3rd party sample player that's right for my needs - even Sforzando requires a driver, which isn't all bad, but it's also failed when I needed it to work. And before anyone suggests TX16Wx, that's an extremely buggy and poorly-coded badware sampler.

It would just be great if there were a lower cost sample player that we could all convert our libraries to, but in the meantime, SF2 is a great format to convert halfway there. Extreme Sample Converter can convert that to anything practically and due to matters beyond my control, Polyphone is going to look good for quite a while, and has no competition at all in its league that I see.
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Lossless FLAC SFZs 1 week 1 day ago #4

  • Michael
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What you can try is opening the SFZ-files with Polyphone and convert them to SF2-files. Problems due to that occur very often, for example when the samples are not WAV-files. You can fix that by first converting them to WAV-files. (foobar2000 is very handy for such a task. Don't forget to install the encoder pack as well.)

You probably noticed already SFZ-files are small text files and the samples of the sound library are in a separate folder. You can open an SFZ-file with Windows Notepad. In it you'll find a list of the sample-filename and its location. Suppose the original samples are FLACs and you have converted them to WAVs. Than you have to change it in the SFZ-file as well: with the "Search and replace" function you can easily change ".FLAC" into ".WAV".

SforZando can be used standalone but also as VST-plugin. Maybe that will work with your DAW. What you can do as well is render the individual tracks of your software instruments as MIDI-files and use SforZando to render them into audio-tracks. The sampling engine of SforZando is very good.

Do you use an external audio-interface as well?
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Lossless FLAC SFZs 5 days 11 hours ago #5

  • JoeyM
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Sorry my delay but I'm on the bigger computer now. May as well mention: it's a brand new 10 year old computer! I'm all poor so I made this at $30 a month for over a year. Bought motherboard "new" at Goodwill and added 3gHz quadcore, 8 GB RAM, all new/old stock parts + 2 x WD blue hard drives. Win 7 x64. Runs wonderful so far and still putting finishing touches on it.
External interface is an old RME Fireface 800 that I dearly hope to get three more years out of - living on borrowed time. Presous Studio One v4.1.3, REAPER latest, plugins from companies I test for, and I have some 4-layer VST i rips I made with Extreme Sample Converter years ago. So like 4 players of drumhits nad 4 layers fo cymbals. I found it perfectly fine 4 layers. I figured those were to ge a rough idea what drums might work etc.

Now, you've already influenced me to get Foobar2000 finally, and that will be all setup next time I come here.

But there's a problem with Polyphone opening up "kosher" SFZ (or .sfz) files and re-saving as SF2. It's described here:
. www.polyphone-soundfonts.com/en/forum/su...ly-in-windows-10#962

There's two issues at the moment, now it's not a problem to delete extra libraries created but it doesn't seem to be reliable re-saving as SF2, which is for StudioOne's sample player. I'll get Foobar and Sforzando installed and check how things are going here. This is going to be a FUN YEAR!
Last Edit: 5 days 11 hours ago by JoeyM.
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