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TOPIC: Custom soundfont to play all a guitar's sounds

Custom soundfont to play all a guitar's sounds 4 years 2 weeks ago #1

  • BryanDem
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Hello all, this is my 1st time on this forum. I'm a 3D simulation designer/programmer who's using Unity to make a 3D Rhythm Guitar Simulator. It has 3D hands that can play a 3D (MIDI) guitar - rhythm guitar style. You give it a list of chords to play and a rhythm style to play them - and then play along with the simulator to learn that tune by 'expert system' example.

I just wanted to say how easy it was to use Polyphone to create a simple soundfont that sounds 'a lot' like my own Yamaha C40 nylon string guitar (see attached simulator screenshot). I only sampled each of the 6 strings in open position. Then I set the low E3 string to play notes 36-44 and the high E5 string to play notes 64-96. The strings in between were just set to play their open note and the next 4 higher notes.

I want to use different MIDI banks (same Preset name) to be able to play all the sounds of a given guitar model. So, bank 0 could be a guitar played with a bare finger. Bank 1 could be the same guitar/technique as Bank 0, but with some palm muting (Travis picking). Bank 2 could be that same guitar played with a guitar pick of some kind. Bank 3 could be the same guitar/technique as Bank 2, but again with palm muting. Higher bank numbers could be used for 'picking' the string further toward the nut or toward the bridge (to vary the tone) instead of right over the sound hole. Again, with and without palm muting. Other bank numbers could be used for things like real harmonics (Leni Breau) and body tapping/percussive sounds. Plus, I guess there could be other 'string striking' combinations that combine simultaneous finger & nail techniques (Flamenco, perhaps)

My first samples were done with a bare finger and combined in an instrument called Yamaha C40 Finger. I want to take 6 more samples with a bare finger but with some palm muting of each string (instrument = Yamaha C40 Finger-Mute). Then 6 more samples with a guitar pick (instrument = Yamaha C40 Pick). And 6 more with a guitar pick and palm muting (instrument = Yamaha C40 Pick-Mute).

I use CoolSoft Virtual MIDISynth to play all my Windows MIDI sounds. Normally I use a good GM soundfont with CoolSoft, but I can test my brand new, home-made Yamaha C40 soundfont with it as well. My favorite way is to download Debussy's Arabesque No. 1 arranged for 2 classical guitars from the Classical Guitar MIDI site and get my own soundfont to play it:

www.classicalguitarmidi.com/c-f.html#DEBUSSY
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Custom soundfont to play all a guitar's sounds 4 years 1 week ago #2

  • Davy
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Welcome on this forum!

Thank you for sharing this work that doesn't seem to be that easy. If there is a demo somewhere on YouTube that would be nice to see :-)

If I understand, your program assigns for each key a finger and then, based on the computed position of this finger on the guitar, the bank / preset is automatically chosen?
Last Edit: 4 years 1 week ago by Davy.
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Custom soundfont to play all a guitar's sounds 2 months 1 week ago #3

  • Susannah Rolfes
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BryanDem, did you make this soundfont available for download? I am searching for a good nylon string soundfont. Before I make my own from my Epiphone C50, I'd like to know if I can just get yours instead. :)
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Custom soundfont to play all a guitar's sounds 2 months 1 week ago #4

  • BryanDem
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"If I understand, your program assigns for each key a finger and then, based on the computed position of this finger on the guitar, the bank / preset is automatically chosen?"

The program does assign a "patch" and a "note" to each string/fret location on the fretboard. The patch is user-selectable for each string. So, strings 1 thru 3 could be assigned a "bare finger" patch for a given guitar type (classical, acoustic...). And, strings 4 thru 6 could be assigned a "playing with a pick" patch that was also "palm muted" when sampled. This would be the standard, Travis Picking way to "voice" these strings.

And, the user CAN assign a finger to a string/fret position on the fretboard. This is one way to "search" for a specific chord in the database and is also used to "create" a new chord or "modify" an existing guitar chord. Of course, chords can quickly be searched by chord name, as well.
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Custom soundfont to play all a guitar's sounds 2 months 1 week ago #5

  • BryanDem
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I never did create this soundfont for my Yamaha C40. Instead, I've gone the VST instrument route.

There are some free VST instruments and free VST players provided by Native Instruments (Kontakt 6) and Ample Sound. Some samples were obtained with bare fingers, some with plectrums, and some with or without palm muting.

This is the standard, MIDI route taken by most DAW users in their home-recording studios. But in my case, I'm using Unity instead as a VST Host application to control these other VST Players.
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Custom soundfont to play all a guitar's sounds 2 months 1 week ago #6

  • Susannah Rolfes
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Thanks for your reply! The best nylon string guitar VST or Soundfont that I've found is DSK Guitars Nylon (which only really sounds right when in an ensemble, not as a solo instrument). Spitfire Audio Labs Guitar Harmonics works a little better, even though it wasn't even created with a nylon string guitar.

I tried several Ample guitars and didn't find one that sounded anything like realistic, so I wasn't happy with them (I think it was Ample Guitar M Lite and also a lite bass). I did just search again and found Ample Guitar L, it sounds like it might work out for me. Unfortunately I cannot use anything for Kontakt, even the free player version. When I try, it is completely silent, and I have no idea how to fix it. I finally just deleted everything from NA from my computer. I appreciate the tip about Ample and I will check it out!
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