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Using Soundfonts

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Soundfonts are a decent alternative to the basic MS GS Wavetable or Midi Mapper as a midi sound source in BiaB. While there are a number of ways you might use soundfonts in BiaB this article will explain how to use the sfz VSTi based soundfont player.

Get a copy of sfzEdit

First you need to download the Cakewalk SFZ Player from Cakewalk. Unzip the sfz.dll file (the plugin) to your VST plugin folder.

Find a GM soundfont fileEdit

Next you will need a General Midi Soundfont file. BIAB only allows a single plugin to be used at one time, so the Soundfont must contain all of the sounds for all 128 instruments found in the General Midi set. There are many of these available for download on the internet. Usually, the larger the better in sound reproduced.

Select a VST plug-inEdit

Midi Setup Dlg

Midi/Audio Setup Dialog

Open BIAB and Click on the DXi icon in BIAB. Alternatively, Go to Opt|Midi Audio Driver Setup and click VST/DXi Synth Settings. Click on the plugin box and then scroll down and click on the Add VSTi Plugin entry, usually at the very bottom of the list of plugins. Navigate to your VST Plugin folder and double-click on the sfz.dll file. This will load the SFZ plugin into Band In A Box. It now becomes the default plugin for responding to BIAB midi signals.
Add VST Plugin

Add VST/DXi Plugin

Choose your soundfontEdit

Click in the File box in the RGC:Audio sfz window. This will open up another navigation screen for selection of the soundfont of your choice. This soundfont must be a GM soundfont if you want to match the instruments that are available in BIAB. You may use a non-GM soundfont but you need to be aware that the voices shown by BiaB will not necessarily match the voices in the soundfont.

This might be acceptable if all tracks but one are RealTracks. Maybe you just want some midi guitar for melody and a soundfont guitar sounds better than your existing synth.

Scroll through the soundfont files (*.sf2) and double-click your soundfont of choice. This will load the SF2 file into the SFZ player.

Instruments will be assigned to each channel (1 - 16) in the SFZ player to match the patch (program #) assigned by BIAB. When you select an instrument in BIAB, a program change will be sent on the specific channel to change the instrument sound in SFZ for that channel. In this manner, BIAB keeps the instrument sounds that you have selected, matched to SFZ. Be sure to select the GM patch list in BIAB as the patch list to use.

Setup the drumsEdit

Add VST Plugin Drums

Setting up the drums

The drum channel (10) is unique, since it must accommodate a large selection of different drum sounds all on one channel. The General Midi spec accommodates this by assigning a separate bank of sounds. The bank number (in this case) is 128. So to get this bank operating on channel 10, we must tell SFZ to use that bank. (NOTE: some soundfont players automatically make this arrangement).

So select Channel 10 in the Channel box and set the BANK to 128. This will activate the matching drum bank to BIAB's GM drums.

Now close the BIAB DXi plugin box. The SFZ Player has been set up to respond to BIAB midi arrangements.




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