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SoundFonts by B-Ray Software updated with auv3 support

https://apps.apple.com/app//id1453325077

Description:

*** Now with AUv3 support! ***

This is a simple yet powerful iOS app that performs as a polyphonic audio synthesizer. Under the hood, It uses an AVAudioUnitSampler to generate the audio output when you touch one or more keys. The sounds that are available come from soundfont files, such as those available online for free (and of variable quality).

To use, simply select a SoundFont name in the left list, then a patch name on the right and start playing. Some additional hints to get going:

• Add a SoundFont (SF2) file that you have downloaded onto your iCloud Drive. Press the "+" button and then locate the file to add. You can always change the display name of the SoundFont by swiping right. And you can remove a SoundFont that you no longer want by swiping left on its name.

• Swipe right on a patch name to make it a favorite. Favorited patches have a star next to their name. You can edit the name of the favorite by again swiping right and selecting the edit action. You can remove a favorite by swiping left and selecting the remove action.

• Touch the labels at either end of the black bar to change the range of the keyboard. You can go as low as "C0" and as high as "C9". You can also change the range by swiping left/right on the black bar. Note that this ability does not exist in the AUv3 extension -- use the native application keyboard controls to achieve the same results.

• Switch between the soundfont patches listing and the favorites view by double-tapping on the patch name in the black bar above the keyboard. You can also swipe left/right with two fingers in the patches and favorites views to switch to the other view.

• In the view of favorites, you can edit a favorite button by double-tapping on it. You can rearrange the favorite buttons with a tap-and-hold gesture.

Finally, you can check out the source code! Go to the Support URL to find out more.

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Comments

  • I bought it, but it doesn't seem to make any sound when loaded in AUM and using the AUM built in keyboard:

  • I contacted the developer, he can reproduce the issue and are looking into it 😊

  • What is the difference between SF2 and SFZ? Both have been referred to as SoundFont. I thought I understood. I do not.

  • @animalelder said:
    What is the difference between SF2 and SFZ? Both have been referred to as SoundFont. I thought I understood. I do not.

    Here’s a sounfont Wikipedia article that talks about SF2 and at the bottom of the page there’s an SFZ link.

    With sfz you create a text file, add code to describe how samples will be used and save the file with an .sfz extension. The samples are saved in folders. The SynthJacker app can automatically create an SFZ file for your samples. Zenbeats, Auria Pro, Audio Evolution Mobile, and AudioLayer all support SFZ.

    EXS is another type of soundfont like format which Logic and MainStage on MacOS can create. It’s got a binary .exs file and then a folder for the samples. Auria Pro and AudioLayer are apps that use EXS. Unlike SFZ you can’t just use a text editor for an EXS file to change the location of your samples or to adjust parameters.

    I’m not aware of any EXS or SF2 editors for iOS or iPadOS. You can find free downloads for these formats and SF2 is probably the most common and likely to import without problems.

    SFZ and EXS can have import problems as they may have a different sample file structure from what your synth app or DAW expects or it might have functionality your app doesn’t support. The benefit is you can have a lot more control over the articulation of the samples and other functions such as round robin, velocity layers, filter controls, and loop points for sustain.

  • re EXS and SFZ, it is worth adding that EXS is not a publicly documented format. And most apps on iOS that support it only support a subset of its features (those which they've been able to reverse engineer).

    Also, most (all?), iOS sfz hosts offer support for only part of its very large feature set. SFZ allows specification of behaviors most apps on iOS ignore.

  • So an AU sound font player for 2 bucks? Nice. How do the preloaded soundfonts sound? I’m looking at the Rhodes and Pianos for a start.

  • @espiegel123 said:
    re EXS and SFZ, it is worth adding that EXS is not a publicly documented format. And most apps on iOS that support it only support a subset of its features (those which they've been able to reverse engineer).

    Also, most (all?), iOS sfz hosts offer support for only part of its very large feature set. SFZ allows specification of behaviors most apps on iOS ignore.

    I wish app developers would document which sfz functions they support so we wouldn’t have to go through trial and error to figure it out. Once you find some sfz file that works as expected, at least you can use it as a template for other sfz files you create for other sample sets.

    Auria Pro seems to have the best sfz support in my experience though I’ll have to revisit the other apps since they’ve updated this functionality since I last used them.

  • @InfoCheck said:

    @espiegel123 said:
    re EXS and SFZ, it is worth adding that EXS is not a publicly documented format. And most apps on iOS that support it only support a subset of its features (those which they've been able to reverse engineer).

    Also, most (all?), iOS sfz hosts offer support for only part of its very large feature set. SFZ allows specification of behaviors most apps on iOS ignore.

    I wish app developers would document which sfz functions they support so we wouldn’t have to go through trial and error to figure it out. Once you find some sfz file that works as expected, at least you can use it as a template for other sfz files you create for other sample sets.

    Auria Pro seems to have the best sfz support in my experience though I’ll have to revisit the other apps since they’ve updated this functionality since I last used them.

    Which sfz features does AP support that AudioLayer doesn't? The sfz feature set is awfully large. My sense is that both AP and AL support a similar subset (kind of the common core without some of the exotic bells-and-whistles used by complex highly refined virtual instruments).

  • @espiegel123 said:

    @InfoCheck said:

    @espiegel123 said:
    re EXS and SFZ, it is worth adding that EXS is not a publicly documented format. And most apps on iOS that support it only support a subset of its features (those which they've been able to reverse engineer).

    Also, most (all?), iOS sfz hosts offer support for only part of its very large feature set. SFZ allows specification of behaviors most apps on iOS ignore.

    I wish app developers would document which sfz functions they support so we wouldn’t have to go through trial and error to figure it out. Once you find some sfz file that works as expected, at least you can use it as a template for other sfz files you create for other sample sets.

    Auria Pro seems to have the best sfz support in my experience though I’ll have to revisit the other apps since they’ve updated this functionality since I last used them.

    Which sfz features does AP support that AudioLayer doesn't? The sfz feature set is awfully large. My sense is that both AP and AL support a similar subset (kind of the common core without some of the exotic bells-and-whistles used by complex highly refined virtual instruments).

    I haven’t used the AudioLayer sfz import enough to have an impression versus Auria. I just remember there were some sfz files that would work in Auria but wouldn’t work in Stagelight and it wasn’t a sample file path issue. They’ve since worked on their sfz import. The more ambitious amongst us might want to post this on the wiki if they haven’t already.

  • Hi everyone! I am the developer of the app that started this thread. I'm looking into the issue with AUM. I do all of my testing with GarageBand, and it seems to work OK there, though I still have some work to support presets. And it appears to work in Audiobus 3 app. I bought AUM and I am using it to try and find a solution. I've also contacted AUM's developer about the issue to see if he has any insights.

    Finally, if anyone is interested in the code it is available on GitHub. The AUv3 container is ridiculously simple (probably too simple) as it just uses Apple's own AVAudioUnitSampler to do all of the work.

    I'll follow up when I know more of what is going on vis-a-vis AUM.

    Brad

  • @BradHowes, I have SoundFonts and it works for me in AudioBus, with MIDI KB, smooth.

    Some of the sounds are nice, some not so good. I guess the built-ins are all publicly-available sets, so it is what it is.

    I was wondering about the parameters the AU exposes to AudioBus MIDI mapping. I see two blocks, "global >> clump_1" and clump_2. The "Performance Parameters" in clump_2 seem to have no effect. Are they just leftovers from some other project, or will they be connected to some effects?

  • @uncledave said:
    @BradHowes, I have SoundFonts and it works for me in AudioBus, with MIDI KB, smooth.

    Great to hear! Thanks.

    Some of the sounds are nice, some not so good. I guess the built-ins are all publicly-available sets, so it is what it is.

    Indeed. It is very hit-and-miss with publicly available SF2 files. I have compiled a list here of some I have found that seem to work well and sound interesting.

    I was wondering about the parameters the AU exposes to AudioBus MIDI mapping. I see two blocks, "global >> clump_1" and clump_2. The "Performance Parameters" in clump_2 seem to have no effect. Are they just leftovers from some other project, or will they be connected to some effects?

    I have yet to do any work in this area (as well as preset support). I suspect those are directly from Apple's AVAudioUnitSampler audio unit, which is derived from AVAudioUnitMIDIInstrument.

    I may need to implement my own AUv3 node instead of relying on the one from Apple.

  • A good source for soundfont files, especially the pianos:
    https://sites.google.com/site/soundfonts4u/home

  • Does this stream from "disk" or load everything into ram?

  • @espiegel123 said:
    Does this stream from "disk" or load everything into ram?

    I believe stream from disk is a feature supported only by .sfz soundfonts, not the .sf2 soundfonts that this app appears to be limited to. Even in the case of .sfz, not all players support it.

    So, if the B-Ray Software Soundfonts app is limited to .sf2, it loads entire soundfont into RAM.

  • Hi all, I've submitted an update which fixes the lack of audio output when loaded in AUM. Version 2.2.3 is now awaiting review. A big thank you to Jonatan Liljedahl (AUM) for his insightful lead on how to fix the issue.

    Brad

  • So, if the B-Ray Software Soundfonts app is limited to .sf2, it loads entire soundfont into RAM.

    I believe this is correct, however I rely on Apple's AVAudioUnitSampler for actual SF2 support so it may be different.

  • @BradHowes said:
    Hi all, I've submitted an update which fixes the lack of audio output when loaded in AUM. Version 2.2.3 is now awaiting review. A big thank you to Jonatan Liljedahl (AUM) for his insightful lead on how to fix the issue.

    Brad

    Works in AUM now, thank you 😊

  • @White said:
    Works in AUM now, thank you 😊

    And a big thank you to you for bringing the issue to my attention. Really appreciate it!

  • @BradHowes said:

    @White said:
    Works in AUM now, thank you 😊

    And a big thank you to you for bringing the issue to my attention. Really appreciate it!

    Bought it to support.

    Great dev.

    Thanks for stout work.

  • What's the main difference between this app and Bs-16i?

  • @BradHowes, it'd be nice if your website had a contact link for gripes, suggestions, so they wouldn't clutter App Store reviews. Anyway, here's a suggestion.

    The app exposes a folder in the Files app, but adding a sf2 file there seems to have no effect. You should either make this work (would be slick) or hide the folder.

    I've added a couple of downloaded soundfonts, and they work fine also.

    I like the idea of being a simple, single voice AUv3 player, with no effects or other features. You can add effects, MIDI mapping, etc. with other AUv3 components. Best to focus on doing one thing well. (I was going to say "with no bells or whistles", but of course, we have both bells and whistles in GM soundfonts.)

  • @uncledave said:
    @BradHowes, it'd be nice if your website had a contact link for gripes, suggestions, so they wouldn't clutter App Store reviews.

    Hi! Thanks for the feedback. I've update the site to clean it up and add a clear email link.

    Anyway, here's a suggestion.

    The app exposes a folder in the Files app, but adding a sf2 file there seems to have no effect. You should either make this work (would be slick) or hide the folder.

    I agree. The folder is a vestige of an approach I was looking into until I got the Files browsing working. Not a great experience, but it is minimal effort on my part. Originally, I had thought about being able to add/remove files in the folder and have the app get it all straight, but that is not an insignificant amount of work. Better to have it hidden and hope that that the app is able to keep a consistent state.

    I like the idea of being a simple, single voice AUv3 player, with no effects or other features. You can add effects, MIDI mapping, etc. with other AUv3 components. Best to focus on doing one thing well. (I was going to say "with no bells or whistles", but of course, we have both bells and whistles in GM soundfonts.)

    :wink: Agreed. I am still working on better preset experience. It works if you save the presets in the host (eg AUM), but the UI does not right now reflect the patch changes that might happen due to host activity. Requires more work to get right (I kind of hacked a quick fix to get AUM working -- need to do the right thing now)

    Regards,

    Brad

  • @BradHowes, I was able to add a couple of soundfonts from File Explorer using the Sharing menu, which includes Soundfonts for what it says is a music file (which it is, sort of). The first file added that way did not appear in the Files app view, but the other two did; not sure how that happened. Anyway, it works as well as the (+) inside the app.

  • @ecstaticax said:
    What's the main difference between this app and Bs-16i?

    I was going to ask this too. Was going to buy bs-16i but never could justify it. Is this a good alternative?

  • Soundfonts is a straightforward app that lets you play one instrument from a soundfont file. You can configure multiple AUv3 instances if desired to play more instruments. As I read the spec for Bs-16i, it lets you play multiple instruments (multitimbral) in the one app. The graphics seem to indicate that you can control them from different MIDI channels. So, it is a bigger app, with more capabilities.

  • @BradHowes Thank you for SoundFonts.. It is now my official sf2 instrument.. I just tried it in AUM with Riffer as the sequencer.. perfect..
    I ended up importing the Nice-Keys-Ultimate V2.3 sf2 file (which I previously had in Auria Pro).. It took a few seconds probably because it's 1150MB in size.. worked effortlessly after that.. :)

  • @royor said:
    @BradHowes Thank you for SoundFonts.. It is now my official sf2 instrument.. I just tried it in AUM with Riffer as the sequencer.. perfect..
    I ended up importing the Nice-Keys-Ultimate V2.3 sf2 file (which I previously had in Auria Pro).. It took a few seconds probably because it's 1150MB in size.. worked effortlessly after that.. :)

    Thanks for taking the time to post your kind words. I very much appreciate it.

  • @BradHowes You’re welcome.. I discovered SoundFonts from reading this thread.. there was a bit of chatter going on there about your app..

    https://forum.audiob.us/discussion/38764/app-auv3-with-the-best-piano-sounds/p1

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