Copyright © 2003-2014 Maxime Abbey
Version 1.2 (Revised on 12-04-2012)
Layout inspired by Luke Sena's Titanic SoundFont manual
Arachno SoundFont is a General MIDI-compliant bank of 128 instruments ("presets") and 9 GM/GS drum kits, aimed at enhancing the realism of your MIDI files and arrangements. It's meant to be used with a SoundFont 2.x-compatible MIDI synthesizer, either hardware (e.g. Sound Blaster Live!/Audigy/X-Fi) or software (like SynthFont, BASSMIDI Driver or CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth). This documentation will explain you how to use Arachno SoundFont bank, from loading it into your SoundFont synthesizer, to the playback and recording of MIDI files.
This SoundFont project has first started somewhere in mid-2003, as a modified version of the Magic SoundFont, by Dennis Deutschmann, for my own MIDI listening purposes. Acquiring solid SoundFont editing experience over the years, I replaced many of its original presets with new samples and instruments from various sources, giving birth to my own custom SoundFont bank, Arachno SoundFont. After leaving this bank unmodified for over three years (since May 17, 2007) for many reasons, I finally found the time to write this documentation and release it for the first time on the internet, as "freeware" work.
Writing this document was mandatory for me, as most portions of this bank actually come from other sources (SoundFont and GigaSampler libraries, third-party synthesizer samples) that deserved to be credited properly, although I've been unable to remember where I found a few presets and samples, here and there. I hope that the authors of the uncredited samples will pardon me! Everything is described under the huge Preset list section below.
You're free to use Arachno SoundFont in any of your projects. But, please be aware that this bank is primarily distributed for private, non-commercial purposes only, as it uses portions from other authors. If you want to use it for commercial purposes, please obtain a written consent from the original authors credited in the Preset list and Copyright information and credits sections.
English-speaking readers, please note that this documentation may contain much grammar, syntax or other language mistakes. As I'm French, English is not my native language. If you have ANY suggestion to do on this particular point, even for the most ridiculous language glitch, don't hesitate to do so! See Contact me. Thanks for your comprehension!
Here is a list of what you will need to use Arachno SoundFont on your computer. These requirements are based on my own experience with SoundFont hardware and software, and should be quite realistic.
Be careful! Native/hardware SoundFont support is not available on all Sound Blaster cards, even if named Live!, Audigy or X-Fi. Only those carrying the above-mentioned processors (EMUx0Kx) actually come with hardware SoundFont support.
Moreover, the overall quality of SoundFont reproduction is extremely variable, depending of your soundcard, OS, and most importantly, drivers. The About drivers section will give you some advice, based on my own experience, to choose the best driver for SoundFont playback.
Arachno SoundFont is being distributed as a sfArk file, a file compression format optimized to reduce the size of SoundFont banks.
For your convenience, sfArk is provided in the original ZIP archive (in all OS versions), but you can also download the latest version of the archiver from the sfArk website.
This section will cover the decompression process on most operating systems.
Important note: if you're experiencing any difficulties to extract the Arachno SoundFont from the sfArk file, you can go to Arachnosoft - Maxime Abbey's Website, the official Arachno SoundFont website, to download an alternate version of the original ZIP file which provides the SoundFont in an already decompressed SF2 format.
Many years ago, Melody Machine released a basic port of sfArk under GNU/Linux, named sfArkXTc, to decompress sfArk files. It quickly became an outdated product, and the program being now unsupported, no updates will be released.
Fortunately, Jean-Paul from Le Blog du Gnou wrote a great tutorial to help you decompress Arachno SoundFont with sfArkXTc. With his permission, you'll find this tutorial below for your convenience. Many thanks to Jean-Paul for his support!
First of all, the sfArk port being really old now, it needs some third-party GNU/Linux libraries which might not be included on all recent GNU/Linux distributions such as Ubuntu.
Here is the procedure to install them on a GNU/Linux distribution based on the APT package manager (such as Ubuntu or Debian). On other GNU/Linux bundled with another package manager (e.g. YUM), you'll have to use a similar procedure with the appropriate command related to the package manager.
Your GNU/Linux distribution might come with a more user-friendly GUI for package installation, such as Synaptic on Ubuntu. Refer to the documentation of your GNU/Linux distribution for more information.
The ZIP decompression process should be quite straightforward and easy to complete on any modern GNU/Linux distribution.
A port of sfArk for Mac OS X is also included in the original Arachno SoundFont ZIP file.
However, just like the GNU/Linux port, it's a very old application built for the older Apple PowerPC processors. Therefore, you'll only be able to use it on Mac OS X up to Snow Leopard (10.6), either on true PowerPC processors, or with Rosetta on Intel-powered Mac machines. Therefore, if you're using OS X 10.6 or earlier, the application should run without any hassle, regardless of the processor you actually have into your machine.
Newer versions of the Apple operating system (Lion 10.7 and afterwards) dropped any PowerPC support, so you'll not be able to decompress sfArk files on these OS versions using the application provided by Melody Machine.
If you're in such a situation, you can download an alternate ZIP distribution from Arachnosoft - Maxime Abbey's Website, the official Arachno SoundFont website, which provides the same exact version of Arachno SoundFont, in an already decompressed SF2 format.
Once you have decompressed Arachno SoundFont into a plain SF2 file using sfArk, you can proceed with the installation of the SoundFont on your software or hardware MIDI synthesizer.
Depending of the operating system and hardware (or software) you'll use with Arachno SoundFont, you may have to use specific drivers or settings for best performance. Please read further on for more information about recommended drivers or tweaks, depending of your needs.
Hardware SoundFont support has been offered on Creative Sound Blaster soundcards since the AWE32. The SoundFont 2.x (sf2) format, introduced in 1998, has been supported since the first Sound Blaster Live! soundcard.
As I've first built and tested Arachno SoundFont on my Sound Blaster Live! 5.1 soundcard, I personally recommend to use it on the EMU10K1 range of soundcards (like SB Live!). Later on, I also found that the latest versions of the SynthFont software synthesizer were pretty solid as well (read further on for more details). Nowadays, I also own a second generation (PCI-Express) X-Fi-based soundcard (Auzentech X-Fi Forte 7.1) on which I can also share some experience.
However, I never had the occasion to extensively test Arachno SoundFont on an Audigy soundcard (EMU10K2) as well as on the first generation of X-Fi (PCI) cards (EMU20K1), so you'll only find limited information on this hardware here.
Important note: Most of the information mentioned here only apply to the "NT" variants of Microsoft Windows (2000, XP, Vista, 7) as I don't have any significant experience with hardware SoundFont support on Windows 9x variants (95, 98, Me), Mac OS or Unix/Linux.
Creative Labs is sadly known for producing randomly buggy drivers for their soundcards. Over the years, I've experienced several painful bugs and flaws with SoundFont reproduction. Depending of the hardware and operating system combination, these glitches may be more or less annoying, and more or less difficult to fix.
The most annoying (and frequent) glitch I always experienced with hardware SoundFont synthesizers is related to polyphony. When playing a moderately complex MIDI file using a "big" SoundFont file (more than 32 MB), rendering may suffer from "dropouts"; concretely, it means that some notes are simply skipped, or muted, when there are too much sounds to be played at the same time, even more when using the biggest (polyphony-hungry) instruments.
Another bug often reported by SoundFont users: playing with SoundFont often leads to unwanted noises (e.g. clicks, pops, clipping...), even when playing a few notes with the most basic instruments. I have only experienced this one on a first-generation X-Fi soundcard so far (PCI bus, EMU20K1), but it seems that it has also affected many Audigy users. I never had this problem with my Sound Blaster Live! or Auzentech X-Fi Forte (second-generation, PCI-Express bus, EMU20K2) soundcards. As far as I know (and read), it sounds like a PCI-bus related issue.
For a Sound Blaster Live! or E-MU Audio Production Studio soundcard (EMU10K1 processor), the best drivers I can recommend for SoundFont use are the latest official drivers from E-MU (summer 2003). These drivers fixed the above-mentioned "dropping notes" issue, but "clicks" can be heard instead (on parts where you'd have note dropouts with previous drivers). Still not perfect, but this is the best workaround I could find. Moreover, these drivers can be used with the usual Creative applications (e.g. AudioHQ) if you install the E-MU driver package first, and the Creative package afterwards (don't forget to uncheck the Drivers checkbox in the setup program to avoid replacing E-MU drivers with the Creative variants).
As I never owned any Sound Blaster Audigy soundcard (EMU10K2 processor), I can't tell you if the above-mentioned issues have been partially or totally fixed with the latest drivers available. However, according to Luke Sena's Titanic SoundFont documentation, these issues have been almost fixed back in late 2003 (revision 383 at this time). If you have any experience to share about SoundFont support on Audigy cards, don't hesitate to drop me a line: Contact me
About Sound Blaster X-Fi soundcards (EMU20K1/EMU20K2 processors), I'm afraid I never found any decent driver out there to address the above-mentioned issues. Even with the latest drivers from Creative or Auzentech, I still experience annoying note dropouts. As with previous soundcards, the problem has been submitted to Creative a long time ago, but, as far as I know, nothing has been done yet! If you have any experience to share on SoundFont support with X-Fi cards, don't hesitate to do so as well. My best recommendation would be to participate on Creative forums: there's an open thread about the note dropouts issue on X-Fi cards. We need more contributions to show Creative that we NEED this fix as soon as possible! See Creative Labs Support Forums: MIDI/SoundFont problems with X-Fi for more information.
As an alternative to official drivers, but for EMU10Kx cards only (Live!, APS, Audigy...), I strongly advise you to check out the Kx Project drivers, which have been developed by an independent team, to offer an alternative solution to those who are exasperated by Creative's inability to fix the most annoying known problems with their drivers. These drivers offer interesting features for musicians, but may lack some of the "user-friendly" side of the official drivers. Unfortunately, these drivers are not available for X-Fi cards.
On older versions of Windows and Sound Blaster hardware, you may experience some difficulties to load Arachno SoundFont.
These can be caused by a memory limitation of the operating system known as the paged pool size.
You can try to solve this issue by changing the PagedPoolSize in the Windows registry.
This information is provided by Luke Sena, from the Titanic SoundFont manual. Many thanks to him!
WARNING: modifying the Windows registry improperly can lead to serious software failures that may require you to reinstall your operating system. Use the information provided at your own risk, and only if you know what you're doing.
This section will show you how to load Arachno SoundFont on a Sound Blaster soundcard.
Finely tweaking the settings of your soundcard is mandatory to obtain the best sound output, and most importantly, the sound that will better suit your tastes and needs.
All SoundFont-enabled soundcards come with an integrated audio processor that can add effects to all outputs, including MIDI. You should first try to play with the predefined environments provided by Creative (e.g. Auditorium, Concert Hall, etc.) to check if the effects suit your taste.
Additionally, Arachno SoundFont also comes with custom EAX settings for Sound Blaster Live! soundcards, that I always use to play MIDI files. These settings should also be compatible with Audigy variants.
Note: if you have some setting files you'd like to share, feel free to do so: Contact me
If your soundcard doesn't offer any SoundFont-compatible synthesizer, you can use a software synthesizer to reproduce MIDI files with a SoundFont bank. Among all software synthesizers and music editors available on the market, many are compatible with SoundFont technology.
This documentation will cover usage of the Arachno SoundFont with the following software synthesizers:
From my own experience, they are the most complete and accurate software SoundFont synthesizers available today. And, most importantly, they're FREE.
BASSMIDI Driver is a software SoundFont synthesizer, based on the BASS SoundFont rendering engine from Un4Seen Developments (hence its name).
It installs itself as a new MIDI output device on Windows, so it can be used from any MIDI-enabled application or game which renders MIDI data through an output MIDI port. It doesn't require any specific MIDI hardware or software; the only requirement being a computer running Windows, with enough RAM to load the SoundFont, and a reasonable CPU for realtime MIDI reproduction.
BASSMIDI Driver comes with a small setup interface to configure the very few options offered by the software synthesizer: master volume control, default system MIDI device (depending of your Windows version), and a dedicated tab to load the SoundFonts into the synthesizer.
One of the biggest strengths of BASSMIDI Driver is its ability to reproduce some XG or GS effects when playing MIDI files produced with Roland or Yamaha synths. Moreover, it can reproduce most MIDI files with the same overall quality as a hardware SoundFont synthesizer (like those provided with Creative Sound Blaster cards), without any limitation related to polyphony! It means that it can reproduce very complex MIDI files without suffering from note cuts or dropouts, like a hardware synthesizer, as long as you have enough RAM and CPU power to do so.
However, you should note that BASSMIDI Driver works in dynamic caching mode (regardless of which caching mode you've chosen for your Creative hardware synths), which may result to some perceptible latency while loading some big presets on MIDI files using many Program Change events to switch, while playing, from one instrument to another on a given track.
The setup process of BASSMIDI Driver is quite straightforward.
Once setup process has been completed, BASSMIDI Driver can be used from any MIDI application as a new output device for MIDI rendering.
Note: I mainly use BASSMIDI Driver with vanBasco's Karaoke Player. As a result, this document will only give you some advice for MIDI playing purposes, based on my own experience.
Settings to adjust on the MIDI tab from vanBasco's Configuration window (right click on main window or press Alt + S):
Reminder: these facts are based on my own experience and might not be applicable to all versions of BASSMIDI Driver, or Windows itself.
CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth is another software SoundFont synthesizer, which is very similar to BASSMIDI Driver: it also installs itself as a new MIDI output device on Windows, and thus, can also be used from any MIDI-enabled application or game.
Just like BASSMIDI Driver, VirtualMIDISynth uses the same BASS SoundFont rendering engine from Un4Seen Developments to produce sound. Therefore, you'll hardly notice any difference between these two solutions while playing files; however, each synthesizer comes with its own design choices and extra features which might help you to choose which one you'll need.
Here is a summary of all significant differences I could find between two given versions of each synthesizer:
|BASSMIDI Driver 3.19||VirtualMIDISynth 1.6.2||Comments|
|Number of MIDI output devices||2||1||Just like Creative cards, BASSMIDI offers two MIDI output devices (A and B), so you can load different SoundFont combinations and switch between them while playing MIDI content. Useful for comparison purposes.|
|Memory management (caching)||Dynamic||Static or dynamic||With dynamic caching, MIDI instruments/presets are being loaded on-the-fly, while data is being played, just before they're going to be used, whereas static caching preloads the whole SoundFont bank in memory the first time the synthesizer is being initialized. As a result, dynamic caching offers better memory usage, but can lead to some audible latency or pauses when some instruments are being used; on the other side, static caching requires more memory (the size of the SoundFont bank itself) and is slower to load at first, but offers much smoother MIDI playing or recording.|
|Volume control||Master only||Master or track-by-track||From its Configuration window, BASSMIDI Driver offers a single master volume slider to adjust the volume of the overall synth from any application, whereas VirtualMIDISynth offers this feature in a separate mixer window, opened while playing MIDI data.|
|Rendering settings||Limited||Numerous||While BASSMIDI Driver offers a limited range of adjustable rendering parameters (interpolation and buffer length), VirtualMIDISynth comes with a huge number of settings to finetune the rendering options depending of your system configuration (audio output device, hardware or software mixing, sample rate, buffer length, polyphony limit, disabling effects...) which can really be helpful if your computer is experiencing some issues with software synthesizers.|
At first, reading this table might lead you to think that CoolSoft VirtualMIDISynth is much better than BASSMIDI Driver. Actually, my advice would be to install both synthesizers on your system, as BASSMIDI Driver offers two separate synths, less latency and does not suffer from any issue while rendering MIDI files - whereas VirtualMIDISynth, although using the same BASS engine, can occasionally suffer from some "orphan" notes (which aren't being cutoff at the right time).
Just like BASSMIDI Driver, the setup process of VirtualMIDISynth can be completed within a few minutes.
Once setup process has been completed, VirtualMIDISynth can be used from any MIDI application as a new output device for MIDI rendering.
Note: just like with BASSMIDI Driver, I mainly use VirtualMIDISynth with vanBasco's Karaoke Player. As a result, this document will only give you some advice for MIDI playing purposes, based on my own experience.
Settings to adjust on the MIDI tab from vanBasco's Configuration window (right click on main window or press Alt + S):
Reminder: these facts are based on my own experience and might not be applicable to all versions of VirtualMIDISynth, or Windows itself.
SynthFont is a software synthesizer aimed at reproducing MIDI files using SoundFont banks, on any soundcard, even those which are not SoundFont-compatible. The only requirement being a computer running Windows (or a Windows-compatible software layer like WINE on other operating systems), with enough RAM to load the SoundFont, and a reasonable CPU for realtime MIDI reproduction.
SynthFont software has been declined in several variants: the main SynthFont synthesizer (simply named SynthFont), a VST variant to be used with VST (Virtual Studio Technology) host software like Cubase, and SyFon, which installs itself as a system-wide MIDI synthesizer to be used as MIDI playback device on any audio player or editor. This documentation will only cover the main SynthFont software.
SynthFont comes with an integrated MIDI file browser and player, which allows you to modify many settings of a MIDI file (volume, balance, instruments...) to enhance playback, and save all modifications as an "arrangement" file, that can be reused later. The playback can be sent to your speakers or recorded as an audio file (e.g. WAV, MP3).
One of the biggest strengths of SynthFont being its accuracy. From my own experience, it can reproduce many MIDI files without significant flaws, with the same overall quality as the hardware SoundFont synthesizer provided with Creative Sound Blaster cards - and, most importantly, without any limitation related to polyphony! It means that you can reproduce very complex MIDI files without suffering from note cuts or dropouts, like a hardware synthesizer, as long as you have enough RAM and CPU power to do so.
Here are the first basic steps to follow in order to use SynthFont with Arachno SoundFont.
SynthFont has many features you can play with. This section will help you to use it in a somewhat advanced manner.
Note: this document will only cover parts of all features available. For more information on all SynthFont features not covered here (e.g. Piano Roll, MIDI events...), please refer to SynthFont's official documentation or website.
First of all, I recommend you to start by setting some synthesizer playback options:
Most SynthFont features are related to MIDI file playback enhancement. You can apply most of them on individual MIDI tracks while listening to the file, so you can hear the results instantly.
First, you can change the instruments/presets used in the MIDI file, to experiment different sound combinations (e.g. replace a clean guitar with an overdriven guitar sound).
Start by specifying whether the track must be rendered using the internal SoundFont engine, a VST instrument or external MIDI device.
Then, choose the MIDI program (instrument) used by the track to play notes. You can either pickup one of those declared in the MIDI file, or override them.
Moreover, you can also adjust volume, balance, or mute/solo some tracks to "isolate" playback of some instruments.
Another interesting feature is the support of VST (Virtual Studio Technology) plugins. Using VST plugins, you can add various sound effects (reverb, chorus, compression, flanger, phaser...) while playing back the MIDI file, or replace some SoundFont presets with VST instruments.
If you don't have any VST plugins to play with on your computer, you can download some on websites like KVR Audio.
Then, you can follow the steps below to use them on SynthFont.
1. 2. 3.
You can now choose to render the MIDI file with all these settings applied as an audio file, to playback it outside of SynthFont.
The Arachno SoundFont is mainly suited for MIDI file reproduction, meant to be loaded on a SoundFont synthesizer to listen to MIDI files.
Although not being its primary goal, Arachno SoundFont can also be used as a sample bank in many SoundFont-compatible audio and music editors.
There are many, many DAWs (Digital Audio Workstations) available on the market, like Reason, Cakewalk Sonar, ModPlug Tracker/OpenMPT or Logic, to name a very few, which offer native support for SoundFont files. There are also many virtual samplers and synthesizers supporting this technology, which can often be associated with these DAWs: E-MU Emulator X, Kontakt, HALion, sfz, (VST)SynthFont, TiMidity++... Given the huge amount of audio software available, this topic will not be covered in this documentation.
Reminder: You're free to use Arachno SoundFont in any of your projects. But, please be aware that I can't recommend any commercial use of Arachno SoundFont, as it uses sounds from other libraries or authors that might not authorize commercial use of their work. Refer to the Preset list and Copyright information and credits sections below for copyright and license information.
If you're using Arachno SoundFont with the SynthFont software synthesizer, you don't need anything more to play MIDI files, as SynthFont comes with its own built-in MIDI player. See Loading and using Arachno SoundFont on SynthFont and SynthFont settings and advanced use sections above for more information.
If you want to play MIDI files outside SynthFont, the best MIDI file player I know remains vanBasco's Karaoke Player. It has many features specialized in MIDI file reproduction, one of the most impressive being its ability to switch between different MIDI synths while playing a MIDI file, to compare rendering between MIDI synths. Besides this feature, it can also mute or solo some MIDI channels while playing to focus on a particular instrument, or display karaoke information from compatible MIDI files. Associated with a system-wide SoundFont synthesizer (hardware provided by your soundcard, or by some software synthesizer solution like SyFon), it's a must-have for any MIDI enthusiast.
Arachno SoundFont comes with several sample MIDI files you can play with, to test some particular presets. These are either original MIDI tracks (from video games or other media) or MIDI reproductions ("covers") of famous songs, movie and video game soundtracks.
Although having been selected for their good compatibility with Arachno SoundFont, some of these files might sound strange on a SoundFont synthesizer, especially those carrying advanced effects, such as Roland GS or Yamaha XG tracks.
Some of these files are explicitly mentioned in the Preset list section; for your convenience, these files have been also summed up in the list below.
Important: all these files have been made by various composers, which are named and credited on all files' names (unless unknown).
These files are provided under a fair use principle for personal listening and demonstration purpose and remain the exclusive work of their original authors. The Für Elise cover MIDI file is distributed with written permission from its composer, and those I've composed come with a separate license file, also provided in the original archive.
|Track type||Title||Author||MIDI file composer||Presets/instruments extensively used in the given example|
|MIDI cover||The Legend of Zelda (5)||Koji Kondo||Various composers||Orchestral Harp, Choir Aahs, Brass Section, Ocarina, Crystal|
|Original MIDI track||Arabian Feelings (4)||Maxime Abbey||Maxime Abbey||Synth Strings 2, Sweep Pad, Sound Track, Star Theme|
|MIDI cover||Super Mario Bros. (4)||Koji Kondo||Various composers||Slap Bass 1, Slap Bass 2, Timpani, Brass Section|
|Original MIDI track||DOOM (3)||Robert C. Prince||Robert C. Prince||Overdrive Guitar, Timpani, Square Wave|
|Original MIDI track||Duke Nukem 3D (3)||Lee Jackson & Robert C. Prince||Lee Jackson & Robert C. Prince||Overdrive Guitar, Square Wave, Metal Pad|
|Original MIDI track||Green Hills (3)||Maxime Abbey||Maxime Abbey||Poly Synth, Atmosphere, Brightness|
|Original MIDI track||Rise Of The Triad (3)||Lee Jackson & Robert C. Prince||Lee Jackson & Robert C. Prince||Overdrive Guitar, Square Wave, Metal Pad|
|Original MIDI track||Descent (2)||Parallax Software||Parallax Software||Echo Drops, Synth Drum|
|Original MIDI track||DOOM - E1M3 - Dark Halls (2)||Robert C. Prince||Robert C. Prince||Synth Bass 1, Bowed Glass|
|Original MIDI track||DOOM - E2M2 - The Demons From Adrian's Pen (2)||Robert C. Prince||Robert C. Prince||Halo Pad, Goblin|
|MIDI cover||Für Elise (2)||Ludwig van Beethoven||forelise.com||Grand Piano, Bright Piano|
|Digital audio track||Genesis/Phil Collins (2)||Genesis/Phil Collins||Warm Pad, Synth Drum|
|Digital audio track||Haru No Umi (2)||Miyagi Michio||Shakuhachi, Koto|
|MIDI cover||Jazz Jackrabbit (2)||Robert A. Allen||Steven Bloom / MaliceX||Marimba, Orchestra Hit|
|Digital audio track||Jump (2)||Van Halen||Synth Brass 1, Poly Synth|
|Digital audio track||Oh, Susanna (2)||Stephen Fischer||Honky-Tonk Piano, Banjo|
|Digital audio track||Peer Gynt (2)||Edvard Grieg||Pizzicato Strings, Strings Ensemble 2|
|Digital audio track||Axel F. (1)||Harold Faltermeyer||Synth Brass 1|
|Digital audio track||Bitter Sweet Symphony (1)||The Verve||Tremolo Strings|
|Digital audio track||Boléro (1)||Maurice Ravel||Flute|
|Digital audio track||Dance of The Sugar Plum Fairy (1)||Piotr Ilitch Tchaïkovski||Celesta|
|MIDI cover||Donkey Kong Country - DK Island Swing (1)||David Wise||Alluro95||Acoustic Bass|
|MIDI cover||Donkey Kong Country 2 - Lava - Hot-Head Bop (1)||David Wise||Dave Phaneuf||Star Theme|
|Original MIDI track||DOOM - E1M5 - Suspense (1)||Robert C. Prince||Robert C. Prince||Guitar Fret Noise|
|Original MIDI track||DOOM - E1M8 - Sign of Evil (1)||Robert C. Prince||Robert C. Prince||Synth Drum|
|Original MIDI track||DOOM - Message / Victory (1)||Robert C. Prince||Robert C. Prince||Clavinet|
|Original MIDI track||DOOM II - Message / Victory (1)||Robert C. Prince||Robert C. Prince||Halo Pad|
|Digital audio track||Elle Attend (1)||Jean-Jacques Goldman||Steel String Guitar|
|Digital audio track||Every Breath You Take (1)||Sting & The Police||Muted Guitar|
|Original MIDI track||Gruntz (1)||Monolith Productions||Monolith Productions||Agogo|
|Original MIDI track||Heretic (1)||Kevin Schilder||Kevin Schilder||Synth Strings 1|
|Digital audio track||Insomnia (1)||Faithless||Pizzicato Strings|
|Digital audio track||Jamey Turner (1)||Jamey Turner||Bowed Glass|
|Original MIDI track||Lands of Lore (1)||Frank Klepacki||Frank Klepacki||Agogo|
|MIDI cover||Nintendo/Sega (1)||Various authors||Various composers||Square Wave|
|Digital audio track||Orinoco Flow (1)||Enya||Atmosphere|
|Digital audio track||Pulp Fiction - Misirlou (1)||Dick Dale||Clean Guitar|
|Digital audio track||Scotland The Brave (1)||Public domain / Unknown author||Bag Pipe|
|Digital audio track||Sledgehammer (1)||Peter Gabriel||Shakuhachi|
|Digital audio track||Stevie Wonder (1)||Stevie Wonder||Clavinet|
|MIDI cover||Super Mario Bros. 3 - Ending Credits (1)||Koji Kondo||JILost||Ice Rain|
|Digital audio track||Take The Long Way Home (1)||Supertramp||Harmonica|
|MIDI cover||Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1)||Keizo Nakamura||John N. Engelmann||Bass & Lead|
|Digital audio track||The Entertainer (1)||Scott Joplin||Grand Piano|
|Digital audio track||The Final Countdown (1)||Europe||Synth Brass 1|
|Digital audio track||Toccata (1)||Johann Sebastian Bach||Church Organ|
|Digital audio track||Ushuaïa (1)||Serge Perathoner & Jannick Top||Shakuhachi|
|Digital audio track||X-Files (1)||Mark Snow||Whistle|
You'll find here the very huge part of this documentation: a list of all presets currently available in Arachno SoundFont, both melodic instruments and drum kits.
For each preset, you'll find some various information (bank numbers, program number, size, version number) along with the preset name (as declared in this bank), and, most important, comments towards the instrument build process, and my own rating of the overall preset, to track progress made on each instrument with the different releases of Arachno SoundFont.
If you're interested by the SoundFont creation process, I deeply recommend you to read the comments I wrote about the instruments you like.
For each preset, I'll explain why I had to spend more or less time on it, and how I ended up choosing it, or building it from scratch.
This section delivers valuable information on the sources I've used to build the instruments (other SoundFonts, GigaSampler, miscellaneous sound banks, own work...) to credit original authors' work.
These sources are identified with an icon, describing the origin of their samples:
: the source is a SoundFont 2 sample bank.
: the source is a GigaSampler sample bank.
: the source is a Downloadable Sound Level sample bank.
: samples have been directly extracted from a software or hardware sampler or synthesizer.
: samples have been extracted from various sources as simple waveforms.
An highlighted source name means that the samples have been produced by me.
Some presets come with track suggestions you can listen to test them (listed in the Usage and examples section above):
: suggests that a digital audio track (e.g. MP3, audio-CD) uses the described instrument.
: the example is an original MIDI track which makes use of the described preset.
: suggests that there is a MIDI reproduction ("cover") of a digital audio track which makes uses of the described preset.
An highlighted example name refers to a track I've composed myself.
The rating is also some important information, as it indicates how much I appreciate each individual preset. A low rating meaning that I may/should replace the preset by a better pick in future revisions/versions of Arachno SoundFont, unlike other presets with a higher rating:
Don't hesitate to send me comments about this preset list and the instruments, especially for those missing information about the sources, or those with a low rating (if you have some advice or suggestions for a nice replacement). See Contact me.
Your help and feedback will always be appreciated!
#0 - #7 Pianos
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.9 / 38,380 KB|
#8 - #15 Chromatic Percussion / Mallets
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.1 / 3,032 KB|
#16 - #23 Organs
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.4 / 10,711 KB|
#24 - #31 Guitars
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.8 / 28,572 KB|
#32 - #39 Basses
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.5 / 6,768 KB|
#40 - #47 Strings
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4 / 12,327 KB|
#48 - #55 Ensemble
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.6 / 10,818 KB|
#56 - #63 Brass
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 3.8 / 10,830 KB|
#64 - #71 Reed Instruments
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 3.6 / 14,632 KB|
#72 - #79 Pipe Instruments
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.4 / 4,293 KB|
#80 - #87 Synthesizer Leads
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.6 / 6,663 KB|
#88 - #95 Synthesizer Pads
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.9 / 22,612 KB|
#96 - #103 Synthesizer Effects
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.9 / 11,347 KB|
#104 - #111 Ethnic Instruments
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 3.3 / 1,844 KB|
#112 - #119 Melodic Percussion
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.4 / 837 KB|
#120 - #127 Acoustic Sound Effects
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.6 / 1,356 KB|
#0 - #127 Drum Kits
|Average rating and total size of all instruments in this category: 4.4 / 30,980 KB|
|Name||Author||Presets using this bank|
|MagicSF (56)||Dennis Deutschmann||Grand Piano, Crystal Piano, Celesta, Glockenspiel, Xylophone, Tubular Bells, Dulcimer (Santur), Percussive Organ, Church Organ, Reed Organ, Harmonica, Bandoneon, Clean Guitar, Muted Guitar, Overdrive Guitar, Slap Bass 2, Synth Bass 1, Violin, Tremolo Strings, Orchestral Harp, Strings Ensemble 1, Strings Ensemble 2, Synth Strings 2, Choir Aahs, Voice Oohs, Trombone, Tuba, Muted Trumpet, Brass Section, Synth Brass 2, Flute, Recorder, Pan Flute, Blown Bottle, Shakuhachi, Charang, 5th Saw Wave, Bass & Lead, Poly Synth, Metal Pad, Sweep Pad, Crystal, Atmosphere, Echo Drops, Star Theme, Sitar, Banjo, Koto, Tinkle Bell, Steel Drums, Taiko Drum, Helicopter, Standard Drum Kit, Power Drum Kit, Jazz Drum Kit, Orchestral Drum Kit|
|Fluid (15)||Frank Wen||DrawBar Organ, Steel String Guitar, Synth Voice, French Horns, Soprano Sax, Bassoon, Space Voice, Metal Pad, Echo Drops, Agogo, Melodic Tom, Reverse Cymbal, Telephone, Applause, Brush Drum Kit|
|Creative (14)||Creative Labs.||Clavinet, Harmonica, Jazz Guitar, Baritone Sax, English Horns, Square Wave, Saw Wave, Bass & Lead, Sitar, Shamisen, Bag Pipe, Fiddle, Shannai, Steel Drums|
|Roland D-50 (10)||Marimba, Tremolo Strings, Shakuhachi, Synth Calliope, Fantasia (New Age), Sweep Pad, Sound Track, Crystal, Atmosphere, Brightness|
|Unknown source (10)||Rock Organ, Fretless Bass, Synth Bass 2, Pizzicato Strings, Synth Brass 1, Solo Voice, Halo Pad, Sea Shore, Bird Tweets, Gun Shot|
|Gravis UltraSound (9)||Advanced Gravis Computer Technology||Synth Bass 1, Synth Bass 2, Synth Voice, Blown Bottle, Synth Calliope, Chiffer Lead, Fantasia (New Age), Goblin, Breath Noise|
|Korg X5DR (9)||Maxime Abbey||Rock Piano, Honky-Tonk Piano, DrawBar Organ, Percussive Organ, Acoustic Bass, Orchestra Hit, Whistle, Metal Pad, Brightness|
|Roland U-20 (7)||Electric Piano, Crystal Piano, Shakuhachi, Synth Calliope, Fantasia (New Age), Crystal, Atmosphere|
|Amiga (4)||Muted Guitar, Overdrive Guitar, Synth Bass 2, Orchestra Hit|
|Cadenza (4)||Joe Gunawan||Violin, Viola, Cello, ContraBass|
|Clean Vibraphone (4)||Music Box, Vibraphone, Bowed Glass, Crystal|
|Fairlight (4)||Fairlight||Space Voice, Sound Track, Echo Drops, Synth Drum|
|Matrix Strings (4)||E-MU||Synth Strings 1, Warm Pad, Sound Track, Atmosphere|
|Mega Sound Bank (4)||Danny Kim||Distortion Guitar, Guitar Harmonics, Synth Bass 2, Guitar Fret Noise|
|Solo (4)||Violin, Viola, Cello, ContraBass|
|Crisis (3)||Chris "Crisis" Maricourt||Room Drum Kit, Electronic Drum Kit, Fix Room Drum Kit|
|Korg M1 (3)||Pan Flute, Ice Rain, Kalimba|
|Roland MT-32 (3)||Maxime Abbey||Fretless Bass, Ocarina, MT-32 Drum Kit|
|Sonido Media (3)||Sonido Media||Clavinet, English Horns, Charang|
|Unison (3)||Peter Jevnisek||Timpani, Piccolo, Crystal|
|Campbell (2)||Campbell Barton||Xylophone, Rock Organ|
|DSCo (2)||Dinko Skukan||Overdrive Guitar, Distortion Guitar|
|FantaGM (2)||SeungGaul Jang / Jchyun System Co.||Tubular Bells, English Horns|
|FM-Song (2)||Achraf Cherti||Bowed Glass, Metal Pad|
|J.G. Pronk (2)||J.G. Pronk||Slap Bass 1, Slap Bass 2|
|Jackson's (2)||Jack Butler||Overdrive Guitar, Distortion Guitar|
|Joe's Clean Electric Guitar (2)||Joe||Clean Guitar, Metal Pad|
|Johannes Roussel (2)||Johannes Roussel||Electric Piano, Rock Organ|
|Kurzweil K2500 (2)||Honky-Tonk Piano, Voice Oohs|
|Maes(t)ro Velocity Nylon Guitars (2)||Mats Helgesson||Nylon Guitar, Atmosphere|
|Microsoft Software Wavetable Synthesizer (GM.DLS) (2)||Microsoft Corporation / Roland Corporation||Fretless Bass, Pizzicato Strings|
|Nando Florestan (2)||Nando Florestan||Choir Aahs, Trumpet|
|Natural Oboe (2)||Dalibor Grubacevic||Oboe, Shannai|
|Public domain (2)||Alto Sax, Tenor Sax|
|Roland SC-8850 (2)||Maxime Abbey||Fingered Bass, Synth Bass 2|
|Yamaha Clavinova (2)||Güray Dere||Orchestral Harp, Atmosphere|
||<amac (2)||Dejan Kamensek||Overdrive Guitar, Distortion Guitar|
|60s Heavy Guitar (1)||Toni Näppi||Overdrive Guitar|
|Sound Blaster/AdLib OPL FM (1)||Maxime Abbey||Music Box|
|All-in-One GM (1)||Toru Inahama||TR-808/909 Drum Kit|
|Analoguesque (1)||Analoguesque Sound Designs||Saw Wave|
|Angel Pure (1)||Clarinet|
|Aspirin 160 (1)||Fretless Bass|
|Fender Stratocaster (1)||Overdrive Guitar|
|German8 Harpsichord (1)||Harpsichord|
|Gibson L-5 Jazz Guitar (1)||ncs / thejazzpage.de||Jazz Guitar|
|Harpsichord MT Clavicembalo 8'I (1)||Harpsichord|
|James Bowden (1)||James Bowden||Recorder|
|Janszen's Ibanez Picked Bass (1)||Jeremy Janszen||Picked Bass|
|Kawai K5000 (1)||Crystal|
|Music Man GM-GS (1)||John L. Brunk||Shakuhachi|
|Natural Sitar (1)||Sitar|
|RealSound GS (1)||Daniel R. Careri (Neumann)||Overdrive Guitar|
|Roland 64-Voice XP-30 Piano SoundFont (1)||Bright Piano|
|Roland Sound Canvas (1)||Maxime Abbey||Wood Block|
|Roland XP-10 Acoustic Bass (1)||J. Mehrtens||Acoustic Bass|
|Roland XP-50 Piano (1)||Matias Rockas||Rock Piano|
|Stavi (1)||Aren Stavi||Violin|
|TS-Station (1)||TS-Station||Bowed Glass|
|Vibrato Wind Flute (1)||Flute|
|WT Clarinet (1)||Wang Tao||Clarinet|
|Yamaha DX7 (1)||Star Theme|
|Yamaha MU1000 (1)||Maxime Abbey||Saw Wave|
Find all the information you need about Arachno SoundFont, and discover arrangements made with this bank.
Links to download audio software which will greatly help you while working with SoundFonts or MIDI.
Third-party individuals mentioned here had a big influence on the development of Arachno SoundFont or its documentation.
Need more sounds and samples to enhance this SoundFont or own music compositions?
Websites where you can download various MIDI files to experiment with SoundFonts.
These websites are very helpful when you need advice or general information on audio technology.
If you need information and drivers for your SoundFont audio hardware, check this out.
You can contact me from my website, or at the following address: contact (@) arachnosoft.com
The future of Arachno SoundFont will be relative to the amount of feedback I'll get about it. As of today, I'm still interested by SoundFont technology, but I don't have any plans to enhance Arachno SoundFont unless people want me to do so; this first release is strong enough to fulfill my needs, despite of some flaws on a few instruments, as described in the Preset list section.
That said, I'm not satisfied by the lack of support from Creative about all known problems related to SoundFont reproduction (as described in the About drivers section). Because there are too few people to complain about it, Creative is quite reluctant to update their soundcard drivers to provide a durable fix. Therefore, if you feel concerned about these problems, I strongly invite you to participate to the Creative Labs Support Forums: MIDI/SoundFont problems with X-Fi thread on the Creative Support Forums, to express your point of view.
If you wish to improve Arachno SoundFont, feel free to do so! I'd simply ask you to contact me if you want to publish or distribute any derived SoundFont or sound bank based on Arachno SoundFont. I'd also love to hear your suggestions about any replacement preset you'd like to put in a particular slot.
There are much other information I could also deliver about Arachno SoundFont. But as I'm not sure that many people are still being much interested by SoundFonts nowadays, I'd first like to hear from you! Any feedback on Arachno SoundFont would be greatly appreciated. If you have ANY remark or suggestion about the sounds used in Arachno SoundFont, an audio sample or example to provide, some settings to share, or any other subject that could help to enhance and complete this documentation, feel free to drop me a line or two.
A modern CSS-compliant Web browser (e.g. Opera, Safari, Firefox, Internet Explorer 8+...) is required to display this documentation properly, under a recommended minimum screen resolution of 1280 horizontal pixels.
For your information, this documentation has been built using self-made PHP/MySQL scripts. The layout is inspired from the excellent Titanic SoundFont documentation, by Luke Sena. Many thanks to him!
All screenshots are my own work, and most of the icons and pictures are from the FindIcons.com website.
I'd love to hear from you! If you have made anything using Arachno SoundFont that you'd like to share (audio tracks, EAX presets, MIDI files...), I'd very glad to know it!
Countless hours, days, and weeks have been spent on this project, to search for interesting instruments, sounds and tones, to integrate them into a global bank, tweak them and test them on a lot of MIDI files.
Arachno SoundFont is being distributed for FREE, for your own personal listening pleasure and audio production needs. Anyway, if you think that my work deserves any financial support, you can donate me any amount of money from my website: Make a secure donation through PayPal.
Thanks for your interest in my SoundFont! Hope to hear from you soon.