Free SoundFonts - Free Quality SoundFonts (sf2) - bs-16i SoundFonts

This aim of this site is to provide high quality SoundFonts that can be played using a midi keyboard connected to a computer, tablet or smart phone. Emphasis has been placed on real or acoustic instruments particularly piano and other favourites for keyboard players (pads, strings, electric pianos, organs and orchestral) but some SoundFonts here also include high quality guitars, some synths and ethnic instruments. There is also a nice GM set for playing general midi files.

News: -December 5, 2016: All of the Salamander Pianos have now been edited to have very low latency
             -December 9, 2016: New compact versions of Salamander Pianos at just 237mb and Upright Pianos at 219mb
             -December 16, 2016: Improvements to Steinway Pianos with improved dynamics
             
Download from the links below:
Hardware suitability descriptions relate to iOS devices (iPhone/iPad) but most PC's will be able to play all of them.

Full Keys (Pianos, EPs, Pads, Strings, Orchestra, Synth and Organs):
These first four sets include all instruments on this site [plus the piano(s) of your choice] except guitars and the general midi SoundFont.

1) Full Keys Including Salamander, Uprights and Steinways-   *Recommended Full Comprehensive Instrument Set*
A large set requiring iPhone 6s/iPad Air 2 minimum. A full compliment of keys performance sounds (Pads, Strings, EPs, orchestra, organs etc.) plus all three pianos (Salamander Yamaha C5, Steinways and Uprights). These first sets are for playing individual instruments - if you want a GM set scroll down to the General Midi section.
Google Drive Link sf2:
OneDrive Link sf2:
Nice-Keys-CompletePlus-JNv1.5   (Alternative download link)

2) Full Keys Including Salamander and Upright Pianos-   
A slightly smaller set with two pianos included plus all the other performance sounds. For iPhone 6s/iPad Air 2 recommended.
Google Drive Link sf2:
Nice-Keys-Complete-JNv1.2   (749mb)   
OneDrive Link sf2:
Nice-Keys-Complete-JNv1.2   (Alternative download link)


3) Full Keys Including Steinway Pianos-
Lower Ram requirements for this set with one piano plus the performance sounds. Recommend iPhone 5/iPad Air.
Google Drive sf2:
OneDrive Link sf2:
Nice-Keys-PlusSteinway-JNv2.0  (Alternative download link)

4) Full Keys with Small Piano  For small Ram devices (excludes the detailed pianos but includes the smaller Steinway B's and Nice-Instruments)-
Google Drive sf2:

5) Small Set and Small Piano  For smaller Ram devices as above but excludes Nice Instruments but contains a smaller instrument set.
Google Drive sf2:
Nice-Keys-B-JNv1.5   (148mb)


Guitars:
Suits most devices-
1) Full Guitars *Recommended Guitar Set*
Includes acoustic and electric guitars. These guitars are not included in any other sets on this site.
Dropbox Link sf2:
Guitars Universal 1.4   (150mb) 
Google Drive sf2:
Guitars Universal 1.4  (Alternative download link)
Compressed zip Google Drive:
3) Electric Guitars JNv4.3      (66mb)


General Midi:
1) SGM With Improved Acoustic Guitars
A High Quality GM Soundfont but small enough for most iPhones/iPads- *Recommended GM Set For Backing Your Keys Performance*
Google Drive Link sf2:  
SGMv2.01-JN-SMPv1.1  (262mb)  
OneDrive Link sf2:
SGMv2.01-JN-SMPv1.1   (Alternative download link)

2) SGM With Acoustic Guitars and Steinways
The following one is a larger version GM SoundFont including quality Steinway pianos- 
Google Drive Link sf2:
SGMv2.01-SMP-Stein-JNv1.0   (441mb)   
OneDrive Link sf2:
SGMv2.01-SMP-Stein-JNv1.0   (Alternative download link)

3) SGM With Acoustic Guitars and Salamander Pianos 
The most detailed GM SoundFont.  Includes the Salamander Pianos as well as the high quality Acoustic  Guitars- 
*Recommended GM Set For Backing your Guitar/Singing Performance*
Google Drive Link sf2:
SGMv2.01-SMP-Sal-JNv1.3   (480mb) *New January 2, 2017*
OneDrive Link sf2:
SGMv2.01-SMP-Sal-JNv1.3   (Alternative download link)

Piano:
1) Salamander, Steinways and Upright Pianos
*Recommended Piano Set*  (New December 12, 2016)
This set has all three of the best pianos available in a size that can be handled by most devices (recommend iPhone 5/iPad Air or 3 onward).  Needlessly long samples have been shortened but looping only happens at almost inaudible trailing ends of samples (many after 20s).  If you are looking for a quality set with different piano types to choose from then this is the one. This set is already included in the Nice-Keys-CompletePlus set.
Google Drive Link sf2:
OneDrive Link sf2:
Sal-Stein-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.5   (Alternative download link)
Dropbox Link sf2:
Sal-Stein-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.5  (Alternative download link)

2) Salamander Plus Upright Pianos
Two versatile and high quality pianos (Salamanders and Uprights) in one set.

Version A - Long samples unlooped.  Salamanders have 15 velocity levels and Uprights have 6 levels.
Choose this set if you have a large ram device (iPhone 6s/iPad Air 2 minimum).
Google Drive Link sf2:


Version B- Almost no difference in sound quality but samples looped at tail ends. Salamanders and Uprights have 6 velocity levels. Suits smaller Ram devices or if you want to limit Ram usage. This set is already included in the Nice-Keys-Complete set.
Google Drive Link sf2:

3) Steinway Pianos 
Version A - Meduim sized with very long samples.
Google Drive sf2:
Version B -   Compact size with same lovely sound.
Google Drive Link sf2:
This piano is already included in the Nice-Keys-PlusSteinway set.

4) Salamander Grand Yamaha C5
Version A - Medium sized, high quality and suits most devices. Modified for sf2 with 15 velocity layers, various brightness levels and optional resonance.
Google Drive Link sf2:
OneDrive Link sf2:
SalamanderCompact-sf2mod-JNv3.0   (Alternative download link)

Version B - Small sized and great for smaller ram devices or to keep ram usage to a minimum.  Has 6 velocity layers, various brightness levels and optional resonance. Sounds almost identical to Version A but more compact.
Google Drive Link sf2:

5) Upright Piano
Version A -  A great upright piano with 6 expressive velocity layers and long samples. Suits lots of genres including Jazz, Bar Room, Honky Tonk etc.
Google Drive Link sf2:

Version B - A compact version of the above that has been looped at the tail ends.  Still has 6 velocity layers and sounds the same but uses much less Ram.
Google Drive Link sf2:

6) Combined Salamander and Steinway Pianos- 
Contains both full versions of Salamanders and Steinways in one set. Minimum iPhone 6s/iPad Air 2.
Google Drive Link sf2:

7) Compact Small Ram SGM Piano:
This one is a very compact piano for small Ram devices-
Google Drive Link sf2:
Steinway B-JNv2.0     (33mb)

Electric Pianos:
Google Drive sf2:
1)  Rhodes EPs Plus-JN1.5   (50mb)
Compressed zip:
2)  Rhodes EP-JN1.1   (12mb)


Various Instruments:
Suits most devices-
Dropbox Link sf2:
Google Drive sf2:
Nice-Instruments-JNv1.5  (Alternative download link)




This project began as a quest to find a really good piano. Not even the expensive paid versions were satisfying to my ears.  Most had velocity switching problems and unpleasant tones. I came across the University of Iowa Steinway piano samples which were great but there was room for improvement in the SoundFonts available. My goal was to have a selection of piano and other instruments that were pleasant to play and to keep them available for free. Using SoundFont editing programs Polyphone and Viena I have done some editing to allow for expression to give a more enjoyable and realistic playing experience where timbre changes gradually with velocity where possible and without that annoying jump that is commonly found.
The SalamanderGrand (Yamaha C5) has by nature so many velocity samples that it already has a great expressive sound. I have normalised the samples and re-attenuated it to suit sf2 format and simplified it by leaving out some pedal noises and other non-critical sounds. Using Wavosaur I have removed the gaps at the front of the samples to greatly reduce latency.
 
Recommended Apps for iPhone/iPad:
SoundFonts can be played on just about any device but you do need a program that supports SoundFont sf2 files. With the greater availability of tablets and smart phones, the setup for playing them has now become a whole lot easier and a lot more portable.
One app I can recommend for playing these SoundFonts is bs-16i from bismark.  Large SoundFount files like Nice-Keys-CompletePlus have been tested and run perfectly on iPad Air2 and iPhone 6s. I have not tested them on lower spec devices.
To load a downloaded SoundFont to bs-16i in Safari from OneDrive/GoogleDrive/Dropbox choose Open in...bs16-i or alternatively use iTunes to Add the file in apps, documents and navigate to the file.
A great app for playing and basic editing of general midi files is Sweet Midi Player which includes a lyric viewer for midis with lyrics/chords.

Tips for Nice-Keys Soundfonts:
If you are using the bs-16i or similar app try changing the Rx. Channel for say the first 8 channels all to 1. You will then have 8 easily accessible sounds to play at the touch of the Solo/Mute button. You can then mix for instance piano and pads together. Alternatively you could leave the channels 1 to 16 and use channel select to choose your favorite sounds. Tip: load drums from the included GM SoundFont to channel 10. To play two sounds together just put them on the same channel. This is handy for pianos where you can add the level of resonance you prefer. When layering sounds with piano choose the non resonance piano versions (available in all the SoundFonts) to avoid lack of polyphony problems.

I hope you enjoy these SoundFonts.
John Nebauer
(Forum names - Reuben/Jonky Ponky)

Update Notes:
2016
Site constructed April 2016
Steinway-Grand-Piano: May 8 doubled velocity filtering from 4 to 8.
Added Nice-Instruments-JNv1.0 August 3. Version 1.1 increased note range of some instruments and improved velocity expression. V1.3 added Chamber Strings and Full Strings.
Nice-Instruments-JNv1.4 Minor improvements to velocity switching in Chamber Strings and Violin.
SalamanderGrand-sf2mod added 28 September. Improved attenuation v1.6. Reduced size and added extra velocity curve v2.1. Optional Resonance added back v2.2. Improved resonance release v2.3.
v2.4 minor reduction in bass resonance.
Latency improved on Salamander Pianos and file size reduced in SalamanderCompact-sf2mod-JNv3.0 
Bright Upright now included in Nice-Upright-Piano-JNv1.3 and SalamanderPlusUprightPianos-JNv1.1.
Added SalamanderUltraCompact-JNv1.0 and Nice-Upright-Piano-Compact-JNv1.3 December 9, 2016.
Added the compact Salamanders and Uprights to Giga set creating Nice-Keys-Complete-JNv1.0.
Improved dynamics of Steinways in Nice-Keys-CompletePlus-JNv1.2, Sal-Stein-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.3, Nice-Steinways-Compact-JNv1.4, Combined-Nice-Pianos-JNv1.4, Nice-Steinways-JNv5.7 and Nice-Keys-PlusSteinways-JNv1.8.
Compacted the Steinway in SGMv2.01-SMP-Stein-JNv1.0 December 22, 2016.
Added FM-Acoustic Hybrid Pianos to Nice-Keys-CompletePlus-JNv1.3, Nice-Keys-Complete-JNv1.1 and Nice-Keys-PlusSteinway-JNv1.9 December 29.
2017
High Quality Salamander Pianos included in GM SoundFont SGMv2.01-SMP-Sal-JNv1.3 January 2.
Minor update to Upright Pianos for longer more natural decay in Nice-Keys-CompletePlus-JNv1.4, Nice-Keys-Complete-JNv1.2, Sal-Stein-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.4 and Salamander-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.1 January 12.
Extended key release on Steinways above key 89 in Nice-Keys-CompletePlus-JNv1.5, Nice-Keys-PlusSteinway-JNv2.0, Sal-Stein-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.5, Nice-Steinways-JNv5.8 and Nice-Steinways-Compact-JNv1.5  January 19.












More Information:




Nice-Keys-CompletePlus-JNv1.5  The most complete set on this site with three different piano types plus all the nice instruments.  All in a package of 943mb.  Pianos have different brightness and resonance settings available and all the nice instruments from EPs, Pads, Organs, Strings, Orchestra and Synths are included.  A printable link to the list of available instruments is here  Nice-Keys-CompletePlus-Instrument List
Nice-Keys-Complete-JNv1.2  A solid all-round performance set as above of 749mb including Salamander and Upright Pianos but excludes the Steinway Pianos.
Nice-Keys-PlusSteinway-JNv2.0  Has all the main performance sounds with one type of piano the Steinways.  This set a bit smaller at 495mb.  A printable link to the list of available instruments is here Nice-Keys-PlusSteinways-Instrument List
Nice-Keys-B-Plus-JN1.4  Same as above except the Steinways are replaced with a the more basic 33mb SGM piano. File size is 328mb.
Nice-Keys-B-JNv1.5  Same as the one above except the extended Nice Instruments are not included. Total size is 148mb.  A nice set and perfect for smaller Ram devices.







Guitars Universal 1.4  Combines the 2 guitar fonts below into a single SoundFont at 150mb.  Instrument List Guitars
Acoustic Guitars   Has 84mb of quality Steel, 12 String and Nylon Guitars. Quality Steel Guitar Samples from Keith Smith (www.keithsmith.ca).
Electric Guitars   Has 66mb of Electric Guitars ranging from Les Paul, Single Coil, Jazz, Distortion and Overdrive Guitars.
 



SGMv2.01-JN-SMPv1.1  Is a high quality 262mb General Midi SoundFont. Based on SGM-v2.01 (http://www.geocities.jp/shansoundfont/) with improved quality acoustic guitars and customised pianos and also designed to run on apps such as Sweet Midi Player. This is a great GM SoundFont and the one I use on iPad/iPhone and PC.  On PC you can install a new GM SoundFont using Coolsoft VirtualMIDISynth. 1gb of ram recommended.  You can comfortably run this GM Soundfont in Sweet Midi Player app as well as the largest performance Full Keys Set 1 in say bs-16i app at the same time on iPhone 6s/iPad Air 2.
SGMv2.01-SMP-Stein-JNv1.0   As above a General Midi SoundFont but includes also the high quality Steinway Piano. Great for listening to midi files or if you want quality piano backing. Size is 441mb with 180mb dedicated to the piano alone. A larger set but still runs on apps like Sweet Midi Player.
SGMv2.01-SMP-Sal-JNv1.3  A larger and more detailed General Midi SoundFont.  For quality backing/listening without compromise this is the GM set for you at 480mb in size with 230mb set aside for high quality Salamander Pianos plus also includes the high quality Acoustic Guitars.  The downside of using this GM set is that you may be more limited in what performance SoundFont you load at the same time depending on the Ram available on your device.  On iPhone 6s/Air 2 for instance you can load this GM Soundfont into say Sweet Midi Player app plus Set 2 of the Full Keys into say bs-16i but if you were to load Set 1 (the largest performance set) you may push your device past its Ram limitations.


Salamander Grands   The Salamander Grand Piano is a large detailed piano by Alexander Holm with 15 velocity layers (16 originally) and long samples.
(https://rytmenpinne.wordpress.com/sounds-and-such/salamander-grandpiano/) (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/). Some versions on this site have been carefully edited down to 6 velocity layers and looped at the almost inaudible tail ends to reduce Ram usage but the quality is almost indistinguishable.  They are based on a nicely sampled Yamaha C5 Grand. Samples have been normalised, re-attenuated, latency reduced and modified for sf2. Three brightness levels are available and optional resonance.
Sal-Stein-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.5   My favourite piano set with all three pianos (Yamaha C5 Salamanders, Steinways and Uprights) available to play at various brightness levels plus optional resonance.  The pianos have been compacted a little and the Salamanders have 6 carefully selected full range velocity layers rather than 15 but the sound is not compromised.  All samples are still very long (just not needlessly long). These are already included in the Nice-Keys-CompletePlus set.
SalamanderPlusUprightPianos-JNv1.1   A large set at 1030mb in size due to 15 velocity layers for the Salamanders and long samples for both pianos. There are various brightness levels of the different Salamander Pianos to choose from plus nice Upright Pianos using a different sample set.  All come with optional resonance effects.
Salamander-Uprights-UltraCompact-JNv1.0   Same as above but more compact (452mb) by looping faint tail ends and reducing velocity layers on the Salamander Pianos from 15 to 6.  Believe me there is almost no difference in sound to the above set! 
Nice-Steinways-JNv5.8   A beautiful long sampled Piano 376mb in size with 5 Presets - Classic, Studio, Medium, Bright and Honky-Tonk.
Samples were obtained from: http://www.anthonydeaton.com/philharmonic.html
Creative commons license
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/3.0/deed.en_US
Nice-Steinways-Compact-JNv1.5  Sounds the same as above and has the same number of velocity layers but long tail ends trimmed and looped at almost inaudible sections.
SalamanderCompact-sf2mod-JNv3.0  Arguably the best free piano on the internet and better than many of the expensive ones as well. Modified for sf2 with three brightness levels, two velocity curves and optional resonance at 592mb in size.  This version has 15 velocity layers.
SalamanderUltraCompact-JNv1.1   A much smaller 237mb version of the above piano but sounds almost the same with full expressiveness over the velocity range.  You will be pleasantly surprised at the quality of this relatively small Ram piano. This version has 6 velocity layers.
Nice-Upright-Piano-sf2-JNv1.3  One of the best upright pianos with 6 velocity layers, lots of expression and a bit of grit and imperfection.
Nice-Upright-Piano-Compact-JNv1.3    The same as above but looped and uses much less Ram.  
Combined-Nice-Pianos-JNv1.4  Contains the Salamanders and Nice Steinways in one set at 962mb in size. This set has the full 15 layered Salamanders and very long samples for both pianos.
Steinway B-JNv2.0 is a compact (33mb) yet nice piano with three presets. Based on SGM piano samples with a little more expression.



















Rhodes EPs Plus-JN1.5 Is an extended 50mb version of the Rhodes EP, plus also includes a DX7, Clavinets, Wurlitzer, Electric Grand and Harpsichord.
These are already included in all the Nice-Keys-** SoundFonts.

Rhodes EP is a nice expressive 8 layer 12mb Electric Piano with the classic Rhodes sound including slow and fast tremolo settings.
 

Nice-Instruments-JNv1.5  Is a set of 200mb containing various expressive instruments including Flute, Sax, Trumpet, Violin, Chamber Strings, Banjo, Mandolin, Bagpipes, Sitar and Moog Synth.  Sounds have been edited to place emphasis on dynamics and responsiveness to touch. These are already included in the main Full Keys sets.





Audio Samples of SoundFonts (on Soundcloud)
General Midi SGMv2.01-JN-SMPv1.0
Showcasing basic SGM Piano:

Detailed GM SoundFont SGMv2.01-SMP-JNv1.3
Showcasing the included detailed Salamander Piano:

SGMv2.01-SMP-Stein-JNv1.0
Showcasing Steinway Piano

Steinway Grand Piano

Expressive Strings (included in Nice-Keys SoundFonts)

Some fiddling on some Nice-Instruments

Salamander Grand - Some tinkering with the Bright version with Resonance On

Salamander Grand playing Chopin Prelude in Em

Live Recording with Salamander Piano accompaniment 


Acknowledgements
The basis for the Steinway is from
htpp://www.anthonydeaton.com/philharmonic.html creative commons licence and samples were sourced from University of Iowa.  Extra presets, tonal adjustments and extra velocity filtering layers have been added by myself.
The Salamander Grand made by Alexander Holm (details above) who sampled his Yamaha C5 Grand and is quite well known for having a great sound. Most sf2/sfz versions seem to be lacking the proper dynamics, have latency problems or have been oversimplified. This sf2 version has addressed these issues yet retains its essential character including optional resonance but removes other non-essential sounds such as pedal noises.
The acoustic steel guitar was made by Keith Smith (www.keithsmith.ca) who graciously allowed me to use it. Extra presets, velocity filtering and some other changes have been made.
SSO Strings (Sonatina Symphonic Orchestra) is a creative commons licensed library. For violin, chamber strings and flute I have taken several of the instrument samples and layered them together to allow for expressive playing over the velocity range. Flute SSO for example contains soft, hard and overblown samples from SSO. To create chamber strings I have used bass strings, cello, expressive violin and viola over certain ranges of the keyboard.
Other sounds are the pick of the best that are freely available on the net and have been edited mainly to give better dynamics or layered with other sounds.
Happy playing,
John N

Comments/Suggestions/Problems
Email: enquirysoundfonts4u@gmail.com

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