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How To: Soundfonts In Garageband
December 24, 2006 | by robotpantyraid

First off, you'll need to download a free soundfont from online (links below).

Please make sure it is .sf2 extension and not a compressed soundfont (.sfark, .sfa, .sfpack, etc. ) Compressed soundfonts must be decompressed into .sf2 with additional software (which yes, is free).

Be aware that not all soundfonts work with Garageband. From what I'm understand there are two types of Banks GM and GS.

"GM stands for General Midi. It is a standard containing 128 patches (sounds). This standard ensures that if you have selected a brite piano on any GM device you will get that sound. The standard is described on the MMA (MIDI Manufacturers Association) pages.

GS is a Roland standard which can be thought of as GM + additional sounds. So there are more patches (sounds) then in the GM standard. These additional sounds can be used using bank selection via a sequencer." - from

The Soundfonts where you have to select the bank/preset you want to use do not work with Garageband and some of the other Soundfont with default sound banks that are not set to the bank number that Garageband reads will not work either. So you may infact download a Soundfont that doesn't work. It's really all trial and error with them at this point.

Once you have downloaded the soundfont drop the .sf2 file in the

Then launch Garageband.

Select/create a software instrument. Get you track information making sure details are showing. Under generator in the drop-down menu find dlsmusicdevice on the list and select it. Hit the edit/pencil button to the right. Undersound bank, select your soundfont.

Test it. If this works you can then go back into the category that you would like the sound in and reselect the soundfont and save it using the Save Instrument tab at the bottom. This gives you much quicker access and it will now work like the built in instruments.

An alternative method is buying the Soundfont Synth plugin. I've never used this so I can not say anything about it.

Two huge soundfont websites are and hammersound, they should get you started. If you need more, hammersound has tons of links. If you are looking for something particular, search Google.

To exact/decompress .sfpack files use sfpack.

To exact/decompress .sfark or .sfa files, use sfark.

The Soundfonts may also come in .zip , .rar , .exe, and .arj. Stuffit expander will work for most of these.

This article was contributed by iCompositions artist robotpantyraid


Hexachord Listener

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I also found some good drum soundfonts at some are free and others you have to pay for.
Artist Page Send Message December 27, 2006 | 4:09 pm
hendrix74 Listener

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HomeMusician.Net also has a huge load of soundfonts and midi files:

Free soundfonts:

Free MIDI files:
Artist Page Send Message April 9, 2007 | 12:37 am

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