Sample upload, managing and ethernet connection?

Hello ! Newbie wannabe Zynthianist here…
Zynthian looks amazing. I’ve been searching for a proper polyphonic sampler that I can use in gigs for a long long time. I now have a possibility to get one, but before I do I’d like to clarify a few things. Although, I’ve been reading about Zynthian a lot, I somehow can’t wrap my head around these things:

  • do I have to prepare my sampled instruments in SF2, GIG or SFZ format ? There is no possibility to just load sample set files in .wav format (C1note.wav, C2note. wav, etc.) right?

  • Is it possible to make my own sampled instrument presets for easy access when playing live ? I’ve been reading here on forum that it takes a while to load a patch. I’d like to have, let’s say, 5 - 10 prepared patches that I can easily change between songs with a single scroll or button press like it is on most synths when changing presets. Is it possible?

  • Is the sample upload possible only through ethernet? I don’t have a computer with ethernet anymore and I don’t use any router for wifi in my studio. I just use a hotspot from my phone. Also, having backup on a usb stick or SD card would be more reliable if something has to be updated / changed during the time when Zynthian is on tour.

Hello !

i don’t think my way is the most efficient, but i can explain to you my method :

  • I personnaly use Fluidsynth, it’s a SF2 player, I use it because I heard that Linuxsampler and SFZ in general use a lot of CPU, so I prefer SF2. SF2 is stereo.

  • I create my synth with my wavs with Apple Logic Pro with the sampler integrated, it’s created a EXS24 file.
    After that I use Awave Studio to convert to SF2.
    A SF2 file is a unique file but it can integrate one or multiple synths. When upload to zynthian, you load your SF2 and all the instruments included will be loaded.

  • Awave Studio is a proprietary expensive software, Polyphone, Viena sound font editor (free) can make SF2 too. You can use Polyphone or Viena to create your own synth with your wav samples, without Logic Pro (it’s just easier for me).

  • To upload to Zynthian, it’s very simple. The best way is to use zynthian to create a hotspot, i don’t have my zynthian in front of me, but you just have to go to “Admin”, and to check “Wifi Hotspot”.
    Connect your computer to “zynthian” Network, and go to zynthian.local, from the webconf you will be able to load your SF2, in Library>Presets>FluidSynth
    Or you can just connect your zynthian and your computer to the same wifi network (your phone hotspot), but it will not be as efficient as zynthian Hotspot (less speed).

Hope it can help !
Sorry for my weird english :slight_smile:

Edit: Sorry, didn’t notice you didn’t have Zynthian yet.

  • Yes, you need to prepare an SF2 (or SFZ) file to play your sampled instruments. I don’t think we have any other suitable solutions to play with samples.

  • If you create a single SF2 with all your 10 instruments, you can change it very quickly and easily on live performance.
    With FluidSynth, when you load your big SF2 (with 10 instruments), you have to wait a bit (1 minute max or less), but then it’s stored in RAM! so all your instruments will load instantly after this step!

  • As I said, you can use Zynthian’s Wifi Hotspot to charge your SF2 in Zynthian without Ethernet.

Edit2 : Add “SF2 is stereo” and “Viena for editing the soundfont”, thanks to @riban and @scro Scro

And read this, the zynthian wiki can help a lot !

And you can test my own SF2, I made a zip archive :

SF2 supports multiple channels as does Fluidsynth.

Much of the workflow described by @Tabula can be done with open source and / or free software on most of the major platforms.

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Sf2 can handle stereo, and you can build sf2 files on a PC with the free Viena sound font editor (different from Vienna, which does a similar job)

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wow, this is extremely helpful, couldn’t ask for more! thanks a lot, all clear now!

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