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Turn any sound into a playable instrument

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Enjoy a soundfont editor with powerful tools

Polyphone is a free and open-source software for creating and editing musical instruments based on audio samples, using the SoundFont format. It is compatible with the file extensions .sf2, .sf3, .sfz, .sfArk and .grandOrgue. Thanks to the framework Qt with which it is developped, different platforms are supported and several translations have been provided. More than a simple editor, Polyphone has been designed to efficiently deal with big sets of instruments involving a large amount of data.

Import and prepare sound samples

The first step is to import audio samples, which can be provided by different sources over the Internet. You can also create your own samples by recording them or generating them using an external synthesizer.

Once imported into Polyphone, you will be able to prepare them as a prior step to the design of the instruments. For example:

  • filtering out some frequencies or noise,
  • defining a loop to extend the duration of the sample,
  • tuning.

Many algorithms in the field of signal processing are used for pitch detection, resampling, real-time filtering or even evaluating the quality of a loop.

The sample preparation is detailled in this tutorial.

Design instruments

The samples are then distributed across the entire range of the instruments, from bass to treble, and each division of this range is configurable. Several parameters are available such as: attenuation, transposition, pan, filters, ADSR envelopes, modulations, …

To save time and prevent errors, many tools will help you configure these parameters. Each tool can be applied to several instruments simultaneously and it is thus possible to carry out operations like:

  • an automatic distribution of divisions according to keys,
  • a progressive attenuation of high pitches,
  • transpositions,
  • a random detuning,
  • a sound spatialization according to patterns.

Some tools can even create instruments made of combinations of sounds to form chords. The full list of tools can be found here.

Check the parameters

Tables are designed to provide an overview of all items contained in a soundfont.

When viewing the list of all samples, you will be able to detect at first glance that some loops are set incorrectly or that a sample is not long enough.

When viewing the list of all instruments, erroneous configurations such as missing parameters, additional modulators or inconsistent key ranges are pointed out.

Play the instruments

Polyphone comes with a sound engine fully compliant with version 2.04 of the SoundFont specifications and all instruments opened in the software can be played with the virtual keyboard or an external MIDI device. If necessary, a solo mode will help you adjust the parameters of an instrument comprising several sound layers.

The audio output can be interfaced with almost all sound servers including ASIO or JACK.

A recorder is also included to record what you play with Polyphone.

Customize the interface

For better accessibility, Polyphone has been translated into several languages (the current status of each translation can be viewed on this page) and you can change the way the keys are named.

Additionally, you can change the appearance of Polyphone using your own colors or by selecting one of the predefined color themes.


Take advantage of a large technical support

Browse the documentation

All features of Polyphone are described in the documentation. Tutorials are also written so that you can easily start creating your first instrument.

Visit the forum

If you get stuck, a forum is available to help you. It′s also a place to share musical experiments, suggest improvements for Polyphone or report any bugs you may have found.

Share instruments with the online repository

Discover the soundfont repository

Many soundfonts are listed and downloadable in the online repository and you are free to share your own instruments there. The repository is also accessible directly from Polyphone with a lifetime Premium account which it is possible to have for a small financial contribution.

Get involved in the project

Make a donation

Polyphone is free but there are costs associated with its website and development. A small donation will help a lot.

Help with translations

To be more accessible, Polyphone and its documentation can be translated into several languages. You can start a new translation or complete an existing one.

Explore the code

The sources of Polyphone are hosted on GitHub. Developpers can help in fixing bugs, implementing or improving features.

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