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Definition: Soundfont

A file format that contains samples of musical instruments as well as support for numerous music parameters. Soundfonts enhance MIDI playback, because unlike the General MIDI standard, which describes how one hears the sound, Soundfonts include actual digitized sound waves stored in wave tables (wave table synthesis). Synthesizers, computer sound cards and other music generators support Soundfonts, which were developed in the early 1990s by E-mu Systems and Creative Labs. See MIDI.

SF2 and SF3
Created in 1996, Soundfont 2.0 files superseded the original Soundfont format, adding stereo and refining its behavior. Developed by MusicScore, SF3 is like SF2 with samples stored in the OGG format.

The SFZ format is a group of files comprising a text description file and a series of WAV or FLAC samples.