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Re: [fluid-dev] Windows SoundFont VSTi's

From: David Henningsson
Subject: Re: [fluid-dev] Windows SoundFont VSTi's
Date: Wed, 07 Nov 2012 09:04:32 +0100
User-agent: Mozilla/5.0 (X11; Linux x86_64; rv:16.0) Gecko/20121028 Thunderbird/16.0.2

On 10/31/2012 08:28 AM, S. Christian Collins wrote:
I've downloaded them all... every single SoundFont-compatible VSTi I
could find, and not a single one of them comes anywhere close to the
accurate SoundFont reproduction of FluidSynth. Apparently, nobody else
bothers to support SoundFont 2.1 modulators.

I want to give high praise to all of the programmers and contributors
who have made FluidSynth such a terrific SoundFont synth. To my
knowledge, FluidSynth and the Sound Blaster Audigy series stand alone as
the most perfect implementations of the SoundFont spec. The Live! never
had proper 2.1 modulator support and the X-Fi synth had so many bugs, it
was unusable!

I have been using SoundFonts for all of my custom sampling work for
years (since 1994), and I have tried a lot of SoundFont-capable hardware
and software. As the hardware solutions are going the way of the dodo, I
think it is safe to proclaim FluidSynth as the current king of all
SoundFont synths!

Unfortunately, most people will never get to use it for one simple
reason: FluidSynth does not exist in a popular plugin form such as VST.
I understand the licensing issues that have prevented the creation of a
VST instrument based on FluidSynth, but I am running into the hard, cold
reality that there are no good SoundFont synths available in VST form to
use in my music production workflow. Most of my music projects now must
be accomplished in Windows, and trying to use FluidSynth (or Qsynth) as
standalone applications alongside my music software is painful, to say
the least. I am having to consider other sampling platforms because of this.

Is there any chance that the developers of FluidSynth would be
interested in modifying the license to allow a VST to be an option,
perhaps something like what LinuxSampler does? I think it would do a lot
for the long-term viability of the FluidSynth project. In its current
state, it is simply too cumbersome to use in my workflow, and many
others will feel the same way and never give it the time of day. This is
a terrible shame for such a wonderful synthesizer.

These are my thoughts at 2:23 in the morning... :)

These are my thoughts at more than a week after the rest of you :-)

I agree that FluidSynth is definitely missing a VSTi and/or LV2 shell. It shouldn't be too difficult to just wrap qsynth and FluidSynth together and bundle as either VSTi or LV2. Now if we could just find somebody to do the work :-)

As for the licensing issue - with the IANAL disclaimer - I think it should be solvable by creating a tiny wrapper library, that would be BSD licensed or similar, between the LGPL FluidSynth code and the proprietary VST license. (This is also what our Licensing FAQ says currently.)

// David

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