SoundFonts are a file format that uses sample-based synthesis to play MIDI files.
Developed in the early 1990s by E-mu Systems and Creative Labs, its first use was on the Sound Blaster AWE32; an ISA sound card that supported some of the first MIDI configuration.
You will always see SoundFonts in PCM format, which is a specific file format that allows the SoundFonts to be read by sample-based MIDI synths.
In some ways, this file format is a lot like text typing fonts.
A text font will take the words and phrases inputted into a computer and give it a new look.
Similarly, they’re used to select different types of audio modulated by midi notes. Think of the MIDI notes as the “letters” and the audio as the “new look”.
This file format has a wide range of sonic possibilities. It can be as simple as a new wavetable instrument set or even as complex and in-depth as the vocals for a song.
Some SoundFonts will have a cheesy old school sound that is pretty outdated for modern electronic music.
However, there are a few gems in these packs that can really aid in production.
For instance, some include full drum kits that are preloaded with tons of drum and percussion samples or even full orchestral SoundFont kits that include high quality, studio recorded samples.
Luckily, there are tons of FREE files available on the internet.
Once you have downloaded your favorite ones, all you have to do is load the file into a SoundFont player. Then you’ll be ready to start making a beat or song in minutes.
DAWs such as FruityLoops already have a player ready for you to use.
Kontakt by Native Instruments also supports SoundFonts and is a phenomenal plugin overall.
Additionally, free SoundFont VST Synthesizers are also available online!
Instead of having to search for all of them on your own time though, we’ve compiled a master list for you.
Grab your headphones or power on your monitors, because it’s time to start downloading and creating with this ultimate list of the best free SoundFonts of 2017!
20 FL Studio Synths by FLStudioMusic.com
This pack contains 20 different synths for you to use in electro, trance, or any kind of dance music.
32 JR Synths by FLStudioMusic.com
A raw synth collection by FL Studio Music.
Some are simple but can be easily manipulated with effects.
11 Synth Basses by Breity’s Free Instruments
A small collection of oldschool synths and basses.
30 Synth SoundFonts by RKHive.com
Another raw synth collection for you to add to your toolkit.
Awesome for any sub-genre of electronic music.
Hip Hop & Trap SoundFonts
126 FL Studio Hip Hop SoundFonts by FLStudioMusic.com
Huge hip hop collection of sounds covering a large palette, from bass to drums, guitars, and many more!
Viral Massacre Kit by Johnny Juliano
A free drum kit featuring 60 one shot samples and 3 custom instruments (SF2 format).
Sounds for Beats by Compifont
12 cool samples that are great for hard hittin’ hip hop beats.
BeatsbyVictory by FLStudioMusic.com
This download only includes one lead synth, but it also comes filled with drum hits, effects, and synth sounds in WAV format.
Piano & Organ
25 Free Piano SoundFonts by FLStudioMusic.com
A nice collection of free piano sounds in SF2 format.
19 Piano SoundFonts by Merlin
Stated as one of the best providers for high quality SoundFonts, Merlin brings a solid collection of Piano samples
Piano Bechstein by Merlin
Another great piano collection by Merlin.
Piano-Y by Merlin
A large piano sample that sounds like a Clavinova.
Steinway Grand D by Merlin
A sample of the Steinway Grand D, one of the best grand pianos out there.
16 Piano SoundFonts by RKHive.com
16 piano sounds that range from a grand piano all the way to the iconic Rhodes.
4 Organ SoundFonts by Merlin
Why stop at a simple piano sound when you can give your tracks a funky, jazz feel with these organ samples?
13 Organ SoundFonts by RKHive.com
RKHive provides you with some high quality organ samples in this free download.
Steinway B-211 Piano by Kaleidonkep99.it
A high quality library of a genuine Steinway B-211 Piano from 1960.
SoundFonts4u by John Nebauer
Steinway Piano samples provided by University of Iowa.
The Blanchet 1720 by Sonimusicae
214 MB of an 18th century French instrument known as the Blanchet.
The Small Italian by Sonimusicae
Sampled from a 17th century Italian instrument, this harpsichord kit is available in Kontakt and SF2 format.
Orgue de Salon by Sonimusicae
Modest bank of a small house organ, 250 pipes, 5 real stops on two manuals (plus a coupled keyboard), built in 1988.
Maestro Concert Grand by Sonimusicae
792 Stereo Samples of an amazing concert grand piano.
Guitars, Basses, and Stringed Instruments
5 Guitar SoundFonts by Merlin
Easily one of the best Guitar collections from Merlin.
Free Guitar SoundFonts by FLStudioMusic.com
Solid collection of Guitar samples.
Guitar SoundFonts by RKHive.com
Another great collection of Guitar samples ranging from Funky to Steel-string.
Free Jazz and Classical Guitars by Pettinhouse Guitars
An amazing collection of Jazz and Classical guitar with an electronic drum kit.
Electric Guitars by Flamestudios
Custom acoustic/electric guitar and basses that we recommend using for Funk, House or even Pop style tracks.
Guitar and Bass SoundFonts by S. Christian Collins
13 basses that should get you covered in all of your low end rhythmic, melodic, and harmonic needs.
2 Bass SoundFonts by Merlin
2 simple Bass fonts, including a Fender Jazz Bass.
E-Ukulele by Audiowiesel
Les Paul style Ukulele samples.
3 Ethnic Strings by Merlin
Comes with 2 Sitar and 1 Koto which are awesome for Trap, Future Bass or Dubstep.
Drums & Percussions
56 Free Drums & Percussions by FLStudioMusic.com
Great Drum and Percussion SoundFont pack filled with samples that are optimal for Rock, Hip Hop and House music.
5 Chromatic Percussion Kits by Merlin
Includes Musicbox and Celeste Fonts.
3 Percussion Kits by Merlin
Rock and Techno Drum Kits.
3 Percussive SoundFonts by Merlin
Timpani, Gong and Taiko Drums that are awesome for accents and as background percussion.
Mystified Timpanis by Merlin
Made from the Mystified Timpani sample. This font includes sustains, rolls, and crescendo rolls.
31 Percussion SoundFonts by RKHive.com
This percussion samples should be a great addition to your toolkit. It includes chimes, marimbas, and all the way to acoustic drums and everything in between.
Toystoystoys Free SoundFont by Precisionsound
A high quality library of music box, cathedral chimes, and chime along toy instruments.
TwinkleStar Musicbox by Precisionsound
Another great quality SoundFont library featuring Christmas style samples.
Tibetan Meditation Bells by Precisionsound
Precisionsound brings us another great sample pack featuring Tibetan Meditation Bells.
Percussion Virtual SoundFonts by S. Christian Collins
This instrument is a complete overhaul of Subaqueous’ original Live drum rack version.
Great for adding some percussive accents!
Over 40 drums and percussion kits.
Orchestral SoundFont Bank by Merlin
Jam packed full of Classical and Orchestral samples.
6 String SoundFonts by Merlin
6 more string instruments created by our favorite SoundFont creator.
2 String Ensemble SoundFonts by Merlin
Sweet, full, and expressive orchestral strings.
14 String SoundFonts by RKHive.com
This simple pack should get you started in any of your string needs.
3 Choir SoundFonts by Merlin
A boy choir and a full grand choir. Excellent for ambient and orchestral music.
34 Voice SoundFonts by RKHive.com
You will most likely find a suitable choir sample for any of your needs in this stunning choir mega pack.
4 Brass SoundFonts by Merlin
A simple but quality pack to get you started with these powerful wind instruments.
9 Reed Instrument SoundFonts by Merlin
The most notable feature in this pack is a nimble clarinet with plenty of sustain.
4 Pipe & Flute SoundFonts by Merlin
This pack includes “Ocarina of Time” as heard in the Zelda video games.
Saint James Orchestral Ensemble by FLStudioMusic.com
Over 40 orchestral samples, great for classical or even Hip Hop music.
29 Free Trombone, Sax and Flute SoundFonts by FLStudioMusic.com
This pack comes loaded with trombone, sax, and flute sounds.
15 Orchestra Hits by RKHive.com
15 orchestral hits useful for multiple styles of music, even for simple audiovisual scores.
Brass SoundFonts by RKHive.com
A sweet combination of multiple powerful wind instruments, including a flugelhorn.
7 Wind SoundFonts by RKHive.com
A very well rounded wind instruments pack. It surprisingly includes a pagan whistle.
SCC Expressive Strings by S. Christian Collins
SCC Expressive Strings is a virtual string ensemble programmed for maximum expressiveness. To get the most out of this library, it is recommended to have an expression pedal connected to an 88-key MIDI keyboard.
Compifont by Marcin Dziembor
Custom made SoundFont 2 collection featuring an amazing collection of handpicked samples that are great for orchestral influenced sounds.
Orchestra SoundFont 2 Collection by Musescore
A wide array of orchestral instruments from strings to oboes!
HQ Orchestral Collection by Musescore
Massive orchestral soundfont collection including studio record samples for an authentic sound.
Anthony’s Philharmonic by Anthony Deaton
6 free instruments in SF2 and SFZ formats.
Sonita Symphony by Mattias Westlund
Nice little collection of old school symphonic sounds.
Ultimate SoundFont Pack by Soundpacks.com
Noted as “the holy grail of SoundFont packs, this collection boasts a massive collection of instruments and sounds.
Merlin GM SoundFont Bank by Merlin
An old Merlin GM v32 soundfont bank.
Merlin Creative SoundFont Bank by Merlin
This pack includes the Piano Merlin, Strings CX, and Percussion EMU with low polyphony load and good quality.
Merlin Gold SoundFont Bank by Merlin
Piano WST, Strings SP3, Percussion EMU with a very natural sound in all areas while being well balanced.
Merlin Silver SoundFont Bank by Merlin
Another old Merlin Silver GM bank.
Creative Labs 4M GM by Merlin
4M GM bank designed for Creative Labs cards.
Thomas’ Sounds by Hammersound.net
Includes a wide array of various instruments from drum kits to Star Trek effects.
Multi-Instrument Banks by RKHive.com
Silly synths, heavy drums, and even a trumpet are included in this bank.
SoundFont Loops by RKHive.com
A big collection of drums, trumpets, and synthesizer sounds.
Miscellaneous Instrument Collection by S. Christian Collins
This kit includes the sounds from “Boy Band” featured in an underground PC game “Undertale”.
Huge set of free sounds featuring instruments from styles ranging from Pop to Classical.
Great SoundKit collection full of samples ranging from 808 kicks to ethnic influenced instruments.
Great list of over 50 kits that include Orchestral, Hip Hop and even Mario sound effects.
This collection is packed with a great diversity of instruments, ranging from pianos to sitars.
32 free SoundFont kits that range from electric piano to FX noises.
Timbres of Heaven by Don Allen
A very unique bank by Don Allen that features over 259 instruments and sound effects.
22 free ensembles ranging from real acoustic drums to Rhodes’ keyboards.
A small pack of sounds from George’s personal collection.
A fairly vast and diverse collection of files.
Steam Calliope by PipeLoops
This pack uses samples from a real steam calliope, one sample per note. It also includes sample sets for the Hauptwerk virtual organ.
GeneralUser GS SoundFont Bank by S. Christian Collins
GeneralUser GS is a GM and GS compatible SoundFont bank for composing, playing MIDI files, and retro gaming.
SNES, N64 & GBA Soundfonts by Fluidvolt’s
Plenty of awesome and hilarious files from you favorite old school Nintendo games.
From Yoshi’s Island to Mother 3 there’s plenty of sounds in this pack to weave your favorite retro video games throughout your songs.
Another great collection of nostalgic video game samples.
60 Field Recording SoundFonts by FLStudioMusic.com
Great for ambient noise and tasteful sounds in any song!
35 Noise and FX SoundFonts by RKHive.com
Multiple sound effects that might even be useful for contemporary songs if processed properly.
Chris Piano Score by Merlin
A bright and quite present piano, yet soothing just the same.
Sarrusophone by Merlin
A soundfont made from samples of this unusual instrument.
My Violin – Beautiful Sound Instrument! by Merlin
A go to violin that can do it all.
Merlin Grand v5.37 by Merlin
High quality piano SoundFont score.
Merlin Orchestra by Merlin
Amazing Orchestra Score by the ever popular Merlin.
Steinway Grand D by Merlin
Another high quality piano SoundFont Score.
Merlin Symphony v1.21 by Merlin
A realistic string quartet and a timpani.
Bosendorfer Clavinova Piano by Merlin
A soundfont created by sampling a Bosendorfer Piano.
SoundFonts are a great way to add diversity to your music production.
With free plugins such as EFM SF Synth 2 or Fruity Loops’ very own in house SoundFont sampler, it’s possible to reproduce many sounds ranging from an orchestra to your favorite old school video game.
If you’re feeling in a creative rut, download a couple of these packs and see what kind of cool new ideas you can come up with!
Being able to be creative with any and all resources available to you is an essential part of music production.
Remember to take precautions whenever downloading content from the internet, and download at your own risk!
Leave us a comment and let us know which of these kits are your favorite!
(2 Ableton Project Files & 300 Drum Samples + Loops)