A quick tutorial for using the VSTi plugin SFZ Player with Band In A Box.

Good practice is to store all your VST plugins in one folder. 2ndly, if you plan to use soundfonts (SF2) files, also store all of these in one folder. This makes sense, so you can locate them when time comes to use them.

Before you get started, download the Cakewalk SFZ Player from Cakewalk. Unzip the sfz.dll file (the plugin) to your VST plugin folder. Next you will need a General Midi Soundfont file. BIAB only allows a single plugin to be used at one time, so the Soundfont must contain all of the sounds for all 128 instruments found in the General Midi set. There are many of these available for download on the internet. Usually, the larger the better in sound reproduced. Here is one that is fairly small, but decent and can get you through this tutorial - sYnerGi-8Mb.SF2.  It is only 8MB. Download, unzip to your Soundfont folder.

Open BIAB and Click on the DXi icon in BIAB.



Click on the plugin box and then scroll down and click on the 'Add VSTi Plugin' entry - usually at the very bottom of the list of plugins. Navigate to your VST Plugin folder and  double-clickon the sfz.dll file. This will load the SFZ plugin into Band In A Box. It now becomes the default plugin for responding to BIAB midi signals.



Click in the File box in the RGC:Audio sfz window. This will open up another navigation screen for selection of the soundfont of your choice. As noted above, this soundfont must be a GM soundfont in order to match the instruments that are available in BIAB.



Scroll through the Soundfonts and double-click the soundfont of choice (sYnerGi-8Mb.sf2). This will load the SF2 file into the SFZ player.

Instruments will be assigned to each channel (1 - 16) in the SFZ player to match the patch (program #) assigned by BIAB. When you select an instrument in BIAB, a program change will be sent on the specific channel to change the instrument sound in SFZ for that channel. In this manner, BIAB keeps the instrument sounds that you have selected, matched to SFZ. Be sure to select the GM patch list in BIAB as the patch list to use.

The drum channel  (10) is unique, since it must accommodate a large selection of different drum sounds all on one channel. The General Midi spec accommodates this by assigning a separate bank of sounds. The bank number (in this case) is 128.  So to get this bank operating on channel 10, we must tell SFZ to use that bank. (NOTE: some soundfont players automatically make this arrangement).



So for this Soundfont (sYnerGi-8Mb), select Channel 10 in the Channel box and set the BANK to 128. This will activate the matching drum bank to BIAB's GM drums.

Now close the BIAB DXi plugin box. The SFZ Player has been set up to respond to BIAB midi arrangements.

MORE:  Cakewalk has recently released the SFZ+ Player as a free download. This provides a few more bells and whistles and the ability to use multiple soundfont files.