SFZ Player from Squinky Labs

Squinky Labs is Releasing our 27th module: SFZ Player. It’s a polyphonic sampler that can play back SFZ Instruments. There are a lot of excellent sample libraries in SFZ format, and most of them are free. There are many very good orchestras, pianos, drums, drum machines, and so on.

Most SFZ Instruments (sample libraries) will take advantage of SFZ Player’s support for many velocity layers, round-robin and random sample assignment.

One might assume that a polyphonic sample would have to use a lot of CPU, but it doesn’t.

The manual has information about finding SFZ instruments. It’s here: SquinkyVCV/sfz-player.md at main · squinkylabs/SquinkyVCV · GitHub

In many ways SFZ Player is a pretty conventional sample, but it does have one unusual feature – you can do through zero linear FM using samples as the carrier.

Like our other 26 modules, SFZ player is free and available in the VCV library. And source code is always available in our github.



Thanks for this!!

May i ask why this one isn’t stereo from the start?

It wasn’t obvious to me that as a module you would want is stereo most of the time? And there are dozens and dozens of features that could be added, so I wanted to get it out there and find out what people wanted next. Admittedly that didn’t stop me from adding an esoteric feature just for fun (FM), but I tried to keep myself honest.


No not most of the time, only if the sample library was stereo though.
Which i have no idea if there actually are stereo sample libraries for SFZ, as i haven’t looked at SFZ for a veryyyyyy long time.

Anyway thanks for this! :slight_smile:

Please check out my maual for sources of SFZ files. There are a jazillion of them. And, yes, many (most) are in stereo. Esp the large pianos, and the orchestras.

1 Like

Will do!

Then do consider “Stereo out” a feature request for a future update maybe :vulcan_salute:t4:


The manual points to two pianos, an orchestra, a drum and a “misc” library. Links included. These are good places to start. But just the tip of the iceberg.

Just a quick minor “bug”-report: The link to the manual in the VCV-Library points to …/samp.md (404) instead of …/sfz-player.md.

arg! I hate it when I do that! This is the second time (at least!). Tx for the report. Fixing documentation will happen… soon. For anyone who want’s the full link: SquinkyVCV/sfz-player.md at main · squinkylabs/SquinkyVCV · GitHub

1 Like

thanks a lot for this! - i think this adds a lot of new creative options to vcvrack … i would vote for stereo as well btw. :slight_smile:

1 Like

Very cool! This looks like it will be fun! Thanks Squinky! I love your modules!

In case anyone is looking for free SFZ libraries, I recently discovered this site https://www.pianobook.co.uk/

They mostly have EXS and Kontakt files but also have some SFZ libraries as well (there are also some libraries for Decent Sampler too but those are harder to find). Everything is totally free to use and share. The instruments often come with somewhat interesting stories about them and why they were sampled. Everything from old pianos to cardboard pizza boxes have been sampled on this site.

Edit: I should have read your documentation first. My bad.

“Pianobook is an incredible collection of free samples. Some of them are available as SFZ. Unfortunately the ones we tried are also too complex for SFZ Player. They are here.”

1 Like

Thanks! And, yes, when I saw your mention of pianobook… Now I think there are still some things I can do in SFZ Player to make it “more compatible” with some of these fancier SFZ. At least I’m hoping :wink:


Hello my dear friend Squinky.

Does this module alias?

Thanks. Allah be with you <3


Torrent goes Brrrrr…

I hear a little Noise on Note-Off with the Upright18 and with the JazzFunkKit as well. It would be awesome to have a build-in VCA in the Player and instead of the gate input an envelope-input or a sample envelope control controlled by the gate input.

haha - actually it does! but I forgot to put it in the manual. If you transpose a sample WAYYYYY up it can alias. Also if you your the linear FM with high frequencies or high modulation depth it can alias :wink: used normally it will alias very little :wink:

Thank you. I actually love aliasing the way old school samplers did.

You could be hearing several things… I think Upright18 uses the offset opcode to instruct a player to play from sample 100, not zero. I don’t do that, so it could be that.

There is actually an ADSR per voice. You hear it when you release a key on that piano - it fades out. It’s controlled by the SFZ. But I only hooked up release. And there could be knobs on the front panel like there are in sfvorzando player, but there aren’t.

btw, sfz requires something like a gate to tell it “now is the time to pick a sample to play, based on the pitch cv, the velocity cv, and other things”. An external gain input to feed in something else, too, would be a good feature.

You might need to make your own SFZ to do that. Most I have seen sample at 48k and don’t transpose over more than a couple of semitones. It would be easy to recreate that vintage effect, if you wanted to.

I was thinking running it through TAL - Dac :slight_smile:

1 Like

Thanks, got it. I added the opcode ampeg_release=0.2 to the global section of the sfz-file and now the drum kit sounds fine.