Free SFZ Player - VST Plugin/Audio Unit, SFZ Format & Samples
The SFZ format is a file format to define how a collection of samples are arranged for performance. Unlike formats such as Kontakt and EXS, it's a public, open format which is simple, expandable and free. It has all the features you would expect from a modern sampler format such as great audio quality, unlimited keyboard splits, velocity layers, round robin, key switching and lots more.
Free SFZ Player
Alchemy Player is a powerful free SFZ Player which includes 1GB of samples. It's available on PC and Mac in both 32-bit and 64-bit versions for VST, Audio Units and RTAS formats. Alchemy can also load and play SFZ files. Support for the SFZ format was radically improved in Alchemy Player 1.20 and Alchemy 1.20.
Simply select File->Load and browse for the SFZ file you'd like to use. Both products support all the features mentioned above such as unlimited keyboard splits, velocity layers, round robin, key switching and lots more.
Alchemy and Alchemy Player recognize the 'region' and 'group' headers and the following opcodes: sample, pitch_keycenter, lokey, hikey, key, lovel, hivel, loop_mode, cutoff, fil_veltrack, default_path, volume, tune, pan, seq_position, trigger, sw_last.
SFZ Format Editors and Converters
There are a range of programs which make it easy to create SFZ files. SFZ files are simply text files which reference WAV files. You can find a detailed description of the format here.
Chicken Systems offer Constructor for creating your own SFZ instruments, or Translator Pro for converting instruments from other formats such as Kontakt, AKAI, GigaStudio and SoundFonts into SFZ format. Available for Mac and Windows.
Extreme Sample Converter is a great tool for converting files in other formats such as Kontakt, AKAI, GigaStudio and SoundFonts into SFZ format. Available for Windows only.
SFZed is free Windows application for creating SFZ files.
Alchemy - if all you want to do is simply layer a set of samples over the keyboard quickly and easily, you can do this with Alchemy. Just go to the source menu and select Import, then hold down 'shift' and select all the WAV files you wish to load. Alchemy does not currently support exporting of SFZ files.
Learn how to create and edit your own SFZ instruments for Alchemy and Alchemy Player by reading the manual.
Free SFZ Files
There are a number of places on the internet where you can get free SFZ and associated WAV files. The following files can be downloaded without signing up for an account, and are compatible with Alchemy Player. If you know of additional free SFZ files which match these criteria please email the link to email@example.com and we will add it to this list.
Bolder Sounds have a range of free multisampled instruments.
Real Music Media have free Mellotron, Drums, Loops.
Grand Piano samples of Salamander and Yahamah Discalavier.
Turtle Sounds offer multi-velocity bass guitar samples.
Commercial SFZ Files
There are many commercial sample libraries available in SFZ format. The following files are compatible with Alchemy Player. If you know of additional commercial SFZ products which meet these criteria please email the link to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will add it to this list.
Camel Audio - we sell sample libraries for a wide range of styles from Ambient to Dance and Electronica, which include SFZ files. Thanks to the Alchemy Player engine, our libraries offer the additional advantage that you can tweak sounds to fit your music using the perform controls and remix pad.
Loop Masters sell a range of primarily dance orientated sample libraries which include SFZ files.
Wave Alchemy have a range of products which include SFZ files. They are primarily orientated at dance music production.