How can I use SoundFonts In Ableton Live?

How can I use SoundFonts In Ableton Live?

November 7th 2013

SoundFonts (.sf2 files) are self contained sampler instruments from the era before audio units and VST instruments. The format was created in the 90′s as an alternative to General MIDI (GM) sound banks. There are now thousands of free SoundFont instruments available online! Scroll down to watch our How To video using Ableton Live 8.

Click Here To Download Live Packs

So can you use these sound banks in Ableton Live? Yes! Here’s how to do it!

If you own Ableton Suite, or have the ‘Sampler’ plugin for Live, then it’s easy:

1. Download the SoundFont file you want
2. Open this file from the Ableton file browser

It will now import directly into the Sampler instrument, and you will now be able to play and use the sound however you like!

If you don’t have the Sampler plugin, then you’re going to need to download SFZ player.

1. This is a VST plugin that lets you play SoundFont files – download it free from the link above.
2. Install SFZ player
3. Open SFZ player by placing it on a MIDI track
4. From SFZ player, use the ‘FILE’ dialogue to select the desired SoundFont file

SFZ player is Windows only, if you use OSX then use bs-0 VST/Audio Unit as an alternative.

So now that you can use SoundFont instruments, where can you download them? Here’s a few sites that make a good starting point:


You now have thousands of free instruments! Soundfonts are also compatible with many other samplers such as EXS24, Kontakt and Halion.

We have hundreds of Ableton Live Packs & Ableton Live Templates – take a browse today and expand your sound collection.

Get 10% off your
next order & access
to all free packs