General MIDI Soundfont [Download]

So you’ve just figured out how to import MIDI files into your favorite music editor (e.g.  LMMS), but you need a general MIDI soundfont to proceed. No problem! Just follow the tutorial below:

  1. Download the soundfont here (make sure to right-click and choose the “Save Link As” option, or else it may open as a file in your browser).
  2. Open LMMS and navigate to “Edit” -> “Settings”.
  3. Click on the large folder icon on the left and then the “open file” icon in the “Default Soundfont File” box.
  4. Find the file you just downloaded, select it, and save your settings.
About the author


The site admin :)

Readers Comments (30)

  1. my no dowloand

    • Make sure to right-click and choose the “Save Link As” option, or else it may open as a file in your browser.

      • WRONG, I did it and got an HTML page :-). You have to click the link, to get to the download page, and THEN choose “Save link As” (Hoover the mouse over the link, if the Extension must be SF2, not HTML)

  2. Hi Tim,
    Thanks bud worked a treat (lmms a bit slow loading midis, but I am on windoze)
    And just to clarify
    left click on “here” in the new page right click on link and save content as.
    Thanks again and more power to your elbow.


    • Yep, glad it helped you out. I decided to make this page after spending a long time finding out what I needed as a general soundfont for LMMS.

  3. Is this SoundFont public domain, meaning that I can use it any way I desire without having to attribute?

    • No, but here is the license as of v1.47. It’s very flexible and does not require attribution or private-use only:

      ** License of the complete work **
      You may use GeneralUser GS without restriction for your own music creation, private or commercial. This SoundFont bank is provided to the community free of charge. Please feel free to use it in your software projects, and to modify the SoundFont bank or its packaging to suit your needs.

      ** License of contained samples **
      GeneralUser GS inherits the usage rights of the samples contained within, all of which allow full use in music production, including the ability to make profit from musical recordings created with GeneralUser GS.

      Many of the samples are original, but some were taken from other banks freely (and legally) available on the Internet from various SoundFont websites. Because GeneralUser GS originated as a personal project with no intention for publication, I cannot be 100% sure where all of the samples originated, although I do know that none of them came from commercially published SoundFont packages or sample CDs. Regardless, many “free” SoundFonts available on the web may indeed contain samples of questionable origin. My understanding of the copyrights of all samples is only as good as the information provided by the original sources. If you become aware of any restricted samples being used in GeneralUser GS, please let me know so I can replace them.

      This uncertainty may concern you if you intend to use GeneralUser GS in a commercial software product. That being said, I have never received any complaint regarding sample ownership since I published the original GeneralUser GS back in 2000, and as far as I am aware, neither have any of the companies creating commercial software products using GeneralUser GS.

      ** More info **
      If you plan to feature GeneralUser GS on your own website, please do not link directly to my download files. Either link to my website, or provide your own local copy instead.

      I hope you enjoy GeneralUser GS! This SoundFont bank is the product of many years of hard work.

  4. Does it matter what file extension I save it as? I tried to use it with LMMS, but I can’t hear anything.

  5. how big its the file?

  6. thegreatestofalltime May 29, 2017 @ 11:40 PM

    So I got a midi file from a friend , we’re trying to collab on a beat but when I imported the file with all these steps done correctly , I hear a piano on lmms instead of the regular soft synth audio that was supposed to be heard. My friend gave me a wav file of the audio and it wasn’t a piano that was played on the wav. audio.

    • Hey there! I’m assuming that you’re using LMMS here. Generally, when you import a sequence of notes from a MIDI file, the default instrument (grand piano) will be used. Since you’ve imported the soundfont, you’re able to hear something other than silence, which is good. Now, all you need to do is switch the track’s instrument to something other than piano. Try one of the default synths; or, if your friend has his custom synth preset available, he can export it from LMMS and send it to you so it will sound exactly the same. (Better yet, have him export the project with all settings so you can import the entire thing at once instead of loading from a MIDI sequence).

  7. Thomas Landis June 5, 2017 @ 4:16 AM

    I can’t locate “Default Soundfont File” box. I found the Settings under preferences, but not the above box. Could it be under a different box?

    • After you find the settings, you have to go to the “Paths” section by clicking the large folder in the left column. You won’t find the Default Soundfont options in the General Settings pane.

      The first 30 seconds of this video should demonstrate what I’m talking about: click here.

  8. but it doesnt work because its just another instrument afterwards

  9. I followed all the steps correctly and have the general midi sound font on lmms. My friends sent an 808 and the 808 midi but every time i try to drag the midi on the 808s piano roll nothing happens,i’m on lmms.

  10. I was going to use this for OpenMPT… which IMO is the best tracker and Midi sequencer (don’t be offended because of my opinion), but it looks like there is already one (though not in soundfont format) in C:\Windows\System32\Drivers\gm.dls. Did OpenMPT install this, or did it already exist?

    • Windows has a system32 driver called “gm.dls” installed by default, but some MIDI mappers do replace this file. I suppose that you can check the size of your gm.dls and compare it to an original gm.dls from another computer in order to figure out whether yours has been modified or not. For example, I have not installed any custom soundfonts on my Windows 8.1 64-bit computer, and my gm.dls is 3 440 660 bytes, not including the filesystem.

  11. Christophe Chaillan December 1, 2018 @ 9:38 AM

    Bonjour, pouvez-vous me dire en détail, le lien exact de Soundfont ainsi que d’autre banque de son, et comment les telecharger et comment les incérer dans LMMS. merci.

  12. I am looking through this file and for some reason every sample shows as recorded with “original pitch” (per the SF2 specifications) of 60 (middle C). That is impossible. Am I processing this file incorrectly?

    • Perhaps the soundfont was constructed in such a way that original pitch was manually set to middle C for every sample. Obviously I’m even more clueless than you are, but I did come across this page where he samples his claves and seems to manually set the original pitch to middle C (60).

  13. Hi Tim, thank you so much for this! I have an iPad Pro 2nd gen, and I downloaded an app called iSoundBank which allows me to play any sf2 SoundFont using a connected midi keyboard. I downloaded the SoundFont, and I must say the sounds are for the most part very realistic! However, I am having trouble with some of the instruments. None of the pianos will play properly, in other words, I’ll be playing and it will stop if I try to use the sustain pedal or play too many notes at a time. The full orchestra sound does the same thing when I play too many notes at a time or use the sustain pedal. What could be causing this and how can I go about fixing it? Also tried it in SoundFont Pro where I experienced the same isues. Also, when I play the bagpipes, every time I play a single note it plays two notes at a time. Any way that this could be fixed please? Many thanks in advance for your consideration!

    • Hi Siena, could you try a different soundfont with iSoundBank and see if it produces similar issues? If the app seems to work properly with other soundfonts, then it might be time for me to replace this soundfont with a newer one that isn’t 5+ years old.

  14. Is there any way to download this on a Mac, I don’t get the option to save as right away?

  15. I don’t see the save link as nor click on the link

  16. Hi! I followed the instructions above and keep getting an alert when I re-open lmms that a soundfont could not be loaded. Any ideas of how to fix this?

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