The author Davy TRIPONNEY
Organist in my spare time and computer enthusiast, one of my wishes was to be able to play the organ at home with sounds generated by my laptop. After doing some research on the internet and reviewing several types of synthesizers, I opted for the use of soundfonts allowing the construction of realistic instruments through the replaying of samples recorded on real instruments. This solution is free, accessible, proven and very widespread. I started assembling sound samples and modifying various parameters to create different organ stops, but the result did not meet my expectations. Voicing the organ - an instrument that can be compared to a complete orchestra - was too tedious, if not impossible, to achieve by modifying parameter after parameter. I then understood that the existing soundfont editing tools were not appropriate.
The birth of Polyphone
The beginning of Polyphone development began when I chose to leave biotechnology to pursue a career in IT. Polyphone was thus not only a tool to meet my organ editing needs: this project also constituted a complete exercise in learning the profession of developer. Initially in French, I translated Polyphone into English and then published it online for everyone to enjoy. Subsequently, other people helped me test, add translations and improve the software. The website has been supplemented with a forum and a soundfont repository and this is how Polyphone users now number in the thousands.
I am pretty proud of the evolution of Polyphone, but it is like the sf2 format is falling into disuse and now it needs to be promoted. I hope to gather all soundfont users and create a community around this free format. I have in mind several ideas such as promoting the use of compressed soundfonts (for soundtracks in mobile applications for instance) or improving the sf2 format to reach the sfz or proprietary formats capabilities. More than just a hobby, soundfonts could be seen as a viable and powerful open-source solution for advanced virtual instruments and for professional users.