Skip to content
Software synthesizer based on the SoundFont 2 specifications
Branch: master
Clone or download
Type Name Latest commit message Commit time
Failed to load latest commit information.
.github Update Jan 17, 2019
cmake_admin Merge branch '2.0.x' into master Mar 2, 2019
doc Merge branch '2.0.x' into master Feb 9, 2019
sf2 Add VintageDreamsWaves-v2 in SF3 format and some tests for sf3 loading Apr 18, 2018
src revise error logging in sdl2 audio driver Mar 17, 2019
test fix building CoreAudio on OSX 10.4 Feb 15, 2019
.appveyor-mingw.yml Add MinGW to AppVeyor CI (#515) Feb 22, 2019
.appveyor.yml Add MinGW to AppVeyor CI (#515) Feb 22, 2019
.cirrus.yml add circleCI for FreeBSD builds Feb 8, 2019
.clang-format cmake: setup formatting targets Jun 24, 2018
.travis.yml travis: disable sudo Oct 31, 2018
AUTHORS Update polymono doc and AUTHORS files (#428) Sep 12, 2018
CMakeLists.txt update Mar 10, 2019
NEWS remove fop-level "fluidsynth" directory node Sep 3, 2017
THANKS remove fop-level "fluidsynth" directory node Sep 3, 2017
TODO cleanup TODO Aug 16, 2018


Build Status glib < 2.30 glib >= 2.30
Linux/MacOSX n.a. Build Status Travis
FreeBSD n.a. Build Status
Windows (VisualStudio) Build status Appveyor Build status
Windows (MinGW) Build status n.a.

FluidSynth is a software real-time synthesizer based on the Soundfont 2 specifications.

OHLOH Project Stats

FluidSynth reads and handles MIDI events from the MIDI input device. It is the software analogue of a MIDI synthesizer. FluidSynth can also play midifiles using a Soundfont.

Information on the web

The place to look if you are looking for the latest information on FluidSynth is the web site at

For documentation, please see the links below.

For information on how to build FluidSynth from source, please see our wiki page.

Why did we do it

The synthesizer grew out of a project, started by Samuel Bianchini and Peter Hanappe, and later joined by Johnathan Lee, that aimed at developing a networked multi-user game.

Sound (and music) was considered a very important part of the game. In addition, users had to be able to extend the game with their own sounds and images. Johnathan Lee proposed to use the Soundfont standard combined with an intelligent use of midifiles. The arguments were:

  • Wave table synthesis is low on CPU usage, it is intuitive and it can produce rich sounds

  • Hardware acceleration is possible if the user owns a Soundfont compatible soundcard (important for games!)

  • MIDI files are small and Soundfont2 files can be made small thru the intelligent use of loops and wavetables. Together, they are easier to downloaded than MP3 or audio files.

  • Graphical editors are available for both file format: various Soundfont editors are available on PC and on Linux (Smurf!), and MIDI sequencers are available on all platforms.

It seemed like a good combination to use for an (online) game.

In order to make Soundfonts available on all platforms (Linux, Mac, and Windows) and for all sound cards, we needed a software Soundfont synthesizer. That is why we developed FluidSynth.

Design decisions

The synthesizer was designed to be as self-contained as possible for several reasons:

  • It had to be multi-platform (Linux, MacOS, Win32). It was therefore important that the code didn't rely on any platform specific library.

  • It had to be easy to integrate the synthesizer modules in various environements, as a plugin or as a dynamically loadable object. I wanted to make the synthesizer available as a plugin (jMax, LADSPA, Xmms, WinAmp, Director, ...); develop language bindings (Python, Java, Perl, ...); and integrate it into (game) frameworks (Crystal Space, SDL, ...). For these reasons I've decided it would be easiest if the project stayed very focussed on it's goal (a Soundfont synthesizer), stayed small (ideally one file) and didn't dependent on external code.


Home Page


Software SoundFont Synthesizers:

Soundfont Editors

Conversion Tools

Soundfont Databases

You can’t perform that action at this time.