The SFZ format is the file format underlying Cakewalk’s Expression Engine synthesizers. It defines how a group of samples are structured: the samples can then be loaded and deployed in any compatible player (such as Dimension Pro, Rapture, the Session Drummers, and Beatscape). The SFZ format has also been adopted by several other non-Cakewalk synthesizers.
Beyond grouping and arranging source waves, the SFZ format allows access to a range of additional functionality in compatible synthesizers, turning them into something closer to a modular synthesizer while keeping the user-friendly interfaces.
The SFZ Tools are a group of tools based on UltraEdit which make it easier for musicians to edit SFZ definition files and to see what’s going on while they are doing this. In particular, the tools:
- Highlight SFZ syntax. Cakewalk and (all known) non-Cakewalk opcodes are highlighted by the tools.
- Provide a group of tags so that SFZ opcodes can be dropped into SFZ definition files at the click of a mouse.
- Offer some guidance about how UltraEdit can be configured to handle SFZ files in a way that suits how a musician works.
You can read more about the tools and download them (they’re free) from: noisesculpture.com/sfz-tools.