Soundfonts for musical instruments are analogous to typefonts for letters. Just like you can use a Courier or Arial typefont for different styles of letters, you can use different "soundfonts" for different styles of instruments. The different soundfont instruments will still play the same notes, but various qualities of the sound will be different. Even though the qualities of instruments in various soundfonts may differ widely, they are all a leap in quality over the "hard card" sounds on virtually all computer sound cards. The Soundblaster(tm) sound card line is capable of loading soundfonts and using them for playback of MIDI files.
What's the difference between a General MIDI (GM) soundfont and an non-GM soundfont? "General MIDI" means that the soundfont has all the sounds of the generally accepted MIDI standard group of instruments, which includes 127 different instruments. A non-GM soundfont is one that is perhaps a collection of specific instruments (eg, a collection of brass instruments, or various acoustic guitars) or of a specialized sound (such as a "pad" or mixture of instruments), and so does not include the entire set of GM instrument sounds.
How to find soundfonts? It's very easy. There are many soundfonts avaiable on the web. Some are free available some others commercially available. Please use your favorite browser to find the soundfonts you are insterested in.
How to use soundfonts with Notation Software products? See our Tutorial Videos page for help in getting started using soundfonts with our products. Our User Forum also has a lot of great discussions about using soundfonts and other sound sources with our software to get some great audio. Visit the User Forum by clicking here, and use the search feature to look up "soundfont".