Using VST-Instruments with Anvil Studio

To play MIDI sounds, many sound cards use the Microsoft GS Wavetable software synthesizer, which has high latency and limited sounds.
To get more realistic instrument sounds with low latency, try using VST-Instruments.
There are a large number of downloadable software synthesizers that support the VST-Instrument protocol, including many that are free.
A partial list of VST-Instruments that have been tested with Anvil Studio can be found here.

In this example, we'll use the free SFZ+ VST-I, but you can use any VST-I you'd like.

  1. Download SFZ+.dll from, or
  2. If your VST-I plays SoundFont files, download some from,, or search the web for free soundfonts.
  3. Select Anvil Studio's View / Synthesizers menu.
  4. Press VST-Instrument or Add a synthesizer....
  5. Press Load a Virtual Instrument.
  6. Locate the VST-I's .Dll file that you downloaded (e.g. SFZ+.dll) and press Open.
  7. Press Properties... to adjust the VST-I's properties.
  8. With SFZ, you need to set properties for each MIDI Channel you want to use. Each VST-I does this differently, but using the SFZ example,
    1. Click the SF16 field and change it to PR32 (circled in red in the picture below) so it doesn't report Out of memory errors.
    2. Click the File field and browse for the SoundFont file you want to use.
    3. For each MIDI channel you want to use, click the Channel field and select the MIDI Channel you want to use (1 to 16), and
      click the Program field and select the instrument or sound you want played on this MIDI channel.

  9. Select Anvil Studio's View / Mixer menu.
  10. Click each track's Device column to assign its playback device to the VST-I, as shown below:

  11. The song is now ready to be played by your VST-Instrument.