I've been using Synthesia to play my MIDI instrument, as it allows for a nice visualization of the notes and many instruments. The problem is that this program is neither free nor very portable, so every time I need to change the computer I play with I would need to reinstall it. I'm not interested in the whole "play songs" thing.

I just need a program that makes the sound my instrument says, with the sound font I decide. Anything else is a plus.

I have been snooping around a lot, the keyword being "MIDI instrument", "MIDI synth" etc. But I've only got pricey music recording programs (not what I'm looking for), and many '98 style freeware websites. I'm now using Coolsoft virtualMIDIsynth, that does the sound but I can't manage to change instrument.

  • @ThomasWeller I know, it seems such a simple problem, yet apparently no one thought of it in the last 8 years... Or they found a very different name for it
    – sassoPera
    Commented Sep 12, 2016 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


Since I own a license for Synthesia I could check in "Free play" mode what you want and I think I found the issue: there seem to be many programs that do play notes which are received via MIDI, but some of them don't respect the instrument setting and will only play a single instrument instead. Synthesia does respect the instrument setting.

Since you already seem to have a license for Synthesia, I wanted to point out that it was explicitly mentioned that I may use it on many different PCs as long as I use it only once.

In addition I want to recommend SyFonOne (just pick the right link from that page):

  • a small tool (6 MB), so it's quite "portable" - I have not tried running it without installation, though
  • is gratis (freeware), consider a donation if you like it
  • works on Windows (tested on Windows 10)
  • changes the instrument when you change it on the keyboard (tested with Yamaha PSR 400)
  • can load SF2 sound fonts (tested with a 144 MB Fluid R3 file)


  • The reason I'm not using synthesia is because I don't have a licence. I will try the program you are proposing
    – sassoPera
    Commented Sep 17, 2016 at 16:24

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