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Is there a free software that takes a few notes and creates a .wav file that plays those notes with user defined instruments?

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A software synthesizer like Timidity++ can do that based on a midi file or midi events.

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That leaves the problem of how do I get my midi file? –  Christian Oct 15 '10 at 13:50
    
You can create them with a program like MuseScore, but it seems like that already comes with an alternative for Timidity++ (FluidSynth). –  JanC Oct 15 '10 at 19:23
    
please explain further. There is no inexpensive program that can convert Audio to MIDI that I have ever heard of. I don't even think there is an expensive program that can achieve this. –  Xavierjazz Oct 15 '10 at 22:15
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In your original question you ask to go from notes to audio, not the other way around, so that's what we answer to. And MIDI is the most popular way to store notes, so that's what we propose to use. If that's not what you want please update your question (and the title too, it's way too general now!). –  JanC Oct 16 '10 at 20:57
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Yes. I suggest Musescore, an open source notation program that will output MIDI and uses soundfonts so you can alter the sound. It can be found here: http://musescore.org/.

It outputs .wav among others.

Regards,

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