Renoise would absolutely rule if it supported SF2 files. It’s been years since I want to use soundfonts with the trackers. Modplug Tracker supports them, but a preset is loaded correctly only if it’s not multi-layered (see explanation below). That’s why I’ve started to mess around with MIDI controlled from Renoise. But it’s not the same. You don’t have NNAs and stuff. Meanwhile, I have some piece of advice for you if you want to use soundfonts. But I don’t feel like writing it all again, since I just wrote about it in the Modplug Central forums today. Well, I just copied it and here you go, I’m pasting it:
"Modplug fails in the convertion of sf2 to xi because sf2 is multi-layered and xi is not. What does that mean? Well, as everyone knows, in the xi format, each note has one sample assign to it. When talking about soundfonts the instrument equivalent is a “preset” (that is, a soundfont is, actually, a collection of instruments; when you want to convert from sf2 you want to convert each of its presets to xi).
Now, each preset is formed by “instruments”, and each instrument is made of “samples”. Now, if each note of a preset had one instrument assigned and each instrument note had one sample assigned, there wouldn’t be any problems, because, thanks to our dear “transitive property”, each preset note would have one sample assigned, just like xi. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Each preset note can have more than one instrument assigned and both sound together when you play this note. And each instrument note has more than one sample assigned! So, it’s very difficult to convert from sf2 to xi. You would have to mix the wave files and make new ones fot it to sound just like the soundfont.
But, knowing that, I thought “What happens if I load into Modplug a soundfont that has just one instrument per preset note and one sample per instrument note?”. I had noticed that some soundfont preset were correctly loaded into Modplug. I tried it, and it worked. So, one of the things you can do is loading the soundfont in Vienna Soundfont Studio and modify it so that it has this property. Then, load it in Modplug. It works. Sure, it won’t sound the same. But you can always play two xi instruments together to achieve the same effect. I think that even if you use Awave you have to do something similar. It’s just now possible to convert a multi-layered instrument to a single layered one, at least, without creating new wave files that are a mixture of several other waves to emulate the effect of many waves playing together. The best part, is that if you buy a commercial soundfont which is made of real instruments, probably most presets will have this property, because they don’t need to mix different samples to achieve a level of realism, althoug many presets of the type “trumpet+flute” or things like that will be multi-layered. "
By doing this, you could use Modplug Tracker to convert the samples to .xi and then use them in Renoise.