Our Progress on MuseScore 4 - First Alpha Released
EDIT: Since we made this announcement, we have made very significant improvements to MuseScore 4. For this reason, we no longer encourage you to test this alpha version. Your best bet is to instead grab the latest nightly build found here: https://ftp.osuosl.org/pub/musescore-nightlies/
Make sure to download the versions under Musescore v4.x (master)
Today, we are releasing the first 'Private' alpha development build for MuseScore 4.
What is the purpose of this release?
Although this version is not yet 100% feature complete (details below), its purpose is to begin collecting feedback on the 'core' workflow.
- Creating new scores
- Opening older scores and going through the migration process
- Notating your music
- Hearing your music being played back
- Choosing VST instruments and effects
- Creating and polishing parts
- Exporting your parts as PDFs
- Editing the interface and saving your workspaces
- Using MIDI keyboard interfaces
If you encounter any issues, such as crashes or obvious bugs, please log them here: https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/issues
When all major issues have been resolved (see the list below), the next step is to release the 'public' alpha version.
After that, we will enter into the beta testing phase once the following work is complete:
- The new installation process is complete
- The new orchestral library plugin is ready
- Uploads to MuseScore.com are working
- The plugins we wish to package with MS4 are working
What's new? What has been improved?
Numerous engraving improvements
- Horizontal spacing (with more improvements to come before the beta release)
- Slurs and ties
- A new, heavily revised version of Leland and Leland text
- A large number of MusicXML import improvements
- System objects can appear on more than one system (although this is currently only available on certain templates)
For a more comprehensive explanation of the engraving changes in MS4, please see this document.
Multiple workflow improvements
- The Properties panel (formerly the inspector) is now much more responsive and filled with lots of useful options
- The capabilities of the note input bar have been expanded and the toolbar itself is now much easier to customise
- Parts are easier to discover, edit and alter (using the new 'Instruments' panel)
- There is a new Mixer that can quickly be toggled on & off
- VST instruments and effects support
- A new keyboard navigation system that follows best practices to allow users to quickly move around the interface
- Improved screen reader support ( we would greatly appreciate it if people would test this and provide feedback on it)
- An editable high contrast mode
- A new UI with an entirely new icon set, in case you didn't notice!
- A new 'Home' tab which will include multiple tutorials and onboarding videos for MS4
- A new, friendlier onboarding process
Known missing capabilities and issues
The default playback may still have some sound mapping issues, where instruments are using incorrect sounds. Please log any issues you discover.
There will still be some playback issues, where certain articulations or playback techniques do not sound right. Our aim is to get the default playback to the same level as MuseScore 3 before creating the 'public' alpha release.
The final audio mixing of instruments has not yet been attempted. This is because we are about to start plugging in the new orchestral sampler and do not want to set relative global mixing values until it is ready. This will allow us to balance all three potential inputs at the same time: soundfonts, VSTi and the new orchestral library. For this reason, please refrain from logging issues related to dynamic imbalances
We have not yet implemented the new playback profiles interface, which allows users to specify their desired default playback. This will be in the public alpha release
There are still some issues with VSTi's not being sent velocity and dynamic information. Please log any VST or VSTi issues you encounter on GitHub
The ability to export audio files is currently switched off until we complete our playback tasks for the Public alpha release
We have not yet implemented the onscreen piano interface. This will be in the Public Alpha build
There are still some remaining engraving PRs to be merged. In particular, beams cannot be manually adjusted and cross-staff beams are currently not working. Apart from those, please log all other engraving issues you encounter.
Uploads to MuseScore.com will not yet work
Users cannot yet specify another soundfont, like Sonatina
There will likely be MIDI input issues. Please log anything you find
MIDI output from MuseScore 4 is not yet working. Please do not log these issues yet
We have also not yet included the plugins that we intend to package with MuseScore 4 (example: harp pedalling). As a result, our current 'Plugins' page doesn't do anything.
We do not yet have branding, MS4 icons or a loading screen. These are being worked on right now.
We hope you have fun trying out this first alpha version! We are in the middle of creating a new MS4 handbook and numerous tutorial videos, which will help users (old and new) understand what changes have been made and why. Unfortunately, these are not ready yet, so to a certain extent, your experience of this alpha will be somewhat a voyage of discovery!
The MuseScore Team