Baritone saxophone volume problem

• Aug 12, 2009 - 09:49

The volume of the baritone saxophone is always forte in playback, unless marked "ppp" (piu pianissimo). It doesn't happen with a new score, so this isn't a software bug. I haven't altered mixer settings. All the other parts are sounding as expected.

I'm currently using r1987 on Vista HP, and the Unison soundfont, but started this score while using 0.9.4.

Any assistance is appreciated.


Maybe the sample was taken from the bari sax player in my band.... to date, I've never heard it played ppp. (although I'd really like to) :-p

Have you tried adding new dynamic markings? Dynamic markings may now have the necessary information if they were added using an older version of MuseScore. For details, right-click on the dynamic marking and choose "MIDI Properties..."

In reply to by David Bolton

Hi David, I've concluded the problem is actually with Unison, the soundfont. It's not a problem in 0.9.4 or in my score, as MIDI Properties are normal, and new dynamics don't alter matters. I tested this problem with r1987 using a score of 8 common woodwind instruments, where each instrument plays the same note 8 times over 8 bars, and each bar increases the volume one marking from piu pianissimo to fortissimo. The Bari Sax does change, e.g. ppp to ff, but the Bari's ppp is everyone else's p or mp.

But thanks for pointing out the "MIDI Properties" trick.

I'll explore some other soundfonts.

I'm now using the PC51 soundfont. While the baritone sax is fine, the trombone is too loud. Looks like another big soundfont download.

Interestingly, when I alter the dynamic of the trombone down, the whole section of brass instruments goes down too. This happened with the bari sax as well. So it does look like a MuseScore bug.

It appears to be that MIDI properties don't stay firmly in memory, with a big score (8 minutes) with lots of instruments, dynamic changes, key changes, time signature changes: 1 flute, 1 oboe, 1 clarinet, 2 trumpets, horn, alto sax, tenor sax, trombone, euphonium, tuba, bass guitar, and tympani. But the score isn't unconventional. It's just an abridged version of Prokofiev's "Peter and the Wolf".

In reply to by David Bolton

Thanks for your fast reply, David. I agree with xavierjazz. The great thing about ensembles is the freedom of interaction between instruments. E.g. some moving in canon, interval pairs, or other kinds of group movements. To impose the same general dynamic on all of them hinders the ability for different voices to come out. For instance, I was playing in some instrumental versions of Bach chorales last night, that needed the bass and tenor lines to be markedly louder than the overall dynamic.

The mixer is a good solution to my problem, but I don't think the general playback should have that overall group-dynamic adjustment.

Yes, it is a good idea to work by instrument, instead of parts, since some instruments have multiple parts.

In reply to by David Bolton

The issue with dynamics affecting every instrument is a known problem. That is why I linked to the bug report in my previous comment. You can follow progress by subscribing to the issue. As always code contributions are welcome.

In 0.9.4 and earlier dynamics didn't have any affect on playback.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.