Tuning Issues with Certain Soundfonts

• Sep 23, 2009 - 19:28

I'm experiencing tuning issues with Soundfonts that worth great with other synths. Interestingly, it's just a few instruments that seem to affected in these soundfonts (violin, some brass, etc) while all the others play back fine.

I'm running Ubuntu 9.04, so to test things further I loaded up the same soundfont I'm working with in MuseScore into Qsynth (using Jack connect my midi keyboard to the synth). I found that I had similar tuning issues there as well, but realized it was a sample rate mismatch between Jack & Qsynth (fluidsynth). Changing the sample rate in the Qsynth preferences to 4800 (matching the Jack settings) fixed the tuning issue there.

I haven't figured out how to fix this in MuseScore, though. I'm using Alsa for MuseScore because I can't seem to get sound to come out when running Jack. The Alsa sample rate is set to 4800; and I still have tuning issues. Changing it to any other value yields no playback at all.

Anyone have an idea what's up?


Tested some more, and came up with some more observations:

When using Jack, I can use certain other soundfonts, but not the one that's playing out of tune with I use Alsa.

When I try to use my preferred soundfont with Jack enabled in the MuseScore preferences, I get no sound. Other soundfonts seem to work okay.

With alsa enabled, my prefered soundfonts makes noise, but some instruments are out of tune.

First it should be noted that some SoundFonts really are out of tune. That said problems with the Unison.sf2 have only started in 0.9.5. It is reported in the issue tracker but I'm not sure anyone knows why it is happening: http://www.musescore.org/en/node/2301

Knowing the names of the SoundFonts and the instruments you are having problems with might help diagnose the problem. If you come up with any insights of your own the please share.

In reply to by David Bolton

Thanks for the reply David! I will definitely keep everybody updated here if I manage to fix the problem. Worked a little bit more today to try to tweak my alsa driver, and still no luck. The reason I don't think it's the soundfont itself is because qsynth (front end for fluid synth) plays the sound totally in tune (after making sure the sample rate is the same in driver and synth settings). It also sounds great using the SynthFont Widows syth software.

It makes me think that it could be sample rate issue (fluidsynth not matching the sound driver). I still can't figure out why I can get sound from the soundfont when using the alsa sound driver, but not with Jack. It's really blowing my mind :).

The font I am trying to use the the commercial Papelmedia Final SF2 XXL available at


And I haven't yet tested all the instruments. I can say for sure that the Violin is out of tune on E5, F5, and F#5. Anything below those notes and above those notes seems ok! Strange, huh? It's too bad, too, 'cause I really love the violin sound on that font. I may us a soundfont editor to actually *edit* those sounds to compensate...we'll see.

Anyways, a workaround in the meantime is just use fonts that are known to work in MuseScore, or to make your own from sounds that all work.

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