Playback on Website Volume

• Jun 15, 2018 - 12:34

I am currently learning how to use custom sound fonts in my next score than I am creating but there is a slight problem where the volume of the playback in some specific instruments aren't as loud as they were in the MuseScore program. They sound fine when I do a playback in the program but once I saved and published online.. some of the parts are either really soft, or just not there. I am using 2 different sound fonts in my music.


I don't use special sound fonts, but I've also noticed a huge difference (in dynamics) between playback of my uploaded score and playback in the app. When I download my uploaded score and play it in the app again, it sounds fine.
If any, what differences can be expected between offline and online playback ?
FWIW, Mac OS 10.11.6, Safari

In reply to by Kees de Visser

You can control the volume of MuseScore using View / Play Panel or with View / Synthesizer, and also your OS may have a mixer that can set volume for different programs differently. But the audio played on the website would be immune to any of that - to some extent it represents the "real" volume of your piece (well, the "normalized" volume, anyhow.

In reply to by Kees de Visser

I would encourage that :-). If you are still thinking you hear something not right, try posting a link to the score, we can then download it and compare against online playback ourselves. Be sure to let us know which notes you think are off.

BTW, if you are using a non-default soundfont, be aware you need to check the "Upload score audio" box when saving online, otherwise you won't hearing anything resembling the same thing. Same is true even if using the default soundfont from an older version of MuseScore...

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Solved (I think). The Play Panel Volume of my MuseScore app was set way too low. Why o why is the volume fader not calibrated ? :) The fader was somewhere in the middle, which was about 20 (!) dB too soft. I discovered that by double-clicking on the fader, it jumps to what supposedly is 0 dB. Would it be possible to add at least a 0 dB mark (or even better +10, 0, -10, -20) on the slider ? That would be very helpful.
It's also interesting to know that the slider is bypassed when exporting to wav, mp3 etc. Only for that reason alone it's best to always leave the fader at 0 (if you can find it).

BTW, when uploading through the website, I don't get the "upload score audio" option. At least I don't see it there. I do see it in the "Save online" window when using the app.
Thanks for pointing me in the right direction ! :)

In reply to by Kees de Visser

The synth volume is calibrated - it is set to avoid clipping of the loudest reasonable score. If your score is for solo flute and marked "more", sure it's going to seem quiet compared to a score for 76 trombones playing "fff". Whereas the exported audio and website playback will be normalized.

And yes, upload socre audio only works from MuseScore.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't think synth volume and the Play Panel Volume are related are they ?
Am I correct that by double clicking the PPV, the audio output fader is set to 0 (which shouldn't clip) ?
I also just found out that the PPV setting is saved in the mscz file and recalled when opening the score. But it apparently is ignored when uploading, right ?

In reply to by Kees de Visser

Synth and play panel volume are "related" that they combine, not sure what you mean.

Double clicking the play panel volume means you are getting the volume you set in the synth with no additions or subtractions. It won't clip if you haven't turned up the synth volume too far.

Also not sure what you mean about play panel volume being saved with the score - that shouldn't be the case.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Thank you, the Synthesizer window has a perfect volume indication. Wouldn't it be nice if the Play Panel had the same lay out ?
So what volume fader should be used if I want to have the same playback level during score audition and audio (wav, mp3) export ? Is the export normalisation a fixed level, or is there an "auto-gain" involved ?
Thanks, I'm getting less confused :)

In reply to by Kees de Visser

As explained previously, audio export (and hence website playback) is normalized, as it should be. By definition, that means there is a variable amount of increase to bring it up to some nominal maximum level.
Hence it is impossible to give a single answer to your question. If your score is of a large orchestra playing "fff", then it's already going to be close to the nominal max and you won't need to adjust your synth volume at all to match the website. but if your score is a solo flute it's obviously going to be a lot quieter so you'd need to tunr up your volume a lot.

The question here really is, why would you want to? It's an apples to oranges comparison. MuseScore's volume levels are all about getting accurate difference between dynamics. The website volume is about presenting a consistent audio level across a wide variety of different sounds. Just as the songs on a CD are normalized so there is consistency from song to song when listening on the radio.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

"audio export (and hence website playback) is normalized, as it should be."
I get the gist, but there is a downside to score (cd-track) based peak normalization: the relative loudness levels of the tracks will be different. imagine a collection of 3 songs with different normalization values. The result after normalization will be that a mf in song 1 will be different from a mf in song 2 etc., depending on the max peak in the songs. In cd mastering it's often desirable to use album gain instead of track gain, to maintain similar loudnesses between the tracks.
I think the option to disable normalization could be a solution to this particular problem. Another option could be to store the normalization value in the output file (e.g. as a ReplayGain value) to allow automatic level adjustment in the playback application.

In reply to by Kees de Visser

Indeed, normalization is often combined with peak compression. We do provide an optional compression stage in View / Synthesizer if you like.

Anyhow, another maybe more helpful way of looking at it: You can set the volume within MuseScore however you want based on your own usage - your computer, your system volume setting, your speakers, your listening environment, your personal preferences. The website volume, though, is designed to do something reasonable for other people listening to your music. That's why I call it apples to oranges.

If you wish to force people to listen to music at the same volume you do, then you can certainly use Audacity or the like to reduce the volume again. But I'd highly recommend against this - it's not the listening experience others expect or want.

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