make it possible to disable MIDI playthrough (aka MIDI thru or MIDI echo)

• Apr 18, 2016 - 16:31
S5 - Suggestion

It would be nice if the automatic echoing of MIDI input to the internal synth could be disabled without disabling MIDI note entry altogether. Finale has this option under "MIDI Thru". I prefer to use my MIDI keyboard's no-latency built-in piano sound when composing, and I must turn off MIDI input in MuseScore to avoid the doubled notes coming through the SoundFont synth. Sometimes instead, I'll just turn the synthesizer volume to 0, but then I can't hear any of MuseScore's playback. The only time hearing MuseScore play the notes is useful to me is when entering/editing notes or playing back the project.


In 2.1, at least, it is possible to switch off "Play notes when editing" under Preferences>Note Input. This achieved the desired result for me.

In reply to by Isaac Weiss

Reported version 2.1  
Regression No
Workaround No

That's not exactly what was requested. The request says that it is useful to hear the notes played back when editing, but otherwise stop Musescore from playing its own sounds when not editing. The current functionality provides a method to do the opposite: mute the piano sounds when in note input mode only.

I'd very much like there to be a way to disable MIDI thru as well as I'm facing the same problem. As nice as Musescore's MIDI synth sounds, my keyboard sounds better and I'd rather have Musescore only play MIDI when playing back the piece or when selecting and moving around notes.

Has there been any progress on this? I'm using version 3.6.2 and I can't find a way to disable the MIDI echo.

I can of course turn off "local control" on my MIDI keyboard, but I'd rather leave that on and just disable the MuseScore thru echo, both to reduce latency and also to make it easier to get my keyboard to play the patch I prefer. I'm sure there's a way but I haven't found it in the forums... halp?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for your quick reply! Unfortunately, "play notes when editing" is not directly related to this issue.

I'm not sure if you saw Aaron Sattely's reply (above), but my experience is the same as theirs: the "play notes when editing" option works fine when in note input mode, but the issue that I'm trying to address is when I'm not in note input mode.

In note input mode, sure, if I've unselected "play notes when editing" then I only hear my MIDI keyboard via its local control and not through MuseScore. Thats great. But that's not the issue.

The issue is that after I exit note input mode, and I'm just playing my keyboard to work stuff out, I hear an echo: I hear the local sounds of the keyboard, and then I also hear the echoed MIDI events from MuseScore. Both sounds are being generated by my MIDI device, first locally and secondly as an echo from the computer.

(In Aaron's reply, they mention hearing the echo through MuseScore's synth. That's because that's the default MIDI output device; I've set my MIDI output device to be my keyboard, which is why I'm hearing the echo on the keyboard instead of the soft synth.)

If this is the wrong place to continue discussing this then with apologies I'll start a new forum topic.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

On the contrary, that is EXACTLY what this issue is about. MuseScore seems to think my MIDI controller is simply a controller, and if it didn't supply audio when I was testing out what to write next, I would hear nothing. But I am using a controller that is perfectly capable of making sound when I play it, and I would like MuseScore to quit "helping", particularly since, when I'm not in Note Input mode, it falls back to using the instrument assigned to the first staff, which is often a highly unsuitable choice.

Which is what the original poster also wanted: to disable MIDI playthrough EXCEPT when doing note input.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

This issue should never have been closed. I still feel the same way about this issue as I did when I reported it five years ago. I still am going into the synthesizer and turning the volume all the way down while doing most of my note entry so I can figure out ideas on my keyboard when not in note entry mode without hearing whatever instrument is on staff 1 constantly. Finale lets me turn off MIDI echo, no problem, so I don't think this is some crazy idea here.

So can this report be re-opened, or should I create a new issue?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

"Frequency ⇒ Few."

I thoroughly disagree. The issue has been bothering me for years, and I came to this thread trying to figure it out...yet a-a-a-gain.

Just because there are not 12 dozen people chiming in on this thread doesn't mean people aren't struggling with the question. On the contrary, just a few hear probably mean many others who just throw up their hands and say, "Whatever, I gotta move on. Wish they would fix it but I've gotta move on."

For what it is worth, I love MuseScore irrespective of how this issue is dealt with. It is an amazing service/tool, and it will help me for years to come with music students.

But I think this particular issue is actually pretty serious, and I suspect I'm one of many more interested in it. It is one of the very few times I have ever had to come to support threads looking for answers with the software -- I've been so satisfied/amazed with MuseScore overall. And support/documentation/etc is terrific.

But I do not need to hear notes from MuseScore, at all, any time, ever.

I don't want to hear them. They're very distracting. They force me to look for a workaround, because I jump between programs a lot. As I sit typing this, I decided to reach over a punch my music keyboard to confirm..."Yup, a delayed note, full volume that I don't want to hear in the first place, because the split-second I alt-tab to my DAW and start working, MuseScore is going to say, 'Oh, but you want me to sing along your work in your DAW, too, don't you?" No. Thank you. I really do not want you singing along with my DAW, and I'd rather not shut you down entirely, either, because I have intermittent work with you. Can't you just zip it? Why are you so stubborn?

I have a midi controller, and I never want it talking to MuseScore creating sound in/through Windows, ever. I want MuseScore not creating sound. The sound is a problem.

I use a DAW in parallel with MuseScore, along with a standard industry audio input device. Given Windows tendency to behave somewhat inconsistently with inputs/outputs (one version it's not recognizing ASIO, then its recognizing some, but not all I/Os, etc...) -- So I elect to use Reaper to turn all inputs on/off. I disable every input in Window, and I have one playback enabled that I know where to toggle in Reaper.

With all of this said, I do have a workaround. I can go into my DAW and quickly toggle off Windows sound via Reaper every single time I'm in MuseScore. It's just another extra step that will come up every time I want to use MuseScore and hence a royal pain. I love MuseScore so much that it's an easily forgivable sin. If the toggle was buried, it would be less forgivable. I was able to make turning all Windows playback off lightning quick and intuitive in Reaper.

I suppose this: MuseScore is such a fantastic tool overall, that you have to expect people to begin wanting to use it in conjunction with much more sophisticated systems (like systems with DAWs and all kinds of I/Os). The inability to turn off notes from MuseScore when NOT editing is all about moving fluidly (or not moving fluidly) between these programs in a multi-thread environment.

It's actually a pretty big deal.

I could imagine this forcing some people to looking away from MuseScore to pay-to-play solutions. I won't be one of them. I am very thankful for MuseScore. MuseScore folk, THANK YOU! Fixing this issue would make your product even better, but I love your product! I will be actively using your program and advocating it with students for years to either way.

If you never need to hear notes from MuseScoere ver, that's totally simple to achieve. You can remove the default soundfont in View / Synthesizer, or you can use your systems mixer to mute MuseScore's audio*. Both of those solutions are do-it-once, leave-it-alone things - you don't have to do this every time.

So for your case, as far as I can tell, no new features are needed. This issue really is about the possible need to quickly toggle between hearing the playback sometimes but not other times, within the same editing session. That's the somewhat more unusual corner case, and that's why it has only come up a small handful of times. But, it's also not that unusual. Comes up if you do want to hear MuseScore's playback while actually playing back (common if your external synth doesn't have a full set of General MIDI sounds - for instance, most digital pianos), but don't want to hear it while playing notes on the keyboard itself because MuseScore isn't designed to handle that kind of real-time inout.

My guess is that with the drastically redesigned playback system for MuseScore 4, this might already be in place, but if not, right now is definitely the time to see about getting it added to the interface that is currently being designed for this.

It may or may not *also work to turn MuseScore's synth volume to zero - that might get transmitted to your external synth also though. Results may depend on how your synth is connected and confirmed, and may change from release to release, so I wouldn't count on that method even if happens to work at any given point.

Frequency Few Many
Severity S5 - Suggestion S2 - Critical
Reproducibility Always
Reported version 3.6

As a new user of musescore after getting a MIDI wire to connect my digital piano to my audio interface, I feel this is a serious problem. All the reasonings have been brought above and I think I don't need to explain anyway. Yes I went to check all my wires, the audio interface setup, and tried the metronome function on digital piano (I didn't hear the delayed metronome!) to know it is musescore's issue

It is normal for users like me with this setup to hear all sound by the digital piano through the audio interface directly without any musescore involvement. And it is absolutely normal to hear playback from musescore as well, only when users want to listen to the score.

I only installed this software an hour before after checking the list of these types of softwares, I previously used lilypond, now I am searching for another one to use unless it is resolved.

Severity S2 - Critical S5 - Suggestion
Reported version 3.6  

Not a bug, so a feature request AKA Suggestion, and since much longer than 3.6

Make that seven. If this is WAD, then the design is broken. I don't want to disable play on edit - I want edit to send MIDI only. But it shouldn't be playing a laggy ok version of some basic sound back on MIDI input. I use both input modes.

I think I posted this workaround elsewhere, but it might be easier for people to find it here. I can get MuseScore to behave suitably by adding a staff to the top of a score, marking it "not visible," and setting its volume in the mixer to zero. (See attached image.) I post this not to imply that a better solution isn't needed, but to clarify what behavior I would like to be able to get from MuseScore by just checking off a box somewhere.

Attachment Size
MSHack.png 161.58 KB

I'm also facing this issue, and the ghost staff trick doesn't seem to work for me. Each time I press a key on my digital piano, MuseScore still sends it back to the piano a half second or so later. Ennoying. It's a critical suggestion for some use-cases.

It occurred to me where the fundamental disconnect is. Send MIDI when editing is different from MIDI playback. If I select / drag a note - then Musescore is the originator of that event. If it came from MIDI in, then I should have a setting to not play.

The "workaround" doesn't work so well when editing a staff as it still receives the notes.

Right now it's actually playing back the wrong note.
OS: Ubuntu 20.04.4 LTS, Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 3224f34

Off goes the checkmark once again.

As a previous comment said, I never complained publicly on the MIDI synth echo since I already saw some threads on the same concern. This does not means that I never wished this to be implemented. I'm more interested today since this annoying "sound feedback" comes with an annoying delay since I installed Musescore 4. With MS 3 this feedback was only an imperceptible echo but now with MS 4 I can hear this feedback as a distinct delayed note.

So the wish is :
- I want to input notes either from my computer and from my MIDI piano.
- When I input notes from the computer I want to hear the MuseScore feedback.
- When I input notes from my MIDI piano I don't want to hear the MuseScore feedback.

This kind of sound feedback from the MIDI input is only useful when you can't have two audio sources at the same time (ex: when using headphones on the computer and you disabled the piano sound). But since I plug my computer audio to my piano device input and then I plug my headphones on my piano, I have both sounds (computer and piano). So yes the MIDI feedback coming from MuseScore is annoyg because I only want to hear my piano when I type on its keyboard and I want to hear the MuseScore feedback only when I type on my computer.

Since my computer is in front of my piano device I often switch from computer and MIDI input and I want to avoid switching MIDI on/off everytime I use a different input mode. I created a computer shortcut to disable/enable MIDI input but switching it 200 times a day is not very funny.

So please report this wanted feature improvement to the dev team.

Just wanted to chime in and ‘vote’ for this bug. (I didn’t see that this bug tracker has a ‘vote’ feature)

I’m new to composing and MuseScore and a composer friend of mine told me that he uses his MIDI keyboard to input notes in Sebelius, and I was like, “hey, I think my piano has MIDI in & out!” So I ordered a USB/MIDI cable and was pleasantly surprised that it all just worked in MuseScore…. Except for this bug! Every time I press a key on my piano (whether inputting notes or not), I hear the sound from my piano and then about a half second later from the computer.

So far, I’ve just been muting my computer’s speakers unless I want Musescore to play something back for me. But it's really annoying bc I am constantly hitting the play button and forgetting my sound is muted.

I also would like the ability to experiment on my piano while Musescore is playing back as well. Only way to do that now is to unplug the MIDI cable, AFAIK.