Loud, Obnoxious Popping Sounds

• May 6, 2017 - 02:47

With the new update, which I just installed, there seems to be loud popping sounds during playback, especially when (it seems) the bass synthesizer 1 or the Standard 6 drums are playing (using the default soundfont), or when there's just a lot of percussion going on. In the attached piece, the problem is particularly recurring. It could be just my computer, but I'll restart and update this when I know for sure.
Note: Yes, I tried restarting Musescore.
Note 2: It DOESN"T occur in a piece with no synthesizers playing. Hmmm.
Note 3: I've confirmed, it only happens in scores with synth bass 1. Fix pls, I use that instrument a lot!

Attachment Size
Cover_Legendaries_Battle.mscz 39.57 KB


This happens for me but with the timpani sound using the Timbres of Heaven soundfont, and only the ToH soundfont. The default soundfont doesn't pop for me.

So, I restarted my computer, and it's still there. Even stranger, it seems to be a software problem, because the synthesizer panel picks up on the sound and shows a sudden increase in volume every time that happens.

After doing some testing, I found that, yes, it is the bass synthesizer 1 sound that is causing these pops. It happens when consecutive notes are played at a fast tempo, but particularly in the low register and after 2 measures have been played. It also occurs in the higher register, but to a lesser and quieter extent. The standard 6 drums have nothing to do with it. In my testing, it occurred on the third beat of every measure, but that probably doesn't matter. See for yourself in the attached file.

Attachment Size
testingpops.mscz 17 KB

Another thing. Exported the mp3. The mp3 also has these pops. So it could be the soundfont. However, that doesn't explain why it also occurs when using the 2.03 soundfont. So it seems it's the way Musescore handles sound that's creating this problem.

These pops occur even when using a different soundfont (GeneralUser in this case), so that means it's the relationship between Musescore and the bass synthesizer 1 instrument that's the issue.

My guess is that this will turn out to not be about the soundfont itself but about tweaks made to our implementation of the Fluid synthesizer. There were other strange artifacts in certain sounds that were fixed by these changes, but perhaps there was an unfortunate side effect on other sounds.

I have noticed exactly the same problem with syntbass1. As well also with distortion guitar. The interesting thing is that it is not present all the times during playback on musescore, but it is still there in exported .wav files for use with a sound processor!

Just want to add that I have the same issue, with a default soundfont. This has effected both my old projects and new projects as I work on them.

Just to confirm that this is also a problem for me since updating to the latest version. In my case, the popping happens in a piece I composed on the previous version without any such problem during playback or export to wav file but now exhibits popping sounds when played in the latest version or exported to wav file. There are no synthesizers in the score I am referencing.

Just adding my experience:

I also had my first encounter with the popping on the bass synth.
Even with the synthesizer panel volume settings down around -65 or so, I would get occasional loud pops all the way up to 0.
The pops also seem to have reverb added, for what that's worth.
Muting the channel eliminates the symptom.
Changing to another instrument also eliminates the symptom.

In reply to by Konstantinos Spingos

Reducing the volume will only help to reduce the crackling so that it is not heard.

The real problem is relevant to:
1. "Envelope Modulator"
2. "Very Short Sample"

Here, obviously, somewhere in the sample loop, a waveform is read from the wrong place. (If you cannot adjust the loop points well, you can hear it in the Wave editing softwares too)

The same is true if there is no silence at the beginning of the sample. (This is usually a very small time interval. A start time of 5~7ms and an attack time of 2~3ms is sufficient.)

But some samples suddenly start without waiting for this necessary time interval.
The unpleasant crackling that you have heard with the sudden opening of the volume comes to the scene. (The same situation occurs when the loop position can not be adjusted and the resulting waveforms do not overlap.)

If the sample is sufficiently short and the Envelope-Modulator reaches the very beginning and very end of the sample in the loop, then it is inevitable.

In conclusion:
a) Fluid-Synth may be doing something to prevent this. (And what this does is that there may be another problem)
b) Something may intersect with loop point.
c) The Envelope Modulator may not be able to handle very short samples.
d) At one point there may be a sudden Volume opening and an unwanted Volume closing, followed suddenly by the Volume opening. (Or: Loop points do not overlap for some reason)

I have the exact same problem. The strange thing is the popping happens at different places at different times. Sometimes it happens frequently throughout the piece (usually on the second note of a measure, every 2 measures), sometimes it happens once or twice, and sometimes it doesn't happen at all. Also, the popping is sometimes quiet, but often very loud - so loud it hurts my ears.

I just updated to 2.1 (Win.10) and found this problem connected to the bass guitar, a very loud echoing 'pop' sounds appears sporadically throughout my score where it didn't exist before. It happened even when all instruments except the bass were muted and there were no unusual articulations at all on the bass. I hadn't made any changes to the score since updating, just opened it up and hit play. When exported, the audio had a similar problem but the pops were variable in volume and appeared more frequently. What's the status of this issue? Should I revert to an older version?
What I really need is a version where neither this nor https://musescore.org/en/node/137306 are an issue. If this is possible it would make me very happy :)

This isn't fully fixed in the 2.2 nightly, but I have noticed it's become much less frequent (only noticed bass popping a couple of times since updating ~2 months ago) and doesn't seem to affect the exported audio.

Well, I have a problem too. What I do to solve it is to use a 3rd party software to amplify the exported file. The popping sounds are annoying I agree. They occupy so much of the amplitude that the mp3 file is exported with the pop at the peak frequency 0dB. I use Audacity instead to amplify it by 12dB. That does solve the problem but the popping sounds is still an annoyance.

In reply to by GavinLiuranium

Do you have the most recent version of MuseScore (2.3.2)? As far as I know the problem reported here was solved already, so if you're hearing something similar with the current version, we'd like to know in order to start a new investigation. We'd need a sample score and also what soundfont(s) you have loaded.

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