Audio and instrument plugins

• May 27, 2013 - 21:38

I guess I am not the very first one to suggest adding support for audio and software synth plugins. Yet I see in the nightlies new synthisizers. But I wonder what for? There are many plugin available for free in many formats, so IMHO creating you own snyths is a waste of time.

To sum up what everybody knows already here comes a list of plugin formats:

LADSPA, Linux audio plugin
DSSI, Linux software synth plugin
Lv2, Linux audio and software synth plugin
VST/VSTi, cross-platform audio and software synth plugin (for Linux see
AudioUnit (AU) , OS X audio and software synth plugin
DirectX (DX/DXi), Windows audio and software synth plugin

While besides VST non of them are available on Linux, OS X and Windows each platform has its own goodies. And even better other open-source programs dirtibuted under the GPL have managed to support many of those formats. I refer imn particualr to these:

So, neither the platform issue nor the licensing issue are a reason not add support for these two types of plugins.


So what are you waiting for? :-)

Not sure what you mean about new synthesizers in the nightlies. There is a new organ synth, but I suspect what you really mean is that there is a new *soundfont*. The reason is that they are much better than the one shipped with 1.3. You don't generally need a new synthesizer to get better sounds - just a better soundfont. And the great thing is, no one needs to spend any time programming to get that done. So, better sounds without any programming effort - that's the benefit.

If you really are talking about Aeolus, I gather it does some things regarding emulation of pipe organs that few if any other synths offer, so that's the benefit there. But it isn't really "new" at all - it's just incorporating an existing open source project. As is the main synth in MuseScore - fluidsynth. So really, the MuseScore team is not developing their own synths at all - just incorporating existing ones. So I'm not sure how adding any of the ones you mention provide any additional advantage. I gather maybe they offer support for other soundfont formats and that could be a win?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I need to amend my response, as I had forgotten about the new "from scratch" synth written to play SFZ files. The goal of being able to use SFZ files is certainly valid. I guess the question of why roll your own SFZ-capable synth that if there are available alternatives is worth asking. But I also assume there was a pretty good reason.

I think I didn't make my point. It's great that MuseScore 2.0 will have more synth options than any previous version before. The decision to do this has been to integrate one existing synth (Aelous) and write a one from scratch (Zerberus). I guess that besides Aeolus any number of "true" synths (no samples) could have been added, but I didn't do any research if any GPL ones are around and reasonably portable. Surprisingly I couldn't find any for SFZ. That would explain why MuseScore needs Zerberus.

But, what I was aiming to was that if MuseScore got support for standard plugins mechanisms (both for effetcs and instruments) than there wouldn't be the need to add Aeolus or write Zerberus. There are enough (free) audio plugins around on all platforms. I would go even so far and remove the built-in FluidSynth and replace it with a plugin-based version. Why? To handle all audio internally the same.

"What are you waiting for?" I take this as the usual reply from open source devs who find an idea ok, but not so great they get excited to do it themselves. I have probably made it myself in the days I coded for TYPO3 (an open source CMS written in PHP). But nowaydays I don't code much in my free-time as I spend my work hours already coding. And I wouldn't be much of help as I know nothing about audio drivers and API on any platform.

So take it simply as a mere suggestion for MusScore 3.0. If this won't happen for some reason I suggest to beef up the MIDI out capabilities dramatically. But as far I have undertood now this isn't so easy as I had initially thought.

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