Possibility of customizing extra tracks for all instruments [expansion of existing feature]

• Sep 7, 2017 - 12:34

Whenever you add a new trumpet, you get two tracks: normal and muted. When you add a new violin, you get normal, pizzicato and tremolo. But for most of instruments, you get no additional tracks because the old General MIDI do not support them, as discussed in https://musescore.org/en/node/166146.

It is really useful to create new tracks for most of the instruments and select a new SFZ, SF2 or SF3 timbre in the mixer. For instance, the user could setup its own trumpet to have straight mute, cup mute, harmonic mute and maybe also different articulations, like buzz effects. And the same for all other brass instruments. And a violin ensemble could also be set up to have staccato, spiccato, col legno, solo violin, harmonic effects and so on beyond pizzicato and tremolo. Woodwind instruments could also profit from that. Nearly all instruments, actually.

Now, if I want to create, say, a horn with muted track, I have two possibilities:
- The bad (but unlimited) one: use text to change instrument. The worst is that, whenever I go and back between muted and open, it creates a new instrument in the mixer. If I go and back 10 times, the mixer will end up having 20 horn tracks for one horn staff!
- The better one (but still limited to 2 extra tracks): I create a trumpet and change its name, range and timbres in the mixer. Then I have a horn "derived" from a trumpet. If I want more tracks, I can derive it from a violin, then I will have the maximum of two extra tracks.

This feature is easy to implement (because it is just extending or generalizing an existing feature) and would be really useful. The user just select how many tracks for the instrument and is responsible himself to setting up the timbres in the mixer and the names of the new tracks.


It's already doable if you take the time to create an instruments.xml file yourself. Get MuseScore one, copy it somewhere, keep only the trumpet for example and modify as you wan , and set your new instrument file in Preferences > Score > Instrument list 2. You will get a new instrument with the program change you want, etc...

Here is a documentation of instruments.xml https://musescore.org/en/developers-handbook/references/instruments.xml…
And the default instruments.xml from MuseScore 2.1 https://github.com/musescore/MuseScore/raw/2.1/share/instruments/instru…

So now, the question is : should we make a UI to manipulate the instruments.xml file? For me, computer savvy people (no need to be a developer) should create and share with other users their own instruments.xml, possibly linked with SFZ libraries (and we need a better way to link sfz libs and instruments.xml)

In reply to by Nicolas

Thank you very much for this useful explanation, it works! Then a UI for manipulating this XML would be kind of low priority, but it would be useful if we could add or remove those tracks after having loaded the instrument - maybe the user decides to use a new track after writing his piece

For interested people: I just downloaded this "instruments.xml" from GitHub (link provided above), modified it and loaded in musescore: edit > configurations > instrument list 2. I'm sharing here the changes I made. Interested people just download and enjoy. I'll also do something similar for other instruments (for new articultations and so on).

In this file, I separated the "new" brass instruments by changing their ID, so that you can still load the default ones whenever you don't need the extra tracks. I also created a new category for the list to help separating them without having to change their names. Trumpets already have extra track for mute, so I've add a second one (you can alternate straight and harmonic mutes, for example). I also did this to the other much used brasses. For the trombone I also add a tremolo (buzz), what is also useful - there are free HQ SFZ for this too!

Another tip: if you want to create a SFZ for some muted brass and you just have the normal samples for this same brass, you can pass a high pass or a band bass filter in the samples (equalizer in some audio editing software) and you can get something pretty realistic. I've done this already! Hopefully it will be possible to use a separated filter (equalizer) for each track output in the mixer in future releases of MuseScore, so we could do that way easier without needing extra SFZs!!! I'll create a request node for this later, but it's not among the high-priority requests.

Attachment Size
instruments2.xml 56.52 KB

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