How to kill note playback

• Nov 18, 2018 - 22:35

I've been using MuseScore for a few years. Now I have a Yamaha Digital Piano and I've been tinkering with MIDI note input. There's just one really obnoxious feature that's killing me. When I hit a note on my piano, after a brief delay Muse Score ALSO plays the note. So in my headphones I hear my piano and MuseScore's playback. I ONLY want sound from the piano.

Is there a way to turn off playback? The only things I've found are that clicking the MIDI input button kills it (of course), and there's a checkbox in the Preferences/Note Input that says Play notes when editing that doesn't help.

I don't want muse score to make a sound unless I hit the play button.

Thanks for any help!


Comments

In preferences under note input there is a check box for Play notes when editing. MuseScore won't play the note if it's not checked.

Well, like you said, you could turn off MIDI input, then turn it on when you are actually using it. Or you could turn off the sound on your keyboard, which seems simpler. Or, you could turn off playback completely (eg, delete all soundfonts from View / Synthesizer) and use your Yahama for playback as well (see Edit / Preferences / I/O).

In reply to by jamesafluke1

Via MIDI out, sure, but you'd need to add them back to use the internal synth. Personally, I'd just hit the mute button on the computer if I don't want to hear from it, and then unmute when I want to hear playback. Everyone's set up is different, so it's hard to provide the one magic button that does exactly hat one given person wants in one given situation. But the existing controls provide quite a lot of flexibility.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

That's not a solution, that's a workaround, and I have found it a pretty inconvenient one. I can get MuseScore to behave the way we would like it to behave if I add an dummy staff to the score, place it at the top/first on the list, use the mixer to set its volume to zero, and set "visible" for that staff to "off." When I get out of Note Input, MuseScore falls back to "helping" me by playing along using the sound on the first staff, but so quietly that I can't hear it any more. Ahhhh.

However, an invisible muted dummy staff is also a workaround, and I rather suspect it will cause problems of its own. One little checkbox in preferences would be a lovely thing indeed.

Now, that does mean I would still hear both my keyboard and MuseScore when I'm doing note input, but, as it happens, I don't mind that. My computer is usually set louder than my keyboard, so when I'm doing note input, I mostly hear the instrument for the staff I'm working on. Another solution, albeit one that would be a bit more complicated to implement and use, would be if I could tell MuseScore to not use the first staff's instrument as the "not in Input mode" playback sound. If I could lock it to a specific staff's instrument, or just tell it what instrument to use whenever it's not in input mode, I could set, say, the Grand Piano to be what I hear whenever I'm just trying to work out what comes next. I'd be just fine with using my computer to replace the sound output of my keyboard if I didn't keep having to listen to the 1st violin, the alto sax, or the fake 'voice' sound, depending on the composition. And if I still wanted to use my keyboard's sound output, I could select a sound font for a tacet horn to be my Midi playback sound file.

In reply to by snarke

I'm not understanding the bit about extrea staves etc. Are you saying the none of the suggested solutions - including simply hitting the mute button on your computer - work? It seems you might be describing a different situation that the OP was. Can you give more details on the problem you are trying to solve, so we can understand and assist better?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm scratching my head. I though that's what I was doing. I'm not sure how much more clear I can be. I really don't want to have to hit "mute" every time I hit "note entry," especially since sometimes I'm using the mouse because that's where my other hand is, not on the computer keyboard. Clicking "Note Entry" and then going over to the "Midi" icon and clicking that is inefficient. Also, sometimes I'm hitting the spacebar to start playback, then stopping it and playing a measure on my piano, then starting it again, and having to also hit mute every time I do THAT is also pretty exasperating. I think people have explained it very clearly, but perhaps there's some systemic difference between your setup and mine. When I have MuseScore open, and I'm playing on my piano keyboard but I am NOT entering notes into the score, I want MuseScore to be silent. When I'm adding notes to the page, whether I'm clicking on the staff with my pointer, tapping letters on the computer keyboard, or using my left hand to set durations on the computer keyboard while entering notes with my right hand on the piano keyboard, then MuseScore can play the note I'm adding. That's fine, and I appreciate that I can tell it to not do that as well. But if I'm >not< entering notes, and I don't have it playing the score, then it shouldn't be making noise!

{deep breath}

Sorry. I am perplexed as to why this concept is so hard to get across. I see it dating from 2015 "MIDI input without playing notes." It's part of "Disable midi input echo...", and it's also the issue in "How to kill note playback," "make it possible to disable MIDI playthrough...", and "How can I switch off sound when I am writing notes?". There may be more.

If this still isn't clear, I'm willing to make a video and demonstrate the situation.

In reply to by snarke

As I tried explaining, I am simply trying to understand your unique issue, since you were not the OP and presumably you aren't in exactly the same situation in terms of your workflow or your connected input and output devices, whether you want the built-in synthesizer muted only during editing or also during playback, etc. Similarly, all those other threads were from different people who may have their own unique requirements. Everyone has their own situation, and I didn't see where you had explained yours fully, so I was simply asking for clarification. There are many variables here, and it's important to understand them all.

So thanks for the additional information. It sounds like you are saying, you are using a MIDI keyboard as your input device but not your output device. In other words, you are using the keyboard to enter notes into MuseScore, but when MuseScore plays back, you want it to playback through its internal synthesizer, not via your MIDI keyboard? And furthermore, you want to be able to play your keyboard for reasons not connected to actual MIDI output - just to "mess around" while you happen to have MuseScore running but aren't actively using it - and during that time you want to hear the music from your keyboards speakers but not from MuseScore? And furthermore, when you do start note input with MuseScore, you probably want to hear one or or the other (either MuseScore muted, keyboard not, or vice versa), but you are also OK with hearing them both?

if I'm correct in my reading of all of that, then indeed, you currently need a workaround such as I described. if it were me, I'd simply hit the mute button on my computer - not a control in MuseScore, but the one on the computer itself - while I was in "messing around" mode. To me that would be much simpler than having an extra staff. But I personally don't use MIDI input very often, and I probably do less "messing around" than you, so what works for me might not be what works best for you.

Another possibility of course is to route MuseScore output to your keyboard and disable the MuseScore synthesizer completely. It's not clear if there is some reason that wouldn't work for your particular configuration or not, but probably it would for some.

Anyhow, it just wasn't clear from your original post if you had considered that workaround, and it also wasn't clear what all the details of your unique situation were.

Meanwhile, as per #106881: make it possible to disable MIDI playthrough (aka MIDI thru or MIDI echo), the suggestion has been logged, and hopefully while they work on new synthesizer capabilities for MuseScore 4 this can be considered.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

>Everyone has their own situation, and I didn't see where you had explained yours fully, so I was simply asking for clarification.

Yea, that's fair. Sorry.

>you are using a MIDI keyboard as your input device but not your output device. In other words, you are using the keyboard to enter notes into MuseScore, but when MuseScore plays back, you want it to playback through its internal synthesizer, not via your MIDI keyboard?

Correct. Which is how it currently works. MuseScore does not currently cause my 'piano' to make any sound. Allow me to fill in some more detail. The instrument I use for MIDI input is an Ensoniq SDP-1. It has 14 remarkably good sound presets, which are all in ROM. It is entirely non-reprogrammable. Thus, it wouldn't be feasible to have it be my sound output device; everything would sound like a piano, and most of my scores would rapidly exceed the maximum number of simultaneous notes it could handle. It would in theory be nice to have the piano grand staff of a score routed to the SDP-1, but having MuseScore's internal sample-player do most of the instruments but not all of them seems like a monstrous complication and utterly unnecessary. The internal piano is of similar quality as the SDP-1 by the time it gets to my ears.

>And furthermore, you want to be able to play your keyboard for reasons not connected to actual MIDI output - just to "mess around" while you happen to have MuseScore running but aren't actively using it - and during that time you want to hear the music from your keyboards speakers but not from MuseScore?

Also correct.

>And furthermore, when you do start note input with MuseScore, you probably want to hear one or or the other (either MuseScore muted, keyboard not, or vice versa), but you are also OK with hearing them both?

Exactly right. Currently, if I want to test out a melodic line and hear it in the saxophone or cello timbre, then I can flick the volume slider on the SDP1. Usually I want the piano sound when testing, and then the more accurate timbre when doing playback of the entire score.

>if I'm correct in my reading of all of that, then indeed, you currently need a workaround such as I described. if it were me, I'd simply hit the mute button on my computer

Well, I don't have a "mute button." The ASCII input device on my desk is an IBM Model M keyboard which dates from the 1980s. It is one of the best keyboards ever made, as demonstrated by the fact that professional touch-typists can type faster and more accurately on these keyboards (the "buckling-spring" mechanism) than any other. But, because I'm using an antique rather than a similar device of more contemporary vintage, it has a lot fewer actual keys on it, and definitely none of the labeled-with-icon custom extra keys that are sprinkled around the edges of many modern keyboards.

However, even if I had a mute button, that would not be a solution I would be all that pleased with, because I do not want all the sound muted. There are many alerts, warnings, or notifications that include an audio component that I want to not block. It is just the echo of the MIDI input that is vexing, and even that wouldn't be a big deal if it didn't insist on being pinned to whatever instrument is selected for the top staff. If I'm in input mode, then it uses the samples assigned to the staff on which I'm inputting. But as soon as I get out of input mode, it jumps back to Staff #1, which is usually the sopranos, or the first violin, or something else high and screetch-y and crazy-making.

> To me that would be much simpler than having an extra staff.

Oh, that's certainly true. I have never HAD an extra staff. I invented that setup specifically because I realized it would cause MuseScore to exhibit the desired behavior. The example is there because lets me say "There! THAT is how I would like MuseScore to act! It is provably capable of the behavior, because if you do these things, you can replicate the desired functionality."

I should also probably clarify "messing around." I might be testing out out easy it is to improvise a solo over the written "comp" that I've got MuseScore playing. Or I have MuseScore play four measures, then tap it to stop and play what might become the next two measures on my SDP-1. Or I'm doing note entry, but I'm not sure what comes next, so "N" to stop entering notes, test out some options on SDP-1, then N to enter the notes that I've decided on.

As it is, because I'm mode-switching rather frequently, I often end up hitting the space bar when I need to hit N or vice versa. Adding another keypress in there is almost certainly going to exponentially increase the frequency that I hit the wrong one, or in the wrong order.

>Another possibility of course is to route MuseScore output to your keyboard and disable the MuseScore synthesizer completely.

If I were just writing solo piano music, yes, that would work. :)

>Anyhow, it just wasn't clear from your original post if you had considered that workaround,

I had, but conversely, what would for me (and I believe a fairly significant proportion of your user base) be the best solution also has the unusual virtue of being one that can be implemented with almost no disruption to the existing UI, that can be added without interfering with anybody's current expectations or behaviors, and which ought to be a very small amount of additional code. In other words, a cheap and painless fix that would make quite a few users very happy.

Another solution which would be equally satisfactory to me would be if MuseScore would let me tell it what soundfont it gets to use when I'm not doing note input, instead of defaulting to the top staff. If I could get it to default to the Grand Piano sound at that time, then I could live with not hearing my SDP-1 at all. But that method requires MuseScore to add more than just a single check-box in Preferences. It didn't seem worth the extra burden in programming.

In reply to by snarke

Hmm. I'm hearing what snarke is saying about their setup, and I'm hearing that Marc is asking for more specifics (a perfectly reasonable request). But I'm also gathering that Marc is surmising that the issue snarke is experiencing is somehow due to their particular MIDI setup, whereas in fact i think this is a more general issue, not related to a specific user's individual studio. I wonder if I can take a stab at explaining it in different words.

When MuseScore receives MIDI note input from the selected input device, it generally echoes the notes to its selected output device. If the input device is an external MIDI keyboard, then in many cases the user will prefer to have "local control" enabled so that the keyboard generates sound in addition to sending MIDI events to MuseScore, but unfortunately this results in the sound being heard twice.

Depending on the particular user's situation, the selected MIDI output device may be MuseScore's internal soundfonts, or may be the very same physical keyboard that the user is playing, or may be a separate MIDI tone generator (say, a second keyboard, or a VST instrument, or some other external MIDI device).

As things stand, it appears to be the case that when not in note-input mode, any note events that come from the external MIDI keyboard will get immediately sent to the selected output device, which means that the user will hear an echo. (This will also be the case when in note-input mode unless the user has turned off "Play notes when editing", but let's ignore that and focus on the case when not in note-input mode). From what I gather, the echo is heard on the MIDI channel and instrument of the first staff.

Many users (including me and snarke), when composing or arranging music, would like to be able to noodle around on the keyboard while working out ideas, and we don't want to hear an echo. However, when we press "play" in MuseScore, obviously we do want to hear the playback output.

One way to achieve this would be for the user to remember to "toggle MIDI input" in between the noodling and the inputting. This works, but it's inconvenient to have to do so.

Another way to achieve this (as suggested by Marc) would be to mute the device that is generating MIDI sounds (whether it be the computer itself or the external tone generator). This works unless the input and output MIDI devices are the same device, in which case we sure wouldn't want to mute it while noodling! But even in cases where this works, it's inconvenient.

Another way to achieve this (as suggested by snarke) is to create an extra staff, as the first staff in the document, and have its output muted; that way, since MuseScore is using that staff's instrument to echo the user's noodling, the problem is solved. But this is highly inconvenient because it requires having an extra staff in every document.

The simplest way to achieve the desired result, as suggested by me and snarke and others, would be to have an option in MuseScore to disable the MIDI echo. (And some users would maybe want the echo enabled during editing, so that option should be separate, as it already is.) The option to disable or enable the MIDI echo exists in Finale 2012 (and presumably later versions too, but that's the most recent Finale that I have), and it's called "MIDI Thru".

Snarke, have I correctly represented your ideas here? Marc, have I made any more sense this time than in my previous attempts? :D

Thanks for reading my essay. :)

Solomon

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

The hardest part to understand is this: why are you (Marc) and Jojo-Schmitz fighting so hard to make users feel bad and to make yourselves feel "correct" about this? We don't need ego taking centre stage here. It should be about the music-making, about the software, about the user experience, and about unlocking everyone's creative potential. And maybe also about community.

Please consider setting your opinions aside temporarily and listening.

And I say this with the greatest of respect. Marc, you know that I've known you since what was it... 1990? I like you as a human, and I respect you as a musician and as a software developer and as a teacher. And I love MuseScore, not only because it's better than the alternatives, but also because it's really good! But (and I'm not exaggerating here) the most frustrating thing about MuseScore isn't any of these minor inconveniences and bugs and lacking features in the software. The worst part is, as a user, having to brace myself for the put-downs that the fragile devs on this forum will launch against the users who have legitimate good-faith questions and suggestions. It's an anti-social and anti-community vibe, and it is toxic.

In reply to by Solomon Douglas

I'm not fighting anything, except to understand, which is why I ask questions. The original post from 2018 was describing a specific situation that is presumably similar but may or may not be identical to the one faced by the person who responded just yesterday. So in order to assist better, I want to understand the specific nature of his situation. It's that simple.

Sorry if you feel I've ever put you down. I try to always be respectful as well and feel I have been nothing but respectful here in my attempts to gain the information I need in order to help.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc. I don't feel that I've personally been put down by you, but I do sometimes detect in your forum posts an attitude (which is familiar to me from my experiences with the many computer geeks in my life, including myself, guilty!) of prioritising being correct over being empathetic, which I suspect is off-putting to the non-geeks. Empathy and connection and community are important to me, and by posting this here (admittedly hijacking an unrelated thread, sorry) I'm attempting to push the community to do better. I'd be happy to chat with you more in private.

In reply to by Solomon Douglas

Hey, person Douglas. I absolutely understand why you asked this question, because I have also felt that "vibe." But at the same time, I don't think I've ever thought that Marc was actually trying to make me feel bad or make himself better. I had to re-write my last post a couple of times because frustration was making me awfully rude, and even so, I suspect I came across as more hostile than I wanted to. I have tended to assume, when I felt like I was being condescended to, that it had far more to do with what kind of mood I was listening in, probably interacting with the mood Marc or another poster was writing from.

Just sayin'.

In reply to by Keith Chilson

Hmm... the word "keyboard".

You wrote:
I want to be able to hook my keyboard up to the computer, hit a key, see the key highlight on the digital keyboard but not hear my keyboard play through my computer speakers...

If by "see the key highlight on the digital keyboard" you mean the Piano Keyboard which can be viewed in MuseScore, then...

...the issue discussed here is slightly different, as it does not require the MuseScore Piano Keyboard to highlight notes at all.

You also wrote:
...and then I want to be able to press play and hear the song play back without having to constantly mute and unmute.
This is more in line with the current discussion which is related to:
https://musescore.org/en/node/106881

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