Noteperformer for Musescore

• Dec 31, 2018 - 13:14

So I sent Noteperformer a request for portability to Musescore. This is what I got back.

WI Technical Support

Hi -----!

It's not an active decision by us to not support Musescore, but
Musescore does not at all support 3rd party audio plug-ins, which is a
technical necessity to begin with along with some form of configurable
patch/articulation management over MIDI. So you'll probably be better
off asking Musescore about this. :)

If Musescore were to add a system where we could create a high-quality
integration, we would be happy to port our software.

Best regards,
Arne
Wallander Instruments

So, if third-party apps are supported by Musescore via Jack or some other. Please post detailed instructions on how to do this. If Musescore doesn't support or cooperate simply and conveniently with Noteperformer, please make that possible as soon as possible.

Thanks,

jmoses


Comments

I would certainly be delighted to see MuseScore working with NotePerformer. Over the past few months, I have received several MP3 files of choral and orchestral works rendered by NotePerformer - these MP3s are really quite realistic when compared with an MP3 generated direct from MuseScore. For example:
* [MuseScore MP3] (https://rootham.org/playlist/opus_060/listen_opus060_synth_mscore.html)
* [NotePerformer MP3] (https://rootham.org/playlist/opus_060/listen_opus060_synth_noteperf.html)

OK, I am aware that NotePerformer is not free software. But Wallander Instruments is not a greedy company, and the price of USD 129 for NotePerformer would be within reach for many of us. And Wallander (quoted in the original post above) are willing to port their software to MuseScore if the necessary infrastructure can be put in place within MuseScore. Surely worth investigating, at least?

In reply to by Emmanuel_Rosenblatt

There are things that can be done within MuseScore to improve playback. Using the newest version with the new sound font helps. But writing a score and marking it the way you would for real players may not be enough. I often have two versions of the same score. The second would be for marking in a more detailed way to get MS to play back more like I want. Use and define a lot of hairpins, and subtle tempo changes. As well as dynamics. Holds with breaks after them are possible as defined in the inspector. Think about how real players play music. Ebb and flow. It takes time. I get it. People want to spend time composing, not learning software. But when I go through the steps above (and more), it makes me really think about every note, every phrase and decide if I really want to write it that way. Or do I want something better. Is that not what we are supposed to do?
NotePerformer uses it's own sounds which are pretty good. It also uses an algorithm to playback your music in a "more natural way". I have no argument with that. Well, except that when their more natural way is not quite what I'm after. It is their way after all, not mine. I'm not saying that MS will produce something that sounds as "good" as NP. They use two different sound fonts. Besides, when you music makes it out into the real world, who knows what it will sound like.

I strongly support that request.
I've tried on Sibelius, Note Performer and it sounds better than many libraries with many gigabits.

I also STRONGLY support this request. I'm probably gonna purchase one of the super expensive scoring software just for the sake of using NotePerformer. I enjoy the simplicity of MuseScore, but the playback for orchestral work is basically unusable (and it's hard that any free orchestral library would ever work).

Yeah I'm hyped for this too! This probably is a lot of coding, but in general vst-support would really push musescore forward and make it even more attractive. But of course then musescore also has to take care of cpu-usage and provide a low-cpu-vst (which is comparable to the default soundfont at the moment), so that it still runs on older computers

Oh, this would be very, very nice. I have come to Musescore from Finale, and I am so glad I made the choice. But having NotePerformer working with Musescore would be way cool!

Why are we not all pushing for this? Noteperformer on musescore would completely change the game for the software and vastly improve user experience. I'm all for this.

In reply to by LCH929Music

Because it won't happen, no matter how hard "we push".
First - MuseScore would need an interface for compiled (i.e. non-QML) plugins. This interface would need to provide full access to MS's internal score data structures - which would also imply that these data structures will not change (a pretty severe commitment, and one unlikely given, esp. if you consider that even MS's file format is not "officially" fixed and open to change at pretty much any time). The plugin API would also need to provide hooks into the generation of audio and there is pretty much no infrastructure in the code that would help with that (please correct me if I'm wrong here. I haven't looked to much at that part of MS's code lately).
All of this would require an incredible amount of coding on MS's side. Who is going to do this? When you write "push" does this translate into "willing to finance it"?
Next: it would require quite a lot of programming on Noteperformers side - and require programming against a (so far) non-existing pluigin API without any documentation (and writing such documentation would put even more work load on MS's developer team). Would Noteperformer be willing to invest such work? Given how cheap their product is sold (< 150$), can they really afford to cater for such a small market? Remember: MS is used by many who cannot afford a commercial notation program.
And lastly: MS itself is released under the GPL licence. This licence requires that any code linking into GPL-licenced code needs to fullfill the requirements of the GPL, i.e. release the souce code. Sorry, but can't imagine that Noteperformer will release their software under a GPL-compiant licence ...

In reply to by rmattes

I would totally donate for something like this. Also, I'm not using MuseScore because a can't afford commercial software, I'm using it because it's better, in my opinion, than Finale and Sibelius! And also because I like to use Free Software.

So, how much money would be needed to fund something like this? How could we make this happen?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

For a plugin interface of such width/depth I'd rather calculate +1 man-year. That would be more like 80k-100k (and that's a rather optimistic calculation, both in terms of amount of work as well as cost per developer).
But, as I wrote, the GPL prevents binary-only plugins and I can't imagine Noteperformer is willing to open-source their code.

In reply to by Angel.E

Not sure what the source of this table is, but, according to Audacity wiki:

  • VST instruments (VSTi) (such as synths) and real-time VST effects (that change the audio data while playing or recording) are not yet supported.
  • VST 3 plug-ins are not supported.

so only some limited subset of VST plugins is supported.

VST 3 SDK has a version released under GNU GPLv3 license which is incompatible with GNU GPLv2 which is used by MuseScore (and seemingly by Audacity).

In reply to by dmitrio95

VST support can be enabled in the form of an Extension loaded separately from the Resource Manager (in fact, this could be a more ideal way to do this).

If not part of the core distribution, the entire issue of license compatibility or source code goes away.

It is theoretically possible to even load closed source proprietary Extensions from the Resource Manager.

In reply to by rmattes

I have had very extensive discussions with Arne about this possibility and it really does not take much customization from their side. He is willing to make it happen.

The main issue is VST support in Musescore. License compatibility is also not an issue. The Steinberg VST SDK is dual licensed and compatible with Musescore licenses.

https://sdk.steinberg.net/viewtopic.php?t=286

It is simply an issue of resources and motivation. There are no legal or business challenges (on side of Noteperformer or Musescore) in enabling/supporting this.

If there were developers within the community interested to take on this challenge, it can certainly happen.

In reply to by Daniel

Licensing might still be an ethical issue. Many users of free software won't be happy with a proprietary extension being distributed through Musescore. So there would need to be something in place to warn users before hand that the software isn't free. Does Musescore even allow non-free extensions to be distributed via the resource manager?

In reply to by reddiesel41264

You can already use proprietary soundfonts or text fonts with Musescore.

I don't believe Extensions should be any different.

Wordpress and Drupal are examples of GPL software with a very robust ecosystem of proprietary and even paid add-ons. So, I am not following the ethical issue?

In reply to by Daniel

Musescore doesn't distribute any non-free fonts as far as I'm aware. But I think extensions can only be added via the Musecore resource manager, is that right? In which case Musescore would be distributing it.

All plugins distributed though Wordpress.org are free software. You can install proprietary ones manually of course. Although I don't know of any company that provides proprietary wordpress plugins I'm sure they exist. All of the Wordpress plugins I've bought and have subscriptions for are free software.

In reply to by reddiesel41264

Elementor is a good example of a purely commercial add on for Wordpress that is distributed by Wordpress.

https://wordpress.org/plugins/elementor/

Sure, there is a free edition, but it is very limited and is free simply to serve the purpose of being in the Plug-in marketplace.

There is a very clear line between the free functionality and paid, also in terms of available source code.

As Musescore continues to grow, there will likely even be companies that will start to offer paid solutions that extend the capabilities of Musescore or even companies that are newly formed for the specific purpose of creating premium add-ons for Musescore.

This is inevitable for any open source platform crossing a certain threshold of user adoption and market share. If it is not officially supported or endorsed by Musescore as a company, it will be some 3rd party that will eventually make this happen.

In reply to by Daniel

I think you're confusing commercial and proprietary. This is one of the greatest achievements of Wordpress, they have a very successful commercial free software business model. The price of the software has nothing to do with its license, in fact the free software foundation encourages developers of free software to sell their work in order to promote the creation of more free software. Free in this context refers to freedom, not price.

I just wish I could see NotePerformer happening on MuseScore before I die. I am paying for Sibelius but absolutely hate it in every possible way. Its 35GB "Sibelius Sounds" is a JOKE...it's even much worse than MuseScore 3 built-in soundfont and missing almost all non-orchestral instruments.

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