MIDI export saves wrong instruments

• Jan 12, 2019 - 17:33

if I export my music to a midi file in musescore then the wrong instruments are saved to it. The midi then sounds very different, even with the correct soundfont loaded. Why is that?
Even if I reimport it to musescore the instruments are not as configured them before the export.

That's how it should sound: https://www.dropbox.com/s/qqmfbbhb908228g/Elemental_Stars.mp3?dl=0
Here is the MIDI: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ikdan6gl6yfqgzt/Elemental_Stars.mid?dl=0

The MIDI was created with the default soundofnt of musescore.


MIDI files do not have any sound of their own, the sounds you hear when you play a MIDI file depend on the soundfont used by the program that plays that MIDI file. If I load your MIDI file into MuseScore and play it, then it sounds just like your MP3. But if you try loading it into any other program to play, then you will hear the sounds of that other program. That is the nature of MIDI - it doesn't contain sounds, on instructions on what notes to play.

In reply to by marcopianissimo

Feel free to attach your score so we can understand and assist better. But my guess is, you are using non-standard instrument assignments, either within MuseScore or within the program you are using to read the MIDI file. If you deviate from the General MIDI standard, you need to do so using both MuseScore and the program you use to read your MIDI files.

Alright, I figured out how to fix this issue. I know I'm over a year late, but I'm sure someone else will show up and have the same issue.

Long story short, some devices are incapable of using more than one port. MuseScore allows for exporting up to 16 different ports with 16 channels. Once again, many programs (including Windows Media Player) CANNOT use more than 1 single port. This means you need to fit every single unique instrument into 16 channels. Luckily, duplicate instruments can share a channel and export fine.

Keep in mind that many instruments actually occupy more than one channel. In the Mixer, you'll notice a right-facing arrow on every instrument. Sometimes, it's able to be clicked, and doing so reveals several more. For example, Violins (and all strings for that matter) have 3 in total: Arco, Pizzicato, and Tremolo. If you're only using Arco and not the other two, I'd go on each and set their channels to 16, which will be designated as unused. Yes, this does mean it's technically now only 15 total channels available. And no, you cannot place them all onto one channel. If you do, the instrument will sound like whatever the rightmost subinstrument is. In the case of a violin, it'll just make it constantly sound tremolo.

Additionally, and this is super important, channel 10 is ONLY for percussion. If you use a percussion or drumset on any other channel, it will play as a piano. If you use any other instrument on channel 10, it will use the percussion soundfont.

If you do have two instruments on the same channel, they'll all use the soundfont of the rightmost instrument in the mixer. I don't know if this has any practical application.

Finally, make sure you go to Preferences > Export > MIDI and check on "Export RPNs". This will allow your MIDI file to retain information such as pitch bending, vibrato, and other like information.

In reply to by DaSquyd

Hi there.
The same thing even happened for me when I tried to use Violins and Glockenspiel concurrently in my score. As soon as I added Glockenspiel to the list of my instruments, things started to go wrong. My violins sounded like Glockenspiel which completely turned my MIDI file into a mess. Also tried the methods you and other kind people had mentioned but none of them worked. In the end, I simply removed the problematic instrument and tried to find another way of completing my score. After deleting Glockenspiel's track, the MIDI file became OK as it should.

In reply to by PotatoPat

The problem as originally described is not a problem in MuseScore but a misunderstanding about how MIDI works - it simply does not record actual sounds. If you are having a problem you feel is not simply that, you would need to attach a score and give us precise steps to reproduce the problem in order for us to investigate further.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, could it be that you are stuck in the idea that the OP complains about a violin not sounding as good as in his original score, while he actually wants to know why a violin has changed into a clarinet?
"if I export my music to a midi file in musescore then the wrong instruments are saved to it."

In reply to by jotti

I don't think that's what I was thinking at all, although it was over a year ago, so hard to say. Anyhow, though, the same answer certainly applies - violin sound can change to clarinet if you are using two different soundfonts and the program number for violin in one is clarient in the other. And that's really my point - MIDI is just numbers, not semantic information. We really don't know anything about how the OP produced the audio with the clarinet sound. I asked for clarification but none was ever provided, so it still seems to me a very assumption that this perfectly normal difference in soundfonts is completely responsible for what is being described here.

If not, then still, a year later, we still need precise step by step instructions to reproduce the perceived problem.

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