Audio track

• Mar 25, 2019 - 16:18

Hi, Gang!!!

I use MuseScore 3.0.5 Portable AppImage, in Ubuntu Studio 18.04.2 LTS (64 bit Linux).

OK!!! I know the MuseScore main target was/is/always will be... THE FINAL VISUAL PAPER PRINTED SCORE PRESENTATION!!! Yes, I know it very good!!!

BUT... In the today world, with computing technology fills us everywhere, and... A life faster and faster every day... I think MuseScore should have the capability to put an audio track which be played "in-synchronize" with the score we are written.

I'm talking about a very simple audio player, not something related with the score itself.

Let's say... I want to write the SATB voices, of some specific choral piece, and I have some audio recording instrumental track (musical accompaniment) to that tune.

So... I have to synchronize the score tempo with that audio track.

OK, OK, OK!!! I know, today we could do it through a very complicated JACK procedure (or... manually, using some audio player, dreaming with the impossible fact that our fingers are enough fast to click on the play buttons to get the full synchronization between MuseScore and the audio player).

Whatever... I wonder... Is it logic, in present time, to have to use some extra software tool, if this capability has been present in MIDI software from the 16 bit computers age? ???

I think, to add this very basic audio player to MuseScore won't "damage" the software itself.

Just an idea...

Blessings and Greetings from Chile!!!



Neat idea! Other applications: Pre-render ("bounce") parts of a huge score if they slow down the program. Compose in sync with a musical/theater dialogue. Add ambience & sound effects to scores.
Going bigger by including video would even open up film scoring! :3

But to implement this, I'd expect synchronization to be a tough problem - especially if you want to start playback from somewhere else than the beginning, and want to keep it in sync over long stretches of time, without nasty artifacts. MIDI playback is just fundamentally different than regular WAV/MP3/...-audio playback here.
I don't think MuseScore currently keeps track of how much time has (and should have) passed on which bar? And a mapping between position in the score & time in the audio file seems like the bare minimum for this to work. This gets even more complicated with changing time signatures, tempo changes (maybe even gradual accelerando/ritardando in the future), caesuras...
As far as "damaging" the software goes (introducing software dependencies, clutter, looking unprofessional b/c of unpolished features, new sources of bugs, ...), I do fear that integrating media playback into MS could be a big ask...
A MS plugin & JACK workflow do seem a lot more realistic. Is it possible to use MIDI output from MS to encode the current position? Are there media players that can skip to different positions based on MIDI input? How do DAWs do that, anyway? I'd probably start there, for now.

In reply to by snieb

Msc keeps track of where you are in a piece. Previous versions had a clock counter in the play panel for real time. You could also measure the total length of the piece. It has a mechanism to left arrow from rest to note to rest...etc. You can start your playback from any point. You can also represent every on/off event with a real time clock position in an editor. It is just not currently shown to the user or accessible within the program. You have to export to see it.

In reply to by snieb

Hi, snieb!!!

You say: "I do fear that integrating media playback into MS could be a big ask..."

But, I wonder... Is it a "big ask", to ask something that has been present since decades in the MIDI world? ???

I'm not a programmer. I don't have any clue about C++ language programming. But... I learnt an old age language called "Logo". Yes!, the turtle graphics! I used it since the Atari 8 bit computers. And... I could to build a very simple audio player (less than 20 code lines) with a "modern" version of Logo (MSWLogo), and... It still works so fine!!!

Are you talking about to write the code to build a very simple audio player in C++ is too hard and risky to the rest of MuseScore code? ???

Even the fact I don't know C++, I guess the code to show the music score is too, too, too hard in comparison with the code to get a simple audio player!!!

Even more, I know there are some basic routines that we can use, in a normal Linux Terminal, to play an audio file. I'm talking about a line command tools called "aplay" (for wav format), and "mpg123" for MP3 format.

Maybe, MuseScore could use that line command tools IN-SYNCHRONIZE with the internal synthesizer playback time... Could be!!!

In reply to by jotape1960

Nothing is hard to code when you know how ;-)

I'd like to slightly nuance your statement though; it's not present since decades in the MIDI world; it's been present in the DAW world. A world where combining MIDI and audio is part of the core goal of the program.

MuseScore has no desire to bloat itself into a full DAW, but rather chooses to interface with it. This can be done via the direct MIDI out or via the Jack MIDI out, where timesynchronization is available.
For film scoring for example, using MuseScore + Jack + Xjadeo could be a possible solution (see for example )

In reply to by jeetee

I'm not absolutely sure about when the "DAW" world started (with that name, at least).

The only one thing I can say is... in the Windows 3.1 age, I used MIDi Studio, Cakewalk Home Studio and Cubase, all MIDI software WITH audio tracks capabilities.

Of course, all that software was upgraded to Windows 95 and, some of them, are still present today!!!

So... I think the audio tracks HAD BEEN an essential part of the MIDI world since decades!!!

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