Noteperformer for Musescore

• May 1, 2019 - 00:18

Hey there, I realize that Jmoses has already put in a request for this but I definitely think it is worth revisiting. Getting higher quality playback in Musescore would be fantastic. Here's the link to the original post:


Hi, I completely agree with this request. Noteperformer is an excellent playback software and would be a major improvement to Musescore to make it works

Someone has been good enough to realize some of my instrumental compositions from MuseScore to Note Performer.

The difference is startling. The fonts come to life. I use the new MS default and symphonic soundfont. Eventually I'll figure out how to get this sound on my page.

I think this would be great for MuseScore.

In reply to by penne vodka

As I understand it, the developer of NP is the one you should contact. He has to tailor it to work with MuseScore. Once he does that, he charges over a hundred dollars a piece for a user licence. It uses it's own sound font and playback engine that is supposed to realize scores is a more musical way. Orchestral instruments, for the most part. Some of what it does is pretty good. Some, not so much. Just my opinion. I know many folks who really like what NP does.

In reply to by bobjp

"As I understand it, the developer of NP is the one you should contact. He has to tailor it to work with MuseScore. "

Sorry, but that's not accurate. Read the earlier discussion on this forum:

In that thread the OP quotes Arne Wallander (developer of NotePerormer) as follows:
"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. :)"

Back to the MuseScore developers...?

@penne vodka
"The difference is startling. The fonts come to life."
I absolutely agree: I have also had a few scores rendered with NotePerformer, and the difference is truly amazing.

In reply to by DanielR

Actually, my statement stands. Yes, MuseScore has a bit of work to do. I have no idea how hard or desirable the effort is. And Arnie still has to make it work.
If there is no version of NP for MuseScore, I would be interested in knowing how the NotePerformer recording was made. The score may have been created in MuseScore, but would have had to be opened and tweeked in other software that NotePerformer supports. How sure could we be that our results would be the same. MuseScore is more limited in realizing articulations than other notation software. Arnie pointed articulations and other things out. As for the recording, there is so much reverb that much is covered up. Also what font was used to create the MuseScore recording?
Every now and then friends put one of my scores through NotePerformer. Is it different? Sure. Is it better? In some respects, and within the limits of notation playback. Is it stunning? Meh. Now a real orchestra with double choir? That's stunning. For me the difference is not worth the money. Software is only as good as the person using it.
Friends have also run my music through their DAW's with thousands of dollars of libraries. Of course the instruments sounded much better. But what the software did to my music was not at all what I had intended. Of course it was my own music not someone else's, so I wasn't very objective.
Again, just my opinion.

In reply to by bobjp

"If there is no version of NP for MuseScore, I would be interested in knowing how the NotePerformer recording was made. The score may have been created in MuseScore, but would have had to be opened and tweeked in other software that NotePerformer supports. "

You're right on this point. In my case the process was:
MuseScore > Export > MusicXML > Import > Sibelius > NotePerformer > Output MP3 > Apply tweaks > Output MP3 again

I don't own or use Sibelius, but the musician who generated the NotePerformer version applied the same techniques in Sibelius as I would in MuseScore:
* adjust the panning of the orchestra instruments (Mixer in MuseScore)
* adjust the relative volume of instruments, for balance (Mixer in MS)
* apply subtle tempo changes for rit., rall. and accel.

In reply to by DanielR

Thanks for sharing your process.
All I'm saying is that I just haven't heard enough of a difference with NP. Maybe I'm just deaf.
I suspect that the MS version of the music you linked was made with an older version.
I do own Sibelius. I also don't transcribe other's compositions. I write my own, and for the fun of it. I have no illusions about my music ever being played by real players. This is therapy for me. Which is not to say that playback isn't important. I often have two versions of a score. One for real players (to keep in practice), and one marked up and altered to get the software to playback more like I want.
So, I realize we have different goals.

In reply to by bobjp

@bobjp: I will concur with what DanielR said about the process. That is how it was explained to me.
musescore > export > xml etc.

As for the value of NP, please know that I do not disagree with your assessment. I am coming from the POV of a trombonist, for one. I have never heard a satisfactory trombone font wherein marcatos were not played as though the trombonists where chewing bubble gum. I had a trombone choir piece hidden until NP transformed it. I found the difference "startling." The same could be said about a ballet score of mine.
Recently a string quartet arrangement was NPed and the first reviewer wrote of the audio in triple exclamation points. The phrasing also was clearer, the difference between a professional quartet and four dentists with a sharpened blade in their instruments. :-/
As for orchestral, well none of my orchestral scores will see these pages until I can see what NP or whatever else can do. For someone like me, just learning software and thereby having to limit my investment accordingly, I would be foolish not to go for $129 before I splurge on DAWs and sound libraries, like VSL.
Again, your assessment is true to your ear. I somewhat concur.
I just wonder, at my age: how much $$$ do I want to spend on stuff I don't understand? How much time do I want to spend on a new learning curve rather than composing?


In reply to by penne vodka

Joe, I am a trumpet player, and have seldom heard a decent trumpet font. A few years go, I visited the NP site and listened to some of their samples. Specifically, their version of the Hayden trumpet concerto. They used a jazz sound that was really inappropriate. They later they changed it to a really lifeless, dry sound. Two strikes. Not long ago I tried again. This time I checked out the 1812 Overture. The opening string orchestra sound seemed really bad to me. Strings are a tough sell. I found a score and loaded it into Sibelius. To me, the sound was much better. Here's the thing about notation playback. Ten different orchestras could play your score and there would be ten different outcomes. Some better and some worse than NP. I get into discussions all the time about the best way to write music on a computer. Usually the answer is that notation software is not the best way. Why? Because notation playback, no mater how much money you've poured into it, or how well you know the software, is not how real players would play it. Period. I always loose because I don't know DAWs. Notation is it for me. No notation software will play a score marked up the way you would for real players. It's not made to do that. It's made to produce a score that you hand to real players.
You say you don't want to spend time learning software. You just want to write. Fair enough. Me too. I'm fast approaching the age of 70. I've been involved with performing since elementary school. Probably you too. We know how instruments blend together. We know this because we listen, and we've been inside music making groups. We should be able to use a pitch pipe for reference and write on paper. I've done it. A computer is way more fun. Even with NP, you need to learn how to get the best out of MuseScore. And if you think MuseScore is complicated, most any other notation software is even more so.
That said, the last piece I wrote, I did so in the newest version of MuseScore. I wrote to what I believe to be the strengths of the sound font. Not supposed to do that. Oh well. I kind of liked the result. I tried different fonts and regardless of how I rearranged things, I didn't like the result as well as the original. I even put it in Sibelius. It just wasn't the same. I spent a lot of time on each version. I liked the one I wrote first. The one for a specific font. I'm told this is dangerous because we are supposed to write what we know to be true. But then again, I just write for the fun of it.


In reply to by bobjp

Okay, Bob
I had no idea you were near my age. I came to MS because I needed to get stuff off of my sloppy manuscript. You know, ms to MS. I knew nothing about notation software, DAWs or anything else. This place gives me an advantage of publication, access and pub to you-tube and other places. According to one of the teachers here we may provide a conduit between scores and performers.
You are correct about writing for fonts. One must be careful and rely on ear and experience. My new song cycles only know MS gen "choir aahs" thus far. [You know there's a problem when you start falling in love :-( ]
I had feared I would be spending time with DAWs, VSL, equalizers, etc., you know, wires and plugs, but here I can write and get feedback and, as I often do,provide encouragement to others. So, its a tradeoff I guess.
FWIW - I know what you mean about strings. String sections ruin the sound of the orchestral pieces here, many of which are impressive. This is why my largest ensemble here is 14 instruments in a chamber ballet. It is not a "crowded" sound (for lack of a better word).
I appreciate your experience...likely similar to mine in some ways. I see you are new here. I will check your page from time to time.


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