Ability to experiment/play MIDI keyboard before writing it out

• Jun 10, 2019 - 17:07

I wish MuseScore let me experiment with a MIDI keyboard before writing anything down. Experimenting on a piano before writing it down is a common workflow for composition, but current MuseScore behavior prevents this (see the three behaviors listed below).

Expected behavior 1: Keyboard plays the instrument sound of the currently selected staff
Actual behavior 1: Keyboard plays the instrument sound of the top staff, regardless of what you are working on.

Expected behavior 2: Note length should match what ever I play on the MIDI keyboard
Actual behavior 2: Note length is always 300ms (or whatever is defined as the standard length in Preferences > Note Input). To clarify the standard note length makes sense during note input, but doesn't make sense when you are trying to experiment before committing to writing. I can also see the potential need to have a maximum note length to avoid MIDI notes that get stuck (the note off message got lost, etc.)

Expected behavior 3: Note playback should be more or less instant
Actual behavior 3: Usually there is a significant delay between hitting a note and hearing it. Maybe MuseScore already has options to reduce this. Again a small delay is not significant during note entry but is significant when trying to experiment with a melody or rhythm.

As a work around, I often composing with pencil and paper at a piano then come to MuseScore to write it out nicely. But when I'm in a hurry, it would be nice to skip the two step process.


Actual behavior 3 is latency. You might try the other sound devices you have on your computer and see which one cuts down on it. And make sure you have the latest drivers for your keyboard.
I can't speak to the other behaviors. People have problems with keyboard entry in Sibelius, also.

I'd be all for expected behavior 1 and 2. (Not sure, but seem more feasible to implement than fixing general latency issues (3))
As a workaround (esp. for 2), maybe have a software sampler running in the background that takes care of playing the notes you press on the MIDI keyboard, and disable note playback on input in Mscore? (e.g. qsynth, VST plugin in a DAW, ...)

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