Constant Sound card overload in new update. unable to playback and projects

• Jun 30, 2019 - 14:48
Reported version
S3 - Major
needs info


I am guessing you are on macOS? This is a known issue with 3.2.1 for macOS 10.12+. The change that introduced the issue has been reverted for 3.2.2, which I imagine will be released pretty soon.

In reply to by neo-barock

MuseScore is in fact distorting ALL audio output on the entire machine no matter where the audio originates. If I have a score loaded in MuseScore and have the synth muted but play it back, and then for example play a YouTube video in Safari, the sound of the video is distorted, it cracks and pops in rhythm with the score being "silently" played back. Close MuseScore and the problem goes away. Same with Hauptwerk output, it's distorted. Needless to say this makes MuseScore 3 playback useless on Mac.

In reply to by neo-barock

I've just checked this against MuseScore 2 running on OSX 10.13. I'm amazed to find that the problem already exists in MuseScore 2. The difference is that in MuseScore 2 the mixer allows Fluidsynth to be silenced (almost - in fact it's still there very very faintly). I updated my OS from 10.11 to 10.13 for one reason only - so I could run MuseScore 3. This is why I didn't notice this problem in MuseScore 2, because I had never run it under OS 10.13. What's making this more pronounced in MS3 is the new mixer which doesn't allow silencing Fluidsynth output. If you provide a way to simply turn the Fluidsynth OFF completely (please), that may solve it.

Severity S1 - Blocker S3 - Major

I'm not totally understanding the problem, but it sounds like you are saying MuseScore's playback is working just fine, it's just that while it is playing back, other programs audio doesn't work so well? If so, I don't see how that renders the playback useless. But if you're saying there is a problem with the playback of MuseScore itself, then turning off the synth is obviously not going to help, so that's why I'm confused.

Anyhow, if for some reason you do want to be able to hit the playback button but not have it actually playback, you could try deleting the soundfont in View Synthesizer, or deselecting your audio driver in Edit / Preferences / I/O. Not sure what the goal is, though, why not simply not press play if you don't want to hear the audio?

No, these are not separate issues. The problem is as described: playback in MuseScore is constantly distorted, it crackles and pops on Mac. Several others have already reported this.

It does NOT do this on 10.11 running MuseScore 2. It does do this on 10.13 running MuseScore 2, and it's worse running MuseScore 3. The MS2 mixer allows virtually silencing the synth, which also virtually silences the crackling (it's still there very faintly). The MS3 Mixer doesn't allow silencing the synth, so the crackling also cannot be silenced.

Further: this crackling ALSO distorts any other audio happening simultaneously on the system. Sending output to an external destination does not solve the problem. So MS is doing something very evil to the system audio output.

The Mixer levels cannot be set to zero. If the synth could be turned OFF, the crackling might go away. That wouldn't fix it, it would just provide a workaround. Presently there is no workaround.

Marc Sabatella, thanks for the suggestions, I typically send playback output from MS to Hauptwerk and I don't use the MS synth so I always zero the Mixer. Deleting the soundfont in View > Synthesizer does not fix the problem. The only audio driver available is Core Audio and it can't be deselected. As I mentioned, ALL audio output during playback crackles. That is why I said playback is useless.

I found the following workaround:

  1. Go to View > Synthesizer and delete the soundfont.
  2. Set all Mixer levels to zero (in the case of the master in MS3 this is shown as -3,00 dB).
  3. Go to Preferences > I/O and under Port Audio select a Device that is not in use. e.g. if you normally use HDMI out, select Built-in Output instead.
  4. Under MIDI Output, select a virtual port to send MIDI to an external destination (in my case, Hauptwerk)
  5. in the external destination, use a different Audio Device for output than you have selected in MuseScore (e.g. use HDMI output when MS is set to Built-In Output)

Then Hauptwerk audio does not distort.

Summary: whatever Audio Device is used for MS output gets distorted. Bypass this problem by selecting an unused audio device for output and silencing the synth output in MS.

Hi thanks for your help. I’m running the latest version of Windows 10. I’m literally just trying to play back the score that I have wrote in. I can press play and the project starts, but then it cuts out and makes this weird techno- glitchy noise? Sorry I don’t have a better way to explain this. I wasn’t experiencing this issue before the recent MuseScore 3 update

As I suspected, an entirely different issue that that of @.function_
Can you try a revert to factory settings?
Are you using MDL or any non-standard Soundfonts? Can you share the score that is having this issue?

You suspected correctly, "Sound card" is a Windows flag. Mac users don't use that language. But people who have switched from Windows to Mac often do still use that language. Anyway, the issues are not the same, but they seem related to me.

I have the very nearly the same issue as .function_, except that I'm running Linux Mint 19.3 and MuseScore 3.2.3, and simply having MuseScore open distorts all audio on the system, in both the ALSA and Pulse playback modes, with the default Musescore soundfont and factory default settings.

Occasionally, the problem goes away on its own, but it's always come back so far.

I get some pops, etc when using MuseScore 3.2.3, which I don't think I can hear​ in the exported file, nor in 2.3.2.

I'm using Mac 10.11.6.