Expressive sounds

• Oct 14, 2019 - 23:15

Hi, gang!!!

I use Musescore 3.2.3 and now I can use the "standard" soundfont with "Expressive" sounds.

But... I wonder if there is some EASY way to get that "Expressive" characteristic from other soundfonts (like GeneralUser, or Timbres_of_Heaven)...

Some idea about this? ???

Blessings and Greetings from Chile!!!



In the synthesizer change the dynamics method to CC events only and CC to use to CC11 and you will get single note dynamics of other soundfonts.

In reply to by mike320

I suppose that's true, but it could be you are adding your crescendos and dynamics differently, or they have their velocity and other settings set up differently, or you've changed the staff properties somehow from what we have. But here is what I did:

1) default empty score, all synth settings at default
2) add flute instrument
3) add whole note to measure 1, quarter note to measure 2
4) add pp dynamic to whole note, ff to quarter note
5) add crescendo to the whole note

This plays back just fine. Then, I go to synthesizer and do the following:

1) Fluid tab: add "GeneralUser GS MuseScore v1.442.sf2"
2) Dynamics tab: CC events only, CC11

Playback has no crescendo. I also tried pressing "To Expressive", no change. I tried other settings here too, - nothing causes that whole note to get any louder.

So, what am I missing?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

1) I changed the synth settings to CC events and CC11 a long time ago and rarely change it back except for helping others on this forum.
2 - 5) I don't do anything special. Add notes, add dynamics and press play.

I never click the To Expressive button because it's not necessary for the CC11 playback.

Since we have different soundfonts on our computers I can't simply save to score the synth settings to score and attach it. The flute in the GeneralUser has more vibrato that the Aegean which is what I use most (because it comes with mute channels for trombones and strings). The flute is also equally responsive to dynamic changes. I was listening to the trombone previously.

One other thing, since the Aegean has some different names (like bass clarinet), I always make sure the the instruments are correct in the mixer (no expr sounds).

I usually use hairpins, so I tested it with the crescendo line and it still worked. The only other thing I can think of is that you need to adjust your hearing aid 😉

In reply to by mike320

Maybe (I'm just guessing) it is related with the fact that Tremolos are not working in the same way the long notes are.

I mean: we don't get the single note dynamics changes if we use a whole long note with Tremolo (for example).

Let's say: If we put a whole note, with tremolo sign, in some bar, and we put a "ppp" sign at the beginning of that bar and a "fff" sign on the next bar, and we put a "crescendo" hairpin between those dynamic signs, and we expected that tremolo whole note sounds with a gently volume variation from ppp to fff... We don't get that!!!

So... Maybe... Perhaps... Could be... Both issues are related.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I thought I made it very clear that I don't believe you were hearing anything but what you hear. I don't know what you are doing wrong. I import version 2 songs and this works fine except where there are two or more consecutive hairpins/dynamic lines.

Set Dynamics method to CC events only (constant velocity)
Set CC to use to CC11
Look in the mixer to make sure there are no sounds marked expr.
press play

Dynamics will sound on single notes following the same rules they did on multiple notes in pre-SND versions of MuseScore.

Here is a score I did just that on. I previously had uploaded it in version 2 about a year ago. I opened it in version 3 and saved it on line with custom audio without changing my defaults in 3.3-RC. You can hear the single note dynamics, especially in measure 3. Because of the back-to-back hairpins in mm 17-21 you won't hear the SND because I didn't change the velocity change. I will edit it at some point and upload all of Pictures with SND working in full.

I almost forgot, the link is

In reply to by mike320

I tried this using GeneralUser GS, very definitely no SND happening. I checked measure 3, also added some additional measures with nothing but a single long tied note crescendoing from pp to ff. Absolutely no variation whatsoever. I tried all sorts of additional variations on the settings, also the button to swtich to expressive or non-expressive, no improvement.

I have no trouble believing the soundfont you are using does work, but apparently not all do.

In reply to by mike320

Unfortunately it's hard to tell after upload because of the normalization applied, but I don't really hear that starting "pp", which makes it harder to tell if it really is getting louder. I hear the vibrato increasing in intensity and wonder if that's fooling the ear. The effect certainly shouldn't be as subtle as it seems in the uploaded audio. Anyhow, when I download the score to my comptuer it definitely starts pp but absolutely refuses to get any louder, when using that soundfont (1.442), regardless of the patches, CC, etc.

In reply to by mike320

mike320, I can to get the Single Note Dynamic audible effects with the Musescore_general soundfont, only with that soundfont.

If I use any other soundfont file... NOTHING!!!

The great question here is... Why this is a soundfont dependent issue!!!

It is supposed the overall dynamics is something related with some specific MIDI parameter, which should work with any soundfont file, at any circunstance!!!

So... I don't understand!!! I'm lost!!!

In reply to by jotape1960

As Marc pointed out, CC2 has to be programmed into a soundfont, which is what happened with Musescore_general for the sounds that are expressive. All other sounds can have their volume controlled by CC11, as long as the instrument is capable of single note dynamics. Examples of instruments that cannot use SND are guitar, piano and all percussion. There is no way to make a whole note get louder on these instruments.

In reply to by mike320

But... According to the MIDI International Standards, the CC11 is the "Expression" parameter which should be used to get this single note dynamics.

The CC2 parameter is the "Breath" control, and I guess it is intended to other uses.

The full MIDI Standard Controls List is here:…

I'm not a programmer (not a clue about C++, Java or Python). But... In the old world (Basic and Logo programming languages) we could use the CC11 to get volume changes INSIDE just one note, because this parameter was controlled by loop variables (FOR... NEXT, in Basic, and REPEAT in Logo). And this variations were related with the time progress of the MIDI playback data. So... I guess there should be more than a way to implemented this in C++, Java, Python, etc.

BTW: There are MIDI software with this implementation, in the free and open code software world. So... Why not MuseScore? ???

In reply to by jotape1960

And that is why CC11 works with the sound fonts where CC2 is not expressly programmed into the soundfont. Someone at musescore decided to have CC2 make SND work on certain soundfonts. I believe this to be a mistake because some people apparently don't understand how to undo the default CC2 method set in MuseScore version 3.1 when this was first implemented. I used the simple method of changing the 2 settings I described above when Ziya M. D. told us about this and it's worked for me just fine in every soundfont it should. It doesn't work in my gong soundfont because a gong can't do single note dynamics.

In reply to by jotape1960

My understanding is that CC11 can and is used for different purposes in different contexts. But as described, you can switch to CC11 and use that your soundfont supports it.

As for the technical reasons CC11 was not used by default, so for example the link I posted above. S. Christian Collins knows far more about MIDI than most of us do, I trust his judgement.

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