Why is MuseScore flashing?

• Jan 27, 2020 - 21:36

Version 3.3.4...which has been great thus far...

For large orchestra, m 180 onward during a thick texture, the app would flash like lightning after:

1) a save
2) a note entry which was delayed as the app is moving very slowly at this point
3) after one on of musescore's lengthy fermatas sung after entering a 16th note (often held for several seconds, then a flash on the screen)

Thus far the file is only 75 kb with maybe 25 kb more to go.
This is a section of a large work which I have already cut into sections so that it is not too unwieldy for the app.

Any answers as to why it flashes? Any suggestions? I fear a fatal crash.

(I keep a copy in another folder and another on a thumb, yet I still fear a fatal crash).


In reply to by Spire42

Win 10, but I did not know of such a thing as Visual Alerts. Having looked it up the odds of me setting it up by accident are astronomical.

The "flash" is coming from the app. As with v 2.3.2, when you get into the depth of a thick, long score, the app slows down and at times a white overlay appears to cover the score with the blue circle turning. This flash is the white overlay jumping in and out, sometimes followed by blue circle.

Thanks for your thought.

In reply to by penne vodka

Now that you've explained it in more detail, I understand what's going on: MuseScore's UI thread is blocking, causing Windows to flag the app as “not responding”. Windows draws the white overlay and switches to the “busy” mouse cursor to indicate to the user that the app isn't currently able to respond to input.

This is something that the MuseScore developers might be able to help with. They may recommend that you file an issue for it.

Are you able to post one of the offending scores here? Also, what are your system specs — in particular, CPU type and speed and amount of RAM?

In reply to by Spire42

So, the white overlay is provided by Windows and not the app?

I recall other posts which confirmed my observation on ver 3.3.4 as well as back with 2.3.2 that the app slows down as you go further into a large or busy score.
How to file an "issue"?

Win 10 64bit CPU Intel Celeron J1800 2.41GHz 2 cores

Thank you.

In reply to by penne vodka

Yes, the white overlay and “busy” mouse cursor are provided by Windows and not the app. The app isn't even aware that this is being done for it.

I highly recommend updating and testing with the latest version (currently 3.4.1) before you file an issue. It will help determine whether or not the problem has already been fixed.

To file an issue, first read the instructions, then go here and click the “⊕ Add new issue” button.

You should definitely include an actual score file with which the problem can be reliably reproduced.

In reply to by penne vodka

You would definitely benefit from a new PC. More RAM in itself probably wouldn't help here.

I have a pretty beefy Windows machine (Intel i9-9900K at 5.0 GHz with 8 physical cores and 64 GiB of RAM). If you could post one of the problematic scores, I can test it for you and let you know if the same thing happens to me.

In any case, MuseScore should be handling this more gracefully and not blocking the UI thread, even when it's bogged down.

In reply to by Spire42

Okay, but I do not like to post unfinished scores in an untidy state here, especially since they have been "engineered" for my soundfont and mixer/synthesizer settings...which might have something to do with the problem? I do appreciate it. The problems began deep into the piece.

Also...is this related? Some scores have busy sections, say, tremolo strings, timpani roll, 16th note flourishes in winds, etc and the sound playback gets broken up (flutters) as though too much is happening at once for the (PC? App?) to handle.

Thank you.

Attachment Size
PV-Entracte II.mscz 90.13 KB

In reply to by penne vodka

Thanks for posting your score. I downloaded and opened it and then set the zoom level so that I could see the full height of several pages at once. Then I played it from beginning to end and watched carefully while it was playing. I did not notice any freezing or hiccups at all. The only issue was audio clipping at some points where there was a lot of polyphony, which I easily fixed by decreasing the master volume in the Play Panel during playback.

It does seem like you're running into hardware limitations, although as I've already mentioned, the MuseScore UI should not be blocking (with the white overlay) no matter what. I would classify that as a bug in MuseScore — albeit a bug that might be architecturally difficult to fix.

I suspect that your custom SoundFonts may be playing a big part in overtaxing your system. Have you tried temporarily switching back to the default MuseScore SoundFont just to see if helps any?

Finally, if you can identify a precise series of steps to reliably trigger the white overlay on your system (using the score you posted), please post those steps here and I will try my best to reproduce the problem on my end.

In reply to by Spire42

Perhaps I should get offline (the site) while working to save resources?
As for the font, Symphonic Sounds, a rather resourceful font developed by a user who has scored several late Romantic symphonies and the entire Nutcracker ballet w/o any evidence of a problem. My mixer settings simply lay out the orchestra and the synth settings are a few tweaks here and there and slight reverb (12:30) The gain I have set below the default 40 to allow for crescendos and to avoid peaking.

For some reason whenever I upload a score or export to MP3 the exporting often quits at 49% and I end up with no audio. The only remedy is to keep trying.

As for steps, I cannot think of anything unusual. I just enter notes, dynamics, articulations etc. Things do get thick now and then. I insist on voicing: using one staff for two oboes, clarinets etc rather than a staff for each. The only thing I can think of as far as steps are concerned is "The stall"...that is, you enter something and nothing happens. You re-enter only to find it DID register, but was stalled and you end up with two entries and get the busy circle.

At m 181 it started to act erratically with "lightning" flashes, busy circles and it became impossible to control orchestral balance. Ex. - in m192 one can hardly hear the unison trumpets. At 193 those 3 trombones and tuba in octaves at fff should be loud.

Hope this helps.

In reply to by penne vodka

There is no problem when I try with normal sound-fonts. (And I also tried with my own orchestral sound-font)

If several instrument layers have been defined in a row in the sound-font you are using, it may be using more resources.

In addition, it may be useful to keep the master volume around -50 (and below) instead of using a compressor.

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Thank you, Ziya. I'm not familiar with how fonts are constructed or how they function. I did reset the SC4 setting to "default" and lowered the gain from -45 to -50 on the section I have just completed, repeating the process on the previous one with the "flashes", which played through fine. I'll likely keep this as my own default for now. (-50) allows more leeway and clarity.
I appreciate your assistance.

In reply to by Spire42

You were correct about the box. I have since purchased a new machine better equipped to handle the software and playback. The new box has a quad core i7 and 32 GB ram. More importantly, this box comes with a normal power supply. What I did not realize is the faulty one had for some reason a 12v 65w power supply adaptor which I see on laptops. Never again. Hardly enough power and might have been the cause of the hiccups. I have not had those flashes and crashes since.
Thanks for your assistance.

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