mixer and soundfont questions

• Mar 27, 2020 - 17:18

My knowledge of using the mixer and soundfonts is sketchy, as my questions will no doubt demonstrate.

  1. What determines the order of the instruments in the mixer? Can you change the order or rename them?
  2. Does anything tell you on the screen what soundfont is associated with a score? When more than one soundfont shows in the synthesizer, does anything indicate which one is saved to the score?
  3. I have two soundfonts, Musescore general and Aegean. No matter which one I save to the score, the list of instruments doesn't change. Shouldn't it?
  4. No doubt a silly suggestion based on my ignorance, but It seems to me the synthesizer and the mixer should be combined into one palette.....

Tucson AZ


  1. General MIDI, basically. Unless the Soundfont doesn't confor toit. And no, you can't change the order other that ripping the soundfont apart and put it together in a different order
  2. Both I'd guess
  3. Why should it? If both a GM compatible, the list is the same
  4. I don't think so, they do serve different purposes

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

  1. So to assign Soprano voice to a staff, you have to scroll through the whole list and find it? Or do you usually assign a sound to a staff in Staff / Part Properties? Does assigning Soprano voice in Staff / Part Properties do the same thing as assigning it in the mixer?
  2. If two sound fonts are showing in the synthesizer, and you assign Soprano voice to a staff, how do you know which font it is using, the Musescore General Soprano voice or the Aegean soprano voice?

Any suggestions about where to read to understand this?


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

There just isn't a good way to scroll through the very long list of instruments. Especially if you have more than one font installed. Yes, you can type the first letter of the voice you want. It helps if you remember how the voice is labeled. If the sound you want is "french horns SEC" and you type "h", you may end up with the horn voice from your other font. Or "harmonica".
The list (or the mixer) doesn't tell you which font a voice is from.
Check out the manual for more info.
I would suggest that until you are more familiar with how things work, you might want to use one font to start with.

@ azgilbertdh...

Here's a reference which shows each MIDI instrument family grouping within a soundfont:

It also shows the order of the patches (instrument sounds) within each family.
That is, when you display the Mixer in MuseScore and scroll through the 'Sound' drop down list, the instruments are ordered in each soundfont with the Piano family first and the Sound Effects family last (for each soundfont displayed in the synthesizer).

The SoundFont format has been around for several years now and provides the features found on most sample-based synths. The thing that really makes a SoundFont sound good, is not what it can do with its sounds, but it is the sounds themselves.

If you are curious as to what features SoundFonts have, you can easily find that with a bit of research. There is also software to help with creating or editing SoundFonts. there is still software being actively developed that can use SoundFonts, even though the SoundFont format is outdated.

If you don't yet have any SoundFonts to play with, the first thing you need to do is download one or more. Any GM, GS, or XG SoundFont will do for now. You can try different ones to see which suit your taste. You may find yourself switching back and forth between several different ones. You can also use specialized SoundFonts. These SoundFonts are not GM, they have their own custom instrument layout, so midis created with them will only sound good on that SoundFont alone. These are useful in their own right because they provide sounds that a standard configuration would not support.

Just a warning, SoundFonts cannot support XG very well because of the more complex bank structure of the XG standard. GS works considerably better, but I have yet to see a SoundFont that has all of the GS instruments. XG and GS probably weren't standards when SoundFonts were first introduced, but I don't know that for sure.

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