Multi-Staff Polyphonic Voice Auditioning

• Jul 1, 2020 - 01:05

--TL;DR: A way to listen to many notes in different staves/staffs while in edit mode for chords / polyphony.

Before I begin, I want to offer all my gratitude to the creators and contributors of this wonderful community of Musescore. You have and are doing a great job with this wonderful, open-source software!
As an intermediate DAW user and music producer, I'm very excited and optimist about the future of Musescore 4. And I don't want to lose this opportunity to help make Musescore better not only for me, but for everyone. I think you'll love this feature request!

Now, this is a feature I've been waiting for since a very long time, and it's sort of already implemented, but I'd like to expand on the current implementation in an analogous way:

Right now, you can only hear polyphony of various notes through either placing them on the same staff either on the score editor or directly in the Piano Roll (I love piano rolls! So much that I end up working directly in there and not recording like most of music producers do).

If it were possible, I'd really be very thankful of being able to audition/listen to not only the notes I'm placing on a different staff, but present in other staffs as well (or in the same staff but while I input notes of a different voicing/voice) at the same time. But not in the way some DAWs do where you have to click and hold, but rather automatically while I input the notes (Think of it as a toggle-feature you can activate or deactivate. And of course, I'll have it turned on all the time!!).

As a big Thank You for this, if you manage to achieve adding it. I will commit myself to help Musescore 4 become the best free, Open Source DAW out there! I have many fields of knowledge, sadly I lack a bit in the programming department, but I still am very competent in other fields.

I'm glad to be part of this community and hope to hear more from you!


MuseScore isn't striving to become a DAW.
It is still striving to be a notation editor, which will allow for better composition workflows and (a current focus on) easy integration/linkage with DAWs.

Just a slight nuance to your ending paragraph. To your feature request (to be on topic):
I think part of the difficulty might be to know what to play. If a different staff has a note that started before the current entry position and is held through it; should it be played? And if so, with the correct decay?

In reply to by jeetee

Hello Jeetee!

First of all, thanks a lot for sharing your time and replying to my feature request.

I understand Musescore's aim isn't becoming a DAW, what I mean is the DAW part of Musescore really excites me a lot, not just for it being free and open source, but also because it does have the score part and opens up lots of possibilities. My apologies if I meant something else.

Back to the main discussion:
There's no difficulty in looking at what's already implemented, which I mentioned, staff-wise. Now to answer the question, I think it's going to be a bit of a technical challenge to play a previous held note and audition it's decay if it hasn't been triggered in the first place. Especially with things like VSTs. (which are planned for Musescore 4) But the feature could still be implemented as an option, and be developed further as time goes by and more people get involved in the discussion. To make my idea a bit clearer, it'd be something along the lines of "there's an imaginary/invisible play-head/cursor-line that 'touches' the notes across the multiple staffs/staves while you add notes and auditions them." (This, combined with piano roll/staff ghosting would be the perfect reason for me to move from my current DAW to Musescore, and trust me, I'm really doing it if it happens).


In reply to by Wren206

One of the interesting things though is that currently MuseScore doesn't play the staff at all during note entry, only the current chord (probably to avoid the questions I've posed above).
This can be easily witnessed when writing a 2nd voice into a staff; even if the rhythm matches an existing chord in voice 1, that chord isn't played back either.

So I think this might have to become the option to play:
1. Just the note (currently possible)
2. Just the chord (currently possible)
3. The entire staff (new)
4. The entire instrument (new)
5. The entire system (new)

As a first draft I'd propose to only play the notes that start on the same time position as the entered position; just to make implementing this a lot easier.

In reply to by jeetee

Absolutely agree with you, Jeetee.

I've tested recently on Musescore 3.5 beta using the piano roll editor and inputting notes on the same staff (Currently the piano roll, from what I see, supports doing single-staff editing, not multi/ghosted staves).
I really love the way the new features implemented by Mark McKay work so far in the piano roll. :)

I'm looking forward to contribute more in this area. If you or anyone knows of a way I can collaborate/help on this feature, let me know. I'm more of an artist than a programmer, so I hope that helps somehow.

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