musescore files for uploading to DAW

• Sep 5, 2020 - 08:12

In order to manipulate my Musescore orchestrated instruments in a DAW, I believe I need to save each instrument in my Musescore orchestration as a seperate MIDI file and upload each instrument to a seperate track in my DAW (Mixcraft). Will all the Musescore dynamics and standard playback sounds transfer over as MIDI? Or are just the notes saved as MIDI and possibly the velocity?


Is there some special reaosn you believe you need to use separate MIDI files rather than just a standard single one?

Dynamics, articulations, and pretty much everything MuseScore is indeed exported to MIDI. But you might need to set up the tracks individually in terms of selecting appropriate sounds, banks, etc, depending on how you had it set it within MuseScore (probably won't be necessary if you are just using defaults).

In reply to by Shirly Lyubomirsky

Why not just try it? Export your score to a midi-file and import into your DAW. THen play around in the DAW to see if you are happy with what was imported and what you can further control/improve in your DAW.

And if you find something you are not happy with, and you think it would be possible to improve by importing each part as a separate midi-file. Try that too. You can just do a few of the parts to see if you can achieve what you want, before you import all parts, as this would be more work than importing the full score as one midi file.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes there is, at least in case you use Reaper DAW. It is not realistic that you finish your composition completely before going to the DAW. In case you use separate files, you can simply overwrite the midi export files. This way you don't have to manually assign the instuments to tracks each time you update your composition. Reaper will automatically reload them and the whole workflow
edit in musescore -> export midi files -> listen in DAW
takes only seconds.

In reply to by drowo

Are you saying you save each instrument in Musescore as a separate file, export it as a MIDI (say MIDI piano, MIDI, flute, etc) then each of these becomes a track in DAW. Each time you update an instrument in Musescore, Reaper automatically reloads the updates and writes over the previous MIDI?

In reply to by Shirly Lyubomirsky

Not exactly, its much easier. I keep the whole score in ONE Musescore file, but I generate parts and use "export parts" instead of "export score" to generate the midi. These files - one per instrument/part! - are "imported" manually only once into Reaper. I use quotation marks because Reaper can be configured*** to directly reference those files instead of importing their content. Once the tracks are assigned you put on each track the VST library of your choice and assign the wanted instrument sound (piano, flute, oboe, trumpet, drums, cello, violin, ..... ).

Each time I update the score I repeat "export parts" (to midi) and save them to the same location as before (ideally whithin the Reaper project directory), overwriting the existing ones (!). It consists of 4 mouse clicks or keyboard shortcuts taking less than 2 seconds in total.

*** Reaper has two options which are crucial to support this workflow:
- keep midi tracks in external *.mid files (instead of the Reaper project file)
This is necessary because otherwise Reaper will import the content instead of using the mid files directly and thus ignore those files being updated (overwritten).
- close track files when not in focus
This is necessary because otherwise Windows will block the files from being overwritten because of "being used by another application"

Are you exporting the score in an audio format like wav or flac? Or does your DAW work with MIDI, and is that what you want to do?

In reply to by Rockhoven

OK everyone, I just imported the Musescore as one MIDI file to Mixcraft, my DAW. Indeed, all the instruments came up separately, but oh boy, the sound is not the same at all , dynamics and articulations are all off, weird instrument replacement and the balance between the "tracks" is all off. It feels like all the dynamics and articulation work I put into musescore was for nothing.

Maybe I should keep my work at Musesore and bring the sound, for now, Spitfire audio samples (plugin) into Musescore, so I preserve my dynamics and articulation and just play around with the sound. Will that work in Musescore? What's the best way to upload sounds, I never brought a plugin into musescore.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I am trying to upload the Spitfire audio plugin into Musescore. I was able to get it into Mixcraft. But in Musescore, I go into Plugin, Plugin creator , press the file icon, find my Spitfire BBC symphony sound samples, click on sampes, click on Discover (which is the library of symphony sounds) but when I click on it, nothing appears inside the Discover file. I believe Musescore is looking for files with . qml extension. Any idea why I cannot import the Discover file into Musescore?

In reply to by Shirly Lyubomirsky

MuseScore plugins are all .qml files. I don't know anything about Spitfire but the likelyhood that a plugin from another program would work in MuseScore is rather slim. If the sound library is a .sf2. .sfz, .sf3 or .sfArk then they could probably be used for sound fonts in MuseScore. In that case see for info on each of the file types along with some I didn't mention.

In reply to by Shirly Lyubomirsky

Googling a little bit, I think Spitfire is a sample library in "Kontakt" (Native Intruments) format, which can be used through the "Kontakt Player" which is free to download. Kontakt player includes a VST-plugin, which I guess means that it will be possible to use in Musescore 4. But I think Kontakt player can also be run as a separate program which means it should be possible to route the midi output of Musescore to Kontakt player. Worth investigating perhaps?

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