Sound effects

• Oct 20, 2020 - 22:22

Just wondering if the current version of MS, or if there is any thought to having a future version of MS (V4, perhaps), allow sound effects to be attached to a note. A stupid example would be have a dog bark when a certain note is played, or a horn honk.


In reply to by mike320

Yes, but the point is there isn't going to be a soundfont for dogs barking, horns honking, doors creaking, etc, etc. I am talking about attaching a one-time event sound to a note. Also, wouldn't you have to put in a staff for that sound effect? You couldn't just add a one time sound to a note, could you?

In reply to by odelphi231

It's almost always possible to add a one time sound effect. There is a limit based upon the current instrument definitions but you can define an instrument with a large number of options, my guess is about 127 sound fonts. If you use the violin, you can already have 3 sounds assigned to it for a C instrument. If you want a transposing instrument you can pick a trumpet and have 2 sounds defined. Just assign a sound to a channel in the mixer and the use staff text and set it to that channel. You don't have to assign a violin sound to the instrument or pizzicato sound to the violin's pizzicato channel. See for how to change sounds mid staff.

The GM (General MIDI) soundfont provided with MuseScore contains some sound effects (e.g., Sea Shore, Bird Tweet).
You can open the Mixer and scroll to the bottom of the list to view what's available.

I had these 2 files laying around from a previous demo:

(The sound effects are activated as if notes are being played.)

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Since you all are saying I have to do this through a soundfont, wouldn't I have to use the "change instrument" effect, do the sounds, then use the change instrument effect again to change back to the original instrument? Clunky. Also, there are all kinds of free soundfonts for instruments, but I haven't found one for sound effects.

In reply to by odelphi231

You wrote:
...have a dog bark when a certain note is played, or a horn honk.

Effects like trumpet mute, pizzicato, harmonics, etc. are more related to music - and therefore supported in MuseScore - than are dog barks, horn honks, and (as someone once requested here in the forum) car engine sounds, etc.

An alternative...
If your sound effects are sparse and do not require specific pitch and meter notation, you can use readily available .wav or .mp3 sound effects. Then, use an audio editor application (like Audacity) to combine everything.
So... you export the MuseScore sheet as audio (.wav or .mp3), open in Audacity, and then add your audio sound effects within Audacity. This will produce an audio recording; but not a notated sheet (which a dog can't read anyway).
(You can even record, then add, your own dog's bark :-)


In reply to by odelphi231

For no clunkiness:

Add 1 extra instrument stave for all your sound effects and assign effects to different pitches in the soundfont. A piano would be a good option as it has a large range of pitches.

If you have any sound effects as .mp3 or .wav you can build them into a soundfont. Using Audacity is not necessary but it a really good idea since you can tidy up your samples, (e.g. normalise, remove noise, trim, reduce sample rate and therefore size), before combining them into a soundfont with Polyphone.

This will produce a notated sheet which plays back correctly, (maybe your dog can be trained to bark at the right moments). You will need to upload audio to, (just tick the box when uploading from Desktop), and downloaders will need your custom soundfont to hear it in MS desktop. You can share it via Dropbox, OneDrive, Google Drive, etc.

In reply to by odelphi231

Re: Free sound effects, (albeit not ready made into a soundfont.)

Loads of them on YouTube, e.g. dogs @

Download the video and extract audio to make .wav samples to turn into a soundfont. Get other samples for other effects from other videos, (frogs, giraffes, helicopters etc.), and build them all into your soundfont. Add a piano stave to MS and assign it your effects soundfont.

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