Tablature requests: Muted sound on muted notes  & Larger X in tablature staff

• Dec 22, 2020 - 03:34

This video demonstrates GP7's nice "muted strings" sound. And shows a better sized X mute symbol in the tablature staff. (Currently MuseScore's x mute symbol is fine in the treble clef, but pretty skimpy in the guitar tablature staff.)



MuseScore takes whatever the soundfont offers as a sound for muted strings, so look for one with a sound ypu like better.
Tablature user a regular x not any notehead, this had been reported elsewhere recently

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for your reply Jojo.

>> MuseScore takes whatever the soundfont offers as a sound for muted strings, so look for one with a sound you like better

> Thanks I'll look into soundfonts or VST with MuseScore 4, but nice if MuseScore's default soundfont included some sort of muted string sound.

>> Tablature user a regular x ...

> Looks like MuseScore uses a lowercase x. Any chance of changing that to an uppercase X? That would likely be well received as it would make the X notehead the same size as the fret numbers.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Just occurred to me. The tablature mute "notehead" must be a lowercase x. That's why its not aligned vertically centered on the staff line—it's busy aligning to the baseline of the fret numbers!

An uppercase X would align in both respects, plus it would be an appropriate size.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Agreed. Switching "x" chars to "X" chars looks like low hanging fruit.

Before visually rendering an “x” mute to a tablature staff Musescore would set the current display glyph’s ASCII char = -32. The result would be an "X" mute.

In pseudocode:

    If tablatureStaff.notehead = mute then notehead.symbol = “X”
    (Of course, that must happen before render.)

Future developers would design Notehead symbol objects that locate and scale appropriately even when they can’t do so by font metrics.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Regarding StaffText controlling pizz playback, I found this in the handbook:

Handbook page 119

1. Select the first note of the section you want to be pizzicato;

2. From the main menu, choose Add→Text→Staff Text;

3. Type "pizz." This text is for visual reference only and does not affect playback;

4. Right-click on the applied staff text and selectStaff Text Properties...;
5. In the "Change Channel" tab of the "Staff Text Properties" dialog, select one or more voices on the left;
6. From the dropdown menu, selectpizzicato;
7. Click OK to return to the score.
Every note after the staff text you added now sounds pizzicato. To return to a normal strings sound later in the piece, follow the same guidelines as above except type "arco" in step 3 and select arco in step 6.

If that's the only method:

  a) Ugh ... I wish the "String mute" was automatically set by a notehead or a notehead property—or we could define a play style based on the assigned notehead.

  b) like pizz, it seems that "string mute" could be easily applied to a large section of mutes. But my mutes are peppered in, usually two per measure surrounded by regular playing notes, so this approach would be inordinately tedious.

  c) regarding Step 6 above , I don't see any options in the dropdown menu other than "None." If I were to find an "string mute" option, what would it be named.

As best I can tell, I'm using the default soundFont entitled MuseScore_General.sf3


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz


Okay, I'm edified. Thanks again for your direction Jojo.

I now understand that not all guitar instruments support a muted string channel, and that's the only path to muted sounds where I've set noteheads to X. Weird but apparently true.

I changed the Staff Properites>Instrument from Classical Guitar to Acoustic Guitar In attempting to make this work.

That brought me one step closer as it caused the staffText>Properties>ChangeChannel dropdown menu to populate with:
   • open
   • mute
   • jazz

So I select "mute" choice and close the dialog.
But the note still plays normally; I confirm that the Staff Text is anchored to the first note I want muted.
I revisit staffText>Properties and see that ChangeChannel has reverted to "open."

This leaves me stuck in a wily workaround.

I think it's reasonable to want all of this to be automatically handled by the X notehead itself, which is how it works in GP7.

That said, if I get this StaffText kludge working, I'll have to remember several caveats, a labyrinth of underground tunnels, and I'll need four staff text objects per measure just to handle recurring mutes on beat 2 and 4:

   • one to start each of muted note
   • one to set play to open immediately afterward
   • And my reward would be a score strewn with StaffText objects that I'll need to make invisible.

Having not yet experience the muted effect in action I wonder ... if there are four notes on beat 1, can three be muted and one sounded, or three sounded and one muted—'cause that happens. And I think staffText imparts a change for "all notes" until otherwise instructed.

I'm guessing that anyone who's worked extensively with tablature, and particularly those who have been in this corner, think these are areas where MuseScore needs serious refinement and streamlining.

Thanks again for your help!


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Okay. Thanks everyone! [ Update: In the next sentence I made a fatal typo of "not" for "now". Inadvertently I initially posted "not" which essentially reversed the meaning of the opening statement. Correction has been made. Apologies for any confusion!]

I can now get X noteheads to play the mute sound in MuseScore's soundFont but:

a) the required steps are too tedious to be practical for me; I need something that allows granular application to selected notes ... or better yet, an option to have X notehead trigger muted sounds.

b) the "mute string" sound played on the muted channel resembles a muffled, pitched staccto note, rather than the thump/click of a strongly muted string.

I'm looking for a "damped" sound like the one GP7 automatically applies when it encounters an X notehead as heard in this video, which I linked to at the top of this thread.

Does that type of sound exist somewhere in MuseScore's default soundfont?

In reply to by scorster

Does that type of sound exist somewhere in MuseScore's default soundfont?

The best sound for the percussive type X noteheads I've come across adds the 'staccatissimo' articulation to the acoustic bass instrument sound - which is chosen for the guitar mute track in the Mixer.

Here's that GP7 video as played by MuseScore:
Admittedly, this requires some effort.
Yes, it would be nice to have the X notehead trigger muted sounds, but what are the specifics - what sound to use? Where to find it?

Obviously GP7 is guitar centric, whereas MuseScore is more of a generalist. (In fact, TAB notation itself is a relative newcomer. It opened this great software to all the tabbers, which is good.)
Also, for many years the mantra often proclaimed in this forum was "MuseScore is a notation application, playback is secondary". However, the improvements to soundfonts, the addition of single note dynamics, and now the advent of MuseScore 4 shows a recognition of the importance of playback. Perhaps GM (general midi), too, is showing its age, and it will be time for something new.

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