Discrepancy in note durations on MIDI import

• Jan 14, 2021 - 21:36
Reported version
S3 - Major

Hi, there!
Everytime I export an score to midi, MP3 or WAV, the audible length of the ties is different (longer) from the notes initially written. I waste a lot of time re-writing the score but the errors occur again and again. Why?
Thanks, a lot.


Frequency Once Many

In order to understand and assist, we would need you to attach the specific score you are having trouble with, and tell us exactly which note(s) you feel have the wrong duration.

Do be sure you haven't entered slurs when you mean ties. But if that were the case, you'd also hear the difference during normal playback not just on export.

A slur is not a tie, and vice versa. Your sample score uses ties.
I don't see nor hear anything wrong with them though, not in an MP3 export of that score

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I had a problem a few days ago where on playback, the piano sounded as though the pedal was constantly in effect https://musescore.org/en/node/315117 - similar to what the OP is reporting. I could reproduce the problem consistently during playback but others could not - again similar to the OP's experience - but my problem only occurred during playback, not with an exported mp3 - different to the OP's problem. A reset to factory settings fixed my problem but given that some of the symptoms seem similar I suggest doing that: https://musescore.org/en/handbook/revert-factory-settings.

Frequency Many Once
Status active needs info

the only mistake was (and again is) the frequency (you're all but one -> "once"), status gets set to "need info" by us if we need more information like on how to reproduce (which we still can't)

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks for your helping; I needed to clarify that question :)
Yep, if I play the score directly from MS everything runs ok. The problem appears when I export it to MIDI: it plays ties wrong. It happens the same when I export from MS to WAV or MP3 directly. Obviously, the result of exporting from MIDI to MP3 or WAV is completely accurate.

Frequency Once Many
Status needs info active

New input: everytime a bar finish with a syncopation or even with an eighth silence, MS (when exports) enlarges the final note to undo that syncopation or complete that bar, respectively.

In reply to by ZeligPereira

If I export that score as mid and then import it to MuseScore (3.6) I hear and see the dotted crotchet last note in the second example as described. However, if I open the .mid file in WavePad the final note of the second example is heard as a tied-to quaver, as written in the original mscz. The wave representation of that final note in WavePad is noticably shorter as well. Using the selection cursor I get a duration of 1.14 seconds for the first example vs 0.73 seconds for the second example. It seems that MuseScore is interpreting its own midi export incorrectly when it is re-imported whereas WavePad is interpreting it correctly.

For the record I am using OS: Windows 10 (10.0), Arch.: x86_64, MuseScore version (64-bit):, revision: 269baf7

Title Export to midi/audio: transcription errors in the length of the ties Export to/Import from midi: transcription errors in the length of the ties
Status needs info active
Title Export to/Import from midi: transcription errors in the length of the ties Export to midi/audio: transcription errors in the length of the ties
Status active needs info

I'm not seeing a problem. But if I understand correctly, I think perhaps you are being confused by something MuseScore does on import. The durations are exported correctly and exactly. But in import, MuseScore tries to simplify durations of notes for legibility, a form of quantization. This causes some of those notes to get rounded off to something that seems more reasonable for a musician to read. If you prefer a more exact but less readable result, turn off the "Simply durations" option in the MIDI import panel and hit the Apply button.

If I'm still not understanding properly, please post precise step by step instructions to reproduce the problem, starting from a simple example like the one given.

Title Export to midi/audio: transcription errors in the length of the ties Discrepancy in note durations on MIDI import

(title now reflects my understanding; if true we can close this as "by design")

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I tried playing with the tick boxes in Midi Import and I was under the (mistaken) impression that the effect of the selected options would be shown as a sort of preview in the score. I see now that you have to apply the selected parameters before you can see their effect. It would be nice if there was a preview before applying or alternatively an undo facility after applying so that one could test the parameter settings before committing to them.

You're only committed until you aren't :-). That is, you can flip them back and reapply. I think one reason not to try to process them in real time is some could be quite slow to process on longer scores.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

How does one "flip them back?. After applying there is no undo available. The only way to revert that I can see is to re- import the midi. You can change and apply options one by one and see their effects accumulating after each application but having applied one that doesn't suit, you can only start again from scratch and try to remember what got you to the state before the last unsuitable choice. Putting the changed options on an undo stack would allow unsuitable choices to be unwound without unwinding right back to state zero.

Not sure what you mean, just toggle the checkbox back the way it was and hit Apply again. As long as you don't actually close the import panel, it remains open so can experiment as much as you like, hitting Apply whenever you want to see a preview.

My OS is Linux Mint 20.1 running in a Gigabyte 3.0 with an AMD Phenom II processor (6 cores - 2800 GHz). The midi is played by ALSA and the notes are written directly, not through a midi keyboard.

Step by step:
1.- Writing notes.
2.- Listening (ok).
3.- Export to midi.
4.- Playing midi file.
5.- It sounds wrong.
6.- Checking original mscz file.
7.- It's ok.
8.- Importing midi file in MuseScore.
9.- Checking the visual result.
10.- It's wrong.

Sorry if I am not as clear explaining the issue as I might be.
Thank you all again.

As Marc explained:

  1. Import midi
  2. In the midi import panel uncheck "Simplify Durations"
  3. Click "Apply".

This prevents Musescore guessing (incorrectly) the duration of the final note.

I will try to explain again:

When MuseScore exports the MIDI file, the duration is correct, I promise. Listen to it playback in any software you have iother than notation software, and you will hear it sounds just like you wrote it. but notation software - like MuseScore, but also pretty much any other notation software - normally rounds off note durations when importing a MIDI file. It has to, otherwise it would be a completely unreadable mess. Consider, if you record a MIDI file using a digital piano and a sequencer, and you tries to play four quarter notes, chances are practically zero that you will literally play each note exactly one beat. Some notes might be a little longer, some a little shorter. MuseScore, and any other notation program, will round these off, showing you four quarter notes even though what you played was slightly different.

It's exactly the same with your file. Yes, the note was written with different durations one place versus the other. But for the exact same reason MuseScore willround off your not-quite-exact quarter notes to look like quarter notes rather than a tripled-dotted eighth tied to a hundred-twenty-eighth note or whatever is closest to what you actually played, MuseScore uses common sense to simplify the duration with your notes here too. It tried to notate the duration in a way that actually makes logical sense.

Like I said, if you wish to say a less esneble but more precise representation, simply turn off the "Simplify durations" option when you import the import file. you will see that the display instantly (when you hit Apply, anyhow) changes to be exactly what you wrote. Did you try that?

So again, the file really did export correctly. It's just that on import, MuseScore is trying to do you a favor by making the result more readable.

It's not clear what your purpose is in exporting to MIDI in the first place, but I assume it has to do with using some other& program to play the file. Try that, and you'll also see and hear it plays it how you wrote it. Playback software has no need to try to round things off for readability. Only notation programs have reason to do that.

Status needs info fixed

Hi, there. First, excuses for replying so late. I was completely stunned; the problem is very clear, @Marc Sabatella, as you explained so well over and over. Sorry for that. The midi file that MS creates is completely correct if I play it from other software and the transcription mistake occurs only when I open (re-import) that file from MS. I saw clearly, at last. :D
@SteveBlower : I don't have the option "Simplify durations" but I can do the same in other way; this is setting a smaller figure as shortest note in the same MIDI import pannel.
Thank you all for helping me.
See you!