Exploring the Mixer - revert to previous instrument doesn't seem to work "as expected"

• Mar 8, 2021 - 09:31

I noticed what seemed to be a problem with one of my scores including percussion. The intention was to have a rhythm played on an instrument, such as a cello. The whole score does include several percussion staves.

When played back it sounded as though the cello sound (without any percussion playing in those bars) was being accompanied by a triangle sound - but faintly.

In order to try to isolate this, I selected three bars, put them into a separate file, then played those bars continually in loop and tried to control the "instruments" with the mixer. i've still not identified a problem though - maybe it's my hearing or brain imagining the extra instrument.

I noticed the check box for "Drumset" in the mixer, and if that is checked, then it's interesting to hear the range of instruments and sounds which emerge. I also note that it's possible to substitute other sounds for the "cello" instrument, and this can be interesting.

There are two things which interest me though.

  1. If the Drumset box is unset, the basic instrument does not revert back to the original Cello - but rather to Grand Piano. This may be intentional, but I did rather expect that it should revert back to whatever it was set to before.

  2. In the Mixer sounds lists there are items such as Harmonica and Harmonica Expr. Are there real differences between these pairs of items, or is this just a confusion between a full name and something else? What is the difference - and what is that intended to provide?

OK - I'll stop my loop now - it's getting a bit much!

I've still not solved my original problem of the phantom triangle - but now I've noticed that with the Marimba sound I can hear a sort of "breathing" sound along with the marimba. Maybe these phantoms are just artefacts of the mixer and playback system.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Trying to figure that out. The effect in my system seems to be so subtle that I can't even be sure it's happening.

Is it only for accented notes? I tried to put a swell on a note - using several different "expr" instruments, but nothing obvious happened. OK - maybe it really is too subtle, but generally I like to make things obvious enough to show that they're working, and then shade things somewhat.

As far as I can tell anything like sfz or rfz or any form of swell on a note just does not work on my system.

Are there any examples which are known to be good? I would quite like to be able to start a note quiet, then increase the loudness, then decrease again. That would be for fairly long notes. Plus also have a sharp accent at the beginning of a note. Sometimes one might want a note to start quiet then end loud.

What notation should I try to use? It's a bit academic if this feature doesn't work, though.

In reply to by dave2020X

Here is a reworking from scratch. This definitely was a flute right from the beginning. Some of the effects work with the EXP version, but some don't. I sent the audio to WAV files in each case, and imported into Audacity - then captured the waveforms. The diminuendo in bars 8 onwards doesn't work. The sfz and rfz are not very clear either. However the cresc in the first part from bar 4 does work.

I haven't tested with cresc and dim markings this time, only hairpin lines.

Attachment Size
Flute example - created from scratch.mscz 486.97 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

OK - so from bars 4 the cresc takes the ff dynamic in bar 8 as the target - not just the end of the note in bar 6.
Presumably the rfz in bar 12 does not set a target dynamic - cancels any previous level, so bars 8-10 don't work with a dim. I don't know whether such target dynamics are generally put in in scores, or whether the targets are left to the discretion of the players or the conductor.

Doing single note dynamics does seem to add extra complications - but may be helpful sometimes, though perhaps not when doing the initial writing.

I'll have to work on this a bit more.

In reply to by dave2020X

Well, maybe that rfz works (as a f), but a change from ff to f is not big
You can either enter such target dynamics (and make then invisble) or set the 'velocity change' property of the hairpin, something like at the discretion of the players or the conductor is nothing MuseScore could do automagically ;-)

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