A Soundfont plays correctly in Musescore program, but gets muted on upload to Musescore.com

• Mar 29, 2021 - 04:50

I uploaded a piece yesterday ( https://musescore.com/rebecca_rufin/el-admirable-sacramento-the-blessed… ) that utilized the soundfont "Church Organ 2 Expr.". The voice was NOT muted when I uploaded it to Musescore.com, nor was any other part in solo mode. Several people alerted me that they could not hear the organ unless they downloaded the score. When I checked, the first thing I tried was a new, careful upload, but the organ part still was mute. When I changed the soundfont to plain "Church Organ 2" (without the "Expr."), it worked fine upon upload.

I think this is a bug as opposed to user error on my part. In this case, my workaround was fine, but I wonder if this might be happening with other soundfonts, and people may not even be aware of it unless somebody tells them, as fortunately happened with me.

Just letting folks know.....



In reply to by Shoichi

Thank you. I checked out Step 6. I've done hundreds of score uploads (usually directly with Musescore, using the "Save Online" command), and I don't recall ever seeing an "Upload score audio" checkbox, nor could I make it pop up when I tried just now. Is this something that happens when one tries to use Soundfonts that aren't already in Musescore? I gave up on using other soundfonts long ago - they always seemed buggy, and I could never get them to work properly. And the Musescore soundfonts are really quite nice and certainly good enough for my purposes.

I'm not sure what you mean by "saved the settings" - to the best of my knowledge any settings I am using during upload are unchanged from whatever the defaults are. I don't try messing with that kind of stuff - it's beyond me!

The "Church Organ 2 Expr." soundfont I was using is one of the standard ones that come with Musescore. In this case I selected it from the Mixer (I had started the piece with a grand piano stave, then changed my mind), which always has worked for me in the past. The soundfont I replaced it with in my workaround was also selected from the Mixer, also a standard Musescore font, and it worked fine. So I used an identical process but got different results - one that worked and one that didn't. Whether the problem is with Musescore or Musescore.com, I cannot say for sure. I'm pretty sure it's not me though.

To be clear: "Church Organ 2 Expr" is not a soundfont. It is a single sound within the standard soundfont, MuseScore General. Each soundfont contains many different sounds, just as a text font contains many different letters and numbers. You will only see the "Upload score audio" box during upload if you are actually using a different soundfont from the default - one you downloaded and installed in View / Synthesizer.

As it is, I am pretty sure the problem is a mismatch in your settings for dynamics. The "Expr" sounds are only meant for instruments that support single note dynamics (SND). I think your problem is that you added piano as an instrument, which does not support SND, but then changed the sound only, rather than the actual instrument, to organ. To change the instrument, right-click the staff, go to Staff/Part Properties, and use Change Instrument. Or if you have some special reasn to need to keep the instrument as piano despite the change in sound, you either choose a non-Expr sound in the Mixer, or you can check the "Use single note dynamics" option in Staff/Part Properties.

As it is, it seems you may have already updated the score, as it works for me, and I see the sound is set to Church Organ 2 (no "Expr"), so you presumably figured some of this out already?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc! That is a very clear and precise explanation of how my issue occurred, and really helps me understand better how fonts work. Indeed, I often prefer using the mixer when changing instruments, because 1) I can do so while playing the piece, which helps me to hear subtle differences in similar instruments, and 2) it doesn’t change other staff attributes I am already satisfied with. I do this often, and had never before encountered this outcome of muting upon upload. It is curious that it doesn’t seem to impact playback on the MuseScore program, but it mutes when uploaded to MuseScore.com

Indeed, I did already change it to the plain Chuch Organ 2 font to resolve the problem. The analogy to text fonts really makes sense, and will help me to avoid future confusion.

Thanks again!

In reply to by rufinb

What this mismatch often does is create cases where the sound produced depends on whether you had previously played a note with a fixed dynamic that allowed the synthesizer to initialize status to the "continuous control" messages to an audible level. Something like that. So another symptom is often that a score won't play on initial load, but will after you start clicking notes individually, as that ignores the current dynamic marking and instead plays the note directly and seems to do whatever it needs to in order to initialize the MIDI channel. Still, dynamics after that would generally not respond correctly.

Anyhow, it's definitely true thatif you don't want other attributes of a staff to change, then changing sound only in the mixer is a good way to go. But note that is in general pretty rare. There are tons more times when you absolutely need the other settings to change. Transposition being most obvious - giving a clarinet player a part intended for flute would be a disaster! - but also things like marking the playable range, the staff name, the initial clef, etc - usually when changing instruments you do want all of these updated. The only times one would normally not want these things to change are when one is not changing the actual instrument, but instead just trying some of the different versions of a single instrument - like nylon versus steel string guitar, church organ 2 vs rock organ, etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes, I understand. The most common thing I do with this technique is to change the sound for better clarity in choral works. For instance, if I have a bass solo amid other singing parts that are all doing “choir ahs”, I will often assign it a clarinet voice via the mixer, and definitely don’t want the staff to change to a Bb clarinet.

Thank you again for explaining how the sound fonts work - it is important for my transcriptions that I understand such things.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.