User Velocity in Inspector not working for Aegean

• Apr 3, 2021 - 18:28

To start, I have Single note dynamics, CC2, Non-expressive selected as specified by Aegean's website and am using Aegean Symphonic Orchestra v. 3.5

Here's the problem. I am using Aegean SoundFont and assigned "Oboe Solo" to the instrument. When I change the Velocity on individual notes in the Inspector (User, not Offset), there is absolutely no difference between the sound produced at velocity 10 and velocity 120. I then switched the instrument assignment (via Mixer) to Musescore's default oboe patch, and the sound from velocity 10 was very quiet, and velocity 120 was loud. I tested this using other patches as well, and Aegean was not responsive to these velocity changes, but Musescore's default patches were.

Note, there were no dynamic markings in the music score itself.

Is there something I'm missing here? Thank you in advance.

OS: Windows 10 (10.0),
Arch.: x86_64,
MuseScore version (64-bit):,
revision: 3224f34

(Note: Originally posed in SoundFont forum, but moved here for support)


I can verify that velocity makes no difference. But no idea why. I know that doesn't help you much. I notice that Aegean is based on VPO, which I think is better.
That said, I think I've tried every major font. VPO, VSCO, SSO, Aegean, and probably others I've forgotten. They all seem to be lacking in one way or another in regards to how well they work with Musescore. For the most part, the General HQ sf3 works for me. Although, I have borrowed a few solo instruments from VPO. One problem is that they don't respond to SND.

My understanding is that with SND, velocity controls only the initial attack, everything after that is CC messages. If you heard the velocity working with the default soundfont, probably you used the non-Expr version of the sound, which does not support SND. The default, though, is to use the Expr sounds.

For this, you need to use ASO Universal version 2.5. (The same soundfont, only the settings for SND are different).
In ASO 3.5 version that supports SND, (Due to MuseScore settings) doesn't support user-velocity.

PS: And I'm still waiting for developers to give up this ridiculous separate "expr" / "non-expr" patches bug.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I wish I were wrong. The choice between being able to set note velocities and single-note-dynamics is the old joke, "Would you rather a lion eat you or a tiger?" ("I'd rather have him eat the tiger, of course"), or "Would you like lunch, or dinner?" Is this grim choice common in other score editors?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Yes I know:
If you set the dynamics as velocity, it conflicts with CC's, if you do constant-velocity, something gets better, but you cannot control something else. When you do expr and non-expr, you have to a patch twice this time; I am aware of all of them.

If MuseScore4's plan includes working with external VSTs, external sound-plugins, Musescore developers need to somehow solve this problem. Because we cannot say to all sound-bank developers "use CC02 with Expr and non-Expr patches".

In the current situation, the system used is designed according to a certain solution, but I don't want to talk much about it. Because the development of the 3x version has been completed and efforts have been directed to the next big numbered version. We will look at v4x.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I see your point, and in fact even when a CC is used for dynamic control I often see velocity used for emphasis, e. g. higher velocities adding a sharper attack to brass (not quite what you're advocating, I know).

And sorry - I think while you were replying I was busy deleting my comment (about current usage in VSTs) because I realized you were talking more specifically about other notation apps, which bobjp says don't use MIDI at all. I suppose the Finale/Note Performer combination would be an example?

As for "Single Note Dynamics," I can't even parse the phrase. Every time I encounter it I have to work out whether it means the CC thing or the not-CC thing.

In reply to by scott.1

It is extremely common for different notes of a chord (or what looks like a chord) in a keyboard work to have different "loudnesses" (not "velocity", "attack", or "dynamics"), to emphasize a melodic line, or whatever. Can it be that this is beyond MuseScore's capability with the "new, better patches"?

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

I'd expect any keyboard instrument, other than the organ, to use velocity in the traditional way. If the VST facility in MS4 is going to succeed, it's going to have to be able to adapt to different schemes for talking to different instruments. In the meantime, surely there's no such thing as an "SND piano"?

In reply to by scott.1

As I understand it (?) and in its simplest form (again, the only way I can understand it), SND, at the very least, refers to the ability of a half note ( I believe that is the shortest applicable duration) to respond to a hairpin. It works with the default General or General HQ fonts only. Obviously it won't work with piano. Or realistically with other instruments that can not change volume in a longer note. Makes sense to me because I have never used velocity settings, ever.

In reply to by bobjp

SND works with any duration whatsoever. But yes, it means the ability for its volume to change in response to a hairpin. It works out of the box with the General soundfont only - or any other soundfont configured to respond to MIDI message CC2 in this way, but many other soundfonts can also support SND if you switch to CC11 using View / Synthesizer / Dynamics. i gather some might respond to CC1 or CC4 since those are offered as options, but I've never heard anyone mention those actually working for any specific soundfont.

In reply to by bobjp

I don't think that's really true - at some level many if not most do use MIDI - but it may well be a different synthesizer implementation, one not based on the SoundFont specification, or particularly tied to General MIDI.

Anyhow, bottom line, I have no idea how other programs actually deal with the issue of velocity versus continuous control messages for controlling dynamics. The whole idea of using CC to control volume is "new" to me, anything I know about MIDI internals is really based on work I did back in the mid-80's when volume was pretty much universally controlled by velocity in every device I knew of.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

Piano or not. Single (or Multple) Note Dynamics (expression) works on all soundfont and synthesizers (keyboards and modules), and works on all kinds of midi sequencers and editors since the second half of 90's with the help of CC11 (expression-control), without any adjustments on soundfonts (It must be pre-defined on GM compatible synthesizers and soundfont players.).
CC7 volume, CC11 expression, Note-on and Note-off Velocity messages can be used at the same time on all MIDI sequencers, and neither will conflict with the other.

The only problem is the way note writing software handle this.
For example, Finale Notepad 2012 uses CC7(volume-control) and constonat-velocity for this job (this is wrong).
This is adjustable in full Finale versions. As examples of our topic: CC1 (Modwheel), CC11 (expression), CC12 (Effect-Controller) and CC2 (Breath-Control) can be used for different purposes. Such as: CC1 => Velocity-Xfade.

Almost any note-writing software: uses sound fonts (sf2, sFz), single or multiple external midi device outputs and some internal or external plugins (VST or something)

In addition, these software offer a (industry standard) GM compatible instrument (patch) list. These are a number of Program-Change (and bank-change: CC0 and CC32) numbers.

There is no such thing as midi sounds. MIDI (Musical Instrument Digital Interface) is a communications protocol. (just series of messages, Program-Change, Note-on, Note-off, Velocity, CCxx, SysEx, etc,)
GM is also a MIDI specification: Here the first patch is the Grand-Piano instrument. Its internal identification number is 000 // Program-Change number: 1. But the GM specification doesn't describe how the timbre of this instrument is. It only defines the Program Change number and Instrument Name.

What everybody else said is that you can't set the velocities of individual notes in the expressive version of an instrument (even though you never said you were using an expressive sound, but I'll assume that you are). They didn't actually explain how to fix your problem, though, or at least not that I saw, so here is a suggestion: add a single-note dynamic marking such as [i]sFz[i], edit the velocity and velocity changes to your liking, and turn off its visibility if you don't want it to show.

In reply to by [DELETED] 1831606

That's true. Would using multiple voices work, or does a dynamic marking apply to all the notes on that stave (if that's what you mean by channel)? If so, you could create a chord, turn off playback, add two other voices with the notes in the chord, add the dynamic marking to one voice's notes, and then hide those two voices so that the engraving looks normal but the playback is different.

In reply to by William Halsted

If you click on a dynamic and look in the inspector, your choices are "part", "staff", and "system". I guess "part" means all single staves of a "grand staff". Assigning different channels to different voices in a staff is possible these days, but I don't think the user interface exists to apply a dynamic to one voice alone. Having hidden 'playback'/'execution' staves is not uncommon, but it's a huge "cheat" (see some of my organ chorales for instances).

In reply to by William Halsted

Second question first. Yes, MS assigns three channels to a violin or viola. See the mixer (F10).

It is quite common in piano playing to emphasize a melody expressed as the top line of a chord in the same hand ( Not organ or harpsichord, though). More usual on separate staves, though (e.g., Chopin op 28 #4). But that's still one channel for MS.

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