Instrument sound

• Nov 3, 2021 - 19:03

In MuseScore Version Revision: 3224f34:

Why does the bass drum instrument sound no lower than, i.e. the same as, the snare drum sound?
What do you do to get a bonafide bass drum sound?


It should sound considerably different. Are you using the standard instruments or perhaps did you use a custom instruments definition or template or drumset definition? If you attach the score you are having trouble with, we can understand and assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc,

When I create a new score in MuseScore, I select from the GENERAL outline heading and select "Choose instruments on the left to add to the instrument on the right"--as directed by the software. I do not see an offering of 'standard' or 'custom'--just a caption called "ORDERING" and a drop-down menu with ten (10) styles ORCHESTRAL through STRING ENSEMBLE with a CUSTOM option at the bottom. --Is that the option you are recommending, Marc?

I do see a mirror drop-down menu on the left --choosing instruments--side. But choosing 'Orchestral' to match my right-side menu option does not affect the [dissappointing] tones of my instrument choices. The unpitched percussion instruments are at issue, whereas all the other instruments are pleasing and close to actual instruments.

I attached a third file--Triangle--voiced (not surprisingly) with the Triangle instrument. I add it because it sounds more like a tin can than a triangle with a resonant ring tone.

Attachment Size
Bass_Drum.mscz 16.6 KB
Snare_Drum.mscz 16.77 KB
Triangle.mscz 7.15 KB

In reply to by David Faubion

How did you enter the notes that Bass Drum score? If I re-enter them using the (one and only) A shortcut it does sound like a Bass Drum.
Similar for the Snare Drum score, just using the B shortcut (A would be side stick, yet another sound).
These 2 don't seem to have been entered correctly at all.

Somewhat similar for the Triangle score, there you apperently used B, muted triangle rather than A, open triangle.

Attachment Size
Triangle.mscz 7.25 KB
Snare_Drum.mscz 16.9 KB
Bass_Drum.mscz 16.93 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thank you, Jojo Schmitz, and for your revised files (why would anyone want to use and hear a faux drum tone?).

I now have the A shortcut. (I went wrong in choosing one of the other note inputs in the drop-down menu--instead of the default at the top.)

So, now I get the true bass, snare, and triangle tone.

But for the tambourine, I am still getting just the jingle of the frame rings, and no 'thunk' of the drumhead.'

Attachment Size
Tambourine.mscz 7.12 KB

In reply to by David Faubion

Not sure what you mean about a "faux drum tone", but to be clear: when you enter the music as the documentation describes, there is nothing "faux", it should all work perfectly.

As for tambourine, I don't think the General MIDI standard defines the specific sound you refer to, so unless you have a non-GM soundfont that includes it, you probably do need to make it happen by adding two notes at one (high tom or bongo + tambourine, for instance). You'd also need to customzie the drumset definition for your tambourine staff to make the second sound available. This process is also documented in the Handbook under "Drum notation". Or maybe someone has a better idea?

In reply to by David Faubion

The high bongo sound in the default soundfont is too "sharp", really should be more of a "dull thud". Low bongo is slightly better maybe but till pretty bright. High tom is too boomy though. Could be some other soundfont's low bongo or high tom sound might work better for this purpose. But if you're going to look for other soundfonts, might be better to find on with the real thing.

In reply to by David Faubion

To be clear, "standard" and "custom" aren't specific terms you'd see, I just wondered if you previously went into Edit / Preferences / Score and set up your own special instruments.xml file - an extremely advanced technique. So it sounds like no, meaning you're using the standard isntruments.

Anyhow, as Jojo mentions, as far as I can your score is set up properly, but it's kind of a mystery to us hoe you entered those notes., Somehow you managed to enter notes onto the bass drum staff, but that doesn't happen if you use any of the supprot methods of entering notes. That is, if you click any measure, press N, for note input mode, and type "A", you get a bass drum. If you double-click the palettr icon, you get a bass drum. If you click the palette icon then click in the score, you get a bass drum. I guess maybe if you try entering notes with a MIDI controller and send a pitch other than the bass drum, youd get that pitch - maybe that's what you did? Hard to say. But the ways of entering notes I described all work.

It's the same for the snare score. For the "triangle" score, if you look at the palette, you'll see two different notes you can enter - one with the shortcut B, the other with A. The first says "mute triangle" - in other works, the sound of a triangle struck while firmly grasping it so it doesn't resonate. And that's why you entered. You should have entered the second note, "open" triangle.

All of these problems are easy to fix though. Just select the notes on that staff (eg, click the first, then Ctrl+Shift+End to select to end of score), then use either Up or Diown cursor to "transpose" the notes. For drums, that basically means, change to the next note on the palette, and that's going to be what you want.

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