Expressive tremolo playback sound in Mandolin

• May 23, 2022 - 08:49

Is there a way for the tremolo to sound more natural for Mandolin? Usually there is a slight decrescendo, and sometimes a slight slowing of the tempo towards the end... I have tried these things:

  1. Tempochange plugin does not seem to work on one note ( even the though the tremolo is many notes in the piano roll editor )

2.The piano roll editor only seems to be able to change the velocity, the on time and length of the very last note in the tremolo.

  1. Dynamics don't seem to work, eg a decrescendo, or mFp on one tremolo note

I have thought about manually writing in each tremolo note, so I can access the piano roll editor features, but that is a bit ugly on the score.

Should I buy a mandolin tremolo sound font? I heard that some instruments have a second channel for this.

Attachment Size
Mandolin Tremolo.mscz 5.21 KB


Here is your file on a Mandolin staff. Found in all instruments. No tempo change. But I got dynamics to sort of work. There must be a dynamic at each end of a hair pin. There was something wrong with your first note. After I re-entered it, I had better luck.

Attachment Size
Mandolin.mscz 4.8 KB

In reply to by bobjp

Thanks for the dynamics idea. I looked at some other forum topics, and created a second version that adds these expressions.

  1. Pedal to "smooth" out the repeated notes - so it is not so separated staccato
  2. A curved Tempo change using a plug in - to simulate a "hesitancy" matching the dynamics
  3. Dynamics up and down through the tremolo - for a softer start and finish (Thanks)
  4. Delay "on time" for every second note in the piano roll editor - to simulated a slight human delay in the up stroke

Unfortunately I had to write out each tremolo note, which i will do as a separate second mandolin line, not visible in the primary mandolin score - just for playback. Impossible to simulate Jack Jezzro, I would need a real sound font sample of a Mandolin that has both normal notes and tremolo recorded on the same instrument. But it would be great if there was a plug in that did the above for a "human tremolo " .

More ideas would be welcome

Attachment Size
Mandolin Tremolo v2.mscz 12.15 KB

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I didn't make an instruments.xml file for this soundfont.
You can make it yourself or choose the sounds from the mixer.
(It is preferable to use it as an instrument with 4 subpatches)
For example: you can choose "electric guitar" as the instrument and manually adjust the sub patches from the mixer.

Old version Removed.
New: (The instruments.xml is also included):

Attachment Size 3.23 MB

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I have loaded the mandolin sf2 in to the musescore sounds directory and it sounds beautiful. The tone and length of notes is wonderful. Tremolo is perfect. Thank you so much.!!

I will need to learn how "xml" files and sub patches work, but this should not be a problem. The Musescore handbook and forum have many references, but if you know of any special "how to" links that nail it, please send them.


Thank You : )

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

Thank you for the example score, it sounds great, all the expressions are working very well.. : )

Hope you have time for a few more questions.. I am nearly there

May I ask how you managed to assign the correct Mandolin expression channels to the score. When creating a new score, my stave text properties still show the electric guitar expressions, even after changing to the new Mandolin sound font. Please see screen shots of my stave text properties, and my score example which is stuck on electric guitar expressions.

How do I use the Mandolin XML file ? Do I need to add it to the existing instruments.xml file as per these instructions?

Thank You for your help

Attachment Size
Mandolin Stave Properties.pdf 774.88 KB
Mandolin Tremolo v4.mscz 7.71 KB

In reply to by Paul6

You can create an Instruments folder in your "Documents/Musescore3/" folder and add the mandolin-instrument-xml file inside it.
Then you will show the path of this file to "Instrument list 2" in "Edit=> Preferences => Score" TAB.

Or you can add to the instrument list as in the relevant link.

But no matter which one you apply, since the mandolin soundfont is not at the top, the channels of the mandolin you added will be opened in the mixer, their names will appear, even the channels will appear in Staff-Text, but the soundfont patches will not be automatically loaded into the mixer (you will see GrandPiano). You need to expand the list of channels in the mixer and adjust each to the corresponding channel. // this soundfont starts after the first soundfont list ends in the patch list in the mixer and its first patch appears as Mandolin (1).

Or you can use the files I added below as templates. In this case, you will not need the above procedure. These templates are prepared assuming the Musescore General soundfont is on the top and the Mandolin soundfont is in the second row. And if you wish, when you press the "Load From Score" button on the Synthesizer, this setting is loaded into the score in this order because I have saved it beforehand.
In these templates, I added two mandolins (from the mandolin soundfont) plus a string and a bass guitar (from musescore's default soundfont).
Thus, by opening the instrument list, you can delete the ones you want and/or add more (except the mandolin) or change the display order of the instruments in the score.

Attachment Size 20.06 KB

In reply to by Ziya Mete Demircan

I'm not able to get this to work in Musescore 4.

I've put the sf2 file into the soundfonts folder; the mixer can see it; but when I select it, I get silence. I'm sure I've missed something but the Musescore 3 instructions don't seem to apply & the Musescore 4 instructions have a few "content to come" insertions.

In reply to by Paul6

Nice work!
The timbre compatibility of guitar and mandolin with each other is nice.
You have nicely arranged the changes between tremolo, attack, normal and legato patches.
I hear Acoustic Bass sound, I think it would be better to use one with the EQ range set wider (including mid-treble frequencies). // Or maybe it sounds a bit dull due to the compression of the MP3.

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