Possible compatibility with Noteperformer

• Jun 16, 2022 - 10:18


Reading through the forum, I haven't clear what is MS stance with Noteperformer. It seems that I am not alone and for sure I will be among many who will be disappointed at MS not supporting NP.

I have been exchanging emails with the amazing people who make Noteperformer who say they are not working on compatibility with Musescore because the MS team has chosen to develop their own playback system and they don't want to step on another company's business.. Cool that there are businesses like Noteperformer who actually care for an ethic.
However... I am still very much confused about the topic...
If MS didn't want to implement compatibility with other sound fonts or other playback system it would be understandable, especially for open source software that does not want to implement proprietary software. But then I see in Github that there are open bugs concerning the compatibility of Kontakt and other proprietary vst...

I am puzzled. Why reduce choice instead of offering more? Why seek compatibility with some proprietary software and exclude others? Also in consideration that Noteperformer is very much loved by many Musescore users.

Could someone in MS's management explain this? Could someone clarify once and for all what is MS take on implementing compatibility with NP?


I'm no expert, but - VST is a public open standard, so supporting that is kind of a no-brainer. NotePerformer is a proprietary system and could well involve both technical and legal challenges to incorporate into an open source product.

I think the theory here is, once people hear how good the free Muse Orchestra sounds are, they won't be so interested in paying for NotePerformer We'll see.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I really hope Muse Score orchestra sounds are going to be that good and as much as plug and play as NP.
As far as I understood, NP connects through VST. Since other proprietary software is going to be supported through VST, I don't see why limiting choice instead of offering more.

In reply to by sberla

My (limited) understanding from what I have read (including the comment linked above) is that NotePerformer uses VST2 which is not at all the same as the VST3 supported by MuseScore. This introduces both technical and licensing issues as mentioned. But also, NotePerformer isn't "just" a VST; it also needs more direct communication from the application that is, as far as I know, completely proprietary to NotePerformer. That's totally different from the sorts of things you see being done to improve our VST3 support. Even if those improvements are being done specifically because some particular VST requires it, they will still potentially be useful to all VST's, because it's all done within the VST3 standard framework

I should emphasize that I am really way beyond my area of expertise here, and I could totally be off in any number of details. So please don't take this as gospel. Still, I don't think I am, too far off, and I think you'll find, the bottom is. NotePerformer is not a standard VST3 library and thus cannot currently be supported for that reason alone.

In reply to by sberla

Unfortunately, Muse Sounds really isn't that good... at least not now. NotePerformer just released its version 4, which obviously still isn't supported by MuseScore, so at least MS has more competition now, not that it was up-to-standard in the first place. I just hope this push gets the MS devs to up the playback quality. For now though, I'll be getting NP's free trial and buying Finale to use it.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Muse Orch is good.

                       Muse sounds................Noteperformer

Woodwinds | Good...............................meh
Brass | really good.....................meh
perc | it's all right.................... it's ok
piano | Good..............................Good
(each section) | good ..........................Really Good
(as a whole) | all right ......................Really Good

I use Musescore to compose. A (pro) composer friend of mine recently ran a couple of my pieces, including a 25-minute fifth symphony, through Noteperformer as straightforward .mp3's. I didn't ask how he did it, but the difference was, as you might expect, impressive when compared to the existing Musescore orchestra.

Interestingly, Noteperformer didn't pick up on anything marked pizz. But everything else came through fine. Still can't figure if I should buy it, though.

In reply to by thranx

I also use MuseScore to compose. I have also had a few of my works realized by someone with NP. The result is different, to be sure. I've also had some DAW owners render some of my work. There is no substitue for a good DAW.
Every now and then I go to the NP web site and listen to their examples. Every time I am not impressed. Baroque music is heavy-handed. Most seems uninspired. The claim is that it will read your music and play it back in a musical way. But based on whose idea of what is musical? Not necessarily mine.
The instrument samples are fine.
Sometimes I will load the original score into notation software. Usually my rendition sounds better in some ways and not in others. Much the same as the output of two different programs will anyway.
As a composer, if I just plop down notes on a page, I have accomplished nothing. Did you know that there are three different violin section sounds in MuseScore? Violins fast Expr. Violins 2 fast Expr. And Strings fast Expr. There are others, but these are the most useful. Each sounds different. Each is suited for different music. And each blends differently with other instruments. As a composer, I have to know how to write for the instruments I choose. I can't just plop down notes and expect some third party add-on to know what I want.

In reply to by thranx

Definitely wait until you hear the new Muse Sounds orchestral library coming out with the MuseScore 4 beta sometimes within the next couple of weeks or so. I think you'll be sufficiently blown away that you'll forget the idea of spending $1000 on Note Performer + some other notation program (not to mention the many hours of time required to learn new software).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

What I like in Noteperformer is not the possibility of export high quality "performance" as I am not a film music composer and I don't need a fake ensemble to perform music. I like the playback quality of an instrument that doesn't sound as mechanical as the average midi of whatever notation software with a somewhat realistic timbre (meaning also timbre difference in different dynamic ranges or registers). NP does not produce the best "performance" but it helps with having an idea of how an average musician would read (not play) the music. And the non-mechanical, non midi-like, rendering is very helpful.
I really hope Muse Sounds lives up the expectations. I see that they are already testing the latest builds with Muse Sounds, is there a way to take part in the testing?

In reply to by sberla

There are no test builds available yet, but you might reasonably expect one by the end of the month. It will presumably show up in a nightly build before the beta is released. not sure there will be any sort of formal announcement here, but I'd recommend following the development channel on Discord (see Contribute / Development for info on that).

In reply to by sberla

I, too, am looking forward to the new sounds. But my point above was that there are simple things that can be done right now to make playback non-mechanical or Midi like. There are fonts in which each note in the range of the instrument is recorded. And there are those that use an octave rendering with a few modifications.

But everyone's definition of "good sound" is different. I recall that in the early 70's, General Midi was starting to be used. Computer generated instrument sounds. People were saying that real musicians were soon going to be out of business, even though the sounds were/are truly unmusical. I used to be on a forum for composers, years ago. We could always tell when someone posted music produced by MuseScore. I don't think the same could be said today. Sounds have come a long way.

I use MuseScore to compose. Mostly for playback. But no matter which notation program I use, I notice that things can sound very different when played by different systems. Plus, when I write for real players, the result is not always what I thought would happen. Pick most any two flute players. Chances are that they have different tone qualities. One has a faster vibrato. The other has a different way they attack notes. They will play the same passage differently. What I envisioned to be played like player one, ended up being played like player two. And not quite what I had in mind. So I can't rely too much on samples. I have to write what I know works. I have to know how real instruments fit together. I can't write the same thing for string quartet that I might for string orchestra.

If I'm writing for playback, that's another ball of wax. I must write what I can make sound good using the sounds and techniques at hand.

But in the end, no matter what I am writing for, it is up to me knowing how to use the tools at hand, that gets results.

And I have noticed that music created in one software doesn't always sound good in another. Often there needs to be note or other types of modification.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well, that never happened. I'm revisting this thread because I just found out NotePerformer 4 was released, and it supports a bunch of other VST's as well. I was excited for Muse Sounds, but frankly, it didn't really live up to all the hype. Amazing for free software, definitely, but NotePerformer still greatly out"performed" it, even without this new update. Plus, $1000? No idea where you got that price. NotePerformer was and is USD$129. And to add to that, now they even have a free trial, no sign-up or credit card required (for the time being).

Well, I'm not sure how well NotePerformer 4 works with my current arsenal, so I'm putting off buying it until the reviews come in. But still, frankly, $129 for a single-user license (with unlimited devices) of NotePerformer 4 plus an extra $99 (academic fee) for Finale doesn't seem that bad a deal at all. We'll have to wait and see.

In reply to by therealunders

Not sure what you mean by “that never happened”, but anyhow, to - NotePerformer itself is not expensive, but as mentioned, it plus the cost of the notation software needed to run it is.

Taste in sounds is subjective. If you’re finding NotePerformer better for your particular usage, great, I’m glad you have that option! Meanwhile, though, many other people find Muse Sounds to be better, and many others still both to good enough as to make it not worth worrying about the differences.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

"That never happened" -> "You'll be blown away," but anyhow...
You said $1000 plus the cost of the notation, but alright bud. $99 for Finale isn't much extra for actual quality, "as mentioned." It's cheaper than NotePerformer itself, and that's excluding the free trial...
And I doubt anybody actually thinks Muse Sounds is better, they just think it's easier because it's free, which is great for simple playback, but rhythmic runs and repeated notes at moderato speed make it fall apart. I'm sure those aren't worth worrying about. Yeah, those are definitely fixable problems, but when can we even expect fixes? A year? Two? And what about Muse Sounds' dynamics bugs? I think Muse Sounds is great for a free product, but that's all it is.

In reply to by therealunders

Not everyone can qualify for the $99 Finale. And why would they want to? And neither NP nor Finale sounds are that good. Muse Sounds have problems, to be sure. A skillful composer writes differently depending on the group they are writing for. He just doesn't write something and expect it to sound good under all conditions. I was once told that I need to write what I know and not be limited by my software. Except that that is only partially true. You don't write the same for a chamber orchestra as you would for a full orchestra. You have to work with what you have. No two orchestras play the same piece the same way. Composer's intention is one thing. How their piece is eventually performed can be quite another.

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