My short review, some notes and questions about Muse Sounds and MS4

• Feb 3, 2023 - 16:57

The MuseScore team has once again managed to blow expectations out of the water with the double-whammy release of MS4 and Muse Sounds. The first time listening to Muse Sounds, I was mesmerized by how human and alive the samples sounded. Having spent a little time with both the software and samples, I came up with some notes and questions about the software itself and the samples. I hope these will be addressed in the future in some form when the other more serious development issues have been taken care of. First, some questions on Muse Sounds:

  1. Will certain other techniques be added for instruments? For example:
    1a. Flutter-tonguing for wind instruments notated with tremolos.
    1b. Hand-muting and con sordino for French horns.
    1c. Open strings on strings playback
    1d. Double-stops for two strings playing the same note e.g. the G and D strings on a violin both playing D4.
    1e. Con sordino for strings.
    1f. Broken chord playback on strings (listen to 4-note chord playback on available videos by real players for reference.)
    1g. Hard-mallet and soft-mallet playback on timpani.
    1h. Harmonics on harp.
    1i. Una corda/soft pedal/sostenuto pedal playback for Grand Piano. (dry pedal workaround probably already exists for sostenuto.)

  2. Will other instruments be added in the future? For example: Classical and electric guitar, acoustic and electric bass, solo Contrabass, drum set, tenor trombone, horn in B-flat basso, ophicleide, euphonium, sousaphone, church organ, accordion etc. I realize how niche some of these instruments might be but one can always hope, especially when the released samples sound as great as they are.

Now for some notes on Muse Sounds and the MS4 software:
1. That subtle slide at the end of each note for certain instruments sound robotic and awkward when a piece isn't fast enough for it to sound natural, especially when jumping between two notes that have more than a whole tone or semitone between them.

  1. Certain instruments when playing in their upper ranges sounds like they're always accented or marcato even when the dynamic marking hasn't changed and there's no accents or marcatos notated on the notes themselves.
    2a. Staccatos sound more like accent-staccato or marcato, making every note that follows it sound too quiet when the staccatos stop.

  2. Ungodly cacophony plays when attempting to play a large and long score with several instruments that was originally made in the latest stable release of MS3 with default MS3 soundfont (maybe a bug report would be better.)

  3. Viola solo and Viola sections always play a little too quietly by default.

  4. Pizz and arco directions put on one staff in a section with divisi strings make the directions apply to both staves instead of just one staff.

  5. Certain playback of instruments with consecutive semiquavers play a weird bass/sub-bass harmonic, kind of like low auditorium hum, and when the notes play, the hum amplifies, and becomes distracting when playing compositions with a subwoofer.

  6. Typing text next to a dynamic cancels the dynamic itself and the dynamic level reverts to another level.

  7. Can't pick invisible rests after they're made invisible unless when zooming in and then clicking them.

  8. It's dodgy when trying to "select similar in this range" with staccatos.

  9. Shift-clicking is quite touchy and the selected string of notes transposes unintentionally and too easily when I'm trying to do something else with the shift-clicking and mouse, maybe that's just me with a selfishly large monitor.


I think it's a pervasive attitude of us general users of MS (both the software and the online eco-system) hope / wish our suggestions would be selected for implementation in the future...... There is likewise, perhaps, the notion of "we want changes we want/request, ASAP". I could jump up & down, shouting how I think MS4's play panel is !@$%, but it's possible if I wait until, say, MS4.1.7 comes out (when-ever that may be), I might be happily rewarded for waiting. I try to keep in mind the developers are being deluged by bugs & fixes, enhancements and revisions.

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