Slowing down on a very large project

• Mar 11, 2023 - 01:11

I am transcribing (because I have no other options) a very large project (over 110 pages, choir, soloists, organ, strings, percussion) from Encore to MuseScore 4. Somewhere after the 20th page, I noticed that the entry of various elements is getting slower, and now, around page 50, it gets annoyingly slow. The slowness is most noticeable when I switch from one input function to another. For example, if I switch from entering notes (using the mouse) to entering dynamics or vice versa. In such a case, the reaction to the mouse click is delayed for a second or more. It gets even more annoying if I'm typing something around the end of the page, so MuseScore automatically jumps to the next page. Encore still works for me on Windows XP and has no such problems, regardless of how long the sheet music is.


In reply to by bobjp

Unfortunately, the old version of Encore for WinXP that I have could not save in xml, but only in its protected enc format. However, it does not matter whether I am transcribing an old or writing a new large record. The fact is that with the number of pages, the entry becomes slower, and due to the slow reaction, errors in the entry also occur, especially when there is a page jump. I already have MuseScore Basic selected on the Playback setup if that's what you meant.

"I am transcribing ... a very large project (over 110 pages, choir, soloists, organ, strings, percussion)"

A personal view: I am transcribing a 3-act opera with soloists, chorus and a full orchestra. The first act runs to over 800 measures and 39 pages, and I reckon that to be near the limit for comfortable note entry (at least on my high-spec but elderly laptop). Spec:

Processor: Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-4700MQ CPU @ 2.40GHz 2.40 GHz
Installed RAM: 16.0 GB
System type: 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor
OS: Windows 10 Home version 22H2
SSD: 931 GB

I think you may have to split your work into sections, which can be tedious when it comes to re-assembling the full work. MuseScore's copy-and-paste currently requires changes of time signature (and ideally key signature) to be already present in the empty sections of the score which will be the target for the "paste" operations.

In reply to by DanielR

Thank you, I understand the proposal, but this piece is a single unit (oratorio type) and I'm just afraid of subsequent joining because I have no experience with it. If there was a proven function that simply adds separately written units, I might dare, but manual addition scares me. Otherwise, my computer is very similar, except that it is a desktop, the processor is i5-4570S @ 2.90 GHz, the OS is Windows 10 Pro and I have a regular magnetic HD, not an SSD. Does disk speed have any effect on this problem? If there is, installing an SSD would be the easiest solution for me, but it seems to me that everything happens in RAM, not on the disk. Considering that the delay of the reaction to the commands practically grows exponentially with the number of pages, I assume that the problem comes from the fact that MuseScore recalculates ALL the pages entered up to that point with each new entry, at least it seems so to me. Maybe the problem could be solved if I could select the option to recalculate only the page I'm currently working on and the pages after it, and not the previous pages. And maybe what I wrote is stupidity, I don't know.

In reply to by Damir Šimunović

"If there was a proven function that simply adds separately written units, I might dare, but manual addition scares me."
No need to be scared, provided that you rigorously maintain backups all the time. Unfortunately Musescore cannot (currently) append a section to an existing score, though other music software (e.g. SharpEye optical music recognition) can append a new section to an existing score with a single menu command.

So here is another suggestion from my own transcription work on capturing a 1920 opera:
1. Create the empty full score, adding rehearsal marks, changes of time signature and changes of key signature right through to the end.
2. Set Format > Style... > Measure Numbers to display measure numbers with an interval of 1 (i.e. every measure). This helps to keep track when doing subsequent copy-and-paste operations.
3. Now create a copy of the empty full score for each sensible group of instruments. I chose to use the following:
4. For each "Instrument Group" score, you can now remove all the instruments which do not belong to that group. Here I cheated a bit by first entering the piano part from the out-of-print vocal score into the empty full score, and then including the transcribed piano part in every instrument group. The piano part acts a useful navigation aid in addition to the measure numbers and rehearsal marks.
5. Now you can do your transcription on each instrument group. For performance reasons, even here I did not complete the entire Act 1 for an instrument group. Instead I transcribed section-by-section, usually based on 5-10 pages of the 390-page manuscript full score.
6. After each instrument group section is transcribed and proofread, you can copy the result into the original full score. This minimizes the time you have to spend working in the ever-growing full score.

"I have a regular magnetic HD, not an SSD. Does disk speed have any effect on this problem?"
I'm not a computer hardware expert. But my experience was that even with 16GB of RAM my laptop was starting to operate slowly. So I sacrificed the CD-drive and had a large SSD fitted in that bay instead. The improvement was startlingly good, and I am still using this battered laptop 5 years later. It runs MS4 without complaint.

One interesting thing is when I enter lyrics. If I'm entering syllables from note to note, the response speed is fine, but if I press the space bar to skip a note that doesn't have a new syllable to jump to the next one that has a new syllable, that's when it freezes. So it matters what I actually ingest. Likewise, if I enter notes of equal duration in sequence, the response is acceptable, but if I select a new duration, the entry of that new note pauses for a moment. Nothing like that can be noticed if I enter a smaller work of several pages, regardless of how many instruments I enter.
All of this refers to mouse and keyboard input, not MIDI control. I haven't tried that yet, I will.

In reply to by Damir Šimunović

I wish that I could tell you that an SSD would solve all your problems. I can't. But it can certainly help. That and the suggested 16 gigs of ram. Yes, the program loads into ram, but there is constant back and forth with the hard drive.
For example, how long does it take your computer to boot to the desktop? A minute? Maybe a little less? Probably more. How about 15 seconds, give or take, with an SSD.

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