Customize Dynamics

• Mar 12, 2023 - 04:32


I just started using MuseScore 4 and I discovered issues with dynamics. For some instruments this is more noticeable than for others. And differences are not similar/consistent across instruments. I'm using Muse Sounds btw. So dynamic levels, especially the mid-range ones, meaning mp, mf, and forte, are too far apart.

For example, take a look at the Muse Sound Grand Piano. Jumps abruptly from mp to mf. Now take a look at Muse Sound Trombone. Piano is barely audible, so is mp, mf is finally a gentle p.. maybe mp, FORTE.. is a huge jump up so it sounds crazy metallic and exaggeratedly loud, ff is pretty much the same as f. The Violins 1 also jump a bit from mp to mf, but overall they're more even. A few instruments like the Doublebasses have extremely soft pianos.. so on.

This creates a problem with both balancing sound, in general, and with Crescendos or Diminuendos that sound surprisingly loud or soft, as a result of having to cresc or dim too fast at times and too unevenly. I believe the jump from one dynamic level to the next should be gentle and not that noticeable, so that a mf < f, or mf > mp is a gentle, barely noticeable effect, and a p < f sounds pleasant. Instead, the difference between mp - mf or mf - forte atm is, for many instruments, so large that it sounds jarring. Across different articulations the issue seems to be consistent with the default, natural sound. So the violins in arco legato, arco staccato, and pizz for example, sound equally uneven when moving from mp to mf.

I think the Crescendo between any 2 levels should be gradual, linear, so that it's reliable. But ultimately, no matter how you set these up, it would be best to have manual control over them.

So my main question would be: could I set myself [in some text file?] the intensity of every dynamic level from ppp to fff? I would want to make piano more noticeable and forte less so, so there is a reason to use dynamics from ppp to p and from f to fff, and so the main range, from p to f, is gentle and even enough. But then some other composers might need different ranges, like a Mozart might only need a p-to-f range, while a Ligeti is more of a pppppp-to-ffffff range.

And as a whishlist, I could add: would it be possible to customize the dynamic curve itself, for a Crescendo or a Diminuendo? Maybe I want it more like a spline.. or more linear? It would be amazing to test various options for it. And I think it would be ideal to be able to customize each Cresc or Dim in the score, individually, if necessary. For playback reasons. Alternatively, customizing the velocity of each track, in a solid, reliable way, would be a more advanced way to handle this issue, but ideally I'd love to never have to touch that and instead, just work visually, like a composer + pen + paper.


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