The terrible sound of Muse Sounds violins (Muse Sound)

• Mar 25, 2024 - 23:22

In this subforum, I would like to devote a discussion to the topic of playing violins at fast tempos in a non-legato style.
The fact is that nowadays Muse Sounds violins, unless staccato is indicated, always sound like legato. It's very beautiful, but not always.
As proof, I'll give you an example - an excerpt from a cue from the soundtrack. In this cue (at the end), the violins should sound like brillante. Please listen carefully to this passage and listen to the violins as they sound: 13-The-Hidden-World.ogg . And now everything is the same, only in the Muse Sounds format: The Hidden World (to issue).ogg . Do you hear the difference? After all, this is really so! Violins in Musescore not only sound like fortissimo instead of forte (because at the moment Musescore still cannot fix the bug related to the constant volume, which is described in issue #16381 , they also sound like legato The Hidden World (to issue) - violins.ogg . It sounds terrible, like in a horror movie. The violins there should sound brilliant, each note of the tuplet should be extracted by a separate movement of the bow (as a détaché). Because of this, I can't get the appropriate sound output (as in the original). If I switch to MS Basic, the trills that were recorded earlier will sound terrible, and the violins will still not sound in the brillante style.
Question: what should I do about it? How can I fix the situation and make the violins sound the same as brillante? Can someone recommend a good free plugin? (just not the BBC, as there is the same problem, and all notes can only sound in one of several styles throughout - either legato or staccato).


Yes, Muse Strings are......interesting. But consider that notation software is not intended to sound like a real orchestra. You'll get closer with a DAW and a few thousands dollars worth of libraries. Plus what you listen with make a big difference. Laptop speakers, $30 buds, $200 headphones, all sound different.
Short of all that, don't use Violins 1. The numbers do not refer to desks, they refer to playing styles. 1 is more expressive. As an experiment, turn off reverb on the strings.
Probably most important. PAN YOUR SCORE. Right now everything is center. All on top of each other. A jumble of sound. Experiment with 1st violins 90 degrees left and 2nd violins 90 degrees right. Cellos to the right and violas to the left. Basses hard right. Space the other instruments out also.
Good luck.

In reply to by Dima S.

That control only keeps the focus on the playback cursor. Turn it off and see what happens when playback goes to another page. There is no equalization going on. Above each fader is a knob that controls which stereo channel (left or right) that instrument gets assigned to. Play a bit of just your string section. Then set the knobs the way I mentioned. Then listen to just the strings again. The Mixer is basically the same thing someone would use in a live show. Used to control how loud each instrument or mic is.

In reply to by bobjp

In principle, you are right that a DAW library worth several thousand dollars or more will help me get closer to a more realistic sound of a symphony orchestra.
But in this case, I'm talking about the terrible sound of violins, not because they are free, but because they sound like legato. That's why it makes such a terrible sound. I think the sound would be good if the détaché technique were used instead of legato. In modern musical notation, such a technique is practically nowhere indicated, since everything that is not legato (slurred notes) is usually performed with a separate bow movement. Why not implement exactly the same thing in Muse Sounds?
In the score that I attached, you can hear that the violins at the end certainly do not sound legato style. Why does Muse Sounds play it like legato? After all, no relevant instructions are given and no slurs are written, but it still reproduces it in legato style. As a result, it turns out to be some kind of mess.
Moreover, you correctly noticed that Muse Strings is interesting. After all, the détaché technique is clearly audible if you reproduce the notes with tremolo added through the stems. I attached a video, watch and listen, how clearly you can hear that each sixteenth note is taken by a separate movement of the bow (up-down-up-down, etc.) But then the notes should sound exactly the same, recorded equivalent to tremolo as the sixteenth. Instead, they start to sound like legato. It's horrible. It sounds like a slob 23-11-14_2.ts . I do not know if there is a corresponding request on the Github to improve the sound of violins. I think this needs to be fixed first. Anything that is not legato (unless a verbal instruction or slurs above the notes are specified) should sound like détaché.

Attachment Size
23-11-14_2.ts 870.79 KB

In reply to by Dima S.

I don't disagree. It may or may not get fixed. If it does, my guess is that an additional font will be needed. Sibelius, which has 36gigs of sounds, lists separate normal, legato, and vibrato sounds.
You posted a part of a recording that you wished MU4 sounded like. Fair enough. But Four different orchestras are going to sound different. Add to that, the recording atmosphere. You will have some very clean and some, not so much.
Muse strings don't sound like you want. I get it. And strings aren't the only sounds that have problems. The question is, "What do you do about it?" I don't know what your goal is with this copyrighted score. If it is playback, there may be options. Limited as they may be. I've tried a few VSTs. They tend to have their own problems. Some are worse. The Violins 2 sound tends to be less sloppy and a little cleaner. Use it for both parts. Turn off the reverb on those channels. And, again, pan them like you were sitting center in front of an orchestra. That helps you hear things better. Less of a jumbled mess. Will that be enough? Probably not. But we don't have many choices. There are also a number of effects from the Hub that might help with the brilliance you want.

In reply to by bobjp

I believe that the desired effect can be achieved only by what I wrote about - a certain technique of playing bowed string instruments. I followed your recommendations and set up the mixer as you said. But it didn't change much for the better.
To your question about "What do you do about it?" The answer is certainly simple. I want to get the sound as close to the original as possible. And to be honest, it's not bad with Muse Sounds! I'm not complaining about the rest of the Muse Sounds, they're doing a good job. If it were MS Basic, the sound would be even worse (much worse), and I think you understand this perfectly well. To make sure of this, it is enough to switch the sound library from Muse Sounds to MS Basic and you will hear that the sound will become completely different (much worse). There are, of course, some other comments on the sound of Muse Sounds, for example, the inability to highlight the sound of "solo", as indicated by the corresponding request on the github , but this is not as scary as the sound of violins.
I would really like this problem to be fixed. I once left a corresponding request on github, but I believe that it has been shelved, and it is not clear when it will be accepted for consideration and whether it will be considered at all. I will try to make sure that this problem is still considered and done as soon as possible.
Thank you very much for the recommendations and the answer to my question. After all, Muse Sounds is a very good sound library. The sounds are amazing! It sounds very good. Nevertheless, there are problems that I think it would be best to fix, and I hope that the problem I wrote about will be solved as soon as possible. Thanks again very much.

In reply to by Dima S.

I have used MU4 and Muse Sounds since they were in Beta. The sounds have come a long way, but still have a ways to go. Maybe this note separation problem will get fixed. Maybe it won't. I write for playback only. So when I come up against something the sounds can't do, I have few choices. I either figure out a way to get close, or I write something else. This is a challenge that composers face. Usually I do a combination of both. Some one that does transcription where playback is important, can't do that as much.
The rest of the sounds don't always do a good job. I have a bit of a list. But, the sounds are what they are, so to speak. And, in general, so much better than MU3 that I don't even have MU3 on my system.
You want MU4 to sound like the "original". What if the "original" isn't correct? Which "original"? No two recordings will sound the same.

In reply to by bobjp

In this example, by the word "original" I mean the original soundtrack to the third movie "How to Train your Dragon". After listening to this original soundtrack, you can understand that those who created this soundtrack were able to make the violins sound like brillante. I want to achieve the same thing with Muse Sounds. Unfortunately, I have not been able to do this yet, but I believe that this can be fixed if everything that I have already described on github is implemented (

In reply to by Dima S.

Welcome to the club. I stopped reporting about the pathetic strings over a year ago after getting nothing but philosophical replies. And replies from addicted "technical" responders that know virtually nothing about composing, and I suspect next to nothing about coding.

"I'm talking about the terrible sound of violins.... because they sound like legato."

Among many other issues.

When MuseScore 3 was released The MuseScore YouTube channel (and respondents) praised to heaven its "symphonic" sound.

But nobody seemed to notice that virtually all of the orchestral strings were playing nothing but whole and half notes.

You'll get no true solutions here.

Just workarounds and endless frustration.

The coders are obviously not interested in doing much more than improving the "engraving".
Take the latest addition to the string playback "selections" offered by adding Staff Text.
It's like putting lipstick on a pig.
What was the point? To make it easier to select Pizzicato?
It's laughable.

I recognize it's Freeware, but that's not the point. Fixing the Strings is NOT a coding issue. There are any number of ways better string libraries (and memory management) can be obtained and integrated

The relationship between Musescore and "MuseHub" is not at all clear. Nor is the monetization.
The perpetual " deeply discounted" memberships are amusing.

Are you aware that MuseHub requires access to you ROOT DIRECTORY?
Ever hear of that? There is NO TECHNICAL REASON ON EARTH FOR IT.
See if you can get an answer as to why.

I stopped asking a long time ago.

In reply to by gary23andrews


Since you stopped using MuseHub and the MuseSounds a long time ago, you don't really have anything to whine about. "Monetization" has nothing to do with what we talk about on this site; nor is Your whimpering about it access "root" (which is meaningless in most of the environments the application runs on) is demonstrably false, as has been explained to you repeatedly. But you won't hear it.
Why don't you ride your hobby horse off into the sunset and stop bothering people about it?

In reply to by TheHutch

Good Lord!
Yet Another MuseScore apologist!
The line is endless...
How are you Hutch? ;-)
Good to hear from you.
Where did you read that I STOPPED using MuseHub andMuseSounds?
Please cut and paste that post of mine in your reply.
(Or the Forum Node number).
Kindly refresh my memory, as long as you're all up in my yard.

I still compose with MuseScore, it is -after all- an excellent interface for notating.
As a matter of fact I use VST3 plugins from Spitfire when I want to give it a listen.

Monetization DOES have something to do with what direction this open-source project moves in conjunction with MuseHub. You'll simply NEVER know about it.
Alas.... Nothing is free. Think about it, Grasshopper.

I might have missed the explanatory proof that MuseHub no longer accesses the ROOT Directory.
As long as you're on a roll, send along the Forum Node Number with one of the supreme honchos specifying that.
I'll gladly step up and apologize. Surprised?

That was a pretty harsh dig using the "Hobby Horse" metaphor.
I'm wounded
OK. Not wounded. I did get a good laugh from it.
But I'll take some solace in knowing I'm not alone.
The line of "Whining Hobby Horse Riders" is almost as long as the line of incredible number of users with similar complaints.

What's your issue? Trying to deal with simple truths?
Stay in touch, Hutch. (I like that Rhyme).
Looking forward to hearing from you....

In reply to by gary23andrews

I am writing here in order to highlight the issue, so that, at least, people know about it.
As practice shows, it is impossible to do everything at once and implement it perfectly, there will definitely be some mistakes, flaws, etc. I know that the Muse teams have done a lot in the field of engraving and sound, and we should be grateful to them for that. And as we understand it, MuseScore is free software, just like Muse Sounds, so you should not expect anything perfect here.
I agree: there are enough problems here. Engraving, user interface, playback… Currently, there are more than two and a half thousand issues. And it's one thing to make them up, and it's completely another thing to solve them. And currently the issues are being resolved, but in order of priority. It is impossible to do everything at once. First of all, it is an engraving. The MuseScore team is very small, it can't figure everything out at once. There are problems that have been lying in a long drawer for years, but they are known about them - and this is the most important thing! I'm sure they'll get to them someday.
I repeat, first of all, I want to be heard. I highlight the problem and give reasons why it is a problem and why it needs to be solved. I am sure that I am justifying my position with good reason. And if you are answered with something in the style of "it's okay, it can be avoided in a roundabout way", this does not mean that this opinion is decisive in the course of further software development. The Muse team are not fools, they see and follow the discussion, and believe me, they themselves would like to make the software perfect, taking into account every wish and complaint of the user, but they cannot do everything at once due to considerable circumstances. They can't! They have a small team. Now they are busy solving the most urgent problems, which are even much more important than those that, as you may think, are no less important.

In reply to by TheHutch

Yes, I tried, but it didn't help that much, at least with most of the legato elimination. You can still hear the notes blurring, no matter how many effects I apply. The only way out that I see is to implement the détaché technique. And here we are talking about the movement of the bow. Let me explain it more simply: if we hear the movement of the bow, then we will get what we need. Currently, the movement of the bow is heard only when a "tremolo through the stem" is added to the note. In other cases, the movement of the bow is not audible, which is why such a sound is obtained and, accordingly, legato. That's the whole problem.

In reply to by Dima S.

Dima S:
I understood your description. And I agree with it.
The situation is not uncommon with an emerging "complex problem" software architecture.
The String "Legato" situation is a specific example of a more general problem the extends to other instruments as well. Wind instruments have their own analogous issues. All of the instruments do.
Musescore is fundamentally notation ("engraving") software.
Musescore is - for all intents and purposes- essentially a word processor.
Now imagine if you had a word processor wherein you could select an RGB color for each letter, as well as it's intensity, emergence rate (velocity), dissipation, resolution, indeed any waveform characteristics that define the duration of its RGB pixel representation.
By analogy, Musescore endeavors to do the same, but with notes on a staff instead of letters on a page, and with the complex waveform representing sound rather than color.
This is by no means a trivial coding challenge.
I understand and respect that.
The architecture of the DAW environment is properly suited to do this.
A piano keyboard rather than a computer keyboard, VST sound libraries, and a sequencer.

The little sound icon which manifests when Staff Text is inserted is a perfect example.
What did this do to sound quality, other that excite the crowd of amateurs that are unable to properly achieve a similar result with the mixer?

What I've found most frustrating with Musescore is all the hyperbole about it's potential and evolution.
As well as all of the pretentious personalities responding to the legitimate PLEADINGS of the user community.
I would much rather invest my time studying music than looking for the "workarounds" so that it sounds subjectively better to my ears.

It is likely that -given the evolution of software such as MS, Sibelius, etc., etc., the desire to manifest proper instrument sound and articulation playback for PROFESSIONAL composers is a LONG WAY OFF. If ever.

The irony is that -as notation software- it is phenomenal. That it is freeware is glorious.

And -in my opinion- its exceptional notation quality is breeding false hope, where users are seeing "potential", rather than realistic limitations based on its architecture, and environment type.

But the universe of users (many with budgets not suitable for production-level DAW environments) have been seduced by the hope of success. Much of it perpetuated by the way it is being misrepresented.

Professionals (or semi-professionals) understand this and are delighted to use it for notation only.

DAW challenged users who wish the beauty of BBC Symphonic VST3 Solo and Sectional strings and their myriad bowing articulations may never see this in their lifetime on Musescore.
The coding challenge is perhaps too complex for any word processor.

MuseSounds (via MuseHub) has indeed come a long way. And it is impressive the way they have managed to incorporate some dynamics. Emphasis on some. But with strings in particular, I would bet the farm that the level of reproduction will NEVER approximate a DAW environment. There are 24 bowing techniques.
Musescore cannot yet properly represent basic Tremelo on a solo violin.

Be well. And Thank you for your thoughts.

In reply to by Dima S.

To be clear: No one is saying the problem doesn't exist. We are merely trying to offer some help.

I learned long ago that when it comes to notation software, often two scores are needed. One that I would hand to real players. And another that I would mark up to get the playback I wanted. I have Sibelius. I have to do the same thing with it. Sibelius has a setting that allows you to set a default note length. This is observed unless there is a slur over notes. So, I can set a default length of 95% so that there is separation. And slurs join the notes. It mostly works, but not always. And it is partly why Sibelius has 35 GB of sounds. For each string instrument and section, there is a normal, legato, vibrato and non vibrato selection. I doubt that MuseScore is interested in that many different versions of sounds.

As for the HUB. You only need it to update things. Open the Hub, select the gear in the upper right. Then check for updates in the upper left. Other than that turn everything to off and at the very bottom, select Quit. Any root access is the same that there is for other programs that I have. My Focusrite audio interface, for example.

In reply to by bobjp

But détaché is almost the very first technique that is most common, not to mention that it should be used by default (unless legato is specified). It is very strange why Muse Sounds did not include it, although they took care of less common techniques such as sul ponticello, col legno (oh, really, are these such popular techniques?), and forgot about détaché (probably), although détaché is the most important technique that makes the sound as close as possible to natural.

In reply to by Dima S.

Once again, agreed. IMHO I do not think the sample bowing varieties are genuine.
For several reasons:
Firstly, assembling string players with quality instruments, in a proper acoustic environment, with quality microphones and recording technology, etc. (otherwise why bother?) to record bowing techniques is not an inexpensive proposition. And these samples are free.
Secondly, Careful listening of the samples SUGGESTS that the variations were made by using common waveform modification software (i.e. Fourier Transform) to deform an original sample and then equalize it to approximate the desired sound. It would be very difficult to approximate quality détaché from a primitive sample. That is probably why détaché - of all techniques- is missing.
Thirdly, That Tremelo is absolutely pathetic is quite indicative. Proper tremolo cannot be well achieved by a Fourier Transform. That's why it sounds too pathetically choppy. Also: the waveform similarity between "Ordinary" and "Espressivo". Ditto for Bartok and Pizzicato. They look like modifications of the identical original waveform.
I believe this is how it was done, and I believe it was done to both simplify the mixing / equalization process, and minimize the need to "Change Instruments" and the complications resulting from doing so.
I cannot prove this (obviously), but I would bet the farm on it.
Lastly All of this is It is clearly directed towards the beginner / intermediate level user.
And those more interested in hearing themselves.
Not towards the more advanced composer who "knows" what it will sound like, and will merely include bowing marks.
If you look at the various "user" media generated by those "representing" Musescore, you'll quickly see that almost all of it is directed towards the beginner / intermediate user.

At the risk of repeating myself: It is the incredible quality of the notation interface which fuels the expectation of more authentic sounds.

always fun to get out the popcorn to watch these types of threads. bobjp had the correct answer in the very first reply posted. for myself, except a quick check, i never ever use the musescore or musehub sounds. and definitely not if i was generating the audio output for an orchestra or proper string assembly.

anyways /crunch crunch/

In reply to by glennmstanton

Thank you.
Interesting. I have the BBC, and a few others, such as Epic Strings and Epic Brass and Woodwinds.
I may be dipping into the more expensive offerings when I feel my orchestration skills are mature enough.
The issue is that MS is not the platform to fully exploit them. Only a DAW can.
I'll be looking into Note Performers playback engine.
I've heard a few pieces on you tube with a Sibelius / Note Performer Playback engine.
They seemed quite good.
I'm not a fan of Sibelius. I actually prefer the MS interface.

In reply to by gary23andrews

I hope I am allowed a few observations.
I'm not sure what the definition of "professional" or "amateur" is as far as notation software goes. When I look up amateur, it only talks about someone who does something for no pay. No mention of skill level.

There is no question that a DAW is the best way to go as far as finished audio goes.

Everyone's perception of good sound is different. I have the free versions of BBC and Orchestral Tools, and a few others. The problem for me is that in MuseScore, they sound rather dull and lifeless. Articulations may be correct, but there is more to music than articulations. There needs to be drive and life. Music, for me, is not technicalities. When I listen to something, it needs to reach inside me, rib out my guts, throw them on the ground, jump up and down on them, then stuff them back inside me. All so that I know I have listened to something. It can be loud or soft, slow or fast. But it can't just sit there.

I compose for playback. I have played in orchestras and bands most of my 70 years. I know what they sound like. Inside and out. Composers have always been limited by what they have to work with. For many years, I worked with Sibelius. Starting in 2007. It was a miracle to me that I could write on a computer and have playback that was so good. I have Sibelius 7.5.1 and started to use MuseScore 4 years ago because I didn't know how much longer Sibelius would work on newer OS's.

I have one piece that I had written in Sibelius that has a massive climax. Seemed good to me. I tried it in MU3 and it wasn't as good. Then I tried it again when Muse Sounds came out. I couldn't believe my ears. This is what I was looking for. I'm not saying that Muse Sounds are better. Only that they delivered what I wanted in the climax section. I'm still looking for the socks I was wearing.

Do Muse Sounds fall short in many ways? For sure. When I write something that they don't do very well, I change and write something different that does work. I get to do that. I realize that transcribers don't get to do that. I'm not interested in transcription.

I have heard NotePerformer. Someone even put one of my pieces through it. What bothers me is the description of what it does. It interprets your music and plays it in a natural way. The problem is that its interpretation is not necessarily my own. It uses its own font.

In reply to by bobjp

>I hope I am allowed a few observations.
Of course
>I'm not sure what the definition of "professional" or "amateur" is as far as notation software goes. When I look up amateur, it only talks about someone who does something for no pay. No mention of skill level.

Agree in principle. People move back and forth between these "categories". My slant on both is essentially both understand music theory and -for example- basic compositional techniques such as proper SATB voice leading. Some are paid for their services. I am strictly an amateur. Music is a nothing more than an intellectual interest to me. I am retired and waited until retirement to devote the necessary time to achieve the level I aspire to. I knew more than one "penniless" performing musicians whose skill I admired, but not their life circumstances.
I can sight read, play three instruments, and have studied music theory (and orchestration) extensively, with an extreme emphasis on Mozart. My sole objective is to achieve the ability to compose a quality - and technically correct- Concerto in Sonata form, Classic Galant style. I'm at the threshold.

> The problem for me is that in MuseScore, they sound rather dull and lifeless. Articulations may be correct, but there is more to music than articulations.

I am unable to articulate any Spitfire VST3s beyond what dynamics are available in MS.
These VSTs are meant for a DAW.
Sound quality is -as you've stated elsewhere- is rather subjective.
I can massage Spitfire's Epic Strings in MS to the point where they blow away the Cello and Viola layer of Musesound Cello and Viola sections. No contest.

> I have Sibelius 7.5.1 and started to use MuseScore 4 years ago because I didn't know how much longer Sibelius would work on newer OS's.

Nodding in agreement

> I'm still looking for the socks I was wearing.


> I have heard NotePerformer. Someone even put one of my pieces through it. What bothers me is the description of what it does. It interprets your music and plays it in a natural way. The problem is that its interpretation is not necessarily my own. It uses its own font.

:Thanks for the heads up. I'm hoping to have time to research it this weekend.

BTW: My interest in all of this actually has very little to do with me.
It has to do to do with the links I provide to a professional for his constructive criticism of my compositions. He's amazed with the score PDFs.
Not so much with the quality of the strings, which are central to my compositions.
And to family and friends with classical music in their blood.

In reply to by bobjp

Oh My Good Lord.
This is truly unbelievable.
After spending two days researching and reading tons of reviews about writing (engraving) software:
> Sibelius
> Finale
> Dorico
I selected Dorico Elements 5.
Instant summary: The GUI is intuitive and a no-brainer move from Musescore.
It is saturated with an abundance of markings to modify dynamics and techniques.
specially for string and wind instruments.
It easily imported a MS4 project via .XML and played them flawlessly.
As notation software it is superior. Vastly.
The native sound library is not as good as MuseSounds, except for the piano, which is superior.
It is fully compatible with Spitfire VST3 libraries.
The memory footprint is 504.8 Mb.
The trial is good for SIXTY days. SIXTY.
After that the perpetual license is $99.99 (!)
You can tell instantly that this "commercial" solution is managed by a team of dedicated professionals.
And the quality contrast with itinerant freeware coders is immediately apparent.
Steinberg is located in Germany.

As previously mentioned, I downloaded the TRIAL version of Note Performer 4.
I'm not even going to bother trying to take the time to express it abundant how blown away I was.
> The integration was seamless. Just install it. It seeks, finds the Doric Folder, and co-locates it.
> The string sounds and DYNAMICS are beyond belief for a non-DAW platform.
> I would encourage anyone to watch the introductory video at noteperformerDOTcom
It explains how it USES AI to address dynamics.
In conjunction with the dynamic markings menu native to Dorico, it is truly amazing.
It is stunning.
The litmus test with strings is - of course- the quartet. The playback of Cello, Viola, 2nd and 1st violin is
>>> sincerely breathtaking <<<<
for a non-DAW platform.
The trial period is thirty days.
With a perpetual license of $129.

So for $229 I have obtained what I have been patiently waiting three years for.
It's far more than I expected.

My intuition tells me that your previous experience with NotePerformer was prior to the introduction of the AI "engine". And Dorico embarrasses Sibelius. Least of which is Sibelius' ridiculous pricing model.

Be Well.

In reply to by gary23andrews

Despite the fact that Steinberg could easily have allowed NotePerformer to integrate with Musescore (as it does with Sibelius, Finale, and Dorico), they elected to avoid Musescore.
I have made enough negative comments about Musescore, so I will not add insult to injury by stating the obvious reason why Steinberg avoided Musescore like the plague.

I believe you are the person who pointed out the "Legato" situation with MS4.
Somewhere in my replies to some thread I also pointed out how truly pathetic Tremelo was.

NotePerformer solves all of these bowing issues.

And - not to pat myself one the back- but my (speculative) analysis (above) regarding how waveform manipulation is performed in Musescore to achieve artificial dynamics is virtually confirmed by the technical overview given on the homepage of NotePerformer.

In reply to by Dima S.

That video was useless.

MS4 Does not recognize NotePerformer. It DOES recognize the Halion VSTs in Dorico.
But as I stated earlier, MuseSounds is better except for piano.

From a prior thread:

Back in September, on the "Our Progress on MuseScore 4 - Update 2," Tantacrul had this to say concerning NotePerformer: "About VST & NotePerformer: Some users have been asking whether the initial release of MuseScore 4 will support NotePerformer. Although it is true that we initially intended to support NotePerformer for 4.0,

we have instead decided to focus our efforts on our own orchestral playback plugin (codenamed 'MuseSampler') which will be available to download and install for free....

....this was not work we had originally planned to do for MuseScore 4 but as we continue to experiment with higher quality samplers, we have come to realise that MusePlaybackEvents is a necessary investment right now. Not only will it open doors to take advantage of the full capabilities of our default (Fluid synth) playback, it will also allow us to build features that will provide exciting opportunities for VSTi's and MIDI 2.0 in the future too. We believe this work adds around 2.5 months to our schedule."

Do your homework.

In reply to by gary23andrews

BTW Tantacrul avoided the obvious, because it would have been an extreme conflict of interest to be entirely truthful. His street cred was sufficient to induce a technical negotiation. Wallander Instruments AB, had little- if any- interest.

"[therefore]...we have instead decided to focus our efforts on our own orchestral playback plugin (codenamed 'MuseSampler') which will be available to download and install for free...."

This because Musesounds - available via MuseHub.

Ask yourself the obvious question. Free marketing exposure declined by Wallander?

It's OBVIOUS. For more than one reason.

In reply to by Dima S.

Again: With all due respect -
Re: In short, I have sent requests to GitHub and I hope that someday Muse Sounds will become what they want it to be.
> I do not think you fully understand the the function of GitHub, or the relationship between GitHub and Musescore, or the reason why MuseHub exists, or why the problems with instrument sound and playback continue to exist and will for the foreseeable future.

Re: I invite you to join the discussion at the link.
> Thanks, but no thanks. Discussion like this ( ad nauseam ) exist for precisely the reasons I am abandoning Musescore. They are the detritus of Musesounds, the workarounds trying to "solve" them, and the endless "arguments" of the uninformed.

I'd rather continue studying music.

In reply to by bobjp

Here is a brief reduction of a piece I had just started sketching in MS4.
In MS4 it was going to be a full 11 piece sectional Clarinet Concerto, primarily because the solo Strings in MS4 are so pathetic for a Chamber piece.
This was reduced FROM SCRATCH (entering note-by-note) in Dorico for a Chamber setting.
The GUI is so intuitive, it took me a day to get fluid.
The rendering and .mp3 is done concurrently by NotePerfomer.
I challenge anyone to produce a chamber piece ( Cello, Viola, Violin 2, Violin 1) with this level of articulation and realism in MuseSCORE.
I tossed the Clarinet in at the end to demonstrate its quality as well.
(Have you ever heard a line in either the MuseSounds or MS Native Font Clarinet? They're laughable.)
Why spend literally thousands of dollars for a DAW environment?
This was $229 USD. I purchased it this morning.
Four years ago, I couldn't read a single note of music.
I had to wait until I retired

The Piece:…

I have studied Mozart exclusively, and used this as my tutor:…

In reply to by gary23andrews

Well, I suppose if you are happy with that sound, that's all that matters. Everyone likes different things. And that's OK. Yes, the articulations are very precise. Very clean. That's what matters to you. And you found it. No one using MuseScore is going to get close. But when I listen to you recording with my high quality headphones, I am reminded of why I haven't purchased notation software or NotePerformer.

In reply to by bobjp

I too have several very high quality headphones.
I would be honored -and most happy- to listen to a multi-instrument composition (or extract) of yours, so that I might HEAR rather than READ what " I am reminded of why I haven't purchased notation software or NotePerformer" actually mean, and satisfy my never ending curiosity about such things....

In reply to by gary23andrews

Indeed. You've already heard and commented on a piece of mine. But no matter. You wish to emulate Mozart style music. And you have found the perfect tools to do that. However as much as I like Baroque music, it is not something I am interested in writing, as such. One fugue was enough for me. I enjoy big pipe organ music, but...

Lets think about Instruments of Mozart's time. There were no jets roaring overhead. No trains screeming by. No traffic on the freeway. In general much less noise. Everything was quieter. As were instruments. Violins had shorter necks mounted at less of an angle. Short bass bars and gut strings. No valved trumpets or horns. No trombones, Sackbuts instead. Flutes and clarinets only had a few keys. All were much quieter than todays counterparts. Intonation was interesting. No one really knows how music was played. There are some vague descriptions. One book on flute playing. Even the Old organs that Bach played have undergone extensive updates. So they don't sound the same. Only one Stradivarius violin has not been rebuilt to be louder for more modern music and big orchestras. The concept of vibrato did not exist. No chinrests or shoulder rests. Pitch varied from town to town. It is quite possible that if we could go back in time, we might wonder at the strikingly different sound of some music that we know from modern recordings.

But you have found something you like and I'm happy for you. So NotePerformer hasn't improved much over the years. I go to their web site now and then. Each time I am disappointed. This is the company that awhile ago posted a Baroque trumpet concert. Except that they used a jazz trumpet sound. (?) It was there for quite some time before they changed it. Most of their renditions just don't sound worth it. And I'm not picky. I use Muse Sounds, after all. The strings in your sample sound a bit thin and lifeless. I notice that they all play the same speed vibrato. Hard to tell much more. Did you pan this recording? The clarinet is very even precise. And kind of dull.

The UI for any paid notation software is loaded with far more control over every note than MU4 will ever have. I get it. A lot of people want all that and more. They over mark their scores in my opinion. They want their music played just so. I get it. But I tend to think that it restricts music rather than sets it free.

In reply to by bobjp

Greetings -

Thank you for the thought and time invested in that reply.
If I may slightly calibrate it:

"...You wish to emulate Mozart style music. And you have found the perfect tools to do that. However as much as I like Baroque music..."

That might be a "post retirement filing error". I have one myself now and again....
The Baroque Period ended in in 1750. Mozart was born in 1756. His style is generally classified as Classical, and more specifically, the Gallant Classical Style. The ornate style and contrapuntalism of the Baroque period was disliked by Mozart (and you'll find little remaining of it in the late 18th and early 19th centuries except perhaps for the formal cadence types). Actually his compositional style is of interest to me because of his astonishing sense of harmony, and his transcendent use of chromaticism and subtle extended modulations.
This is to say nothing about his melodic inventiveness.

With that in mind, your tutorial about the period instruments -although quite informative and surely well-intentioned- is irrelevant. I don't listen to much Baroque, save for Vivaldi.

Re: The strings in your sample sound a bit thin and lifeless. I notice that they all play the same speed vibrato. Hard to tell much more. Did you pan this recording? The clarinet is very even precise. And kind of dull.

No doubt.
I did absolutely nothing regarding playback, as I was still bootstrapping the notation interface.
Not even panning. I am just back from Holiday. I don't expect to tackle the dynamic / mixing / etc. aspects of Dorico + NotePerformer until I am fully fluent in the notation.
As a matter of fact, I am sufficiently pleased with the out-of-the-box sound of the solo strings (and bowing techniques), that have started the process of reducing and rewriting the piece as a String Quartet. (I started a String Quartet in MS4 quite some time ago and was absolutely nauseated by the monolithic solo string playback with Musesounds.)

Re: "So NotePerformer hasn't improved much over the years. I go to their web site now and then. Each time I am disappointed."

It would appear you might be referring to Noteperformer (NP) 3 in your valid criticisms.
However, NP 4 is a quantum leap ( literally ) beyond NP3. If you haven't yet, I suggest you read any of the countless composer Blogs, as well as Reddit and Quora acknowledging this. The AI component was introduced in NP4. Is is astonishing.

Re: "They over mark their scores in my opinion."

As a related side-note, and interestingly enough, Mozart's scores are notorious for their lack of markings (as is easily verified by examining any of the his Autograph Manuscripts).

Re: "But you have found something you like and I'm happy for you."

Thus endeth the Calibration.

And lastly:

Re: But you have found something you like and I'm happy for you.

My sincere thanks.
I'll be posting a .MP3 of the String Quartet Divertimento here by late summer.
I live in the North and try to enjoy the sunshine while it's around.

P.S. Whatever happened to Dima? ;-)

In reply to by gary23andrews

Good. You've been doing some homework.


Even in Beethoven's time the instruments would have been roughly the same. Even as instruments were improved, use by players was slow. Yes, composition styles changed. But players, not so much.
A lot of early music is unmarked because the players knew how to play what was before them. Some concertos are only a melody with a figures base. Each player knew what to do.

NP 4. Still a disappointment. The trumpet concerto is not at all Baroque style. The orchestra is too big. The solo trumpet (as with the clarinet concerto) is mechanical. I'm just not interested in an AI component. I know many people are. Good for them. I want to write my music. Myself. The site says they have a very experienced person making the examples. I hope that person has professional level playing ability in all instruments. I hope they know how all those instruments blend together in any given situation.

But my needs are not your needs. I am only interested in what I have to do to create a composition. I really haven't heard much of any program that will let me do that. There is always some obstacle. I don't have the time, money, or need of expensive software. So, here I am in MU4. Far from perfect. But I get to write. If I write something that doesn't sound like I want, I write something different. If the clarinet sounds funky on a few notes, I just change them. I get to do that. And the result is still what I want.

In reply to by bobjp


Re: "Good. You've been doing some homework."

Was that intended for me, or someone else?
If it was for me, it it sadly misdirected.
I have been long aware of everything you are now "teaching" in your replies, professor.
And perhaps more, my friend.
For one small example, I have been using Figured Bass when I do a (Schenkerian) harmonic analysis of a Mozart Composition.
Although I studied Mathematics and Computer Science in University,
I also studied composition with a world-class Cellist (William Klenz - Requiesce In Pace).

Kindly re-consider posting a piece of yours (beyond that "Baroque thing" that you have understandably deleted). I suspect that will help me understand (and perhaps acknowledge) your rather ranging (and somewhat ambiguous) compositional preferences.

My best regards -


In reply to by gary23andrews

Gary, Gary, Gary,
Why should I be the least bit interested in what you think of my compositional preferences? If you can't tell from the two pieces you already made fun of, I can't help you much more. My pieces are still on .com. You just aren't invited to see them.
You aren't interested in doing anything but laughing at me, as you have stated many times.

In reply to by bobjp

My dear, dear, dear Professor Bob -

How are you? Well, I trust.

Alas! Once again - (AGAIN!)- you misread a post (your reply history is loaded with them), so it's really no surprise.

You never fail to amuse me.

I was not the least bit interested in the "musical quality" of your compositions.
(One was more than enough for that insight.)

But given your strange (to be polite) replies, such as:
> "I have a degree in music", (yet you classify Mozart's period as Baroque).
> In a dialogue about composition for playback, you suddenly change topics and become oddly pedantic about period instruments. That was really and weird.
> You state that Noteperformer "hasn't improved much over the years. I go to their website now and then..."
Do you test drive a car by going to the website? Composers of all stripes are virtually unanimous in heralding the quantum difference AI makes in Noteperformer 4, not to mention its VAST superiority over MS.

Bottom line is I was intellectually curious enough to try and understand why the hell you were trying to say
about your playback preferences. It was that simple. Don't overcomplicate it.

I'm am the lead Bass in a choir directed by a Julliard graduate. Yet I love to hear children sing. Even if out of tune. Especially when they're smiling. I didn't expect anything more than trying to match what you were trying to convey about "composing for playback" with the SOUND of what you composed. Even if the composition is childlike.

Beyond your tendency to be professorial and pedantic, your tendency to misunderstand posts, your defensiveness, and your habitual presumptuousness, I can see you are a well intentioned person and -to be sure- a charitable soul. After all, you are devoting an enormous amount time attempting to solve the "technical" issues of others, rather than hone your compositional skills. For example you spent some life-precious time trying to "solve" Dima's issues with Violin Legato. I don't see that he ever bothered replying.

Am I offended that you have "blocked" me? Au Contraire.
It was both amusing and confirming. I was intellectually curious about the SOUND QUALITY.
But not THAT curious.
I've already heard between your lines.
You're easy.

Be well, and farewell.

In reply to by gary23andrews

Blocked you? Your word not mine. You need to read more carefully. I made them so no one can see them. Your incredible, self-centered rudeness reminded me that I needed to do that.
You continue to misread my posts. I never said Mozart was a Baroque composer. Even so, you know that the term Baroque Music did not exist in Bach's time There were composers writing that style even after Mozart's early classical period. Oops, sorry.
OK NP is great. MS is terrible. Fine. You win. Now what. Who cares.
You keep trying to impress me by saying who you studied composition with, and who directs the choir you sing in. And I care because....? If you are trying to say that you know what you are talking about, namedropping won't do it. You have done nothing but be rude to me at every turn. You try to deflect by saying I'm doing it myself. Or some other gibberish. Deflect, deflect deflect. That's you.
Again, why should I post a composition? You aren't curious. You just want to present more ridicule and gibberish. Because you fancy yourself better than me. Wow, what a low bar. Your zeroing in on me shows just how small minded you are.
I notice you are only on any forum to complain. Rather than offer any help. Your responses to anyone mean nothing.
You'll be back. You've tried before.

In reply to by gary23andrews

It sounds really cool. I have a score in the mscz format, could you play it with a Note Performer so that I can make sure it's really worth it? Unfortunately, in the country where I live, sanctions are imposed on foreign transactions, and I cannot buy either Dorico or Note Performer.

In reply to by Dima S.

Thank you.

Export your piece in .XML format somewhere I can download it.
I will import the .XML and DORICO convert it to a usable score, and will render it.
I will then open the NOTEPERFORMER PLAYBACK ENGINE while DORICO is running, and
EXPORT the piece in .mp3 format and place the link here, or - if you prefer- in a private location of your choice. This may take a few days as I am quite busy now that Summer is nigh.

Я просмотрел несколько опубликованных вами оценок. Я думаю, что один из них был на русском языке. Я также знаю о санкциях.
Мне бы хотелось, чтобы это было не так.

In reply to by gary23andrews

I hope that you have successfully imported these files. Otherwise, I have attached the pdf files so that you can verify.
These are exactly the scores that started it all. Legato is disgusting there. But you can't remove it - it's there by default. There is no other option.
I do not know if there are such instruments as Guzheng, Dhol, Darbuka, Brekete, Garbage can (it may seem like a dubious musical instrument, but it is really played, although I have never seen exactly how) in the set of your paid sound library. It would be cool if you had them, because the score sounds great with them.

I tried to upload the MusicXML file I exported to the trial version of Dorico, which I barely managed to get somewhere, and noticed a lot of discrepancies in terms of engraving. When I clicked on the Play tab, the program froze. I hope this doesn't happen to you.
I manually rewrote these scores in MuseScore Studio, every last detail. In MuseScore Studio they [the scores] look great, but how will it be in Dorico…🤔

In reply to by Dima S.

It is a holiday weekend here; I downloaded and looked at 'The Hidden World' in MS4 Studio before I left.
I do not understand your issue with "Legato."
This entire composition by Powell is virtually all "Staccato" at a Vivace tempo.
Isolating the Strings and listening confirms this.
The sheer DENSITY of the piece would obscure any attempt at "improving" it to the point where it is noticeable.
Either in MS4 OR Dorico.
And Importing to render it in a different notation platform will be virtually impossible.
Because the piece is far too rhythmically complicated for MS4 to properly render a . MSCZ in (music).XML and expect ANY (and I mean literally any) NOTATION Software to reverse the process ( in this case from .XML to .Dorico ) with 100% precision. I am not at all surprised it froze.
You would need to - as Powell did - use .MIDI and massage the Piano Roll.
I'm not going to bother trying.
That was a lot of work for you.
Some of it was unnecessary.
Just one example: in terms of playback, MS4 cannot render the accent (>) for a Piccolo during playback.
And even if it did, the Tempo is too fast for that accent to be noticed in that dense jungle.
I'm not even sure why you would bother doing all of this.
But I wish you luck.

In reply to by gary23andrews

@gary23andrews, I suggest you go to the very beginning of the topic and listen to the sound of violins again (if you listened to them at all). The legato is terrible there.……
To make sure of this, just listen to how it sounds in the original soundtrack. And then compare it to how it sounds in MuseScore. I'm surprised you don't understand my issue about legato. Maybe this is normal for you and your ears don't wither from such a sound, but for me personally (and, I'm sure, for many musicians) It's just impossible to listen to it.
The Hidden World did not open with errors, not because it was initially too complex rhythmically. Before that, I tried importing Battle of the Bewilderbeast and it successfully passed the validation without errors (although it is even more difficult). This is a MuseScore export issue. I have already published the corresponding issue on GitHub and I hope that this problem will be solved in the near future.

In reply to by Dima S.

@Dima S.

And I have a few suggestions for you, comrade:

  1. Re: I suggest you go to the very beginning of the topic and listen to the sound of violins again (if you listened to them at all). The legato is terrible there.

> I suggest you re-read my reply. I isolated the violins. And I listened carefully. I compose almost exclusively in strings. They sounded VERY TYPICAL for MuseScore4.
I could care less how they sound in the original sound track. It's BEYOND foolish to compare MS4 and MuseSounds playback to Hollywood Production quality.

2: Maybe this is normal for you and your ears don't wither from such a sound, but for me personally (and, I'm sure, for many musicians) It's just impossible to listen to it.

> I suggest you go to back and re-read that I have purchased Dorico and Noteperformer due to my dissatisfaction with MS4 strings.

3: Re: I'm surprised you don't understand my issue about legato.

> I'm NOT surprised you don't understand my answer.

4: Re: This is a MuseScore export issue. I have already published the corresponding issue on GitHub....

> Perhaps I this is an issue with your platform.
I have had ZERO issues importing ANY of my .MSCZ files to Noteperformer via .XML.

By the way: I don't know what the customs in your country are, but in my country, when a person TRIES to assist another (and does not "succeed"), it is considered good manners to say.

"Thank you for trying".

You're welcome.

In reply to by gary23andrews

I think we've moved away from the topic. I still haven't figured out if you've successfully imported at least one of the two scores and played them using NotePerformer. Instead, you started quoting me.
Any problem is typical for MuseScore. It is ok. But that doesn't mean it should be typical for users.
I doubt that the problem concerns my platform. You can try exporting this [The Hidden World] file to MuseScore and try opening it in Dorico. I am more than sure that you will have the same as from my side. And this is not a requirement, I'm just a suggestion.
I communicate with you very politely (I correspond), at least I try. Perhaps the translator is letting me down, and when translated into English it sounds strange, and I end up misunderstood. Yes, I hope that at least here you have understood me correctly: I use a translator, English is not my native language, and in order not to confuse anything and make me completely misunderstood, I have to go into the dictionary. It is possible that I misunderstand you because the translator incorrectly translates what you have said (unless, of course, you correctly state your thought in text form).
There are a lot of so-called "concepts" in my country, just like in any other country. It is ok. Of course, I would have said "Thank you", but I was surprised by the following you said: «I do not understand your issue with legato. This entire composition by Powell is virtually all staccato at a Vivace tempo». I have been trying to convey from the very beginning that legato in MuseScore sounds very ugly in some cases, and you write to me: «I do not understand your issue with legato». What's not clear here? In "The Hidden World" (bars 130 to 141) and "Battle of the Bewilderbeast" (bars 88 to 90), the bowed string section, with Muse Sounds, it sounds bad, and I hoped that you could demonstrate to me how it would sound with the NotePerformer. I was curious if NotePerformer would be able to reproduce these passages in the détaché style, which was what the discussion was about. But instead, you answered me: «I do not understand your issue with legato… I'm not going to bother trying… I'm not even sure why you would bother doing all of this…» etc.
About the "customs". The fact that you are active in the discussion is already worthy of gratitude. Most of them just don't respond to my questions at all. Your discussions and opinions are important, and I thank you for that already. I repeat what I said at the very beginning: I still haven't figured out if you've successfully imported at least one of the two scores and played them using NotePerformer. If you have really tried it, then, of course, thank you very much. It's just that I was counting on you to send me the music files so that I could listen to them, but instead, we probably misunderstood each other in some sense.
I hope you understood me correctly. If it seemed rude or ungrateful to you, please forgive me. Perhaps the translator has exaggerated something and in English it may look really incorrect.

In reply to by Dima S.

So let's back up a bit. Dima, as I understand it, you are complaining that MuseScore strings play everything Legato. This is true, and there is not much to be done about it. Turning off reverb helps a little bit. I don't have Dorico. I do have an older copy of Sibelius. The default violins sound has no effects. You have to add legato, or vibrato, or any of 11 other bowing styles. I suspect Dorico has similar things. Especially since Dorico was created by some of the same people that created Sibelius. Anyway, I include a recording of the violin 1 and 2 parts made with the default violin sound in Sibelius. Note that in measure 10 where the bowing is marked, Sibelius does play as marked. The measures after are not marked. My Sibelius is in English, so it read most of the instruments as Piano. It was a little better using built in automatic language, but still a lot of piano. There would also have to be a lot of adjusting of sounds that make going further not worth my while. I might not have to do the adjustments, and just use defaults. But what is the use of having 36 GBs of sounds, otherwise.

Attachment Size
The Hidden 2.29 MB

In reply to by bobjp

Thank you.
I tried to check this in Sibelius, but the software interface seemed too complicated, confusing and incomprehensible to me there (unlike the MuseScore software interface). It seems to me that Dorico will be a little simpler and easier in this regard. However, it is good that Sibelius understands and interprets the marks of the bow directions accordingly. I do not know how Dorico would behave, because at the moment I cannot hear the sound in this software. The only sound fonts that are presented there [in Dorico] have the names "DoricoBeep" and "!! HALion Sonic !!". Maybe I'm doing something wrong, or Dorico really doesn't have a basic sound font to play. Moreover, even with a third-party sound plugin, I still can't assign my own sound to each part in a simple way. Instead, Dorico suggests that I choose a channel number, which seems completely incomprehensible to me.
Anyway, thank you for your analysis and help.

In reply to by Dima S.

The UI of Dorico, Sibelius, and Finale are going to be different and more complicated than MuseScore. Those programs are capable of way more control over all aspects of score creation.

It may not mean much, but here is my opinion:
The basic sounds in Sibelius, and every vst I have tried, are very clean, precise, and even. They have to be so that the user can work with various adjustments to get as close to the sound that they want, as possible. Velocities, hairpins, dynamics, note lengths, phrasing, and much, much more can all be adjusted within the UI. Plus there is the PRE to work with. That's part of why they cost so much.

I write for playback. As a hobby. I have a music degree, so I know about notation. You would think that I would welcome all the controls that Sibelius offers. There is the possibility to make (within reason) great sounding scores. The default string sounds are very clean and even. I guess I'm just lazy. I want to spend my time composing. Not digging into the UI to get something just the way I want it. Whatever that is. MuseScore strings are not clean and even. If I'm writing something and I don't like the way some instrument responds to what I write, I write something else that does sound good. To me, at least. I get to do that. Composers have always had to work with certain limitations. I can't write the same thing for brass that I would write for a string trio.

However, those people doing transcriptions don't have the same luxury, I know.

In general, I like the results I get from MuseScore better than Sibelius. But not always. But software playback isn't like real performance.

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