Why the developers are wrong...

• Jan 27, 2015 - 08:22


first post, so lets make it an interesting one.

I've read about Muscore, and had good reason to give it a try, you'll see why later. I also note that the developers say that Muscore is more about the engraving rather than the playback.

This is where the developers are wrong, yet simultaneously right, and the explanation of that dichotomy follows...

With Finale, and Sibelius, and Notation, and lastly Muscore 1.3/2.0. I created a simple score, you can too if you want to reproduce the results.

The score was this, 4/4 time, key of C, Tempo =90, 1 measure, with four quarter notes, F,A,B,D. With NO markup anywhere.

Exported this to midi, the results, were varied, they included, notes (within the same app export midi) had different note velocities, as well as differing note lengths.

After completing these tests, then contemplating of the horrors of exporting a much lager score, I decided to give Muscore a try. Same test...

Muscore on this test was the -ONLY- app to actually generate the notes with BOTH

a) equal length
b) equal velocities.

Let me say that again, Muscore was the only app to export the midi with consistent velocities and lengths.

So developers while you are quite right in wanting the engraving to be right, you now know too that Muscore is the ONLY app that actually generates the midi correctly.

Given that, you might want to seriously rethink your position on the importance of export/playback, because nothing else out there works...correctly - but Muscore.

All the best

PS you might say this is a minor test, but if these other apps can't get this right, you can pretty much be assured that and further complex test's will not improve whats clearly a bad situation.


In actual fact the developers DO think that playback is important - just not as important as getting the score engraving right first.

We have made great strides with engraving quality in MuseScore 2 development, and have also improved playback.

I'm not sure whether we're at the stage where playback can become a priority - one of the programming team will need to comment on that.

But I (and others) am currently working to improve the quality of the default soundfont supplied with MuseScore, and am also engaged in producing resource material to advise users on how to use MuseScore with VSTi and other external instruments.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

@CO I think you're taking everything too seriously, seriously. Even though it's serious - in some ways it probably more so for the other apps mentioned.

I think it's great that Muscore is the -- only -- one that get's the note lengths consistent as well as the velocities, right.

But what I'm hoping for is that since they (the developers) are literally setting the standard, that they see this, and look at things with this information presented above, in a new light, and see how the opportunity is there to be the only app that gets things right. Both playback and notation equally... see below*

Then hopefully we'll see correct velocities in sforzato, as well as... well everything.

As for your comment and efforts @CO, well that's just great too, vsti, aui are most welcome, if not the preferred way of hearing output. If anything that too justifies having proper playback timing to accurately support virtual instruments. Which -again- could show just how a open source project can get it right.

*see Marc Sabatella's comment @ http://musescore.org/node/19026

Interesting take! I'm curious what differences you saw in the other programs. Could it have been a deliberate randomizing to give the music a more "human" feel? I kind of doubt they would simply be getting it "wrong".

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Your welcome to try it Marc...

But no setting to humanize were on. In fact one test i did was much more complicated and it would mean having to manually go thru the whole midi file in a daw to correct, not a light task. Admittedly some are small variations, but considering the way vst's (kontakt samples, or soft synths) are implemented a single note that begins just before or slightly after a bar, or slightly extends over a bar, or overlaps, can and does cause issues. Some you wouldn't even know, unless you knew that it was not what was meant to be.

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