SATB voice sounds cause separate repeated notes to be tied

• Mar 30, 2015 - 11:07

I write vocal scores so that the choir I belong to can practice their parts. I have found in writing SATB scores that the voice sounds are not accentuating the start of notes adequately. When the same notes are repeated in a bar they sound as if they are tied together. I wrote a whole line of the same separate notes without ties, yet it sounds like a single long note. This is not useful for practice. The notes must sound differentiated.


This is a recognised limitation of General MIDI choir sounds.

The inspiration for the Choir Aah sound is that of 10cc's I'm Not In Love 1970's hit which is one of the defining studio technique tracks of the period due to it's use of tape loops to produce the choir pad sound heard in the backing track.

Unfortunately, as you already know, the aah sound does not lend itself to articulation other than by the addition of other speech elements before it or the use of a glottal stop.

The solution is to use the mixer to change the sound to something suitable - in the past I have used pan pipe, oboe and clarinet to get round this problem. The synth voice sound is better articulated, but still not really satisfactory IMO.


In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Dear HTH,

Thank you so much for your helpful reply. Conversely, the voice sound used on Sibelius is well articulated. This problem is disappointing, because a lot of things on MusicScore are better than Sibelius, such as the note placement, showing you where the note will fall in blue outline...brilliant! That is poor on Sibelius where you have to be very careful to place the arrow at just the right spot, frequently missing and having to correct. Also the selection of notes is much handier above the score than to-ing and fro-ing from a keypad on the bottom right of the screen as on Sibelius. I did think of using oboe or clarinet, but it is much easier to bring SATB up on the wizard with all the correct staves ready made, including the tenor stave with the octave drop. I'll look into how easy it might be. From what you say, perhaps you can just change the sound of the notes on the mixer without replacing the whole stave with a different instrument like oboe and clarinet? For the time being I've gone back to Sibelius.

In reply to by chrisgg

Yup - no need to change the whole instrument, and this may have unwanted effects anway if you choose a transposing instrument.

Simply change the sound in the mixer.

You may also find the Ooh sound fits the bill better - that is called Ohh voices in the default soundfont.

It is possible also that you could find a soundfont with a better choir sound and use that instead oft he default - MuseScore 2 will load and use multiple soundfonts if you wish to use them, although you are constrained to the resource limitations of your PC.

Incidentally HTH stands for Hope This Helps :)

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Thanks again ChurchOrganist for your insight into the workings of MuseScore. I will certainly give that a try. Your knowledge and understanding of computer sound is a few light years ahead of mine! Sorry for not picking up on HTH...thought it might be your initials.

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