Playback sound distortion

• Apr 27, 2015 - 23:27

Hey guys, I recently downloaded musescore 2.0 and scored something I had written earlier. The problem is when I attempt to play it back, the audio will randomly slow down and distort and pretty much makes my score unlistenable. I'm not exactly sure what the problem is as the problem usually starts in different places whenever I restart the program. Can anyone help?


Not much anyone can do until you post the score you are having problmes with, also you'd need to give system info - what OS, what soundfont you are using, any relevant details like RAM. The score might simply be too big complex for your comptuer to handle. Or maybe you'd just need to reboot to free up some resources.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, I just started having the same problem with the attached score. I've been successfully playing this score at its current size for at least a week now. The only change I've made in the last few days is in mm. 512-513, where I tinkered yesterday with the notation of the triplets in the flute. And even then the score played successfully several times before the sound started going bad about an hour ago. I've rebooted but to no avail.

I am running MuseScore 2.0 on Windows 8.1 64-bit with 8 GB of RAM using FluidR3Mono_GM.sf3. The same problem occurs with MuseScoreNightly-2015-04-23-1845-170d4c5.

ETA: it's a long score but if I start playback at the beginning I generally start getting distortion within the first 10 or so measures.

ETA (2): The problem does not occur with .wav and .mp3 files produced from this score and played back using Windows Media Player.

Attachment Size
Violin_Concerto_in_G,_Op._95.mscz 143.27 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

It failed right after I rebooted. There wasn't much else running to hog resources.

What kind of resources are you talking about? I'm watching the Task Manager as I play this score, and the CPU usage hardly ever gets above 20%, the memory usage is stable at 34%, the disk usage is at 2-3%, and network at 2%. Is there anything else I should look at?

Another data point: when it goes into distortion mode, MuseScore also slows down to 1/3 of the normal tempo or even slower. And when I hit the space bar to stop playback, the distorted sound doesn't stop immediately but fades away like an echo over the span of 2 seconds or so.

I really don't think this is a resource issue, or I'd expect to see other programs experience problems, and they never do. It's not specifically a MIDI problem either, because if I export the score as a MIDI file and play it in Media Player or the VanBasco Karaoke Player, everything works just fine.

In reply to by ghicks

Yet another data point: I installed a new soundfont (GeneralUser GS MuseScore v1.442.sf2) and made it the default, shut down and restarted MuseScore, and the problem went away, at least for now. I've successfully played the entire score, all 15 minutes and 7 seconds of it, without a single glitch. And this while there was much more resource usage on the machine overall (CPU more than doubled, other metrics significantly higher as well).

One thing I just noticed is that MuseScore was taking between 16% and 20% of the CPU when playback was screwed up, but now that it's working correctly it's taking between 2% and 4%. That's got to mean something.

In reply to by ghicks

Sounds as though the default FluidR3Mono soundfont may be causing your problem.

It is a bit of a resource hog.

I have had problems with stuttering playback too, although not recently. At one point every time I had a guitar play a six note chord playback would stutter.

The problem disappeared on its own and so far hasn't returned.

*Crosses all fingers and toes*

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

It's not the soundfont. The problem just came back and I haven't changed my default soundfont in the interim.

It may have something to do with some sort of contention, but it's by no means clear to me what. And, as I said above, when it happened the last time I restarted my PC and the first thing I did was run MuseScore after logging back in, and the problem was still there. Unless the contention is with the OS itself or the very few things that load automatically on startup, I don't see how resource contention could explain the persistence of the problem.

Change the I/O option to audio ALSA (default) solved the problem for me. Of course, it's a fix for linux user, but perhaps can give you a clue with W$.

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