playback and dynamics

• Jun 8, 2015 - 21:42

I have two questions about these two topics:
1. Playback: I notice (noticed less in the new Musescore 2.01 than 1.3, I admit) that, on playback, the sound can suddenly surge on certain notes in certain places - for no apparent reason? Has anyone experienced that or know why it happens?
2. Dynamics: Certain dynamics create a difference in playback. So 'P' piano and 'f' forte affect the sound in playback. Not so apparently crescendo markings? They don't affect sound?
Question I have is this:
If I create a score which has a certain desired volume on playback and then I add 'P' to the score and then crescendo afterwards, how do I get back to the original volume on playback? I don't want the piece to continue to playback as P piano after the crescendo to the end and I don't want to add any other dynamics. Does anyone know?


As always, it is much easier to help if attach the specific score you are having problems with. Also say what sounfont(s) you are using if other than the default. Differences in loudness might be due to velocity information set for the notes themselves (eg, using Inspector), or it could just be a result of how the sample changes for a particular instrument in the particular soundfont you are using.

Crescendos / dinimuendos do affect playback in 2.0, but MuseScore can do this automatically only if there are dynamics before and after to show the starting and ending dynamic. Otherwise you can manually set the amount of change using the Inspector. This only affects passages of multiple notes - the synthesizer does not support volume changes within a single note.

I don't understand the last question. Pretend I am an actual musician reading the score. I see "p", then I see a crescendo. How would I know I am supposed to get quieter again without another dynamic marking? For that matter, how would I know how loud to get during the crescendo in the first place? In general, you add the markings a human would need first, and in msot cases that also tells MuseScore what it needs.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I'm a bit confused I admit.

1. I have no idea what a sounfont or soundfont is? So I can only assume I have used the default to create the score. I have simply used Piano and two voices (tenor and bass). So I cannot see why at any stage a few notes should surge in volume? Am I the only person who has experienced this?

2. As regards the dynamics I did not realise that crescendo or dim would increase/decrease the volume in playback. In the score which I am arranging, it goes to 'P' piano mid way through the score, then two bars later it gradually increases in volume until the end - so no need to indicate dim at any stage. If you say Musescore 2.0 will increase the volume in playback, then I can create a crescendo. But I'm not sure how you control the size or volume of the crescendo?

In reply to by collierr

1. If you haven't changed soundfont, you are using the default. But we would still need to see the specific score you are are having trouble with to understand the variation in volume. it could be the slight variations between pitches that are normal, or it could be something special about your score. There is simply no way to know until you attach the score.

2. The volume if the crescendo is set exactly as a human musician reading the score would expect to see it - based on the dynamic marking before and after the crescendo. You need to decide if you want to final dynamic to be mp, mf, f, ff, or fff, and then insert that marking where you want the crescendo to end. Then simply select the range of notes where you want the crescendo to appear and press the shortcut "<". Or if you've already added the crescendo and just need to lengthen it, double click it and press Shift+right as necessary. See the Handbook section on Lines for more -

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

This may be stating the obvious, but it's not necessary for dynamics inserted into the score for playback purposes actually to appear in the score if you don't want them to. Any element that you don't want to be visible can be made invisible by selecting it and unchecking the 'Visible' box in the Inspector. Visibility can also be toggled on and off with the keyboard shortcut 'v' (just the letter - no quotation marks).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the comments.

1. I believe the slight surge in the odd note I mentioned is not as pronounced as it was in 1.3. So I can live with it. And if no one else experiences this phenomenon, its better to leave that aside for now.
2. As regards crescendo, I now realise that lines or hairpin inserted will increase the volume in play back. Not sure in practice whether, if, say, you add a PP and, afterwards (say two bars later) use an elongated crescendo line or hairpin, the volume (on play back) will automatically return to the volume established before the PP was inserted? And not sure how you would check that fact?

While we are on the subject of adding crescendo/dim, I believe also that merely adding the words crescendo or dim is a text matter and does not affect play back?

In reply to by collierr

As I said before, just like human musicians reading the score would need you to tell him how loud you want the crescendo to get, so does MuseScore. So ypu simply need to add the corrsponding dynamic marking after the crescendo. If the score was at "ff" before the "pp", then you insert another "ff" if that is the level to which you wish the volume to return. If it was "mf" before, then insert another "mf". That is how music notation works. Neither human musicians nor MuseScore can possibly know how loud you want the cresendo to get unless you include that information.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I realise that you/ musicians need instructions. But my preference is for such information as poco crescendo or dolce or mezza voce. Rather than excessive use of P or F. It is a personal preference.

Now that I am aware that the line or hairpin for inserting a crescendo in Musecore actually restores the volume after a quiet passage influenced by using, say, P and with the added information that I can hide items - I believe I can achieve playback close to my preferred instructions as shown in the score. If that makes sense?

Thanks for your help. Much appreciated.

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