MIDI Out to an external MIDI synth?

• Nov 1, 2015 - 17:22

Is it possible to send the output to an external MIDI device, like a GM/GS MIDI synth (ROMpler), instead of using the synthesizer and soundfonts?

I can't see any way to do that, but maybe I'm missing something.


MuseScore does not support MIDI output directly, but you can use Jack to route the output of MuseScore wherever you like. Install and configure Jack as necessary for your your OS, then tell MuseScore to use it in Edit / Preferences / I/O.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Has that been tested, Marc?

I've been fiddling with it for some time now, but I'm getting nowhere.

If I tick "JACK Audio Server" and "Use JACK MIDI", then restart MuseScore, I find the MIDI input button is locked in, and can't be released by clicking it, and the Play button is disabled and greyed out. The "Use MIDI Input" box under Note Input, makes no difference.

Having apparently got the JACK server started, in JACK Audio Connection kit I see nothing to connect from or to, under MIDI. MuseScore isn't there... and neither are my MIDI outputs, so presumably I'd need another program to take the output and send it to MIDI.

This does not look promising.

Also, I now can't untick/uncheck "Use JACK audio server". Clicking the box has no effect. Restarting MuseScore has no effect either.

In reply to by AndyHornBlower

MuseScore now consistently crashes, whenever I press OK on the dialog box for those I/O preferences, after changing any of the boxes that still respond - the "Use JACK audio server" and "Use JACK MIDI" tick boxes don't respond to clicking them. The other options do, but pressing OK then crashes MuseScore.

Restarting my PC makes no difference either. Short of reinstalling MuseScore, I've no idea how to get it working again, after trying this.

In reply to by AndyHornBlower

See the Handbook under "Revert to factory settings".

Assuong you have correctly configured Jack and it is not working for you, please start a new thread and describe precise step by step instructions to reproduce the problem, including telling us what OS you are on and how you have configured Jack.

In reply to by AndyHornBlower

I found the "Reset all preferences to defaults" button, and it's now working again, though that didn't feel a whole lot better than reinstalling - I had to work out what I'd changed, over a longish period of time, and try to put it back again.

I think I'm just going to assume the answer to my question is "No; it can't be done". I don't feel like going through all that again.

There's clearly a bug, there. Feel free to move this into the bug report section of the forum.

In reply to by AndyHornBlower

I didn't see that post before, Marc, but I believe I have already detailed the steps needed to create the consistent crash, and I'm not about to run through that process a second time to confirm them, sorry.

My OS is Windows 7 Pro x64.

I'm not sure it's relevant whether the JACK server is running. I reproduced the crash with and without it running, so I doubt it.

In reply to by AndyHornBlower

I have been using JACK on Windows 8 and 10 for over a year now, and have got used to some of the idiosyncracies of the system.

First of all the order in which you do things is crucial to the successful operation of MuseScore using JACK.

1. You must start JACK first - it will not detect MuseScore if it is already running!
2. Don't follow the instructions for Windows users found on the JACK website ie do not start JACK from the command line, but use QJackCtl instead.
3. You have to configure JACK correctly - these are my settings which work on my Windows 10 system.......
but please note that I have an issue with my RealTek HD Audio input driver and JACK under Windows 10 which wasn't there with WIndows 8 which is why I have Playback only selected - if I switch to the ASIO4ALL drivers I can use Duplex.
4. Sample rate should match that of your soundcard which you can get from the Advanced tab in Properties in your Control Panel Sound section.
5. Once you have configured JACK start MuseScore and configure it to use JACK from the I/O settings - my guess is that your crash was caused by trying to configure it to use JACK without the JACK server running, and also the reason for the crashes thereafter.
6. Close and restart MuseScore
7. Now if you look in the JACK Connect dialogue you should see MuseScore together with a list of your MIDI hardware inputs and outputs - unfortunately JACK doesn't pick up the names from the OS, but uses playback_1 etc - playback_1 is often the Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth on Windows 7 machines.
8. Make suitable connections and you should be able to route your MuseScore MIDI output to your external MIDI hardware.

If you want to use software synths or VSTi's then you will need a virtual MIDI cable as Microsoft in their wisdom removed the MIDI routing capabilites of Windows XP in OSes from Vista onwards. I recommend loopMIDI which gives you direct control over the number of internal MIDI ports - there is also loopBE which does this automatically but has been known to get MIDI Overflows when used with MuseScore.

Come back here if you need further help.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Thanks, ChurchOrganist and lasconic.

Maybe if I get MuseScore and JACK to talk to each other, I'll be able to change / turn the settings off again, without MuseScore crashing, and having to wipe all my settings for it to get it working again.

That makes me a bit more confident in trying it again, but I haven't recovered from yesterdays hair tearing session yet, so I'll come back to it another day.

I'll see what I can do about documenting the bugs - I see it as at least two related issues, maybe three. Disabling the MuseScore play button is one - I'd expect to still be able to play normally, with or without JACK running, but couldn't; refusing to respond to clearing the " JACK audio server" and "Use JACK MIDI" settings is another; crashing when trying to change the JACK settings I still apparently could, is a third.

I'm not sure if I'm supposed to report those as three separate bugs. There's a limit to the amount of time and energy I want to put into that.

In reply to by AndyHornBlower

In the meantime I will see what I can do to reproduce the crash you mention - I do remember having some crashing problems when I initially set up MuseScore 2 with JACK which if I remember correctly were caused by trying to configure MuseScore to use JACK without the JACK server running.

In reply to by ChurchOrganist

Hi ChurchOrganist

Fist thank you for your detailed description about doing this. It helped me to make my Yamaha Electone HS-8 to play midi files coming from my laptop. I'm using an "M-Audio USB Uno cable, 1x IN, 1x OUT" to connect my Electone to my laptop.

I'm using windows without admin rights, so, if you are logged as Administrator, then you may skip the "Run as Administrator" parts.

This is how I got it working on my windows 10:
1) Install Jack for Windows 64Bit from here:
2) Install the ASIOALL driver from here:
3) Open a command window (cmd) as Administrator (Run as Administrator)
4) Go to: "C:\Program Files (x86)\Jack\64bits" and register JackRouter.dll:
regsvr32 JackRouter.dll
5) On the command window, run this command:
"C:\Program Files (x86)\Jack\jackd.exe" -R -S -X winmme -d portaudio -d "ASIO::ASIO4ALL v2" -r 44100
6) Run MuseScore as Administrator, then setup "I/O" to use "Jack audio server". On my case only "Use Jack Transport" and "Timebase Master" are not checked.
7) You may have to restart MuseScore, again as Administrator
8) Run "qjackctl.exe" as Administrator. If everything is running OK, then, the "Start" button should be grayed out (disabled)
9) Click on the "Connect" button, then the "MIDI" tab, and finally the "Expand All" button. If everything is OK, then you should see: mscore and system_midi on both sides of the dialog. Connect all mscore output ports to the sytem_midi inputs
10) Play your score.

You should now hear everything on your keyboard. If you want to hear the sound on your laptop as well, then you need to connect the mscore audio outputs to the sytem inputs under the "Audio" tab of the "Connections" dialog.

I hope this is useful for somebody.

Best regards

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