Our Progress on MuseScore 4 - Update 3

• 26 Okt 2021 - 18:10

Hello everyone,

In this short post, I will outline our revised timeline for the release of MuseScore 4.

New Timeline

For anyone who has tried our nightly builds of MuseScore 4, it will be obvious that the playback sounds pretty strange (including a fun issue where VST plugins sound a half-step up from the default!). This is due to a large piece of unfinished work concerning the handling of playback data (dynamics, pitch, articulations, etc.). We had initially intended to simply reuse the MS3 system (which simply used MIDI events) but over the last few months have changed our mind.

Our codename for the new system we are building is MusePlaybackEvents. It will be an open event format that ensures the utmost precision when detailing the data required for high-quality and realistic playback, without losing compatibility with MIDI and VST. As I mentioned already, this was not work we had originally planned to do for MuseScore 4 but as we continue to experiment with higher quality samplers, we have come to realise that MusePlaybackEvents is a necessary investment right now. Not only will it open doors to take advantage of the full capabilities of our default (Fluid synth) playback, it will also allow us to build features that will provide exciting opportunities for VSTi's and MIDI 2.0 in the future too. We believe this work adds around 2.5 months to our schedule.

While this work is being undertaken, it has opened up some extra time for our engraving team, who have decided to bring forward some of the engraving changes we had originally planned for MuseScore 4.1 & 4.2. Some of these improvements are very significant and I'll be posting more about them shortly.

With that said, below is our revised timeline for the release of MuseScore 4.


Alpha

We expect to be entering into our alpha phase once the MusePlaybackEvents work is ready in late December / early January

Beta

When we enter into our beta phase, we will have completed backend work on MuseScore.com that will allow members of the community to test uploads to MuseScore.com (this has previously not been possible and was something we felt we needed to address)

Beta 2

We expect to be releasing the external MuseSampler library midway through the beta phase so that the community can begin trying it out. This may very well materialise as a second beta release. It is worth noting that the expected size of the MuseSampler is 10GB.

Release

We expect the release of MuseScore 4 around late March / Early April, 2022

2021_TimeLine_v04.png


Thanks very much,
Martin


Comments

I know a lot of people were really counting on "something" sooner rather than later, but personally, I applaud the revisions here - makes me that much more excited about what MuseScore 4 will offer!

Als antwoord op van Marc Sabatella

Absolutely agree. A mere extra 2.5 month to make sure 4.0 will have as much impact as possible seems like a good trade. You only get one .0 release after all.

Also engraving improvements are always the most welcome, as no matter what you add extra, that is always the most fundamental part of the product.

I may be asking an ignorant question here - but am curious about how "Decent Sampler" might play into the v4.0 playback changes. When going beyond straight-up MIDI I run up against the edge of my knowledge. But I have been following Chris Henson's Pianobook channel and am intrigued by the possibility of playing around with the repository of instrument samples there. (Pianobook is working to make most of the sample libraries there available in Decent Sampler.) (Also, I'm on Linux so can't use the Windows/Mac software.)

thank you for the hard work on 4, 3 was great compared to 2 as you continue to add good stuff
maybe you could later add an atmospheric filter like chamber, studio, practicebox, concerthall echo effects
the problem i find with my songs is that the whole notes don't reverberate enough, the quarter notes sound too punchy and the sixteen/eighth notes need a bit of twang/tinkleling to differientate between bow movement
i've never used VST so i don't know how much of a difference it will make and perhaps i'm just being neurotic and asking for too much but i would like to make better stuff and have it sound as if a person were actually playing it

Als antwoord op van StrangeJohn

Since Musescore 4 will accept VST effects, you can use plug-ins to add a reverb effect of your choice. I've tried one of the nightly builds and managed to use a convolution reverb plug-in successfully.

If you don't knows, convolution reverb uses files called "impulse responses" to accurately model the reverb of a room, or even of an object, or an amp. There are many free impulse response libraries that include concert halls, practice rooms, staircases, tunnels, cathedrals, and outside environments...

About the differentiation between bow strokes, I found a way to differentiate between two rapid notes that uses the same samples (apply random amount of EQ to each note), but I don't know if there's a program that can automatically do that...

I agree. A great foundation and flexibility for integrating notation with MIDI/VST would be a huge win.
A lot of people seem to work directly in a DAW since they have to massage the MIDI/samplers anyways. It would be great to have the notation software powerful enough to get closer to an end product that more closely resembles live playing or at least a starting point to then do some extra work in a DAW.

I'm also eager to know what the plan for timecode, transport sync support is? Will there be a way to sync with video?

Thanks for the continued updates Martin. More time for significant engraving improvements gets two thumbs up from me :)

My attitude towards project delays in general is evenly split between "I'm glad they're taking the time to get it right" and "That will just make me more excited when it finally arrives!" Please keep us posted!

Thanks Tantacrul, very cool!

In all seriousness, I can't wait to try out the alpha. MuseSampler I haven't heard of, and has me intrigued, as does all the MusePlaybackEvent stuff. But as long as it is still fully compatible with MIDI like you say, I can't imagine it being a bad thing.

Something to think about adding also…Could you add an option to enable an entry measure box at the top of the score page…when writing I don’t always know what I want to put so I would like to edit 1 practice bar with a series of notes and then if I like what it sounds like I could just press enter and or copy it to the actual score…the practice box could easily be deleted or wiped clean to make new beats and rhythms without actually having to edit the real whole score…a clear button could be added and maybe an option to make 1 to 4 to maybe 8 practice boxes at the top in other words I just want an area to write melody rhythm beats without touching the score until it’s ready to be added

Hi all muse score team thanks for your great and hard work to improve us a masterpiece of software. As a blind user I have a question will the muse score 4 speak some informations for example when you change the note duration will muse score tell you that you for example select a quarter when you press 5 or eight when you press 4. Also it'll be good that muse score speak dotted when you press the dot and it will be good that muse score tells you that you chose for example voice 2 when you press alt ctrl plus 2. Wish you the best in your development.

Als antwoord op van karlobogatac1

They're adding quite nice things for Voice Over, and I remember seeing quite a number of Issues and Pull Requests on GitHub about accessibility and Voice Over integration. One of the last ones I remember was about making it read the notes on the score, not exactly what you asked, but related. I'm pretty much sure they will add these things eventually.

> MuseSampler will be around 10GB

That seems huge. I know sound libraries tend to be huge, but that just doesn't seem like it will integrate easily in the ecosystem.

There isn't much details here about MuseSampler. I've read the info about it in the other posts, but I can't seem to find what it is that will take all this space. Is there some other posts I haven't seen?

Excellent news! by the way consider to fix some issues in the next new version. Some better improvements to brackets, staves distances, full control about sizes between staffs/staves, dynamic placements, further editing elements options, playback some embellishments more accurate, time options, etc i know there are some plugins, but I think some users (I include myself) don't know how to use them. Thanks!!

Als antwoord op van MichelCA

I’d encourage you to open new threads in the Support forum to ask your questions about these features. While there is certainly always room for improvement, it could well be that at least some of the controls you desire are already present, and we’re happy to help you learn to use them. And then through the discussion there in those threads, it might also become more clear what specific limitations you are running into.

Hi Martin, this is great, really awesome. I would like you to address the issue with Musescore 4 that I've had on a nightly build, but I don't know if it will be carried over. When I open a score in Musescore 4, the mixer opens on it's own covering half of the score. It's not a big deal, but it would be nice to not have that, especially as the mixer button is in a very locatable and user friendly place.

Hi, are the sounds from the 10GB MuseSampler library completely new or is it a compilation of the old soundfonts listed in the documentation?

Als antwoord op van littleccguy

Another vote for the Album feature. If I have, say, the 4 movements for a symphony each as a separate score, I need a way to merge them into a single score. I'm almost at the point of trying to write a Python program that would edit the .mscx scores directly - but I'm already doing enough of that sort of thing in my day job.

Actually, I just looked at the .mscx of an album I created in MS 2 and imported into MS 3, and I think I can see what would need to be done to take some MS3 scores and splice them into an album. In Python it wouldn't be too difficult - in fact I'm surprised no one has claimed to have done it already. Or am I missing something?

I love the musescore, but the writing format for drums and percussion seems to me to be very plastered. In musescore 4 do you intend to change or will it be exactly the same format as it is today? Thanks

Hello,

"... some of the engraving changes we had originally planned for MuseScore 4.1 & 4.2. Some of these improvements are very significant and I'll be posting more about them shortly."

What do you mean by shortly ? This week maybe ?

Looking forward to see all these new planned engraving features !

Best,

It's nice to see the Open Source Community working on stuff and that we know what is actually happening. Wouldn't a video on the Musescore Official YouTube Channel explaining the progress of it be a bit nice?

Thank you for the continued updates. For my classical style composition, I like to write in score with computer keyboard and mouse. However, my desired final product is computer realized audio. I'm glad you're working on this aspect of the process.

As a college student, I am bad at being patient and I want an update now. That being said, it sounds like the delay is for good reasons and hell, I'm not even paying to use the software, so fair enough.

I'm looking forward to the playback features. Will the sound samples be layered? Will there be a mod wheel, vibrato wheel, expression wheel? My understanding is that layered sound samples allow for the mod wheels to cross fade between layers. Also, currently adjusting velocity per note requires chosing a dynamic per note. I feel that an adjustable curve should be provided to control the mod wheels.

>> Our codename for the new system we are building is MusePlaybackEvents. It will be an open event format that ensures the utmost precision when detailing the data required for high-quality and realistic playback, without losing compatibility with MIDI and VST. <<

I had a quick look at some of the pull requests and got the impression that articulations are modelled via note length etc, like in MS2 and MS3. For example a thrill is modelled as a sequence of 3 midi notes playing some standard sound. However most high quality VST libraries come with sampled thrills, requiring to play only one midi note but on the right articulation sound. Will MPE account such libraries as well?

Out of curiosity: is there somewhere to go to see what is in development for Musescore 4?

There is so many suggestions, both good ones and less so, floating around in the requests section and in the bug tracker, but I can't find somewhere to see which ones are being worked on, or which is being rejected.

Not that I have very much to do with it, other than curiosity. I can't code, so my only way of contributing is currently to suggest thing... ;-)

I do, however, use Musescore for work, and talk warmly about transfering to Musescore from other paid apps, and I'd like to be able to know at least a little bit more what features are in the works.

I don't want to nag people, but if there's a nice place to go to peak over everyones shoulder, it would be nice to know. :-)

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