Noteperformer for Musescore

• Dec 31, 2018 - 13:14

So I sent Noteperformer a request for portability to Musescore. This is what I got back.

WI Technical Support

Hi -----!

It's not an active decision by us to not support Musescore, but
Musescore does not at all support 3rd party audio plug-ins, which is a
technical necessity to begin with along with some form of configurable
patch/articulation management over MIDI. So you'll probably be better
off asking Musescore about this. :)

If Musescore were to add a system where we could create a high-quality
integration, we would be happy to port our software.

Best regards,
Wallander Instruments

So, if third-party apps are supported by Musescore via Jack or some other. Please post detailed instructions on how to do this. If Musescore doesn't support or cooperate simply and conveniently with Noteperformer, please make that possible as soon as possible.




I would certainly be delighted to see MuseScore working with NotePerformer. Over the past few months, I have received several MP3 files of choral and orchestral works rendered by NotePerformer - these MP3s are really quite realistic when compared with an MP3 generated direct from MuseScore. For example:
* [MuseScore MP3] (
* [NotePerformer MP3] (

OK, I am aware that NotePerformer is not free software. But Wallander Instruments is not a greedy company, and the price of USD 129 for NotePerformer would be within reach for many of us. And Wallander (quoted in the original post above) are willing to port their software to MuseScore if the necessary infrastructure can be put in place within MuseScore. Surely worth investigating, at least?

In reply to by Emmanuel_Rosenblatt

There are things that can be done within MuseScore to improve playback. Using the newest version with the new sound font helps. But writing a score and marking it the way you would for real players may not be enough. I often have two versions of the same score. The second would be for marking in a more detailed way to get MS to play back more like I want. Use and define a lot of hairpins, and subtle tempo changes. As well as dynamics. Holds with breaks after them are possible as defined in the inspector. Think about how real players play music. Ebb and flow. It takes time. I get it. People want to spend time composing, not learning software. But when I go through the steps above (and more), it makes me really think about every note, every phrase and decide if I really want to write it that way. Or do I want something better. Is that not what we are supposed to do?
NotePerformer uses it's own sounds which are pretty good. It also uses an algorithm to playback your music in a "more natural way". I have no argument with that. Well, except that when their more natural way is not quite what I'm after. It is their way after all, not mine. I'm not saying that MS will produce something that sounds as "good" as NP. They use two different sound fonts. Besides, when you music makes it out into the real world, who knows what it will sound like.

In reply to by bobjp

NotePerformer 4 was recently released (with a 30-day free trial, no sign-up or credit card required). This new NotePerformer supports tons of other libraries now. Of course, MuseScore still doesn't support NotePerformer though, especially with the recent MS4 release.

I strongly support that request.
I've tried on Sibelius, Note Performer and it sounds better than many libraries with many gigabits.

I also STRONGLY support this request. I'm probably gonna purchase one of the super expensive scoring software just for the sake of using NotePerformer. I enjoy the simplicity of MuseScore, but the playback for orchestral work is basically unusable (and it's hard that any free orchestral library would ever work).

Yeah I'm hyped for this too! This probably is a lot of coding, but in general vst-support would really push musescore forward and make it even more attractive. But of course then musescore also has to take care of cpu-usage and provide a low-cpu-vst (which is comparable to the default soundfont at the moment), so that it still runs on older computers

Oh, this would be very, very nice. I have come to Musescore from Finale, and I am so glad I made the choice. But having NotePerformer working with Musescore would be way cool!

Why are we not all pushing for this? Noteperformer on musescore would completely change the game for the software and vastly improve user experience. I'm all for this.

In reply to by LCH929Music

Because it won't happen, no matter how hard "we push".
First - MuseScore would need an interface for compiled (i.e. non-QML) plugins. This interface would need to provide full access to MS's internal score data structures - which would also imply that these data structures will not change (a pretty severe commitment, and one unlikely given, esp. if you consider that even MS's file format is not "officially" fixed and open to change at pretty much any time). The plugin API would also need to provide hooks into the generation of audio and there is pretty much no infrastructure in the code that would help with that (please correct me if I'm wrong here. I haven't looked to much at that part of MS's code lately).
All of this would require an incredible amount of coding on MS's side. Who is going to do this? When you write "push" does this translate into "willing to finance it"?
Next: it would require quite a lot of programming on Noteperformers side - and require programming against a (so far) non-existing pluigin API without any documentation (and writing such documentation would put even more work load on MS's developer team). Would Noteperformer be willing to invest such work? Given how cheap their product is sold (< 150$), can they really afford to cater for such a small market? Remember: MS is used by many who cannot afford a commercial notation program.
And lastly: MS itself is released under the GPL licence. This licence requires that any code linking into GPL-licenced code needs to fullfill the requirements of the GPL, i.e. release the souce code. Sorry, but can't imagine that Noteperformer will release their software under a GPL-compiant licence ...

In reply to by rmattes

I would totally donate for something like this. Also, I'm not using MuseScore because a can't afford commercial software, I'm using it because it's better, in my opinion, than Finale and Sibelius! And also because I like to use Free Software.

So, how much money would be needed to fund something like this? How could we make this happen?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

For a plugin interface of such width/depth I'd rather calculate +1 man-year. That would be more like 80k-100k (and that's a rather optimistic calculation, both in terms of amount of work as well as cost per developer).
But, as I wrote, the GPL prevents binary-only plugins and I can't imagine Noteperformer is willing to open-source their code.

In reply to by Angel.E

Not sure what the source of this table is, but, according to Audacity wiki:

  • VST instruments (VSTi) (such as synths) and real-time VST effects (that change the audio data while playing or recording) are not yet supported.
  • VST 3 plug-ins are not supported.

so only some limited subset of VST plugins is supported.

VST 3 SDK has a version released under GNU GPLv3 license which is incompatible with GNU GPLv2 which is used by MuseScore (and seemingly by Audacity).

In reply to by dmitrio95

VST support can be enabled in the form of an Extension loaded separately from the Resource Manager (in fact, this could be a more ideal way to do this).

If not part of the core distribution, the entire issue of license compatibility or source code goes away.

It is theoretically possible to even load closed source proprietary Extensions from the Resource Manager.

In reply to by rmattes

I have had very extensive discussions with Arne about this possibility and it really does not take much customization from their side. He is willing to make it happen.

The main issue is VST support in Musescore. License compatibility is also not an issue. The Steinberg VST SDK is dual licensed and compatible with Musescore licenses.

It is simply an issue of resources and motivation. There are no legal or business challenges (on side of Noteperformer or Musescore) in enabling/supporting this.

If there were developers within the community interested to take on this challenge, it can certainly happen.

In reply to by Daniel

Licensing might still be an ethical issue. Many users of free software won't be happy with a proprietary extension being distributed through Musescore. So there would need to be something in place to warn users before hand that the software isn't free. Does Musescore even allow non-free extensions to be distributed via the resource manager?

In reply to by reddiesel41264

You can already use proprietary soundfonts or text fonts with Musescore.

I don't believe Extensions should be any different.

Wordpress and Drupal are examples of GPL software with a very robust ecosystem of proprietary and even paid add-ons. So, I am not following the ethical issue?

In reply to by Daniel

Musescore doesn't distribute any non-free fonts as far as I'm aware. But I think extensions can only be added via the Musecore resource manager, is that right? In which case Musescore would be distributing it.

All plugins distributed though are free software. You can install proprietary ones manually of course. Although I don't know of any company that provides proprietary wordpress plugins I'm sure they exist. All of the Wordpress plugins I've bought and have subscriptions for are free software.

In reply to by reddiesel41264

Elementor is a good example of a purely commercial add on for Wordpress that is distributed by Wordpress.

Sure, there is a free edition, but it is very limited and is free simply to serve the purpose of being in the Plug-in marketplace.

There is a very clear line between the free functionality and paid, also in terms of available source code.

As Musescore continues to grow, there will likely even be companies that will start to offer paid solutions that extend the capabilities of Musescore or even companies that are newly formed for the specific purpose of creating premium add-ons for Musescore.

This is inevitable for any open source platform crossing a certain threshold of user adoption and market share. If it is not officially supported or endorsed by Musescore as a company, it will be some 3rd party that will eventually make this happen.

In reply to by Daniel

I think you're confusing commercial and proprietary. This is one of the greatest achievements of Wordpress, they have a very successful commercial free software business model. The price of the software has nothing to do with its license, in fact the free software foundation encourages developers of free software to sell their work in order to promote the creation of more free software. Free in this context refers to freedom, not price.

I just wish I could see NotePerformer happening on MuseScore before I die. I am paying for Sibelius but absolutely hate it in every possible way. Its 35GB "Sibelius Sounds" is a's even much worse than MuseScore 3 built-in soundfont and missing almost all non-orchestral instruments.

In reply to by bobjp

I can attest to what he says about Sibelius being awful. It was a waste of money. Rhythms sound slightly off, the soundfonts are okay, I guess, but I have found a bunch that are alot better that are also free. Going from musescore to Sibelius is also like going from Windows to Mac. The layout is completely different and very hard to get used to. He is also correct when he says non-orchestral instruments are missing. Musescore is way more versatile in this way, because, although it doesn't have soundfonts for every single instrument, it does have a much wider variety in terms of different instruments

In reply to by KriegerischeMikrobe

I guess it depends on your point of view. I don't know what version of Sibelius you guys have tried. I have what would be called Ultimate now. Yes, the UI is different, so? If you don't have a multi core CPU and 8 GB of ram, playback might be uneven now and then. Off hand, I can't think of any instruments that any font I've tried has that the Sibelius library doesn't. As well as greater variety and articulations. But you have to know how to use the library. The mixer will load basic default sounds that you have to adjust. Why? Because default violin is just that. Sibelius doesn't know (until you tell it) if you want vibrato, legato, % attack, % release, or any of a dozen other choices. You have to know the software, any software, to make it work correctly.
But then everyone has their own idea of good sound. I'm learning MuseScore so that when some future version of Windows won't run my version of Sibelius, I'll still have something. MuseScore has come a very long way, but still has a journey ahead.

In reply to by bobjp

In my opinion, Sibelius is the second worst of the score making software (the worst is Overture)
First of all, it's 2022 and this software can't even remember your settings! And the default settings are so bad that exporting an MP4 video defaults to 360P!
Then, the 36G of Sibelius Sounds can't even beat the 50MB of MS Basic.sf3, and you have to use GM for all instruments except orchestral instruments, like those shakuhachi, pipa, guzheng, and other ethnic instruments, which MS Basic has, Sibelius Sounds doesn't have, and neither does GM! What does Sibelius do with these ethnic instruments? Mute on playback. Also, the marimba is in Muse Sounds, but Sibelius still only calls GM, which doesn't even have these instruments in its library! (I'm wondering where it got that 36G from, filling it with randomly generated files?)
And do you know the effects of Sibelius Sounds? It's like playing an 800 year old broken instrument in a bathhouse, where plastic is better. And once there are more instruments, 16 gigabytes of RAM can run out of memory, and I love how some bilibili users say, "Huh?"
Next, Sibelius version 2023.5 is comparable to Sibelius version 7.5. It's been a few years since Avid changed the developers of Sibelius, and they haven't been able to update it with any groundbreaking features. Dorico next door is still busy developing! MuseScore is a freeware program next door, and it's busy developing too, and Sibelius is just lying down?
Finally, there's the anti-human Ribbon, check out Tantacrul's video (
To summarize, if you can not use Sibelius, try not to use it, and if you have paid for Avid, try Dorico (with discounts) or switch to MuseScore, and don't touch Sibelius if you don't have to.

In reply to by Scilxurkel

I have reasons to not like Sibelius. None of them even remotely like the odd things you have posted here. 36 GB of sounds. For one thing, when you enter a trumpet in a score, there are 60 different trumpet sounds. There are several violin sounds that are not in Muse. Vibrato or not. Legato or not. Or both. Just to name a few. And there is a shakuhachi that is not silent or GM. It uses a pan flute sound. I was expecting a recorder sound. Can you verify that MU3 actually uses a shakuhachi? Marimba in Sibelius is hardly GM. Not sure where you got that. I don't think any thing uses GM. On my 8GB system I have never even come close to running out of ram with a full orchestra score. Frankly I could care less if Sibelius is updating or not. I stopped because they went to a subscription format. MU4 (and MU3) is still playing catchup.
And finally, the ribbon. I know there was a big uproar when the ribbon came out. Big deal. I never, ever had a problem with it. People complain every time there is a new version of Window. Just move on.
To summarize, there are things I both like and dislike about each platform.

I Would also support this! I love how simple and easy Musescore is! The playback is very good for a free notation software, but on a professional level it just doesn't sound real. Musescore please allow noteperformer to work with your software! It would be a great investment!

In reply to by sprock

I think part of the problem is going to be that to make use of NP, Musescore is going to have to be able to do much more than it can now. If you've heard NP with something like Sibelius, the reason it works well (assuming it does) is because Sibelius is far more capable expression-wise than MuseScore is. My friends that produce music professionally for a living politely look aside at any notation software output. What they make with a DAW is truly amazing.
All that said, there are things that can be done in MuseScore now to make playback better.

In reply to by luizcrodrigues

I hope so as well. Frankly, the ability to program your own conditions in certain contexts isn't that complicated an idea, so I frankly don't see why that has never been implemented, ever.

This is mainly for VST users:
I mean, NotePerformer has everything hard-coded/preset, so literally why not just make things dynamic? Seriously, they should just let us choose how long to negative-delay a note depending on its succeeding and preceding notes. Let us choose whether velocity is independent from dynamics/volume and what it should be in context.

If MuseScore 4 manages to add dynamic MIDI automation in context, then it'll instantly be the top choice for everybody that uses notation software as well as VSTs. I'd frankly prefer that over Muse Sounds, which probably took much more time and money to implement as a whole than it would take to implement dynamic MIDI note placement. But apparently, they're gonna focus on giving MS4 more DAW features... yippee. That'll be great for automation lanes, but the same issue of having to edit every little thing from the get-go won't stop that way.

This is something I've been dreaming of, so I would love to see the incredible instrument performing capabilities of Noteperformer, with all its real time dynamic interpretations, work seamlessly with MS4.

In reply to by parkingb

From what I can tell it's not 'not possible', but would require a large amount of work done to the inner workings of the app. I don't think it will be a priority of the team for many months for this reason, since so much is still being re-done at the moment

In reply to by XiaoMigros

It's nothing to do with it being paid or not, it's the license. Musescore is released under the GNU GPL, NP is released under a closed source proprietary license which is not compatible with the GNU GPL.

Musesounds is also closed source proprietary btw. It's possible NP could be used through a GPL compatible intermediate interface, but I don't think NP works like that so considerable time would have to go into making it compatible.

In reply to by parkingb

There are no plans for official support for Noteperformer.

Efforts are instead focused on continued improvements to MuseSounds, which is still very early in development.

Given that MuseSounds and the associated libraries are specifically designed to work with MuseScore, you will see the pace of development and rate of improvements are at a rate that outpaces the rest of the market.

Noteperformer developer attention and priorities are already spread across three very different applications, each with unique approaches and characteristics. MuseScore is unlikely to be a priority if added to this effort.

In contrast, MuseSounds development is focused exclusively on needs of MuseScore users and seamless integration with MuseScore.

Beyond this, Muse Group's philosophy to keep core creator tools, including essential virtual instrument libraries, 100% free. In support of this philosophy, efforts of Muse Group supported contributors will remain committed to this philosophy and purpose.

That said, developers of third party premium add-ons and services are both welcomed and encouraged to contribute to the open source project in order to provide support or integration with their premium products.

In reply to by Daniel

I always wondered why going in that direction (ie building the MuseSound). So much effort spent in a domain where Musescore had little experience, that could have been spent in making a Musescore 4.0 stable from the first release without all those regressions. Kinda "reinventing the wheel".
In classical Enterprise Architecture, the build option comes way after partner (I do not mention on purpose buy which also before "build"). A solution à-la Sibelius with decent in-app sounds and integration with a partner should not have been a better approach ?

In reply to by parkingb

I have little interest in defending MuseScore, except in a few areas. This is one of them. Seems to me that the purpose of open source software is that it is free. I would much rather see focus on MuseSounds than any development for NP. MuseSounds needs the work, for sure. But it is miles ahead of Basic.
Again, I sometimes go to the NP website and listen to their samples. Some are nice. Others, not so much. Then I download a score for one of the pieces I heard NP perform. I run it through Sibelius or MuseScore. Both sound better to me than the NP version. I've had a friend run a piece of mine through NP. The sounds are good, but the realization is not.
Besides, I think most of the start-up problems for MU4 stem from people trying to run it on underpowered machines.
NP as an option? Sure someday. Better Vst integration? Sure. But let's get the built in stuff working better first.

In reply to by bobjp

Ah, but you see, Musesounds is entirely closed source. It seems excessive to use a different option just for the heck of it. There wouldnt be a need to get the built in stuff working if one would simply use products that have functioned perfectly for years

In reply to by XiaoMigros

Doesn't make much difference, closed or open. It's still free. Just for the heck of it? Hardly.
And just what products are there that have functioned perfectly for years? NP? Really? I am not interested in paying for sounds.
I own Sibelius. I actually prefer much about how it works. However I am finding playback to often be better in MU4. It depends on the piece.

In reply to by XiaoMigros

Neither of us have any idea what resources are used to do what. I have little problem with the direction MU4 is going. On my system, MU4 doesn't crash. No glitch or delay. Scores don't get corrupt. There are individual aspects of the sounds that need to be addressed.

In reply to by bobjp

On my system MU4 crashes frequently, note input is delayed by up to 2000ms, and is much clunkier to work with than any previous musescore version. You are right, we don't know what resources are being used, but what is certain is that these resources are finite and could be used for open source improvement of software rather than closed source invention of an orchestral library

In reply to by XiaoMigros

> these resources are finite and could be used for open source improvement of software rather than closed source invention of an orchestral library
Completely agree with you
BTW, Have you already tried the unofficial MuseScore 3.7 ? It brings some of the corrections and improvement available in MS4.0 but with the stability of the 3.6. I haven't tried yet.

In reply to by parkingb

I have tried it, and I like it! I think bringing the ms4 improvements to ms3 is the right direction, because it is indeed much more stable. There seems to be some issue with Qt versions meaning the pallette doesnt work properly on the win64 build, but aside from that its perfect, definitely recommend to check it out

In reply to by XiaoMigros

Have you read the minimum specs needed to run MU4? My system more than meets them. MU4 doesn't crash. There are no delays. Everything responds just fine. If your system doesn't meet the specs, there are settings you can try if you are on Windows. Using those settings, I have been able to get my underpowered systems to work better. Never have a crash on any of them.

In reply to by XiaoMigros

There is a MU4 'How to" that deal with performance problems. One of my computers is a ten year old laptop. 8 gigs of ram and an SSD. Old i5. It runs MU4 with only slight delays. Never crashes. I don't use MU3 on it. Only need the scores folder. On my brand new system, I don't even have MU3 installed.

In reply to by parkingb

Not sure where you got the idea that the developers who created Muse Sounds had little experience in that area, but it’s most certainly not true at all. On the other hand they are completely separate from the team developing MuseScore itself. Regressions inevitably happen in any major redesign effort, but that is really not connected to Muse Sounds.

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