Musescore 4 has a terrible sound

• Mar 17, 2023 - 08:08

With great effort, I eventually installed MuseHub and downloaded Muse sound. After I opened my score written using Musescore 3, I found that the sound was terrible. Then I wrote a new score using Musescore 4, hoping that a score from scratch would get normal sound. But I was wrong. I got the same awful sound. I attached my score here, which is merely a line on the piano right hand.

I did not read any manuals for Musescore 4. Maybe I have to do some set up before writing scores? Please advise. Thank you for your time.

Attachment Size
Traumerei.mscz 19.7 KB


In reply to by DanielR

I look forward to further improvement in Musescore. I have been happy to see new sound sources being added to Muse Hub. I had a brief experience with CuBase which has a large selection of sound libraries. But I prefer Musescore which makes real music composition possible. Wait for someday to enjoy the new sound I downloaded in Muse Hub.

Sounds fine to me. I'm guessing there is some sort of compatibility issue with your particular audio device or its settings. What OS, what audio devices? Try to find the settings for the device in your OS< and make sure the sample rate is no more than 48 kHz.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

My PC uses WIN10. I checked my sound device from settings and only found the description as "High Definition Audio Device". Don't know the sample rate. Attached is a screenshot (in Chinese).

I have two PC's both with WIN10. The one with Muse Hub is a so-called "all-in-one" PC with good audio (bigger speaker). I have another laptop installed Musescore 3. When I tried to install Muse Hub there, it could not install so I installed it on the "all-in-one" PC (with great effort though). Now I dare not to install Muse Hub on my laptop because Musescore 3 works just fine and I like it.

Can Musescore 3 and 4 work side by side on the same PC? I doubt.


Attachment Size
High Definition Audio Device.docx 41.16 KB

In reply to by charles_hans

Yes, MU3 and MU4 works side by side, I do it all the time.

You'd have to consult the documentation for your OS to learn how to access sample rate settings.

But installing Muse Hub has absolutely no bearing on this. Muse Hub is just a fancy installer, it won't affect anything whatsoever about MuseScore's behavior. You can install MuseScore 4 without instakking Muse Hub if you really want, but it won't make any difference - the presence of Muse Hub in no way affects MuseScore's playback.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc, for your instructions. I have Musescore 3 installed on my laptop and dared not install Musescore 4 on it for fear of overwriting Musescore 3. I have installed Musescore 4 on my "all-in-one" PC with a better speaker. But the sound from Musescore 4 has been bad.

Today I successfully installed Musescore 3 on my "all-in-one" PC and played my scores as nicely as before. Therefore I am sure that the settings on my "all-in-one" PC are all right. All I have to do is to figure out why my Musescore generates such a bad sound.

I have attached two mscz files with the same melody. One is from Musescore 3 which plays nicely and the other is from Musescore 4 with a bad sound.

Attachment Size
Traumerei musescore3.mscz 8.18 KB
Traumerei musescore4.mscz 19.7 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc, for trying my Musescore 4 example on your PC.

You already knew that now I have both Musescore 3 and 4 on the same PC, but Musescore 3 plays fine while Musescore 4 plays badly.

I don't know how to check sample rate settings on Musescore 4. Could you teach me? On Musescore 3, I never needed to check it. The music just started playing beautifully. Thanks again.

In reply to by charles_hans

MuseScore 4 uses different audio libraries to control its playback, and that is why it works better than MU3 on most systems but unfortunately worse on a few others. If yours happens to be one of the systems where it does worse, the sample rate is the most likely cause.

Unfortunately, every system is different, so I can’t tell you for sure where that setting is on yours. It depends on your specific OS and versions (for Windows 10, it may depend on which specific build) as well as your specific audio hardware (some devices have their own dedicated apps for this).

But a web search for “windows 10 change audio sample rate” yields the following article that should be helpful:…

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc, for your information. I changed my sample rate according to the article. I believe that it will make the sound better. But it seems with no effect on Musescore 4 playback sound.

One strange thing was, when I exported my score as an mp3 file, it generated the normal piano sound. I attached the MIDI (mp3 is not allowed to upload) file in this post.

When playing back within Musescore 4, the sound is like a vibraphone, not a normal piano. In the mixer panel, I chose Grand Piano sound. Please see the screen shot attached (in Chinese, sorry).

It seems to me that the default sound settings in Musescore 4 have a bug. This problem never appeared in Musescore 3.

I placed a post on 8 days ago, but got no attention.

Attachment Size
Traumerei musescore4.mid 277 bytes
Mixer - Grand Piano.docx 137.74 KB

In reply to by charles_hans

Sorry to hear the sample rate didn't change things.

Definitely a piano shouldn't be sounding like vibraphone, and it all works fine for me. If you'd like to post audio, best is to upload somewhere else (like then post a link here. Also consider making a screen recording video and post to YouTube so we can hear what you here. As for screen shots, please just attach them directly, don't insert into a document in a program not all of us have access to.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc. I made a screen video and placed it on Youtube. Attached is a screenshot of my channel information. This is my first time doing it, so I don't know what info you need to watch.

I also have a laptop where I installed Musescore 3. I tried many times to install HuseHub on it. I never succeeded. There was an image saying "Getting ready". Then it disappeared. If I have two PC with Musescore 4, I might be able to diagnose the problem.

Attachment Size
My YouTube Channel.gif 3.58 MB

In reply to by charles_hans

That seems to be a picture of a YuTube page, not sure what that is for? I thought you were going to post a picture of your Mixer, and/or a link to a video.

Regarding Muse Hub - probably you clicked somewhere and another window got focus, so Muse Hub returned to the system tray (bottom right, where your time display, etc). Just go back to the tray to reopen Muse Hub.

In reply to by charles_hans

Unfortunately that doesn't work - tons of videos come up, and I don't see yours offhand. Why don't you simply paste the URL of the video here? Way way way way simpler for you than taking screenshots and posting those, and also way way way way simpler for those of us trying to help - all we have to do is click the link.

In reply to by charles_hans

Wow, that's extremely strange, I haven't heard anything like that before. What do you see listed as the audio device in Edit / Preferences / I/O? Do you see any MIDI devices listed? Aere there any other options there to change to?

Also, what happens if you use the Mixer to change from the "Grand Piano" in Muse Sounds to just MS Basic?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

First, please let me know if I could change the language setting in Musescore 4 from Chinese to English and how. I installed a second Musescore 3 on the same machine and could specify English as the language when installing.

The first screenshot attached is the Edit/Preference/I/O screen. There is no MIDI device listed.
The second screenshot is the same under Musescore 3 and the MIDI list is also empty.
The third screenshot showed MS Basic as the mixer selection. This does not change the sound.

When I first installed MuseHub on my laptop, there appeared a message (attached) on the screen for a few seconds, then disappeared. This is so even now, so I gave up.

Then I tried to install it on my "all-in-one" PC which has a better audio system. With some struggle, I succeeded in a version with MS Basic sound. Then I immediately found that when playing back a piano piece, it sounded like a vibraphone as you heard on YouTube.

Then I tried very hard to install the large sound library (took over 80 hours) hoping to get a better sound like Musescore 3. But the grand piano sound (when you heard it on Youtube) was the same as before.

I clicked "check for update" in the help menu. It reported that I have the newest version. I am considering uninstalling Musescore 4 but was hesitating about the long hours spent in the sound library. Or I should try to install Musescore 4 on my laptop.

Thank you for your time.

Attachment Size
IO settings.jpg 316.52 KB
IO settings - Musescore 3.jpg 302.79 KB
MS Basic - Mixer.jpg 199.47 KB
Start installing.jpg 17.97 KB

In reply to by charles_hans

"please let me know if I could change the language setting in Musescore 4 from Chinese to English and how"

On my version of MS4 (4.0.2) it is this menu path:
Edit > Preferences > General > Languages > (choose) > OK

On my MS4, the Chinese interface options are right at the end of the dropdown list of languages.

In reply to by charles_hans

Very strange, everything seems normal. Apparently something is strange with the audio settings on your computer in a way that is not compatible that the audio libraries MuseScore 4 uses, but it's not clear what the problem is. Maybe someone else with more Windows audio experience can help...

BTW, wth Muse Hub, it installs into your system tray. That's why it seemed to disappear. To re-open the window, go to the system tray (by your clock display).

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

On my PC with Musescore 4 installed, I can see MuseHub in the system tray. But on my laptop which is newer, when the "getting ready..." message box disappeared, there was no icon left in the system tray. Today I disabled the anti-virus app and tried to reinstall Musescore 4, but the same thing happened. I really don't know why Musescore 4 could not be installed on my laptop. I have generated a lot of music using Musescore 3 on this laptop.

I am considering to install it on my old PC which uses Win 7. I think that Musescore 4 only installs on Win 10, right?

Another important symptom I forgot to mention: The piece I played back (Traumerei) has a tempo of "quarter note = 100". If you listen to my video on YouTube,
you would hear clearly that this piece plays back much faster on Musescore 3 than on Musescore 4. I tried other music (piano) and found the same phenomenon. So, there is something wrong not only in sound but also in tempo in my Musescore 4.

Thanks for everything.

In reply to by charles_hans

Any modern software will run best on Windows 11 of course, but MuseScore 4 will run on WIndows 10 too if need be. Windows 7 isn't even support by Microsoft anymore, so it's increasingly difficult for new software to be able to run there.

The fact that the tempo is off is a great observation - it really sounds like a sample rate issue to me. Are you sure you tried all possible sample rate settings?

In reply to by charles_hans

I want to uninstall my Musescore 4 and then re-install it because one of my friends successfully installed Musescore 4 without any problems. Then I thought of the sound library (my friend has not yet installed it) which took me a few days to install.

I checked the Musescore 4 folder in Program Files and found it has 271MB which is too small to hold the sound library (7 GB). I attached the screenshot here.

Another screenshot shows the mixer settings in my Musescore 4. Looks like the library has been installed.

Could you tell me where the sound library files are on my hard drive?


Attachment Size
Musescore 4 folder.JPG 3.99 MB
Sound library.JPG 3.65 MB

In reply to by charles_hans

My progress:
(1) uninstalled Musescore 4 (MuseHub untouched)
(2) the sound library in C:\program data\musehub\download is still there
(3) according to my friend who clicked help\check for update in Musescore 3, this prompted a response (want to install?).
(4) step 3 brought up MuseHub.
(5) click "get" under Musescore 4. Installation starts.
(6) The new Musescore 4 has all the information as before including my test melody Traumerei.
(7) It sounds just as terrible.

Should I also uninstall Muse Hub and clean everything?

In reply to by charles_hans

I'd still like to see you actual audio settings. I had mention changing the sample rate, and you say you changed it, but didn't say what specifically you changed it to, or what other options you tried. There might be other settings there that are causing problems, So a screen shot of the audio settings window would be useful.

But the double sound really makes me thing there is some other program involved here too. I know there is nothing specifically selected to MIDI out in Edit / Preferences / I/O, but I wonder if some other program is nonetheless responding to the MIDI output somehow.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you for your instructions. I took a video (testing speaker on the sample rate) and put it on my Youtube:

Then I found that the characters blurred in the video. So I took a photo and attached it here.

Unfortunately, it is in Chinese. But you still could see "24" (bit) "48000 Hz" (recording studio quality).

I am not good at audio specs. If you need to know other information, please advise. Thanks.

Attachment Size
Sample rate.JPG 3.9 MB

In reply to by charles_hans

Try 44.1 kHz instead of 48, also try 16 bit instead of 24. And if that doesn't help, try toggling whatever those other checkboxes are. Every system is different so even knowing what those settings are wouldn't necessarily help; I'm just saying, try out different settings. but the one I know might help is 44.1/16.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you, Marc, for your instructions. I compared all the settings and eventually chose 44.1kHz 16-bit. In the Mixer selection, I chose MS Basic. This combination has the least residual sound (I called it).

Below is a video I put on YouTube:

I also found that when I just started my PC, the playback is the cleanest with the least residual sounds. The more I played it, the more residual sounds I heard. Don't know why.

In reply to by charles_hans

Dear Marc: As I told you before, I have two win10 PCs: one is a laptop and the other is an "all-in-one" PC.

Today I had some new progress on the laptop. I failed to install MuseHub on it before, nor could I update Musescore 3 on it to Musescore 4. Today my friend sent the MuseScore- file to me and I installed it successfully. Then I found that all my problems were gone. The buffer size is 1024 and the sample rate is 24-bit 48kHz (default).

Then I uninstalled Musescore 4 on my "all-in-one" PC (I made sure that the folder in Program files disappeared) and re-installed it using my .msi installer. Well, all the problems remained.

Now the difference between my two PCs is: there is no sound library (MS Basic is used) on my laptop, while on my "all-in-one" PC there is the sound library installed (even if I only use MS Basic in my music).

So I dare not install the sound library on my laptop now.

Thank you for your attention.

In reply to by charles_hans

Sorry: I have to correct my conclusion above about my "all-in-one" PC. I said, "all the problems remained". It was true if the default setting of 1024 buffer was used. When I changed to a 4096 buffer, the "vibraphone" sound is gone. And after I changed the "MS Basic" to "Grand piano" sound, the result is nice.

Musescore 3 was excellent, especially the piano sound. Totally natural and authentic. Absolutely superb product. But Musescore 4 is unusable; the piano sound is painful to listen to and it's definitely not market-grade. They need to undo whatever they did and just go back to Musescore 3.

In reply to by bobjp

This applies to not only the problem at hand, but virtually all problems with Musescore 4 can be boiled down to a memory/CPU/compatibility/configuration issue. Newer systems cost hundreds of dollars. People will not be buying a new system or computer parts just because the software is a newer version. There must be a way to have a stripped down version of Musescore, one that would run well in any computer configuration, with any operating system. Something like that would be appreciated by most of the people on planet Earth.

In reply to by FBXOPWKDOIR2

MU4 is already stripped down. The problem is the playback system. Totally rewritten to be able to run Muse sounds. Otherwise, might as well stick with v3. And there's nothing wrong with that. People will indeed buy a new system if newer software needs it. Plus, older systems fail. Mine did. Battery failed twice. HDD failed. Keyboard failed. Couldn't find parts for it any more. Eight years old.

In reply to by FBXOPWKDOIR2

Sorry, but there is absolutely zero evidence that is even remotely close to being true. Resource requirements when not using Muse Sounds are not appreciably different between MU3 and MU4. And MU3 didn’t have Muse Sounds, so you can’t compare that.

Is there some specific issue that you have reason to believe is tied to a difference in system requirements? Have you reported it on GitHub if so?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well I don't know, maybe we can ask the OP Charles_Hans what his system consists of to get an idea of how antiquated it is. Because Musescore 4 runs fine on my system and I use a PC with an Intel I5 processor and memory maxed out at 16GB. I'm willing to bet 37.3 Barrow Alaskan cents that Charles_Hans has an older system, maybe an I3 with a few Gb ram and Windows 10 plus a lot of programs that take up a lot of memory. If so, then he could benefit from a system upgrade. If not, then I owe someone 37.3 cents.

In reply to by FBXOPWKDOIR2

Actually, if you follow the whole thread, you'll see the OP's problem was resolved once we found the correct audio settings on his computer. So far we have no idea if the problem the person I was responding to is related or not - they haven't described what the issue even is. But there is certainly a chance it is also due to a sample rate mismatch.

FWIW, I run MuseScore 4 very successfully on computers with less than i3 processors and much less than 16 GB RAM.

In reply to by jmk777

The MS Basic piano should be identical to the default in MU3. The Muse Sounds piano should be significantly better. Can you explain in more detail what exactly you perceiving to be not as good? Does the problem persist when exporting to an audio file or is it only during live playback?

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