Workaround for dynamics notation

• Jan 8, 2024 - 22:17

I still suffer from severe distortion on the playback of all vocal sounds above "mf" and unfortunately have to accept that perhaps my system doesn't like Muse Sounds for choral writing. So, if I choose to stick with my current setup and soundcard and hope that the MS4 sounds become more stable, then I need a workaround.
This would be to notate my choral lines with dummy staff text saying "f" or "ff" where it is intended, but underneath hide real dynamics of "mf" or "f". (Other users have suggested the same). But what is the standard font for dynamics? - I couldn't see where it could be determined....
Cheers, Ali Wood


I don't have any trouble with distortion. But the vocal fonts are very soft. I have to push the faders up in the mixer almost all the way.

In reply to by bobjp

Sure, there are Mixer workarounds, as we have discussed many times, but I gave up trying those a long time ago.
So what I want to do is cheat by having softer real dynamics mp, mf but hide them and visibly show system text such as f or ff.
The only obstacle I have now is to know how to emulate the FONT of a dynamic to use in the system text..... Anybody know what it is?

Distortion on loud sounds would normally be due to having things turned up too loud and either there is digital clipping or else your speakers simply can't handle it.

If you have a score where you believe neither of these are true, please attach it and say which notes are distorting for you. A screen recording will help as well. Also say what OS, what version of MuseScore, and what sound device you are using.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I would (if I could) send you "what I hear". Screen recording? Would I play my score AND record the sound it makes on my phone? OR install a microphone and send in a video? Because I'm not very technical this is mightily stressful.
To summarise:
1) My OS is Windows 10 and my speakers are Creative Soundlabs
2) I'm on MS 4.20.
3) The volume level on my speakers doesn't make any difference to the problem.
4) I don't have the volume turned up very high in the Mixer.
5) Anything but choral sounds (eg piano, strings) come across really well! If I want to share my (mainly choral/vocal) work it is better for me to send out a piano version.
6) I love the vocal sound on MS4!! APART from these two issues - delay and distortion.
7) I have sent my scores in before now and some on the forum had said they could hear and sympathise with the delays on attack, and distortion on loud sections, and some had said they couldn't.
8) My original question was a dead simple one - just to identify the font used in the text for dynamics. So that I could send people my music showing ff (in dynamic-looking text) but hide an mf dynamic using ctrl V.
9) I attach an extract which illustrates the distortion I am getting. I guess the Mixer levels will show for you what I'm using. For me, the sound when the tenor or bass reach ff is unbearable.
10) I sent in a different extract illustrating the delay in a different forum topic, some months ago.

Attachment Size
Grave Goods extract.mscz 154.86 KB

In reply to by Ali Wood

Your computer has a built-in screen recorder, just use that then upload the resulting file to YouTube or whoever and paste a link here. Or any of the various browser-based recorders like Loom or Screencastify, which generally will upload for you. Trying to record with a phone and/or external camera & mic is way harder and results in way worse quality.

Anyhow, your score has the master volume turned up practically to the max, so not terribly suprising if you run into clipping problems sometimes. On the other hand, Muse Chord in particular is very quiet, so you can generally turn it up a lot with no problems.

Which notes of which measures specifically are causing problems on your system? I don't hear obvious issues but I don't which note I should be listening to specifically.

To add fake dynamics, just type Ctrl+Shift+letter (p, m, f, etc) anywhere you would normally type text. But this is tabsolutely the wrong solution. Much better to find out what is wrong on your system to be causing the distortion, if in fact you are hearing something different from me.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Another thing to try - use the publish to and to commands within MuseScore and paste those links here, and let us know if what you hear there is the same as what you hear on your own system.

Also try different speakers, different headphones - really,. based on what you're saying, the most likely explanation is simply that whatever you are currently listening through is shot.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc.
I haven't got round to the recording and publishing suggestions you made, been too busy actually writing music(!) so apologies, but will expedite.
I think the delay that I have reported is a totally different issue to the distortion.
When I'm reviewing my pieces I use the piano or strings sound to playback the faster or louder sections. I would hope that if my system was truly 'shot' then I think I'd notice when I played string, piano or woodwind sounds - yes? I experience neither. It's only choral where I get any problems (delay or distortion).
In particular, the delay is something that other contributors seem to have testified to hearing, so is surely nothing to do with my system.
Thanks, I will get on with the recording tests.
I must add that in general the Muse Sounds are wonderful compared with what we had before.
BTW Ctrl+Shift+letter (p, m, f, etc) doesn't seem to do anything?

In reply to by Ali Wood

Ctrl+Shift+p etc is how you enter the fancy script letters (while editing text* (dynamic text or other). Just like Ctrl+Shift+b gives you a flat sign while editing text.

With respect to delay, again, please attach a score that demonstrates the problem you are hearing and say which note is sounding delayed. It's certainly true that the choral sounds use vowel sounds and have relatively slow attacks which can make them sound a little behind in faster passages, subjectively speaking.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Would anyone be kind enough to attach a (short) choral extract .mscz file that that they believe to be free of distortion on dynamics ("f" and "ff") and free of delay in rapid passages with rests between quavers.
I could download and play back on my system This might help determine what shape my system is in.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

On the delay subject, I feel I am on firmer ground.
For illustration, Marc, please refer to thread where a few of us discussed it. OK, artificially produced choral sounds produced by Muse Sounds may fade in more slowly, but that's exactly what I'd like changing!! A new audio system purchase is not going to solve the problem. I direct a choir and always instruct my singers to attack their entries on time - this issue illustrates exactly that problem.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Yes, as mentioned, because the choir sound uses a vowel sound with a relatively slow attach, it's going to sound a little behind on faster-moving passages. A sound using consonants would be more appropriate for such music. But the vowel sound is appropriate for other contexts. So what you're describing doesn't seem to be any sort of bug per se, just a request for another sound to be added to the library. Feel free to open an issue on GitHub suggesting that new sound. Meanwhile, any number of soundfonts or VST instruments do provide such sounds.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Ali, as shown by your Grave Goods score. Please pan your voices. For example, soprano-left, alto left of center. Tenor-right of center. Bass- right. That should make parts easier to hear. Plus turn up the volume for the voices, if needed. Don't turn the master volume so high. If you need more over-all volume, turn up your system volume. None of these are "workarounds". They are standard audio procedures. That's what the mixer is for. Having hidden dynamics seems to be more trouble than it is worth. I have been a choir director and soundboard operator. That's what the mixer is for.

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.