Separate Instrument to Sound mapping from the Mixer Panel

• Apr 7, 2016 - 20:39

I am new to MuseScore, and while I am using the application, I keep track of areas of improvement which I would like to post here. Of course, where possible I checked this forum on these topics first before posting.

Changing the instrument to sound mapping in the Mixer is a bit of a frustrating experience:

  • Selecting a sound from a very long list is cumbersome. I do use keys to preselect the type of sound I am looking for.
  • There is no search or auto-complete function to select a sound;
  • I have no idea which sound is provided through which Soundfont.
  • While scrolling the instruments list in the mixer using e.g. a mouse wheel may accidently change the sound mapping, so I have to start from scratch again.
  • There seems no way to save a template sound mapping, so it the process has to be repeated for new scores.

Move sound mapping from the mixer into its own dialog/panel

I would suggest to separate the sound mapping from the mixer and create its own dialog or panel, similar to, or an extension of the Muscore Instruments (Edit > Instruments..). This way the mixer can be simplified, the GUI smaller and the user can focus on mixing sounds..

Improvement to the sound mapping functionality

  • Use long instrument names for the sound mapping. This way I am sure I create the correct mapping for a stave;
  • Add a search function to search for sounds;
  • Add auto complete to quickly select a sound;
  • Add a checkbox to select from a certain soundfont only;
  • Ability to save a sound mapping for a certain instrument setting. For example if I want to create score for a modern orchestra, I can choose to load my preferred instrument settings which will load my preferred sound mapping.
  • Cheers,



Could you explain in more detail what you are trying to do and why? Normally one would not need to be changing sounds in the Mixer very often - is it possible you really want to be changing *instruments* via Staff Properties? If the instruments are selected properly, you shouldn't need to mess with the Mixer very often at all. You mention multiple soundfonts, does this have something do with it? Perhaps you are trying to mix and match sounds from different soundfonts in the same score? That would be one usage I could see where this might come up.

In any case, the dropdown in the Mixer *does* auto-complete - start typing the name of a sound, it should jump right there.

Templates can be saved from MuseScore - just save a score to your Templates folder and it will be available in the templates list next time you start MuseScore. This will include the instrument definitions of the current score, which is why getting those right should be your starting point.

Structuring the list of sounds by soundfont is indeed a very good idea, and there have been some proposals to address that, nothing concrete yet.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the reply.

Yes, I want to be able to select sounds from different soundfonts in the Mixer in the same score.

I noticed that typing a sound name will jump to a sound in the list. Still I have to scroll through that list which can be very long.

A search function or auto-complete filter which lists a selection of sounds therefore limiting my scrolling, will definitely help.

To save to a new score template seems a good suggestion which I will work on now.



In reply to by davepmiddleton

Another reason why you may consider to remove the sound mapping from the Mixer is visual real estate.

  • The Mixer's GUI height is increased due to the sound mapping, which requires the user to scroll down
  • Removing the sound mapping from the Mixer will allow you to consider horizontal stacking of the Instrument Tracks just like in most Audio Workstations (see sketch).
  • As most computer screens offer more horizontal visual real estate, this will allow for a improved Mixer GUI.



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In reply to by davepmiddleton

I don't understand what you mean "Still I have to scroll through that list". If you start typing the name, it will jump directly to that sound - no scrolling required. I guess if there are two identically named sounds that aren't adjacent, this is a little awkwar might not help - is that what you mean? That could happen if using multiple soundfonts, so a restructure of the window to separate things by soundfont better would presumably address that. But if you simply type the same string again, it should jump to the second instrument starting with that string. If you mean something different, could you explain in more detail?

Meanwhile, having the search work like a filter - as it does for several other windows (like the Instruments dialog) would be an improvement worth requesting via a feature request in the Issue Tracker. So typing "Fl" would limit the list just the flutes, etc.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks for the reply.

I guess if there are two identically named sounds that aren't adjacent, this is a little awkward might not help - is that what you mean?

Yes indeed, that is what I mean. I have one additional soundfont installed and some sound names are identical (or almost identical), but lower down the list. So for me the question is: which sound is it? From which soundfont? What if I prefer one over the other?

The list is long enough for me not to remember which one I had selected before. Even more so when I accidentally changed the sound e.g. when scrolling down the mixer using the mouse wheel.

So what am I doing in the Mixer all the time you may ask? The volume from some instrument sounds are not always what I expect them to be and may vary by soundfont and the interpretation of the score dynamics.

So if I want to hear the impression of the performance of the score, I need to adjust some the volume settings to balance the sound mix. That is why I advocate the separation of the instrument-sound mapping, so I can concentrate on quickly adjusting some volumes without risking to accidentally change the sound mapping.

I will submit a change request for the auto-filter and sound font selection in the Issue Tracker.



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