[2.0] Staccato note duration on flute too long

• Apr 5, 2014 - 12:53
Reported version
S4 - Minor

When applying a staccato articulation to a flute (and maybe other woodwind) note, the note duration for staccato is set to 85 (850/1000) in the instruments.xml file. Personally, this seems too long as the playback difference between a normal and staccato note is not noticeable. I have found that a setting of 40 sounds good, but I have not tested slightly longer numbers like 50. One drawback to a setting of 40: shorter notes like 1/16 and faster, when set to staccato, are barely audible when played.

Strange thing though, MS 1.3 also defines staccato woodwind to 85, but it plays correctly. Is the playback algorithm in 2.0 doing something wrong specifically with staccato, or should the default be changed?

Just for reference, the piano staccato articulation is set to 40 in the instruments file.


Begs the question why it was changed to 85%? At least for flute it is far too long. I don't know about other woodwinds but I can't see them needing more than 50% either.

Why..? I doubt we will get an answer on this. Let's discuss what matters, how much would you think would be acceptable without implementing anything else for shorter notes. Do you think implementing a threshold for shorter notes is a workable solution?

Since 50% was hardcoded before it should be OK, but I can test to see how it sounds. Regarding short notes, I was only testing to see what happened with staccato on playback, but it's not important for now.

Note that instruments.xml also defines staccato for another group of instruments, including piano, as 40%. My limited testing shows 50% to be acceptable, esp for staccato on shorter notes, so between 40 and 50 would be perfect.

As an aside, why does MS refer to :/data/instruments.xml (being an internal data store) rather than the already existing templates/instruments.xml? I can see keeping the demo score in there, but not instruments.xml, and the default wallpaper.

A threshold could work - some duration (measured in milliseconds, I think, not ticks - even quarter notes are short at a fast enough tempo!) beyond which we refuse to shorten a note further. I suppose ideally it wouldn't be a hard threshold but some sort of sliding scale, but let's be realistic...

When we learn to play an instrument, we learn generally that staccato note should be half long (and it is more readable than half long note and half long silence)

Status (old) active patch (code needs review)

I set staccato for all instruments to 50% in 88d6be36.

For the flute specifically (and only the Flute (and the pianos)for the moment), the normal gate time has been changed to 95% and slurs will make to 100%.

Tests are very welcome.

Severity S5 - Suggestion S4 - Minor
Status (old) patch (code needs review) fixed
Status fixed
Reported version 2.3 2.1

Better open a new request for this, the issue at hand here had been fixed long ago.