Templates should recreate MIDI channel assignments when used

• May 23, 2020 - 01:32
Reported version
S5 - Suggestion

When I create a score or template (in my case for e.g. an orchestral score), I can set the MIDI channels in the mixer.
When I reopen a saved score, the MIDI channels are indeed preserved; this is good.
However, when I create a new score from a template that I created (with MIDI channels specifically assigned), that new score will not have the MIDI channels set to the previously assigned channels.
In my view, this is unexpected behaviour, as one of the ideas of templates is to have a pre-set, empty score, with all instruments working as expected.
When using the built-in synthesizer, it probably won't matter (as instrument definitions are preserved, regardless of MIDI channel), but if one wants to use external audio, e.g. by using LoopMIDI, with audio playing through e.g. Reaper, then this is a major annoyance, as all MIDI channels in MuseScore will have to be checked and amended after creating a new score.
Would it be possible to use the MIDI channels, as stored in the template, when creating a new score from them?
Kind regards :)


If you're talking about the voice to channel assignments done via a staff text's properties, then the answer is no, unfortunately. That staff text is attached to a note or rest, which in turn sits in a measure, but scores created from a template discard all measures from the template, just using the same instrument set and the same general score settings, but a different key amd timen sig, tempo, number of meassures, title, composer, lyricist, etc.
For the same reason you loose images from templates

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Hi Jojo,

Here's an example template.

The saved template has deliberately set MIDI channels, in this case:

  • First stave, the flute, on MIDI channel 3;
  • Second set of staves, the piano, on MIDI channel 5.

These are arbitrary numbers for the sake of this example only; in the real world I would like to have e.g. a large orchestral score template, with my flutes always on MIDI channel 1, my oboes always on MIDI channel 2, and so on.
Why would I want this?
Because I, and I would assume many / most composers out there, will have a particular set up, with e.g. Reaper serving as a playback device (through LoopMIDI), or with hardware synths, etc, with specific instruments always having the same MIDI channels.

Now, if I open the template ("File" -> "Open", etc), the MIDI channels are the same as when I saved them: this is what I want (however, this is obviously not how templates are to be used).

However, if I use the template to create a new score ("File" -> "New" -> "Custom Templates", etc), then the MIDI channel info is gone, and MuseScore will have re-assigned all the MIDI channels to just subsequent numbers, completely ignoring the MIDI channels as stored in the template.

So, if I want to start a new orchestral piece, using my orchestral template with carefully chosen MIDI channels, I will have to re-set all the MIDI channels for all instruments.
This kind of defeats the purpose of having a template…

I hope this was helpful to get my point across.

Many thanks,


Attachment Size
Test_Template.mscx 24.26 KB

That template used "Flute (expr)" for the Flute (program 73) and "Grand Piano" for Piano (program 0), pretty much the default, when opened as a score. I see no reason to believe it behaves differently when used as a template.

Oh, now I now, you're not talking about the sound, but the MIDI channel!

Hmm, might be a bug, or a feature not yet implemented, but I can confirm it, when used that score as a template

I'm stunned that this issue has only just been raised! Thanks @Matt Heableigh!
This is not an isolated problem. Anybody working consistently with playback through their DAW will want to make a template for each band or orchestra they're composing with, and it's essential that the MIDI channels assigned to each instrument in MuseScore are applied from the template.
Just putting my 2c worth in, in the hopes of a swift resolution...

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

I just ran into this problem too. I just went through all the work of assigning MIDI channels to match up with Ardour that uses the same MIDI channel assigned in the Ardour Template to pass along to VST3 plugins, etc.

Is the workaround to delete all the notes and save as an empty score, and then create a manual file copy every time you want to create a new score?

You really need the Port# in addition to the Channel# saved in the template.

I would think Musescore would need this if trying to add VST plugins.

In reply to by oscarcar

It's unfortunate that this hasn't yet received the attention that (I think) it deserves...

In the meantime, I've started composing my music directly in Reaper, rather than in MuseScore; using a link from MuseScore to Reaper was too frustrating.

I hope that MuseScore 4, with added VST capability, will bring the desired functionality, namely to be able to not just create beautiful scores, but also to make them audible in satisfying ways that don't frustrate the creative process.

In reply to by Matt Heableigh

Yes, this should be a rather easy addition, since a template is supposed to be just a musescore file with the notes stripped. Ripping the configuration out of a template really defeats the point of a template. I think I can live with keeping a blank score around and duplicating it when I need it. My son does all the music composing, and he much prefers Musescore to Sibelius or any of the other crippled notation editors in DAWs.

I saw that someone else said that he/she saved to a midi file and you can setup reaper to expect certain files to match to tracks, puts it in offline mode, so you can save in musescore, and then hit reload in reaper and everything is updated. That's a pretty good method.

What I've been doing is:
1. Musescore is communicating with ardour using Jack/midi and triggering VSTs and VEPro in realtime, and displaying a video in xjadeo.
2. Periodically recording in Ardour all the midi directly to the tracks by just enabling record.
3. Do all the automation on the recorded tracks
4. Using Synchronous Audio Router with JACK, I can also easily record musescore audio to a track, and even Sibelius w/NotePerformer output to an Ardour track. Still a pain to get midi into Sibelius, so not something you'd probably do all the time.