MuseScore 4 Playback Sound Quality

• Dec 17, 2022 - 11:03

MuseScore 4 playback sound quality is terrible. It is scratchy, muffled and it skips notes. I have MuseScore 3 on the same computer and its playback is fine. Any suggestions?


Same problem. I have lots of music created with musescore 3 and when I open in 4, everything sounds wobbly and different in a worse way. Is there a way to use the classic Musescore 3 sound engine?

I have added the new woodwind SoundFonts.
The sound is much better than the basic one but all notes above E5 are silent, despite of many actions here and there...

I'm having the same issue as you. On Musescore 4 the sound quality is terrible and sounds way worse than Musescore 4. I f there is any solution please let me know.

Musescore 4 is now unusable for me because of the quality of the sound in playback. I rely on good quality playback to teach my fellow choristers in a male voice choir. Please can I have my Musescore 3 back please.

In reply to by jj9rwrnssr

Can you explain the problem you are having,? In general, playback should be enormosuly better in MuseScore 4. But a small number of systems have issues with their settings that might require tweaks. Please explain in more detail.

meanwhile, certainly, you are welcome to have MuseScoree 3 also. If you didn't go out of way to uninstall it, you still have it. Otherwise, just download and install it again. 3 & 4 coexist without interference.

Hello, I am a big fan of MuseScore, and so happy to use it! However, MuseScore 4 playback is just awful on my two setups, to the point I almost don't recognize my own music. I compose in neoclassical style, using violins, violas, cellos, basses, clarinets, horn, oboes, etc.

I have a Mac mini M1, two years old, and a revamped Windows 11 Intel i7 PC with 32 gygabytes RAM and only SSDs, and a hefty graphic card, so it should not be a technical problem.

More precisely, I was used to a global very good rendering of my music with MS 3, all parts being so to speak evenly balanced between themselves, and of course you could add some fortissimos to the flute here, the violins there, etc. Nothing of the sort happens with MS 4, you almost don't hear some parts, then the violin breaks in quite loudly, why I mean ?!, etc.

I attach 2 extracts of approximately the same moment, with MS4 and MS3. The MS3 extract is blank until 2'29" when the music starts.

I waited two months, until now, thinking this would settle with time, with fixed-up versions, but no, seems that the problems, for me at least, remains the same, and I am quite puzzled that few other users seem to experience a similar difficulty.

Would you have any advice to share?

Thank you in advance!


In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Hello Marc, thank you for answering. Here is one score ; I basically have the same problem with all my scores, the playback is way different from what I was used to get, which was quite decent, and now sounds quite strange to my ears! Now, it might be that now I have the "real" sound, the one my score actually "says"; still, that sounds strange to me, no pun intended!

Attachment Size
Hhriste song - Jc Fadot.pdf 129.34 KB

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Excuse me! Here is the score. Also, here is the link to the mp3 I got from this score with MS3:…
One guess is that with MS3 all parts were evenly balanced in terms of volume, each having the shame share of the total volume output, whereas with MS4, each part receives the amount of volume that is appropriate to what it would be in real life, for example "Cellos" sound more powerfully than one "Violin".

But I am not sure of this, to me it seems the output is a little unpredictable and I would like to be able to reorganize the output in the way it was, so to speak, and of course with the improvements brought by MS4, especially the Muse sounds.

Thanks again

Attachment Size
Hriste song.mscz 42.2 KB

In reply to by JCFadot

Some things to consider.
I, too, have written things in MS3 that sound completely different in MS4. This is to be expected. The same thing happens when I being in scores from Sibelius. Or open an MS4 score in MS3. Or change fonts. Playback is never the same.
As for this score I notice that you have added no dynamics. Real players might bring out some of their parts more than others. Fonts can not. Violin 1 or 2 does not refer to desks, but rather how they were recorded. Since both parts are important,consider using the same font for both. It helped when I did that. On my system, the oboe is very soft. So I pushed it up in the Mixer. That's what the faders are for. Also consider panning the instruments. Real players would never all sit on top of each other in the center of the stage. So spread them out. Try some dynamics. I think a real player might play a longer note a bit softer so that a moving part can better be heard. Or the moving part might be a little louder. Or a combination of the two.
I also discover that when I open a piece created in different software, I sometime have to rewrite a few things if the playback isn't what I want. But then, I write for playback almost exclusively.

In reply to by bobjp

Thank you very much bobjp! Indeed, dynamics, panning, Mixer, etc., are something I have mostly not considered with MS3 and even so less with MS4, probably because I could not find tutorials focusing on this. Not to say that they don't exist of course, it's just that I couldn't spot them, as yet. But sure I will look for them avidly now! Thank you again!

In reply to by JCFadot

INdeed, different sound libraries will have different internal balances, and each will have its own quirks, plus each score will have its own quirks. It's completely normal to need to adjust levels in the mixer when switching between sounds.

Anyhow, I've loaded your score. Sounds normal to me - and certainly infinitely superior to the audio file you linked to sounds, although it seems to be an entirely different score, so it's tough to compare directly. Anyhow, is there a specific note of a specific instrument you believe to be a problem?

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thank you very much for your answer, Marc, this is very nice of you! The fact that you can have a better output with MS4 than with MS3 of my score is quite encouraging.

As I get it, there is no particular instrument or note that I feel is a problem, it's the global playback that I find quite puzzling, because it's not what I got until now with MS3, to the point I don't recognize this playback as my music, or vaguely! But I understand the reason is that I now, with MS4, drive a Lamborghini, and of course, it's way different cruising in a 4 cylinder thing!

Is there a particular tutorial that you could recommend for a basic understanding of dynamics, mixing, panning ?

In reply to by JCFadot

I don't know of any specific tutorial, mostly it's just a matter of knowing the basics of notation and a working familiarity with orchestration principles in order to know what dynamics are going to be good for a given effect. Then just using common sense to adjust mixer levels if the results of your dynamics aren't what your knowledge of orchestrations tells you they should be for this particular score.

I tried MS4 a month or two ago and experienced the same playback issues that others have faced.
So I went back to MS3.
Today I tried MS4 again and installed MuseHub.
Expected some corrections to have been made with the playback but no - still show-stopping problems - stops and starts and hesitations.
I have checked my system requirements and they satisfy the requirements laid down.
As suggested I use my chosen speakers as audio device, and experimented with larger buffer.
When the sounds come through they are great; the choir is obviously a big choir with basses who yell a bit. But that's beside the point, the sound playback is unusable. Sorry.
Back I go to MS3...

In reply to by Ali Wood

Did you report the problem you encountered, with your score and precise steps to reproduce the issue? Lots of problems that were reported by users have been fixed, and the developers remain hard at work fixing problems as fast as they get reported - but they can't fix problems that aren't reported.

In general, though, what you're describing is most likely an incompatibility with your audio driver's settings - for instance, it could,d be the sample rate is set too high. You'd need to find where that setting is in your OS.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Support. Best to say what OS, and give as much info as you can about your audio hardware. Doesn't hurt to include a score even if you believe it's relevant. Also could be useful to try exporting to mp3 to see if the problem persists there. Also try making a screen recording. The more info you give us, the better we can assist.

Same here. I loved the sound of MuseScore 3. MuseScore 4 playback quality is so inferior that I don't want to post it for my kiddos to rehearse with at home. OS 10

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