Musescore 4's playback is extremely slow

• Dec 18, 2022 - 09:40

I just downloaded Musescore 4 about an hour ago, along with the Muse Sounds pack. I opened it, created a new score, and added one single chord on the piano. While inputting the notes, they sounded very distorted and glitchy, though I paid it no mind since this sometimes happened with Musescore 3 after booting it up.
However, after I pressed the "Play" button, the whole chord was extremely distorted, and the play bar (I'm not sure what it's actually called) moved very slowly.

I tried opening some other scores I had created in Musescore 3, and they all gave me the same results. I rebooted my laptop, uninstalled and reinstalled the app, but it's still doing the same thing. I tried doing the same things in Musescore 3, and it worked just fine.

Admittedly, my computer is not very good at all, and has trouble running some programs. However, everything else in the app seems to be running smoothly; it's only the playback that's slow and distorted. Is there something to do here?


I too am having the same problem but I'm pretty sure it's because musescore 4 uses up so much ram. You can find out how much memory it uses by opening it and then opening task manager.

If you're using Muse Sounds, then yes, it is in comparison rather CPU heavy. If you stick to MS Basic this should be more in line with MS3 (but still CPU heavier due to the new playback engine).

One thing to try is to increase the buffer size in Edit → Preferences → I/O.
Another thing that seems to help (at least for some users) is to have the Mixer view opened.

In reply to by jeetee

No, I wasn't using Muse Sounds. I had downloaded MuseHub, expecting to use it, but I've deleted that now, to preserve disk space. In any case, I was using basic MuseScore sound. I did try the increase in buffer size. I restarted the program each time. No good. I closed all other programs and apps. I cleaned out my cache. Each time I try it, I go back and do the same thing in MS 3.6.2, and it works great.
I think there are simply bugs that have not been worked out yet. We hear in the videos many times how long this was in the making. A bit more time is needed, it seems.
I'm seeing a goodly number of other reports of playback issues. Have you had any of those users say, "Aha! That fixed it!" when they did what you suggest? I would very much like to use MS4 when it is ready. There are visual improvements described in the videos that I would love to experience, but I can't if I'm unable to have playback while editing.

In reply to by llopatin

Go to the download page and take a look at the minimum specs. Does your computer meet them? Especially the 4 core CPU part? Goodness knows MS4 has problems, but trying to run it on anything less than specs is a big problem. And yes, increasing the buffer size along with decreasing your sound card's bit rate can and has helped. Especially the bit rate. As well as unchecking exclusive takeover of the card. And yes, to run anything approaching professional quality sound, you need storage space. Lots of it. The 15 gigs MS4 needs is tiny in comparison to most. My Sibelius sounds need 35gigs. And that's small compared to what most DAW users need.

In reply to by bobjp

Got 4 cores and space. (See attached) Is it the wrong kind or ram, or something? You've guessed by now I'm not a computer maven, so please forgive my not knowing all the terms. I do appreciate your time. I have gotten MS 3.6.2 to work very well, and got loads of work done on MS 2.1 before that, so I'm pretty good at MuseScore.
I'm too much of a perfectionist and expect things to be perfect from the get-go, which is not right, and I apologize for my tone. I'm an even harsher critic of my own work if that's any consolation.
Again, thanks for your time.

Attachment Size
4core.PNG 47.6 KB
AceSpace.PNG 16.58 KB

In reply to by llopatin

Not the wrong kind ram. Just not enough of it. And an SSD is suggested also. Solid State Drive, as opposed to your Hard Disk Drive. Whatever you were running when you took that screen shot had just about maxed your ram.
If you have raised the buffer in MS4 the next thing to try would be to lower the audio bit rate. There's quite a few steps involved in that. I put them in another post somewhere. I'll repost them tomorrow. Now off to bed.

In reply to by bobjp

Much appreciated. Probably most sensible for me to just keep on creating in 3.6.2 and make a note of which older work needs to be opened in 2.1, and never let the twain meet. 3 does all I need. I just liked some of what I heard about 4, regarding smarter display features, and was overly anxious to try the latest thing.

In reply to by llopatin

Try this:
Right click on the speaker icon in the taskbar. Select "Sounds". In the popup select "Playback". Make sure the audio device you are using in MuseScore is checked in this window. Click next to the icon and select the "Properties" button. In the new popup, select "Advanced". Here you can uncheck "exclusive Mode" and also take the bit rate down a notch.

In reply to by bobjp

Also, here are my computer specs:

Processor: AMD Ryzen 3 3200U with Radeon Vega Mobile Gfx 2.60 GHz
Installed RAM: 4.00 GB (3.44 GB usable)
System Type: 64-bit operating system, x64-based processor

Are these not powerful enough to Musescore 4? Would an SSD fix my problem (lagging playback)?


In reply to by bobjp

Everything was fine when playing through my computer speakers, but when I tried to listen through my Bluetooth headphones, the audio was suddenly less than half speed. Nothing was working to fix it, but then I unchecked "exclusive mode" like you suggested, and now it's working perfectly. Thank you!

In reply to by bobjp

Well, I can't do anything about my Hard Disk drive at the moment, I've raised the buffer, I followed what you said to lower the bit rate and did as so much as possible. I have 3.89 GB usable out of 4GB. Not enough, I guess. I wasn't running anything else at the time. I also unchecked exclusive mode, which had been selected. I played around with delay and duration times in note input -- no difference.
I'm left to think that I have plenty of RAM for MS2 and MS3, but not 4. I've been happy with those. But I'd heard some great things about what to expect as far as smarter text and slurs and horizontal spacing in the display, and was anxious to experience that. When I can afford to upgrade my computer, I'll come back to it.
Thanks again.

In reply to by jakedmcafee06

Yup. I did all the things suggested above. No difference. Do you have a solid state drive? I don't. I'm being told that a solid state drive is needed. Really, is there that much difference in the technical requirements compared to version 3?
Can we hear from some home users who are not computing experts who ARE having MS 4 work correctly in terms of sound and playback?

I usually open the mixing window [F10], it's magically makes the playback way smoother.

When I close the mixing window, it returns into sluggish result.

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