MuseSounds Unbalanced Instruments

• Dec 21, 2022 - 19:03

First off, I am super impressed with what Musescore 4 has to offer, for it being a free program. I really love the direction it is taking, but there is some issues with the new sounds that I wish to see adressed.

1, Unbalanced instruments
Something I found very nice about musescore 3 was that if an instrument was too loud, or too quiet, you could bump up the dynamic to balance out the instruments. However, with Musescounds, the dynamics are at such drastic levels of volume that many times, I will find that with a specific instrument, one dynamic is way too loud, but then when I move it down one dynamic level, you literally can't hear it over anything else. The first change I would like to see to fix that would be to simply reduce the difference in volume levels each dynamic has. The difference in volume for each dynamic level is just too big. The second thing I would like to see added is a crazy fever dream of mine. This would be the ultimate solution of my dreams. Create a way to automatically change the volume of each individual instrument at different parts of the score, without the use of dynamics. I invasion a mode where like in some DAWs, all the staves for every instrument turns into a graph where you could draw out the changes in dynamics. It would also be amazing if there was something similar to that for temp as well. I think I speak for everyone when I say I'd like the ability to change the velocity of every note to get the perfect balance, and bring out what needs to be heard without adding unnecessary dynamic markings. This would also give us the ability to make crescendos and decrescendos change at the speed we want.

  1. jarring crescendos and decrescendos
    The second thing I have noticed is that some instruments crescendo and decrescendo very jaggedly. I included an example. If you open up this score, which just contains a trumpet part resending and decrescendo, you will notice that the trumpet doesn't smothery change dynamics, it just jumps from one level to the next, and it isn't the only instrument to do that.

  2. Selecting specific sounds from MS Basic
    So I am aware that you can select an instrument in the mixer and change it to the MS Basic soundfont, but my problem is that you can't pick out a specific sound, it just sticks you onto the one that best matches the instrument. While they may not sound very realistic, there are times when I would prefer to borrow different sounds from MS 3 (such as synthesizers, sound effects, and uncommon instruments, which I can't do at all on MS 4.

  3. Euphonium and instrument ranges
    I was a little bit upset when I discovered that Musescore still hasn't given euphonium a sound of it's own. The euphonium is quite an important music in concert bands and brass ensembles, despite the fact they're rarely used in symphony orchestras. The euphonium deserves its own sound. But I wouldn't make a fuss over this fact if it wasn't for one thing. The instrument ranges cap out at what Musesccore perceives as the range of an instrument, meaning that if you use a tuba sound to fill the hole for euphonium, it won't be able to play above a high middle C, because that's where tuba caps out. This greatly reduces our freedom when writing. Instruments such as euphonium and trumpet need their high range. I really hope that this gets addressed. Musescore 4 does so many things right! But then does the easiest things wrong.

Apologies for writing so much, I appreciate you reading all of this.

Attachment Size
Screenshot 2022-12-21 114807.png 46.58 KB
Untitled score.mxl 1.82 KB


In MuseScore 3, there is an inspector pane, and in which you can set the velocity change of the crescendo and decrescendo. In my opinion, your problem 2 may be solved if this feature will be brought back to MuseScore 4 in the future.

Your first complaint is an extremely annoying problem that I hope gets addressed. It's odd, because it seems like one of the baseline things for a notation software, being able to work with dynamics.

MuseSounds is great, but the lack of balance is a killer. Playing some flute + piano pieces the flute both disappeared at p and was too loud at f. Some of the problems I saw were related to ambiguous notation (multiple decrescendos—which prob. should have the orig. dynamic in between—reducing volume to zero), but the basic problem is still there.

Every notation program reads dynamics and hairpins imported from other programs, differently. When I import a file from Sibelius into either version of MuseScore, I have to redo most of the dynamics. Same with importing from MuseScore into Sibelius.

I agree with this; while a lot of it is actually extremely accurate and welcome, some of it is taken to an extent that is unworkable or unrealistic (I noticed with a lot of brass dynamics, piano or quieter can barely be heard even with no other instruments, especially with trombone, which is ironic since trombones are caricatured as always being loud even at soft dynamics).

I think a volume contrast is good because that (along with timbre, etc.) is a fundamental part of dynamics, but the extent of it is so far that it's not easy to work with. Plus, with fff and ppp being so immensely dramatically different, it actually can make playback worse because even forte and fortissimo will nearly peak the mixer.

I've tried using the Muse Hub compressor as well but it doesn't seem very useful since it's just a single knob with settings related to pop music as opposed to classical. At minimum, built-in user-end control of compression of MuseSounds playback or just more effectively balanced sounds would be a major help.

This isn't across all instruments of course; currently I'm working on a transcription of the first movement of the orchestration of Ravel's Tombeau de Couperin, and the playback using the original dynamics is stunningly accurate for the most part. However, some instruments are noticeably unbalanced, such as the harp, quiet brass, contrabass, pizzicato strings, quiet flute. and bassoons. Then, generally, forte dynamics seem very loud volume-wise very early, and it seems that forte dynamics tend far more towards aggression than a full, present, and assertive sound. I feel like forte for most instruments can be made a little less hot on the playback to give more room for ff and fff dynamics and to allow for more expressivity.

Apart from that much, vocal dynamics basically don't play back at all below mezzo-forte; mp and quieter are inaudible even in vocals-only contexts.

Also, your fourth point is definitely an issue. I've noticed with high end violins (and touch-harmonics on the high end), high end of the bass clarinet, lowest notes of the clarinet, high notes on the contrabass, among some others, that there's no MuseSounds playback at all when these notes are sometimes not even highlighted yellow to indicate advanced/difficult ranges. Getting the full ranges of the instruments would be extremely useful.

Related, for the contrabass, harmonics don't playback at all while they do on other string instruments as well as harp; it'd be very useful to get contrabass harmonics added in.

In reply to by sihplak

I would also add that a solo contrabass in Muse Sounds would also be useful. In classical music, it can still be useful as a solo instrument and has some decent solo repertoire. In jazz, it would also make for a great upright bass. I've seen some amazing things done with a group of soloists (an excellent example is

Also, I 100% agree with your point about the upper ranges being absent. I would add that pedal notes on virtually all brass instruments are missing, and that dynamic balance is an issue.

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