Accordion soundfont instruments don't play or show in mixer.

• Feb 21, 2023 - 15:38

Summary: After installing a soundfont and instrument.xml, and adding instruments from that soundfont to a score, the instruments don't play or show up in the mixer.

This is my first attempt at using a soundfont, so something like "Is it plugged in?" is a relevant question.

What I did:
- added the HedSound Accordion 5 Choir soundfont referenced in the Accordion notation and playback notes tutorial, by drag-and-drop onto the application.
- installed the instruments.xml that came with the soundfont by setting it in Preferences/Score/Score Order List 2.
- added parts to my score using the new instruments.

Attachment Size
Ed's Auld Trews HED.mscz 28.14 KB


Those steps are for an outdated version of MuseScore; the instruments.xml file no longer works that way. if you need to use this soundfont, and it contains just a single sound, then forget all the extra steps about instruments.xml. Just place the soundfont in your soundfonts folder, start MuseScore normally (maybe use Helpt / Revert to factory settings to undo any other incompatible changes you've made), add the accordion to your score normally, and select your soudnfont in the Mixer.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks much, but the soundfont has two instruments. (The left and right hand have different characteristics, and so each is a separate one-stave instrument.) In addition, each instrument has multiple channels, corresponding to the reed sets on a physical accordion. Here's their instruments.xml:

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
Valid articulations in 2.3 and 3.0 with their mappings.
MuseScore 2.3   MuseScore 3.0
staccatissimo   staccatissimo
staccato        staccato
portato         portato
tenuto          tenuto
marcato         marcato
sforzato        sforzato
ouvert          open
plusstop        closed
N/A             harmonic 
     <Genre id="HSAccordion">
     <name>HedSound Accordion 5-choir</name>
<!-- Accordion -->    
<InstrumentGroup id="HedsoundAccordion5c">
<name>HedSound Accordion 5c</name>
    <Instrument id="HS-Accordion-01a">
      <longName>Accordion Master</longName>
      <description>Accordion Master</description>
        <channel name="Accordion Master    "><controller ctrl="32" value="0" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Bassoon        L    "><controller ctrl="32" value="1" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Bandoneon dry  L M  "><controller ctrl="32" value="2" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Bandoneon open L  m+"><controller ctrl="32" value="3" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Accordion      L Mm "><controller ctrl="32" value="4" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Orchestra      LmMm "><controller ctrl="32" value="5" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Organ          L   H"><controller ctrl="32" value="6" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Harmonium dry  L M H"><controller ctrl="32" value="7" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Harmonium open  L mH"><controller ctrl="32" value="8" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Accr.Master*   L MmH"><controller ctrl="32" value="9" />  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="GrandMaster    LmMmH"><controller ctrl="32" value="10"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Oboe             M H"><controller ctrl="32" value="11"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Sax               mH"><controller ctrl="32" value="12"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Musette-imit     MmH"><controller ctrl="32" value="13"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Strings         mMmH"><controller ctrl="32" value="14"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Clarinet         M  "><controller ctrl="32" value="15"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Flute             m+"><controller ctrl="32" value="16"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Violin           Mm "><controller ctrl="32" value="17"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Musette-Auth    mMm "><controller ctrl="32" value="18"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="Piccolo            H"><controller ctrl="32" value="19"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="-Bandoneon     Lm   "><controller ctrl="32" value="20"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="-Accordion     LmM  "><controller ctrl="32" value="21"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="-Harmonium     Lm  H"><controller ctrl="32" value="22"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="-Hrmn.Master   LmM H"><controller ctrl="32" value="23"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="-Sax           -m  H"><controller ctrl="32" value="24"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="-Musette-imit   mM H"><controller ctrl="32" value="25"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="-Flute         -m   "><controller ctrl="32" value="26"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="~Violin         mM  "><controller ctrl="32" value="27"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="~Accordion     Lm m "><controller ctrl="32" value="28"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="~Hrmn.Master   Lm mH"><controller ctrl="32" value="29"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="~Musette-imit   m mH"><controller ctrl="32" value="30"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="~Violin         m m "><controller ctrl="32" value="31"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
    <Instrument id="HS-Accordion-01b">
      <longName>Accordion Bass / Chords</longName>
      <description>Accordion Bass / Chords</description>
        <channel name="*Bass1 harmonium LMH"><controller ctrl="32" value="40"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="*Bass2 bandoneon LM "><controller ctrl="32" value="41"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="*Bass3 organ     L H"><controller ctrl="32" value="42"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="*Bass4 bassoon   L  "><controller ctrl="32" value="43"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="+Chord M            "><controller ctrl="32" value="64"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="+Chord m            "><controller ctrl="32" value="65"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="+Chord 7            "><controller ctrl="32" value="66"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="+Chord d            "><controller ctrl="32" value="67"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>

In reply to by estaub2

The ways MuseScore works with playback has completely changed; "channels" are no long used. I'm not really understanding what you are using those for - does your accordion really have a violin sound? - but probably whatever it is, you'd do instead with instrument changes rather than channels.

As for the two different sounds, best to simply split the soundfont into two individual soundfonts. But, you can always use the free VST "sforzando" to play individual sounds within a soundfont. or, perhaps your soundfont is itself available in VST format. That wasn't supported in MU3 but is now,

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc. The various "channels" (registers) on an accordion have "nicknames" of the instruments that they closest approximate. This particular accordion's treble side has 5 sounds, which can be combined in 2^5-1=31 ways - "channels". I have no experience with soundfont/VST authoring, but might give it a try. I've sent a note to the soundfont's author, Ziya Mete Demircan.

In reply to by estaub2

Maybe I’m missing something, but I’m not seeing how the soundfont would have any relationship at all to the notation. A soundfont just plays the pitches it is told to play. It has no concept of the notation. So if it plays the pitches the way you want now, it will play them the same when split in two, or when played via sforzando.

What I suspect is the bigger issue is that you may have notations that are tied to the old MU3 “channel” mechanism for changing sounds, and these would need to be updated to use instrument changes instead. And I have no idea how feasible that part would be.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I don't know how that worked either. I assumed that MuseScore had some logic for chords that looked for channels of the same name, and then the soundfont makes these channels play multiple notes, with the key being determined by the bass note. But I guess not.

        <channel name="+Chord M            "><controller ctrl="32" value="64"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="+Chord m            "><controller ctrl="32" value="65"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="+Chord 7            "><controller ctrl="32" value="66"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>
        <channel name="+Chord d            "><controller ctrl="32" value="67"/>  <program value="21"/></channel>

In reply to by bobjp

Yes, I know. The following sounds like whining, but it's the best way to explain. I assume you don't know accordion, but probably have experience with some electronic keyboard. Imagine playing a keyboard, and finding out that you can only play using a mix of all the voices available on the keyboard.

That's the result of just installing the soundfont without the mappings provided in the instruments.xml. Maybe there's some way to use multiple wrapper VST's, but honestly, it's not worth trying. Maybe a plugin could do some of this; I'm starting to study up on QT et al. But given that a rewrite is planned for the plugin API too... maybe not right now.

In reply to by estaub2

Well, earlier you said the soundfont only had two sounds (one for each hand), so it's trivially simple to separate into two separate soundfonts, then just select the one you want. No "multiple wrapper VST's" involved at all. No wrapper VST's involved all, if you do the split. If you don't do the split, then indeed, use sforzando, but sforzando and only sforzando - no multiple anythings.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

"'earlier you said the soundfont only had two sounds" - no, I said there were two instruments. There are 31 possible sounds/channels for the right hand, and 4 possible sounds/channels for the left hand (8, if you include the chord hack). It's the same as an organ with two keyboards, each of which has several possible voices. And it doesn't do anything for making accordion bass chord notation work.

If you are following that "Accordion notation and playback notes" tutorial and using HedSound sound fonts you might consider staying with MuseScore 3.6 since that is what the instructions are based upon.

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