Playback problems in MS4

• Feb 28, 2023 - 18:09

Play back is scratchy and hesitant in MS4 (unlistenable to). When i go back to MS3 there is no problem - which implies there is nothing wrong with the equipment I am using


Still can't listen to MS4 playback. Tried all the suggestions you've made.
So, specifically, is it possible to use MS4 to create and edit scores and then open a score with MS3 in order to get a playback?.
Just tried - seems not. Oh woe is me.

In reply to by bobjp

I have a 6 year old PC:

Maybe my system is indeed the problem (although no difficulty with MS3!)

Here are its specs:

Intel(R) Core(TM) i3 CPU 550 @ 3.20GHz 3.20 GHz
RAM 4.00 GB (3.80 GB usable)
64-bit operating system, x64-based processor

Clearly the RAM is insufficient and should I therefore install 8GB or 16GB RAM?
Is the CPU sufficient?

What would be a suitable soundcard to install, maybe this is also contributory?

I am not a technical person!

In reply to by Ali Wood

If you plan to hang on to this computer, that it is certainly cheaper to upgrade it, than is is to replace it. My suggestion would be to upgrade the ram and see what happens. I assume this is a laptop. Upgrades are easier on a desktop. Personally, I would do the work myself, rather than take it to a shop. It isn't brain surgery to add ram yourself. Even though you think you can't do it. An SSD (solid state drive) is important also. That requires an adapter to be able to transfer your old hard drive, including your OS license, to the new drive. You don't have to be a techy, but you do need to be able to follow instructions. Google these things to get an idea of what is involved.

In reply to by Ali Wood

4GB RAM is definitely a problem, especially for Muse Sounds, so going uop to 16 GB is definitely recommended.
But also, it could simply be settings for your audio device. What audio device is it, and can you find its settings in your OS? You shouldn't need a new soundcard; just make sure your current one is configured in a way that works well. You'll need to consults its documentation, or the docuewmntation for your computer and/or OS, to learn how to find its settings. But the more you can tell us about your audio device, the better we can potentially assist.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

My audio device is a couple of CREATIVE Gigaworks T20 Series II speakers.
I tried to find a way of updating the drivers for this but even though I bought the speakers only a year ago, there appears to be no audio driver available on the internet, so I think they were essentially plug and play. There is no option to "update" the driver.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Then the audio settings are the ones built into your operating system, so you need to find those. Unless the speaker plugins into an audio as opposed to USB port - in that case, there is an audio driver for the sound card within your computer - the sound card is what provides the audio Jack.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Re. my previous questions in this forum.. I've now replaced my RAM and installed 16GB RAM. I've had my soundcard checked. The buffer size is 4096 as high as it will go. My sample rate is 24 bit 48kHz which matches the Windows 10 recommendation but I have also tried the next lower one (24 bit 44khz) to no avail.
My sound card is built into the motherboard so can't be altered. I have selected my one and only set of speakers as my sound device)
I have MuseSounds loaded.
There is no improvement to the MS4 playback whatsoever. It hesitates, pops and hisses, gives terrible swoops on the choral lines,
When Marc says to report this in the Support arena, is this the wrong place?
I am aggrieved, after spending time and money upgrading my computer, to find this MS4 so problematic, when MS3 was working so straightforwardly.
Lots of the advice in this column is quite technical, and loses me, and I spend ages trying find where to look to do things correctly.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Sorry to hear you're still having trouble! Unfortunately there are so many thousands of different hardware models out there and different operating systems, different settings, etc - it's incredible frustrating as a developer attempting to make software work on every single one!

Based on what you describe, the one setting I'd still recommend changing is sample rate. Try 16 instead of 24 bit. Also try 44.1 instead of 48 kHz.

Also, if at all possible, update your OS to Windows 11.

None of these things should be necessary, but again, with the literally millions of different system configurations that MsueScore is attempting to support, it's to be expected that some might present unforeseen problems, and making changes might help. FWIW, with MU3, there were tons of sound complaints too - but from different people. That is, lots of people had audio problems in MU3 but not Mu4. And for others it's the other way around. I'm not sure if anyone has reported problems with both. But the vast majority of people have problems with neither.

This forum is the correct place to get help from fellow community members. But once something is identified as an actual bug in the software - independently reproduced and confirmed by another user - then the place to report the issue to the developers is the issue tracker on GitHub.

In reply to by Ali Wood

You don't need W11. Unless your computer is less than 2 years old, you probably can't up grade anyway. I have one computer that I had to take the Bit Rate down to FM quality before MuseSounds worked. While you are on that page remember to un-check Exclusive Mode. Another thing the specs call for is a Solid State Drive or SSD. I hope you saw that. You don't need a separate sound card. On most of my older computers, I need to use a USB audio interface.

In reply to by bobjp

  1. Yes It is an SSD.
  2. Don't have a bit rate option for FM quality. As I said previously, taking the bit rate down made things worse.
  3. Unchecked the Exclusive Mode. No difference.
  4. Don't know what you mean by a USB audio interface.
    Thanks for being patient with me.

In reply to by Ali Wood

A USB Audio interface could be some focusrite or presonus boxes that people use to set up home studios, they have headphones and speaker outputs and appear to windows as a different sound card. However if not in your plans, they can go from $80 up for simpler models.

I have been having issues with MU4 on my dell inspiron laptop, is kind of old, with a corei7 processor that should be enough to use the default sounds but the playback has lots of issues. So for now I have switched to my surface tab, which is a bit newer with an i5 processor and I have not had lots of issues with the sound yet.

However, what I wanted to ask you is if you have a brand machine (dell, hp, etc...), usually those have some utilities that update drivers automatically and sometimes, reverting to a previous version of audio driver can help. It has happened to me before with dell computers. Once I even deleted the driver and let windows figure out what to install... I'm not suggesting you do that, but check if you have current versions of drivers and see if you can try with a previous version.

I'm alsohoping that the team can improve playback on the application itself on a newer release. Not sure if it is a priority or if there is any work being done in that front.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Ali, I think you are the patient one. As Marc has said, There are so many computer configurations out there that it's hard to know what to suggest. For MU4, the bar has been set higher than most people realize. Just know that good playback is possible. I have one computer that meet the specs and it works just fine without any adjustments. The rest....well it's been a challenge.
For some people, just setting the buffer higher was all they needed to do. For others just unchecking exclusive mode was all it took. For my other computers I've had to go whole hog on settings. Including an interface and having the mixer open.
Interestingly enough I recently bought a powered usb hub. It came bundled with a $10 dollar usb audio adapter. It has a mic input and headphones out. Using it and wired earbuds and all the settings makes MU4 work. It has been explained to me that addon devices take some of the load off of the Motherboard itself. Anyway, all my low end computers can make MU4 work. Yours can too.

In reply to by Ali Wood

Ali, have you tried the new update? I think it has some improvements in playback for windows users. Still cracks a bit for me but only when having two musescore windows open, which is not common at all for me.
I also have another suggestion, if your computer has bluetooth, try to get some bluetooth headphones and test sound. When using bluetooth you are effectively using a different hardware than your audio card which controls both the headphones and the speakers on pretty much all computers. See if you have the same audio experience with some bluetooth headphones.

In reply to by Ali Wood

It should run fine on pretty ordinary soundcards; I don't think it's the quality of yours that is the difference. Most likely just some setting we haven't yet figured out. Unfortunately I'm no Windows expert and even less of a hardware expert.

Moving to Windows 11 is of course a big change, but it's been out for years now and it's just a matter of time before Windows 10 won't be supported anymore, so sooner or later you'll probably need to update anyhow. Not saying you definitely should now, or that it definitely will solve the problem. But in general, more problems occur form holding on to obsolete versions than staying up to date, unless you only run software from the same era as your hardware. That is, if you buy a computer with Windows 10 and install the current versions of software at that time, you're fine. but if you then update some software but not others, or add new software, or add new hardware, so now your system is a mix of current and obsolete versions - that's kind of asking for trouble.

For reference, could someone provide me with a screenshot of (or link to) the minimum hardware specs are for MU4. I've decided at last to buy a new PC!

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