Migrating custom drumsets and soundfonts from Musescore 3 to 4

• Mar 25, 2023 - 21:06


I had a number of custom drumsets, based on my own sound files im Musescore 3, so I could have more differentiated playback for Latin Percussion (especially Congas, but others too). However, all of this does no longer work in musescore 4, and I have not yet managed to get it to work again. Can anybody help?

Some problems I have run into:

  1. When I try to load one of my drumset files from Musescore 3, it tells me:
    Drumset file too old
    MuseScore may not be able to load this drumset file

  2. For MuseScore 3 I had created my own simple soundfonts using couple of wav files and a simple .sfz file, listing them, like so:


key=0 sample=CongaHiBass.wav
key=1 sample=CongaHiPalm.wav
key=2 sample=CongaHiTip.wav

all together in a subdirectory of the "soundfonts" path. I could then select those soundfonts in the mixer as sound for an instrument. However it seems Musescore 4 does no longer recognize them, so I am no longer able to use them. Any idea why?

Thank you!


Having found and read https://musescore.org/en/handbook/4/soundfonts now, it seems that sfz files are not supported anymore. That means I can no longer playback almost all of my scores :(

I have tried the following:

  1. Downloading, installing and using sfizz. In general it seems to work generally (when it does not crash Musescore which happened a few times too). All sounds work in the preview player (the little piano keys at the bottom of the window), but for some unknown reason, it only plays the "low conga open" sound of my custom instrument.

  2. Downloading, installing and using sforzando. This works as a standalone app too, and loading my sfz files there seems to work quite well. Again it has a little piano bar and plays all my sounds. But, unfortunately, when I use it as a plugin in musescore, it does not play any sound, neither whith the preview keys nor in the scopre itself. Not even the "low conga open".

  3. Finally I triedusing polyphone to convert my "2 congas" sfz instrument to a af2 soundfont and use this. Very interestingly, this yields similar results as 1.: Only the "low conga open" sound works. Needless to say, other samples play fine in polypones sample player...

Now, after about 3 hours of testing, I do not know how to continue. Maybe somebody has an idea...

In reply to by bobjp

Thank you for trying to help. As I have described in my second post above, I have tried that and it did not work properly. The resulting soundfont seems to work just fine, but MuseScore does not play most of the sounds.

Yes, editing the drum palette was, of course, also a part of the ceation of the drumsets. If it helps, I could try to describe the whole process here. But I will only do this if it has a t least a chance to lead to some solution, because it will be a lot of work.

In reply to by Cubaselito

Obviously I'm out of my league here. Personally, I hate the drum palette so much that I avoid writing for drum set. The palette is needlessly complicated and awkward to use. Kudos to you for spending the time in MU3 to make it work for you. It seems like you will need to start over in MU4. Which is the reason for your post.
I have noticed that MU4 does not playback VSTs very well, sometimes. I suspect that is because they are made for a DAW which will handle them much more completely than MU4 can.
I have extracted sounds from sfz fonts. But they don't always sound very good. They worked better in MU3.
There are extensive effect modules available from the Hub. But then I would really have to figure out how to use them.
Good luck.

So I went back to Musescore 3. Serves me for now. I also made sure to store away both the 64bit msi and the zip archive of the latest nusescore 3 I could find, so I can install it on new computers as well.

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