sound pitch change if switching form bluetooth and/or PC sound output

• Mar 17, 2024 - 14:15

Hi Musescore experts

I use Musescore4 under windows 10.

I´d like to submit that the sound pitch is not the same when using the normal sound output or the blutooth output while using Musescore.

the facts :
- I open musescore
- the ouput sound is by default my PC sound output (eventually I plug in a headphone)
- I click on a F for example.
- I check that it is really an F with my real piano

  • I plug in a bluetooth JBL without exiting Musescore
  • If I click back on a F note, it sounds like G !

The other way around is producing the same result :
- I plug in a bluetooth JBL, onpen Musescore, clik on a F note for example
- stop using the bluetooth and switch to the PC ouput
- clicking on F is not giving me an F, rather an E

I´s not a major issue but I have to exit Musescore each time I´m switching.




Your normal sound output and the Bluetooth device are set to different sampling rates, the normal one probably to 44.1kHz and the Bluetooth device to 48kHz.
Check the settings of the sound card, once with the Bluetooth device not connected and once with the Bluetooth device connected. Both should be set to the same sample rate. Right click on the speaker icon of your desktop. It is a property of the Windows playback device (extended).
Musescore will not notice if the sample rate changes while it is running.
It may be sufficient to restart the audio device in Settings -> I/O. However, you would then have to do this every time you change the playback device if you don't set the sampling rates to the same value.

Sorry, I don't think I've ever seen the BIT Rate (not sampling rate) affect pitch, It has more to do with sound quality.
And, yes, you must exit MuseScore in order to change audio devices. Some other notation software work the same way. I'm surprised MuseScore didn't crash or just stop working.

In reply to by bobjp

I wasn't talking about the bit rate, but about the sampling rate!

The bit rate is the product of the word width (8 bit, 16 bit, 24 bit) and the sampling rate (32 kHz, 44.1 kHz, 96 kHz). A CD with a 44.1kHz sampling rate and two 16-bit word widths (stereo) has a bit rate of 1411.2 kBit/s. If you reduce this to 32 kHz and only 8 bits, for example, you will have more noise, i.e. poorer quality, but only 512 kBit/s bit rate (stereo). On the other hand, 24-bit word width and 48 kHz for a stereo signal have a bit rate of 2304 kBit/s and therefore a higher quality. This only means that the data has to be transmitted and processed faster, but it has no effect on the playback speed and pitch as long as both sides use the same values.

The point here is that MuseScore, for example, provides its signals at a sampling rate of 44.1 kHz. That is 44100 samples per second and the playback device plays 48000 samples per second. This means that the music is played faster and at a higher pitch. So the frequency of the concert pitch A (440 Hz) is now 479 Hz, which is almost two semitones higher.
This is the problem here, as MuseScore does not recognize during execution that the Bluetooth playback device is operating at a different sampling rate.
MuseScore probably only queries the set sampling rate of the sound card at startup. The easiest way is therefore to ensure that all playback devices are set to the same sampling frequency. Then there is no problem.

In reply to by HildeK

OK. All I can say is that I just set up 3 different audio devices with 3 different Sampling rates. 41, 48 and 96. And a reopened copy of a score for each test. One was headphones plugged into the computer. Another was headphones plugged into my Focusrite usb audio device. And another was Bluetooth headphones Each played a C5 at exactly the same pitch.

In reply to by bobjp

Did you change the audio devices while Musescore 4 was running and then played everything correctly?
Of course, if you change the audio device without Musescore running and then open Musescore again, then everything will be correct.

My MuseScore 3.x has no problem with this either. My speakers will be driven at 44.1 kHz and 24 bit, my USB headphones will be driven at 48 kHz and 16 bit, and I can change them while Musescore is playing a score. There is only a brief interruption, but the pitches remain. This is how it should be, but several people had already reported something similar and asked for a solution.

It may be due to MuseScore 4, the operating system, the sound card or the driver of the audio devices if the pitch changes when switching to a playback device with a different sampling rate. Something in the units involved does not recognize the change.

I don't remember such questions here in the forum in connection with MuseScore 3.x.

In reply to by HildeK

My experience with other notation software has been to never change output devices while the software is running. So I don't. Although I have almost never had to. I know everyone's use is different.
It just seems dangerous to change a hardware component like an audio device while a program is running.

Anyway I tried a similar test with MU3. I haven't touched MU3 in way over a year, so I might have missed something. I tried playing through headphones. Then I switched to my Focusrite. No sound until I hit the Reset audio button. This, to me might be the same thing as a restart of the program. Pitch was the same.

I think this is as far as I am going with this.

In reply to by bobjp

But the providers of hardware and software suggest that it is easy to use and that anyone can do it. This is often the case, but in a few cases it is not possible without a deeper understanding. And some users can't even find the files they have saved on their hard disk.
There is a wide range between specialist and complete beginner ...

Do you still have an unanswered question? Please log in first to post your question.