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MuseScore with registers

Glug

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Hiya,
Ive been messing about with MuseScore recently trying to get a better accordion sound and Ive found a way to implement register switches fairly easily.

Basically you can define new instruments in MuseScore and you can have different instruments for the treble and bass staves.
So a basic accordion score would use 2 instruments - one for treble and one for bass, and you use inline instrument switches to change register independently.

Ive got the treble working fine, but need to do better bass samples (need to masking tape the reed blocks).

So if anybody wants to try it and suggest how I could improve it the files are at:

https://drive.google.com/open?id=1vIISHtONvPVHakJhDhJdUOdi-WTPIoyP

Cheers,
Gareth


Soundfont editor: Polyphone (free)
Audio recording: Audacity (free) + Snowball Ice Blue microphone.
 

Glenn

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Thanks for the ideas Gareth. I’ve been messing around with musescore for some time now but didn’t have time to look into your idea. I’ve never messed with sound fonts either so I’ve got a lot to learn.
 

Glug

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It turns out (basic) sound fonts are fairly easy, I just copied the settings from the Musescore accordion sound font and then improved it.

Its quite fun too: you can generate full musette with beat progression from just M samples for example.

And the Stradella bass registers are looking quite good: bass and counterbass notes for C2-C3 on the stave, chord notes for D3-D4 on the stave.  So C2 and C3 sound the same, as do D3 and D4.  But Ive only just discovered the proper bass register definitions (at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stradella_bass_system#Register_switches doh) and havent made decent bass samples yet so it should get a lot better.

In theory a free-bass register could be done too, but I dont know enough about free-bass yet.
 

jozz

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does this mean you can make .abc or midi files sound more like a real accordion?

because then I'm interested
 

Glug

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Had to look that one up :)

You can import .abc or midi into musescore so that should work.

I use musescore for learning music and editing/printing a score I can read from, but having it sound more like an accordion does help.
 

jozz

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I use simple abc editors for quick notation to sheet, with the limited standard MIDI playback qualities. Most of the time I end up using piano or saxophones for playback, because there seems nothing better available.

I haven't fully looked at your idea yet, but this sounds like a workflow where we can do quick notation and playback with actual samples.

Maybe I'm just fantasizing here...
 

Glug

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I dont think thats a fantasy.

Im using Fermeture Definitive as the main test piece ()
and I think TestFD.1.mscz sounds quite a lot like it (and definitely an accordion :).

Possibly the main differences being equalization, my much cheaper accordion, and bass articulation.

I mostly just type music into musescore from books, or PDFs Ive found on the web.  Its really quite fast since most of the bass is copy and past.
 

debra

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That output sample sounds infinitely better to anything MuseScore originally names "accordion". I should really look into it... but I am a bit technically challenged... (oh wait I should not say that, being a computer science professor and all...)
 

Glug

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I was thinking about doing some instructions ...
But there is a readme.txt for installation.

So far the easiest way to move an existing score is to add 2 more staves (ie. treble and bass from my instruments) and then copy and paste all the notes.
You can test it by muting instruments in the mixer.
 

jozz

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thanks, brilliant stuff

I gave it a go according to your instructions. Musescore 3 didn't recognize my audio interface so I got it to work in Musescore 2. It sounds awesome.

Maybe worthwhile to switch to Musescore entirely.

Then I connected my midi input device and tried "playing" your accordion, but it doesn't seem to map properly (yet). Also the latency is too much. Hoping to get something out of that too so I can track my practice pieces with your accordion sound later on.
 

Glug

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Good it to hear it's working, and the instructions do work :)

I've given each of the different accordion sounds a different midi instrument number (documented in instruments.xml).
I've borrowed channels 88-95 and 120-127 so far, and I left channel 21 = Accordion as it was so you can easily have default MuseScore
accordion and my sounds on the same score (for comparison).

I'm not certain that's required (no midi devices here) but it's what is done for Violin in the main instruments.xml:
Violin = channel 40, Violin pizzicato = channel 45, Violin tremolo = channel 44

Any midi advice gratefully received :)
 

jozz

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I'm not really midi minded either but in Polyphone, I have the full range of Lucia samples under my midi keyboard in the correct order. Then in Musescore things get mixed up and blocks of 4 or 5 notes are placed seemingly random across the keys.

I'll try to figure that out.
 

JeffJetton

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Glug pid=65126 dateline=1557095053 said:
BTW. Any idea if C#3 on the stave is included in bass notes officially, or is it a Db3 chord ?

If youre going by AAA rules, I believe its really that middle line thats the dividing point between bass notes and chords (which, notationally, is also the point at which stems switch direction). So if you write it as a C#, it would technically indicate a bass note, although I dont think Ive ever seen that actually written that way anywhere before.

Interestingly, the same pitch written enharmonically as Db on the line above could indicate either a bass note or chord, depending on context, stem direction, etc.

Of course, if you put the B.S. (bass solo) marker on there, all bass clef notation becomes single bass notes.
 

Glug

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I knew about the middle line rule, but I tried a score with C# in the key signature, so 'written' as C but actually C#.

The soundfont maps C2-C3 (midi 36-48) as bass notes and D3-D4 as bass chords (midi 50-62) since the direction of the tail isn't part of the soundfont selection.
I hadn't remembered that C#/Db (midi 49) isn't mapped, so no sound for that note on the score, but you can just use the alternative note - sounds exactly the same.

In theory out of range notes can show red on MuseScore but there's no way of having a key range with a gap in the middle :(
So I should probably decide what to map midi 49 to.
 

Glenn

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Thanks Gareth. That’s a lot of work but really clear instructions that will help a lot.
 
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