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Last Call for MDL 1.1 Suggestions

I'm working on the MDL 1.1 update that I'm trying to get out ASAP.

Curious to see any requests that I might be able to sneak in.

Currently in are:

- Increased volume of all instruments and articulation
- Refined notation standard (a few minor improvements - will release with notation guide)
- Improved templates
- Evened out hits a bit across all instruments/articulations (this will be an ongoing effort)
- Fixed issue with adding accents or articulations to buzz/crush/roll

Cymbals and show style tenors are currently placeholder and will be addressed in a future update. Will be recording new samples (only instruments without custom samples).

The plan is to update MDL moving forward on a regular schedule. After 1.1.0 we should plan to update every weekly for the time being.

So, any urgent requests for 1.1?

MDL Notation Guide

Hey everyone, getting ready to release MDL 1.1 and as part of this have put together the first part of an Official Notation Guide.

It can be found here - https://musescore.com/user/29165763/sets/5097225

This will be followed up with tutorials that explain in more detail the best practices for marching percussion notation.

Tip: If you do not use the MDL templates, be sure to change the musical symbol font to Bravura (Style > General > Score). MDL is ONLY supported in Bravura.

Bass Unisons and Crescendo / Decrescendo audio playback

Hi all,

1) Regarding bass drum unison audio playback (F key) for 5 bass drums - For upcoming MDL updates would it be possible to obtain an audio sample of a 5 bass drum unison hit (as opposed to a 6 bass drum line)? When I write battery scores for 5 bass drums and there's a unison hit, you can definitely hear the bottom bass 6 overtone more than drums 1-5 and the pitch is much lower and beefier on #6 than bass 5.

2) I'm having difficulty getting proper audio playback of 1-to-2 measure Crescendo and Decrescendo (from Piano to Forte). Audio play back simply goes from Piano on 1 bar to Forte the next. Any suggestions on how I can fix that?

Thanks!

Uploading MDL Scores to Musescore.com

There are 2 ways you can upload a score to Musescore.com.

Option 1 - Simply select File > Save Online - make sure to tick the box that says "upload score audio"

Option 2 - Before saving the score locally go to View > Synthesizer  and select "Save to Score". This should save the synth settings in the score so that the server understands how to process.

Please also share your scores to this group! We love to see them (and comment :-) ).

If you have uploaded a score previously, and there is an issue with playback, simply follow the steps above and re-upload the score.

I am also putting together a number of tutorials for MDL. Here is the starting point:

https://musescore.org/en/node/273636

If you have already installed, skip to the other tutorials at the bottom of the link that walk you though many of the other features of MDL.

Let's Talk About Skanks

So, soon I put out a first draft of a notation guide to start to walk through the MDL notation standard.

While some of what is presented in the MDL notation guide will be familiar if you have used VDL or other notation inspired by it. Some will be a bit different.

In creating the MDL standard, we looked at the VDL standard created by Jim Casella, Murray Gussek, and Hugh Smith... and actually had long conversations with the VDL creators to understand why they did some things in the way they did. One of the key influencing factors was the limitations of Sibelius at the time VDL was created.

Since the number of noteheads and articulations in Sibelius then were limited, they were forced to make some choices that were less than ideal.

With MDL and MuseScore 2.3, we did not have such limitations and were free to create. As a result, some of the types of notation you were used to using, that were awkwardly formed from limitations of Sibelius, have been replaced in MDL.

A few examples...

Crossovers on tenors. Some use a plus above the stem, which is actually commonly used for dampening, closing, or muffling.

Others use ( ) around a note, which is commonly used for ghost notes, particularly on drumset.

It is also common to see crossovers notated with a hollow diamond notehead, which completely breaks the format for note duration.

If you look in the MDL Workspace (make sure MDL is selected in bottom left) and open the MDL articulations palette you will see that there are actually 2 designations for crossovers - LOR (Left Over Right) and ROL (Right Over Left). This makes notation even more explicit or descriptive than any other option out there.

In case you are wondering, if there is an accented crossover, the crossover goes above the accent.

Back to skanks.  I've seen that some notate these with an elongated V, which is actually a symbol for an up bow marking for instruments like violins, cellos, etc.

When we look at the actual technique of a skank, it is a hit with a quick hand mute followed immediately after. A + symbol would not be entirely accurate, as it would imply that the note would be muted upon attack, not after.

So, what is a skank? It is a quickly shortened rim shot.

In thinking about this, we have suggested (and the logic in MDL 1.1 supports) the notation of a skank as creating a rim shot on the 4th drum and then applying a staccatissimo articulation. This emulates both physical action involved in playing and also the modification of the rim shot.

As we more forward in releasing the full notation, very interested to get your thoughts, ideas, feedback. We truly want to make this in the international standard. 

MDL How To Twitch/Webinar

To help people get started with all the very different new features of MDL and to also talk a bit about things like percussion notation, arranging for percussion and pretty much anything else related, I'd like to start to do regular Twitch streams or Webinars that everyone can tune in to and participate.

Which do you think is better - Twitch? Webinar?

I am thinking to maybe do 2-3 days per week. One time that works best for US/Americas and another that is better for Europe/International.

What are best times for US/Americas (using EST)?

What are best times for Europe/International (using GMT)?

MDL Feedback

Hey everyone. I thought I'd drop the first post to get feedback on MDL and see how we can continue to improve.

We are currently working on MDL 1.1, which we hope to release in the next couple of days. 

In this release we are working on some minor fixes in articulations, improving templates and also adjusting the sound of individual instruments (here is an example of sound updates in progress - https://soundcloud.com/musescorelabs/mdl-11-beta-tuning-test-fluid-flavor).

I'd love to get your feedback and suggestions on any aspect of MDL you think we can improve.

MDL 1.0 Feedback

Wow. I have to say how impressed I am with MDL 1.0  When Daniel first came online talking about this project, I was skeptical. I didn't think we'd get a viable alternative to VDL for free. Yet, here we are. It's great work and a huge asset to the community.

Keep in mind, I primarily write for battery and all comments come with that lens.

First, it's very speedy to write battery parts. Tuplets get a little squirrely at times, but I'll chalk that up to learning curve on my end. Its fast enough that I find myself unreasonably annoyed with the things that aren't quite as fast.

One thing that slows me significantly is how much overlap I get with accents, articulations, dynamics and pictograms in the defaults.  I spend a lot of time moving things to where they're readable. I don't think I've changed the default settings. For example, pictograms are showing up right in the middle of the staff. Even then, I find myself deciding it's "good enough" and moving on to something else. I don't love how some of my published scores look, but it's just the way it is.

On the 'feature request' side, one thing I miss about Sib is the percussions stickings text and how it aligns to notes without additional futzing by me. With the 'staff text' in MS MDL I press a lot of space bar and caps / lower case make things not quite aligned. 

Second, audio playback is a B+ for the battery - and I'm being hyper critical. The sextuplets in particular are vastly superior to what I was getting in Sib + VDL. The flams sound great too.  However, there are times when playback creates weird phaser / wooshing sounds that just don't happen in real life. 

Finally - and I'll beat this point forever - I'm really missing the ability to dictate stickings - particularly on the snare drum - and have the audio follow. Patterns like shirley murphey's, egg beaters or even just paradiddles just don't sound quite right. They're less important on tenors and even less important on bass, but would still be nice.

All in all, it's amazing. I'm a fan and quickly becoming an evangelist for MDL. The entire team deserves praise.

List of uploaded Big Band Scores

Artie Shaw - Begin The Beguine https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4838425
Artie Shaw - Moonglow https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5157250
Benny Goodman - Bugle Call Rag https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/5013328
Benny Goodman - Don't Be That Way https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5040076
Benny Goodman - King Porter Stomp https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4888735
Benny Goodman - Let's Dance https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5056650
Benny Goodman - Sing Sing Sing https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4488746
Benny Goodman - Stompin' At The Savoy https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/4978025
Bob Crosby - March of The Bobcats https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5384690
Bob Crosby - Muskrat Ramble https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5652370
Charlie Barnet - Cherokee https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5375044
Charlie Barnet - Skyliner https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5152338
Count Basie - 920 Special https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5429209
Count Basie - One O'Clock Jump https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/5015851
Count Basie - Swinging The Blues https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5402187
Count Basie - Topsy https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5469141
Duke Ellington - Cotton Tail https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5625439
Duke Ellington - Don't Get Around Much Anymore https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5036429
Duke Ellington - Perdido  https://musescore.com/user/32889124/scores/5685436
Duke Ellington - Take The A Train https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4798345
Fletcher Henderson - Christopher Columbus https://musescore.com/user/30998215/scores/5403489
Glenn Miller - A String Of Pearls https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4069741
Glenn Miller - American Patrol https://musescore.com/firefly_1026/scores/4827801
Glenn Miller - Chattanooga Choo Choo https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/4990560
Glenn Miller - In The Mood https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4834474
Glenn Miller - Little Brown Jug https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5018623
Glenn Miller - Moonlight Serenade https://musescore.com/user/27675080/scores/4908130
Glenn Miller - Song Of The Volga Boatmen https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4835592
Glenn Miller - Tuxedo Junction https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5066591
Harry James - Ciribiribin https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5389157
Harry James - You Made Me Love You https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5380116
Tommy Dorsey - I'm Getting Sentimental Over You https://musescore.com/user/28533401/scores/5164668
Tommy Dorsey - Opus One https://musescore.com/user/30820781/scores/5383955
Tommy Dorsey - On The Sunny Side Of The Street https://musescore.com/user/15949686/scores/4882152
Tommy Dorsey - Song Of India https://musescore.com/user/28203240/scores/5055557

The Best of Laugh Silly Each Month Contest

I'd like to try something fun in my new role as co-administrator of Laugh Silly. Each Month, I will name the best laugh-inducing, silly composition submitted during the month, at least according to me and then post the winners here.
You are also welcome to nominate what you think are the best of the month, also.

August 2016......

musical chairs competition

here is an idea for a new competition
someone will start a composition with maybe 5-10 bars and then another person will continue it for another 5-10 measures, and then the next person and so on until the game will unexpectedly end (the music stops, in other words) and the last one to enter when the music stops (as determined randomly by the one running the competition) wins.
any takers or anyone want to start a piece?

musescore 2.01 comments

I realize there is likely a discussion of this elsewhere but decided to have my own discussion to keep track of issues. you are welcome to add your own comments of course.

notice that some compositions created in the older version don't open in the newer one, says they are corrupted. I realize my music is very corrupt but musescore could have been a little nicer about it all. that is just plain mean.

notice that the violin sounds a lot better, more pleasant ( I won't say it sounds more like a real violin being played because then it would sound worse, if I was playing anyway)

but also notice that the overall sound seems very quiet. I have to turn the computer volume up really high. and then if I forget and play something with the older version, I am deafened. yowza!

wonder how music made with this new version plays at the online musescore site, or does the sound balance get messed up as it does now…

haven't found how to do some things… seems they changed the layout a bit.