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Musescore 3 under Ubuntu 22.04 – without scratching noises

After having updated to Ubuntu 22.04, I recently wanted to reactivate my music work environment. But when I installed Musescore-3 and let it play my music score, I got an ugly mess of background noises. And I could not add any soundfont. Obviously, I faced two obstacles that I had to overcome

Ubuntu 22.04 offers both, Musescore-2 and Musescore-3. I had already had good experiences with Musescore-3. Thus – and to be on the safe side – I completely removed the older release, before I installed my preferred version:

sudo apt-get remove --purge musescore
sudo apt autoremove
sudo apt-get install musescore3

But after having opened my standard test song in Musescore-3, I got a mess of noises while I tried to play it. The internet told me, that there seems to be a bug evoked by using pulse-audio and musescore-3 together: MuseScore-3 should supposedly reduce the pulse-latency to an unusable small value.

If this was true, I should be able to fix it by overriding the current pulse latency value using an appropriate environment variable. So I opened up a bash, entered ‘export PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=30‘ and called  ‘musecore3‘ from the command line. And indeed: no more disturbing playback noises. But when I started Musescore-3 via the official menu – (i.e. without evaluating the environment variable set in the shell), the noises ‘came back’. So I had verified the suspected cause. Next, all I had to do was to convince Ubuntu 22.04 to set this pulse latency value within the boot procedure. For this, I had to add a specific shell file into the profile.d directory:

sudo echo "export PULSE_LATENCY_MSEC=30" > /etc/profile.d/pulselat.sh

From now on, the musescore-3 version that comes with Ubuntu 22.04 plays my score without any annoying noises.

But the phenomenon of ‘lost’ sound fonts were not affected by that. Whenever I stored a new sound file into my directory  ‘MuseScore3/SoundFonts‘  for making them accessible in accordance with the documentation, Musescore did not find them. But this time – as so often – the cause sat in front of the keyboard: Recently, I had changed my home directory. But in this new directory, I still used the old content – unchanged. Therefore, paths containing my previous directory still showed up in the Musescore-3 configuration dialog. I could put as many new sound files in my sound directory as I wanted. None of them were found. To fix this, I had to update the older names in the Musescore-3 configuration file ‘~/.config/MuseScore/MuseScore.ini‘  for making the fluid-R3-GM-Soundfont and the arachno-soundfont accessible.

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