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

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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

Then I opened my stan­dard test song in Musescore‑3. And 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 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/

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

But that did not affect the phe­nom­e­non of ‘lost’ sound fonts. 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. Mus­escore did not find them. 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.

And in what way is this …

… part of the over­ar­ch­ing top­ic FOSS ? Well, my pro­fes­sion­al life is dom­i­nat­ed by free soft­ware and open source com­pli­ance. But some­times I find more off­beat tools that are still worth shar­ing — at least with my for­get­ful future ‘me’. To whom I like to rec­om­mend — for exam­ple — suit­able, advanced edi­tors. Or ancient prepara­to­ry work. Or some free music edi­tors for com­pos­i­toy work. But with some posts, I just want to remind my lat­er ‘me’ of atti­tudes, points of view, and atti­tudes. So that I don’t fall behind myself. That’s what it’s about in here too.

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