Changing the Instrument Sound of a Staff
For each staff, you can specify what kind of instrument sound will be used by specifying the MIDI device, channel, bank, and instrument sound (MIDI program number). You can change the sound of a staff while the song is playing.
Typically, a staff uses a single instrument sound throughout the entire song. But you can also insert instrument sound changes (MIDI program changes) at any time locations throughout the staff. Also, some MIDI files that you import will have such mid-staff instrument changes. You can make these instrument sound changes temporarily visible in the score, and change or delete them, or insert additional sound changes. For details, see Inserting a Sound Change in the Middle of a Staff.
Use the MIDI Device Configuration Window to determine what devices, banks, and patches are available in your current configuration of MIDI devices.
NOTE: If this is your first time using Composer, and it does not produce sound from your sound card, then follow the procedure as described in Quick MIDI Device Setup.
There are two ways you can change the instrument sound of a staff. The first method is convenient for changing the sound for one staff. The second method is convenient for changing the sounds for several staves. The first method has the advantage that you can change instrument sounds while a song is playing.
To change the instrument sound for a single staff (even during playback):
Then click the Staff Selection button.
- OR --
If you do not wish to display the staff controls, use the right mouse button to click any empty area in the staff's staves.
Composer will display a pop-up menu such as illustrated here:
In the pop-up menu, choose the Instrument Sound command.
Composer will display the Staff Setup dialog, such as shown below. The most important setting that determines the sound of a staff is the "instrument sound". Select the instrument sound from the list at the bottom of the window.
If the playback device is a General MIDI (GM) device, then channel 10 will be automatically assigned-- the standard channel for GM drum tracks.
The patch selection will remain unchanged. For GM devices, you can ignore the patch selection.
5-line staff with multiple drum pitches: Use this for a "drum kit" that assigns pitches to distinct drum sounds. For example, the General MIDI drum kit specifies the "Hi Bongo" drum sound for pitch 60 (middle-C), and "Tambourine" sound for pitch 54 (F# below middle-C). The pseudo drum pitches are indicated on a treble or bass clef staff, like normal pitches. A pseudo drum pitch might have an accidental. Note,this version of Composer does not offer a option with which you can reassign drum instruments to specific lines of the 5-line drum staff.
1-line staff with multiple pseudo drum pitches: This option collapses a 5-line drum staff into a 1-line drum staff. The distinct drum sounds are still heard during playback. But the 1-line staff places the noteheads all on the same single staff line.
1-line staff for this drum instrument: The 1-line drum staff plays a single drum instrument sound for a specific pseudo drum pitch in the drum kit.
To change the instrument sounds for several staves at a time:
-- OR --
Type "qsus" for Quick Set Up Staves.
Composer will display a Staff Setup window, such as the following:
To assign all staves to the same device and MIDI bank:
Note, non-General MIDI patches generally differ among alternative devices and MIDI banks. Therefore, after you assign the new device and bank, you will also probably need to reassign patches on a per-staff basis.
To automatically reassign staves to a new default MIDI device when you reopen Notation .not files: