Play, Mute, or Solo Staff
There are a variety of occasions where you might want to listen to only certain staves of a song while other staves are muted (silenced). For example, if a song has a melody staff played by some instrument, but you want to sing the melody by yourself, then you can mute the melody staff. Or, you might want to study the composition and arrangement of a song and focus on how a particular instrument part is written by "soloing" that instrument part, thus muting all of the other staves. If you have a MIDI keyboard, you can temporarily mute a staff and perform the part yourself; Composer will assign the instrument sound of the staff to the notes you play.
Composer enables you to play any combination of staves while muting other staves. You can even do this while the song is playing back. If the staff controls are visible, you can tell that a staff is muted if the top-left button is not pressed down and has a dull light instead of the normal bright green light:
staff playback is active
staff is muted
Note that you can also mute staves using the Staff Setup command in the Staff menu.
If you save the song as a MIDI file, then any muted staff will be restored as an audible staff in the MIDI file; the staff will not be deleted.
To toggle the mute status of a staff:
|If the staff controls are not already visible, choose the Show Staff Controls option in the View menu. Note that the Show Staff Controls option is not available in Page View.|
In the group of four staff controls, toggle the play/mute button between and .
-- OR --
|If the staff controls are not visible, and you do not wish to display them, then while holding down the 'T' key, click anywhere in a staff. Composer will display a pop-up menu offering choices for Select Staff, Mute Staff, Solo Staff, and Instrument Sound. In the pop-up menu, choose the Mute Staff command.|
Another option allows you to mute all staves except one (or a few) staff(s) that you wish to temporarily "solo". The play/mute status of the other staves are only temporarily changed. Once you remove the solo status of all staves, any staff that was previously playing will continue to play, and any staff that was previously muted will continue to be silent.
To temporarily solo one staff so that no other staves are heard:
|Toggle the solo button from the up position (in which two musicians are shown) to the down position: (in which a solo musician is shown).|
-- OR --
|While holding down the 'S' key, click anywhere in a staff belonging to that staff. Composer will offer a pop-up menu. Choose the Solo Staff command.|
To temporarily solo multiple staves so that only they are heard:
|1.||Click the solo button for one staff.|
|2.||While holding down the SHIFT key, click the solo button for additional staves.|
To temporarily solo all of the staves in the current part, while muting all accompaniment staves not included in the part:
|While holding down the SHIFT key, click the solo button for one staff.|
-- OR --
|Type "qsolo" for Quick Solo.|
To remove a staff from the list of solo staves:
|While holding down the CTRL key, toggle the solo button from the down position to the up position .|
To resume playback of all staves, and turn off the solo of any staves:
|While holding down the SHIFT key, click the play/mute button for any staff. It does not matter whether that particular staff has been previously muted.|
Yet another option lets you temporarily mute a staff and assign the sound of that staff to any notes you play at your music keyboard. This option is useful when you want to play one of the instrument parts of a song instead of having Composer play it. Composer will still play the other parts as accompaniment.
To temporarily mute a staff and assign its instrument sound to notes that you play on your music keyboard:
|Double-click the solo button for the staff.|
-- OR --
While holding down the "R" key (for "record", although you will not actually be recording), click anywhere in the staff of the staff.
Composer indicates that this staff has been muted by changing the staff play button to the up position:
At the same time, Composer indicates that this staff has been selected to provide the instrument sound for your music keyboard by changing the solo button from green to red:
In addition, Composer indicates that this staff has been so selected by drawing a red arrow right before the beginning of the first staff shown in the window for this staff:
To return the staff to normal playback:
|Just click the staff's solo button again.|
If the part you want to play has two staves, such as a piano or keyboard part, then you will find the following procedure useful.
To temporarily mute more than one staff and assign the instrument sound of one of the staves to notes that you play on your music keyboard:
|1.||Double-click the solo button for the staff whose instrument sound you want to assign to your music keyboard.|
-- OR --
While holding down the "R" key (for "record", although you will not actually be recording), click anywhere in the staff for that staff.
|2.||For the other staff(s) that you want to play instead of Composer, toggle the playback button to the up position:|