Adjusting the Volume Level of Select Staves During Playback

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Adjusting the Volume Level of Select Staves During Playback

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During playback you can increase the volume of selected staves relative to other non-selected staves, so that you can focus your listening on these staves. This is a useful aid for studying orchestrations and arrangements.

You can control volume with your mouse and the volume control in the toolbar; or by typing V+UpArrowKey or V+DownArrowKey; or by playing special notes on your keyboard, using the Pitch-to-Command feature.

The volume control is in the toolbar, and looks like this:

    VolumeControl

Normally, when no staves are selected, the volume control applies uniformly to all of the staves in the score.

When one or more staves are selected, and you move the volume control to the right of center, the selected staves will sound louder, while the non-selected staves will remain at their normal level.

When one or more staves are selected, and you move the volume control to the left of center, then the behavior is probably not initially what you would expect.  You might expect the volume level of the selected staves to decrease.  Instead, the volume level of the selected staves remains at the normal level, and the volume of the non-selected staves decrease.
 

When you move the volume slider to the left, why does Musician decrease the volume level of the non-selected staves instead of decreasing the volume level of the select staves?
 
Consider why it is you would usually want to change the volume level of some staves but not others.  It is probably so that you can hear one or a few staves better than all of the others. You want sound of that staff to stand out.
 
One way you can do this is to select the staff in make it louder.  But maybe it is already set at a maximum volume level.  Or maybe the overall sound level is already loud enough that you don't want it any louder.
 
You have an alternative: Select the staves for which you want their sound to stand out, but instead of increasing the volume level of those staves, instead you can decrease the volume level of the non-selected staves.  Do this by moving the volume slider to the left.  Try it out so your ears can learn how this works.  Your ears might  be grateful that the overall sound level is decreasing rather than increasing!

 

If you are familiar with the distinction between MIDI staff volume control events and individual MIDI note-on velocities, then you might find it useful to know how Musician's volume control is implemented. The volume control affects both individual MIDI note velocities and the overall MIDI staff volume (via controller event 7). The reason for this design is that some sound cards do not implement staff volume controller events well or at all. Musician's design, which relies on both MIDI note-on velocity adjustments and staff volume controller events, produces more reliable volume control across a wider variety of sound cards.

If you find that the overall volume level is too soft, then you might find it preferable to increase the volume level of your computer speakers, or use the Windows volume control, rather than to use Musician's VolumeControl control. Some of the expressiveness of volume changes in the song, as well as some instrument panning, will be lost the more you increase Musician's volume level.

prcarrow To change the volume of selected staves relative to other staves:

1.Select one or more staves as follows: Choose Show Staff Controls from the View command. Click the staff selection button  to select a staff. While holding down the SHIFT key, click the staff selection button StaffControlSelect to extend the range of staves.        
2.Increase (or decrease) the volume of the selected staves, using one of these methods:
(a) Drag the volume control button VolumeControl to the right (or left).

-- OR --

(b) Type V+UpArrowKey (or V+DownArrowKey).

-- OR --

(c)If you have enabled Musician's Pitch-to-Command feature, while holding down the "trigger key" on your music keyboard, play the first Eb above Middle C to increase the volume, or the C# to decrease the volume. See Controlling Musician From Your Music Keyboard.

prcarrow To reset the volume level back to normal:

1.Type V+ENTER.

-- OR --

2.If you have enabled Musician's Pitch-to-Command feature, while holding down the "trigger key" on your music keyboard, play the first D above Middle C. See Controlling Musician From Your Keyboard.