Mixer

Updated 5 days ago

    The Mixer allows you to change instrument sounds, adjust volume and panning, and make other adjustments to the playback for each staff.

    Opening the Mixer

    To display/hide the mixer, use one of the following:

    • Press F10 (Mac: Fn+F10).
    • From the main menu, select ViewMixer.

    The Mixer is split into a Details Area on the top and a Track controls Area below.

    Mixer Pannel

    Track controls Area

    Displays the Master Gain on the left, and columns of track controls on the right.

    Know the difference between the instrument channel (an abstraction in Musescore) and the sound track:

    • For each set of staff (all staffs of one instrument) in your in your score, MuseScore creates an instrument (abstraction) by reading from a predefined definition file, more info. An instrument contains various details such as notation settings, symbol interpretation settings, sound etc. Each instrument has one or more channel, a channel represents a specific type of sound, similar to the concept of playing technique (e.g. a violin which can play in arco, tremolo or pizzicato, legato, vibrato), or articulation sample in commercial sound libraries.

      Each track control is an instrument channel that you can adjust audio and MIDI output settings. You must click on a track control to select first before you can edit it, selecting on the score screen area will not reflect on the Mixer automatically.
      Instrument containing more than one channel has an arrow button on top of the parent track control, click the arrow to show or hide all channels. Parent control shadows the first child control, modifing values on parent control modifies all children values. The parent track control is formerly referred to as "part track"
      To add or remove channel, or set a default value, you must create a custom instrument by editing and providing your own instruments.xml, more info. You cannot add or remove channel inside Musescore.

    • For each staff (that can contain a clef symbol) in your score, MuseScore also creates a container that contains exactly four subtracks, which corresponds to the four voices. You can assign an instrument channel to each subtrack separately. Contrary to the concept of sound track in popular DAWs, the Mixer has nothing to do with these subtracks except the ability to mute (jump to).

    Channels expanded
    Expanded parent track control, showing child track controls in pink.

    Master Gain

    The Master Gain controls the overall output volume. To adjust it, click and drag the slider handle or enter a value in the box underneath.

    Channel display arrow

    Instrument containing more than one channel has an arrow button on top of the parent track control, click the arrow to show or hide all channels. Parent control shadows the first child control, modifing values on parent control modifies all children values.

    Mute and Solo

    At the top a green S Solo button and a red M Mute button: click to toggle on and off. If any Solo button is checked, unSolo channels are muted regardless of their Mute status. These modify a channel, not voices.. To mute a voice, jump to Mute Voice

    Pan

    The dial below the mute button controls panning left and right. You can click and drag. Note that value 64, not 50, is center pan.

    Volume

    The slider controls the playback volume. This is a final post process output volume. The data size 127 is an arbitrary number not related to MIDI velocity, default 100 value is 90% sound sample volume, more info.

    Track control name

    Not to be confused with instrument name in Staff / Part properties.

    Display Part name or Channel name
    Does not affect score visually.

    Details Area

    The details area displays and provides finer control of the currently selected channel.

    Detail area

    (Part) Name

    Not to be confused with instrument name in Staff / Part properties.

    Text for display within Mixer only, also known as Part name in Staff / Part properties
    Does not affect score visually.
    Does not affect sound.

    Channel

    Channel name cannot be modified inside Musescore, use custom instruments.xml instead, more info

    Drumset

    Affects the whole instrument:

    Changing without understanding will mess up your score audio.

    Sound

    Understand the concept of instrument channels and track controls and voices first, you may not want to edit this, use these instead:

    • To change instruments setup in a score permanently, for example add a new instrument or remove instrument, use Instruments dialog instead. You should use Instruments dialog if you are not sure, it is the preferred way to setup a score. Doing this ensures written symbols affect sound correctly eg violin tremolo text symbol, bass guitar pizz symbol.
    • To switch the instrument used by one staff permanently, use Staff / Part properties instead. Doing this also ensures written symbols affect sound correctly.
    • To switch the instrument used by one staff mid stream, use 'Change Instrument' Text instead. Use this to instruct your musician to dump an instrument and pick up another mid stream.
    • To switch to another sound sample (switch channel) (e.g. pizz.) inside an instrument, jump to Mid-staff sound(channel) change or use a custom Staff Text instead. Similar to keyswitches / articulation-switching in commercial sound libraries. You can do this to each voice separately.

    If none of the above options fit, read on to edit sound.

    The sound that an instrument channel is pointing to. The data reference method depends on the order of soundfonts in the Synthesizer, pay attention to Synthesizer setting before you close and restart Musescore.

    Correct audio won't be produced unless you setup Drumset correctly, you must understand the sound's layout.

    The drop-down menu lists every sound from SoundFont loaded in the Synthesizer. They are ordered as the order of soundfont files in the Synthesizer: SF2/SF3 by MIDI Bank first, then SFZs. It is not an alphabetical order. To jump to the sound you desire quickly, while the list is open press on your keyboard (once or more) the first letter of the name.

    Sound is formerly named Patch.

    Volume

    Same as volume on track control

    Pan

    Same as panning on track control

    Track control color

    Affects whole instrument. For display in Mixer only. To change, click the colored rectangle to pick from the color palette.
    Does not affect score visually.

    MIDI controls

    Port and Channel

    The output MIDI port and MIDI channel.
    As of Musescore 3.6.2, MIDI output driver of the program only use 1 port and 16 channels on the operation system.

    Reverb and Chorus

    The reverb and chorus value sent to MIDI out.
    Sent to MIDI devices only. Does not affect MuseScore's built in audio playback.

    Mute Voice

    Affects voices of whole instrument instead of current channel.
    Mute individual voices. Each row represents a different linked-staff. So pressing '2' on the top row will mute the second voice on the first staff of the part.
    This field is different from all others in Mixer, this is the only field that affects the voices of the staff directly.

    Hide Details Button

    At the bottom of the detail area is a wide button with a tiny triangle on it. Clicking this button will hide the detail area to give you more room. Clicking on it again will restore the detail area.

    Note: From Preferences > Score it is possible to check the box Show MIDI controls in the Mixer to preset it expanded when opening the Mixer.

    Mid-staff sound (channel) change (pizz., con sordino, etc.)

    Understand the concept of instrument channels.
    You can also do these instead:

    • To change instruments setup in a score permanently, for example add a new instrument or remove instrument, use Instruments dialog instead.
    • To switch the instrument used by one staff permanently, use Staff / Part properties instead.
    • To switch the instrument used by one staff mid stream, use 'Change Instrument' Text instead.

    Some instruments come with multiple channels that you can switch audio playback to and from. For example, the build-in string instrument (violin, viola, cello etc.) has three channels: "arco" (or "normal"), "pizzicato" and "tremolo." The build-in trumpet has two channels "open" (or "normal") and "mute".

    Switch sound (channel) midway through a score by using a Staff Text. Every subsequent notes will switch to playback the new sound until you use another Staff Text symbol. Eg After 'pizz.' text, to return to normal (arco) later in the piece, you must add 'arco' text. Designate which voice to affect in the text properties.

    To switch channel, use Staff Text:

    • use these 5 build-in Staff Text in the Text palette (pizz., arco, tremolo, mute, open), these affects all voices :
      Text palette

    • or create custom Staff Text :

      1. Select the first note of the section you want to be pizzicato;
      2. From the main menu, choose AddTextStaff Text or use the shortcut Ctrl+T;
      3. Type "pizz." This text is for visual reference only and does not affect playback;
      4. Right-click on the applied staff text and select Staff Text Properties…;
      5. In the "Change Channel" tab of the "Staff Text Properties" dialog, select one or more voices on the left;
      6. From the dropdown menu, select pizzicato;

      Staff text properties

      1. Click OK or press (Return) to return to the score.

    NOTE:
    There's also S/A, T/B, T/L and B/B texts to separate Soprano, Tenor, Tenor and Baritone (voice 1 and 3) from Alto, Bass, Lead and Bass (voice 2 and 4), respectively, on closed scores using the Women and Men 'instruments' or the closed score SATB and Barbershop templates, this allows for different settings of those in the Mixer.

    See also

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