Default sound fonts: can it toggle between solo and unison?

• Apr 21, 2019 - 03:17

Wonder if the default sound fonts allow one to toggle between solo and unison? For example, I may want a solo violin to play, but accompanied by other instruments. Later the violins can play in unison (default). How to tell the violins to switch between these?

The mixer is not helpful as it mutes other instruments when I set the violins to solo. I am looking for 1 violin + other instruments.

I am just a novice user, not expert in juggling with multiple soundfonts. Many seemingly related posts about sound fonts are over my head!



One way: add an "Instrument" element from the Text Palette where you want the change. Then you can go to the mixer and open up the channel for the violin and you'll find additional channels you can change the sound of.

But really, that's probably not the "right" way. No single musician can switch between a solo violin and a violin section, so you really shouldn't use a single instrument/staff for this. Add one for the solo violin, another for the section, add notes where you want - including, if you like, places where they play together - then use "Format / Style / Hide empty staves" if you want to save space.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Appreciate the prompt reply!

Looks like this is the "bulldozing" way to do it.

I am not writing a concerto, so having a solo staff just for occasional events seem an overkill, especially if that applies to other instruments too! In orchestral scores, marking "solo" or "tutti" would do for that part, no need extra staff.

Equally important, a solo instrument should sound differently from a unison, not just in volume that a mixer can change.

Would be really nice if such a playback feature exists in future editions!


In reply to by Mark_Y

It already does - see above. The subchannel for your "instrument" element allows you to change the sound, not just the volume. And the "Hife empty staves" option means the "right" answer I also described is actually simpler, clearer to read, and equally effective; no "overkill" about it. Try these solutions out, they really do work!

In reply to by Mark_Y

Another possibility. Instruments like violins have multiple channels assigned. If there is a channel you are not using (like tremolo) you can assign the solo instrument to that channel. When you want a solo violin, insert staff text that says Solo then use Staff Text Properties from the right click menu and assign voice 1 to tremolo (which will sound like a solo violin). When your ready to return to tutti, insert Tutti staff text and make it play normal (or arco, depending on the version). This is a "cleaner" way if it can work for you.

A less desirable method would be to use instrument changes for each change between solo and tutti. Use the instrument change text and make it look like staff text and make it say Solo or Tutti. Right click the text and change between the single instrument version (violin) and the section version (violins) listed under orchestra instruments. This should auto update the mixer but it will add a mixer channel every time you switch between the two.

I'm still having this issue. I wish they would just have a complete list of all musescore fonts when you click on the "change instrument" tool in the "text palette". because as it is now in MuseScore 4 you can not change "violincello" to "violincello solo" and back again (which are two options with in the mixer). Also, not writing a concerto just a cello solo with-in the same piece. Which is very common notation in literally all classical music repertoire. As a 1st Horn player, I am fully aware of how jealous the assistant principle is when I'm play something marked "solo" at the top of the staff in the 1st horn part. Again this is for cello. I'm aware you don't have solo horn sound font. Which is a tragedy btw.

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