Maintaining Instrument Name with Changing Instruments

• Oct 16, 2019 - 12:58

Hi there,

I want to change instrument mid score by this automatically changes the name of the instrument beside the staff and I don't want this.

Let me explain...

I am writing a transcription of Born To Hand Jive and rather than writing out the string and brass parts, I am going to divide them between to keyboards (this will eventually be played live). So I have created a Keyboard I and Keyboard II. I am using the Change Instrument feature so that the playback is more representative of what this will all sound like when it's finished.

However, when I use this option, the stave text changes automatically from Keyboard I (or K. I as was my abbreviation) to Synth. When I go to the staff properties, the change to synth is not there and my part name in this window is how want it, but it's not displaying itself in the score. I've included a screen shot.

Anyone know how to fix this? I want it to say Keyboard I or K. I throughout but still make the instrument changes as I go.

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Staff Text.png 294.51 KB


Which version of MS are you using? This was easily done in MS2, but not so easily in the early versions of MS3. Apparently, in 3.3 you will be able to set the staff name independently of the actual instrument.

If you are somewhere between version 2 and 3.3, you can still accomplish this, by adding a "change instrument" text, WITHOUT actually applying the change, but keeping note of the new channel that appears in the mixer. (When you add the text, the mixer will create a new channel for it.) Then, in the mixer, set the new channel to the instrument sound you want. This will change the sound at that point in your score, and should allow you to keep the original staff name while giving playback of the desired sound.

Once again, in simple steps:
1. Add instrument change text. Add>Text>Instrument (just insert the text)
2. Locate the newly-created channel in the mixer.
3. Change the Patch in the pull-down list in the top half of the mixer.

I've probably screwed that up a bit, but the really smart guys here will be quick to correct me, and then we'll both know for sure. :)

In reply to by toffle

Thanks for your reply.

I tried what you were talking about. It wasn't as straight forward as that, no new instruments came up in the mixer for example. In the end, I don't know how I go it to work, I wouldn't be able to do it again, but I have the play back changing instruments and my staff test is as I want it. So, thank you for taking the time to reply.

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Ex2.png 271.82 KB

In reply to by LisztyLiszt

It took a bit of mental gymnastics to wrap my head around it at first - adding, but not applying the action of an instrument change text. Trust me that it works, though, and once you've done it, it is really quite easy.

Try the following: (I'm testing the same operation on my system as I type here.)
1. Open your mixer, and check the status of your Keyboard 1 track. If there is a heavy black arrow at the top, click on it to expand the channels. (if the arrow is just grey, don't worry for now.)
2. Choose the spot in your score where you wish to change playback sound. From the
instructions I posted above, Add>Text, select Instrument Change. (Or through the text pallete - I've just grown accustomed to using the menu approach for text) As soon as the text input box appears, a corresponding channel SHOULD be added to your Keyboard 1 channel in the mixer.
3. Add your text, and exit the input box, either by hitting esc, or clicking anywhere outside the input box.
4. Now click on the new channel in the mixer and select a patch for that channel. The new patch will be applied when playback reaches the text marker.

If you still DON'T see a new channel when you try this, either my instructions are not clear, (They seldom are) or there is some fundamental difference between your system and mine.

A couple of notes:
1. You can put whatever text you want in the box; it is irrelevant to the actual playback. It essentially creates a marker in the score to apply the new channel/sound.
2. If you wish to go back to your original sound, (or any other sound) you must go through the process of adding yet another channel via the Instrument Change text as described above. Cumbersome, but necessary.

In reply to by toffle

I've got it working!!! Thanks a million.

I did so many "change instruments", because I was experimenting, that I had 8 or so channels within Keyboard I and I had to figure out which one was which!!! But I got it.

I deleted all the change instruments on the score except the ones I need but all the channels are still there in the mixer. Can't seem to find a way of deleting these... Any ideas?

But, thanks for your help. The Musescore community is awesome.

Now I've to transcribe all the solos from Born To Hand Jive... give me strength.

Easier still is to use one of the synthesizer instruments in the first place which already has the multiple channels set up, so you don't need Instrument Change text at all - just regular staff text. And then you can reuse the channels too.

In reply to by LisztyLiszt

You have two channels assigned to that instrument in the mixer (F10). Open the mixer and click the black right arrow at the top left corner of the box the vertical volume controller is in. This will expose both of the channels. You will actually see 3 what looks like channels. The first is a dummy or master controller and the next 2 are the actual controls. You can assign a different sound to each channel by clicking somewhere in the box and changing the sound at the top left. The staff text properties, the first (on the left) is on top.

In reply to by mike320

Ah cool. Yeah that's what I'm doing now.

And another tip to help navigate the whole thing. If you have several instrument changes it can be hard to keep track of which controller is controlling what, so I've colour coded them and changed the colour of the text of the instrument to match the colour of it's controller in the mixer. Visually it makes things a little easier.

Thanks for all your replies. One more question out of curiosity that maybe you could answer. What is the purpose of the two channels anyway? Why more than one? Why not more than two? Just out of interest.

In reply to by LisztyLiszt

I don't remember which one, but I believe there is a synthesizer with 8 channels. There are several synthesizers that apparently simulate real synthesizers. This is not something I use. Since synthesizers have the ability to change sounds, the channels are the method MuseScore uses to accommodate this. It makes sense since the score would have text telling the musician to change a setting to change the sound.

In reply to by mike320

"Effects synthesizer" has lots of channels. Seems once upon a time there as just a "Keyboard synthesizer" but this got changed into all of these individual ones. I'd personally like to see "Keyboard synthesizer" back (whether under that name or another similar ) because it would be more clear it was the best choice, even if its actual behavior is no different than the current "Effects".

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