Split voice keyboards - how to score this.

• Sep 19, 2020 - 17:33

I'm not a music scholar by any means but I come across this a lot.
Our keys player in some songs splits the keys.
For my example lets say its middle C and above is Strings sound.
But < middle C is a Saw Lead sound.

I struggle to score this.
There are three tricky things here...
At the moment Im using a simple Treble Clef /Bass Clef score.

Thing 1.
When the voices are played at different times I've been using "Inst. Change" markers etc.

Thing 2.
When the voices are played at the same time... Well... I've no Idea.
What we currently have been doing is scoring the 'Saw Lead' into the bass stave (staff ?)
This only partially works. And playback... well as cant have different sounds at the same time.
In fact to workaround this in some scores I've set all the Bass clef notes to dont play and set up a complete new stave called 'Ghost' with just them in with the correct sound.
That means it plays back ok and we just dont print the 'Ghost' parts

Thing 3.
This is tricky'est thing.
Sometime the lower half of the keys i.e. the Saw-Lead sound is set on his keys to be up an octave.
Atm, I'm working around this something like thing 2 but have an instrument that is set to be 1 octave above scored.

There must be a way of making this easy.
Lots of keys players these days use multiple splits on their boards and set different sounds.
How do you guys handle this in Musescore ?

Having a linked stave but being able to set different instruments below/above a split note would be ace. But if it is a thing I cant figure out how to do it.

Sorry for long post, but this two (or three) instruments from the keyboards is becoming more of a thing for us these days.



Are you trying to create a score that a keyboard player can read, or a score that MuseScore can read? Or both?

To do both would involve some trickery. Doable. There are those that enjoy testing the software to bend it to their will. I prefer to just get it done.
1. You can produce a grand staff score for the player using copious text notes to explain what is going on.
2. You could set up a two staff score and use instrument changes where needed. This score could be made to look like a piano score if you wanted. But is it worth it?
3. You could set up a score with all the different instruments and make your recording that way.

Personally, I'd do 1 and 3. Maybe 1 and 2.
There are those that would do some kind of version of 2, and be able to do both with one score. And once a template for it is set up, you can reuse it. I've never gone this route. But I'm sure someone will come along who has.

In reply to by bobjp

hi bobjp
Erm... Both would be ace.
I'm sorta doing a mixture at the moment.
The example attached shows one of the splits for the keyboard.
It has a piano sound and a string sound. The split is at middle C. (C4 as far as I know)
The bass clef is set to +15 thus when the keys split is set and its also changed to +two octaves up (at the keyboard) it means you can basically play whats written, ignore the +15, and it will sound right.
To get musescore to play this, everything in the Synth bass clef is set to 'Dont play' and the instrument is set to piano.
The Ghost-Strings is set to a strings sound, and is a duplicate.
This means musescore plays the right sounds.

Its clunky but works.
I was hoping that this sorta split was a configurable thing in the instrument settings.
So that you could set a split and the pitch shift and the 2nd (or 3rd or ..) instrument and keep it all on one stave.
Alas, it seems not :(

That make sense ?

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In reply to by paulfurze

I guess my question is, why do you need one score that does both?
Are you able to create a grand staff score, not for playback in MuseScore, that reflects what a keyboardist needs to do. If so, great. Give that to the player.
For MuseScore playback, I'm just not sure it's worth trying to force all of it into two staves and still have to ghost and hide things. Write a second score with everything you need to get the playback you want, and be done with it. Does this take too much time?

I'm old enough that none of this used to be possible at all no matter how much time I put into it.

In reply to by bobjp

"I'm old enough that none of this used to be possible at all no matter how much time I put into it."
oh, me too :)

The 'Grand Staff' thing sorta works but when arranging its tricky to hear how it all fits together with everything else.
I'm not good enough to hear it in my head at all, I "like" (no no, almost "need") to actually hear how something will sound all together with all instruments.
Now, I've just had a though about my understanding of how musescore maybe can group instruments together so going to have a bit of a study hour or two today :)

My/our reasons for doing this.....
Our bands horn section and current keys player are sight readers.
The bass player and I (guitar) aren't. Well, i can 'technically" but I'm so slow at it the song would be over before I got to bar 2! :)

And we arrange our songs to suit the instruments that we have. So we're often adding horns in songs that originally had none or keys to cover 2nd guitar parts etc.
For every song we put together a pdf file and an mp3 file. The pdf has the lyrics, a chord sheet, and the written stuff for horns etc etc. The mp3 is the output from musescore. It allows everyone to sorta hear what each part should be like. In these C19 days its become more important as with no rehearsals its tricky for everyone to get an overall picture of an arrangement, thus the musescore mp3 is a fantastic tool. (Oh I do use a fair few soundfonts to sorta help paint a 'neater' picture aswell)

We are a function band. On occasion, we've used stand-ins if one of the main band is unavailable.
Keeping a single mp3 in musescore and a single pdf means that a stand-in can be up to speed real quick with our arrangements as they can hear whats going on as well as see it.

I also feel that with the explosion of PC based midi-synths etc that keys are becoming increasingly more powerful. Especially in terms of multiple voices and splits, and the ability to even play 'samples' etc.
The stave gets real messy real quick with 'text' notes all over it. A simple 'Split at this note' function allowing 2 or maybe more instruments to be added would be a huge step in helping score for synths etc.

I wonder if there's other Keys players on here that have the same issues, or have a better system for scoring multiple keys splits and instruments.

Keep Rocking

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