How to edit the mixer sound of a new instrument

• Feb 17, 2021 - 13:21

I just added a new instrument to my composition, a Chimes track/staff. The user guide says each instrument has its own mixer track. I want to modify the sound slightly from Chimes to Tubular bells, yet when I click on the staff and select it, then open the Mixer, I do not see the mixer menu for Chimes, only for the main instrument (piano). If I change the instrument in that menu to bells, the entire song changes to bells, including the piano system.

How do I open the mixer only for the Chimes track, so I can change its sound without affecting the piano instrument?

Screenshot 2021-02-17 081632.png


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Sorry JoJo. Didn't realize I had not yet added a note to the chimes staff. How do you reach the mixer or change the sound in that instrument alone to a slightly different sound? For example, if I wanted to edit the chimes to be "Church Bells", or want to use a different instrument from a new soundfont that I loaded, or want to add reverb to the Chimes, how do I open the mixer for just that track, and edit it, without changing the piano track?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Sorry but it is not working. I've attached the musescore file again, this time with one chimes note added. When I click on the Chimes staff to select it, then open the mixer, this is what I get:


Notice that the mixer says, "Grand Piano" even though I've selected the Chimes track. If I change that Grand Piano to tubular bells, ALL voices in the piece change, including the piano track. Either I am doing something wrong, or there is another way to open the mixer ONLY for the chimes track, and change its sound without impacting the other tracks. Perhaps there is more than one way to open a mixer. I am using the "View" menu. Is there another way? How do I do it? (thanks for your help)

Attachment Size
Chevaliers De Sangreal-MuseScore2.mscz 28.21 KB

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

OK, I must be doing something wrong. Look at the screenshot. I did not click on the piano track. I clicked on the Chimes track (it is highlighted in Blue). Yet the Piano mixer screen opens. I even tried just clicking on the single Chimes note on the Chimes track, then "viewing" the mixer. The Piano mixer always appears, not the Chimes mixer. Try it yourself in the file I included above. What am I doing wrong? How do I "select" the Mixer for the Chimes track? Do I use the "View" menu, or something else?

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

OK, we are seeing something different. When I click on the Chimes track, it turns blue. You can see it in my new screenshot below. Then, while it is selected, I open the "View" menu and choose "Mixer". The menu opens and shows the grand piano, as seen in my screenshot, not chimes or tubular bells. If I change the instrument in the open mixer screen to chimes, it changes the piano track to Chimes as well. Is my program or file broken, or is there a different set of buttons to open the mixer JUST FOR THE CHIMES track?


In reply to by fsgregs

Again: in Mixer select Chimes (bottom right) you've still selected Piano in that screenshot, (light grey), yon need to select Chimes (currently dark grey), scroll down that section to see which is which. Also the Name up in the details tells that this is Piano, not Chimes

What you select in the score has no meaning at all in the mixer

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

JoJo: It is important you understand. The mixer menu that appears when I click the Chimes track, does not limit itself to the Chimes track. It is a global mixer here. If I change the instrument to Chimes, and/or change the words, "Piano" to Chimes, the entire score changes its sound to Chimes, or Bells, or whatever I enter in that Mixer menu. All my piano notes start playing with a Chimes sound, not piano. Here is an example. I did what you asked. Now, when I play the song, I don't get piano playing in the first system, and chimes playing in the 2nd system. I get Chimes playing in ALL systems, including the piano.


If this is NOT what MuseScore is supposed to do, then something is broken in my program. I sent you the MuseScore file. Open it yourself, click on the Chimes track, open the mixer, change the sound from Piano to Chimes, and then start playing the song in the mixer. The entire song will begin playing in Chimes, including the piano track.

Tell me how to fix this. It is most important.

In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Sorry JoJo. It was just a communication problem. Didn't mean to offend you. Per the answer above by Steve Blower, there is apparently a control on the Mixer menu (the scroll bar) that must be physically dragged to expose access to two mixers ... one for the piano and one for the chimes. You apparently use and understand that, but did not explain it to me, nor does the User Guide. Sorry for the confusion.


In reply to by Jojo-Schmitz

Thanks. Apparently, you have to physically click on the desired mixer channel first, before attempting to edit it. The only way I see to do that is by choosing one of the 2 mixers at the bottom of the menu by clicking its name, THEN editing its data. In the user Guide, this is called the "Track Area". I never saw it when reading about the mixer. Its my fault. In my prior problem, Mixer 1 (the piano) was chosen by default and all editing of its voices, names, etc., applied to it. To edit the chimes mixer, I had to first locate it at the bottom of the menu in the Track Area, then click on its name tab to select it. If there is another place in the Mixer menu beside the bottom track area that I can click higher up to switch instrument tracks, please post a screenshot of it. Thanks again for your patience.

In reply to by SteveBlower

AH, I see. In this screenshot, the lower half of the mixer panel now contains two vertical panels next to the master volume. They are not labeled, and until you scroll down, you do not know what they are, or which is which. Now that I know THIS is where different Mixers appear in MuseScore, I can indeed simply click on one vertical panel or another, to change mixers and edit their parameters.
Screenshot 2021-02-17 150556.png

My problem was, in the Instrument section of the User Guide, which explained how to add a new instrument track to the score, it does NOT explain how to edit its sound when played back in MuseScore. There is no mention of the Mixer menu or accessing each instrument via the vertical bars at the bottom of the mixer. There was nothing to explain how to edit an instrument's sound, until I also went to the mixer section of the guide, discovered the section on "track areas", and learned that here is where individual instrument tracks can be edited for sound.

Anyway, thanks for your help. It totally solved my problem.

In reply to by fsgregs

In case it helps, those aren't "different mixers" - that is the mixer. The mixer is a set of channels strips allowing you to "mix" the sound from different instruments, using those sliders. The settings on the top apply to the current channel. Being clear on the terminology may help in the future as you read documentation about the mixer.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Instead of scrolling you can undock the mixer by clicking the little double arrow in its top right corner then position it at the top of the screen, grab the bottom of the mixer panel and drag it downwards as you would with any window until you can see the track labels.

It's a shame the mixer doesn't automatically expand vertically when it is undocked or perhaps it could have a button or shortcut to automatically do the expansion.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Marc, JoJo and everyone else:

This has been frustrating but informative. I would suggest a sentence be added to the User Guide in the "Instruments" section, as follows:

"Once an instrument track is added to your score, you can edit its sound features by using the Mixer (see Mixer Track Area). You will find a vertical panel in the Mixer menu for that new instrument in the lower half of the panel, next to the volume (master Gain) slider. To see it, drag the vertical scroll bar downward until the instrument track labels are visible. Then just click on a panel, and edit the volume, name, instrument choice, chorus, reverb, etc. The changes will take effect immediately"

Just a suggestion!

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