Ensemble Staves

• Sep 11, 2021 - 19:09

Hey everyone,

I’m a new MuseScore user and I’ve been trying to find a way to have each of the orchestral families represented on their own grand staff. I’m assuming I would need some sort of ensemble soundfont in order for this to work? I’ve been looking around online and can’t seem to figure this out. Is there a way to do this? Do I need to find a sound font for this or this something I can do in MuseScore out fo the box?


Hello! It's not really clear what you mean here. Are you talkingabout what appears on the page, or whatever you hear during playback? Seems like you are asking about the former, but soundfonts only affect the latter. Are young that instead of seeing separate staves for each instrument - as would normally be needed in creating on orchestreal score for performance - you wish to reduce all the strings to just a single grand staff, and the same for the woodwinds, and the same for the brass? You can certainly do that by just setting up your score that way (eg, add three pianos - one to represent woodwinds, one for brass, one for strings). Maybe then you are wondering how to get it to play as different instruments? You can set the string staff to use string sound in View / Mixer, but there is no generic "woodwind" sound you could assign that grand staff. And also, no way MuseScore would be able to understand which notes on the staff you intend to be played by which instruments.

If you explain what you are trying to do in more detail, we can understand and assist better.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

I was asking about what I hear during playback. I was hoping that I could assign a generic woodwind/brass sound to a grand staff, similar to how one would use an ensemble patch when working in a DAW. I don't normally work this way however I am currently doing some exercises from an orchestration Manuel that recommended doing the homework assignments using 3 staves. I have been using the method you mentioned above with the 3 pianos and importing the MIDI into my DAW so I can listen back using ensemble patches in Kontakt. Ultimately this gets the job done I was just wondering if I could do this all in Musescore. Thank you for answering my question, I appreciate the feedback!

In reply to by denismcgrath3

The problem is there really is no "generic woodwind sound" - each woodwind instrument extremely different. probably someone somewhere, though, has created a soundfont that samples an entire woodwind section playing in unison. So you could try that, but it won't be particularly realistic, since then you'd be hearing all instruments play all sounds. That's what is going with your DAW I assume as well, but that's be any more realistic. Far simpler, and really better from a perspective of learning the basics orchestration, to work with a single instrument sound. Clarinet usually works well to cover the entire range of the woodwinds.

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