[solved] Does the Mixer affect the dynamics set on the staves during playback?

• Aug 10, 2022 - 17:32

I am a bit confused here about the Mixer. Let's say my flute stave is set at dynamic 'f', which is 96 points, but the Mixer shift is set at 80 on all staves (instruments). Now, let's say I am playing back my score and feel that the flute stave isn't loud enough, so I raise the slider 5 notches higher, that is, to 85. Does it mean that the actual loudness of the flute during the playback will be now 85 (80 + 5 = 85) or will it be 101 (96 + 5 = 101)?


The mixer doesn't change dynamics at all - only the overall loudness. A flute playing "p" sounds very different from a flute playing "f". Not just louder, but qualitatively different - different attack, different harmonics, etc. Turning up the channel mixer just makes the "p" note louder, it doesn't change it into an "f". The dynamic controls whether MuseScore uses a sample of a flute playing "p" or a sample of a flute playing "f"; the Mixer controls how loud that actually gets played. The numbers have nothing to do with each; totally different scales. You can't add mixer numbers and Inspector numbers any more than you can add inches and pounds (or centimeters and kilograms). They are measuring totally different things.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well, as always, I have to once again thank you for educating me - this time for showing me that there are many more aspects to a dynamic, such as attack, harmonics, etc.

However, I don't think my question can be easily dismissed by simply saying "they are totally different things". Loudness is one of the major properties of a dynamic. You yourself recognized that by saying "Not just louder, but qualitatively different" instead of "Not louder, but qualitatively different". And I don't think I am the only amateur in this world who, having listened to a piece played in "f" and then to a piece played in "p", will tell you, quite spontaneously, that the first one sounded louder.

The numbers, as you say, may not have to do anything with each other, and the two scales may be two totally different scales, but, nevertheless, if I get a note in the biggest available dynamic, which is "ffffff", the Piano Roll Editor will show me its absolute velocity as "127", which happens to be the highest value on the "totally unrelated" Mixer volume scale; and if I take the same note in the smallest available dynamic, which is "pppppp", PRE will show me "1", which happens to be the lowest value on the volume scale (below is only zero). And, of course, when we move from "pppppp" to "ffffff", the values on the volume scale will only be increasing. I wouldn't call it a situation of two "totally unrelated things". Using your centimeters and kilograms allegory, I would say that by adding some centimeters we do get some kilograms somehow, too.

Besides, when, by using the Inspector, I slightly edit the velocity of some dynamic (say, changing the velocity "49" of dynamic "p" to "50" or "51"), would you still say that by doing so I jump to another sample of the instrument?

In reply to by innerthought

I'm not "dismissing" your question, I am describing the technical details behind what goes on to help you understand why MIDI works the way it does, and how to use this information with MuseScore.

Anyhow, the point here is, the mixer dopes not affect velocity one iota. So you can't take what it does and add it to a velocity number to get anything meaningful at all. MIDI simply does not work that. Not in MuseScore, not in any other device or software. They are just two different concepts. So yes, increasing the velocity of a dynamic will make the music louder, and so will turning up the mxier. But they are doing this using entirely different methods, and their numeric scales just don't have anything at all to do with each other. That's not some obscure quirk of MuseScore, it's just how MIDi works.

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