Film Scoring Time Signatures-with lines?

• Sep 25, 2015 - 04:25

Anyone know if its possible with MuseScore to create some extra big time sigs with vertical lines like shown here? This is commonly needed for film score work:



You can place any symbol you like as text or by inserting a graphic.

I'm curious - what makes you say this is needed for film score work? I can't think of any special requirements of film scoring that would make this style of notation more desirable.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

Ic. I will look into that later. Sounds kind of fiddly to get it done though. No worries, Finale and Sibelius can't handle this either. Most people have to use a sharpie to put these on their scores after printing with time sigs hidden but lots of space left for scribbling it on.

Overture is the only notational program I know of that has specific support for this (how I produced the example). The built in support makes it possible to move things around in the score and the large sigs and lines always are positioned and sized appropriately. Also makes it so that the extracted parts are using normal time sigs..only the conductor score uses the big ones.

For recording orchestral and ensembles for film, the conductor often has to deal with difficult tempo and meter changes that are designed to sync with the film. They like the large time sigs to be able to follow it while conducting. They don't have time to memorize every score, everyone's on the clock and due to the nature of the medium, complex meter changes are commonplace.

This is a standard way its handled in the film music biz when a conductor is going to be conducting an ensemble or orchestra to timecode for sync to picture.

In reply to by Jm6stringer

ps, that other old forum thread had another example of what conductors need to see, though that example was not the prettiest, it was functional:

that kind of example with numerous meter changes per page, is not uncommon. I've done cues with more than 10 meter changes within a minute of music....and some of them ugly..It amazes me the conductor and musicians can follow it frankly, but they can. The conductor is also usually watching a video feed of the material at the same time, which has streamers and punches and other cues he's using to see upcoming meter or tempo changes.. The large time sigs are needed so he can watch all these different things and try to actually conduct the musicians at the same time. This is just how its expected to be done for recording sessions of this type of stuff.

In reply to by toffle

Can you post a sample showing how you are trying to do things currently? There are definitely better controls than there were six years ago, and while far from ideal, they shouldn't take much adjustment at all, and most of what is needed should be easily reproducible.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Well, I THOUGHT I knew how to do it... I certainly remember trying it out a few years ago, but I really drew a blank on whatever it was that I did. I know that I tried it somehow in the days before collision avoidance/automatic placement.

Anyway, I read through some of the recent threads and tried a number of things today, and this is the best solution I can come up with. This involves toggling all the time signatures invisible, then using the selection filter to choose only the time signatures on a few instruments, then adjusting the scaling of just those elements. The half-invisible ghosts make a heck of a mess on the editing page, but it exports well to PDF. I wish I could re-construct the procedure I used before, but I'm halfway convinced that it may exist only in my imagination.

If you've got a better way of doing it, please let us know.

In reply to by toffle

Well, making some time signatures invisible and others visible is the way to go for sure, but I don't understand how you would use the selection filter for that. The way I'd do it is Ctrl+click if it's just a few. But if there are many changes, simpler to go to Staff/Part Properties and disable time signatures for the relevant staves. If you don't want to see the invisible time signatures on screen, turn that off in the View menu.

Scaling can be set as a style, so just change one then hit set as style ("S" icon).

So the process is just disable time signatures on the staves you don't want them, then set one big, then set as style.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks, Marc! I was stumped by the issue of being able to toggle the time signatures on the relevant staves. The selection filter seemed to be fairly effective at that, but the ghosting of the "invisible" elements creates much unwanted clutter. Your solution is as near perfect as can be for the time being.

Quick question... (or a misguided assumption) I assume that when I set the style via the inspector, I must still save the style via the entry in the Format menu for it to become available for other scores. Would there be any value in having the ability/flexibility to save the new style or save the setting to the current style while working in the inspector?

[EDIT] Question #2. Is it possible to change the default font for the time signature? The existing font is fine for regular use, but a cleaner sans-serif font would look better for a larger time signature.

In reply to by toffle

You can indeed save your style file to then load into other existing scores. But if you're looking to create new scores with that style, if there is also likely to be much similarity in the instrumentation, easier to save the score to your Templates folder so you can select it from the wizard when creating new scores.

Unfortunately there is no independent control of font for time signatures. You'd need to add them as plain text superimposed over the space.

In reply to by Marc Sabatella

Thanks again. That covers my next question as well - how this all works with templates. The answer is that it works MOSTLY fine. One thing that is not saved when creating a custom template or saving a new style is any x/y offset value that was set in the parent score, which is a required setting when positioning the scaled time signatures. It only takes a moment to position things correctly, so it's not a huge issue.

Also, as I should have expected, anything that changes the vertical layout of a staff is likely to affect the relative position of the scaled time signatures. Accordingly, as time signatures are affected en masse by offset values, the position of scaled time signatures in a score may not always be effective or aesthetically pleasing.

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