|Instruction manual - Pizzicato 3.6.2||EN820 - Revision of 2013/05/29|
Composition tools - Instruments
Watch also the following video:
Instruments [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
The combination of rhythms, notes and chords will eventually be played by instruments, so it is useful to be able to manage and select instruments easily in a score. Up to now, this was done by using the instruments view, combined with the selection of a synthesizer driver. This is still in use, but with the conductor view, a series of functionalities have been added to ease the process of selecting instruments and creating new scores.
This is called a tree. It starts from the upper item entitled Libraries which contains here one document named Instruments and templates and two folders named Music libraries and My library. The document is open and contains several sub-folders and one item named Template 1 measure 4/4. It is a hierarchical musical object structure. In this lesson, we will explore the document entitled Instruments and templates.
- Some elements have a "+" sign just in front of them. This means that the element contains items and/or sub-folders. To explore it, click on the "+" sign and the element opens and displays its content.
- When an element is open, it displays a "-" sign in front of it. You may click on this "-" sign to close it and hide its content when you are finished with it. The Basic instruments folder contains a series of sub-folders, each one grouping individual instruments of one family. Open the Strings sub-folder. It displays:
- Each instrument is represented by a colored square, followed by its name. Here in the strings we have for instance the violin. Double click this instrument. The instrument specification dialog box opens, displaying all the parameters of this instrument:
This dialog defines all the specifications related to this instrument. Let us see this in details.
- The upper part of the dialog defines the normal range of the instrument. This is the set of notes that may be normally played by the instrument. The limits may be set by using the two sliders, which display the MIDI note number and the name of the note followed by the octave number (C 3 being the middle C of the piano keyboard). You may also left-click the upper keyboard while holding down the CTRL key to set the lower note and right-click + CTRL to set the upper note.
- In the General specifications, you may specify the title (label) used to display the instrument inside its folder and also the full name and short name used in the score. You may determine in which family the instrument should be classified as well as a note transposition value and an octave transposition (for transposing instruments only).
- In the Notation specifications, you may decide what is the default clef to use with this instrument (click on the clef symbol to change it). By clicking inside the color box, the color selection dialog box lets you choose a color associated to the instrument. See further the color convention that has been used in this instrument library. You may also specify how many staves the instrument needs to be written and the number of staff lines needed (by default 5, except for percussion instruments).
- The MIDI specifications define some of the MIDI parameters associated to the instrument. The default volume is defined, as well as the default position of the instrument in the left to right space of an orchestra (Pan slider, for Panoramic). Here for instance the violins are located to the left of the orchestra. The original synthesizer driver name from Pizzicato is specified, as well as the General MIDI equivalence if it exists. The instrument patch and bank controls may also be specified as well as the reference of the source synthesizer. The set of MIDI channels that may be used by the instrument may be selected from 1 to 16. These are more technical data related to MIDI and most users will not need to touch them because they are provided as a library in Pizzicato.
- The frame labeled Synthesizer and sound used determines what sound of which installed synthesizer of your own MIDI setup will be used. This part may automatically adapted for the all library, as we will see further in this lesson.
- Click on Cancel and open the folder entitled Percussions. Open the folder named Individual instruments. It contains all individual standard General MIDI percussion instruments. Double click the instrument named Bass tom 1. You can see that there is only one note selected, which is the MIDI note to which the instrument is associated in General MIDI. Click now on the Percussion map... button. The following dialog appears:
The upper keyboard is used to specify the original General MIDI note, i.e. the note that must be sent to the synthesizer in order to hear that instrument. The second keyboard is used to specify the note pitch that will be used on the staff when the note is written in music notation. If the note may be played using any written note, then no note specification must be defined in the second keyboard. This is done by clicking on the keyboard while holding down the SHIFT and CTRL key. The name is specified as well as the standard note head that should be used for this instrument. You may add/delete percussion instrument specifications with the Add and Delete button. They are added in the left list. Click on one of them to set its specifications.
- Click on Cancel and again on Cancel. Close the Individual instruments folder. Double click the instrument entitled GM - Toms and click on Percussion map... The same dialog appears, but here all tom instruments are defined on one staff, each one with its note pitch and written pitch specifications. Click on Cancel in both dialogs.
You should know that this instrument library is not part of the document you have opened. It is saved in a specific document, inside the Pizzicato, DataEN, Libraries sub-folder. If you make any change in this library, it is automatically saved by Pizzicato. If at any time you want to go back to the original library, just reinstall the program, without uninstalling it. The original library will come back.
You should now explore the various instruments found in these folders, to orient yourself where to find what instrument. If you open instruments to see how they are defined, close the dialog with Cancel so that you will not modify the original library.
Using the instruments [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
For Pizzicato Notation, which does not contain the conductor view, the only way to use instruments is to drag them inside a score. For Pizzicato Professional and Composition, you can also drag them on the conductor view. Both cases are treated here.
There are several ways to use the instruments in combination with the conductor view. This section will explain how to do it.
- The first obvious way to use an instrument is to drag it and drop it on the musical desktop (right part of the conductor view). Drag for instance the Violon instrument on the desktop. When you release the mouse button, a new score appears:
If you open this score, you have:
The score contains one measure, with the name and correct clef, the number of staves and lines,... If you explore its associated instrument view settings, you will see that they have been initialized with the specifications of the instrument as seen before. This is an easy way to create a score with a given instrument and to add it to the musical desktop.
- Close the score view. You may also drag an instrument and drop it on an existing score rectangle on the desktop. The result of this action is that the instrument is added to the already existing instruments of the score. For instance, drag and drop the Double bass instrument on the Violin score rectangle. The rectangle becomes:
The rectangle is now displaying two colors. In fact a score rectangle will display horizontal areas with the colors of the instruments it contains. The score is now:
- You may also drag an instrument directly inside an open score view. In this way, you can decide where the instrument will be inserted, depending on where you drop the instrument. If you drop it between two staves, it will be inserted between the two staves. If you drop it above the upper staff, it will be inserted on the first position. If you drop it below the lower staff, it will be appended at the bottom of the score. Use this function to add an Oboe at the top of this score, an English horn between the violin and the double bass, then a clarinet below all other staves. Use the Woodwinds sub-folder to find them. The score becomes:
and the conductor view displays:
- You may also drag an instrument on an existing staff, inside a score view. In this case, the instrument specifications are simply copied into the staff. No staff is added. The content of the measures is not modified. Drag for instance a Horn (in the Brass sub-folder) on the third staff (English horn). Its name is changed and the sound will be modified when the score is played. This is an easy way to change the sound assignement of a score. You should otherwise open the instrument view, select the synthesizer, select the family, select the instrument, change the color and / or the MIDI transposition value, the name,... All this is done in one operation in the conductor view. You may even do it while the score is playing.
- In a similar but more limited way, you may drag and drop an instrument on a score rectangle of the conductor view while holding down the CTRL key. The dragged instrument will replace the specification of the first staff of the score. This has the same effect of opening the score, dragging and dropping the instrument on the first staff and closing the score view. It is a shortcut to the full operation.
- Close the Basic instruments folder and open the folder named Sections and ensembles:
The sub-folders found there contain a set of hierarchical folders that define instrument sections and ensembles. The idea is that a folder that contains instruments and/or other sub-folders may be dragged on the musical desktop to create a score template with all those instruments. For instance, open the Synphonic Orchestras and drag and drop the sub-folder named Bolero (Ravel). Open the score and you will see the full orchestral score template, ready to be used. You will notice that the brackets are placed for instruments that are found in sub-folders of the dragged folder. This operation (drag and drop of a folder) may be done on an existing score rectangle on the musical desktop but not inside an open score view.
We suggest you to explore the various sub-folders inside Sections and ensembles. They contain several templates that can be used to build your scores and compositions.
Managing the musical objects [Professional] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
By musical objects, we mean instruments, folders, documents, virtual keyboards and other musical objects that will be explained in the following lessons. These various elements may be present inside a folder.
We have seen that a document may contain a hierarchical structure of musical objects. This structure is not static: you may modify it and add new musical objects. This structure is in fact located inside the Pizzicato, DataEN, Libraries sub-folder. This folder contains sub-folders and Pizzicato documents that are automatically added to the tree when you start Pizzicato. A modification done in this structure is automatically saved in the appropriate document located inside the Libraries directory. This is also explained in the document manager.
Compared to the previous versions of Pizzicato that did not contain the document manager, version 3.5 may use several configurations in the document manager. You can find all the documents of the library in configuration 3, Libraries. But generally, configurations 3, 4 and 5 display more specific areas of the libraries, which makes it easier to navigate through the library, because you do not need to search through the same tree for many different interesting locations. Here are the specifications of configurations 3, 4 and 5:
- Configuration 3 - The first area displays the instruments you can use to build a score. The second area gives an access to virtual audio instruments, which will be explained in another lesson.
- Configuration 4 - The first area displays the harmonic spaces and the chords progressions. The second area contains rhythmic structures for individual instruments, that can be used to build custom rhythms. The last one contains styles and prepared structures.
- Configuration 5 - The first area displays musical vectors. The second area is an effect library that can be applied to a score. The third contains audio ressources.
You may add configurations and/or modify the original configurations. See the document manager on how to do it.
By adding a new document in a folder, you may add a new node in the tree. We will do this in order for you to have the possibility to organize and modify a structure without touching to the original library. Here is how to do it.
- The folder named My library is there so that you can create documents and structures without touching to the original library.
- In configuration 3, click on the My library folder with the right mouse button and select the menu item New document. Give it the name Tests and validate the dialog. Click on the "+" sign that appeared in front of My library and then on the "+" sign in front of Tests. The tree displays:
The Tests document may now be used to make some experiences without disturbing the original library.
You will find one score in the Tests document as there is at least one score in a document. Now, in addition to one or more scores, a document may contain a structure of musical objects, the same kind as the structure we have seen so far. So you may also add musical objects in the documents you open. By default, a document does not contain any musical object.
This tree behaves exactly as explained here above. The musical objects that you create in it will be saved with the document. It is an easy way to transfer musical objects to somebody else if you want to exchange them. The same will hold true for the musical libraries, as we will explain in a further lesson.
- Click with the right mouse button on the green icon of the Tests document. In the contextual menu that appears, select New folder... A dialog asks you to specify the name of the folder. Fill it with My folder and click on OK. The tree becomes:
- Click on My folder with the right mouse button. Select the New instrument... item. The instrument definition dialog box appears, with a default instrument. Give it a title, My instrument and click on OK. Open the folder. The tree now displays:
- The creation of a new virtual keyboard will be explained in the lesson on virtual keyboards. The same is true for the music generators, harmonic spaces and other musical objects that will be the subjects of specific lessons. By clicking with the right mouse button on My Folder, select the Import a synthesizer... item. The following dialog appears:
This dialog lets you select a synthesizer driver. From this driver, Pizzicato will extract all instruments and will create a structure with one folder for each instrument familly. It will also extract the percussion instruments. If your synthesizer is included in this list, you may then import it so you can use its instruments exactly as we have explained in this lesson. Select for instance the GS synthesizer, which corresponds to several Roland synthesizers. Click on Select synthesizer. Open the new GS - Instruments folder by clicking on its "+" sign. The tree becomes:
- When you click with the right button on a folder or an instrument, the Delete menu item is available to delete it.
- You may drag a folder or a music object from one folder into another. Several possibilities exist:
- If you drag an object from one document to another document (which means that the source and target folders are not in the same Pizzicato document), the object and its content are copied to the destination folder (the original object is left untouched).
- If you drag an object inside a document, the object and its content is simply transfered to the target folder.
- If you drag an object inside a document while holding down the CTRL key, the object and its content are duplicated. You have an exact and independent copy of the original objects.
- If you drag an object inside a document while holding down the SHIFT key, aliases of the object and its content are created. The reference is copied to the target folder as a link to the original objects. In this case, the real object is unique and references to it may be placed anywhere in the musical objects. An object that has more than one reference to it is marked with a "+" just before its name (this "+" must not to be mistaken with the "+" in front of a folder).
- When you right click on an instrument or on a folder that contains instruments, an additional menu item is available. It is called Assign a synthesizer and contains at least 2 choices.
The first choice is None which means that all instruments of the folder will be assigned to no particular synthesizer. The other choices depend on your MIDI setup. It is the list of all MIDI output ports. When you call this menu, Pizzicato will assign this MIDI port to the instrument you clicked, or to all instruments that can be found inside the folder you clicked.
If you have several synthesizers, you may use this function to assign its MIDI output port to a folder containing its instruments. In this way, when you drag the instruments, they will be assigned the correct synthesizer in the instruments view of the score. This function will also try to match the sound of the target synthesizer with the original sound included in the instrument. For this to work, the General Midi equivalences must be present in the synthesizer driver, which is not the case for every driver.
- The folder named My library corresponds to a Windows directory (or a Mac folder). It may contain sub-folders and Pizzicato documents may be created in them. The icon of a document is green with a little score in it. Inside a document, you can find/create scores and groups of scores. You can also create folders and sub-folders that may contain musical objects you can use to compose music. We will explain this in further details in the following lessons.
The instrument colors [Professional] [Notation] [Composition Light] [Composition Pro]
The color system used for instruments is that a color has been assigned to each instrument family. Inside a family, the same color is used with a scale of brightness from dark (lower pitch) to very bright (higher pitch). This system is only an approximation and does not establish an exact matching between a sound pitch and a color. It is an arbitrary scale and is only used as a clue to know which instruments are present in a score when observed in the conductor view. The family colors are :