Assign notes to voices and staffs

For staff styles with multiple staffs or voices, you can control which staff or voice a note is displayed on. You can assign notes to voices by defining a split point, or by assigning each voice to a separate MIDI channel.

When you use a split point to separate voices, the split point and all notes above it are displayed on the upper voice, while all notes below the split point are displayed on the lower voice. This is useful when there is a clear division in pitch between the two voices; for example, in a piano staff style when each hand plays in only one clef (treble or bass).

In cases where the division between voices needs to be more flexible, you can separate voices by assigning each voice to a different MIDI channel. This allows voices to cross while still being displayed independently. Notes not assigned to any MIDI channel are not displayed, allowing you to “hide” notes from display (such as improvised parts or trill notes, for example). This does not affect playback, but only the display of notes in the score (the playback channel is determined by the setting in the Track inspector).

If you record polyphonic voices separately in real time, you can set your keyboard or MIDI controller to the appropriate MIDI channel for each voice when you record, saving you from having to edit the channels afterward.

You can automatically split notes between two voices using the “Auto split notes in multi staff chord styles” Score preference. By turning on this preference, notes you play using a polyphonic staff style are automatically assigned MIDI channels matching the staff style’s voice assignments. Notes at, and above, the split point are assigned the channel of the first voice. Notes below are assigned the second voice’s channel. This creates a usable voice assignment, which you can edit later.

Using the Voice Separation tool, you can draw a separation line between notes on a staff to assign them to the predefined MIDI channels of the voices.

Figure. Voice Separation tool.

Separate voices by split point

  • Choose a note pitch for the voice in the Staff Style window’s Split column.

Separate voices by MIDI channel

  • Assign a MIDI channel to each voice in the Staff Style window’s Chan column.

When you use MIDI channels to assign notes to staffs or voices:

  • You can edit the MIDI channel in the same way you do all other events, by selecting the events and changing the MIDI channel in the Event inspector or the Event List.

  • You can quickly change the MIDI channel of selected note events with the Event Channel +1 and Event Channel −1 key commands. These can be especially useful when used in combination with the Select Next Region/Event, or Set Marquee End to Next Transient key command and the Select Previous Region/Event, or set Marquee End to Previous Transient key command, which allow you to move the selection from note to note.

You can also use Score Editor functions designed to speed up the process of changing the MIDI channel settings of notes, in order to assign them to the specific voices. These include the Auto Split preference and the Voice Separation tool.

Split previously recorded regions by MIDI channel

  1. Select the region.

  2. Choose Functions > Note Events > Assign MIDI Channels based on Score Split from the Score Editor menu bar (or use the corresponding key command).

    The region’s notes are assigned to voices in the staff style, according to the Auto Split pitch in the Score preferences.

Assign notes to MIDI channels using the Voice Separation tool

  1. Select the Voice Separation tool, then draw a line (between notes) where you want to separate the voices.

    Figure. Voice Separation tool between two notes in the Score Editor.

    Notes below the line are moved to the MIDI channel below their current assignment.

  2. If you make a mistake, move the pointer back slightly to the left.

    The separation line is erased to the right of the tool, allowing you to try again.