Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

FAQ > [Buying & Activating | Editing the Score | MIDI, Playback & Sound | Import & Export | Printing | Downloading and Running MidiIllustrator | Miscellaneous]

Editing the Score

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Q:  Is it possible to delete rests in the notation?
A:  Yes, with MidiIllustrator Maestro.  MidiIllustrator Virtuoso behaves slightly differently to suit a different purpose.

How Rests are treated differently in MidiIllustrator Virtuoso versus MidiIllustrator Maestro
The design of MidiIllustrator Virtuoso is such that it is intended to 'automate' the process of notating as far as possible.  As a result, MidiIllustrator Virtuoso will always try to fill all the silence in a given measure with rests.  Furthermore, it will automatically try to group rests in accordance with the 'rules' of music notation.  This automatic behavior cannot be overridden in MidiIllustrator Virtuoso.  Rests cannot be selected and thus cannot be deleted in the same way that notes can.

If you need complete control over rests and other score notation, then we recommend that you try MidiIllustrator Maestro.  Read about the differences between MidiIllustrator Virtuoso and MidiIllustrator Maestro.

If you wish to hide empty staves (i.e. staves which contain only rests), then this can be achieved using the Staff Manager by selecting 'Hide Empty Portions of Staves'.  See 'Hide Empty Staves' in the 'Show/Hide' section of the help documentation for more information.

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Q:  How do I add, delete or move individual notes in the score?  Is there a version which would allow this?
A:  Yes, with MidiIllustrator Maestro.  MidiIllustrator Virtuoso behaves slightly differently to suit a different purpose.

How Notes are treated differently in MidiIllustrator Virtuoso versus MidiIllustrator Maestro
With MidiIllustrator Virtuoso you can delete or move existing notes, but new notes cannot be added to the score.  That said, you can delete and move notes using MidiIllustrator Virtuoso, though this functionality is best directed at 'correcting' the score rather than full scale editing operations.  Notes can be edited by selecting the note (or notes) and then choosing commands from the Notes menu.

If you need complete control over rests and other score notation, then we recommend that you try MidiIllustrator Maestro.  Read about the differences between MidiIllustrator Virtuoso and MidiIllustrator Maestro.

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Q:  Some scores look & sound a little strange after being converted using the 'Two Hand Piano' Task.  Why is that?
A:  The 'two hand piano' Task tries to rearrange the music in the score for solo piano.  Generally the results are very good, but MidiIllustrator cannot always produce perfect arrangements as there are many difficult decisions to make in this process.

Listed below are the exact steps performed by MidiIllustrator in this task:

  • Merge all of the tracks in the score into a single track.
  • Split the track 'automatically' into left and right hand tracks using an advanced set of musical analysis rules.
  • Set the MIDI device on each track to the default MIDI playback device.
  • Set the MIDI Instrument Patch on each track to General MIDI Instrument 'Acoustic Grand Piano' (#1), and
  • Rename the tracks accordingly.

MidiIllustrator does not ignore any instruments in the task in case they are integral to the piece.  The exception here is drum tracks (see below).  If you know that there is content in the score which should not be considered for a piano solo arrangement, then you can greatly improve results of this task by first deleting the track containing this content using the 'Track Manager' from the Tracks menu.  You can hit the F1 key when the Track Manager is open for more information on deleting tracks.

This popular task has been improved to automatically handle drum tracks and non-piano instrument tracks. The new Tasks Options tab in Program options allows you to configure task behavior for better task results.

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Q:  How do you change the size of the font used to identify the notes (note names)?
A:  Note names always have to be kept proportional to the note head size in order to keep the score readable, therefore you cannot explicitly change the font size for the note names. 

One option is to experiment with font types and color (and bold fonts via the 'Fonts' tab, 'Score Options') to see if that makes the presentation more favorable.  The only other option is to increase the size of the score by zooming in (or if printing, by altering the 'Print Size' under the 'Print Layout' tab in 'Score Options').

The note name can be shown either in the head of the note or alongside the note or above/below the staff.  You can choose the clearest format depending on whether you are printing the score or viewing it on the screen.

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Q:  How do I adjust the time signature?
A:  Changes to the time signature can be made with the Time Signature Dialog, via the Measures menu.
Q:  How do I lower notes a whole octave?  I play cello and want to print out music in the middle octave.  Can this be done?
You can indeed lower all the notes in a track/measure range by choosing "Transpose Notes" from the Measures menu.  Then in the "Transposition" section, select "Shift Notes" 12 half steps down.

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Q:  I recorded a piece to MIDI in 3/4 time on my digital piano, but when I printed it out in MidiIllustrator, it was scored in 4/4 time.  Why is that, and how do I change the time signature?
A:  Generally speaking, information about time signature is stored in a MIDI file when the file is first created. MidiIllustrator can support and display any time signature used in a MIDI file.  MidiIllustrator fully supports changes to the time signature.  When no time signature is stored in the MIDI file, MidiIllustrator assumes that the piece is in 4:4 time.  Since no time signature is being stored in the recorded piece, MidiIllustrator defaults to 4:4 for that piece during import.  You can change this default using the Edit Time Signature Dialogue (Measures menu).

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Q:  I have a score which was originally composed in another program and saved as a MIDI file.  When viewed in MidiIllustrator some (but not all) of the original treble clef guitar staves (for notating classical guitar music) are printed with a bass clef.  Why is that?
A:  MIDI files do not generally store information about clefs, so it is up to MidiIllustrator to decide which clefs to use in each measure/stave of the score.  When importing a MIDI file, MidiIllustrator tries to place as many notes as close to the stave as possible (thereby reducing the need for leger lines) and chooses a clef accordingly, regardless of the instrument allocated to that stave.  This is why MidiIllustrator sometimes changes the clef mid stave; it is trying to make the music easier to read.

You can force a particular clef for all or part of a stave using the 'Measures' menu commands.

The traditional notation clef for a guitar stave is a treble clef, but it varies from the standard piano treble clef used by MidiIllustrator in that it is an octave higher, which is why the notes appear lower than you might expect for guitar parts.

You can select 'octave adjusted' clefs for instruments such as guitar/banjo so that a treble clef can be used, but all notes will be adjusted by an octave accordingly.

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Q:  Is there any way that I can combine a series of pieces so I can set my computer/MIDI piano to play them? Is there a playlist facility, or a file merge function?
A:  MidiIllustrator includes support for playlists as well as other powerful song management features.  With MidiIllustrator Maestro, sections of scores can easily be moved, copied, or repeated.

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Q:  How do I print the MIDI file in lead sheet or fake book format?
A:  MidiIllustrator can quickly rearrange a score for a particular purpose, such as creating Fake Books or Lead Sheets.  You can generate scores which show a combination of the following core features: melody, lyric, chord names and guitar frets.

MidiIllustrator can usually identify the melody line in a MIDI file, and is also able to generate chords by analyzing the harmony tracks of the file.  In order to do this, there must be sufficient information in the MIDI file for MidiIllustrator to work with (usually one melody track and at least one harmony track).

To show the both the melody line and generate chords at once, start by opening the MIDI file in its original state.  From the Tasks menu, select "Create Lead Sheets and Fake Books", and then "Fake Book Style" 1, 2 or 3 depending on the "fake book" format you would like.  MidiIllustrator will give you the opportunity to confirm which track in the file is the melody line.

If you are using a Karaoke file instead of MIDI file, do not (if prompted) choose to "Convert to Lead sheet" as you open the file, and instead follow the steps above.

There are tips in the help file which show how to get the best results from MidiIllustrator's chord generation features (search for "chord names" or "Song Lead Sheets and Fake Books" in the help file index).

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Q:  Can I split or join measures?
A:  MidiIllustrator fully supports measure splitting and joining.

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Q:  Are there any editing features which MidiIllustrator Maestro does not yet offer?
A:  MidiIllustrator Maestro offers many features dedicated to helping you capture your musical ideas, whether you are recording a live performance, modifying an existing song, or creating a new score from the ground up entering new notes one at a time.  But we are still adding new functions to make Maestro even better.

If you can think of a feature which you need right now but can't find in Maestro, please let us know so we can prioritize development.