Command Location: Tools Menu / Program Options / Playback Tab

The Playback tab allows you to make changes to the way in which the score is displayed during playback.

The following attributes can be changed:

Cursor There are five cursor display options for playback:
  • Does not follow playback
  • Follows nearest playback beat
  • Follows exact playback time
  • Follows nearest playback note
  • Turns pages but remains hidden

By default, the cursor follows the ‘nearest beat during playback’. This is generally the most useful setting for understanding the rhythm of the piece, and is also the best choice when you are using the metronome.

In scores where notes regularly fall just before or after the beat, it may be more useful to have the cursor staff time or the nearest note.

Unless you select ‘Does Not Follow Playback’, MidiIllustrator will automatically move from page to page on the score in order to keep the cursor visible at all times.

To hide the cursor altogether during playback, but still have pages turned automatically, select 'Turns pages but remains hidden'.

Note: The ‘Follows Exact Playback Time’ setting can place quite high demands on your computer as the cursor position changes rapidly.

Advance Page Turn This option allows you to determine how and where in the score the page is turned during playback. This can be useful if you are sight-reading ahead of time as you may want the page to be turned before playback reaches the end of the page.

Scroll and Fade In the Next Page (available only in Window View, Performance Mode)

MidiIllustrator can turn the page using special graphical effects to ‘split’ the screen as the music is played out, showing both the current passage and the next passage (on the next page) at the same time.

To do this, MidiIllustrator ‘reads ahead’, and determines how much of the next page can be scrolled onto the current page without obscuring the current playback notation.

The next page can be scrolled on from top to bottom, or from left to right and MidiIllustrator can automatically decide the best scrolling method at any particular position in the score. This enables you to read the score at the current playback position, and also read ahead to the notation on the next page which would otherwise be hidden by redundant parts of the current page.

Note: In some cases, the score layout will prevent MidiIllustrator from showing any part of the next page, even when advance page turn scrolling is activated. If showing the next page would, for example, hide an important part of the current playback page, then scrolling will be temporarily deactivated. This happens most often when a measure on the current or next page is very long, taking up much of the screen and leaving no room to show parts of both the current and next pages at the same time.

Choose from the following Scrolling options:

  • Vertically if possible, then Horizontally (default, recommended)
  • Horizontally if possible, then Vertically
  • Vertically only
  • Horizontally only
  • Do not scroll next page

Staff Tools and Advance Page Turn

During page turning, the staff controls of the partially displayed ‘next’ page will be temporarily disabled until that page is shown completely and it becomes the ‘current’ page. You can click on the ‘next’ page notation at any time (to advance playback), but clicking on the staff tools (if shown) will have no effect. You can click on the staff tools of the current page at any time during page turning.

Fading in the Next Page

More powerful computers will be able to use the advanced features of page turning, and allow special effects during the page turn. Fading in the next page will make the page turn appear much smoother, and less distracting if you are trying to sight-read from the screen at the same time. Choose from:

  • Fade In next page
  • No special effects

If you wish, you can have MidiIllustrator simply fade in the page with no scrolling, by selecting “Fade In next page “ and “Do not scroll next page” above.

NOTE: Fading the next page into view requires quite a lot of processor power. If you find that the page turn is slow or jerky, ensure this option is disabled.

Simple Page Turn

As an alternative to scrolling/fading in the next page, you can simply choose to have MidiIllustrator switch to the next page before the current page is completed.

To configure Advance Page Turn, simply choose a ‘quantity’ from the first drop down box, and a unit of duration from the second drop down box.

The second has the following options:

  • Whole Beat(s)
  • Half Beat(s)
  • Measure(s)
  • Whole Note(s)
  • Half Note(s)
  • Quarter Note(s)
  • 8th Note(s)
  • 16th Note(s)
  • 32nd Note(s)
  • 64th Note(s)

So you might select ‘1’ in the first drop down box and ‘Whole Beat(s)’ in the second drop down box and the page will be turned one whole beat before playback reaches the end of the page.

Highlight Notes/Lyrics During Playback This option can make it easier for you to follow a piece during playback as it highlights the notes and lyrics on the score as the music is played.

As an aid to sight-singing, you can optionally advance the lyric highlighting by the amount of your choice. See the Playback section of Score Options.

If you find that when playing scores there is a small delay between when you hear notes and when you see them highlighted on the score, try adjusting Playback Latency.

The Highlight Notes/Lyrics... option is turned on by default.

Grey Muted Notes If a staff has been muted (see the Sound section of Display and Playback) this option allows you to show the muted notes on the score in a different color to the standard notes.  The color of the muted notes can be changed using the Color tab.

Muted notes do not highlight during playback if this option is enabled.

The Fade Muted Notes option is turned on by default.

Advance Lyric Highlighting By default, MidiIllustrator will highlight Lyrics during playback at exactly the time they occur in the score. You may, however, wish to have Lyrics highlighted slightly in advance of their playback time as an aid to ‘reading ahead’.

The drop down box contains the following options:

  • On Time
  • A Whole Note Ahead of Time
  • A Half Note Ahead of Time
  • A Quarter Note Ahead of Time
  • An 8th Note Ahead of Time
  • A 16th Note Ahead of Time
  • A 32nd Note Ahead of Time
  • A 64th Note Ahead of Time
Apply The Apply button applies all the changes made to the score without the need to close the dialog box.