Skip to main content

Topic: Same instrument, different sound (Read 1078 times) previous topic - next topic

Same instrument, different sound
I have songs composed in two different Noteworthy versions.  My most recent version is 2.51; I'm sorry, I don't know what the older one is.  I have a beautiful cello sound in a song from the older version.  The cello sound in a recent song using the new Noteworthy version sounds like a tin horn.  I'm playing these both on the same computer, so why do they sound different?  How can I resurrect the lovely older cello sound?

Re: Same instrument, different sound
Reply #1
Given two files played on the same computer, there are two primary factors to the sound that you hear:

  • the play back device - check this from Tools, Options, Midi, as well as Staff, Staff Properties, Midi, Play back device
  • the chosen instrument - check this from Staff, Staff Properties, Instrument and any Instrument Change items in the staff

Re: Same instrument, different sound
Reply #2
There's a good chance that the more recent file isn't using standard MIDI patch numbers. It may have been written using an Audigy sound card or something similar; these cards often use sound font collections that don't follow the General MIDI (GM) rules. That can really mess up the sound. As Eric pointed out, you need to make sure that your cello part is actually playing with a cello MIDI patch.

Re: Same instrument, different sound
Reply #3
Thank you for your replies.

I'm looking at both song files, open in the same more recent editor (version 2.51).  Under "Tools/Options/Midi," both show "Microsoft GS Wavetable Synth" under "Available play devices," and "Microsoft Midi Mapper" under "Devices used by play back."  There are no other options in either box.

Under "Staff/Staff Properties/Midi, the "Playback Device" for both is "Microsoft Midi Mapper," with no other available devices.  The Instrument for both is "Cello," and both are using Send Patch 42.  They're using different Channels, but I don't think that matters.
This has bothered me for some time.  When I first bought Noteworthy MANY years ago, I was blown away by the sound.  It was like an orchestra in my computer room!  We got a new computer and the lovely sound was gone.  I figured it was the fault of the sound card.  But then how is my old file (still saved under the previous version) still giving me the nice sound??!

Very strange!

Re: Same instrument, different sound
Reply #4
The cello staff from your older preferred file shares its MIDI channel with another later staff that uses a String Ensemble 1 instrument patch. If you want your new file's cello staff to sound like an ensemble, you can simply set it to also use that same patch:

Code: (nwc) [Select · Download]
!NoteWorthyComposerClip(2.751,Single)
|Instrument|Name:"String Ensemble 1"|Patch:48|Trans:0|DynVel:10,30,45,60,75,92,108,127|Pos:8|Wide:Y
|Note|Dur:Half,Slur|Pos:3
|Note|Dur:Half|Pos:5
|Bar
|Note|Dur:Half,Slur|Pos:4
|Note|Dur:Half|Pos:2
|Bar
!NoteWorthyComposerClip-End

Re: Same instrument, different sound
Reply #5
....They're using different Channels, but I don't think that matters.

Eric seems to have nailed your problem as a different font. But it's worth pointing out here that a different MIDI channel CAN make a difference - if it's channel 10. That's reserved for percussion, and it can sound very strange if you try to use it for something else.

Re: Same instrument, different sound
Reply #6
Eric seems to have nailed your problem as a different font.

Different patch, not font, enabled by two staves sharing the same MIDI channel. Score Review is a good way to identify multiple staves that share the same MIDI channel. These staves will not be able to use different instrument patches simultaneously.

Re: Same instrument, different sound
Reply #7
Right. That's what I get for writing in a hurry while waiting for a guest to arrive.