Synfire Screen Shots
This is what Synfire looks like.
The arrange window features four main areas: The Library (left, hidden most of the time), the Structure View (top, a tree of nested containers), the Instrument Sheet (middle) and the Parameter Area (right), where all parameters can be set per instrument. A musical score is composed of building blocks (containers), each of which contains playing instructions for any number of instruments. As these instructions (parameters) are inherited downwards the tree structure, changing a parameter at the top of the tree can have dramatic effects (e.g. replacing harmony).
The intelligent pattern recognition capabilities of Synfire support the most powerful MIDI import facility ever realized. It creates a symbolic model of the musical expressions contained in a file. This model can then be re-interpeted in any musical context. This means Synfire can actually understand music, which is a revolutionary achievement. You won't find this anywhere else.
Other than Harmony Navigator, Synfire is not based on preset phrases or "styles" (although we will be providing some, in order to encourage beginners). Synfire fully supports your creativity and encourages original, personal work. Collect your own repository of motifs, themes and phrases - whether imported, sketched or recorded - in a library. Importing existing scores and adding their themes to your collection is a good idea to get started. In a typical situation, you will want to place a library window next the arrangement and drag phrases to and from your composition.
Phrases are the basic building blocks of an arrangement. They resemble playing instructions for "virtual musicians" who will translate them to real notes depending on the musical context. The same phrase creates different interpretations when moved to other locations in the score. It works in any environment, automatically cooperating with other instruments that are playing at the same time.
Sketching phrases is intuitive and easy. Their graphical appearance roughly resembles what a musician might have in his mind when improvising "live". You will quickly forget about technical details in favor of your big picture. However, you propbably don't want to sketch too many phrases by hand, because it's rather easy to refine and optimize phrases you ave recorded "live" or imported from MIDI files.
(BTW: If you want to listen to the piano phrase above, look here under "Separation of Form and Content")
Synfire supports Standard MIDI Files (SMF), MusicXML and LilyPond. MusicXML is ideal for being imported into third party notation software like Finale and Sibelius. A plug-in for that purpose is available from Recordare. This picture below illustrates how beautiful the LilyPond formatter renders scores.
LilyPond is free GNU software. Synfire seamlessly works together with your local installation of LilyPond, so you can have a look at your compositions without the need to always do the full export/import dance.
Harmony Made Easy
An instance of Harmony Navigator is included and fully integrated with Synfire. You can copy and paste progressions to your arrangement, or drag the around in part or as a whole. The screen shots are essentially the same (although more current and polished today) as for the standalone product Harmony Navigator. Screen shots of Harmony Navigator can be found here.
Helps you extract harmonic progressions interactively from arbitrary musical material (MIDI), whether recoprded, imported or sketched. You may even change the harmony of existing portions of your composition to follow an individual instrument.
Sounds And Instruments
Register your MIDI equipment with Synfire and it will automatically re-compose and adapt musical phrases to perfectly suit the sounds and their instrument characteristics as available in your studio.