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Help with containers



Still struggling with the containers in Synfire Pro.

I feel really dumb, but I can't grasp why moving the Strings container under the Brass (via arrow keys) makes the Brass "shadow layer" disappear (see attached screens)

Bild entfernt.

EDIT: Furthermore, the Woodwinds won't play at all although they jump in before Brass Bild entfernt.


Mo., 02.10.2017 - 16:06 Permalink

Sorry Im a bit confused by what your diagrams are showing and a bit rusty, but think the problem might be that you have containers with defined but empty figures.

At any point in time, the container at the bottom, wins, anything defined in this container will overide the same parameters from the containers above. Likewise anything defined in the middle container will overide anything defined above, but be overridden by the same parameter being defined in a lower figure. However containers can have an instrument with no figure defined, in which case if that figure is defined higher up, that 'wins' and will play (effectively inherited from the parent container).

You seem to have figures defined that are empty, so they win over anything defined higher up. Just delete all figures in the woodwind container that arent woodwind, all figures from the brass that arent brass, etc. By delete I do not mean delete the 'notes' but select the figure on the parameter list on the right and delete it there, otherwise you will have a defined figure with no notes which isnt the same as no figure.

Lastly, you can define span, rythem, volume changes etc which can affect the above, but you havent got any of that (at least I dont think you have)

Mo., 02.10.2017 - 16:16 Permalink

Yes, I was aware that the last wins, but I filled each single container only with "notes" related to the labeled sound (Brass Stacc etc) and I was expecting three orchestral sections playing regardless of their vertical position. Otherwise, how can I make an orchestral template?

Now I trashed that test file and restarted from scratch: please hold on...

EDIT: Now it seems ok regardless of the containers vertical order (see attached .cognac file).


Mo., 02.10.2017 - 17:02 Permalink

The containers are working from left to right and from top to bottom... the topcontainer is the (bottom)container in your screen
The topcontainer content is first executed.

Is  menu entrance "paramaterexplanations"helpful ? 

In your test.cognac the Archi container is the topcontainer



Mo., 02.10.2017 - 16:32 Permalink

Yes same instrument (kontakt) but three different midi channels:

ch 1 - WW Staccato
ch 2 - Brass staccato
ch 3 - Strings tremolo

It works, even if I move vertically the containers via arrow keys. But still I can't grasp why. Back to study...

Mo., 02.10.2017 - 17:20 Permalink

jamando, In the User Manual I read that

all containers share the same instruments. 

In Synfire there are no "tracks" as it happens in a DAW: there are instruments and container that somewhat "turn on" an instrument at a certain point, more or less like a spotlight enlights a soloist on a stage. I guess this should be the basic concept of "container", but it's a totally new way of composing to me, and I must read the manual again and again to grasp the principles. In spite of the awkward learning curve and some issues with MacOS, nonetheless, I consider Synfire an extraordinary assistant with an enormous potential for future development. Otherwise I wouldn't have decided to purchase it ;-)

I will give a try to Rapid Composer, too. But one thing at time!

Mo., 02.10.2017 - 20:32 Permalink

Bild entfernt. 

Note: try out some containers filled with chords progressions on top of instrument containers and with this parameter : harmony you will notice that the top harmony container is dictating
Replace it with a another chord container on top

There is a rootcontainer at the bottom as start filled with instruments for the arrangement and by adding containers on top of the rootcontainer you compose.(and with command :pack )..you put the instruments from the rootcontainer into a container where you for example it can divide (not possible in the rootcontainer )
Suppose you do have a rootcontainer filled with instrumenttracks and one is a piano : make a "snapshot" from the figure in the timeline ( bar) and add this figure ( for changing the piano pattern ) in a container on top of the rootcontainer (or pack )   




Mo., 02.10.2017 - 19:26 Permalink

I guess I didnt explain myself very well lol and sorry. If you look at your brass picture, you have highlighted the middle container called strings and its instrument WW Stacc. WW Stacc has a figure defined (the bright blue square against the figure parameter label). That means strings contains a figure definition for WW Stacc that overides any in Woodwinds and it is empty so you will get no woodwinds playing whilst the strings container is below woodwinds. You probably have something similar for the No Brass container but it isnt possible to tell from the picture.

If you look at the woodwinds container, and click on Brass Stacc or Strings trem you will see the little box next to the figure parameter label is dimmed, which means the figure for those instruments comes from a different container, which is why you can see their greyed out notes.

You can click on the bright blue boxes where you have empty figures and delete the parameter.

Sorry I cant check your cog file as I am not near my studio, otherwise I'd send you back an example, but Ive attached a modified brass.jpg which hopefully highlights the problem.


Mo., 02.10.2017 - 20:47 Permalink

blacksun, you've been enlightening Bild entfernt.

I suspected I had messed up something in the figure parameter, but I was not able to trace the source of the problem and I preferred to delete everything and start over from scratch. Now the situation is much clearer and I should not commit two times the same error. Or at least I hope so, otherwise it would mean that I am unrecoverable!

Meanwhile thank you: offer yourself a beer from me (or a non-alcoholic, if you prefer)


EDIT: made some further tests, got it. A truly "German", over-detailed way of thinking a structure: but when you grasp the Synfire philosophy, it goes. Thank you one more time!

Di., 03.10.2017 - 01:09 Permalink

Begininng to grasp the container philosophy.

In this short test, everything was made in Synfire, including the audio output. All samples are from SAM Orchestral Essentials.

The strength of this software is the speed with which one can change ideas, themes and harmonies: Synfire reorganizes and re-coordinates everything instantly. The amount of time saved compared to a notation program or, even worse, to a DAW, is impressive.

And the question that arises spontaneously is: how did I do without so far?

Congrats and my dutifully respect, Andre.