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Uploaded a workflow video to YouTube

Autor HiEnergy

I've uploaded a video screencast showing my composition workflow for creating a simple snippet of music with Ableton Live and Synfire Pro. Descriptive text is in the subtitles. Be sure to enable english captions while watching the video.

More instruction videos to come. Subscribe to my YT channel for updates.


Di., 23.01.2018 - 11:14 Permalink

My second video shows a progression being created using the palette, some "negative harmony" done by flipping chords "upside down" and a change in harmonic context being set up in a sub-container.

Watch the video here: 

Enable subtitles for explanations.

Do., 25.01.2018 - 19:38 Permalink

Hi, first of all, I want to thank anybody, who puts the effort to show, how things are made in Synfire.
But I have a request also. Please, make it possible to comment, what you are doing. It is very difficult to follow, what you are doing on the screen and in parallel read the subtitles. Always missing something and the flow is disappearing....
Unfortunately many of the Synfire tuts are made this way.
Don`t get me wrong, it`s not a complaint, because I really appreciate your work.

Fr., 26.01.2018 - 06:07 Permalink

Thanks for the videos HiEnergy ... much appreciated.

steberlin ... a suggestion  .... there's a program (Windows/Mac/Linux) called Google2srt ( https://sourceforge.net/projects/google2srt/ ) that will download subtitles from YT and convert them into the SRT format.  If you also download the video, you can rename the SRT file with the same name as the video and put them in the same folder.  vlc (and probably other players) should then recognise the subtitles and you can activate in the normal way.  You can then loop, play slowly, take snapshots etc as you wish while viewing the descriptive text.

I'm sure there's a more elegant solution than this.  A solution with discrete SRT files might help with translations of future tuts.


Sa., 03.02.2018 - 22:04 Permalink


 I have reallly enjoyed the videos. The were very helpfyl, and gave me the kick to start exploring synfire.

I attached my first try, not any thing extraordinary, and absolute not your style of music. 

Thanks for your help Lottekoe


Di., 06.02.2018 - 00:56 Permalink

My latest screencast shows the creation of a simple piece of music for two instruments from scratch.

This includes

  • creating a block chord accompaniment starting with the rhythm of a bass pattern from a library
  • enhancing and varying the accompaniment
  • adding a bass line as part of this accompaniment
  • adding and modifying a chord progression from a part of one of Synfire's example progressions
  • creating a melody by extracting a snippet of a theme by Mozart from a library clip
  • adding an ending in a separate container
  • changing the accompaniment for a totally different one
  • varying harmony and melody using phrases in separate containers

All of this is shown in approximately half an hour

Watch the video screencast at YouTube

As usual: Subtitles for explanations.

Fr., 16.02.2018 - 17:21 Permalink

@HiEnergy, Thank you so much for doing these videos. I found them incredibly helpful and learnt quite a few things from watching your workflow. Synfire is so deep!


Cheers, Simon

Fr., 16.02.2018 - 17:26 Permalink

One thing I noticed from your first video is your libraries of figures / phrases. I must spend some time to import phrases to convert to figures. It seems very helpful to have a custom library of ideas ready to drop into projects you are working on. Grrr, preparation & discipline I must focus on these things :)

Fr., 16.02.2018 - 17:46 Permalink

I've spent quite some time with sifting through dozens and dozens of MIDI files and harvesting usable material from them.

Synfire often creates hardly usable Figures out of complex material when left on its own to decide how to convert Takes into harmony and Figures. With lots of assistance and manual post-processing it's possible to harvest versatile and highly usable library clips from imported MIDI files, though. Wheat and chaff...

Those hours of preparatory work now pay off in a faciliated workflow when composing new music.

After my next few planned screencasts dealing with Live 10, I'll do some more on Synfire, then hopefully with proper narration (I have an ugly voice).

Sa., 24.02.2018 - 14:15 Permalink

Watch my latest screencast video here:

Synfire workflow for MIDI file import

A MIDI file gets imported into a Synfire library phrase suitable for piano accompaniment.
The shown steps are

  • setting up import parameters
  • correcting harmony recognition
  • doing a figure recognition
  • adjusting the result
  • adding bass notes
  • storing the phrase in a library

I hope this video makes for some insight.

No subtitles as the explanatory texts are edited into the video.

Mo., 26.02.2018 - 04:19 Permalink

In my latest Synfire video I compose a short piece of chamber music in less than 20 minutes.

Work steps shown in this video are

  • importing a simple melody in a MIDI file
  • performing the harmonic analysis
  • recognizing the Figure for a piano melody
  • making this melody into further melodies for violin and cello
  • adding more chords
  • creating a piano accompaniment
  • creating an ending
  • transferring to DAW


Do., 01.03.2018 - 11:16 Permalink

Nice, HiEnergy.

I'm still waiting for a ScreenFlow fix on Retina iMacs. The annoying bug that stretches/expands the text boxes is still there although they stated weeks ago that a patch is on the way...

Do., 01.03.2018 - 12:08 Permalink

Thanks for your appreciation!

For my videos I use OBS for screen capturing and an Autohotkey script named ShowOff for showing which keys are being pressed. I use DaVinci Resolve for cutting, titling and refining the videos.

Do., 01.03.2018 - 12:12 Permalink

Thanks again for these new videos, they are a great help as I finally succumbed to working my way through the manual :)



So., 04.03.2018 - 17:32 Permalink

Hello ALL!

 ...I don't want to step on anyone toes with the videos I wish to do. I want to explain the "Meat And Pototoes" parts of the program(s). Look, if your not using every feature of the program(s), then your not making the  "Created Works" all yours. I've had the HONOR to play with these programs on other people's computers..., and, mostly watched them use them in their moments of "Writers Block."


I hope that I in time I'll be helpful to everyone, just like you are @HiEnergy!


Fr., 02.03.2018 - 15:02 Permalink

Thanks for your appreciative reply, William.

I don't feel infringed or "my toes being stepped on" in any way.

We need more videos from users' view, although those done by Cognitone are already top-notch, unmatched quality here.

I'd really love to see user-generated screencasts or tutorials for Synfire depicting workflows different from mine.

Keep going, William!

Sa., 03.03.2018 - 10:55 Permalink

Thanks so much for all the content you have created. I am learning so much from your videos.

more please!



So., 04.03.2018 - 01:34 Permalink

Thanks for your appreciation, Mike.

If all goes well I'll create and upload a new video starring Synfire during the current weekend.

Edit: Video is out... see next post.

So., 04.03.2018 - 08:58 Permalink

Thanks again. Thought I’d read the manual, but I missed this feature.

really appreciate that you’ve highlighted the Scaleboard.

So., 04.03.2018 - 11:22 Permalink

Thanks again HiEnergy! That last video was very useful for me, as I am around 40 pages into the manual and have been struggling with the concept / fundamentals of symbols, i.e., when to choose between H, V and A symbols. I see in your video that changing the H, V and A synbols don't really make a difference to the figure, I guess that the difference only comes into play when you change the interpretation of the notes, or perhaps the harmony?


Also, I was oblivious to the scaleboard - thanks for bringing that to my attention :)


Finally, I think your pacing and voice is very suited to these kind of demonstrative / instructional videos, and I would also love to see more, I could watch hours of them - though I would have to eventually write some music too :)




So., 04.03.2018 - 13:56 Permalink

Thank you for your appreciation.

I've now set up a "series" playlist in YouTube which I'll populate with Synfire Feature Spotlight videos one by one over time.

When you're subscribed to my channel, you can use the YouTube's "bell" feature for getting notofied each time I upload a new video.

Please make suggestions on what feature to show next...

So., 04.03.2018 - 14:16 Permalink

I will subscribe.


I would be interested in seeing the differences in phrase creation using Horizontal, Vertical, Chord, Arp symbols in play - this is currently confusing me a bit.

Also, specific focus around some practical examples of the results of changing interpretation parameters for phrases in the context of a song.


No rush of course, I am still spending a few hours each day using different features / goals trying to solidify synfire concepts in my mind.


Thanks again!

Mo., 05.03.2018 - 17:33 Permalink

Informative New Video #HiEnergy! I'll be watching yours and others in the future!

I've been hired out to help teach others privately in audio, video, & music editing. My thoughts of doing tutorial videos on Synfire might have to be off the table for a while. My new contract bars me from doing online Youtube tutorials for the duration of the contract.


So., 04.03.2018 - 23:04 Permalink

Wish you all the best for your new endeavor, William!

Hope to have you among us making videos again asap.

Mo., 05.03.2018 - 17:32 Permalink

I'll still be studying Synfire Pro software and making an outline of the maunal. The videos will proceed in time.

Di., 06.03.2018 - 23:40 Permalink

I would be interested in seeing the differences in phrase creation using Horizontal, Vertical, Chord, Arp symbols in play - this is currently confusing me a bit.

Also, specific focus around some practical examples of the results of changing interpretation parameters for phrases in the context of a song.

There ar some excellent videos by Juergen on both of these subjects in the Wiki section. You should check them out!

Mi., 07.03.2018 - 13:21 Permalink

Thank you! I was unaware there was a wiki! I've started watching Juergen's videos, they are great. I am starting to level up with my Synfire knowledge! 

Mi., 07.03.2018 - 14:10 Permalink

I know that Jürgen did a treatise on the topics of symbol type choice for Figure and influence of Interpretation parameter changes on the outcome, so I didn't want to reiterate this. In my chamber music video I don't touch Interpretation at all and merely use horizontal Figure segments.

Probably I'll do a piece on this topic later in my timeline. My next planned Feature Spotlight will be on using palettes for building chord progressions.

Mi., 07.03.2018 - 18:53 Permalink

Hi HiEnergy! I to will look over those videos too!

I see owning a copy of Synfire Pro as a package of music generating programs that dynamically expands the MIDI part of any DAW in ways I don't believe many have just yet seen.

I can see this software being used for types of music that are Rockish in nature. I remember a time, late 60s, 70s, that long passages in songs were performed. Like "Pink Floyd" - Meddle, Animals, Wish You Were Here - The Band "YES", "KANSAS", and the like. I see SynFire Pro doing these long passages intermixed with vocals in a more powerful futuristic way.

So doing tutorial videos are in my future, yet the music that I'm going to use it for may never have been heard just yet.

Pushing the limits of this software is what I plan on doing, I've read the manual completely. Within an outline that I'm now creating to solidify my own knowledge of this software, I may just come up with a way to use Synfire Pro not yet thought possible, hopefully.

Keep the videos coming @HiEnergy, I'll be watching in the meantime!


Do., 08.03.2018 - 00:04 Permalink

That's one of the reason there can never be too many videos or tutorials for synfire. There are so many ways to use it to produce music, it is part of its power. I never tire of watching any tutorials as I often pick up ideas I can incorporate into my workflow. On top of that I still have a long way to go learning music theory and many of the videos help with that too. Thanks to everyone that helps out.

Do., 08.03.2018 - 01:31 Permalink

That's my weakness too, music theory. I'm an old MIDI editor. I'm learning quickly, it's the terminology mostly for me and how it applies to the intricacies of SynFire Pro. I think part of my tutorials will be defining terms and how they appear to be used / applied in the software. This is an extreme piece of software with one tall mountain to climb to understand. What I've learned so far is there are deep connections within connections.

This software seems to account for every articulation, changes, humanizing you could think of that could effect the final produced MIDI.


So., 20.05.2018 - 22:32 Permalink

My latest Synfire workflow screencast video shows me composing a short tune for brass quartet from scratch in less than half an hour.

Only Harmony, Figure and Interpretation are used. The three Figure segment types in use (Horizontal, Vertical, Bass) are briefly explained in the subtitle.

Have fun watching this video!

Mo., 21.05.2018 - 11:51 Permalink

i do have a interesting video about countermelody construction ..if you are interested give your e-mail adress..i send it to you

Mo., 21.05.2018 - 11:56 Permalink

What about posting a link to it here in the forum se we all can enjoy that video? :)

So., 14.10.2018 - 21:05 Permalink

I've done a new workflow video for Synfire. This time I'm using using the "implied" Step vector from a clip to impose its rhythmical character onto a different piece of music.

The possibilities of this workflow for creating new material out of existing snippets of music are endless.

Watch the video here:



Di., 25.12.2018 - 05:24 Permalink

Wow great work @HiEnergy. 

Love your vids. They have helped me tremendously along with Andre's vids of course.

Synfire kicks butt. Plain and simple.

As time goes by I find myself leaving Reaper open with drones and doing the bulk of my work in Synfire.