Unlike the recording of static MIDI in a DAW, recording with Synfire involves the conversion of static MIDI input into a dynamic Figure. This procedure requires user interaction, as outlined here.

This video shows an older version of Synfire. The current version looks different and is more streamlined and advanced today, but the functionality shown here is still available.

  1. Select the instrument and the Figure parameter
  2. If you only want to replace a portion of an existing phrase, use the span selection tool to mark the starting position (vertical line only), or select a span that should be replaced
  3. Press the red record button and capture a Take from live MIDI input. Synfire will apply figure recognition and give you a Figure
  4. If not satisfied with the result, go back to adjusting figure recognition settings (using the Settings button) and press Apply
  5. Repeat step 5 until you're satisfied.

This short video illustrates the above procedure:


Partial Recording

By arming only a partial span of the Figure, as explained in step 2 above, all content outside the span is protected. This is useful for replacing parts of a phrase:


Selecting a single position with the span tool, that is, only a vertical line and no span, will protect everything before that position. This is useful for adding new snippets to an existing phrase:


Partial Figure Recognition

Likewise, you can mark a span of the Take before applying figure recognition. This will only process the selected span and protect the rest.



With the Overdub switch active, existing content is not replaced by the recording. Still, recording can be limited to a span, if you want so, as explained above.


Figure Recognition Settings

Synfire estimates the best settings for the first take. Afterwards, it remembers the last used settings for the phrase you are working on. You need to make changes manually, or make Synfire estimate again by recalling the Auto-Detect preset.


This is only an overview to get you started. Please consult the user manual for details on each setting. The section on recording is part of the Arrangement chapter (or search for "recording").

Pre-Tagging The Take

If Synfire refuses to build the Figure as you expect it, you can pre-group and pre-tag notes on the Take before you apply figure recognition. This will hint Synfire as to what notes should be grouped in a segment and which symbol types to use:

  1. Pre-Tag: Select notes in the Take and double-click on symbol type
  2. Pre-Group: Select notes in Take and group, as you would do in a Figure


Correcting And Optimizing Figures

Pre-Tagging and other techniques are explained in the tutorial Optimizing Figures.

Recording To a Parameter

Synfire also supports the recording of Velocity, Step and other parameters: Select the parameter and press the Record Parameter button (next to the Record button). This way you can tap in the rhythm and dynamics of a phrase on your external MIDI keyboard, for example.



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