Page 1 of 1

Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Track

Posted: 11-29-16 6:41 pm
by phoegh
I just loved the Keyboard concept in Rock Band 3 but they didn't include it in Rock band 4. I was searching through the forum but couldn't find what I was looking for.

Can you include or add a background/accompaniment track to play along with you while you are practicing?

Lets say I create a midi track to upload for practicing the piano part in "The Final Countdown"
Now when I master it, I want to practice it along with an audio track(it can be the karaoke version) of "The Final Countdown"

Is there a way to do this in Synthesia? If not then can we implement that??

Thanks for all your input!

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 11-29-16 9:04 pm
by jimhenry
What you can do for now is find a full MIDI arrangement for a song and select the keyboard part to be played by you.

The suggestion of synchronizing Synthesia with an audio track has been made before. I am not sure where Nicholas is at with that suggestion. This would require some extra work on your part because you would have to prepare the MIDI file to be synchronized with the audio. That was a big part of the work in preparing songs for use in Rock Band.

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 11-30-16 10:41 am
by kiwi
Personnally i use synthesia for to study and when i want to playback i only use youtube videos i don't need synthesia at this stage.
Here's a soft who can do this but you 'll have only tab and maybe staff but not the falling notes like in synthesia.
It's really easy to synchronise the songs with it.

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 01-04-17 5:30 pm
by miek
I wondered if this could help me learn. And there was a feature request about this a few years ago. I think they meant that Synthesia does it during practice - I don't know if they were thinking of an external source.

If the accompaniment is sounded in the "practice the rhythm" when you play - so that if you don't play anything, you are still hearing the tune, but if you do play, you are playing along with the same notes. Then you could practice at a fixed speed and if you loose your way, the track is still sounded, but you don't get any points.

To give it a go, I tried this with musescore:
Open existing .mid file
saved it as "* playalong.mid"
added a new track ( in my case it was two new piano tracks) (Edit\Instruments...Piano)
I copied the notes from the existing stave to the new one (Select them by clicking first and last notes then Ctrl+C and Ctrl+V on the new stave - it is that simple)
Save as .mid
Open in Synthesia.
In "Hands, Colours and Instruments" set the new MIDI instruments as "Background / Sounded / Hidden"
The original tracks need to be set as "Left/Right Hand / Sounded / Colour" as usual.

It does work in the program, but I will see how useful it is over the next few days.

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 01-04-17 6:18 pm
by jimhenry
I would suggest that you have the background tracks use a distinctly different sound than the one you are playing with so you can readily hear whether or not you are playing exactly with the background track. Since you particularly want to strike your notes at the correct time, something with a sharp attack like a glockenspiel or celesta might be a good choice for the background.

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 01-05-17 3:03 pm
by miek
That's a really good idea. I have just tried it out by changing the voice in the 'Hands, Colours and Instruments' so that one set is on Piano, and one set to Glockenspiel.

At first I was getting a mixture of piano and glockenspiel. (I couldn't tell when they were both Piano). But I had the MS Wavetable and my Casio both outputing my notes and the background...

I changed it so that the computer plays the background and my Casio plays my notes. (It is already a great thing that you can do this in Synthesia :D )

So for now I will try it out a bit more...

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 03-17-17 1:42 pm
by phoegh
Hi, sorry I haven't checked the forums since then ( I kind of forgot). Thanks for your information. I was wondering if Nicholas has read the post? I wan't to give you a little more background of what i'm looking for:

I'm a music teacher at an elementary school that teaches class piano and have a midi piano lab (usb midi keyboards with a PC). I also have a keyboard rock band composed of 10 keyboards, 3 singers, and a drummer. We play rock, funk, r&b, pop from the 70s-current.

I write the sheet music in Sibelius dividing it in to several single line Notation parts ex: bass part, guitar part, strings part, drum set part, synth part. And I assign each kid a part to practice and master on their headphones solo. Then we rehearse together out loud.

I want to have the kids to be able to practice their part on the Midi keyboards and PC first. Once they learn it the next step is to play along with the accompaniment midi parts to get the feel of playing with others (like how the keyboard plays along on Rock Band 3). Then the final step would be live rehearsal with everyone together.

Can (or will in the future) Synthesia be able to do that?

I hope this clarify everything.

Thank you once again


Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 03-17-17 2:06 pm
by Nicholas
Yeah, it can do that today. You only need to produce a single MIDI file (with all the parts), too.

You'd just distribute the file to each piano workstation and for the first phase (following the steps in this guide; notably step #6) have each student mute all the parts except their own. (This is made trivially easy with step #8 in the same guide by dragging a "Muted" icon to "All Parts" and then turning the audio back on for just theirs.)

And, for the second phase, (even easier) just drag a "Sounded" icon to "All Parts".

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 03-20-17 11:43 am
by phoegh
Awesome! Thank you NIcholas! Keep up the good work! you have my support!

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 03-29-17 2:28 pm
by phoegh
Hey Nicholas,

how do i get the drum midi to sound like a drum set? I don't see a drum set in the sounds part. I created a drum set midi track from sibelius and would like to use it as a background track as I play the piano parts

Re: Playing/Practicing with an Accompaniment Background Trac

Posted: 03-30-17 5:07 pm
by Nicholas
Hmm, it seems like Sibelius should do this for you automatically, but if you've got any control over it (maybe in a properties menu?) set the drum part to use MIDI channel 10. In the MIDI standard, channel 10 is the only one that normally produces drum sounds.